Stone Soup

This holiday season, Babyman's teachers are all about cooking.  A single recipe takes a week to produce: first, the students discuss and vote on ingredients (this spirited debate I would looooove to see; I can just imagine Babyman offering up "chocolate," repeatedly and exclusively).  Then they go shopping, prep and, finally, cook. Our preschool offers a project-based curriculum where the subject matter is derived from the students' collective interest in a certain topic, e.g. Transportation, Weather/Temperature, Bears, and so on.  If that sentence sounded sort of ridiculous, please be ... [READ MORE]

On Giving Thanks and Running in Heels

I cannot find the interview to quote directly, but not long ago I was lusting after a pair of never-to-be-mine Jimmy Choo sandals and reading an article about the glamorous founder of Jimmy Choo, Tamara Mellon.  She was describing her own life, something to the tune of, she might have a personal training session followed by a parent-teacher conference for her daughter in the morning, and then she runs this global brand all day, and then she has some fabulous fashion party to go to in the she needs to keep three pairs of shoes in the car to be prepared for anything. This of ... [READ MORE]

Stop and Smell the Pepperoni

In one of the previous posts I described a recent battle over hand-washing before dinner.  Turns out, hand-washing has become something of a trigger point in our routine.  Using my keen observational skills, however, I am slowly but surely getting better at recognizing the signs that may presage a hand-washing meltdown, and I have developed a handy trick for skirting the issue (which, I have no doubt, will cease to work the very minute I hit "Publish" -- because that's how toddlers roll). You see, a good chef always washes his hands -- before he can put on a "cooking glove" (pot-holder) or ... [READ MORE]

Animal Crackers in my Alphabet Soup

My mother, Babyman's Nana, loves to throw theme parties.  Whether she is having her next-door neighbor over to celebrate their dogs' birthdays (last year's theme: Go Dog, Go!, inspired by one of Babyman's favorite books) or staging a holiday-themed Jeopardy match for me and my sister on Christmas morning, there's always an excuse to celebrate. When I was growing up, a trusty standby for these types of events was shaped food.  What is shaped food, you may wonder?  Well, it's heart-shaped meatloaf on Valentine's Day, or bunny-rabbit shaped pasta over Easter weekend, and so on and so ... [READ MORE]

The “Capital – T” Twos

There are certain inevitable questions in one's life.  When you have been dating someone a long time, everyone you know will ask "Do you think you're going to get married?"  Once you marry said individual, everyone (and particularly your parents) starts asking "When do you think you'll try to start having kids?"  And once you have said kids, and said kids pass the 24-month mark, everyone (including strangers in the elevator) will ask "How are the Terrible Twos going so far?"  Um, awesome, thanks.  Hence the term Terrible Twos. Who came up with this term?  I, for one, don't like it.  Babyman ... [READ MORE]

He’s Got Your Number

The other morning I was sitting in the rocking chair in Babyman's room, eating a bowl of cereal while he played with blocks.  Eventually (as is the ritual), he clambered up into my lap and said "C'I have some twiggies, Mommy, please?"  (He calls it twigs because, well, that's what it's called -- Trader Joe's Twigs, Flakes, and Clusters.  Which is appetizing, no?  But anyway.)  So I gave him a spoonful, not noticing that there was the tiniest little chunk of strawberry embedded between the flakes.  Moments later, Babyman made that face that triggers the old "palm under the mouth" reflex from ... [READ MORE]

You Saucy Thing!

Pesto was a recent feature in the Food and Wine section in the good old San Francisco Chronicle, which caught my eye because I've been sort of obsessed with sauces of late.  Babyman has always liked pesto; I read somewhere that children really enjoy garlic flavor, so I guess that makes sense.  And because basil is sold in such enormous bunches in the summertime, I usually find that I have too much to consume in one sitting, and pesto is a nice way of making use of it since it can be frozen and used later on. Anyone who has spent time trying to sneak vegetables into children will tell you ... [READ MORE]