Rows of desks. Colorful supplies. White dry erase board covering the walls. I love the classroom. But I’m not quite ready to go back full time. So… I signed up to be a sub. Once a week, my cell phone wakes me up at 5:30am where an automated voice offers me a job. I usually accept the first job I am offered. I view subbing as an adventure to experience new schools and grade levels. Anything goes.
Dig into parenting advice, tips, easy kid's activities and how to manage a household.
“Mama, can we go to fro-yo, tonight?” Oh, how I wish we could go get frozen yogurt every night. (Frankly, I sometimes do after my daughter has gone to bed.) However, as a parent, I can’t justify letting my child eat that many sweets. I am a self-proclaimed sugar-aholic. I don’t want my daughter to have the same weight issues I did as I struggled to gain control over my sweet tooth. That’s why this dessert is fantastic. Ice Cream in a Blender! However, it is not ice cream in the traditional sense. All you need for this recipe is bananas and milk. There is no added sugar whatsoever. This recipe takes a little prep work, so you will need to plan a day ahead of time. First, take a bunch of bananas that are just starting to turn brown. Peel each banana and break it into chunks. Place these chunks in a plastic Ziploc freezer bag and freeze. I plan for at least one banana per person. Let freeze at least 24 hours. Place frozen bananas in a blender and pour in 1/2 cup of milk to start. Blend. If the bananas get stuck and you hear a whirring noise from unmoving blender blades, stop the blender, stir with a long spoon to dislodge the bananas and add a little more milk. Keep doing this until you have a consistency that looks like this: Scoop out banana ice cream using an ice cream scoop. We like to top ours with a few chocolate chips, a little bit of chocolate syrup or some peanut butter. This ice cream is creamy and delicious and doesn’t have a strong banana flavor. I recommend eating the entire batch because it does not taste as good if stored in a freezer – a strong banana flavor is present. Whenever my daughter asks for banana ice cream, I’m happy to oblige. And my husband is a pretty big fan as well.
My daughter hasn’t been absent very much from school. In fact, I’ve only had to call the attendance line a couple of times. When I dial attendance, I am greeted with a lengthy message detailing all of the information I need to give for my absent child: name, teacher’s name, date of absence, reason for absence, blood type… ok, not the blood type. While these directions would be easy to follow for any normal human being, when I call in, it’s because there is something wrong with my kid. This causes me stress and my brain goes a bit crazy under stress.
What do you do when you can’t call in sick as a mommy? I fear I have contracted the flu on one of the busiest weekends in months. It’s my second sons 3rd birthday (YAY!) and I always take the boys for a special trip for their birthday. This year we went to Connect 5 (stay tuned for a detailed post) and we had a birthday party today. Tomorrow is Water Day at church.
My daughter, Llama, has been exceedingly patient in having a new brother. Every day, when she comes home from school, we have a routine. She unpacks her backpack, removes her homework folder and starts working at the kitchen table while I put Dude down for a nap. Dude is only 9-months old, so I nurse him to sleep in our guest room which is right above our garage. This process involves me laying down on the bed with him and not being able to move or talk for about 15-minutes. This took some practice with my daughter, but she has learned to be very quiet and not call out for me during that time. I usually park my car in the garage, but currently, we are trying to sell our entertainment center. This large piece of wood furniture was located in our upstairs bedroom, but to make it easier for our potential buyer, we moved it into my space in the garage. Thus, I’m parking outside.
When I was a kid, I used to sign up for classes through Tucson Parks and Recreation. I did ballet, tap dance, acting, piano, magic, painting, baton twirling, babysitting, pottery, self defense, gymnastics… you name it, and I probably took a class in it. As I became an adult, I found less and less time to pursue those types of leisure activities. Now, with two young kids, its almost impossible to leave the house. Having young children is rough and neither my husband nor I like to have two kids by ourselves during the bedtime hour. Very difficult. However, I miss learning the fun skills that let me pursue new artistic ventures. Those classes gave me an outlet to express myself as well as accumulate a ton of random interesting hobbies and skills (I actually switched to private baton lessons for a little while). Since my schedule is pretty tight for the time being, I’ve found my creative inspiration in Craftsy. If you haven’t checked out Craftsy.com and are arts-and-crafts inclined, I suggest you take a look. The site has a wide variety of video lessons to choose from. Everything from sewing and drawing to cooking and… jewelry! I’m refining my jewelry skills through a class on Craftsy right now by learning how to work with wire. So far, my teacher on Craftsy has taught me how to wire-wrap top-drilled stones which is how I made these lovely earrings: And used the same elements in the design of this necklace: Also, I learned how to create the nifty wire circles that appear in these earrings. Look for a Whimsicle necklace that uses that wire circle soon. All of these items are available for sale as well 🙂 Classes range anywhere from $15 to $50. The class includes materials lists, step-by-step beautifully produced videos and access to the instructor and other students. The online class hosts its very own online community where students can post pictures of their work and ask questions. Best of all, the video lessons are available to you forever. If you need to re-watch something to remind yourself of how its done, you can. If you are looking for a new hobby but can’t find the time to take a class, I definitely recommend Craftsy. If you end up enrolling in a class, let me know! Especially let me know if its good so I can add it to my wish list. I’m a little addicted.
“MOOOMMMMM…Carson pooped on the floor!” I grab a plastic bag and walk up the stairs, mentally preparing myself to stay calm. I take one look into the room and scream, “CARSON! Bad Boy.”
I had delusions about being the perfect mom. I would be loving ( I think I have that one), patient, have my kids dressed in cute little outfits and make my own baby food from scratch. Many moms fantasize about this. In truth, it doesn’t happen- unless you are Super Mom and I salute you. Take baby food. When it was time to wean my first child onto solid food -between working and being a first-time mom – I picked up a jar of Gerber pretty fast. It worked. We packed the baby food in our diaper bag when we went out to dinner. My husband and I fed her, taking bites in between spoon-risings to eat out our own meals. Life was happy. Since I decided to stay home after the birth of my second child, I attempted to give this “Baby Food Chef” thing a go. I became super excited as his 6-month birthday neared. I chopped, peeled and boiled sweet potatoes for our own dinner and made a batch of sweet potatoes, minus the good stuff(i.e. cream, salt, butter) for him. I pureed his food and sectioned the puree into the individual compartments of an ice cube tray- so they would be “convenient” later. When the time came to feed him, I mixed a bit of sweet potatoes with some expressed breast milk. As I brought him his food, I thought, “this is it. Perfect. He’s going to love it and eat the whole thing.” He refused to even open his mouth. Wouldn’t take it. I tried again the second night. Same thing. This time with crying and clamorous shouts of disdain. That’s when I decided to give baby-led weaning a try. In short, baby led weaning is letting the baby eat real food entirely by himself. No purees. No spoons. No adults putting anything in the baby’s mouth. The process is supposed to encourage healthier eating by letting the baby regulate his or her own food intake as well as exposing baby to a much wider variety of food. To start, I gave my son whole avocado cut into bite sized pieces. He smeared the avocado all over his tray and wouldn’t eat any of it. The next day, I gave him some baby carrots boiled so that I could mash them easily between my fingertips- about 45 minutes of boiling. He picked up the carrots and gummed them a little. A piece of carrot broke off and he immediately started gagging. The books on baby-led weaning warn you about babies gagging on their first foods. My husband and I reach for our son and get ready to finger sweep his mouth. Before we get to him, the piece of carrot flies out. My boy just reaches it for it, unfazed, and tries to eat it again. Every meal time, we fed him some of our meal minus dairy, nuts and of course, honey. He ate strips of whole wheat tortilla, chunks of broccoli, bits of […]
My daughter and I like to go on weekly dates every Friday after school. It’s a time I use to talk with her and to have a little treat that has no redeeming nutritional value. Friday dates are a blast! This past Friday, we chose Starbucks so that we could indulge in Frappucinos off their secret menu. Well, secret to some extent. Since Starbucks makes drinks to order, you can have them combine whatever flavors you desire. You just need to tell them exactly how to make it. Our choices this time? Cotton Candy Frappuccino. Made with: Vanilla Creme Frappuccino as a base 1 pump raspberry syrup Harry Potter Butterbeer Frappuccino Made with: Vanilla Creme Frappuccino 3 pumps toffee nut syrup 3 pumps caramel syrup caramel sauce drizzle I recommend the cotton candy variation. The drink is very reminiscent of the candy floss and was yummy to both my daughter and me. We didn’t enjoy the Butterbeer as much. I felt the toffee nut flavor was overwhelming, so that it didn’t taste like Butterbeer really but was more like having a Toffee Nut Frappuccino. Ordering off the secret menu is a lot of fun! I used the website: http://starbuckssecretmenu.net It works very well on a cell phone. I just browsed over to the recipe and showed the barista. If you are intrigued by the concept of secret menus, I also recommend the website Hack the Menu What Starbucks variations do you recommend?
Love clam chowder, but can’t justify the heaviness of it? Try this slow-cooker recipe that lightens up this delicious soup. Although most of the fat has disappeared, the soup is still very creamy and has a ton of flavor. As a bonus, it is incredibly easy to prepare. You will need:1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil1 onion, diced2 ribs celery, diced2 tsp minced garlic2 cans clams (8 ounces each)1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice3 potatoes, cut in bite sized cubes (I used red potatoes)1 can (12 ounces) 2% evaporated milk Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Throw in the onion and celery. Cook until the onion becomes translucent (about 12 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more (or until you can smell the garlic). Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. Add the clams (with juice), bottle of clam juice and potatoes to the slow cooker. Stir well. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, or on low for 3-4 hours. I found that 3.5 hours on low worked well for this recipe. Stir in the evaporated milk the last hour of cooking. Season with pepper and serve. Tabasco green sauce would also make a tasty seasoning. I served this soup with a salad (greens, turkey, pepperoni, mozzarella, tomatoes and green olives) and bread rolls from the bakery. It was a very easy and tasty weeknight meal. Enjoy! Recipe from The Runner’s World Cookbook.