Archive for the 'resources' Category

feeling like a good mom

dear world,

today i stayed home with V. yesterday when i picked her up from school, she was literally laying on the floor. the after-school care program teacher said she thought V was really tired. we took her temperature when we got home and it was over 101. 

today, she mostly watched tv. and to be fair, while we don’t usually let her watch much on the television, all i want to do when i’m sick is watch tv. i thought to myself, oh! i’ll get so much done, but she could barely hold her head up. i ended up sitting next to her most of the day. she finally started to perk up around 3pm.

at long last, the tv went on break. no more programs for at least an hour. she couldn’t decide what to do. painting? all the paints are on the sunporch and they’re frozen. play dough? frozen. something else? frozen. then she asked, well can’t we just make play dough? 

actually, yes.

fortunately, we had everything we needed to make play dough. specifically, purple play dough. we used the recipe found here and while ours didn’t look quite as awesome as hers, it certainly worked.

i substituted arrowroot for cream of tartar and i didn’t read all of the directions beforehand so rather than add water a little at a time, i dumped the whole cup in at once. this is not advisable. i had to add flour to thicken it up so it would stop sticking to my hands like glue. once we reached the proper flour ratio, i set her up with some cookie cutters and she went to town.

i feel like i totally nailed being a mom today. i managed to soothe my sick child and create play dough out of thin air (and flour and water and salt, etc). 

and both kids were asleep by 8:05pm. 

living the dream,



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,


saturday morning at the zoo

dear world,

an old friend came to town this weekend with his 2 year old daughter whom we have never met. what better place to let the kids get to know each other than the zoo?

we got there a little after they opened and his daughter, also a V, very specifically wanted to see the elephants and rhinos. then the tigers and lions. then my girls pretty much directed traffic.

komodo dragon, columbus zoo

however, right around elephants N decided that the stroller was for the birds and she wanted to walk with the big kids. needless to say, this slowed our progress somewhat. we could have hit way more areas today, but the kids had a great time wandering about at their own pace. the problem was when it was time to go. no one wanted to walk then. 3 parents carrying 1 child each all the way from australia to the exit gate.

at least we got to see the komodo dragon. dragons were also apparently on the second V’s list and fortunately, the komodo dragon woke up just as we walked past its area. it’s giant tongue flickered and it walked back and forth across it’s floor, all the while ogling our lovely ladies.

here’s looking at you, kid.

fresh strawberries

dear world,

friday night, my deal with V to settle down without fussing allowed her to choose her reward: 1. go to the book store in the morning and pick a book or 2. go to the farmer’s market and pick a treat. she picked go to the farmer’s market. (and she settled down without fussing!)

saturday morning, she asked first thing after opening her eyes if she had good enough behavior to go to the farmer’s market. she did, so we made the plan. she had to wear pants with pockets because she was going to get to carry her own money with her to pick out her very own treat.

this is the first time my daughter has left the house in jeans. she’s more of a leggings/skirt/dress type of girl.

at the farmer’s market, we picked out peas and asparagus for dinner. then, we examined each selection of strawberries before making our choice. she paid with 2 $2 bills, gifts from her great-grandma ann. she was so proud. she ate one in the car on the way home. she ate them for snack. they are now all gone and it’s only sunday evening.

peaceful bedtime in exchange for a quart of strawberries – yes please. i’m so trying that again next week,


children’s book: piglet’s picnic

dear world,

i must admit, i am a big fan of well written children’s books. there are some terrible books out there for all ages, but a poorly written children’s book is such a shame. it makes me appreciate a good one even more.

piglet’s picnic, by jessica souhami is one of my favorites at the moment. we got it a long time ago, but every once in a while V will bring it out again. it has all the elements of a good story- animals going on an adventure, food, repetition. it’s super fun. and all the animals think the food the other animals bring is yucky so as you’re reading aloud, you get to say, “that’s just nasty!” how many books for children are honest like that? not many.

i don’t know if they have it at the library, but i know they have it at cover to cover. i would recommend it for any young person, even early readers. the language isn’t complicated, but it is clear and concise. there aren’t any extra words.

always looking to add to our library,


creative naming

dear world,

V felt under the weather this week. when i picked her up from school wednesday afternoon, her teacher told me she said that her throat hurt. while she didn’t mention it again, she clearly didn’t feel like her normal self. she didn’t want dinner. she went to bed without a fight. she fell asleep in 10 seconds.

after a serious round of negotiations which included MHM and me standing in the kitchen, each listing all the important things we had to do at our respective jobs the next day, i ended up being the parent to stay home with her. (i was only going to be a participant in all my stuff whereas MHM was actually leading something.)

at the doctor’s office, V wanted to bring her puppy in with her. usually, we leave puppy in the car, but since she wasn’t feeling well we made an exception. the doctor asks, what’s your puppy’s name?

V replies, “little puppy.” because that’s her name.

what? the doctor asks. “little puppy,” V replies again.

how on earth did her most favorite toy/lovey get the name “little puppy”? i mean, we could have at least called her spot or sparky or benji, but no, little puppy it is. we are certainly descriptive if nothing else.

at least we know which puppy is which in our house. there’s giant puppy (which is giant), miffy (who is pink), noodle (who flops like a noodle) and so on. we also have big white bunny (which, you guessed it, is big and white.)

the creativity around here is stifling sometimes,


we are so grown up

dear world,

a couple months ago, i read an article in one of the parenting magazines about life insurance. it discussed the different types of life insurance, but also how much life insurance one ought to have. suddenly, i realized that if one of us was gone, we would literally not have enough money to care for our children.

i started investigating life insurance companies and eventually got overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices, companies, options out there. i randomly called a couple places. the first place left me on hold for too long. i gave up. the second place set me up with an appointment. this was back in early february.

now, 3 months later, my husband and i each have life insurance policies. we have set up a trust in case we both die in the same accident. we have a guardian for our children in the event of that same accident that takes us both out. we have wills. we have an executor for said will who is different from the guardian. t’s crossed. i’s dotted. we even have an umbrella policy in case we get sued by someone who could sue us for more money than we have.

i feel completely exhausted by my responsible-ness. and a little broke. making sure there is a good plan to take care of your kids should you happen to die is morose and expensive. but at least now it’s done. we just have to sign a couple more papers and we’re set for a good while.

the funny thing for me is as i was telling my mother about all of our planning, she said, well i’ll take the girls. and i had to say, no, actually you won’t. isn’t it counter-intuitive to assume that one’s parent will look after one’s child in the case of an accident? i mean, i’m not hoping my mother will die before i do, but isn’t that the way it’s supposed to happen? parents are supposed to predecease their kids. that’s why it’s so sad when i child dies first.

hoping i don’t ever have to use this insurance,