Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Pantry Overhaul

Inspired by a recent video from YouTube lifestyle micro-influencer Sarah Therese, I decided to improve my pantry storage situation in my very small kitchen. This took two trips to The Container Store - the second was to return one item and buy a few more of another.
Step 1: Buy containers.
Step 2: Move everything out of the kitchen cabinets and onto my table, for sorting.
Step 3: Put spices into new containers, when practical, labeling as you go. Label the bottoms with the best-by month / year.
If it doesn't make sense to put it in a new container, don't, e,g. large, very specific steak rubs, or rarely used spices (like mace), or when the manufacturer's container is actually perfect.

When I had more than one container's worth, I labelled to be sure that I wouldn't rush out to buy more when I have a second container of it waiting in the wings.
Step 4: Line up everything waiting to go back into my cabinets.

Step 5: Put the stuff back into the cabinets.

In Kindergarten in Less Than Two Weeks: Serious Kiddo at 5.75 Years Old

A. His Schedule – We cut back on all of our kiddos screen time, but if he wakes up before us, Serious Kiddo is allowed to watch children’s shows until breakfast. He therefore always wakes up before us.

B. His Size – He looks so big and old to me these days, as compared to his younger siblings. Although I think he’s about average for his age.

C. His Personality – He’s sweet with his younger sister. But when asked what he hated, the first thing he thought of was playing with his younger brother, because his younger brother “always messes up what I am doing.”

D. His Favorite Things
  • Colors: Still gold.
  • Shows: He’s been watching an Indian cartoon called ViR the Robot Boy. Recently, at his request, we bought him the new Pikachu movie, which he’d been campaigning for us to buy for a solid week, maybe more.
  • Toys: He likes toys that transform, such as Bakugan, and he still likes Pokemon.
  • Time of Day: Probably still the early morning.
  • Bedding: He doesn’t have a special pillow. He sometimes drags his twin-size stars blanket out to the living room couch (see photo above).
  • Foods: Still as before – he likes sweets, especially chocolate. Some days he says he’s a vegetarian, while on others he’ll eat chicken. I remember not liking meat as a child too. He likes potato chips a lot.
  • Activities: He still likes swimming.
  • Animals: Still as before – dogs and sharks (Bear seems to be the one most interested in our cat).
  • Heroes: He still loves superheroes like Batman and Spiderman, though he still doesn’t have a favorite. He also still likes Thanos, a bad guy.

E. Things He Does Not Like  Not winning. No one likes losing, but Serious Kiddo seems to take it especially hard.

F. What He’s Thinking About – He told me the other day that he’s “like a robot.” I don’t know if that’s the result of him watching ViR, but it did give me pause given that I once said the same thing about myself when I was younger.

G. Surprises – Sometimes his personality seems very similar to my own mom’s personality. Like two peas in a pod. One unfortunate surprise happened recently when we were on vacation at the beach – both boys wanted to buy new toys, a request which we denied. Bear got over it, but Serious Kiddo did not get over it – thoughts of toy purchases consumed him for the entire trip. We had plenty of new toys at home due to Bear’s recent birthday, and we did buy him some shoes and clothes on our trip, so I was doubly surprised by Serious Kiddo’s behavior. I know that in our current neighborhood, we’re one of the families that has the least in the way of money, but I think I need to expose him more to people who have less than he does, both to teach empathy and gratitude. Plus, his behavior spurred me to reduce his screen time (less toy reviews, less ads, more person-to-person interaction within our family instead of starring at a screen silently).

H. Best & Worst Things 
  • The best things: Still he he’s nice to his younger sister. I hope they’ll always remain close.
  • The worst things: When he throws what my partner calls “a moody” and what I’d call him having a persistent bad mood where various things trigger crying.

I. Family and Friends – I feel lucky to live in a neighborhood with so many children. I really love our neighborhood.

J. Parenting or What I’m Doing Differently – Although it’s harder when I’m sick or he’s sick (like now), I have found that with screen time comes more time for us to do simple things together. For example, a couple of nights ago I paid him chore money to help me clean up the play room. We also did a puzzle together for the first time in months. And once we’re no longer sick, I’d like us to start cooking together more frequently.

Entry Closet Mini Refresh

The problems:
  • Broom and mop falling over.
  • Shoes, overflowing from the closet.
The solution:
The implementation:
Before: broom and mop

Before: shoes

Mid-way: partially cleared out


After: ball caps

After: the broom and mop, upright

Monday, August 12, 2019

Rosiebebe is 15 Months Old

At Bear's Birthday Party
A. Her Schedule – She wakes up at about 6:30 a.m., even on the weekends, but she’s willing to hang out in her room until about 7 a.m., when she starts jiggling her door handle.

B. Her Size – I think she has relatively long legs.
  • Weight: 22 lbs. (40th percentile)
  • Height: 31.25 inches (75th percentile)

C. Her Personality – She’s generally really sweet and friendly. She likes hugs and being held. She seems like she’s going to be talkative once she figures out how words work (right now she’s big on grunting and other non-verbal noises to let you know what she wants). She seems like she’s going to be a pretty tenacious individual, as she is quite persistent about going after what she’s decided she wants.

D. Her Favorite Things
  • Colors: Light pink, perhaps, and maybe blue too.
  • Shows: Yo Gabba Gabba.
  • Toys, Play, and Art: She doesn’t do much art, which is one down side of having her in a home-based daycare instead of at a center. She likes her baby dolls. She also wants to be allowed to play with the boys, even if they would rather keep to themselves.
  • Time of Day: Hard to say – any time there are people around – she seems like a people person!
  • Bedding: She has a pink fuzzy blanket and loves sleeping in her toddler bed.
  • Foods: Fruit. This baby (ahem, toddler) loves fruit. She also likes the marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal. And fruit squeezies (baby food pouches).
  • Activities: We take a Baby & Me swim class together that she seems to like.
  • Animals: She loves feeding our dog from her high chair, even though we’ve tried to discourage this.
  • Heroes: None that I’m aware of.

E. Things She Does Not Like – Being kept up late. She likes to go to sleep at about 7 p.m. Also, being kept in her highchair when she's finished eating, even if the rest of us are still eating - she will let us know she's done by handing us all of her leftover food.

F. What She’s Thinking About – I think she’s a pretty happy child, though I’m not sure what she spends most of her time thinking about.

G. Surprises – How persistent she is at taking a barrette out of her hair. You’d think that having hair clipped out of her face would be preferable to “Struggling Musician” hair in her face, but apparently not.

H. Best & Worst Things –
  • The best things: How everything she does seems like the cutest thing that has ever been done to me. Also, that Bear is now taking an interest in her (Serious Kiddo has always been sweet with her).
  • The worst things: She can get quite loud when she’s unhappy (e.g. when I don’t let her have my cell phone), and this greatly upsets my significant other.

I. Family and Friends – Thankfully, she has a couple of similarly aged little cousins in New England, and one future BFF locally who is about the same age.

J. Parenting or What I’m Doing Differently – These moments when she’s so young are so fleeting and precious – they will be gone before I’m ready, I’m sure. I barely remember Serious Kiddo at this age. I hope that I remain close to my children as they grow up and move out and on to (hopefully) great things.
Size 4 Crocs, the Only Shoes That'll Stay On