Archive | July, 2013

Get Outside: 29 Things to Do With The Kids This Summer

Get Outside: 29 Things to Do With The Kids |

Water play

On a hot day there’s nothing better than getting outside and getting some nice cool water over your skin. I live in perennially drought-ridden California and this summer we would only be allowed to enjoy water play in the early evening, but for those of you in wetter places, some of these ideas will be great for the hottest parts of your summer days.

  •  I don’t think its going to happen this summer, but I’d love to build one of these water play walls for my Bean. She’d love it!
  • Just a step up from running a sprinkler on your lawn for the kids to run through, check out this homemade PVC shower arch.
  • Here’s an even simpler idea: Take a 2 liter soda bottle and poke holes in it in the lower half of it. Attach it to a garden hose via a male to male adapter (find these for a few dollars at the hardware store). Toss the hose over a tree branch and let it hang where the kids can run and play under it.
  • This one would be fun when you have a gaggle of school-age kids around at a BBQ or birthday party: Soap bar boat races.
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What I Learned About Parenting From Joy of Cooking

Recently I hosted my book group for dinner. For the meal I planned to make grilled vegetable sandwiches, German potato salad, and serving sliced watermelon, strawberries and nectarines for dessert.

While my daughter napped that afternoon, I prepped for dinner: I sliced the vegetables, made the herbed mayo for the sandwiches, started the watermelon chilling, and started the mice en place  for the potato salad.

I had searched Pinterest for a recipe for this version of potato salad that I love, but don’t make often enough to create from memory, but the versions I found there were just too…fancy. One had pimientos, one used prosciutto instead of bacon. I wanted the simple version I remember from the potlucks of my childhood, so I went analog and pulled my old battered Joy of Cooking from my shelf. It has the classic recipe: bacon, celery, onion, dill pickles and a vinegary dressing.

While I minced the onions I pondered the struggle I had that day getting my daughter down for her nap. She had been whining all morning, and driving home from our shopping excursion, where she behaved much more badly than is normal for her, she was yawning and rubbing her eyes.…

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Self-Care Challenge: Make a Meal Plan

cook book stack

photo credit: Mrs Magic via photopin cc

Back when I was working full time and didn’t have a kid, I used to read blogs about women who planned out their weekly (or monthly!) menus and think, “Wow, I could never do that.” I was attached to my spontaneity. I was unwilling to give up my weekend time to do the planning.

But then I had a kid and now I’m home all the time and I’m responsible for dinner. Every night. It seems really unfair how unrelenting that task is sometimes. Every night. Everyone expects to be fed. I like to cook, but I get so bored with making dinner after a while.

For months dinner was really stressful. I’d stand in front of the fridge, in my fuzzy sleep-deprived state, and wonder what I could cook. Every recipe seemed to be missing an ingredient or two. I’d go the store without a plan and leave with a large bill and food I planned to cook until I got it home and the next day I couldn’t remember what dishes I’d been thinking about. 10 potatoes and two artichokes? I’d end up back at the store two or three times each week, lugging the car seat back and forth, getting things I still needed.…

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My daughter will only know same-sex marriage as normal

Welcome to the July 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning About Diversity

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they teach their children to embrace and respect the variety of people and cultures that surround us. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Santa Cruz Pride Parade La Cage Auz Folles dancers blog post title

On the morning of June 28 I woke up early and reached for my phone to catch up on social media before I started my day. The first eight posts in my Facebook feed celebrated the new gay marriage ruling. I switched over to the CNN app to confirm: The Supreme Court had just released two rulings, the first declaring DOMA unconstitutional and the second overruled Proposition 8 in California, which made gay marriage legal again here where I live.

I shifted in bed to gaze at my still-sleeping two-year old daughter and wondered: Will she grow up in a world, finally, where families made up of two mommies or two daddies is accepted as normal? Will she be largely unaware of the discrimination I experienced in my own life before she was born?…

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June Photo Hunt

Photo hunt title

At the beginning of June, I shared a short photo hunt printable for the month. As promised here are the photos I found this month.

This was a really nice way to stay in touch with my intentions for slow and fun in the month, and to remember to notice the moment I’m in, not be thinking so much about what I need to be doing next or forgot to do last.

Sunshine - June photo hunt -


Grandpa - - June Photo Hunt -

Grandpa (“Baba”)

Flowers - June Photo Hunt -


Bubbles - June Photo Hunt - Nurtured


Fresh from the Garden - June Photo Hunt -

Fresh from the garden

Bare feet - June Photo Hunt -

Bare feet (she thinks they are “bear feet”)

Relaxing - June Photo Hunt -

Relaxing (while she sleeps)

Laughter - June Photo Hunt -


Did you do a photo hunt of your own?  Please share a link in the comments below!

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