Archive for the ‘ Mothering ’ Category

What Pinterest Wrought

The other day, while nursing the baby, I flipped through page after page and picture after picture of delicious food and other people’s rock hard abs next to inspirational sayings and snarky comments. I was on Pinterest and I was zoned out. I hardly noticed Gideon sidle up to me. He was watching the pictures fly by too. And he set his heart on this one:

He has spring break this week and he was not happy about it. He loves routine and all things being just the same as they always are. I was trying to think of things to do this week that would be exciting and I figured this might be a good substitute for going to Cabo San Lucas. So I bought the stuff we would need:

Oreos (double stuff, cause we roll fancy)
Mini Oreos (didn’t know they existed before last week)
Chocolate Almond Bark or CandiQuick or whatever you call that fake chocolate that melts in the microwave and is super cheap compared to the chocolate I actually want to consume
Skewers (in spite of already owning a whole package of them — why don’t I ever look in my own cabinet before I leave for the store)

The kids made their own before supper tonight and then consumed them right before bed. I’m guessing sugar coma looks the same as going to bed.

Then I made the rest.

And it was messy.

And not as easy as Pinterest wants us all to believe.

That’s the thing about all of those pretty pictures. I have friends who are amazing at making things and making things that look so very very beautiful. I have children that are gracious and easily impressed. I’m thankful for all of them.

Now let’s eat.


Links for The Newbs

Hey there brand new Mamas. I hear you want to cloth diaper your baby that is still gestating or is yet fresh. Congratulations on that kind of awesomeness. Feels kind of like entering into an insane hippie world where I will be forced to make my own granola too (I’m sure it is delicious! I love reading your recipes! I just buy Cascadian Farms because it is so EASY).

In spite of those patchouli scented fears, I will admit that I SOMETIMES, every so often, when everything is not aligned, think about it. Should I jump in and get a system? Should I be the only one in this house who diapers the next baby? Would this change how much sleep I get post partum?

These thoughts have nowhere to go. Scratch that. Had nowhere to go. For now, the incredible Amalah has written down her thoughts on it all. They are good thoughts. Thoughts you may or may not be interested in reading. If not, don’t click. If you are, here’s where to look:

Post #1 – the preamble

Post #2 – the dirty truth

Post #3 – yet to come

Yeah. These were so good that I am posting a link to the third installment that is yet to come. Sorry, it was that good.

Thought you might want to read for yourself and perhaps jump into the comments over there or here or whatevs. Kisses, hippies!

No worries. It’s just highly contagious.

Piper’s been feverish.  And happy. Spiking to 103 but claiming that she is ‘feeling much better, mom.’  Crazy sad and waking up in the middle of the night.  Then smiling and prancing in the morning like a tiny little ray of sunshine.

Her mother’s lack of sleep has proven less sunshiny.  Let’s not dwell on that part.

Off we went to the doctor today after she told me her ear hurts and she needed to see a doctor. And he checked her ears.  They looked lovely. But she was hot and so he kept looking.  In her tiny little mouth, he found some molars popping through.  Two year molars making their way into her mouth to help her through all those steaks in years to come. But then he looked a little further and found those little blisters in her throat.  He checked her hands and her feet.  They are clear.  So it’s not that strain, the one that reminds me of cattle.  It’s some other one, but still crazy contagious and the sheet says ‘don’t bother isolating from other children. It’s so contagious that her friends already have it.’  So now I’m waiting for Gideon to start with some fevers and waking up at all hours and general malaise that somehow only shows up when rest is required.

Thanks for visiting, coxsackie virus. Now please, fly far far away.

Too close to not catch it

Look What We Made Today

Butter Cookies with Maple Frosting

2 sticks of butter

3/4 cups of sugar

1 egg

2 Tblsps milk

1 1/2 tsps vanilla

3 cups of flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

Cream together wet ingredients. Mix in dry ingredients. Chill. Roll out (or, if little hands are involved, just have them roll into balls). Bake at 400 for 5 minutes.

So happy to bake! OVERSMILE!

Concentrating on his one armed stir technique




Vanilla and Maple Flavoring

Powdered sugar

Do we still need to measure these?  Eyeball it.  Get it to the right consistency and taste.  Grab the Betty Crocker cookbook if you’re proportions seem really off. Keep taste testing.  Frost yo’ cookies. Enjoy!

He seemed so much happier before I pulled out this camera.

Experiment: Days 3 & 4

Day three was much like day two. Mostly good, but an afternoon meltdown. Half a star.

Day four was so hot that I was pretty sure magma was going to shoot out of the ground while we were at the park. We went there at 8:30 in the morning and were there about an hour. It took the rest of the day for me to recover. The kids were pretty wiped out too. They played fine together, mostly pretending that I was dead and they either had to make me come back to life or bury me.

The outcome of the day, a full star, reminded me of that summer I spent a few weeks babysitting some kids who were just awful. To keep my sixth grade sanity and to keep them from fighting constantly, I would take them to the park at my elementary school each morning until 10. Then we’d head home and I would feed them a mini lunch before I took them on what must have felt like a Battan death march until 1pm. Arriving at home, I would fix them an actual lunch and then they would nap for three or sometimes four hours. I’m sure their parents didn’t appreciate how late they were staying up at night, but i was very pragmatically selfish about the whole thing. Did it work for me? Then we were doing it (plus it was my dad’s idea, so i figured it had to be right).

The same truth that rang out during the summer of 1991 holds true today. Wear ’em out and they’ll have a lot less energy to resist each other or their parents. How will you wear your children out today?

Experiment: Day 2

One half of a star was earned.  There was a fight.  Not a violent fight, but a fight none the less, over nothing, meaning nothing, accomplishing nothing.

Now our white board has one red star and one half of a red star.

Here’s hoping for a total of two and a half soon.


Experiment: Day 1

My kids are probably like your kids.  Or maybe your kids get along all the time and the only thing they drop on each others’ heads are kisses and sunshine.

The past few weeks around here have reminded me more and more of the epic battles of my childhood, the one that involved who would win at selecting the Saturday morning cartoon. We didn’t own a remote control and, in fact, our screen often flickered down to one small line of indistinguishable nothingness without any warning.  We would pound the back of the television with our tiny fists until the image popped back out.  It was amazing the kind of force we could muster when tv was involved. Whoever was currently winning Battle TV would position themself directly in front of the screen while essentially hugging it so that the other person both could not see the screen and could not change the channel buttons. Of course, the other person could never do those things AND beat the person who was almost watching television at the same time.  We were ruthless.  There was sometimes bleeding.  It was always really violent, but carefully never loud enough for the parents to intervene.

That last part there is where the four-year old and two-year old who currently reside in our home are different.  They haven’t learned how to be quiet about it. Instead they scream. They holler. They hit and kick and punch and moan and sometimes, she bites. It is never over the television.  It is usually about Piper wanting to play with Gideon but him not having the time to spare making his Lego creations. And it always makes me feel crazy. I ask myself the same question mothers everywhere and Rodney King have asked themselves.  Why can’t they just get along?

Initially they can’t get along because they are self-centered little sinners who have no power to overcome their flesh on their own.  But things have changed there for him, I think. Not for her, yet, although we are praying.

In an attempt to regain my sanity, I decided to see if a reward could change the game.  All the discipline after the fact and all the discussions on the topic have, to date, net me zero. The Sunday sale papers proved just the right impetus for the experiment. Slip and Slide meet the coveted status of four and two-year old desire.

It works like this: If the children can go an entire day without fighting with one another, they will get a star for the day.  Once they have accumulated seven stars, we will buy the slip and slide.

They agreed to the terms yesterday and I figured this was going to be an exercise in futility.

Until today happened.

And they did not actually fight with each other, save one tiny mishap with a reminder about the prize about 8:30 in the morning.  They are both in bed right now and there is nothing but stars in their eyes.

I’ll let you know when they earn another one.