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Abstract: There is an inverse relationship between the amount of peace and quiet required for bathroom time and the amount provided, depending on the lengths to which one goes to secure said “peace and quiet.”

If you want total solitude while going to the bathroom with young children in the house, leave the bathroom door wide open. If possible, use the most central bathroom in the house, such as the main floor WC where, if the door is left open, people standing on the front steps could peer in and catch a glimpse of you.

If you would like to be interrupted while on the toilet with an occasional and relatively brief series non sequitur questions, such as where last year’s Halloween costume may presently be located (in April), what makes play-doh play-doh, why corners are so sharp or what are the numbers on the car’s license plates, be sure to shut the bathroom door.

If you would like your children to become bloodied, or at least emit sounds of dying elephants ad nauseum, while you aspire to the sanctity of a quiet moment to oneself in the bathroom, by all means, both shut AND lock the bathroom door.

Please Note: If seeking respite and privacy for a worthy and time consuming bowel movement and the door is shut but not locked, expect young children to enter with their querulous faces at the exact moment maximum privacy is desired. If door is locked, expect children who had previously been quietly playing by themselves to suddenly attempt an uprising throughout the household involving much ruckus, potential injury to themselves and the dog, and general mayhem. It is wise to hide all tubes of glue, glitter tubs and steak knives before proceeding with such a risky proposition.

Read more of Mamá Leche’s Parental Axioms

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This picture above, minus the green stuff (aka “healthy stuff”) = my children’s lunches for the past 180 days. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons license of Magzalez

When my daughter was 21 months, I feel that I gave her a pretty good variety of lunches – lentil, minestrone, vegetable soups, the odd PB&J or quesadilla, fresh vegetables, string cheese…

Now, we’re in a definite rut at our house. It’s basically all boiled down to… melted cheese.

My son is a pretty picky eater. He’s the 21 month old. You put anything in front of him that’s not:
A) a cheerio
B) a quesadilla or
C) a blueberry

and he just says “HOT!” and literally won’t even touch it.

I’ve been able to cajole him into trying the odd tortellini here and there, and he will take about 2 bites of PB&J before smearing it everywhere, but GONE are the days of any semblance of a balanced lunch.. much less breakfast or dinner.

My daughter, on the other hand, is becoming a great little eater. She will forage from a wide variety of foods throughout the day – eggs, apples, carrots, chicken, meatballs, sandwiches, etc.

My daughter will not eat the following, however:
lasagna (which she declared the day AFTER I made a triple batch that I froze in individual servings in the freezer)
yogurt
peanut butter / sun butter / apple butter and jelly sandwiches

For the past six months, it feels like, I have been giving my children quesadillas for lunch. HELP!

Any ideas / suggestions? What do you serve for lunch for your little children?

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We live in an area that’s temperate all year round, so we don’t need snow outfits most of the time… however, at least once a winter we go somewhere savagely cold for about 4 days… just long enough to warrant a snow outfit of some type.

Also, since having our first child, our holiday season has become… well… a season, equipped with dropping by lots of friends and family houses for events that justify being nicely dressed.

Last year, when my daughter was just starting to toddle, we were lucky enough to have a neighbor hand-us-down a GORGEOUS holiday ensemble of a dress and coat. It was unbelievably exquisite.

This year, we got some great hand-me-down dressed from my sister-in-law, but don’t have a coat. I didn’t notice that (due to the temperate climate) until just now, as we’re planning a trip back east. My son is still so little that he’ll be stuffed in bunting the whole time, but it would be so great to have a nice holiday coat for my daughter to look turned out in.

…Which brings me to this notion of a “buying calendar” for my children.

NOW is the time to buy next year’s fabulous holiday outfit, as well as snow outfit. There are so many sales going on, like this great Hanna Andersson sale, that it’s possible to pick up some very nice clothing at great prices. I can safely estimate that by next winter, my daughter will easily be in 3T clothes, and my son will be cresting the 18-24 size. If I pre-buy now and am off in my estimates, I can always give my finds as Christmas presents to another child.

I’m accustomed to buying clothes for myself – that my size doesn’t change drastically year over year (um…. except for that whole “pregnant” and “just had a baby… 8 months ago” thing). So, I tend to only buy clothes as they’re needed, for myself. Obviously, each year my children will need entire new wardrobes of clothes as they get into new sizes… If I can be savvy enough to buy the year before, just as clothes get out of season, I can cost avoid a ton of money for my family.

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Okay, just one, really that I found. But I do really like it. Tres pricey, but I like its classic sensibility:
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It’s truly difficult to unearth birth announcements that don’t suck.

I’m not a fan of photo announcements. Yes, babies are cute, mine being the cutest ever, of course, but… let’s face it… even I can’t easily discern between 2-month-old pictures of my children. It’s not like they’re beaming with individuality at that point, at least not so much in their every feature. In my mind, if you’ve seen ten baby photo announcements, you’ve basically seen them all… baby included.

I prefer to get print images on the card itself, and  then include a few photos in the envelope. With my daughter, I had a specific idea of a silhouette in mind and worked with a designer I found on etsy.com, called Papered Together. I LOVED the card for my daughter!

This time around, it’s been more tricky… I’ve wanted an elephant for my son’s announcement, and have discovered that the real world of baby announcements is… woefully tacky. Just do a quick search for baby announcements and you’ll quickly find yourself under an avalanche of questionable taste like this:

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As a kicker, I finally found an announcement that I LOVE for my son at Tiny Prints and it turns out it’s no longer available. The gall!!! Here was that gorgeousness:

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So, with that in mind, I’m going to add a category to this blog for links to businesses that offer announcements that don’t suck. I’m also going to do baptism / christening invites that don’t suck.

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