Let's Talk About Food & Then Let's Also Not

So this week is off to a FLAMING good start, with a nice little stomach bug that knocked us all over, domino style. Ezra, then Ike, now Noah, and oh right, MEEEEE, somewhere right in the middle of everybody else. So it's been great! Just super great. Very ready for the winter stomach flus to move along so we can get to all the spring colds and allergies and hay fever crap. But I do have some good news today, for anybody who is like, "why am I reading about someone else's vomiting children I have taken a very wrong turn on the Internet," by (apparently!!) popular demand, I have a new post series launching at AlphaMom. And it's about food! And cooking! Specifically, healthy cooking for (and with) kids. First recipe is for Ezra's absolute favorite food to eat and cook: an easy citrus sweet potato mash that works as a grown-up side dish, a step-up puree for older babies (provided they can handle a touch of orange juice), and can be modified and rolled into a homemade sweet potato puff. (Without the excessive sugar/salt/preservative crap.) I make this shit by the truckload, freeze it, use it for school... Read more →

I noticed a couple topic requests for Further Yakking About from the comments on the last post, and as I am in a procrastinating mood and have nothing better to yak about, let's do it: 1) The time-limit parental control thingie. Our kids used to solely play with our old, discarded iPhones. Plus an iPad that was technically still mine and I don't remember giving up custody but eventually it was chock full of nothing but kids' games and was always sort of sticky. I was never really happy with the parental control options in iOS. App purchases and downloads required a password, but I wanted to be able to set time limits, block certain websites, and just sort of generally know what they're up to without having to literally sit there staring over their shoulders. (And thus, having to listen to the Angry Birds theme song over and over and over and over...) There are two choices with options like that: Amazon Fire Kids Edition with the Amazon FreeTime subscription service, or a tablet with full Windows 10 installed and Family Safety enabled. At the time, we didn't have an xBox or anything, and Noah was DESPERATE to play... Read more →

Hello! How was everybody's Thanksgiving? Did y'all trample anybody over an Xbox? (Are Xboxes still a thing? I don't know what the thing is this year. Because all my children are getting is the Xbox we already own, that Ezra broke as a toddler by feeding it Legos. Jason figured out how to fix it, so TA DA! Here's your Christmas miracle, kids.) (The boys all really, really want an Xbox, but I keep saying NO XBOX because I'm a mom who hates fun and plus you guys broke the last one. I am still saying NO XBOX even now, to their great collective distress because it's ALL THEY WANT FROM SANTA, because I'm ALSO a mom with a video camera who wants an epic reaction on Christmas morning, mwa ha ha.) (I am also a mom with an upper respiratory infection and goddamn bonus pinkeye right now. This has nothing to do with anything else in this post, but it feels wrong not to mention in because I'm whiny and sad and leaking out of way too many parts of my face right now.) In honor of Cyber Monday and literally everybody on the planet telling you where to... Read more →

I did! I really did. But not a book for you. It's you know, for kids. (But I guess since kids don't have all that much money of their own, and the target audience is probably in the pre-Tooth-Fairy dollahdollahbills age range, maybe I did write it for you. To buy. With your money. YOU ARE SO WELCOME!!) After I wrote about the incredibly helpful pre-moving book I made for Ike through TwigTale.com, they reached out to say thanks, and then a couple emails later they asked if I could write a new book for them in time for Halloween. This book is essentially a much more beautiful looking version of a social story I created for Noah when he was a preschooler, back when EVERYTHING about Halloween terrified him. The costumes, the decorations...anything vaguely Halloween-like stressed him out to the point that just leaving the house became difficult. The costume shop at the mall! The billboard advertising the haunted hayride! The CANDY AISLE IN THE GROCERY STORE. As with All Things Noah, we eventually learned that letting him acknowledge and actually feel his fear worked much, much better than having him fight it, or trying to logic him out... Read more →

Remember that time we painted a chalkboard wall in our kitchen? Remember how nice it looked at first? Yeah, me neither. From top to bottom: 1) Our grown-up behavior chart, which was abandoned (on a Wednesday, apparently) a good six months ago. 2) The ghostly remains of an Ike/Ezra behavior chart, which only tracked one behavior, which was Get Out Of Bed In The Morning And Put Clothes On Without Mom Losing Her Shit At You. There are zero stars awarded to either, so Ezra helpfully wrote "Ty" a couple times to keep us up-to-date on who was "winning." 3) A very pretty flower that I think our babysitter drew. No one in this household has those skillz. 4) I don't know who drew all those boobs around the light switch. Wasn't me. 5) Assorted scribbles and doodles. Ike says they are "battle machines." Ezra drew a "calendar" for Ike so he could assign one of the colored behavior codes they use in kindergarten. From the looks of all the pink and yellow, Ike is not having a good month. Here's the thing: Behavior charts work really, really well for my kids. Always have. We target a small handful of... Read more →

So I know I've danced around the "I LOST WEIGHT!" topic a bit. I've mentioned it but haven't really gone into any specifics since I wrote about our grown-up behavior chart, which was...Jesus, last JULY. I was down about 10 pounds then; I've since dropped another 15. I'm now really and truly back to my "pre-pregnancy" weight -- and I'm talking the FIRST pregnancy, 10 years ago. It's a good weight, a comfortable weight, and smack dab in the middle of the healthy weight range for my height and frame size. (I am made of Bird Bones.) After I posted that photo on the Social Media Thingies this weekend, a few people asked me to share the How. It's sadly, nothing extraordinary, earth-shattering, nor guaranteed to get you a bikini-ready body in 30 days. I have no magic bullet or snake-oil supplement or One Weird Trick to share here. I lost 25 pounds because: 1) I ate less. 2) I exercised more. 3) And I kept doing these things even after I hit my weight loss goals, and moved gradually into a maintenance plan. A maintenance plan that STILL involves eating less and exercising more, compared to my old habits.... Read more →

Hey, who wants some free crap? In particular, who wants some free crap for your baby to crap in? During the great nursery-to-big-kid-room move, I discovered a carefully packaged hoard of newborn cloth diapers. I only vaguely remember boxing it all up, possibly with the intention of giving it away...but more likely I was still hormonal and crazy and was like, NOOOO MY PRESHUS WITTLE TINY DIAPERS ALLLLL MIIIIIINE. I'm better now. I would like someone else to have and use them. I also went through the bigger/next-stage diapers and put together a second little diaper collection that should hopefully help someone get started with cloth (or continue with cloth). So, here's what's what. I have two diaper packages to give away, #1 and #2. I will describe them below. (In excruciating detail, because CLOTH DIAPERS MAKE ME SO TALKY.) Please leave a comment and specify which package you want. If you want both, please specify a FIRST CHOICE. I will use the random number widget thingie to select two winners. The first commenter chosen will get their first choice. The second commenter will get either their first or second choice, depending on what's left for grabs. If the second... Read more →

POWER RANKED IN ORDER OF WHICH BOOKS HAVE BEEN LITERALLY LOVED TO PIECES AND/OR EATEN (BECAUSE LOVE) (ALSO TEETHING) We have QUITE the library of children's books in our house. I'd call them children's literature but...I dunno. Some of our books are really dumb and make me kind of stabby. (Has anyone read The Little Engine That Could lately? Do you remember it being so long? Because it's soooo looooonnng. It's like 20 solid minutes of crying toys, mean trains, laments about the good little girls and boys in the valley not having any milk or fruit or toys [which are STILL CRYING], heavy-handed symbolism for Get The Fuck Over Yourself And Help The Goddamn Train Already, with a bonus clown who kind of looks like the great-grand-uncle of Pennywise.) (Our copy got mysteriously lost during the great move-that-didn't-happen house purge. AND I'M NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT SORRY.) The above photo is but a small representative sample of our book collection, but I believe runs an acceptable gamut of board books that your baby/toddler will love, to those he/she will tolerate, to those that no baby or toddler ever gave two shits about but no matter, you will somehow... Read more →

READERS BEWARE: There' s a ridiculous amount of boring dinner/cooking-type talk ahead. Also an inordinate number of parentheticals, even for me. I tried to make it funny. I tried and I probably failed. In other words, hold onto your butts, and may God have mercy on your souls. I have to admit I really enjoy rappin' with y'all about the cooking topic — trying to keep a family happy while not losing your mind with boredom over making the same damn recipe over and over and over again, and also trying to expand kids' culinary horizons without a full-on uprising at the dinner table. I've had a modest string of successes over the past couple weeks, happily enough. (Interspersed with nights when I was like, fuck it, here's mac-and-cheese and fishsticks; Jason, just pick up some sushi on your way home, okay?) (Last night was one of those nights. Ezra asked to try some tuna sashimi. I was very impressed until he spat it out half-chewed in disgust because DAMN, THAT WAS MY TUNA SASHIMI.) (Oh, and I also completely borked up something previously tried-and-true: Smitten Kitchen's most excellent chana masala. I overdid the cayenne and had the bright idea... Read more →


This is just a little something I recently learned that I'd like to pass along, both on the off-chance that someone might find it useful but also because OMFHeavenlyG. Children! Can get Athlete's Foot...on their scalps. A fungal infection called tinea capitis. A type of ringworm that is not really a worm, but more like Jock Itch of the Head. You will know your child has contracted Jock Itch of the Head because of ALL THE BALD SPOTS. BALD SPOTS FROM WHERE THEIR HAIR DONE FALLS OUT IN GIANT FLAKEY CHUNKS. (Go on. Soak it in. Let the image wash over you. Mmmm. Yes. My pain is now yours, young padawan.) In summary, children are vile petri dishes of God-knows-what and you should probably just wrap them up in yellow caution tape at all times and spray them with Lysol from afar. Also, just smear a little Lotrimin on their scalp a couple times a day and switch to Nizoral for awhile. Should clear it right up. Supposedly. Apparently. I DON'T KNOW I JUST HEARD THAT FROM A GUY. Read more →