Showing posts from January, 2008

Food for Thought

Ok so I admit I have a host of food issues. My mother had a host of food issues from her youth and with the genuine best intentions, she passed them on to my sisters and I. I do not want to continue the tradition. According to my research, one important piece of preventing food issues is to not use food as either a reward or a punishment. I have no trouble not using food as a punishment (ie taking food away for bad behavior or forcing certain foods) I have more trouble avoiding food as a reward because I habitually reward myself with food. I am trying though. Which brings me to my current concern. How can explain treats (dessert like food options) and eating out (which is sometimes a necessity and sometimes done as a treat / mood lifter?

Dress Follow Up

Thank you to all those who offered suggestions for my dress problem. I found some great sale options on similar dresses from companies that I did not think of. I still have not been able to find a pattern for exactly the dress I wanted but I think that is ok. The search has led me to different patterns and that has been a new joy. It has also made me more willing to experiment with patterns. Today we went to play group and Froggy was wearing a jumper I made for her and she got lots of complements. It is a basic jumper with three buttons at the neck. It will be the first pattern I alter. I am going to try to add sleeves to it since finding a shirt to match for underneath is sometimes very challenging.

Tuesday's Carnival Tour

Carnivals are a great way to meet new folks and see some stories you might otherwise not know about. Hence I bring you my Tuesday Carnival Tour. Our first stop is Life on the Road who shows us the different ways in which we are leaving a legacy as we homeschool our children in this week's Carnival of Homeschooling. Our next stop is Haveil Havalim #151 the P.S.D edition which takes us on a tour of all things Jewish from Israeli politics to holiday celebrations to family life. Real Life is our next stop with a look at that special relationship between Mothers and Daughters. And this brings us to our final stop on the tour, the Carnival of Family Life which lets us look inside all the hidden corners.

Sprouts and Shoots

For Tu B'Shevat, we planted parsley and some other seeds in a indoor starter kit and placed it on a wire shelving unit in front of a large window. Every day since we have dutifully checked the box. Nothing until today. This morning there is green in our box. Tiny, tiny seedlings that look nothing like plants yet. After our previous attempts at growing seeds in which nothing happened, Froggy was thrilled to see even this minimal progress.

I am getting excited about gardening with her. We got Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children based on a recommendation from one of my favorite blogs. I hope to do three of the projects described in the book with her this spring. I know. I know. It isn't even February yet and I am already planning my spring gardening. But that is what gets me through the cold of winter.

Tu B'Shevat - book review and learning board

Our theme for this week is Tu B'Shevat. We decorated our learning board with a banner that read "Happy birthday trees" across the top. There was a picture of tree and a birthday cake as well as a big banner on the bottom proclaiming "TuB'Shevat". The theme, learning board and book basket are first of our New Years revamp that have been successfully implemented.

This is the first one I can actually say was a success. Froggy has pointed at it and referred to it and talked about it. Using the board, I now that she understands the holiday and some of the traditions associated with it. We will see how it goes as we carry it into our second week and finally celebrate the holiday.

And as we did with Hanukkah, here is my review of our TuB'Shevat books.

The Giving Tree Yes the classic Shel Silverstein book. It sweet and sad with the cute line drawings for which he is known. It was a good tie-in to the conservation aspect of the holiday

A Seder for Tu B Shev…

Tu B'Shevat Celebration

Happy Tu B'Shevat to all. We are enjoying the holiday. This is the first holiday that I really feel Froggy is getting a sense of the meaning not just the rote rituals involved. Our Learning board may have something to do with that. Too soon to tell.

We have been really talking up the holiday and preparing for it with our learning board and stories. Last night, we did a Tu B'Shevat seder which was fun but not the hit I had hoped. We had friends over and used our holiday dishes. Everyone enjoyed sampling the fruits but the little ones were too focused on drinking the wine(juice - a rare and special treat) to get any real meaning out of it. For dessert, we had birthday cake with candles and sang Happy Birthday to the trees. Everyone blew out the candles since the trees couldn't. I will keep the idea and continue each year adding more pieces and details. Hopefully the meaning will grow.

Today to continue the celebration, we planted seeds instead of a tree. I had want…

Carnival Collection

I want to share a few of my favorite carnivals with you this week. So come along and enjoy being well-read with Carnival of Family Life. Explore a variety of Jewish and Israeli issues at Haveil Havalim #150. Get a literary perspective on homeschooling at The Carnival of Homeschooling.

I hope you enjoy this different voices as much as I do. And let them know that you visited.


I like my daughter in dresses and leggings. It saves me from forever pulling up her pants. It helps keep her belly warm. I could continue listing reasons but I won't. Instead I will complain about my inability to find either the style dress I want at a reasonable price or a pattern to make the dress myself. Best option of all would be finding a pattern for it. You would not think that would be hard but it has been. I ahve checked all the major manufactures I can think of found nothing.

This is a sample of the style
The only company I found that makes just what I am looking for is Hanna Andersson but I cannot abide their prices. I know there must be another source but I have yet to find it and I am getting very frustrated.

Our Love Story

Red Robin is having a Valentines Day contest. I decided we need to enter so the spousling wrote the following. Wish us luck!

Once upon a time there were two people who were very much alike. They decided early on that they were so alike they couldn't be involved. But they talked together, traveled together, and spent so much time together that they realized that they couldn't be anything else. On November 25 1994 they made it official. On November 25 2001 they made it legal. And on every day in between and since they've made it work, in good times and bad, in hard times and easy. From Pittsburgh to Brooklyn to New Jersey to Boston to Virginia, home has always been where they both were.

Snow Day!!

We finally got it. A real snow fall and it was perfect timing. I spent many years in Boston and Martin Luther King weekend always means lots of snow. The last year I was there we got 4 feet (yes that is right I said feet).

Today the total did not reach anywhere near that high but we got enough to make two respectably sized snowmen and have some serious snow ball fights. Froggy was delighted with the snow. She is a real rough sort. She had no interest in snowman building other than to note its completion. She wanted snowball fights and nothing but snowballs fights. She was happy with the brief pause in the fighting for trips down a hill-let in her toddler sled. But then is was right back to the snowballs. She would have stayed out until it was ptich-black if she had not gotten caught right in the face with a stray snow ball.

Rythyms of the Week

With the start of the new year, we have added two classes and a coop day to our already established schedule of storytime and Shabbat observances.These added activities have prompted questions about what day it is.So Froggy is starting to learn the days of the week.We are singing a days of the week song every day since Froggy loves songs and learns so well from songs.Part of our bedtime routine now is calendar time.We cross the day off talking about the name of the day, put a star on that day if we have no potty accidents and pack our bag for the next day.I am also getting a few books like this from our library to help explain the cyclic nature of the week.We have had a great deal of success using ideas from Seven Times Around The Sun to help with the cyclic nature of each day but we are still struggling with the larger cycles.


To me part of being a good parent is knowing/understanding your child(ren).This is especially important to me as a first time parent.Each time Froggy enters a new stage of life, I need to relearn her needs and abilities. Right now closure is an important need for her.Only if she can see the end of something or say good bye to something can she let it go and move on successfully. If I neglect to provide her a closure opportunity, it may not show up immediately but the effects are there. Until now I have not provided a good closure for Shabbat.This had led to some untimely and urgent requests to go to synagogue or make Challah.This week we will add a new ritual to our family’s routine by celebrating Havdalah at home. For our first Havdalah as a family, we will make a special spice box. We will use our regular Shabbat kiddish cup and hold our Havdalah candle in tin foil.

Letter to Froggy


The winter holiday season is over. There is not even any snow on the ground. Could you please please please stop singing Jingle Bells constantly. I know it is the Batman version and that does make it a little bit better. But Mommy is so so tired of that song and I know you know others.

Your mom of hurting ears.