Springdoor

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Archive for the tag “parenting”

Busy as a Bee

It has been awhile since I have written or felt as though I have time to write.  Ironically, this has been the busiest week of the past 6 months.  I graduated nursing school, got into a residency program, and started my new job on Monday (yay!!).  Needless to say, there have been logistical things to work out between child care and getting both my husband myself to work.  So this morning, I actually don’t have any classes, but will be meeting with my manager to go over some paperwork and such.  Which meant I got to sleep in a little bit and ease into the day.  Hence, the writing.  So when I came downstairs this morning I got a good look at what hadn’t been done.  Which inspired this:

The Not-So Spotless House

The toilet’s not been scrubbed in a week
There are dishes in the sink
The floor’s not spotless
There is laundry to be done
The playroom floor is free of toys
but on the table–
projects in the works are stacked
I stand and look
I’m clearly slaking
On all these chores
But I’m OK with that.
I’ve worked a full week
The hubby too
and given the choice between playtime and dishes
I’d rather make memories with the kids,
Wouldn’t you?
There’s lots of time left to teach,
These little ones how to clean and be neat.
So for now I’ll smile when I see
the happy mess that surrounds me.
For here the house may not be perfect
but my kids know their loved
and that’s more important.

~Springdoor

P.S.  One of these days I’ll get around to posting about all the craft projects and photography I’ve been working on over the past 6 months.  Happy Friday!

 

ABCs

I used to be on such a good posting schedule, and now, since I still haven’t figured out my photo software, I have lost track of what days I was posting. Oh well, I suppose it is more organic this way.

In one of my previous posts I discussed my love of reading and the library. My son and I go to the library at least once a week if not more. This last time we were there we picked out a few new books for him to check out, one of which was an ABC book. Most of them he hasn’t been interested in, but this one was all about food. He loves it, but it makes him hungry. When he was a few months old I started an ABC book for him using fruits and vegetables. Since we have to return the book soon, I have been trying to finish the one I started. I think I will see what it will cost me to have it printed and bound at Kinko’s (now FedEx), but I’m kinda leaning towards Shutterfly or possibly Costco. We’ll see.

Here’s a sample of what I’ve put together.  The formatting still needs some work as well as some of the color schemes, but you get the idea =)

A
B
C
D

Computer Success and Play-Do!

Success!  I finally called Olympus and they sent me a new program which works splendidly.  It has a lot more editing power so it’s going to take me a bit to figure out, but I am so happy to have a way to get my pictures onto the computer now.  Phew.

So…here is the post that I was planning on posting when this whole mess began.

Once again our weather has turned cooler. Not that I’m complaining, but a little warmer weather would be nice. However, I have great hopes for after school starts. It always seems to warm up to torment the kids as they head back their classrooms. This weather though is very nice for our workers who are replacing our siding, so I can’t complain. They work better in cooler weather. What it doesn’t help is my routine with my son. Normally we spend a great deal of time in the gardens playing in the dirt and yanking out weeds. With the construction that’s just not possible. We’ve gone to the park, the library, and the grocery store which is all part of our normal morning routine. It is the after-nap hours, before my husband gets home, that the construction wreaks havoc with. So today, I had a brilliant idea…Play do! I posted a recipe for homemade play do in a previous post and today we made it. It was messy, gloriously fun and kept my son occupied for a good hour or more. At first he tried to eat it, but eventually he understood that it was to play with. We had a pencil, and a plastic utensil set to make our creations. Here is what he (I only did he hair) came up with.

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I think if he might have a future in sculpting.

Happy Playing!

My Food Journey

Throughout my short life, my relationship with food has gone through many stages. I dislike the label “foodie” and therefore refuse to call myself as such. Also, I have never had an eating disorder, but there was a point when food didn’t matter to me.

When I was a kid, I ate to sustain myself. End of story. I was too busy with all of my other interests to be bothered with enjoying eating the food my parents were making me eat. Not that they cooked bad food, although the meat was like shoe leather, I just wasn’t all that interested. There were always moments of pure enjoyment when my mom or grandma would make something I loved. Onigiri and teriyaki chicken, Chow Mein with sekihan, tuna noodle casserole (I have no idea why, but it could be the addictive factor of potato chips, noodles, and a creamy sauce), and beef with Bok choy over rice come to mind. Mostly though, the food didn’t matter. By the way, dessert doesn’t count, because what kid (or adult) doesn’t love a little sugar?

As a young adult I had a somewhat better relationship with food. The first two years of college I lived in a dorm and ate whatever they cooked, for the most part. I had more choices, but nothing helped change my view of food. We are talking about dorm food after all. My third year I moved to an apartment and was thus forced to start cooking. I could boil and egg and knew how to make a few dishes and therefore was comfortable knowing I wouldn’t starve. Besides, just off campus there were a dozen restaurants that catered to the poor college student. One of them, a Korean place, made really good beef bulgogi. To this day it is still one of the best I’ve had. During this time I dated a guy who liked to cook and was quite good at it, although now that I think about it, nothing really stood out. What I do remember eating was a lot of grilled chicken salads because he wanted to lose a few pounds. I did, however, learn how to peel garlic.

After I graduated I moved down to California to pursue a Master’s degree. I became friends with several people in the food science department, and boy did they like to eat and drink. I think this might have been the start of my appreciation of food, but I was still reluctant. My parents would send me grocery gift cards and tell me to not skimp on food. I am thrifty by nature, but they didn’t want me to starve because I was unwilling to spend too much money. It was during this first year that I met my husband. As with all serious relationships, they change you. My husband loves good food and dessert. When I met him he was still coming into his own food-wise. This was good timing since I was just at the outer fringes of discovering the power of food. However, I think it wasn’t until I moved back to my home state for work that I really developed an appetite for good quality food.

I started working as a research assistant on pears and sweet cherries. We worked closely with the growers and that’s when I started to understand the business of growing food. Not subsidized crops, but high-value crops. I began to see how difficult it was to make money, find good labor, and the chain in which the fruit travels before it ever reaches market. When I was in California I often wondered why the produce was so bad since they produce so much good vegetables and fruit. What I learned was that the best quality was sent for export, where the money is. During this time my mom started getting really into food and began trying new recipes. Since I would visit often (my husband was still in California at the time) we would often experiment. It was also during this period of time that I started to get more interested in cooking. After we got married, bought our first house, and got dish network, I stumbled upon the food network. They must be doing something right because it whetted my creative appetite. Armed with a good set of pots and pans, kitchen knives, a couple of cook books and the food network, we started cooking up a storm.

Since then, my husband and I have grown to appreciate food so much more than where we began. I have such a different view-point of food and have learned that food can really bring people together. Price, while still important, isn’t secondary to quality of the product. I have learned to evaluate the ingredients and what goes into producing the food and to really value what I put in my body.

Now that I have a child, I don’t want him to grow up without appreciating food. Last summer, before he started solid food, I went to the farmer’s market to buy the best fruit and vegetables so I could to make my own baby food. I froze it, and when it was time, he loved it. Now he eats everything and loves everything. Sometimes I worry that I’ve created a food snob. But overall, I think it’s better for him to learn to appreciate food and not just eat to quiet the hunger pains. I have to admit that sometimes I eat just to quiet those hunger pains. Whether it is be because I’m just too tired to cook or I don’t know what I feel like eating, I’m not always certain, but I figure that’s okay…as long as I am setting my son up to have a good relationship with food.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

I ventured out with another mom last week for a trip to OMSI. I remember field trips to OMSI when I was a kid and I always loved it. Of course, I’ve always been a science geek.

The museum is huge with lots of different exhibits, a planetarium, and huge circular theater. The theater is an experience, but if you get motion sickness, it can be a bit much.  While most of the museum caters to older kids and adults, they have a large area for kids five and under. It allows the kids to learn while playing and help explore all things science. It’s a great way for kids to let loose, experiment and have fun all within a fairly contained area. We had a blast and now that our son is walking full-time, we’ll definitely go back.

Here is a recipe for home-made play dough from the OMSI website:

From OMSI website

The Ingredients


1 cup salt
2 cups flour
3 tbs cream of tarter
2 tbs oil
2 cups water
Food coloring or liquid watercolor (a few drops)
Glitter (optional)


The Steps


  • Mix the dry ingredients into a large bowl, stir well. DO NOT ADD GLITTER YET!
  • Mix the water, oil, and food coloring in a separate bowl.
  • Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients while stirring
  • Stir until you get a smooth consistency
  • Cook in microwave on high for 2-3 minutes
  • Remove the crusty playdough from around the edge of the bowl with a fork
  • Let dough cool, and stir dough for about one minute, breaking up the lumps
  • Return to microwave and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Remove the crusty playdough from around the edge of the bowl with a fork.
  • Let cool, and knead dough for about one minute, breaking up the lumps
  • Cook until dough is no longer sticky, about one minute
  • Spread out on cookie sheet or tray to aid the cooling process
  • Knead in the glitter and have fun!

Notes About Safety


DO NOT PUT GLITTER IN THE MICROWAVE!

Be very careful, the dough will be extremely hot after cooking, and cooking times vary depending on the microwave.

Happy Father’s Day

Technically this will be my husband’s second father’s day, but since our son was only a month old last year, I think this one counts for more. Since our son is only 14 months, as of today, he can’t help too much with the planning and such. However, I did manage to come up with a great present idea. I think this will be sufficient to get to my husband’s sentimental side.

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My mom’s group and I all did these together, which made it even more fun since there was copious amount of paint involved. It’s always fun to get the kids messy. I bought some canvas at the art store and then we put the kid’s feet in the pain and printed them. The nice thing was that if we didn’t like the footprint, you could get a wet cloth and wipe it up and start all over. Trying to do this with 1-2 year olds definitely requires do-overs! I found this poem online and we wrote it using a marker. Fortunately I had a black frame lying around, so I popped the canvas in, and voila, all done.

Along with the picture, I got him Portland Timbers tickets, which is a story unto itself. My parents are going to come over and my mom is going to help me make a bento box dinner and we’ll be having a fruit tart for dessert.

I’ll post an update of the food next week.

Happy Father’s Day!

Who Needs Toys?

Is it parents or kids who want all the toys?

My parents came over last night and brought a canister filled with old cookie cutters (the plastic kind). We used them as kids to make Christmas decorations and cookies. Anyway, my son got a hold of that container and spent the next 45 minutes opening and closing the container. He would remove the cookie cutters, replace them, then put the lid on, ask us to help him open the container and repeat.

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He did this for longer than he’s played with any of his toys. I wonder what would happen if I removed most (because I can’t justify removing all of them) toys? I wonder what he would create.

Wood toys

There is something about wood toys that I like. Maybe it’s because everything seems to be made in China these days. Needless to say, I think one of the best companies on the market is .  They always have some of the most creative toys along with tips on ways to interactively play with your child. They are brilliant. Recently a friend of mine said that they were having a sale on Melissa and Doug food at Craft Warehouse. First off, not only can you buy Melissa and Doug at Craft Warehouse, but I also spied it at Michael’s and Joanne Fabric! Secondly, my friend picked me up this food set, which is the one I had been coveting before my son was born.

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Love it!

I am so excited to unwrap this and get playing!

Keeping Baby Out

My son is very curious, which I am thankful for, usually.  However, he also seems to think that ever time I ask him to stop his behavior, that it’s a game.  Yes, I  know that he’s not even a year old yet, but I believe that babies understand more than we give them credit for.  We, being new parents, were not as prepared as we should have been for his adept ability at getting into two cabinets that we didn’t want him in.  We hurriedly bought some baby proofing from Amazon.

However, they were not long enough to fit the two doors we needed locked the most.  These however, are great for the bathrooms.  So, while I was getting tired of constantly having to guard the doors and him thinking “ooh, it’s another fun game” I decided to rig something.

It’s not the most attractive set up, but it does the job and I haven’t had to worry about him getting into the cabinets.  I know that there are several products on the market created by mothers in similar situation.  Which got me thinking, I wonder what else I have in my house that I could turn into a creative, genius, simplistic idea for a product.  Probably not much that hasn’t already been thought of already.  But I’m going to keep my eyes peeled and my creative eye opened just in case.

A Packing Challenge

Wednesday will be our first plane flight with our son. It is a scary and exciting prospect all wrapped into one. Here’s my thing about flying, I dislike checking baggage. So my challenge was how to fit my son’s and my clothing all into one suitcase small enough for a carry on. Oh, I could have managed easily with one of those roll types, but where’s the fun in that? I’ve been made fun of many times for size of suitcase I bring along with me, but I find that the more I simplify things, the less stress I have.

We will be gone for four nights and I plan on fitting all of our clothes into this:

Yes, I am crazy, I know. I know that not everything we will need will not fit in here, but I will also have my son’s diaper bag which will be filled with the rest of his essential stuff. However, everything I need will fit. It only takes some choices and creativity.

Here’s how I go about it

  1. I make a list of everything I think I need
  2. Add everything I want to take
  3. Pull out outfits that can be mixed and matched and that equal the number of vacation days. Layering pieces are ideal.
  4. I always plan out what I’m going to be traveling in and try to make sure it includes bulkier pieces such as sweaters
  5. I limit my options. I only take precisely what I’ll need. Usually I will separate my clothing into must have and would like to, and if there isn’t enough room it doesn’t go
  6. Pair down the toiletries. For example, do you really need to take the curling iron and the straightener? Tough choices, I know. I also pare down my make-up bag and I definitely don’t take all of the hair and face products that I might usually use. I think I can live without them for a few days and really, who’s going to notice?
  7. I rarely take more than one pair of shoes. Unless I’m taking a longer vacation, will be traveling over more than one type of terrain, or am attending different types of functions, I don’t see the need. I have managed to pack more than one pair in this suitcase, but that was before I had a child who also needed suitcase space.
  8. Always ask yourself, what do I really need and you’ll be golden. You rarely need as much as you think you do.

This may not sound like a lot of fun to most people, but for me, it takes away the stress of staring at a suitcase of clothing wondering what in the world I feel like wearing. I do that on a daily basis anyway. I don’t feel like wasting my vacation hours doing it.

Anyway, back to the suitcase issue. Some of you may be saying “you can’t possibly fit everything in that small suitcase!” And to you I say “oh, but I can and I will.”

Here is the proof:

Inside I have fit

For me: one pair of jeans, two tops, one cardigan, two shirts, socks and undergarments, pajamas, make-up, straightener

For my son: three pairs of pants, one hoodie, two long-sleeved undershirts, two short-sleeved onesies, one long-sleeved shirt, one long-sleeved onesie, pajamas, socks and about 3 sleeveless undershirts

Toiletries: all carry-on size approved. Shampoo and conditioner, lotion and soap for my son, contact solution, diaper cream, make-up and toothpaste

All that’s left to add is my toothbrush and glasses.

And we’re ready for takeoff!

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