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Archive for July, 2010

I’m sure this has been all over the interwebs for days now, but I’ve just come across this lovely blog by a new mother in Helsinki. The photographs are unbelievably sweet. I really hope she does turn this into a coffee table book, or at least a calendar. They would also make beautiful cards.

When my daughter was a wee one, I took tons (thousands, literally) of photographs of her, but never once came as close to something as creative as this. The closest I got was putting her in a basket on Halloween night when she was about a week old. The end result isn’t nearly as appealing as Adele’s. She looks more like a freshly hatched chicken still covered in yolk than a delicate, flowering little person like Mila!

When my son was born, I was lucky to get a few shots here and there in between chasing a 22 month old and tending to a colicky newborn. Perhaps if we have another child I can nail down some shots half as sweet as Adele’s. For now, I’ll just look at hers and sigh at their wonderful sweetness.

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A while back, I wrote about being a one-trick lunch pony. We have quesadillas every day. Even though they’re delightfully tasty, they’re super fattening and I’m ready for a change.. I just wish my children were as keen on something else…

I’ve finally encountered a few new ideas for lunch, like grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches, noted on Wholesome Toddler Food.

PEANUT BUTTER & BANANA GRILLED SANDWICH

This is super simple. Just butter one side of two slices of bread, slather some peanut butter on the other side (or sunbutter if there are allergies) and lay in some thinly sliced bananas. Set it in a pan and flip when the bread on the first side is toasty. When the second side is toasty, you’re done! Cut into quarters so there’s more finger-food to go around.

Also, Alli ‘n Son has these waffle sandwiches which looks really good as a breakfast, lunch or snack and so simple.

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Photo used by Creative Commons license, by Seq on Flickr


Me, not you. I would never tell you to shut up.

I’m reading this book that I feel was divinely sent to me. I ordered it on Amazon, so I know little book elves didn’t magically ferret it under my pillow one night. I still feel it was handed down from on-high (take your pick which mountain or deity) because it is helping me so much during this latest parenting crisis!

The book, Love, Limits and Lessons by Bill Corbett is quite slender with large type. It’s an easy read with quite simple ideas, some of which I’ve heard or read before but haven’t figured out how to reflexively apply, others being completely new to me.

This evening, at dinner, I focused on Corbett’s tactic of silence. He mentions the power of silence for a few situations – when seeking compliance about something a child is supposed to do, as well as to reward a child with 100% attention. I can’t explain it as eloquently as he does (obviously – look at the title of this post!), so I’ll just leave it to him. Get the book!!! I will say that I had the most amazing time with my two young children. My son, 23 months, never sits still for meals and eats almost nothing. Tonight, without saying a word, I managed to get him to eat most of his meal just by gently redirecting him back to his seat (and sitting 8 inches from him) and saying “eat” or just pointing at his food. I got no push-back from him.

My daughter, at 3.5 years, can be quite a handful – a total bundle of energy and sprite, rolled in with the greatest stubborn streak and desire to rule the world. She also never, ever, stops talking as long as she’s awake and she almost always talks IN A FULL SHOUT LIKE SHE’S IN ALL CAPS MODE ALL THE TIME. Tonight, just by being 100% present with her and giving her very minimal verbal response, she was lovely and calm at dinner. I felt like this was one of the first dinners I could breathe through.

Thank you Bill Corbett!!!

If you want to know more about Corbett’s work, here’s his site: http://billcorbett.vpweb.com/default.html and, more importantly, here’s his blog with some wonderful parenting articles on it.

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One of my neighbors dropped by this afternoon and gave us some hand-me-down giant lego blocks. My husband has tremendous issue with my ready acceptance of hand-me-downs. He complains that I never turn anything away, and he’s right. As a result of my open-arm policy on hand-me-downs we have a home bulging with toys. The problem is compounded by the fact that I haven’t purged any baby stuff yet. It all just keeps getting boxed up and put in our (als0 bulging) garage.

When my daughter was an infant and I first started getting these piles of hand-me-down clothes and toys from various streams, I was blown away by friends and family generosity. Now that my daughter is almost four and my son is breeching two, I see it from a different perspective. We are choking on baby clothes, toys, tchachkis. Everything keeps coming in… nothing goes out.

The problem is that we’re not 100% sure that we’re done having children. Also, a lot of the hand-me-downs were provided with the understanding that I’d circle them back, if needed, to the original giver. Since no one has had babies since (except me, with our son), the stuff lives in our living room, our children’s rooms, our closets, our bedroom and garage. I’m choking for a good purge. Fortunately, one of my sister-in-laws is about to have her fourth (whoops! holy surprise on that one!), so I’m going to rotate half of my supply out (the girl stuff). I’m giving it with the same provision though…. “Hold onto it in case I need it back… don’t give it on to anyone else…”

Letting go of children’s things is really hard. As much as I hate tripping over it, feeling like it’s eating up so much space in our house… it’s hard to let go. It’s even hard to pack some things up to the Toy Purgatory of our garage because that means our children have officially outgrown them. The toys will sit in their storage boxes, silent, gathering some dust… waiting on the chance that we may have another baby in our lives. These are the thoughts and feelings that tug at me and make it hard to clear everything out.

My husband constantly complains about it. He was practically glowering at our poor neighbor while she handed me the basket full of Legos. Pressured by his frustration, I immediately set about to putting toys in two bags – one for the trash, the other for the garage – in order to create new space in the house for more age appropriate toys…

Until my husband saw me putting Emily in the bag. Emily is the $20, French, all-natural rubber giraffe teething toy that was all the rage when my daughter was 6 months old. Neither of our children play with Emily now. In truth, they didn’t play with her much when they were teething. But she’s terribly cute and she represents a moment in our parenting lives, the moment when we would pay anything to try to help give comfort to our little girl’s teething pain.

My husband stopped me as I put Emily in the bag — “You can’t take Emily!!!” “Why not?,” I asked. “Because that’ll mean they’re growing up.”

So, we live with some more clutter for now.

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