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Preview: The Cup and the Bean: Life with 2 Little Butters

The Cup and the Bean: Life with 2 Little Butters

The daily experience of raising two daughters while staying in love, staying the course and trying to stay asleep.

Updated: 2014-10-04T18:00:39.643-07:00


Porch Picnic



We had a picnic on the front porch today. Just Cup and I. We spread out blankets, split a Lean Cuisine pizza and played some hopscotch sketched out with sidewalk chalk. We took a ride on the porch swing. Oh, and Cup blew some bubbles with her Bubble Gun.

It was a blissful twenty minutes.

new blog name?


I've been thinking about hanging the name of the old blog. We don't really call Bean "Bean" or Cup "Cup" anymore. Their nicknames have morphed into all kinds of crazy concoctions. Bean is Kong, Surly Shirley, Fatty (said with nothing but love) or #2. Cup is Chatty Cathy, The Negotiator, Baby Doll or #1. So I feel disconnected from the blog's name and like I could do better. And that "do better" feeling never sits well with me for very long.

The other problem is that "the Cup and Bean" sounds like a blog about coffee. Yeah...there's that too.

So, I'm taking suggestions for a new blog name. Something catchy, obviously. And relevant. I'll be thinking on it myself as well, but perhaps I should have a big promtional sweepstakes with the winning entry earning a trip to Palm Spring or something!! Odds would be pretty good for winning, as I think I have about 3 regular readers.

Hmmm...something to think about.

If You Steal My Sunshine


Bean in diva mode.

She just turned one, and boy has it gone to her head. :)


Bonding Time



Cup and Bean being sisters, vegging out in front of the tv a few days ago.

Today, I caught them playing together for the very first time.

Hallelujah! Perhaps more quiet time for Mommy in the near future.

Happy Easter



Cup brought this home from preschool. Is it not the best preschool craft ever made?

Happy Easter!

He is Risen!

Messy Face



We made Monkey Munch today. Cup's favorite thing to do with mommy.

Want the recipe?

christmas cheer


A sampling of the blissful moments involved in capturing
"The Great Annual Christmas Photo."


And the final product that I went with, out of sheer frustration.


Standing Guard


Sweet puppy that follows the girls around all day. Naps at Bean's door when she sleeps. Guards the toys when they're distracted.

Faithful mutt.


Pachelbel Bedtime


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I absolutely love this. It's the best thing I've ever seen on YouTube. If this guy made an album, I'd buy it in a second.

Warning, however. It's addictive. If you listen to it, you'll hear it in your head all week.

The Tortured (Scam) Artist


Well, I'm tired this week, so I'm not running on all cylinders. Most of the reason for my weary state is our resident Tortured Soul, Cup.

Cup is a manipulator. She innocently (although that's debatable)thinks that she always has the answer. So, that means standing in the middle of a swim academy facility, baiting her to please turn right because, yes, mommy actually knows where we're going. It means, after putting on her shoes for her, turning around and seeing that she has switched them to the wrong feet, because after all, she knows better.

But when she can't seem to master the task (or person) in front of her, she 's an oozing wound. She's torturously frustrated at the world, metaphorically shaking her tiny fists at the sky and vengefully kicking a scapegoated Barbie with a fierce pink Stride Rite.

Down deep in my mommy soul, I know it's because she's a leader and feels a natural, innate sense of competence. So, she's just exercising being "herself." I try to tell myself that we're raising a secure, confident child that feels free to express herself. Not a monsterous, self-indulgent brat. And her "failures" are so upsetting because she has such high (albeit unnecessary) standards for herself.

But, in a daily existence, it's maddening because almost every encounter with her ends up in tears. Most of the time, her. But sometimes, me. But one of ends up in an emotional puddle.

Her Fitzgerald-eque ways reminded me of a character from my past. Don Music...the guy on Sesame Street that used to bang his head on the piano out of frustration, crazy hair flying about.

As I empathetically watched this clip, I realized I am Kermit, patiently trying to talk Don (Cup) off the ledge, through the task, subtly sarcastic and borderline snarky, but getting the job done.

I dig Kermit's technique.

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A Language All Our Own


When I was very newly preggo with Bean, I made a dvd montage to break the news to Handsome Hubby. A tad cheesy, I know, but it made him cry, which I always consider a success.I recently unearthed these clips of Cup that I had taken when compiling the montage. It was July of 2006 and she had just turned two. Mind you, I'm somewhat annoying in these clips. I was using that relentlessly sugary and and over-the-top tone you have to use to get a 2-year-old to do anything. Cover your ears if your sensitive to high-pitched, grating noises. Or to boring videos of other people's kids.Cup and the preggo testCup hugs the bay-beeCup practicing with the future BeanIt's amazing to see her so small and hear the lilting, birdlike baby voice I was using. (a bit of a Southern bird...again, sorry.) It made me realize how much our mother-daughter language has changed. Cup has been speaking in complex sentences for a long time now, usually about what Hannah Montana must be doing at this very moment. So, It's startling to hear us communicating like throwing my voice high and low like a frisbee, and she alternating ignoring me and grunting rebelliously.Well, maybe not everything changes.In any case...these days, our exchanges go more like this...The Revealing(I accidentally drop something on the floor with Cup standing nearby watching.)"Dammit," she says supportively."Cup, what did you just say?""Dammit, mommy.""Oh, sh*t. Where's your father?"The Little Philosopher(As we're driving in the car)"Mommy, did you see that doggie?""What doggie, honey?""The doggie on the ground.""What doggie on the ground, honey?""The doggie on the ground, laying at the road.""Oh. Hm. Yeah?""What's he doing?""Uh, he's sleeping, honey. Real sleepy. Just taking a nap."The Long-Winded"Hey, Cup...what's going on with your dress?"*long pause.* "I don't...another long pause...know.""Well, it's all bunched up in your panties.""Oh YES!I went to the potty ALL BY MYSELF isn't that wonderful Mommy I had to go so I ran to the potty and got on the stool and did it and I washed my hands and I used the soap and dried with the towel cause that's what we do we wash our hands every time we go to the potty and I'll do that at preschool too mommy cause that's what my teacher says to wash your hands every single time and we always go to the potty not in our pants and I GET JELLYBEANS NOW!" Our current language consists mostly of question (her) and answer (me) sessions. Like a 24-7 preschooler talk show featuring rainbows and pocket-sized frogs, mommy's make-up and her ticklish brushes, why Bean doesn't talk yet, how far the ocean is and why she can never swim alone.It won't always be like this, I know. She'll wise up and see that she's smarter than me and her father put together (something we already know) and quit consulting us for cerebral enlightenment. Pretty soon, she won't be buying what I'm selling.But, I'm pretty sure the "because I said so" thing is good for a lifetime. So, there's always that.**If you're interested, the short version of the montage dvd I made for handsome hubby is below.Photo and video editing at[...]

More Folds than Origami


Have I mentioned that Bean was 10 pounds, 8 ounces at birth? It's true. She is, quite literally, the biggest achievement of my life.

When it comes up, the conversation usually goes one of four ways:

a. Shock - A gasp. A few seconds of silence. Then "Did you have it...naturally?" (I did.)
b. The Sympathetic Reaction - "Oh. My. God." usually followed by "You. Poor. Thing."
c. The CSI reaction - "There MUST be a you think your gestational diabetes went undiagnosed?"
d. The Blame Game - What the hell were you EATING?

None of these reactions is even remotely appropriate. Well, maybe shock...I am only 5'3" on a good day and handsome hubby is a measly 5'10". But I had a very healthy pregnancy. No diabetes. No skyrocketing weight gain and no binging on fried lard. Or growth hormones, for that matter.

It is less so now, but over the months since Bean was born, I have grown to be somewhat ashamed over her birth size. Like we're a family of circus freaks and I am the ringleader.

The recent reports that bigger babies have a higher chance of becoming obese adults have me reciting in my head everything I did or didn't do while preggo. How many times did I eat at Bojangles? Did I eat tuna too much? Too little? Was it the unnecessary 4d ultrasound we did for fun? Is cellulite still considered cute on babies?

So why the hell did I have a 10 and a half pound turkey...I mean, baby?

When I asked the pediatrician, he blabbered on about "in-utero environments" and how some women provide unusually excellent placental nourishment that just grows super babies, so to speak. This made me feel like less of a freak and more of a superachiever, or at the very least a biological pack mule. If nothing else, at least I'm useful and efficient.

When I asked my ob, he reminded me that my babies are half handsome hubby's and his genetic inheritance could be responsible. Cool. Something else to nag him about.

Bean is still big. She's 5 months old and in the 98 percentile for height and weight. People don't believe me when I tell them her age. They insist she's at least 9 months, and I feel compelled to thump them on the forehead and whip out her birth certificate.

Yes, she has thighs that could crack walnuts. Yes, she has thighs that could, in fact, crack the actual walnut tree. But, my gosh, I love those fatty drumsticks. The kid has more folds than origami, and I just want to wrap myself up in every single one.

So, I'm over it finally. As happens with all parents....her quirks are the things you fall in love with most. And, goodness knows, in light of all the scariness some new parents face, a fat baby isn't something to be remotely worried about, although people's rude reactions might lead you to think otherwise.

Even if her portly predicament is my fault... something I ate too much of or the result of my phenom's a heavenly aberration that I consider a masterpiece.

And what could be more right than that?

The kind of day we had today.


The Beginning


Cup has become an insomiac.

For about a month now, she will not take her usual afternoon nap. Fine. She's dropping her nap, we thought, as young 'uns about this age are prone to do. We had a nice run.

But, she's also staying up until 10 pm (even though we put her in bed at 8) and getting up at 6 am. We're getting suspicious and keeping an eye on our medicine cabinets. She has seemed a little shifty eyed lately.

In any case, Henry has a stroke of brilliance.

"When we hear her clanging around upstairs and spot her up on the landing about to come down the stairs, all jacked up the rush of rebellion...why don't we just... *poof* ...give her a dart to the neck, Old School style."

Uh, that's evil GENIUS!

I wonder how far I COULD blow a dart. I think I'll dig out an old copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark, just for research purposes.