When to Start Daycare

Daycare

Daycare

I’ve always thought that eventually Frances would go to daycare for a few hours a week. It might be “wasted money”, since I work from home, but some days it seems like she’d have a lot more fun at daycare than sitting around the house listening to me say, “not now, sweetheart, I’m working”.

Daycare offers more than just a break for me. We’re still new enough to town that we haven’t met many people, so Franci doesn’t have a lot of play dates. We’re talking once every 8 weeks or so. I would like her to be exposed to other children a little more often, not to mention other people in general. She’s very wary of new people right now, and I can’t help but think that’s because she only sees the same half dozen faces regularly.
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A Series of Salad Recipes: Spanish Salad

Spanish Salad

Spanish Salad

I became a big fan of the Spanish Salad when I was studying in Spain. It’s quick and easy to make, with lots of “optional” ingredients, depending on how much you want to put into it. My room mates would make this salad with just iceberg lettuce and dressing. It might be a little sad, but it is surprisingly good!

It’s a refreshing salad that can be filling if you add in tuna and hard boiled eggs, and it’s a nice option if you are serving Spanish, Mexican, or Cuban food. For some reason a vinaigrette or kale salad just doesn’t pair with latino food flavors for me.
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Planning for Baby Number Two

Preparing for a New Sibling

Preparing for a New Sibling

I’ve often heard it said that there is no “right” time to have a baby. How likely is it that your career, finances and home-life are all perfectly stable at the same time? If you wait for everything to be perfect, you might be old enough to be a grandparent! Sometimes it’s best to just take the plunge.

When it comes to planning siblings, there are multiple theories. Personal preference is the biggest factor, but it turns out there is some interesting research done on the subject of the healthiest time to conceive.
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A Series of Salad Recipe: House Salad

House Salad

House Salad

I call this our “house salad” because if you come to dinner, you will more than likely be served this salad. It’s our go-to salad, and I make all the ingredients ahead so I can throw a salad together each night. I’ve discovered that if I always have shredded carrots and cabbage, washed lettuce and prepared dressing on hand, we eat a lot more salad.

We always eat salad at the end of the meal, and Franci has started anticipating the “salad course”. She loves Gorgonzola so much, she gets very pushy about demanding her fair share. I’ve had to start adding extra to the salad, just so there’s some left for me!
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A Series of Salad Recipes: Kale Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts

Kale Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts

Kale Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts

Earlier this month I decided to do a series of posts on salads, in hopes of finding some good new salad recipes.

Now that you can easily find washed and shredded kale, this recipe is a breeze.  As long as you remember to soak the currants over night, that is.  I’m not a huge fan of kale, but this recipe has made me like it more than ever before.  Maybe now I’ll branch out into other kale salads.

Unlike most other “green” salads, this one is even better the next day. It’s a good choice if you are having company or want to make a big batch ahead and have a little each day.  The original recipe includes parmesan shavings, but I prefer the recipe without.  I’d rather add in shredded carrot or red cabbage for a little color.
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Work At Home Moms

Work-At-Home-Mom

Work-At-Home-Mom

The Huffington Post reprinted a popular article on their blog recently that originally appeared on The Healthy Doctor blog, A Letter From a Working Mother to a Stay-At-Home Mother (and Vice Versa)

I think they left out an important percentage of the mom-population: Work-At-Home-Moms (WAHM). In my casual surfing of Facebook and Etsy, I’ve come to realize how large this group really is.

Perhaps we’re hard to categorize, because working hours aren’t always consistent. And while one WAHM may work 5 hours a week, another may work 40. And that could even be the same mom, just in a different week!
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Confessions of a Parent

Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo!

Being a parent requires a lot of sacrifices and compromises, most of them on the part of the parent.  Every once and a while it’s your baby’s turn to make the compromise.  This often results in a great story to be told to other parents, grandparents, and your spouse! If things can’t go as planned, they may as well be good for a laugh!

Last week I confessed that Franci sleeps in a second-hand drop-down crib. It gets even worse! Some of your kids may have rooms “as small as a closet”. Frances doesn’t have a room: she actually sleeps in our closet. The space is just big enough for a full-sized crib, so she sleeps with hangers full of clothes looming above her.
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First Birthday Gift Ideas

Rocking Horse

Rocking Horse

wooden-tricycle

Tricycle Walker

Hammer Set

Hammer Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frances is coming up on one year at the end of the month, and the grandparents have started asking for gift ideas. I don’t remember what it was like to be that young, so I’m not sure what to suggest. She has certainly outgrown some things since Christmas, like her bouncy seat and jump-up, but I don’t know if they even need to be replaced with anything.

She’s too young for crayons and still prefers to chew on books rather than read them, so I don’t want to request art supplies or more books. She loves her wooden blocks and stacking cups, but I don’t think she needs more of them. She’s too young for a Doll House, and I think I would have more fun with that than she would.
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When Babies Mimic Animal Behavior

A girl and her dog

A girl and her dog

Frances has always been curious about our pets. She loves to crawl over to our dog and give her pats and pets. Before we could get Franci to reliably say “Papa”, she could tell you a puppy said “arf-arf”.

Since she’s so in-tune to our dogs, it wasn’t too much of a surprise when she started barking along with them. If someone knocked on the door, she would happily join in on a round of alarm barks. What really came as a shock was the time when the UPS truck could be heard rounding the corner, and Franci started barking even before the dogs did!
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Giving Childhood Back to Children

More than just for fun!

More than just for fun!

Peter Gray wrote an article, “Give childhood back to children: if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less“, that is making the rounds and I think it’s one that everyone should read, not just parents. I thought it was going to be about allowing kids more freedom – to run to the corner store to buy milk or to walk home from school unsupervised – but it was specifically about the importance of play.

Playtime is more than just a way to pass a few hours. Gray’s research asserts that play is essential in all mammals’ development, and the those that have the most to learn play the most. He makes great points about creativity and the fact that we have robots and computers to do many of the tasks that we used to do, so our focus now should be on solving problems and thinking towards the future.
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