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No, but really, what’s for lunch?

standard January 31, 2012 2 responses

I know we’ve all read the book, or at least heard the maxim, about how no one really cares about what you had for lunch.

I mean, duh, in general that would be a terribly boring thing to write about. Unless you were a food blogger in which case it would be totally appropriate and would probably make me hungry.

But right now, right here, I want to know what you’re having for lunch. Especially if you hang out at home all day, working, not working, whatever. If you’re home between the hours of 11am and 1pm, I want to know what you’re feeding yourself.

See, I have a problem. I’ll find something awesome for lunch and make it, once, twice, three, fifteen times. I’ll stock up, pack the fridge or freezer full of my new favorite meal, and then, overnight, I’ll become overwhelmingly bored with my lunch options.

And that? Is when I start snacking instead of eating.

It is amazing how much crap I can ingest when I’m not sure what I’m craving.

So, since this whole having-lunch-at-home-pretty-much-every-day-instead-of-going-out thing is relatively new and since I’m almost over eating avocado and grilled cheese sandwiches, I’m turning to you for inspiration.

Do you make a big batch of soup every weekend? (That’s what Kelly of TheCentsibleLife.com does.)

Do you always cook enough dinner for lunch left-overs? (That’s what Tonya of www.tonyastaab.com does.)

Do you find ways to jazz up a salad? (That’s what Katja of www.skimbacofood.com does.)

Or do you just forage in the fridge for hummus or an errant yogurt and carrot sticks? (That’s what Julie of Just-precious.com does.)

Help me people! Don’t make me go back to the frozen burritos that have been playing hide and seek with the frozen peas!

School Rules – What would you chose?

standard December 2, 2011 7 responses

It’s no secret that I’m struggling this week. There are so many balls in the air that I don’t know which to catch first and frankly, I’m sorely tempted to let them all crash to the floor while I go off to Hawaii for a quick jaunt in the surf. Instead though, I’ll sit here, sipping a Gingerbread Latte, dunking my donut and I’ll rally. It’s what I do best.

Since, beyond arranging for childcare and entertainment for the kids, I can’t actively do anything about the fact that my husband is having surgery next week, I’m noodling the school issue.

Let me ask you a question. Below I’m posting two sets of school rules. You tell me which one makes you want to go learn. Maybe it’ll help everyone understand why I’m struggling so much with what to do with the kids next year.

School 1, where C has been for two years now. As posted in each classroom. 

School 2. One of the school options for Little L’s Kindergarten.

1. Treat others and their property with kindness and respect
2. Take care of school property and treat campus with respect
3. Use playground and school equipment the way it was intended to be used
4. Do not use abusive language, gestures or physical aggression
5. Do not throw sand, stones, dirt, tanbark, pebbles or rocks
6. No personal toys, sports equipment, cards or electronic devices are allowed at school
7. Bicycles, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades must be stored off school grounds or in the bike storage area. No riding in the hallways.
8. No gum allowed on campus
9. Do NOT leave campus unless signed out by a parent/guardian in the office
10. No student, or unauthorized adult shall be in the! classrooms, library or multi-purpose room without supervision or !permission.
11. Report problems at school to an adult. Students who witness problems and fail to report them are just as responsible as those who caused the problem.


The end result is going to be the same: respectful kids in a safe environment. It’s just that the first set of rules are… I dunno… more friendly? Easier to want to follow?

If you’re anything like me after the third NO in the second set of rules your eyes glazed over and you started skimming.

If you’re like most people you felt inspired by the first set of rules. They’re rules that apply all life long, which is the premise of the school. They teach the kids lessons that will be valuable their entire lives.

It’s a tough conundrum. Environment #1 is a private school meaning the kids don’t grow their neighborhood community through school. Environment #2 is a public school, so we’d grow our local community, but lose on the school environment we love so much.

What would you do in our case? Which would you pick? (For the sake of argument, assume both schools rank similarly as far as academics go, the distinction lies in the realm of emotional education.)

Tips and tricks to get kids to read?

standard July 20, 2010 70 responses

C is at that awesome age when she’s just on the verge of figuring out how to read. She can sound out some words and recognize others and she’s starting to see letters everywhere and is itching to finally know what they say.

It’s so exciting for me, as an avid reader, to watch this happen. It’s almost like watching her get ready to take her first steps, but even better, because I know the world that is about to open up to her and I can’t wait to welcome her into it. (Learning to walk is pretty cool, but it caused a ton more work for me, this is just causing me joy.)

She may be excited at the prospect of learning to read, but she is after all my daughter, so she’s not exactly champing at the bit to practice her reading. That I have to sneak in.

We get all cozy on the couch together and I pull out a favorite book or two. I start reading, letting her fill in the blanks from memory as we always do, and then, completely nonchalant, I pause in an unexpected place.

“What’s that word start with?” I prompt, then wait while she starts to sound off the word.

Before she even realizes it she’s read the word and I’m off again with the story.

It’s another giveaway! 

At the beginning of last week we discussed where we like to read. Then we gave some thought to who we like to read with. Now let’s chat for a minute about those who don’t particularly like to read and how we can help them.

VTech and I would like to give away another V.Reader and book cartridge to one of you lucky readers. (Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s giveaway.) All you have to do is leave a comment sharing your best tips and tricks for getting your kids to read (this summer or any time!).

I’ll be picking a winner on Friday, July 23rd. On that day I’ll also be picking my favorite 5 comments and submitting them for consideration for “The Ultimate Tip List for Encouraging Our Kids to Read!” VTech will select 20 tips from those submitted by all the campaign bloggers to include in the list. The writer of one of the tips selected will win a Grand Prize – one V.Reader and three animated storybook cartridges.

So get creating and get commenting! What do you do to get your kids to read?

The winner of last week’s giveaway is… Number 43! Congratulations Chisum’s Crew!

Two cousins happily VReading.

(Full disclaimer. I am being compensated and have received a V.Reader for this campaign. Nevertheless, all thoughts and opinions contained in this post and all other VTech V.Reader posts are and will be my own.)

Updated to add:
Congratulations to Scarlette10 (#24) for winning the V.Reader! Thank you to everyone else who entered! Stay tuned to see whose Tips&Tricks get submitted for the grand prize!

Wishes for souls to grow on

standard May 22, 2009 6 responses

Wake up, get through the day, go to sleep. Rinse and repeat every morning.

Our bodies crave that routine. We don’t like change, not really. We like to eat at the same time, go to sleep at the same time, get up at the same time. We even tend to eat the same things, falling into a food rut just as easily as we fall into a routine rut.

Our souls are a whole other animal. Our souls crave adventure and change. If we don’t change things up a bit every so often we start to shrivel up inside. It’s a slow shrivel, one you wouldn’t notice from day to day, until one morning you wake up and realize you have no desires, no goals, no aspirations, no dreams.

Do you still dream? Not the pink elephant kind that happen in the dark of the night or when you’ve had too much to drink, the kind that happen during the day. The “I wish I could…” dreams.

Remember saying as a kid “When I grow up I…”? Have you done that stuff? Do you still want to? What replaced those dreams?

I just finished Debbie Macomber’s Twenty Wishes, which I really just picked up as a quick and easy diversion. I never expected it to give me so much food for thought. Her main characters all vow to create a list of twenty wishes they hope to see fulfilled in their lifetimes. Not goals, wishes. Some whimsical, some serious, some attainable, some more of a stretch. Enough to kick their widowed souls back into life.

As I read I wondered about my own wishes, my own desires. I haven’t let myself daydream like that in far too long. I finished the book and I realized that I needed a list of my own, if only to keep my soul young and free.

I haven’t come up with twenty wishes yet, but I love thinking about it. It’s food for thought on the highway, it’s distraction during the chores, and yes, it’s an inspiration for the future. It’s too easy to get caught in a routine rut and I want to remember that there’s a whole world waiting for me beyond the day to day basics of my life.

I bring you my wish list, as it stands so far:
1) Take my children home to Paris and watch them discover my childhood world.
2) Walk into a bookstore and see my book on the “Staff Favorite” table.
3) Take my husband to Amsterdam and gloat “I told you so” when he tells me he’d like to live there, forever.
4) Be proud of my body and happy with the way it looks. Not a number, not a size, just satisfied that it’s in the best shape it should be in, for me.
5) …

How about you? What are you wishing for?