Tag Archives: toddler

Cooking blogs focused on enjoyment of food, Northern California style

23 Jan

Ok, this isn’t exactly about what to wear, but the recent news about Paula Deen (the southern-cooking host who recently fessed up to having diabetes) probably has many of us asking ourselves how our food choices impact our health, if not our appearance.  After the new year, I am feeling my pants fitting a bit tighter after all those holiday sweets. So I went on the search for some inspiration in the kitchen, with health and enjoyment at the top of  my mind. The last thing I want to do is follow a fad diet, count calories or cut out entire categories of food that I love (I can do without deep-fried cheesecake, but not my crusty bread!). Here is a blog by a Bay Area mom focusing on the preparation of wholesome, delicious of food. I love her philosophy:

My food philosophy

Eat really good food. And enjoy every bite. Eat fresh food. Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, fresh meats and fresh baked breads. Eat local foods, in as many places as you can. Eat shortbread in Scotland, eat croissants and drink coffee in Paris, …. eat artichokes in California, eat steak in Texas. You get the idea :)

Throw out all that low-fat, and “light” stuff you have at home. It tastes awful! Eat less of the real stuff and I promise you’ll be glad you did. Don’t even walk down the canned food aisle in the grocery store. Again, it tastes awful. And please…don’t eat any more fast food. Blech! Nothing good comes from there, no matter what their current advertising tells you.

Think about what you eat in a day…how much fruit did you eat today? How many veggies? Focus on real, fresh food and the calories and fat won’t need to be counted as much.”

Visit her blog at

http://whatskpcooking.com/about/

Here are a few more gems from my sister-in-law, who is a professional chef and has her finger on the pulse of food culture in the Bay Area and beyond. I raided her favorite bookmarks to share with you. Even if I never cook a single thing off these pages, I will visit for inspiration from the photos alone – they make me never want to settle for anything other than eat fresh, wonderful and nourishing food.  Sure, there will still be Kraft Mac and Cheese on our table occasionally, but it’s fun to imagine other possibilities, especially when we in the Bay Area live within so many great sources of local food. Here are her online favorites and comments:

http://101cookbooks.com :My friend Heidi, author of “Super Natural Cooking” and “Super Natural Everyday;” great photography and a focus on great, seasonal ingredients.
http://honest-food.net/ :Hunter Angler Gardener Cook: Hank Shaw is amazing.
http://orangette.blogspot.com/ Molly Wizenberg is a pastry chef, but also posts some savory things and travel photography.
http://smittenkitchen.com/:A NYC home cook’s very nice, inspiring blog. I love her blood orange olive oIl cake.
http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ :Clotilde Dusoulier, from Paris
http://thedinnerfiles.com :Molly Watson, here in San Francisco. “

Thanks, Jennifer! I’ll continue to update this post as I run across more inspiring food blogs, from the practical to the sublime. Please feel free to share your own favorites in the comments section!

Advertisements

Why raising toddlers is like living in an insane asylum

11 Mar safety scissors

A few months ago I was surfing the web, and stumbled upon a great post by another blogger-mom titled “Why having a toddler is like being at a frat party.”  The reasons include, “there is always a bad smell in the house that no one can locate,” “the toilets are never clean” and “there is always a boy naked from the waist down peeing in a potted plant”.  It’s good for a laugh if you have some time to kill. (And clearly you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, right? 😉 ) Some of the reader comments are just as good as the original post. (“There are always fights that need to be broken up. And are immediately followed by ‘I love you, bro.'”)

Based on my own experience, I think there also needs to be a list titled “Why raising a toddler is living living in an insane asylum.”  Every day I have at least one moment that goes something like this:

My 2 y.o. daughter: (putting her hand to her eye): “Mama, there is something on my eyelash.”

Me: “What is it?”

Daughter (with a straight face, examining her hand): “A rooster.”

Me: “A rooster? Really?”

Her: “Yes, a rooster.” (She pretends to cradle something in her cupped hands. Then she walks out of the room. From the other room, I can hear her talking to her brother.)

Her: “Kenji, there is a rooster on my eyelash.”

His reply: “Oh.”

"there is a rooster on my eyelash"

"Mama, there is a rooster on my eyelash."

Then, there was that time when I came into the bathroom after hearing repeated flushing, only to find my son with his hand on the flusher, and the end of the toilet paper roll draped into the toilet. “Watch this, mom!” He exuberantly said as he flushed again and again, watching the roll spin as the the paper got sucked down the toilet.

Because these moments are both the highlights and the lowlights of my days – sometimes I have to keep from laughing while I am giving a time out.  So, without further ado, here are my ten reasons why raising a toddler is like living in an insane asylum.

1. There is always someone crawling on the floor barking like a dog.

2. There is a banging on the other side of the wall that no one notices anymore.

3.  You are constantly stepping in puddles of liquid.  Without thinking twice, you perform the “sniff test” to see what it is.

4. The remote control for the TV disappears every few months, never to be found again.

5. You hear yourself calmly explaining why it’s not a good idea to eat bubble bath, or drink bathwater.

6. You don’t flinch when you see someone eating cereal off the floor.

7.  During phone conversations, you frequently find yourself saying to the person speaking on the other end, “don’t worry about the screaming in the background.”

8. There is a group of people in the living room spinning around in a circle until they fall down.  After they hurt themselves, they get up and do it again.

9. You have the right to put away all potentially hazardous office supplies. Anything left out in plain view can and will be used against you.

10. You need to stop several times a day and do deep breathing exercises in order to keep from joining the lunatics.

(If you have ever lived spent an extended period of time with a toddler, I am sure you can add reasons of your own. I am sure I will have new reasons to add by the end of today.)

Now we come to the inevitable question – how does a sane person dress for living in the insane asylum? On the surface, it would seem the job would call for dressing in scrubs like a hospital orderly, which is a topic that I explored in a recent blog post.  By the end of that post, I conclude I am simply not willing to live my life in anticipation of the next, inevitable child-induced disaster.  I may be living in knee-deep in chaos, but why confine myself to that reality? I am holding out for the moments of sanity, which come more often now with my older child. My younger one is two, and on some days, it’s hard to imagine the madness will ever end. But who knows, maybe once they are older, I will miss these days. I have to confess, there is still a part of me that loves spinning around in a circle until I fall down, then getting up and doing it all over again.

Dressing for the Part of…Janitor?

18 Jan Baby Bjorn potty

Ugh. Snail trail. My 2 year old daughter is crying her eyes out because of something I did that offended her (really, because it’s 5pm and she hasn’t napped all day). I look down where her face is buried into my shoulder and I see that shiny mix of tears and boogers imprinted on my brand new sweater. After a moment of panic, I recover my wits and toss the sweater into the next room, and ponder the paradox of dressing for mommyhood while I sit on the closed toilet lid in the bathroom and try to calm my daughter down.

Just earlier today, I trudged through the same bathroom only to step in something wet – which is never good when you’re walking by a toilet in a kids’ bathroom. Bending down to examine the material, my fears were confirmed – pee pee puddle, which my daughter had just pushed her new baby stroller into, and her footprints were following her into the next room.  After giving my 5 year old son the third degree about his toileting accuracy, I brought out the cleaning spray and paper towels and went to work. A few minutes later, even though the bathroom smelled like bleach, and my wet socks were in the hamper, I still couldn’t shake the memory of pee on the bottom of my feet.

Now, seeing my new sweater discarded in a heap, I had to ask myself – whom am I kidding, trying to make a fashion statement  in this profession of motherhood- those with similar jobs, janitors and hospital orderlies, simply choose to wear scrubs.

With my daughter calm, but still wet and naked in my arms, I take a deep breath, and I do my best to put the hopelessness aside.  I pick up the sweater off the floor, wipe off the visible boogers with a washcloth, and put it back on. I’m going to get through the day without looking like I’ve been run over by a truck, I tell myself. I just have to stay calm and keep my wits about me.

Soon thereafter, my daughter announces that she has to go “poo poo” and I follow her back into the bathroom. Turns out the poo poo boat has sailed already and what she really needs is a change of diapers.  Now, we’re new to pull-up diapers and I guess my removal technique needs improvement because in an instant, a large turd that has bounced off my wrist and onto the bathroom floor, leaving a light impression of poop on my skin.  I read in a potty training book that parents are not supposed to show disgust in the presence of poop, so, trying to look encouraging for my daughter’s sake, I do my best to contain the hazardous material while keeping my daughter from stepping in it. Meanwhile, I can feel the poop stain burning its impression on my skin. At least the sweater has short sleeves… after the poop on the floor is contained, I leap up to wash my hands, lathering and scrubbing harder than Lady Macbeth. Finally, I clean up my daughter, draw a deep breath, and we all continue with our day.

Now it’s nearing bedtime, and my kids are in the bath. Just when I thought that my janitorial duties were complete for the day, I hear my son calling out, “Poop! Poop!” Yes indeed, little sister had planted a floater in the bathtub.  When it rains, it really pours. My son is old enough to know he needs to get out of the bathtub ASAP. Of course. this is not my first run-in with a waterborne turd – which my husband likes to call Defcon because of the dead-serious look I get on my face. Children are evacuated, toys are discarded, everything and everyone is sanitized. A good while and a half bottle of cleaning solution later, I restore hygienic order for the third time.

Am I crazy to wear a cushy, cashmere blend sweater while swatting poop around on the bathroom floor? Perhaps. But I don’t like the alternative.  If my clothes only serve the purpose of utility, I end up with the mommy version of scrubs – clothes that are stain resistant, effortless, and uninspiring. So I guess I wear the pretty sweater despite my better judgement, for the simple reason that it upgrades my job description. I am more than a janitor, waitress, and chauffeur.  In motherhood, I get to write my own job title – and I prefer teacher, artist, and life coach — who just happens to put on rubber gloves every now and then.

The first time my son pooped in the bathtub as a toddler, I was so overtaken with the ick factor that I forgot to laugh. Luckily my husband was there to remind me that it’s actually funny.  Funny for you, I grumbled to myself, because you’re not the one with your face in a bathtub full of hot bleach.  Now, a few years later, we can all laugh about it. After all, my son is the one sharing the bathtub with the floating turd – if he can laugh about it, then I should too.  We’ll be teaching my daughter the lesson of lightness; everyone steps in a puddle of pee every now and then, but it’s less about cleaning up the bathroom floor, and more about what you do afterwards.

Katastrophic Thoughts

"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."

As Time Goes...Buy

"spending 90 days in the wilderness"

vibhascribbles

Some doodle, Vibha scribbles

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

The Outdoors Parent

Into the wild with three small children

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

BEST FRIENDS FIGHT FAT

TWO GIRLS' JOURNEY TO BE HEALTHY AND THIN

Posey Pie Productions

My year (and counting) as a stay-at-home mom.

The Goon Room

A little of everything and nothing, all in one blog