after I lose this baby weight…

scale with words

After I lose this baby weight, I’m hoping to also take off:

  • the pre-baby weight
  • the trying to get pregnant emotional roller coaster weight
  • the I’m just going to get fat when I’m pregnant anyway weight
  • the almost 40 years old weight
  • the wedded bliss weight
  • the honeymoon weight
  • the I finally met the man of my dreams weight
  • the maybe I’ll just be single for the rest of my life weight
  • the margaritas make dating bearable weight
  • the I think I’ll have oreo cheesecake for dinner and oreo ice cream for dessert weight
  • the I don’t really like beer but I drink it because I’m in college weight
  • the freshman fifteen
  • the I’m nervous about going to college weight
  • the two weeks ago I was an athlete but everything changed as soon as I quit weight

Are you one of the supermamas who managed to lose the baby weight? And then some? If so, I don’t want to hear from you. Kidding! How the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks did you DO IT? Please leave a comment.

For more home tome but in smaller nuggets and filled with nougat, follow me on twitter here.

top 5 kid books featuring mushrooms

mushroom kid books 2

Finally! What you have all been waiting for: a guide to children’s books with MUSHROOMS. This is for those of you who decided to have kids in order to further celebrate fun fungi, toadstools, and the like… in illustrated form – and I know there are many of you. (In fact, I am bracing myself for this post to go viral just like that crazy outcropping of Mycena galericulata around our rotting tree stump last spring…)

Your little budding mycologists will love these books in general, but they will take particular joy in the pages featuring mushrooms, especially if you learn to the read the word mushroom in several different high, low, and just-plain-weird voices all conveying excitement and extreme appreciation. Even more so if you tickle your child while saying the word mushroom. Ahh, the power of suggestion. (Stage parent? No, ‘shroom parent.)

Who wouldn’t fall in love with the following pages? In fact, blowing these up 1,000 percent then using them as wallpaper is a perfectly normal reaction…

oh the thinks you can think1. from Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! by Dr. Seuss

LIttle Owl's Night 22. from Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan

The Crown on Your Head3. from The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman

Red Wagon4. from Red Wagon by Renata Liwska

I am a Bunny5. from I am a Bunny, by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry

I know this post has forced you to ask many questions i.e. “Mushrooms? Really?” And: “Is she okay?” And: where can I get these excellent mushroomy books? Powells.com of course! But I have some questions for YOU:

1. Do you know of any more kids books featuring mushrooms? (Typed with the shaky hands of someone obsessed…)

2. What weird predilections are you actively (or passively) passing on to your kids? (Hopefully harmless, though this is always up for debate…)

3. Mushrooms aside, isn’t reading to your kids (and to yourself) THE BEST?! Cheers!

***I heart your comments even more than mushrooms! NOTE THAT DOING SO NOW REQUIRES THAT YOU CLICK ON THE WORD “REPLY” or “REPLIES” THE BEGINNING OF THE POST, UNDER THE TITLE***

To get more information of similar importance, you can follow me on twitter by clicking here.

think carefully about which Halloween decorations you put up

mummy pumpkin and gourdsI am not a psychotherapist but I play one on the interwebs today. Do you like to squish pumpkin goop in your hands? Have you fooled yourself into thinking that the fake cobweb cotton you clumped on your hedges looks real? Hmmm, I see (scribbling notes).

Find out what these and other Falloween inclinations say about you on In the Powder Room today.

Click here to read What Your Fall Decorations Say about You.

In the Powder Room  is a great women’s humor site I recently discovered. If you leave a comment there I will be eternally grateful and I promise I won’t judge you for your decorations.

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter if you would like frequent bits of home tome-ish entertainment…

crafty: diy quick leaf crown for toddlers

leaf crown words pixel

Let the Imperfect Crafting Games begin! This is either the beginning of a whole lotta spontaneous kid-crafting for us, or it’s a one-off. We’ll see. But the other night I decided my little prince (now 21 months) needed a crown. I was inspired by the **abundance** of leaves on our property and also by one of his favorite books, The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman.

The Crown on Your Head

If you’re not familiar with her books, they’re beautifully written and illustrated. Very magical. The only problem is that they are so touching they make me weep. In this one, every kid has a crown representing all that is unique and special about them…”With your crown made of glittering, high-flying things, you’ve got wind in your pocket, your wishes have wings…” Sniff sniff.

Anyway, first, we went out to the yard and gathered some leaves in this cart. I assure you, this was VERY important business requiring serious curatorial skills. “How about THIS one?” our son kept saying.

cart with leaves

Then I tore off a piece of wide painter’s tape, guestimating for the length. (You could measure your child’s head first if you are more meticulous than I.) I laid it out on the kitchen floor with the sticky side up. (We don’t have a little table for him yet.) I taped the ends to the floor so it would stay in place.

leaf crown toddler tape

I was in charge of sticking the leaves on the tape and Ian was in charge of pressing them down so they were flat-flat-flat (he was also apparently in charge of pulling many of them back off and returning them to their rightful place in the cart…but I am blessed with long arms and managed a quick retrieval when he wasn’t looking.)

crown craft painters tape

Then we sealed it up with another layer of tape so it wouldn’t stick to his hair. (For his stuffed animals, I skipped this step so the crowns would stick to them…) Then I snipped off some of the dangling stems and, voila!

leaf crown toddler stuffed animals

In case it’s not clear, here’s what’s going on in this photo:

Teddy, with sarcasm: Thanks for the crown, it goes perfectly with the outfit I’ve been wearing now for OVER A MONTH.

Lamb, with indignation: At least you got real clothes – I’ve been wearing these “ball” pajamas for the same amount of time and I don’t even like sports.

Little Prince: Let me see the picture! Even before you’ve taken it!

The crown stayed on his head for about 3.6 seconds with the help of some strawberry flavored puffs.

leaf craft puffs

This is my kind of craft : quick, simple, and utilizing items that are already in the house (or just outside of it). And no hot glue gun – something that terrifies me, though maybe I’ll get over this. There are probably at least 55,000 different ways to make these crowns. In fact, here are some beautiful versions presented by Rain or Shine Mama.

Have you done any good leaf crafts with your little kiddies? Please leaf (hee hee) a comment.  If you’re on the market for some more easy ones, here is a nice round-up on Bon Bon Break.

Happy Fall!

By the way, feel free to follow me on twitter…all tweets come with a bonus pine cone (until supplies last. which will be. forever.)

kitchen weather patterns: feeding a toddler

weather

I recently learned that putting a pile of Parmesan on a toddler’s tray then turning your back even briefly to wash a dish, wipe the counter, or open a piece of mail is basically asking for blizzard-like conditions in your kitchen.

In fact, it turns out the weather can change at the drop of a…plate.

For example, if you give a small child a cup of water without a lid, prepare for a Tsunami.

Bowl of soup? Flood.

Granola with milk plus high winds created by flailing arms: Hurricane.

A ramekin of coconut? Flurries.

Bowl of steamed broccoli spun round and round with tip of index finger? Tornado with trees flying.

Of course, spaghetti with red sauce will result in a (un)natural disaster too horrible to name.

***

How’s the weather in your kitchen? Is it, I dare ask, ever sunny? And if so, I can only imagine that has something to do with splattered eggs…

By the way, you can follow me on twitter here.

are you drinking too much coffee?

morning+without+coffee(image source)

In honor of National Coffee Day, I was just wondering if you are drinking too much coffee…Because, you know, I don’t have this addiction myself – oh no no no – but I thought I’d try to help you in case your consumption is getting out of hand. Since the first step is of course realizing you have a problem, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

Are your hands so jittery they flap faster than hummingbird wings? In fact, when hummingbirds pass you on the street, do they temporarily stop flapping in order to point, laugh, and capture a video they can post on vine?

Can people hear your heart beating from miles away? Do your neighbors regularly call the cops complaining about your “crappy techno music?” But you don’t like crappy techno music and never have?

Did you get a second sink installed in your kitchen that spouts only coffee?

During the rare nights that you fall asleep, do you have dreams about rivers of coffee, walking toward them, kneeling down, and slurping from cupped hands? Do you have similar dreams about caffeinated waterfalls and geysers?

Have your friends attempted an intervention? Did they hold a mirror up to your face so you could see how yellow your teeth have become?

When your friends invite you out for drinks, do you order coffee? Or do you order coffee and a drink? Or worse, do you order a coffee with a drink poured into it?

When you have trouble falling asleep, do you get up and drink a cup of coffee hoping it will give you that extra boost of energy you need to close your eyelids?

Are you planning a trip to Columbia?

Does your child know and accept that Mommy’s ever-present “water” is brown with a slightly pungent aroma?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you are definitely drinking too much coffee. Get some help, already! And by that, I mean, get some more coffee.

*Note that I used a lot of creativity and no personal experience to create this highly-scientific self assessment.

** In honor of National Coffee Day, why don’t you support your local INDEPENDENT coffee house?

 

the home tome’s list of banned baby books

READ Broweseabout Books bumper sticker In honor of banned books week, I decided to ban some baby books.

From our collection.

At least for the time being.

Please know that I very much believe in the freedom to read. If the bumper sticker on my car (pictured above) doesn’t prove this, then I don’t know what does. Though I don’t dare do the actual math, we may have spent billions of dollars on baby books and board books since our son was born 20 months ago: I am not ashamed to admit this. While we have cut costs in other areas, the writer in me is compelled to support authors, book stores, and the book industry. The handful of books we haven’t purchased? This is only because they are out of print. We got these from the library and have already read them at least 44 times each.

There could be a *few* exaggerations in the previous paragraph…the point is that there is a lot of reading going on here and a whole lot of love for books, so I don’t feel bad banning just a few titles. And by banning, I mean tucking them away in our guest room (a.k.a. hoarding room) for later reconsideration. Here’s what’s in there now:

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

The Grouchy Ladybug 2

Chill out, little dude. Take your aggression down about fifteen notches and stop picking fights. Maybe consider some deep breathing or meditation exercises and then try to have a calm conversation based on mutual respect. While the artwork in this book is beautiful, the testosterone is not. Of course, in the end, this feisty bug gets exactly what he deserves, i.e. swatted across the land by a huge whale, but last I checked, two wrongs do not make a right.

Instead, we are big big fans of Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See?, and corresponding Panda Bear… and Polar Bear…

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess

Green Eggs and Ham

Basically, the whole reason I birthed a child was so that I could read this book to him. I mean, green eggs! Green ham! And in all kinds of crazy locations! I can’t think of anything more silly or delightful. That is, until I read it as a mother of a toddler who is trying to teach her child the beauty of eating a variety of foods THAT ARE GREEN and make doing so seem like the ultimate eating party. Of course, the main character does eventually eat and enjoy the green eggs and ham but only after several pages of demonstrating how fun it is to reject them.

Instead: Dr. Suess’ Book of ABC, Oh the Thinks You Can Think, etc. etc.

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

The Runaway Bunny(image source)

If I have any say in this, and I’d like to think I do, my son will never ever see this book again. Once was enough. Because I know the power of books. And I know the power of suggestion. I don’t want my sweet, sweaty, cuddly little ball of love to get any ideas.

Instead: Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon, again and again and again for eternity…

***

How about you? Have you banned any books at your house?

(By the way, that bumper sticker at the top of this post is from the greatest independent bookstore in the universe where I worked for one blissful summer in 1994: Browseabout Books. Visit them in Rehoboth Beach, DE and tell Steve and Barbara I sent you.)