I snapped the picture and Senpai said, "This is a blog post waiting to happen."
From Kindergarten through 8th grade, I went to a private school that did not have a cafeteria. Students were responsible for bringing their own lunches. If they forgot, well, they weren't eating that day. I was a picky eater who was always changing her appetite, so, fairly early on, my mom stopped making my lunches for me. Left to my own devices in the 5 minutes before the bus came to pick me up, I scrounged for anything that already looked like food, such as tomatoes left on the windowsill to ripen. The kitchen was always stocked with ham and rye bread, but on days when the ham went bad and nothing else looked good, I popped a bag of popcorn. Seriously. The real trick was letting the popcorn cool down before transferring it to a Ziploc bag or else the kernels melted the plastic. As I ate a tomato like an apple at school one day, my classmates asked me if I was a vegetarian.
I swore that when I had kids, I would make their lunches.
I would do it not only for their nutritional benefit, but also as an expression of my love for them.
Now that Rosemary has started preschool, she needs a packed lunch twice a week.
I like the idea of Japanese bento as a waste-free alternative to sandwich baggies and individually packaged snack foods. I've seen enough anime and followed Bentobloggy long enough to get some fun ideas of what to pack. It was from Bentobloggy, actually, that I discovered the Planetbox.
This is the Planetbox Shuttle and it is awesome. It's the perfect size for a preschooler. Rosemary can use it all by herself. She'll never need help from her teacher to open a string cheese or a sandwich baggy. I love filling it up.
Click on any picture to get a description of the lunch contents.
The pics look dark because I make lunch the night before.
Can you tell I have fun with this?
Thank you for gifting us the Planetbox, Mom.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I had mentioned before how I want the girls to take ballet lessons. They have every right to say they don't like it, but at least they will have the opportunity to experience dance while they are young and flexible. I didn't take my first dance classes until I was 27, and I really wish I hadn't waited so long. Dance gives you a confidence... in what your body can do, what limits you can stretch. A movement or task that seemed so hard last month suddenly comes together after all of the practice you put into it: perseverance. I could have used those traits when I was a child.
I hesitated about enrolling Rosemary in ballet due to her hypermobility (the reason she wears orthotics on her feet). Our pediatrician thought dance was a great idea for strengthening her leg muscles and improving her condition. I still had doubts about the negative repercussions of dance, so I waited to ask the neurologist what her thoughts were, and surprise! the neurologist liked the idea, too. Rosemary loved seeing the other girls dance at an open house for the studio I had chosen, so all of the checkmarks were in place. We signed her up for the 6 week summer session.
At this age, the dance class is a half hour of tap followed by a half hour of ballet. We didn't have tap shoes for Rosemary's first class, and while the teacher didn't care (the dance studio had even recommended not jumping into buying shoes in the event that Rosemary wouldn't like it), it definitely held Rosemary back to not have her feet make the same noise as the other girls. She kept slamming her slippered foot into the ground, trying to get the same effect, and she was seriously confused as to why her footfalls were silent. I took her shoe shopping the next day.
First tap class... shoeless.
Trying out her new tap shoes in the practice space Daddy made for her.
Giving the mirror some sass.
Next tap class... rocking it!
The ballet part is taught by another teacher. She is a highly competent dancer who could use a hand wrangling five 3 and 4 year olds. I was thrilled when the tap teacher got an aide later in the season.
Ballet's half hour is mostly spent stretching.
Learning first position.
Once again, stretching.
The summer session is over now; tonight was the last class. We had some bumps along the way, but Rosemary still loves to go to dance class, and I love watching her abilities blossom. I can't wait to sign her up for the fall session.
Monday, August 12, 2013
She started taking steps at the beginning of July. Then she interchanged walking and crawling. Now she zips everywhere on her two little legs.
Ms. Sue saw her at Storytime and said she couldn't believe her eyes. Poppy is walking!
I thought to myself that I didn't remember Rosemary looking like this when she learned how to walk. And then it occurred to me that Rosemary was a full two months older. Poppy started walking at 14 months, the age when Rosemary first got her orthotics. Poppy still has some of her babyish charm, where, at 16 months, Rosemary was starting to look more like a toddler.
Rosemary is intent on learning how to tie her shoes. She leans over the laces and proclaims, "I do it!" Until she has trouble, and, instead of accepting my help, says, "No, Mommy, YOU do it."
She can lace the straps on her orthotics through the buckles. Mommy still needs to tighten them down.
When I was a kid, I was given a shoebox prop that had holes poked through the top and shoestrings laced through just like a sneaker. I made one for Rosemary. She could spend a whole hour knotting this thing up.
She'll bring it to me and say, "Look, Mommy! I made a present for you!" It was cute the first couple of times. The laces will be all knotted up over and under themselves. I'm not sure how to redirect her back to trying to tie an actual bow. I'll ask where her granny knot is, where her bunny ears are, and, "will this knot help you keep your shoes on?" She just takes it away to play with it some more. I can't blame her. I spent a good deal of my childhood knotting string all across my room, until it looked like a drunk spider had tried to spin a web. I meticulously knotted it all up, and then spent equal time undoing it all.
There's no wonder where Rosemary gets her focus from.
Just look at that smile.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Today is my three year blogiversary! (I know it's been three years because Rosemary is three years old.) :-)
My first post consisted of me wondering how I looked when I ran an errand at Target. Rosemary was almost four months old then and I was lucky to have a moment to myself, even if I looked like I had been run over by a semi.
Fast forward to today, and everything is so different. Our family increased by one and is now complete; no more pregnancy clothes for this mama! Poppy is a year old, and every day she walks farther and farther away from being a baby. Rosemary is an independent little lady, about to start preschool this fall.
My, how things change.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Monday, July 8, 2013
"Let's play the game, Po-ppy!" Rosemary chants in her high-pitch staccato, "Let's play the game!"
After the children smell of soap and toothpaste, after hair is brushed and pajamas are donned, Rosemary implores this of her sister every night without fail. We're not sure what "the game" is exactly, but Senpai and I watch them intently, trying to figure it out.
Daddy once joked that the game wasn't over until someone hurt her head hard enough to be upset by it.
Poppy invariably plays with the potty.
Senpai and I are not only observers, but participants, too.
Daddy might try to read a book...
but the story sinks in better when Poppy's not around.
And we toss kids around like pillows.
They LOVE it.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Here it is... our final week of 3 days at daycare. Next week, R's time at daycare will be cut to just one day, because it's better for Mommy and Daddy's wallets.
She's been doing so well there. Being around other kids and listening to an adult other than Mommy and Daddy has paved the way towards her going to preschool. She still plays on her own instead of with the other kids, and she doesn't speak up in group discussions, but I credit that to her introversion. I recently read the book, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain, and it has opened my eyes to how introversion is genetic. We're just wired differently, introverts and extroverts. And you can get an introvert to eventually adapt to the extroverted world, but at the end of the day, they just want some time to themselves. I'm okay with that. I'm an introvert, too, after all; who better to understand her than her bookish mother? So if the girl wants to play by herself at daycare, let her play by herself. She has a good friend at Storytime, and she plays with her sister here at home. She'll be alright.
Poppy will certainly enjoy more time with her sister. She gets bored when it's just her and I at home. She constantly clings to my leg, waiting for me to pick her up again. But when Rosemary is home, the two of them get into such mischief. They had a blast on Monday.
I had bought a Lysol automatic soap dispenser to help Rosemary be more independent in the bathroom. She knows how to move her stool back and forth between the big potty and the sink, and she can climb up on the big potty all by herself now. The only thing she still needed my help with was working the pump on the soap bottle. I thought the automatic dispenser would work so well. And it did... a little TOO well.
The trouble started in the morning when Rosemary's toothpaste looked especially foamy in her mouth. Yup, the girl had put soap on her toothbrush. Then R washed her hands after lunch. I heard the water going for awhile. How long does it take rinse peanut butter off your hands? I walked in there and saw that the entire bottle of soap had been emptied. Sink, stool, floor... there was soap everywhere. Miraculously, somehow Rosemary avoided getting soap on herself. I cleaned all of that up, and then I heard Poppy start to grunt like she was pooping. I ripped the diaper off of her and put her on the little potty, but there was already some poop in the diaper which got on my hands. Because Rosemary had finished off the soap bottle, I had to run to the kitchen to get soap for my hands. When I returned to the bathroom, Poppy had climbed off the potty, but was still peeing and pooping. I got her cleaned up and then set her in the living room to play while I cleaned up the bathroom. There was no toilet paper to pick up the poop off the floor because Rosemary had used it all, so I ran to the basement to grab another roll. When I came back up, Poppy had knocked over my large sports mug full of water that Rosemary had removed from the kitchen table and set on the couch.
Are you laughing yet?
There will certainly be more stories like this since Rosemary will be home more often. I bought the girls wet shoes so I can take them to the splash pad. I am following homeschool and playtime blogs, trying to get ideas to keep them entertained and out of mischief. One thing's for sure: it looks like I need to buy shaving cream. LOTS of shaving cream. (Why do all of the cool crafts involve shaving cream?)
Monday, June 17, 2013
It was a sweltering hot day. I asked Rosemary if she wanted to go swimming and she responded with enthusiasm. So after Poppy woke up from her nap, I told them, "Let's go get a pool!"
I loaded the kids in the car and we drove a short way to a local hardware store that had the molded foam pools displayed in the window; I was done with the cheap blow-up pools that deflated after one use. I told the cashier we were interested in buying a pool and asked if the larger size would fold to fit in my small car. She didn't personally know, but the sales assistant she called to the front was very clear: No, it would break. "Okay, we'll take the small one!"
Rosemary, Poppy, and I waited outside for the sales assistant to bring our pool to the car. I buckled the kids into their carseats and then required some assistance taking the headrests off the rear seat. The pool took up the entire trunk and went over the back seat as well, but it fit. I closed the trunk and drove home with no rear visibility whatsoever.
When we got home, I turned the hose on to fill the pool while I got the girls into their swimsuits. I had bought Rosemary's suit when it was on sale last season and it's still a bit too big for her, so she has at least one perpetually dropped shoulder strap. Poppy, of course, gets a hand-me-down.
I loaded them up with sunscreen, took them outside, and enjoyed seeing Rosemary's face light up when she jumped in the pool. Poppy took one look at it and her eyes said, "Oh, h*** no."
I tried to lead her to it, "C'mon, baby, it's alright. Look, Rosemary is having fun!"
Instead of playing in the pool, Poppy decided she wanted to climb on everything.
Especially up here.
Okay, Poppy, you're done!!
We tried again the next day.
I started off slowly, first standing myself in the pool while holding Poppy, and then lowering her down into the water.
She liked it!
I didn't bother putting a suit on her because I wasn't sure if she'd even go in the water. When it was apparent that she would be playing in the pool, I slapped the swim diaper on her and slathered on the sunscreen.
How do you cool off in the summer heat?