Sunday, April 26, 2009
I grew up in the Mid-Atlantic region in an area that had predictable 4-season weather:
Spring: March, April, May
Summer: June, July, August
Fall: September, October, November
Winter: December, January February
Now I live in New England where the seasons are the same according to the calendar, but in reality are like this:
Spring: Half of April, May, half of June
Summer: Half of June, July, August
Fall: September, half of October
Winter: Half of October, November, December, January, February, March, half of April
What is the point of all of this seemingly mundane weather talk? The point is, I live in a climate where it seems the cold weather lasts so long that when the mercury finally rises, I’m completely taken by surprise. Just as I go from sleeping in flannel pajama’s one night to my cotton shorts and t-shirts the next - my poor hubs, I really should start wearing sexy night clothes again - I go from cooking casseroles and roasts one day to making salads and sandwiches the next.
When I planned my weekly shopping trip, I had planned for more days in the 40s and 50’s, despite paying attention to the weather forecasts, and knowing 80 degree days were soon to be upon us. Chalk it up to being stuck in a winter rut. I guess I have to live through a couple of weeks of summer-like weather to actually start doing all of those life-style transitions that should take place when the seasons change, such as unpacking my summer clothes from storage, and putting the winter clothes away.
Which brings me to my dinners for this weekend, which did not go as planned. For example, look at what was planned, and what we really had:
Planned - My famous lasagna with fried eggplant.
Reality - I didn’t want to stand around layering lasagna on such a beautiful evening - we went out to dinner to celebrate the great weather. We had Chinese (hubs choice).
Planned - Broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken breast (on sale) with whole grain rice, and some kind of frozen vegetable.
Reality - I ended up making the lasagna this time. I didn‘t mind the work as much since it was Saturday - but it was a weird choice for hot weather especially since I was frying up pieces of eggplant in the 80 degree heat.
Planned - Fish sticks (kid friendly), baked potato or French fries, and frozen corn on the cob.
Reality - Fish sticks, whole grain rice intended for Saturday, and a salad of romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, corn, avocado, and chipotle ranch dressing.
Ok - so by Sunday I was sort of getting the hang of warm weather fare, but with more 80 degree temperatures tomorrow, I don’t feel what's on tomorrow's menu (heavy broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken intended for Saturday, served with baked potato intended for Sunday, and my old standby frozen vegetable) is really appropriate. I’m concerned I won’t feel like eating what I planned, and may end up running out to the store to pick up prepared potato salad - not good for our grocery budget.
While these past couple of days have been unseasonably warm, the indication is that summer is approaching. Consequently I need to change out my arsenal of cold weather dinner recipes / ideas with more warm weather fare. At the moment my culinary creative well has run dry. On top of that, I’m one of those people who finds salads labor intensive. I would rather throw a roast in my crock-pot than chop all of those vegetables. I need some quick easy warm weather dinner ideas! Once I come across a good recipe or two I may share them. In the meantime, feel free to send your ideas my way.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
*** WARNING: I’m a big time name popularity snob. I go out of my way to avoid any name in the top 300. I know I shouldn’t care how popular a name is or could become, but I do. However, rest assured I will never do alternative spellings in order to be "different."
I’ve come to accept that most of my names WILL become popular sooner rather than later – but I’m trying to pick the name that can best withstand popularity, and become the next modern classic (like Allison) rather than the next fad name (like Madison).
I want to use one of these family middle names: Bernadette or Celine
NOTE: Sadly I must eliminate my absolute favorite name Ione (EYE-oh-nee). Rob reacted strongly against it, and Fiona and Ione does seem a cutesy pairing. But I’m morning the loss of Ione Celine. Really, if Rob loved the name like I do, I would overlook the cutesy pairing.
Most Promising First Names: Daphne & Sylvie
- Both are somewhat nickname proof (don’t consider Daffy for Daphne a legit nn)
- Either would work with our last name
- I think these two names will be the most satisfying 30 years from now
Daphne’s advantages over Sylvie
- If Daphne gets discovered, I think it could withstand popularity without getting trendy
- Complements Fiona better than Sylvie
- Would work with either middle name: Daphne Bernadette or Daphne Celine
- Inspired by Ione, my absolute favorite name; both names are Greek
- I fear this may be more boring than I initially perceived.
- There is the illegitimate nn, Daffy
Sylvie’s advantages over Daphne
- Like how Sylvie Bernadette flows since both names are French
- While Daphne sounds respectable with our last name, I feel Sylvie harmonizes almost perfectly.
- Rob is half French so a French name seems appropriate
- Have to admit, Sylvie just seems to make my heart skip a beat a little more than Daphne
- May consider Sylvia nn Sylvie as compromise if Rob prefers that, but I don’t feel Sylvia Bernadette flows as well. Call me anal, but I feel the extra syllable makes a difference
- I fear Sylvie is more susceptible to trendiness, which is why I may ignore the less-than perfect flow with Bernadette and just go with Sylvia.
- Because of the similarity to top 10 names Sophia and Olivia, I fear both Sylvia and Sylvie will become big very soon.
- On the one hand, I think Sylvia might better withstand popularity than Sylvie, on the other, I feel Sylvia will be the name to hit big first, and will rank higher (it already ranks higher - 500’s) than the unranked Sylvie (outside top 1000).
Other First Names:
Calista – inspired by Ione, both are Greek – would consider Callie or Calla for nicknames but really prefer the name in it’s full form.
Camilla – may consider Camille – but prefer Camilla because if she must have a nickname, Milla is preferable to Cammie.
Sylvia (nn Sylvie)
Viola – little concerned about repetitive “io” and "a" ending with Fiona but might not be too bad.
Now I must return to more productive persuits.
Of course since this was unsafe, I had to tell her to sit down. Rob, who was witnessing this, suddenly thought of “Flash Dance,” and sang, “She’s a maniac…maniac in the tub.” I was going to use that for the heading, but decided changing “tub” to “bath” would seem less suggestive to those who had yet to read this post.
I try to limit sugar in Fiona’s diet, but wonder if I am unintentionally sneaking it in somewhere. Her hyperactivity just boggles my mind sometimes. Of course I would be more worried if at 2, she was too mellow.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Pee or poo
Pee or poo
You have got to pee or poo
One or the other or both will do
You have got to pee or poo
Considering that we have been potty training her a month and she has only gone on the potty a total of 3 times (number 1 only), I may be jumping the gun here. But I swear she will be trained by the time she is 3, because I am not going to wait for her to potty train herself when she’s 4 since I refuse, and I mean refuse, to buy diapers for a 4 year old.
Like many aspects of parenting, with potty training, most parents seem either way too laid back (Let her train herself at her own pace. It is less work for you. Who cares if you spend away her college fund on diapers? ) or way too ambitious. I’ve heard of parents who potty trained 9 month olds, but I swear those parents are the ones who are trained (Look at that face - she's concentrating hard. She must be going. Quick--run her to the potty to catch it).
Saturday, April 4, 2009
But I’m back to a parental authority judgment call: it took me about 5 minutes to clean up Fiona and the chair, and table. Should I put her in time-out? I always felt at her age, due to her short attention span, I had to punish her immediately following the act. The more time that passes between the infraction and the punishment, the more likely she will not realize why she’s being punished. I could have put her in time-out first and cleaned her later, but then she would have gotten the mess all over her time-out corner. Instead I told her “Don’t do that,” cleaned her up, and let it go.
I have an epiphany now: a smart Mom would have taken her child to time-out, which would be a carpet and upholstery-free area of course, where she would have proceeded to swiftly clean up her child’s leg, while firmly explaining the error committed. In the span of a 2 minute time-out, smart Mom would have cleaned up her child, the chair and the table, while the kid sat completely still, maybe even whimpered a little, out of reverence to the smart, oh so brilliant Mom.
In all seriousness, this is an example of how I often wonder if I’m too soft on my child. I actually felt sort of terrible yesterday, because Fiona was getting into everything, and I felt like all I did was yell at her and put her in time-out. She had at least 5 time-outs yesterday. There was another part of me, who being raised by no-nonsense parents (No meant No; there was no counting to 3, you obeyed at 1) felt maybe my daughter’s bratty behavior was the culmination of months of spineless parenting on my part. While 5 time-outs in one day (all in a 2 hour-time span) seems mean, letting the infractions go is meaner in the long-term.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Admittedly this is at time amusing, but also a little alarming. I don’t want to raise an undisciplined brat. I suspect I am the problem because Fiona doesn’t play these games with Dad, only me. With Dad she cries and does what is expected in time-out. Any tips on properly exerting parental authority?