Month: September 2010

We started preschool

 - by Sarah Lipoff

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

This was the first week of preschool – for me and my daughter. She started her educational adventure, and I returned to the wee-tot classroom. I really didn’t know what to expect, but now that the week is over (and we all survived), I’m feeling pretty good about how things went.

My daughter didn’t seem to care that I wasn’t with her all the time, holding her hand and offering help as she ran around the play area and explored the classroom. In fact (gasp), she didn’t look for me at all. She was totally content to do her own thing, go to the other teachers for assistance, and play with the kids without any biting, hitting, screaming, or extreme amounts of her new thing – kissing.

I didn’t have much time to hold back my tears. I had lots of little hands reaching for mine, looking to me for something fun to do, and support as their mommies and daddies went away. While I was doing fun art activities and exploring clay with other kids, I kept my eye out for my daughter. But, she was off having a great time.

So, I did the same.

And, we both had a wonderful time!

Yeah preschool!

I found a gray hair

 - by Sarah Lipoff

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

I’ve had two gray hairs that have been hanging out around my left ear for a year or two now. Every once in a while I see them, acknowledge that they’re there, and then ignore them completely. I figure that I deserve those two gray hairs. It’s been an interesting life so far with some good amounts of stress and odd situations. And, there’s giving birth. That deserves a couple gray hairs, right?

So, the other day when I was checking out my new haircut, I noticed more than my usual two gray hairs. In fact, I noticed quite a few new gray hairs. I started getting that weird queasy feeling in my stomach, but then gasped a few deep breaths and decided not to freak out about it.

Everyone’s got a couple gray hairs, right?

The thing is, I’ve always been dead set against dying my hair. I think it’s due to my over-dying in high school (along with perming and teasing and hair-spraying). I don’t like the idea of doing any sort of chemical stuff to my hair anymore, and sure don’t want to start now to cover several nasty gray hairs. And, once you start, you can’t go back.

Seeing more than my normal two gray hairs made me feel scared for a moment. Those gray hairs started making me feel that time was slipping by too quickly. They reminded me how when I was younger I couldn’t wait to be this age and see what my life would be like. It seemed like that was just yesterday – not 15 years ago.

They made me feel OLD.

But, then I thought about the obstacles I’ve overcome, how I’m happy with my life right now, and that I really, REALLY liked my new haircut! Damn those gray hairs!

So, I’ve decided to just deal with it. Maybe I’ll pluck them out.

Maybe.

Healthful Mondays: Family focaccia

 - by Sarah Lipoff

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

There’s nothing like a piece of yummy warm bread fresh from the oven. The smell of home-baked bread is a fabulous way to entice your family to a meal. It’s also super easy and a great way to use up those leftovers hanging out in the back of your fridge. I make focaccia bread when I’m invited to a friend’s house and always use the same base recipe, and then add different toppings to keep it fun and fresh.

Encouraging picky eaters can be frustrating. Satisfying everyone with one meal can sometimes be impossible. But, you can tackle the challenge by getting everyone in the kitchen to help with a family focaccia. By letting each family member pick their favorite ingredient to add to the focaccia, you might be surprised with the results – and how everyone’s excited to give it a taste!

Ingredients

1 cup warm water (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit)

1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 tablespoon for drizzling

1 tablespoon yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

dash of salt

2 cups flour + up to 3/4 cup additional for kneading the dough

How to make the yummy stuff

Start by pouring 1 cup warm water into a medium-sized bowl along with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkling it with 1 tablespoon yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and a dash of salt. Let the water sit for a couple of minutes until the yeast begins to bubble and activate.

Begin stirring in the flour, a little at a time, until it forms a sticky ball. Dust a work surface with flour and begin kneading the dough until it comes together into a nice dough that is soft to the touch and doesn’t stick to your hands. The kids can help by kneading the dough or measuring and adding additional flour, which encourages their fine-motor skills as well as their math and measuring skills!

Place the dough in a medium-sized bowl with a fresh clean towel placed over the top to rest and double in size, which takes about an hour.

While the dough is resting, everyone can gather their desired ingredients for the family focaccia! Fresh herbs, sliced tomatoes, diced olives, spinach leaves, shredded cheese, leftover hamburger, sliced pepperoni, white beans – even sliced figs make for great focaccia toppings! The ideas are endless!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a large cookie sheet with olive oil and have everyone press the dough (with freshly washed hands, right?!) so it reaches the edges of the pan. Now it’s time to layer on the ingredients! Once each family member has added their ingredient, take turns using fingers to press the ingredients into the dough by pushing down – but not hard enough that the dough tears or breaks through to the bottom.

Drizzle more olive oil over the top and place in a 450 degree oven until toasty brown. Allow the focaccia to cool and then serve alongside dinner, or FOR dinner! Leftovers can be cut into squares and sliced in half to use as sandwich bread.

YUM.

The big stink

 - by Sarah Lipoff

My daughter’s room smells. There’s no way around it. Her room smells like diapers. This smell has been lurking in our house for quite some time now. It’s mainly due to my lack of enthusiasm for taking out her diaper garbage, our not-so-fantastic potty training, and the fact that our daughter goes poopy in her diaper.

Ah, the challenges of dealing with dirty diapers.

We were at our friend’s house the other night and her daughter’s room didn’t smell like poopy diapers, and then I spotted the diaper genie in the corner. I asked my friend about it, and she said, yeah, it cuts down on the smell, but it’s a pain to dump – and also was expensive.

Well, this late in the game, I’m not excited about spending a chunk-o-money on a diaper contraption.

I’ve tried the plug-in-the-wall air fresheners, but then there’s debate as to the health concerns associated with them. Well, they are also expensive, and I often forget them while out shopping (because they aren’t as important as milk, eggs, cheese….)

So, I’m going to try to be more diligent on taking out the diaper pail.

Or, maybe I should get more diligent about potty training.

I think I’ll work on taking out the diaper pail.

I caught the baby with the toilet bowl brush in her mouth

 - by Sarah Lipoff

 

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

I just caught my daughter with the toilet bowl brush in her mouth.

I wish I could think of a way to sugar-coat this situation, or slightly lie about it. But the fact is I caught my daughter with the toilet bowl brush in her mouth.

I guess her love of the bathroom, brought upon from our pretty lame attempt at potty training combined with her new-found love of brushing her teeth, got the best of her. The minute my back was turned, and had left the bathroom door open for just a moment, she slipped in and combined her two favorite things.

Brushing her teeth and sitting on the potty.

I’m not sure how many times washing her mouth out with fresh water and wiping her face with a soapy wash cloth will get the image out of my mind. And, of course, I’m restraining myself from calling the pediatrician because I know he’ll just laugh at me.

Really, he will.

So, I’ll just have to chalk it up to another interesting baby experience that we’ve survived.

I caught my baby with the toilet bowl brush in her mouth. It’s happened at your house, right?!

(I’m a bit traumatized.)