Archive for December, 2007

Happy Everything!

December 24, 2007

One night last week, Caroline was standing on our bed (I know, I know…) and suddenly, she threw her arms around me and said, “Merry Christmas!” A moment later, her arms were back around me and she shouted, “Happy Hanukkah!” Yet another moment later, “Happy Cookie Baking!”- this is a whole post in itself but we learned during cookie baking day, a yearly tradition at my mother-in-laws house, that Caroline thought cookie baking was a holiday- she asked if everyone celebrated it- you know like the whole Christmas-Hanukkah thing she is so curious about… so moments after Cookie Baking greetings, she looked at me, gave me the biggest hug yet and said, “Happy Everything!”. So to all our family and friends, in the true holiday spirit of a four year old, “Happy Everything!”

A Guide to a Healthy Home

December 20, 2007

(Note: This post is sponsored by MomCentral.)

When I first received an e-mail from MomCentral about reviewing Heidi Murkoff’s newest guide, What to Expect Guide to a Healthy Home, I started to shiver. What to Expect and I have not had a very pleasant relationship. I had to give away What to Expect When You Are Expecting because it sent me so many times to the OBGYN with a certainty that I had a terrible problem with my pregnancy. Shortly thereafter I also had to give away What to Eat When You Are Expecting because after spending lots of dollars and lots of time preparing the dinner that would help my growing baby become brilliant and strong, Rob told me the meal tasted like feet- and he was right.

Well, I decided to go ahead and review this guide to see if maybe there was something to learn from this series after all. As I read, I highlighted a few helpful tips, like, close the toilet seat before flushing, change toothbrushes after members of your family have been sick and freeze stuffed animals that can’t be washed to kill the germs that live on them. I also though noted lots of comments that were reminiscent of the old What to Expect days, like, wash your changing table pad every few days, don’t double dip into an open jar of baby food and vacuum and wipe down car surfaces often. Many of the tips seemed lovely but a little unrealistic in the harried life of a mom.

So obviously as I read, I felt like many of the comments and recommendations were over the top. This recommendation, though, should be noted is coming from a mom who spent the morning at the pediatrician who diagnosed an ear infection in Katherine and sent us to have an x-ray to rule out pneumonia (it was negative) and who spent the afternoon showering herself and her two children after Katherine vomited on all three of us and the couch after a particularly taxing coughing fit. Perhaps, I should go back and read my guide a bit more closely…

If you would like peruse, What to Expect Guide to a Healthy Home, just click this link and enjoy! I’m off to bleach the house….

More!

December 18, 2007

Caroline was born a reader. I read Mem Fox’s Time for Bed to her from the moment I knew I was pregnant. We read it every night. After her birth, we read the same book and many, many more before bed, before each nap and every time in between. We have pictures of Caroline, barely sitting, surrounded by piles of books, playing with them as if they were candy. Katherine, though, the poor second child, has arrived at reading at a slightly slower pace. I read to her in utero only when I read to Caroline. When she was first born, she turned more quickly to Caroline’s voice than to my own- clearly her sister’s voice had drowned out mine when she was cocooned inside. For all of Katherine’s early months, I read to her before bed and before naps but worked hard to catch other moments in between. I realized that when I thought I was reading to her, it was really only because she was in the same room when I was reading to Caroline. She missed so many of those moments enjoying truly baby books. Finally, though, she seems to have developed her own love. The other night before bed, we were reading Sandra Boynton’s Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaur. When we got to the last, thick board book page, Katherine said, “More!” while she tried to turn the last page into another- sticking her thin nail into the cardboard page as if, surely, there must be another page, perhaps stuck to this one. She is now in love with books as her mother and her sister are- what a sweet thing to hear, “More”.  If Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaur could bring about such a reaction, I can hardly imagine what Harry Potter will bring!

Links

December 17, 2007

Ok- so I have been trying to add links to my posts forever and have been stumped- I am not most computer savvy person out there. I was finally motivated enough this weekend, though, to ask my friend Violeta (or as Rob would call her- my imaginary friend, Violeta- she and I participated in a wonderful on-line class taught by Susan last winter- we have never met but I call her my friend because we have kept in touch through the wonderful world of blogs and e-mail) how to do this whole link thing. I struggled all day yesterday and kept having mixed success- perhaps that was because each of my efforts were probably three minutes in duration before I was interrupted by something pressing- snow boots, cookies or the like. I was really confused by the whole thing and finally went to bed. When I woke up this morning I tried again and it appears that the whole idea of “sleeping on it” really worked- I think I got it! Would you all mind trying to link to Violeta and Susan’s blogs and let me know if it works- I have posted a few times and then deleted and it seems ok but I just want to be sure. Thanks!

Cheap, easy meal that cooks itself and tastes good

December 13, 2007

Saucy Italian Chickpeas (or cannellini beans that I bought by mistake- details, details…)

  • 2 cans (14oz) diced tomatoes with garlic, oregano, and basil, undrained
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or cannellini beans)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning

Combine tomatoes and chickpeas (or cannellini beans) in crock pot. Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours or on low 6 to 8 hours. Serve over orzo (brown rice etc…)

Yummy and truly can barely be called cooking but who’s going to tell! Enjoy!

Sisters

December 13, 2007

The girls are really beginning to love each other. Now of course, they spend a lot of time yelling and grabbing things from each others hands but then there are moments like the one I experienced tonight. Caroline was having a fit because I wouldn’t let her color directly onto the radiator cover in the dining room. As she lay curled in a ball crying, Katherine approached her, looked, wondered and then hugged. She got right down next to her, put her arms around her and then began to say, “Shh, shhh.” Pretty cute…

Make new friends but keep the old…

December 10, 2007

We have met so many wonderful people in Ridgewood- really genuine and caring people. In fact, right before I sat down to write this post, I received e-mails from two people offering advice on babysitters and handymen- two awfully important people to have in our lives. These e-mails came from women that I have not known for long at all but they knew I had these needs and were on the look out for me- I just had to smile sitting at my computer thinking how lucky we are to have found such good people here in our new life. This occurred on the same day that we had wonderful visitors from Richmond. Rob and I went to college with this couple and then we had our first girls two weeks apart and our second girls were not far between. They have been a part of our lives for a long time and through such important times- we were in each others weddings and we have traveled the road of new parenthood together. They walked in our door today and it was like we had seen them yesterday not four months ago. Caroline couldn’t stop smiling as she and her oldest buddy ran downstairs to play, Katherine ran around the family room laughing, clearly in recognition of old friends- even our dog, Jenny, was beside herself.  This has been a good day.

Hanukkah

December 8, 2007

Caroline has been asking a lot about Hanukkah lately. I have been doing my best to field the questions but in her usual style, the questions have been rather pointed, specific and hard to answer. Today, she asked if we would ever celebrate Hanukkah. I said that we could but that we would need to do some research, get a menorah, figure out what to cook etc. We were retelling these conversations over dinner at Rob’s parents house tonight, when Carol told us that she celebrated Hanukkah with Rob and his sister when they were younger- they even got presents! Rob was raised Unitarian and I always thought their family only celebrated Christmas- learn something new everyday… She then proceeded to quickly locate the menorah and dreidels they had used and to light the appropriate number of candles. I’m not sure what was the best part of this whole exchange- Caroline’s fascination with the whole process and Rob’s mom’s ability to so quickly put together a Hanukkah celebration or the fact as soon as she saw the candles, Katherine began to sing her approximation of Happy Birthday…

Language

December 6, 2007

As a speech therapist/reading specialist, I am pretty interested in how the girls are acquiring language. We had a moment a few days ago that was particularly fascinating… Caroline called me into the kitchen in a panic- this is fairly typical so I didn’t rush. By the time, I arrived she was screaming, “There is yogurt on my cup’s butt! There is yogurt on my cup’s butt!!” Now, we are desperately trying to use the term bottom in lieu of butt so my first reaction was to jump all over that aspect of the sentence. Then I realized that she was calling the bottom of her cup, the cup’s butt. Now why is that animate objects seem to have bottoms, butts and many other colorful terms associated with them, but inanimate objects really just seem to have bottoms…  There is my deep thought for the day.

Questions

December 2, 2007

So- every so often I feel pretty out of control of the “small stuff” scene around here… Just so unorganized and short on time to fix it. Thought I might throw some questions out there and see if all you smart people might have some suggestions…

  • How do you keep your car clean? Do your children eat snacks in the car? My car is so filthy I can’t keep up- goldfish are taking over!
  • How do you keep track of and actually use coupons- we sure could use the money savings around here but all they seem to be doing is creating clutter and becoming one more thing that I forget.
  • How do you maintain your schedule- I have a wall calendar and a calendar that I keep in my purse- I never seem to transfer the info to either one so I seem to have two half calendars- not really the way to go. I’m wondering if it is time for me to go more high tech…
  • Food- my children are not eating very much variety and it is driving me nuts. What they are eating is good for them (relatively) but it is just full of sameness. Any suggestions?
  • Any great, easy recipes that can be made ahead, cooked in the crock pot, cook themselves- you’ve got the idea!
  • Any toys that have kept your children entertained for hours so that I can figure out any of the above?

Can’t wait to read your responses!