24 5 / 2013
Written by BROOKE
One of the biggest fears I have for my boys is the easy access and virtual unending access to pornography. I have seen in friend’s lives and marriages the devastating effect of internet pornography addiction. And lest you think that it is a “boys will be boys” type thing, watch this video and understand the effects of not just pornography but internet pornography. This is a whole new generation of porn and the effects are scary.
23 5 / 2013
Written by GWEN
As I’m sure you are all aware by now, I LOVE me some Bill Granger! I have all his books, which means I have a lot, and it means I’m still discovering new favorite recipes every week.
My latest discovery is his Chicken Bolognese.
It’s ridiculously quick and easy to make. Izzy LOVED it, I loved it and my Mister liked it. He didn’t LOVE it because it’s not super exciting (except for the lovely addition of pancetta), but he’ll eat it. And he’ll like it. When I made it I actually used ground turkey, rather than chicken, but that’s only because the UK doesn’t seem to make chicken mince. Anyway, either will work!
Izzy (and Leroy) enjoying the bolognese.
And then…for dessert, may I suggest Bill’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/3 cup Peanut Butter
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1 1/3 cup Plain Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 100 grams Chocolate Chips
- 1 large Egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- Preheat oven to 180C (375 F).
- Mix together sugar, butter, vanilla, egg and peanut butter. Add baking powder to flour and lightly combine with all ingredients.
- Use a small ice-cream scoop to form cookies and flatten tops with a fork.
- Bake on a papered tray for 10-12 minutes.
- Use block chocolate cut into chunks if you don’t have chocolate chips.
These lasted the whole week and once again, the whole fam was on board! I used smooth peanut butter instead of crunchy, but it doesn’t really matter. And I only left them in the oven for ten mins, so they stayed nice and soft!
22 5 / 2013
‘Fatherhood Through Instagram’ continues today with Alan Stuart @nineteenseventynine. His photos radiate the humor and playfulness with which he approaches life. Take a look and enjoy the ride!
Poopsie Collective (PC): Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Alan Stuart (AS): Born in Australia, travelled around the world against my will for a while, to eventually arrive in L.A. at age 8. At age 21 I left for NY and didn’t look back. Until I married my love (and long-time college friend) in Italy, finding our way back (and pregnant) to L.A. We have gypsy souls, so in a few months, we’re uprooting again for the Pacific Northwest Wonderland… Portland. Stay tuned for more gypsy adventures.
After publishing (The New Yorker, Wired, Lucky, Martha Stewart, and Cargo) and advertising in NYC, I started my own creative cooperative, based on a network of freelancers. One Long House has been in action for about 4 years now and I’m loving where we’re going on these next few projects.
PC: Describe your perfect day?
AS: Wake up in a camping hammock somewhere in Montana, smooshed together with my family. Send the little ones to fetch sticks, while I prepare the bacon/egg/cheese sandwiches. After 3 hours of that, a hike to a watering hole where we can jump in off a terrifyingly high cliff. Then a nap in the sun as heights make me tired (everything makes me tired).
Back at camp we cook up some steaks, corn, smores, and spiked something. While we were gone, someone built us a hot tub. We get in it. Nap. Dance party.
You know, simple things.
PC: When did you begin taking photos? What does photography mean to you? Tell us how Instagram has affected your photography?
AS: I started when my dad gave me his old Nikkormat setup in a silver, metal briefcase. It was all very spy and awesome. I was about 11 at the time. Photography was my first dive into creativity and set the stage for everything else down the road. It allowed me to see the world differently and to capture one one-hundredth of a second at a time… a good thing, since my memory is terrible.
Instagram makes everyone a photographer, but not necessarily a good one. Cream still rises to the top and you can tell who has an eye for image and who doesn’t. What I love about IG is not only the photos, but the shift of vision that occurs. Now, someone with no formal photography training could be walking down the street and appreciate a piece of tree bark on the ground, saying “oh, that would look great with the Sierra filter and some added contrast.” Before IG, only photographers would have that type of vision, seeing interesting in the mundane. Now, we can all have that.
PC: What inspires you, either for your work or in your day-to-day?
AS: Simple solutions to complex problems. And the lack of those motivates me. “There’s got to be a better way” is now a running, repeating quote you will hear me say to my wife. She might roll her eyes, but just you wait—soon you won’t know how you lived without the automatic shrimp de-veiner.
PC: What messages and stories do you hope to convey to your children through your photographs of them? And your life through the lens of your iPhone?
AS: That we had a great f*cking time being a family.
Thank you to Alan Stuart for participating in the ‘Fatherhood Through Instagram’ series. You inspire us to have fun. And to take photos of it.
To follow Alan on Instagram @nineteenseventynine
**All photos in this gallery are property of Alan Stuart
You too can contribute by using the hashtag #fatherhoodthroughinstagram and #motherhoodthroughinstagram.
Alan Stuart is the Founder and Creative Director of One Long House, a creative cooperative. He currently lives in Los Angeles, but dreams of building a ranch where he can run barefoot, bare chested and free with his two children. He lives by the motto: Say Yes. What will you say yes to today?
21 5 / 2013
written by STEPHANIE
Falling down the rabbit hole of Pinterest one day, I came across what I can only explain as the saddest sight in the world: a Pinterest board devoted entirely to lost loveys. In this place where innocence comes to die, moms and dads posted photos of their child’s most beloved possession with little descriptions, and beg of viewers to notify them if they should find another somewhere out in the world matching the description. The board is titled “Replacement Loveys Wanted” and something inside me died after scrolling through pin after pin after pin…
My daughter has a fierce and fervent love for her flattened yellow giraffe, whom she calls Joey. He has pink polk-a-dots, blue paws (are they called paws on giraffes?), and a tag on his bum that is just pure heaven to huff, in her opinion. And while I’ve said that he’s a giraffe it’s actually up for debate. Lots of people think he is a cow. My husband calls him a safari cow. Heated
arguments discussions typically follow, with me yelling asking, “What the f*ck are you teaching our daughter?!”
When Marlowe was very, very small we simplified his name to “JoJo”, which she pronounced with a French accent. Odd but adorable. As she grew he became “Joey”, then “Yellow Joey”, then “My Yellow Joey”, and currently he is known as “My Joey! My Joey!” Always in duplicate, always at Micro Machine speeds, and always at unnecessarily high volumes.
He is her one and only. I feared this singular, unhealthy, obsessive kind of love from day one. I didn’t want her to be one of those kids. You know the ones — they carry their filthy, smelly, disintegrating shreds of cloth (and dignity) everywhere, things that used to be stuffed puppies, or king sized blankets. But now they are mere ghosts of security, repulsive to everyone else on earth. I feared being one of those parents too. You know the ones — they go tearing through stores and airports in sheer panic upon realizing that this precious and disgusting rag is missing.
But it happened anyway, despite my best efforts to encourage her free love amongst all her lovies, all her toys, all her blankets… What can I say?The girl has a monogamous spirit. And just my luck, Joey is a discontinued item. There are no more of him to be found.
Just this weekend, she hid him inside a basket at my parents’ house. It was naptime and we couldn’t find him. We scoured the house with no luck. Finally my husband asked her what we should do, since it was time to nap and he couldn’t be found. She answered, “Me never nap without Joey yesterday.” Yesterday in her world means anytime in the past. “Me not nap without Joey today. No. Me not take nap.”
My mom then remembered seeing Marlowe playing with Joey near the basket. He was recovered, her nap commenced, and we all took a grand sigh of relief. But each time he goes missing I feel his inevitable loss inching closer. We all live in fear of the Armageddon, which is surely coming. There will be a day when My Joey! My Joey! is gone forever. And when that day comes, bless her heart. And God help us all.
20 5 / 2013
Written by ERICA
We travel a lot. The running joke is that we’re out of town more weekends than we are here. It’s partially because we have more weddings than the average humans (we estimate that we have attended approximately 40 weddings in 4 years—sick right?!) and partially because we love to travel. Well, we love to visit new places and we love to visit our old friends and family in New York. The actual traveling is less fun.
Anyway, we travel…OFTEN.
Which means that my darling 2-year-old has spent many hours 35,000+ feet in the air. And thank god, he has gotten really good at it. We started him young, at the ripe age of 2 months old. And then we kept at it, basically training him to be a good flyer and a patient traveler from the very start. Owen has been to France, London, Italy, California, New York, Chicago, Colorado and I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting other places on that list. He knew what a plane was before he knew where his nose was.
Owen’s first flight…2 months old…snug as a bug in bulkhead.
Now I must admit that we are VERY lucky. Owen is an expert flyer and a really well-behaved, easy-going kid. He can, and has, spent 6 hours straight on a flight to California with an iPad in hand, never once letting out a peep or complaining even though (unbeknownst to me) he had been sitting in his own feces for hours. If I have snacks and a fully loaded apple device the kid is happy as can be. Sure, it’s hours of straight bribery and zero rest for me, but as far as traveling companions go, Owen is a joy to fly with.
That said, there are definitely some tricks of the trade that I’ve learned over time, and some tools that I absolutely cannot travel without. And so, as we gear up for a busy summer travel season (if you consider 2 trips per month to be busy—I do) I thought I’d share a few of my most trusted, and most depended upon tips for anyone traveling with a toddler:
You know what they say, once you go blue you never go back. Wait, that’s not right. Anyway, they have free TV at every seat. Which includes Nickelodeon. Aka, your kid will happily zone out with SpongeBob for at least part of the flight. Oh and they give you free snacks. Chips and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee for mommy, unlimited animal crackers for Owen. Yes please.
2) Sit n’ Stroll
BUY ONE. If you haven’t seen this contraption it’s the most genius invention I’ve seen in a while. It’s a stroller. It’s a car seat. It’s a stroller that converts INTO A CARSEAT with the snap of a fairly well-made button. It’s so easy. And it makes traveling solo with my little man a dream. Seriously I thought it broke one day and I almost had a nervous breakdown because I wasn’t sure how to travel without it.
3) iPad (or iPhone)
I know, thanks Captain Obvious. But seriously, Owen sits with an iPad for HOURS. The max I’ve ever seen first hand is 6 hours, but he could probably go more. Load it up with cartoons, games and music and if your child is anything like mine he will think he died and went to 2-year-old heaven. Oh, and I tease that the iPad is coming the entire day we’re traveling. “If you’re a good boy at the airport mommy will let you have the iPad the entire plane ride!” Bribery at its best, and it works. Every. Damn. Time.
I guess snacks overall are a must. I am known to bring an embarrassingly large snack pack. Typically I include fruit packets, fruit snacks, pretzels, chips, cut up fruit, some food of actual substance (a turkey sandwich, grilled cheese, cut up chicken etc.), and lots and lots of cookies. But the real kicker are the lollipops. Maybe it’s because Owen isn’t allowed to have them except for when we fly, but the kid goes b-a-n-a-n-a-s for Dum Dums. I bring like 20. Let him pick the colors. And eventually he falls asleep with one stuck in his hair and another clutched in his hand. He’s sticky and dirty and smelling like cherries for the rest of the day. Worth it.
5) Books and/or Stickers
So, you know that terrible part of the flight during take-off and landing when you are forced to turn off electronic devices and read a magazine or a book or—gasp—talk to someone? I hate that part. Well with a toddler that 15 minutes is TORTURE. You sit down, you give them a toy and then 5 minutes later are forced to pry it out of their screaming hands for take-off. Cue massive tantrum right about…NOW. Bring reinforcements. Books, stickers, a coloring book, a fake phone that maybe looks like a real cell phone. Whatever will keep them busy for the never ending take-off procedure until you can turn the iPad back on.
6) Patience and Total Disregard for the Negative Jerks Around You
There will always be at least one negative nancy on your flight you gives you dirty looks and assumes your child is the devil. There’s always at least one old person who decides before you even board that your kid is about to ruin their flight. Remind yourself, they had kids too. They WERE kids at one point. We’ve all been through it. In a few hours it will be over and you’ll never see that person again. So take care of your kid. Take care of yourself. And do whatever you have to do to stay sane until those wheels touch down.
17 5 / 2013
Written by BROOKE
I took my kids over to a friend’s house today so I could run to an appointment. She called me before and said, “I forgot to tell you but you should know, my husband is home today because he’s sick. But, you don’t really need to worry about it because he won’t come out of our room the whole time your kids are here.”
How would it be? I thought. Imagine, being sick and spending the whole day in bed! Remember before you had kids, when you were really sick, like sick enough to actually use a sick day (since we know you are supposed to use those for FUN things). When you used to curl up in a ball in bed with 20 different kinds of drugs on your nightstand and a box of tissues?
I had a rager of a cold this week. A real doozy. The kind that, back in the day, you used to call in sick for. But this was how my sick day(s) looked this week instead:
5 am—baby wakes up, lay there hoping he’ll go back to sleep
5:10 am—realize the baby is not going back to sleep. Get up and nurse him. Pray he goes back to sleep now.
5:30 am—Brady wakes up for the day. Hit my husband and tell him he’s in charge of Brady
5:30-6:30 am—try to go back to sleep but either coughing too hard or head hurts too bad. Try to remember if I can take advil while nursing and how much
7 am—husband brings in crying baby and says he has to get ready for work (what would it be like to get ready for the day on your own?!). The day begins…
7-9 am—nurse the baby, dress three children, make breakfast for three children, try to find some tea but remember that when we got pantry weevils a few weeks ago we threw all the tea out, find the saline spray for my clogged sinuses, get one of three children off to school
9:30 am—get baby down for nap, hand 3 year old the Nook and tell him it’s his lucky day because he gets to watch a show while big brother is at school and little brother naps
9:30-10:30 am—try to nap. 3 year old interrupts no less than 20 times. Neighbor knocks on the door, three people call about play dates and other kid things
11 am-1 pm—drive car pool, nurse baby, make lunches. Try to figure out if it’s been 6 hours since I last took advil
1 pm—take all three children to Target to buy cough medicine, Sudafed and more advil. Lose one child in Target while trying to look up breastfeeding compatible cough medicines on the phone. Drive through for a big diet coke because even if caffeine won’t make your sinuses hurt any less you’d like to think it will
2 pm—3 year old down for nap, desperately try to get baby to go down at the same time but it’s a fail
3-5 pm—entertain 5 year old who gets no attention, clean the house, throw in two loads of laundry, nurse baby, call husband and ask him to pick up some hot dogs because you don’t want to cook dinner. Wind up cooking three healthy side dishes out of guilt for the hot dogs
5-7 pm—dinner, baths, bed time, stories, nurse the baby
8 pm—everyone is finally asleep, fall into bed exhausted but know the baby is going to want to nurse one more time so you might as well stay up
11 pm—finally sleep, if only my head didn’t hurt, I wasn’t coughing my lungs up and my husband wasn’t snoring!
I’m still trying to figure out how I get to call in sick!
16 5 / 2013
Written by GWEN
I would like to preface this post by saying that I am in general a very happy, upbeat person. I think most of my friends and family would agree, I am rarely negative.
That said, however, since having Otis (and I remember this feeling from when Izzy was a baby too), I am kinda angry all the time. Or if I’m not angry, I’m on the cusp of being angry. I mean…I have a baby. He’s delicate. One false move and the twenty minute nap that took an hour to settle into, could be OVER. I know that construction work can’t be helped. But it’s things like that, as I’m walking down the street, that make me think, “Don’t people know I have a sleeping baby. BE. QUIETER. EVERYONE! Be quicker and be quieter.”
So… in no particular order, here’s what’s really been making my blood boil as of late.
1) The sandwich lady. Explanation required, understandably.
On my way home from a play date, with both kidlets in tow, I popped into a favorite lunch spot for a sandi to-go. (Didn’t mean for that to rhyme, but it’s kinda fun, no? Don’t get used to it. This is an angry post.)
Sandwich Lady: Why don’t you wait outside and I’ll bring this right out to you.
Me: Perfect! THANKS!
Five minutes later…
Me: Poking my head in, trying to make eye contact.
Another Five Minutes Later…
Me: Awesome. It’s starting to drizzle, which in London means it’s about to pour. I put my head in the door.
Sandwich Lady: Just a couple minutes.
ANOTHER five minutes later.
Me: All the way inside. UMM.. is it.. I mean??
Sandwich Lady: It’s coming. She’s just making it over here.
Me: Still staring…waiting for something more.
Sandwich Lady: She’s just spreading on the pesto. Then she’ll lay the chicken on.
ME: ANGRY! I already know what goes on the sandwich! I ORDERED IT! What I want to know is an ET-freaking-A!
Anyway, five minutes after THAT, it was ready. And it was delicious.
2) Our upstairs neighbor’s daughter practicing her piano at 7:45am. Which actually sounds like it’s been hidden in my bedroom closet for the last six months. And also, if you can’t nail your scales by now, maybe it’s time to take up the recorder.
3) My Mister going out for drinks or dinner or any kind of social activity after work. Like, REALLY angry.
4) The mail man (or post man as they say here) ringing our ridiculously loud buzzer always, ALWAYS during nap time.
5) The insanely dramatic phase that Izzy is going through at the mo where he cries and gushes tears for no reason, which then makes Otis cry. Are muzzles a no-no or just frowned upon for toddlers??
6) Zoe the new “eye brow specialist” at my wax place that tried to push product on me during my ‘therapy session’, lectured me on tweezing and said, “I want to see you back here in four weeks.”
You’ll see me when you see me Zoe! And no, I don’t want you to put eyebrow pencil on to show me how great my brows will look when they finally grow in properly. I HAVE TO PICK UP MY SON FROM SCHOOL!
7) When I’m trying to put Izzy to bed and then he acts up a little, causing Otis to cry, so I get really mad at Izzy and all I wanted was to have a nice moment with my son and be able to put him to bed uninterrupted.
8) Annoying people on Facebook.
9) The incessant rain in this country.
10) The two tall, pretty skinny blond moms at Izzy’s school that make me feel like a twelve year old imposter in a pony-tail and converse.
I need to start wearing my hair down.
Oh…and Izzy’s obsession with taking off his clothes and making me chase him all over the playground while I have Otis in the baby bjorn.
15 5 / 2013
Guest Written by CAMILLA GALE
We first fell in love with Camilla Gale when we stumbled upon her beyond chic boutique (pictured above), Thistle & Clover, in Brooklyn, NY. We instantly admired her style and ability to make absolutely anything look cool and easy to pull off. And then we fell deeper in love with her when we discovered her son Rhys and better yet, the Instagram hashtag #whatisrhyswearing. (Follow @thistleclover, thank us later.) You know what they say…if you’ve got it, flaunt it. And Rhys has it. Style we mean (and a killer smile). And luckily for us, Camilla flaunts his latest duds and allows all of us style-challenged moms to live vicariously through her impeccably dressed cutie.
We sat down with Camilla to sneak a peak inside her stylish life and learn a little bit about how she manages to keep her son so freakin’ well dressed every day.
Beanie baby in #toffeemoon and @everlane beanie #whatisrhyswearing #babiesofinstagram
Poopsie Collective (PC): Tell us a little bit about your style. How did you first become interested in fashion?
Camilla Gale (CG): I’m definitely a minimalist when it comes to my style. I’m not a slave to labels though I do love high fashion (you won’t catch a single monogram in my wardrobe but I did buy one of the first Balenciaga motorcycle bags back when I was 18!). I tend to stick to items that won’t go out of style. Great fitting jeans; comfy cashmere sweaters; simple, well tailored dresses that are modern but classic. I try to adhere to the Coco Chanel school of thought “when leaving the house, take one thing off.” More is not more for me.
I became interested in fashion through old movies, musicals, and old-fashioned paper dolls. One of my earliest fashion memories is having chicken pox at the age of 4 or 5 and playing with Victorian era paper dolls. So many chic hats and long gloves! I was also obsessed with the clothing in My Fair Lady, Peau D’Anne, Anne of Green Gables, Singing in the Rain and of course the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.
Berkshire best in #jacadi sweater & #petitbateau with lamb booties #whatisrhyswearing #babiesofinstagram
PC: If you had to spend the rest of your life in one outfit and one outfit alone, what would it be?
CG: I think I wore the same thing every day this winter: J Brand Jeans, Everlane Cashmere Sweater, and Fiorentini + Baker Motorcycle Boots. But when I come home I immediately change into leggings and one of my husband’s tee shirts.
Little big man #goyanks #babygap tee #oshkosh jeans & #keep sneakers #whatisrhyswearing #babiesofinstagram
PC: You opened your store, Thistle & Clover, in 2008. What was the scariest part of opening your store? And the most rewarding part?
CG: The scariest part was the day that we opened. We had worked so hard, bought so much merchandise for a customer that didn’t yet exist, and put our finances/egos on the line. So when we finally opened the doors it was kind of like, “is this going to be a waiting for godot (or guffman) scenario?” The most rewarding part is hearing compliments from customers who don’t know I’m the owner of the store. It makes my day.
Every great drummer knows the secret is to hold an orange balloon @maptote #brooklyn onesie #joesjeans #whatisrhyswearing #babiesofinstagram
PC: You became a mom last year… How has your style evolved since you became a mom?
CG: I would like to say I am a perfectly put together playground mom, but I’m not. Rhys is so much better dressed than me when we go out it’s embarrassing. I’m wearing leggings, zip-up hoodies and TOMs shoes. I may or may not have cheerios in my hair. It’s SO not the look I had planned on while I was pregnant (I was an excellently dressed pregnant person).
April fools! (Happy 33rd anniversary to my parents). #makie sweatsuit#whatisrhyswearing #babiesofinstagram
PC: So, your son is one of the best-dressed kids we’ve ever seen. He gives Rachel Zoe’s offspring a run for his money. How would you describe Rhys’ style?
CG: That is very sweet of you to say. I was thrilled to have a boy, but I admit that when I went to Paris I literally wanted to buy every smocked dress I saw. A tear was shed. But it’s been really fun dressing Rhys, much more so than I had originally thought. Especially since we’re only a womenswear store. Skyler (Rachel Zoe’s son) is a mini style icon in his own right—he can really rock a fedora—but I find his outfits, shall we say, a bit Little Lord Fauntleroy-ish? Rhys dresses like a real boy. A bit Brooklyn, a bit street, a bit classic. It’s all about sweet kicks, striped tees, dark denim, overalls, yankees hats…He does not own a Gucci toggle coat. And I’m more than ok with that.
After 3 days away so happy to wake up to this little man—now sporting 2 teeth! #joesjeans and @stella_kids sweater #whatisrhyswearing #babiesofinstagram
PC: What are your top three kids brands? And your favorite go-to stores/websites when shopping for Rhys?
CG: So hard to choose! Baby Gap and Petit Bateau for basics. Well made and adorable. Osh Kosh overalls are so incredibly cute, classic, and old school. I’m going to have him in them long after it’s appropriate. Baby Stella McCartney has hands down the cutest, quirkiest pieces that are always fun and unique (and could totally be unisex). For websites I’m a Zulily, Gilt and Amazon addict. It’s a problem.
9 month party trick in @stella_kids tee and #carters jeans #whatisrhyswearing #babiesofinstagram
Buddha belly in #iplay board shorts #whatisrhyswearing #babiesofinstagram #brazil #vacation
Imagining all the fun 2013 will bring. Happy new year! #petitbateau #lucacharles #whatisrhyswearing #2013edition #babiesofinstagram
Camilla Gale was born and bred in NYC, and met her now husband Zach Aarons in middle school at Dalton. Upon graduating from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, she worked in development at American Ballet Theatre and Creative Time, but soon found herself dreaming of bigger better things. With her friend from school, Rand Niederhoffer, she opened Thistle & Clover, a small womenswear boutique in her Fort Greene, Brooklyn neighborhood, in 2008. She has one son, Rhys, who turned 1 on April 26—and started walking a few days after!
14 5 / 2013
written by STEPHANIE
I’m always searching for fun, easy, yummy recipes to make with my daughter. Baking projects teach little ones patience as well as rewarding them with a delicious treat at the end of a job well done. Additionally, when you’re “stuck” at home with a toddler and a newborn, baking projects are great ways to keep toddlers entertained.
Enter Fairy Bread. I came across this recipe from Bill Granger and we’re totally smitten with it here at our house! At first, I read through the ingredients and rolled my eyes… Am I REALLY going to feed my child white bread with butter and sprinkles? Yes. Yes, I am. And you know what else? I’m going to eat it too because it’s super freaking good. Don’t judge me ‘til you try it for yourself, ok Healthy-Pants?
- white bread (I had to buy white bread special for this because we don’t eat it at our house, but wheat or anything grainy just won’t cut it for this special treat)
- unsalted butter
- colorful sprinkles (works best with the little circular kind, but if you have something else already in your pantry, go for it!)
- cookie cutters *optional
Spread a generous amount of butter evenly over white bread. Let the kids pour the sprinkles over bread. Then pat the sprinkles down, letting the butter grab a hold of them. Shake off loose sprinkles. Using a cookie cutter (or by hand, as I did) cut fun shapes. Eat and enjoy!
13 5 / 2013
Written by ERICA
Some people are great under pressure. And some are, well, not. I happen to be pretty good in high stress situations. Even back when I was 10 years old I operated well in stressful scenarios. At camp one summer my best friend and I stumbled upon our counselor passed out in the middle of the bunk, bleeding out of her foot and, quite honestly, looking like she might be dead. Once we realized she wasn’t kidding, we freaked out, naturally. But my friend and I reacted very differently. She ran for the hills (literally) and I found her an hour later curled up in a ball in the tennis pagoda. I sprinted as fast as I could to the infirmary and asked for help. Turns out our counselor was fine, and I learned something about myself that summer: when it was go-time and someone needed help, I would be able to keep my cool.
The ability to keep calm and work well under pressure came in handy in my last job, a job where basically every day and every task was stressful, and every project had to be completed with very limited time and very demanding clients. For a Type A personality like me, having an always growing to-do list that virtually could never get done was torture. But I managed to smile through it all, take deep breaths, and get done what needed to be done, all without ever (really) losing my sh*t. That skill helped me stay sane on more than one occasion.
But then I left that job, had my son, and embarked on a totally new job. A terrifying job. A job I knew nothing about and a job that I really had to be good at—because it wasn’t just a promotion or a bonus on the line. Someone, my CHILD, my own flesh and blood, was depending on me to keep him safe and happy and alive. Say WHAT?!
It’s easy to see why someone might freak out when they have kids. It’s the happiest, craziest, scariest time of your life.
Wait, so he’s MINE? Don’t freak out, don’t freak out, don’t freak out…(also how swollen am I?)
And as totally lost and terrified as I may have been, I forced myself to keep calm and carry on. I reminded myself that people have been having babies and raising children for thousands of years, and if they can do it then so I can. When Owen would wake up in the middle of the night screaming bloody murder because he had a nasty case of gas I would take a deep breath, rock him for what seemed like hours and smile until he farted his way back to sleep. When Owen would puke all over me and himself in the most inconvenient of places (a taxi, my bed, Saks Fifth Avenue…) I would smile, laugh at how disgusting I smelled and peel off one article of clothing at a time. I constantly told myself “in the scheme of life this is such a tiny moment. It will pass and you’ll probably forget it ever happened. And then 20 years from now you’ll ache for a night when Owen cries for your help or can only be soothed by your snuggles.”
Every day I catch myself taking deep breaths and trying to keep calm. Like, say, when Owen refuses to go to sleep or insists on trying on 10 different pairs of socks before selecting the perfect color. Or last night when Owen fell face first onto our coffee table. Not like a little spill. Like FACE FIRST. Actually, chin first. Our table is fairly baby friendly with no sharp edges (not an accident), but when a 2-year-old’s chin comes into violent contact with a table, well, it wasn’t pretty. There was screaming. And lots of blood in Owen’s mouth. And a babysitter who, bless her heart, nearly had a panic attack as she watched. She actually gasped “ohmyGOD!” as I wiped up his blood. It did NOT help.
But I didn’t freak out. I didn’t scream. I didn’t flinch for one second. I grabbed napkins. I used my sleeve. I picked Owen right up, and slopped up the blood until it stopped bleeding. And I smiled and took deep breaths until he calmed down and realized he was totally fine. And then I bribed him with an episode of Dora the Explorer. Whatever, the kid was gushing blood! He was fine, the table was fine and the babysitter was fine too.
And after the whole ordeal she said to me: “Wow, you really held it together. Are you always so calm?”
Nope. Not really. But if I freak out, Owen freaks out. If Owen freaks out, I’ll freak out even harder. And then no one is happy. So I keep myself together, I smile even when I’m scared sh*tless, and I do what needs to be done. And then, like every other mom out there, I carry on to the next activity/tantrum/accident/injury.
10 5 / 2013
Written by BROOKE
Things I Learned from My Mom that make me a better one:
- The dough tastes better than the cookie
- Music makes every task better
- Singing in the car is required
- A homemade card is better than a store bought one
- It’s ok to apologize
- An argument is only as big as you make it
- Naps make everyone happier
- Sitting down together for dinner is important
- Quesadillas are a perfectly acceptable dinner to sit down to
- Date nights are important
- Kids need chores
- Road trips bring you closer
- Ignore the fighting kids
- Tell your kids you’re proud of them
- Pray for them when they do things you aren’t proud of
- Love your kids friends and make them comfortable in your home
- Traditions are important
- Diet Coke makes everything right
- It doesn’t matter what the other kids/moms/people think
- Love your husband
Thank you mom for being such a good mom! Happy Mother’s Day!
09 5 / 2013
Written by GWEN
A lot has been going on the last couple weeks. New schedules, toddler milestones, urgent organizational matters that I can’t find the time to deal with…
I’m a little stressed to say the least, and about one anxiety dream away from losing all of my teeth.
But the show must go on. So, here are some highlights that don’t at all explain why, according to my subconscious, I’m expecting 5 or 6 babies, have breast cancer and am not welcome back at my job because there aren’t enough desks.
IZZY GOES TO SCHOOL
Izzy finally started nursery school last week and is doing GREAT! His teachers said he has adapted beautifully and they are super impressed with him. I believe the headmistress’ exact words were, “We just LOVE him!”
I actually made friends with another mom on the school run, and Izzy promptly tried to steal her child’s show and tell toy.
Izzy’s British accent is already noticeably thicker…like when he says, “Mummyyyyaa.”
Izzy counted to 7!! Fine he kinda said “5, 6 elevenseven.” But still.
AND THEN, the real kicker…over the weekend Izzy announced that he wanted to pee and poop in his potty. And he did.
So far, Miss Delaney’s is worth every penny.
Playing nicely at school. In his smock!
NEWS FROM THE PLAYGROUND
So, you know how I always call Izzy my devil child? Well, turns out I was wrong because I actually met the real deal over the weekend.
She must have been about 7 years old and spoke like Veruca from Willy Wonka, bossing everyone around from the top of the slide. When she finally let Izzy go take a turn I exclaimed, “GOOD JOB Izzy!”
To which she replied, “Good job doesn’t make any sense.”
I wanted to shout, “YOUR FACE DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!” But I held my tongue. Barely.
Then…on Saturday, Izzy saw a little boy playing with a silver toy gun and asked me if it was a hose. I was immediately angry that some parent had allowed their child to bring a ‘gun’ into our lives, forcing an explanation out of me. Obviously what I said was, “Yes!! It is a hose!’
“Izzy wants it! Izzy wants play with hose!”
I quickly ushered Izzy to another side of the playground, judging this kid and his parents the whole way. That is until we got home, and Izzy dug out his foam ‘gun’ that I put in all the goody bags at his birthday party. I mean…there’s nothing else to call it really. Except ours is pink and foam and shoots out a little red ball. It’s the fun gun.
Anyway, Izzy took one look at it, lifted up his shirt, stuck it on his nipple and said, “Izzy pumping!” Problem solved.
Izzy about to pump…
AND THE BABY
In Otis land…I was commiserating with a friend and fellow mom of two the other day about how hard bath time is when I’m on my own. She promptly showed up at my door the next day with a vibrating bouncy chair.
Loving his chair!
The chair is genius. I don’t want to jinx is, but most of the time it really does work to soothe Otis during a fussy period (i.e. 6pm -10pm).
Sometimes it seems like he’s foaming at the mouth slightly when he’s been in it for a while, but I’m pretty sure he’s just blowing bubbles. And to be honest, as long as he’s not crying, we can deal with a little seizure or two.
Not much to say really, except that if one more FIGHT TUMMY FAT ad pops up on my facebook page…well I might try and do something about it.
Oh and the Mister is doing well too! Enjoying my first ice cream sandies of the season!
08 5 / 2013
Kindling Quarterly is an exploration of fatherhood through essays, interviews, editorials, art, and photography. With the release of their first issue, they aim to present a thoughtful dialogue about fatherhood that is missing from the media landscape. While primarily directed at fathers, Kindling Quarterly appeals to a growing and diverse audience who are interested in creativity, community, and parenting. Kindling Quarterly playfully assesses and celebrates the multitude of experiences that form contemporary fatherhood. Published quarterly, and introduced in January 2013, Kindling Quarterly is 96 pages, perfect-bound and trimmed to 6.5in x 9in. To get your copy click here.
Poopsie picked the brain of editor and co-publisher, David Michael Perez, about fatherhood, publishing and creating something new. Read on…
Poopsie Collective (PC): Your new magazine has me feeling inspired and impressed! I’m wondering, what that initial conversation was between you two [co-publishers August Heffner and David Michael Perez] that spawned KQ? Did you feel there was something always “in” you leading you in this direction, or was it more spontaneous?
Kindling Quarterly (KQ): Thank you for the kind words! Kindling is definitely a two-person project but I was the one to initiate the conversation. It was something I was daydreaming about but when it struck me that there were no publications about fatherhood I started taking it really seriously. From there, I’d say it was a spontaneous and somewhat organic process; it all came together very quickly. We are both very proud, excited new fathers. While we wanted a thoughtful conversation about fatherhood, we weren’t really seeing it anywhere.
(PC): I’m also curious about your musings on fatherhood pre-fatherhood. Was it a topic you had spent much time contemplating?
(KQ): Looking back, at least for me, it’s still totally surreal that I’m publishing a magazine about fatherhood and trying to build my career around it as a subject. For most of my 20s I was one of those guys who swore off kids – of course like most things it’s the most vocal detractors that are the most passionately consumed. I always loved kids I just didn’t think it was for me for a variety of reasons. Looking back, and again this is just in my case, those reasons were really just excuses as may be I was afraid to take on something so powerful, risky, and ultimately rewarding. Deep down, I certainly always took it very seriously and knew if I did became a dad I would be really transformed by it. Even when I met my wife I was still saying I didn’t want kids but that all quickly changed as we fell in love.
(PC): What was the very first thing you said when you found out you were going to be a dad?
(KQ): I don’t know what I said when I found out (we were trying after all) but it certainly didn’t sink in right away. It may not have sunk in even after months of emotional and mental preparation, or after he was born. My emotional attachment to my son really solidified in the weeks and months after his birth, it wasn’t as “‘I’m so overcome and in love” at first sight as I might of thought.
(PC): How did you feel on the “eve” of fatherhood, and how have your feelings changed in the months following the birth of your son?
(KQ): There were a few months during pregnancy when I was an emotional wreck but by the end I felt pretty good. It got more surreal the closer our due date became as at any moment our life would be forever changed. My son, Amon, was born in July and was a week late. My wife and I had already scheduled that time off so we took a lot of trips to Rockaway Beach the weeks leading up to his birth. It was really wonderful and made Hurricane Sandy all the more devastating. Emotionally we were definitely in a good place leading up to his birth.
The months that followed, particularly the first few months were definitely some of the happiest of my life. As mentioned before I really feel in love with my son during that time and it really made clear how important those first moments are in terms of attachment (and why our approach to maternal and paternal leave is so lacking in this country).
(PC): How has fatherhood surprised you? How has it changed you within the contexts of (a) your marriage, and (b) your own life as an individual?
(KQ): This is when I risk spouting off the unavoidable clichés but I’ll do my best. Being so in love and happy isn’t really a ‘surprise’ even if the degree and intensity of it is and can’t be explained before hand. What surprised me is how immediately consumed I became with being the best possible version of myself and – more importantly — actually making steps towards making that happen (although I still have a long way to go). It’s quite paradoxical, because on one hand everything becomes about this new little person, but because of that fact you are obsessed with improving yourself.
Additionally you confront your self and upbringing in an intense way – as you comfort and care for this person you relive how you learned to care for yourself while also projecting yourself onto your parents. If you had amazing parents this can be a real source of inspiration. But for most of us, our parents did the best they could but had their shortcomings like we all do. I’m definitely someone with a good deal of anxiety and since my son was born I’ve been dedicated to addressing that anxiety in a way I never would’ve been able to without being a father. My wife keeps telling me how much our communication has improved since Amon was born so hopefully I’m getting a few things right. I’m really lucky to have an amazing partner and really healthy marriage.
(PC): Can you share a moment, or a few moments, in which you’ve found yourself doing something in your new life as a father that you never would have expected?
(KQ): I can’t really pinpoint a specific moment but I strive to be open to all the little unexpected things. I think that is such an important idea – doing something new and being open to things outside your comfort zone. I hope to be a comfortable and generous parent and I think by definition that means being open to things that might at first make you uncomfortable for whatever reason.
(PC): I can’t help but find a similarity between the newness of KQ and the newness of your role as a father. Looking ahead, can you see how the publication might change as your own interests, activities and identity literally “grow-up” as your child grows?
(KQ): Definitely and even though they are very different, as projects, there are a lot of similarities. If we are doing it right, the magazine will bring on enough talented voices that our individual situations won’t affect it too much. It’s funny to joke that it will become really dark and bitter when our kids are teenagers but honestly part of my interest in starting the magazine is not only building my life around parenting but committing to always being enthusiastic and positive about it, even when it is at its most difficult.
(PC): What aspects of fatherhood do you remember appreciating and valuing the most as a child, either from your own father or a father figure in your life?
(KQ): I don’t know that I truly valued them at the time but the things that really stick out now are the really simple if absurdly idyllic things; memories of playing baseball with my dad and our yearly fishing/camping trips. Like most dads, my father worked a lot while I was growing up so those trips really stick out even though by and large they weren’t particularly notable; I was a shy, quiet kid and my dad is on the stoic, reserved side so it wasn’t like non-stop laughs around the campfire. They were sometimes boring but I think that was the point in some way, getting away from all the little ways in which we could be distracted from our relationship. I don’t know if those trips were easy for my dad but that’s may be why they were so valuable.
David Michael Perez is editor and co-publisher of Kindling Quarterly, a print journal exploring contemporary fatherhood which launched in January of this year. He lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with his wife, Molly, and son Amon. In addition to writing for a number of publications, exhibitions, and formerly being a staff writer at Rhizome.org, from 2009 to 2012 he co-founded and organized FEAST (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics), a recurring public dinner and artist grant program exploring alternative funding models. He received his BA from Eugene Lang College, New School University and an MA in Visual Culture from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
07 5 / 2013
written by STEPHANIE
We don’t give kids enough credit. They know way more than we think they do, namely what we’re feeling on a deep, deep level, and then how to manipulate us. The following are two examples from this past week when my husband and I realized that our 2 1/2 year old is onto us.
Friday: Leaving the beach, I was carrying a sleepy Marlowe back to the car. Her head rested on my shoulder. Her face was nuzzled deep into my neck. My mom, who was with us for the day, walked a few steps ahead pushing the baby in the stroller, while she and I chatted. Marlowe became curious in our conversation and interrupted.
Marlowe: Whutch you talkin’ ‘bout it, Mommy?
Me: I was just telling Bubbe that you when you were a baby, like Shepherd, you didn’t like having your milk from my boobies. You wanted your milk from a bottle.
Marlowe: Me like yous boobies now, Mommy. (*yous isn’t a type-o… that’s what she says in place of “your”)
Me: Well, now it’s too late because you don’t drink boobie milk anymore. You drink cow’s milk from a sippy cup like a big girl. But if you could go back and do it all over again, would you do it differently? Would you like drinking your milk from my boobies?
Me: Well, you know, there are a lot of things I would do differently too if I could go back and do it over again. But we both did the best we could. After all, it was our first time. It was my first time as a mommy and it was your first time as a baby. We were figuring it out together.
Marlowe: Yeah… (thinking)… it was hard, Mommy. Really hard.
06 5 / 2013
Written by ERICA
I’m a fairly healthy person. Not crazy obsessed with nutrition, and honestly completely uneducated on the topic. But generally speaking I live a balanced lifestyle. I love fruit but I also love cookies. I don’t drink soda, I chug water and seltzer, but I also adore wine. I cannot live without coffee, but I don’t use cream or sugar. I would eat pizza and bagels every day, but I don’t. And I exercise. A LOT. Thank god it’s actually my job to be sweaty 1-2x a day. Talk about a dream. I get paid to do something that inspires others, inspires me, and allows me to eat almost anything I want. JACKPOT!
So anyway, here’s my motto, more or less, when it comes to diet: anything in moderation, eat what you love, don’t obsess about anything, but attempt to eat healthy, nutrious, fresh, balanced foods any and every chance you get.
And that goes for Owen too. Except, when it comes to Owen’s eating habits, I fear I’ve become a tad more lax on the topic.
It’s not that I let Owen eat total crap. It’s just that…sometimes I let him eat total crap.
Is Yoo-Hoo a good thing because it’s kinda sorta like milk, or is it bad because it’s almost entirely sugar? I can’t decide…
I always said I didn’t want to be one of those crazy moms who refused to keep treats in her house and who never served sugary cereals or ice cream or potato chips. I want to have the snack cabinet that all the other kids dream about. Because you know what happens to the kids who aren’t allowed to eat candy at home? They eat candy in other people’s homes. If they don’t get pop tarts at home they’re probably eating pop tarts at their friend’s house, and they’re probably going to house an entire box just to make up for lost time.
So clearly I’m willing to let Owen have the delicious treats that every kid should grow up enjoying. I guess I just never thought I would let him enjoy SO MANY treats, and so often. The other day I had a moment of severe guilt when I realized Owen had consumed grilled cheese 4 days in a row, so I decided to write down what I served him for one full day.
And here’s what I learned from my little self-inflicted social experiment…In one single day Owen ate the following:
- Scrambled eggs with cheese
- Chocolate milk
- 1 chocolate munchkin from Dunkin Donuts (fine 2)
- Matzo ball soup
- Grilled cheese
- Peas and corn
- A peach fruit packet
- Fruit snacks
- An apple-strawberry fruit packet
- Pretzels and chips
- A piece of a donut (pink with sprinkles this time, and by a piece, I mean half the donut)
- Pizza (homemade, thank you very much)
- 1 turkey meatball
- More peas and corn
- Fruit snacks (yes this is pack #2)
- Another cup of chocolate milk
- Water - lots and lots of water
So, now that it’s all down on paper, here’s what I have learned…
Well, Owen eats a lot of carbs and fruit. But so do I, so I’m not too worried about that. He definitely eats too many donuts. He also eats far too many fruit snacks. I would venture to say 1 pack a day is sufficient, 2 is too many, and 3 is repulsive. And not gonna lie, sometimes we go for round 3. Also, we need to cut out our daily trips to Dunkin’ Donuts. Which means I’ll need to sneak my coffee when Owen isn’t with me, or I’ll have to go without (shudder). It’s not the end of the world right now at 2-years-old, but the once/twice-daily donut breaks will eventually go right to his thighs and then nobody is happy.
He eats a wide variety of foods. It’s not just cheerios and bagels. He eats meatballs. And matzo balls. And peas. And eggs. And all fruits. And some days he even eats sushi. I know that no matter where we take Owen to eat we’ll find something on the menu that he will try. Sure, pizza is his favorite (ditto!), but he definitely has a slightly more adventurous palette than your average toddler.
So in short, I guess I’m doing a better job than I thought I was in the whole balanced diet for my son category. I’m not raising him to be overly healthy and I’m not depriving him in any way, but I’m also instilling a love of nutritious foods and teaching Owen to enjoy dishes of all flavors.
If only we could cut out those damn donuts…
Don’t mind if I do just help myself to the pretzels and chips and cookies…#timetobabyproof.