Archive for the 'parenting' Category

PSA: wax paper is not the same as parchment paper

dear world,

in our effort to eat more whole foods and less processed stuff, i’ve started making homemade cereal bars. i’ve tried a couple of different recipes, but this one from tasted great and requires no use of the stove so the girls can help from start to finish. apparently, the bars are supposed to look like this when finished:


photo credit:

however, the first time i made them, i used aluminum foil to line the pan so the foil stuck a little to the bottom and i let them cool for a bit too long before trying to cut them. they certainly weren’t pretty, but they were absolutely edible.

this time, i thought, i’ll use wax paper to line the pan. the box says it’s oven safe. i mean, i did check the box and since we don’t have any parchment paper, i took the plunge.

my cereal bars turned out like this:

cereal bar crumble

cereal bar crumble

apparently, wax paper, when baked in the oven for any amount of time melts into whatever you happen to be making. my cereal bars had a fine layer of wax melted into them which i then had to peel off.

it was messy business.

in brighter news, my cereal bar crumble tastes just as good as a properly formed bar. one simply needs a spoon or many many napkins available to eat it.

crunching away,


ps- does anyone have any good no-heat recipes that kids can help with?


the sick day

dear world,

V has a virus. i sent her to school tuesday with a little cough and the nurse called around 1pm. she had a pretty good cough. i didn’t let the nurse take her temperature in case it was a fluke and we could send her the next day, but she actually had a low-grade fever. and her fever held between 100.2 and 100.6 for the past two days.

today, i fully intended to take her to school except her fever was still there this morning. so, instead, i kept her home. we watched tv, i did some work, we went grocery shopping and she watched more tv.

i made ketchup (from scratch) and started making vanilla extract for our holiday gifts. i did laundry. what else is a girl to do?

then, late afternoon, her fever went up. instead of hovering around 100, it’s’ now hovering around 101. i took her to the doctor on thursday who said this fever lasts 3-5 days. she said to go back if the fever spiked or lasted until monday. but now i’m nervous. going up after 3 1/2 days versus going down is not so good.

i hate this. i want her to feel better and sometimes it seems like she is. but then, she walked over this afternoon and just put her head in my lap. she actually asked to go to bed this evening. that may have never happened before.

i’m a little concerned. i have a call into the after hours line at the doctor’s office. i hope they say it’s fine. i hope her fever breaks tonight.

here’s hoping,


i can do it myself

dear world,

we have reached the do-it-myself phase of parenting with N. for real. if we walk into a room and i happen to turn on the light, i then must turn out said light and allow N to turn it on. needless to say, everything takes twice as long.

i had forgotten the fierceness of do-it-myself and how all things mean so much more. for example, going potty must only happen in the pink potty. the green potty will not do. the cup with a straw is mandatory. how could i possibly think that a sippy cup could be appropriate? she must sit in the chair next to me as opposed to in my lap. i am a fool.

it’s kind of amazing. there’s this balance shifting between choosing one’s actions and depending on me to do it for her. sometimes it’s ok and sometimes it’s just not. no. mommy do it.¬†

allow me to illustrate.

saturday morning, it poured. i mean, it really rained hard with wind and it was kind of cold and generally miserable. i thought, let’s go run errands. obviously. leaving the house, V, N and i all have on rain jackets and shoes. by the time we’ve been in the car 2 minutes, i’m the only person with all this still on. (N chose to jump in puddle so then V decided to do the same which meant very damp feet.)

at target, i barely managed to get N’s shoes on to make it in the store. they were off 30 seconds after i strapped her into the cart. at this point, we still have rain coats on. apparently, target doesn’t carry little potties so we had to make a second stop.

in the pouring rain.

as we bolt from the car into the store, i have on shoes and a raincoat with my hood on. V has on a raincoat that is not buttoned nor over her head. N is barefoot without any sort of shelter from the rain and crying desperately in my arms.

i don’t know if you’ve every been to buy, buy baby, but it is the bed, bath and beyond of baby stores. in fact, i think it’s owned by them. i now have a dripping wet, sobbing child in the basket of the cart (having refused to sit in the child seat) and a 5 year old who wants everything and can reach everything trying to choose a potty.

with a point in her favor, N chose the only blue and red potty as the one she must have over all the dora, princess and pink potties on the wall. the challenge being this one had no price, no box and apparently no side decals which meant we got the display for a discount. 20 minutes, 2 extra items and much bargaining for good behavior later.

glad she loves her potty,


potty training: not my first rodeo

dear world,

N is ready to pee on the potty. i remember before i had children and felt faintly embarrassed by discussions of potty training, peeing, pooping and all the ins and outs of making this type of transition. let’s just say i’ve moved beyond that.

sunday, we started. N would have sat on her potty for 8 hours if we let her. the novelty of having something she could do on her own and something that she really doesn’t have to share must have felt pretty good. today, i sent her to school in training pants. she only had 2 accidents! amazing.

(i should note that i packed a giant bag of extra training pants and back-up clothes for just in case which i proceeded to forget on the porch. that added about 15 minutes to my morning: drop off N, pick up clothes, drop off V, go back and drop off clothes.)

we’re rewarding with big smiles. we’re rewarding with m&m’s. we’re reading potty books together. it’s pretty much all we’re talking about right now. however, it’s working. our two favorite potty books have been a hit with both girls:

a potty for me, by karen katz

once upon a potty, by alona frankel

has anything in particular worked for you? V didn’t get rolling until at least 2 1/2. N is ready much earlier because she wants to be just like her big sister. everyone got cheers for peeing on the potty this morning.

almost done with diapers,


school lunches – it’s a marathon, not a sprint

dear world,

as this is the first year we’ve been responsible for providing lunch for V, i thought i’d look to the internet for help. i want V to eat well. i want V to have healthy choices. mostly, i just want her to eat what i pack. where to start?

well, the internet suggests about a million things and i kid you not, all these moms are making food that looks like owls for their kids school lunchboxes and i’m all like, oh shoot, i have to figure out what to pack for tomorrow and it’s 10pm.

last night, when this very thing happened, i wandered into the kitchen, stared deep into the fridge and decided on making her a quesadilla with peas on the side and threw in some leftover popcorn and a whole apple. then i almost burnt the quesadilla and totally exploded the peas all over the microwave. but, i think she’ll like it. it wasn’t pretty, but i covered my bases.

here’s what i learned:

  1. land’s end makes a lunch box that wipes clean and fits enough food for lunch.
  2. goodbyn makes a 3 section lunch holder and the stuff doesn’t leak into the other sections or the lunchbox (unless your child forgets to shut it when she’s done).
  3. it’s hard to think of a variety of choices so you don’t end up with pb&j 3 out of 5 days
  4. it’s kind of fun to use pretty toothpicks to hold a sandwich together

i went to a playdate/lunchbox party with some friends and got some good ideas. i bought a cookbook that is *fairly* optimistic in packing suggestions. for example, V thinks lettuce is only for grown-ups- kind of like coffee and wine, and this cookbook suggests things like skewers with tomato, fresh mozzarella, bread pieces and fresh basil.

and then, today, i read a post about the pinterest bitches who stay up to 4am making totally over-the-top stuff for back-to-school time. i’m thinking i can settle down. V is fed. she’s excited about what’s in her lunch and she loves her “coffee cup” which will keep milk cold for 7 hours.

happy eating,


ps – the second week of school, V very specifically asked for lunch money so she could buy her lunch at school including strawberry milk. oh well.


kindergarten is hard

dear world,

this afternoon, i received an email from V’s kindergarten teacher informing me that V had simply decided to wander out of class and explore the school because it was too loud during a lesson. another teacher found her and returned her to her class.

1. seriously? my daughter is in big trouble!

2. seriously? my daughter could escape unnoticed from your class and another teacher had to bring her back?!

i rearranged my schedule and met first with the teacher and then with V and the teacher together to reinforce the unavoidable fact that she is required to stay with her class. we had a good meeting and i understand the challenge of managing 22 5 -6 year olds, but i’m still kind of struggling with not being totally frustrated by the situation.

1. how is it my kid that decides to just leave class?

2. how did you not know that 5 year olds will test your limits?

ultimately, i think no one told V that making the choice to leave class without permission is unacceptable. now she knows and i feel pretty confident that she won’t make that choice again. but goodness, what’s next? what thing am i forgetting as an adult that isn’t obvious to a young person?

and why does her teacher’s perkiness drive me (just a little) nuts?

she’s very perky. in the midst of a serious discussion about why i felt scared when i didn’t know where she was, V commented something and the teacher literally turned her head so V wouldn’t see her laughing at her response. and i’m using literally in the actual sense, not the new webster’s dictionary sense.

teaching is hard. teachers deserve better pay, more resources and a voice in how to educate young people. i will support this however i can in terms of reinforcing rules, suggesting appropriate choices and so on. but, i , too, could use a little back up, here.



i know it’s a phase, but that doesn’t make it better

dear world,

with both kids in new schools, our routines have shifted utterly and completely. N cried every morning for a week when we dropped her off at school and now she’s fine. i get a wave and maybe a hug and off she goes playing with her friends.

V is doing so great in kindergarten, but still struggling with choosing to do something she doesn’t want to do. i read somewhere that kids only have so many minutes of good behavior per day and in all honesty, i’m glad she spends them at school, but it can make for some messy home times.

we had a terrible settle down last night. she yelled, she kicked, she screamed at the top of her lungs. mostly because it was time to go potty and brush teeth before reading books and bed. but she just couldn’t. her little body and mind were so overtired that she fell to pieces. finally, after she eventually calmed down, i told her how much i like spending time with her and how much i would prefer to spend time with her when she felt happy and acted nicely ¬†instead of yelling and kicking and screaming. i’m sure some of this is a desire for attention, but the presentation is really awful.

and then, to top it all off, i thought i’d pick her up from school today instead of having her go to the aftercare and spend some one on one time together. and after she fell out, she finally told me that she’d rather go to y-club and play for a while.

it’s a deal.

i know it’s a phase. i know it will pass. i feel utterly resigned to waiting her out each night for the next however many nights until she works through this. i hope it passes quickly. this sounds terribly morose and in fairness to V, i should also mention how amazing it is to watch her play school with N every evening after dinner. they have centers and take field trips and do art. it’s fantastic to see her parrot her teacher like this. and then it shifts out of pretend and real life is a bummer sometimes. i mean really, who wants to quit playing and go to sleep?

waiting it out,