Archive for September, 2011

Earning and Saving

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 by by

With Eric getting bigger – I still marvel every day as he throws on his backpack and climbs onto the school bus – he’s discovered that things cost money. Tricky business, that, as he no longer gets to pipe up saying “I want that!” and have it magically become his! A lot of things he requests be added to his wish list for his birthday or Christmas, but when there’s something he just HAS to have, some toy or game, it’s becoming his responsibility. (Not always, of course; he still gets some freebies!)

Of course, to buy things, you have to have money. We are terribly mean parents, though, and we don’t just give it to him – he needs to earn it. Sometimes he earns it by identifying money for Daddy – a quick lesson in what a dime, nickel, quarter, and penny is can earn those coins for him, or he’ll help count the bills and add them up to tell Daddy how much money he has (earning a little of his own along the way). For everything else…

I was tempted to say “There’s MasterCard,” but I managed to restrain myself.

Instead of an allowance, Eric has a chart of “extra” chores. These do not include the things that are just expected of him: putting his clothes in the hamper when they’re dirty, cleaning up his toys, putting away his folded laundry, etc. (more…)


Ramblings of a former NICU mom

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 by by

It’s amazing how some experiences just seem to stick with you forever. I was thinking about my new niece who will be born later this year, and that got me to thinking about Coral, who was born ten weeks prematurely. It’s like this emotional force you never truly escape; some days you don’t feel it at all anymore, and other days it feels like you’re privately obsessing about it.

After Coral was born, I went through some mild post traumatic stress. I kept flashing back to sitting in the OB’s office, and his last words were, “You need to go to the hospital, right now.” I was 29 weeks, 5 days pregnant. Then we had the six week NICU stay, which was absolutely agonizing with two young children at home. Finally she came home, on prescription caffeine and wearing an apnea monitor 24/7, just a hair over 4 pounds. (more…)

The View

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 by by

“Mom? Is that downtown Los Angeles out the window?”


“I can sort of see the Taj Mahal from here.”

“That would be pretty hard to do, pal. The Taj Mahal is in India.”

“But, Mom? I’m a Jedi, remember?”

Change the World Wednesday

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 by by

Change The World Wednesday is hosted by Reduce Footprints, an awesome blog that I came across through the Green Blog Hop and jumped right into the challenge. I plan to participate every week and hope to inspire and spread the word so that others can participate as well. If you participate, just leave a comment on the current challenge and you will get featured on the following weeks challenge. You can learn all about it HERE!

Let’s jump right into this week’s challenge:

Refrigerators use a lot of energy. We can minimize their impact by making sure they operate efficiently. So this week let’s do a little refrigerator maintenance. Here you go:

Check that your refrigerator is level – the door should automatically swing shut instead of staying open. Check the seal on the door – try closing it on a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper out easily, it’s time to replace the gaskets. Check the back of your refrigerator to be sure that it’s clean – vacuum coils if you have them to ensure that the compressor runs efficiently. How full is your refrigerator? Be sure that it isn’t too full; allow room for cool air to circulate, which will keep everything at the right temperature.

Or …

If you are already diligent at keeping your refrigerator in tip-top condition, please tell us about another electrical device that could run more efficiently with a little “TLC.”

Until next time…


Join in and share tips, pics, posts on the weekly CTWW post HERE!


Under the Sea Literature

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 by by

I found a lot of books with an under the sea or ocean theme that I was able to tie into other activities. I love it when I am able to do this, because it really gets Jonah excited about a book and a theme. Here are the “Under the Sea” books that we enjoyed!

Wiggle Like an Octopus by Harriet Ziefert and Simms Taback:

I think Eve picked this book because of the neat holographic cover. Once we got it home and read it, the kids were hooked on what was inside! This book has simple colorful illustrations of many sea creatures, along with descriptions of how they move. We had a lot of fun getting out of our reading chair and moving around like the creatures in the book! This book is great if you’re looking for some gross motor ideas.

The Whale’s Song by Dyan Sheldon and Gary Blythe: (more…)

Adventures in the Book Fair

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 by by

The whole of our PTSO board is new this year, which has led to some interesting situations.  We have enthusiasm, a love of our children, and an interest in their education.  I’m the Parliamentarian and became, by interest and default, Book Fair Chair.

The book fair chair sounds like a large over stuffed lounger with good light and a side table stacked with all the new stories to read.  In reality, it was my job to schedule 2-4 volunteers to work the book fair from roughly 8am-4pm for a week. About 70 hours worth.

Finding the volunteers was a whole other adventure. As I said, the board is new.  I had some names but very little contact information for parents available.  It came down to the wire, and stressed our poor librarian, but due to the generosity of parents and grandparents, we made it through the week fully staffed and profitable.

Scholastic Book Fair - Spring 2011

My favorite stories:  A girl who had to choose between buying Dolphin Tale, one of the most popular books of the sale, or something for her little sister. She agonized over the decision but was pleased when she chose her sister.

The kids who donated their pennies to the library.

In between kids coming in, we grown ups had time to laugh, tell stories, and get to know each other.

“You’re Mrs. Mark’s Mom, aren’t you?”

I had to laugh when a 2nd grader made his purchases one item at a time, one after another, when each time he realized that he still had change.  (more…)

Pillow Soft Dinner Rolls/Bread

Monday, September 26th, 2011 by by

I’ve made this recipe twice now, once a few weeks ago and again tonight. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite bread recipes.

4.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm milk (I heat this on the stove and warm until it’s hot to the touch, but not uncomfortably hot)
1/2 cup warm water (I use this from tap and just turn on my hottest setting. My water heater is set at 120 degrees. The first time I made this, I used 3/4s cup of water. No difference in final product, it just increased the amount of flour used.)
6 tablespoons shortening (I don’t measure this exact, just scoop and dump)
2 eggs
1/4 cup of sugar
1.5 teaspoons of salt
7 cups of all purpose flour (use good quality flour!)
A few weeks ago, I made tortillas and used cheap cheap store brand flour. They turned out terrible. They were hard and salty, and I quickly learned (and decided) to not use cheap flour ever again when making bread products. I prefer to use King Arthur, and I haven’t had any issues with it.
I decided to make two batches, one for dinner rolls and one for two loaves of sandwich bread.
The first thing I do is to proof my yeast by dissolving it in my warm water. I turn the mixer on slightly and just stir it to make sure it’s completely dissolve. It will puff up a bit, and that’s perfectly fine! It’s supposed to do that.



Blooming Bath Giveaway!

Monday, September 26th, 2011 by by

Hey mommies and mommies-to-be!  Would you like a chance to win a comfy and cute Blooming Bath for your baby?  Keep reading to find out how.

The Blooming Bath is a new and super-cool baby bath tub.  It is made of plush soft material that cushions your baby.

Its unique design allows the flower to fit inside any sink.  The petals spread out to hug the sides of the sink and provide a safe secure bathing experience for your baby. (more…)

Irrational Mommy Fears…..Part II

Monday, September 26th, 2011 by by

I’ve talked about irrational Mommy fears here before, but now I have a whole new set of irrational fears now that Lex is in full-time school. When I drop him off he has to walk all by himself to his line outside his classroom door. That’s when I stand there and wait until he walks in and I know he’s safe. Then it starts: the worrying.

“What if he needs me and starts crying, then runs out of the class and down the street searching for me, all the while screaming MOMMY!!!!! over and over again?!?!”

That’s when I have to keep from crying my eyes out. The “What ifs” are never ending. I hate that I can’t walk him to his line. I hate that I can’t homeschool him. I hate that he doesn’t really like going to school. I just hate it all! Another huge fear of mine is some kid losing his mind and taking a gun to school and shooting up Lex’s kindergarten class. I know that’s a bit much, but I think of it almost daily. I have to force myself to not think about horrible things that could happen to my kids. It’s just an awful feeling, and I know you know what I’m talking about. I actually try not to go too far from town, ya know, just in case. It’s ridiculous. I am trying harder to have pleasant thoughts and to not worry so much, but gosh, it’s hard. :(

Smacksy Sunday Links

Sunday, September 25th, 2011 by by

She is wonderful.

If you’re a Gleek, you will love this.

And Candy Somoza reading her beautiful essay A Mother’s Apprentice from Listen To Your Mother LA.

Happy Sunday.