When high school ended, and I was thrust (almost literally) into the riggers of “real life,” without any skills, funds, or safety net to experiment in the kitchen. My meager 50$ per month budget could not be risked on flopped meals.Off brand, bulk food cereal, powdered milk, and 2 for 1$ frozen pot pies then it was on the bus to my minimum wage job at the airport.
When I got older, and left behind the job for a career, I splurged on two cooking classes at a culinary school in Portland, OR: Knife Essentials (Food Prep and Knife Skills) and Flavor Essentials (how to blend and use spices, when and how to add them). It was a pivotal moment for me. Nothing was un-cookable, nothing was a flop. No cuisine unattainable. My confidence soared, and I eventually I even started a food blog (Thought on a Roll).
Gourmet meals would just suddenly come together with pennies and a decent spice collection.
I realized then how unprepared my parents had left me for basic living by not allowing me into the kitchen and not teaching me any basic kitchen skills. Lacking this skill set is intimidating and overwhelming when you’re hungry most of the time. I was not going to repeat this with my own child. Schools in the US do not teach basic living skills like cooking, so I categorized kitchen skills under the job description for myself as a parent. Continue reading
We first saw this idea at the Sacramento Children’s Museum. It was a giant plexiglass wall setting on concrete and you could just paint allll over it and then they would come by and wash it off. Baby D loved it! I loved it too. So I set out to make my own.
I looked around for existing ideas, but all of them were made using wood. I didn’t want wood, because I didn’t want it to start rotting after getting wet from washing or because I was planning on storing it outside.
It’s my birthday
A cute little lumberjack
eating my pancakes
I’m ONE YEAR old!
Travel bunny hop
East to West Coast
Yay for Thanksgiving
I’m 11 months old!
After a relatively calm October, we had to prep for a long flight first to Florida to visit baby D’s great grandma (my grandpa passed away in June, and this was the first Thanksgiving alone), then back across the country to Oregon to celebrate Thanksgiving with the rest of the family.
Halloween is fun
Dressed up like an old man
Mom laughed at me.
I’m 10 months old!
After our family trip / babymoon / anniversary, we didn’t do much in October. But we did participate in Halloween, by dressing up…eating at a Vietnamese restaurant instead of trick of treat… and then throwing a pumpkin carving party with lots of pumpkin-based foods.
Flying far away
Four hours cross the ocean
I’m 9 months old!
The ninth month was a great deal of fun. Baby D was predictable and compliant–the perfect time for a belated babymoon and to celebrate our second wedding anniversary. The flight to Hawaii was a solid 4-hours, and was PACKED with kids. I was feeling like everyone felt like Hawaii was a good idea, and we were placed every other row because only one lap infant was allowed per row (due to some availability of life saving resources). It was a good flight, if you didn’t stand up you couldn’t hear the cacophony of crying babes.
Every baby is a little different, some like this, some like that, some hate the world. The biggest question we asked in the 0-3 month range was, “what stops the crying?” seriously.
We bought *a lot* of items trying to answer this question. Not really in desperation, per se, but definitely in confusion at what would work. Let’s just say we had five different places for our son to sleep.
However, it became apparent that of all the gadgets we bought–several were of high importance for those first 3 months. Let me know! What were yours?
If I had to do it all over, here are the ones we would buy again: Continue reading