Still have Easter candy around a week later? After “candy holidays” like Easter and Halloween, I can’t wait to get rid of the stuff for a few reasons: the begging and the pleading, the cavities, the appetite ruining, and most of all my own midnight snacking.
Luckily Easter, at least for us, presents fewer issues than Halloween. Its nice to have some control over what goes into the basket and how much of it. I’m no grinch-bunny though and after having a gang of three year olds around our place for an egg and bunny hunt in the yard, there was plenty of candy left over. And my son knew it.
The following few mornings were the stuff of nightmares. He wanted chocolate bunnies for breakfast. He refused all other options. No amount of explanation, negotiation or consolation seemed to make the slightest difference. Despite the screaming, I switched my focus to getting some waffles made, cutting fruit and then… the bunnies. I heated a small sauce pan, added a little coconut oil, two hollow chocolate bunnies, some milk, the little guy helped me stir… and Voila! We had fondue… for breakfast, how decadent and yet efficient.
Now this magical compromise wasn’t an immediate success. Although he helped me prepare the fondue chocolate, once it was served I got a round of, “You killed my rabbits! They’re dead!” and “I want rabbits, not waffles!” We needed some calm down time: a snuggle and reading of Green Eggs And Ham. Then he was ready to try it. Did he like it? Of course he did. In fact, he said he would eat it with a goat or on a boat!
For fondue sauce – any leftover Easter chocolate will do. I used a dollop of coconut oil to make it saucier. Butter would work as well. Just melt the oil or butter in the pan, add the chocolate on low heat and stir continuously. As the chocolate begins to melt, add some milk. We used almond milk, but cow’s or rice or soy or hemp would work as well. Berries, grapes and apple slices are great in fondue. Use your imagination and just shove a toothpick in it. I had some gummy bears with vitamin C in them (bulk section at Whole Foods) and put them on the plate as well. They were yummy dipped in chocolate!
I’m not naive. I knew full well that my life was going to change completely when I had my son. I was totally prepared for sleepless nights, painful recovery, and drastic change in my social life; but I have to be honest, I wasn’t prepared for the loss of some very close friendships. Sadly, it turns out that I have some childless friends that have adopted a very “US versus THEM” mentality.
I guess I was naive when I assumed that years of friendship would get us over that hurdle. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I’ve noticed a serious gap in some of my relationships and to say the least, I’m a little heart broken. After all, I did help some of these pals get through some pretty difficult times. Is it too much to expect that after years of friendship, they would be there to see me though the birth of my first child (or at least check up on me with a quick phone call)?
I do have to admit that I am partly to blame. My whole life (and every FB posting) has become all about my son. In their defense, they probably can’t relate to me anymore.
Luckily, I have also noticed that my friendships with those that do have children have grown even stronger. Honestly, I’m not sure I would have made it through the first few months of parenthood without them. I had no idea what havoc my hormones would reek on my sanity. Without the constant reassurance from my friends that what I was feeling was normal, I would have probably lost it. Really, who’s to say that I didn’t? Kidding. Totally kidding.
I guess it takes major life changes to help you weed out the petty, superficial things and relationships that really don’t work for you anymore. While it is undoubtedly painful to come to the realization that some of these friendships have become petty and superficial, I can only look to the future to help heal those wounds.
In the end, it’s been an interesting transition. I’m finding myself forging new friendships for myself and my son. Thanks to “Mommy and Me” classes, I’ve managed to meet a few moms that have babies around the same age as my boy. The relationships are still pretty new and we are all on our best “mommy” behavior. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get lucky and find a few cocktail swilling, naughty joke telling mammas to pass the time with and help make up for my losses. After all, those other friendships didn’t happen overnight either. I guess only time will tell. I’ll keep you posted…
I admit it. I did a horrible job of organizing my daughters’ baby books. I regret it already, but I was too busy enjoying the little ones and too exhausted when they were asleep. I do plan to get it together, I swear!
I took millions of photos and wrote down some sentimentalities, and tons of others are still fresh in my mind. It’s never too late I suppose. Although…. a little help would be nice. Now that my eldest is reading and writing, I thought it would be fun to enlist her help!
So, I did some research and I found the perfect basis for our project… This is Your Book by Ryan Maconochie is not your average baby book. After unsuccessfully searching for a book worthy of chronicling his daughter’s first year, he decided to create his own, using his graphic design skills and sharp style. The unique and colorful result is a keeper, as it should be!
Not only is the design modern and original, but the categories and details to be filled in are descriptive and ill be fascinating for a lifetime and then some! Aside from pages on which to circle your child’s birthstone, eye and hair color, and heritage(s), Maconochie has included topics such as the cost of a Starbucks coffee, movie ticket, and a gallon of gas, to name just a few. Pop-culture gets even more shout-outs with pages for lists of the current news anchors, celebrities, parents’ favorite movies, and more.
In addition to areas to list very specific milestones, there are also pages for logging the child’s first year in travel and a separate page for pasting a photo of each month leading up to their first birthday.
Published by Abrams imprint stewart tabori & chang, This Is Your Book has revolutionized the baby book as we knew it. Modestly priced, at $16.95 for a for 112 8 x 8½ pages, this might just be the perfect hipster (or anyone) baby shower gift! It’s also been a really fun bonding experience, filling it out retroactively alongside my six year old. I’d highly recommend it who anyone who slacked that first year and is looking to make up for lost time!
Enter to Win!
tabori stewart & chang is giving two very lucky Takes a Village Readers each their own copy of the This Is Your Book!
To enter simply comment below with a detail you’d like to include in a child’s first book of memories!
The term “living vicariously through your kids” probably conjures up images of dads in fist fights at peewee football league games. Or perhaps, you envision mothers dressing and making up their toddler girls to look like grown women and parading them onstage. Presumably these parents, attempting to live out the unfulfilled dreams of their youth, are now subjecting their kids to whatever they missed out on, with potentially, appalling results…..But is there another side to the coin? What if living vicariously through your kids can actually be a healthy way to engage BOTH of you? And used properly, a tool to increase general health, respect, love and comraderie between parents and kids.. Well I’m here to say it can be so.
The seed for this idea was planted, as I pondered a way to get my husband back in the water. As a youth my husband was a phenomenal surfer. He was sponsored, competed, and won all over the California coast. However, life sometimes gets in the way of dreams, and talent. When he started his career in the studios at 18, he put down his surfboard and never looked back. As time went on, he lost the interest/confidence to get back in the water. But I kept hearing from others and sometimes him, repeatedly, how amazing he used to be and I wanted to see for myself…
The “lightbulb” went off when I saw my husband skateboard. He’s a typical Cali boy. He grew up surfing sidewalks as much as the actual water, and he is a highly skilled skater. One day he picked up an old skateboard and went outside with our daughter to show her how to stand on the board. Once he peaked her interest, he picked her up and started rolling, to her delight. I decided right then and there that we were all getting skateboards for Christmas. I myself started skating at 17. I was never great, but I can definitely hold my own at the skate park. I havent seriously skated since college, but why not? Why can’t we all go to the skate park as a family?
The next avenue for living vicariously through my kids came when I was considering lessons or classes my daughter and I could take together that would be fun for both of us and, perhaps less inherently dangerous than skateboarding! As any 2 1/2 year old will, my daughter is beginning to experiment with and understand the power behind, her voice. This revelation can be hilarious and adorable, or as all parents know, it can be downright awful. Personally, I LOVE to sing. As a child I performed at the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap, with various children’s choirs. However, life – and maybe even more so – insecurity, often get in the way of dreams and passion, and I never pursued singing seriously. So, I decided to sign us up for voice lessons.
When I contacted a local, voice coach he mentioned that because my daughter is so young I would need to attend lessons with her. I laughed and said “Of Course I’ll be there, you’re going to be teaching me too!!” He was thrilled! The voice coach explained that its fantastic to be encouraging a serious interest in music at an early age, but also, by including myself, I am encouraging my daughter’s participation, because Mommy is making it cool! He went on to say that when kids are taken to music lessons they’re typically dropped off, picked up, then shuffled off to practice, alone. Left to their own devices the child may stop practicing and pick up, for example, a video game instead. But with their parent(s) participating, the child wants to emulate and engage with their mom or dad. Practice becomes a fun activity that’s interesting for both of you.
I’ll actively pursue activities, like singing, skating, art, karate, with my kids that I wish I’d done more of when I was young, because I hope my own enthusiasm will be infectious. By being directly involved, I hope to be both a peer and a leader. I want to be friends with my kids, but I also want to be a leader whom they respect and listen to. I believe I can lead, inspire and engage them by participating alongside them in these kinds of activities and more.
When they see me practice vocal techniques or fall down on my skateboard, get up, and try again, I am embodying the example I want to set, and living the lessons we all want our kids to learn- Hard work and practice will pay off- Dont give up just because you fall down or, are not an expert the first time you try something..Plus and SO important, its not necessarily the destination, but the journey that is the most valuable in life.
When the time comes to step back and let my kids shine, it’ll be my absolute pleasure. After all, I WANT to be the Mom beaming in the stands, as I proudly exclaim: “Thats MY girl/boy!” But, I also want to show my kids it’s never too late to pursue a passion and have fun in life. Being an adult doesn’t mean being a bore and I’d rather be at the skatepark trying to reclaim my youth than at a Botox appointment.
By involving myself in my kids’ pursuits, I’m showing my support and interest in what they’re doing and ultimately, in them. I’m encouraging them to pursue their own passions, hone their talents and skills, and teaching them not to give up. I hope in this way, I’m able to instill the confidence they’ll need to persevere and thrive in all aspects of their lives.
Perhaps the greatest benefit to all this interaction is that, the time we’ll share together will be priceless. But you never know, maybe I’ll simply encourage them not to give up on their passions as kids so they dont have subject their own children to an embarrassing parent trying to reclaim their lost youth. Only time will tell….