Monthly Archives: October 2011


Chris turned 32 on Saturday, so we headed up to Portland on Friday to spend time as a family. When we got home on Saturday, Chris and I left the kids to go to a movie. I asked a wonderful teenager from our church to come over. I warned her in advance that Miriam might […]

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Wendy M. - October 31, 2011 - 6:32 am

It is really hard to leave your baby when you know s/he is going to cry. I think it’s smart to do it, though…I’ve seen parents who were stuck with a three or four year-old too terrified to go to preschool because they never left their child with anyone. I think it also just gets harder (on the parents) to leave them for the first time if you wait too long. We’ve been fortunate…our kids have never really had much separation anxiety (and now they look forward to having a sitter!)
We’ve found the going rate to vary greatly amongst the sitters we’ve hired…anywhere from $5 to $10 an hour for both kids.

camie - October 31, 2011 - 7:05 am

I can soooo relate! I’m leaving my youngest kids this week to go to the temple and I already have anxiety leaving my “baby” who just turned TWO! Needless to say we haven’t gotten out much but I hope we’re turning a corner. We need OUT!

adrienne w - October 31, 2011 - 8:54 am

My kids weren’t ever really too bad that way, so I never really struggled with it. Vienna had a bit of a harder time when she was a baby, but we often put her to sleep before we left so that usually the babysitter didn’t have to worry about it. We also had a babysitter that we started having on a regular basis and Vienna loved her. We’ve been pretty lucky since moving here because we get two 12 year old girls from church who are best friends and love to babysit together. Then I never feel to bad if Geneva needs more attention, because there are two of them to deal with it. We pay them $10 an hour and they split it. It’s actually a good deal. In our last city we paid $7 an hour. I think it’s good that you realize it’s important to go out regardless of how hard it is. It will get easier. It helps if your babysitter is pretty laid back, because then they aren’t as stressed by the crying. But I guess you don’t want them to be TOO laid back!

Kim - October 31, 2011 - 1:23 pm

I had one of those babysitting nights when I babysat. I took a friend with me because the youngest of three had never eaten anything but breast milk straight from mommy. And I was to feed him his first bottle! He basically cried for five hours straight and then about 15 minutes before his parents got home he finally fell asleep – from shear exhaustion I’m sure!

I heard between $7.50 and $10 an hour – depending on number of kids and extra duties. That makes it so hard to hire a sitter for an evening out!! We have yet to get a sitter for our three-year-old. Fortunately we have family close and they keep her. But we need to bite the bullet too and find a regular.

I just saw someone with a similar problem and the suggestions were to explain leaving the room but let the child know you’ll be back. Then come back. Lengthen the amount of time you are gone and always, always let them know you are leaving. It’s better to tell them and let them know you will be back than for them to discover it and be surprised. That just adds to the trauma. Hope it all goes well!

kara - October 31, 2011 - 8:19 pm

My gut is to not want to leave her again after that, but I know that I must. Maybe you will be the lucky one who watches her someday :). I’ll provide earplugs :)
You can do it!!
Way to go for already having babysitters!
We are thinking of doing that with a neighbor girl babysitter. We were thinking we would have her come for 15 minutes at first and then slowly building from there.
Yes, it will be hard but needed time with Chris!

Don and Audrey Wood

I love children’s literature. There are many things I really struggle with as a parent, but going to the library and reading to my kids is one of my favorite parts of  being a parent. Really, there is nothing better than snuggling your little one while curled up to a good book. I am savoring […]

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Belinda - October 28, 2011 - 5:34 am

I loved reading to my girls. However, I would get sleepy while reading and start dozing off but Natalie would holler out “READ READ READ!”. That would wake me up. Her favorite book was “caps for sale”. We all loved “in the night kitchen”. I would read to Danielle from a big book of Fraggle Rock stories. Jose would take the girls to story time at the library. Isn’t that cute? He was the only dad there. Too funny. I didn’t care for dr. Seuss. Too many crazy repetitive words. Really like Laura Numeroff and her if you give a mouse a cookie series. Can’t wait to have grandkids to read to. I might be to old to read to them by the time that happens.

Summer - October 28, 2011 - 5:50 am

Have you read Piggies by them? We love that one, the illustrations are amazing!

Mem Fox is one of my favorite authors. Hers aren’t totally silly, but they are sweet stories with sweet pictures.

I’m sure you’ve read the If You Give…(a mouse a cookie, a pig a pancake, etc.) books – those are fun!

Love children’s books!

Katrina - October 28, 2011 - 9:27 am

I recently have decided that my dream career would be as a children’s librarian. I would love to specialize in children’s literature. We really like the Llama, Llama books by Anna Dewdney. Berkley Breathed is also a really fun author. Lizzy takes a giant Richard Scarry book to bed every night. Sandra Boynton has great board books… There are really a lot of great books out there. Also some rather annoying ones. Lizzy really likes Angelina Ballerina and Pinkalicious, but I find their title characters kind of bratty.

Wendy M. - October 28, 2011 - 4:27 pm

We love Mo Willems in our house…the Piggie and Elephant books, as well as the Pigeon stories and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Richard and Patricia Scarry books are fun because they are from my childhood (I love River Bend by Patricia in particular). The kids still enjoy a Boynton book now and then (even though they are a little old for them…)
I know I’m probably in the minority, but I really do like Dr. Seuss books!
I could go on and on…we have a crazy amount of kid’s books (considering we only have two kids!) It’s fun to hear what everyone else enjoys…

Robyn - October 28, 2011 - 8:40 pm

Silly Sally went to town, walking backwards upside down!

Robyn - October 28, 2011 - 8:41 pm

P.s – Do you know about the Francis books? Bedtime for Francis, Bread and Jam for Francis, etc. We love those.

adrienne w - October 28, 2011 - 10:54 pm

We enjoy the Woods books. I agree with Summer- Piggies is a good one. And Vienna loves their Piggy Pie Po book, but I’m not totally sure why. We also love Llama Llama Red Pajama. I always love Dr. Seuss and Bill Peet books, because they were some of my childhood favourites, but as a parent I kind of dread them at bedtime because they are sooooo long. Still love them though. Right now we like the Fancy Nancy books. They teach great vocabulary and the pictures are so cute. (Even Thatcher likes them.) The kids are very into non-fiction which is great. We are book gluttons at our house!

Wendy M. - October 29, 2011 - 8:56 am

Oh, also Harry the Dirty Dog books. I was excited to see they were being promoted this summer…they must be back in print. It was crazy trying to track down that collection when Brenden was a baby!

Kim - October 29, 2011 - 12:25 pm

We received a copy of Mouse Paint by Ellen Walsh Stoll as a shower gift (from an art teacher friend) before our daughter was born. Great for learning primary colors and mixing primary colors to get secondary colors. I recently discovered several more at the library – one with shapes, one with colors and shapes that look like the shapes are moving, and then there is the whole Dot and Jabber series. Even though my daughter is three, we still go back to those books over and over again. (Plus, the giant lap board book copy of Mouse Paint is a GREAT prop for photographing little kids!!)

Kara - October 29, 2011 - 3:16 pm

I love the idea of Jose at storytime with the girls. That is great. You will be a great Grandma someday!
I haven’t read “piggies”, but I’ve seen it, so I will get that one next time. Love the Laura Numberoff. I have only read a couple of the Mem Fox books, so I will definitely check more of those out!
I would also love to be a librarian, but I really don’t want to get my masters in library science :(. I love love the Llama Llama books! Richard Scarry is great. My kids just love looking at the pictures by themselves. Yes, I agree about Angelina being kind of bratty, and sometimes those books have words like “dumb” and “stupid.” Aren’t they writing these for little kids??
I love the Pigeon books ,but I haven’t read any others by Mo Willems, so I am going to check them out. I like Dr. Seuss a lot, but my kids haven’t been as into them as me. I will keep trying :).
We have read “Bedtime for Francis” and the kids loved it, so I will get the other ones. Have you seen the “Francis” show?? It is so cute!
I haven’t read very many Bill Peet books,so I will check those out! Sofia loves Fancy Nancy.
Mouse paint is great!

Wonderful Pumpkin Patch and Blah on Halloween!

  My friend Adrienne and I took our kids to Airlie Hills Farm today to enjoy the beautiful fall day and all of the fun festivities they have going on there. Sofia playing in the wheat. Definitely not  gluten-free zone :). The kids had fun petting a little calf. Gabe trying to find the biggest […]

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Sarabeth - October 26, 2011 - 9:18 pm

I’m with you. Love fall, but really don’t love Halloween. Costumes are stressful for me to figure out, and it seems like the candy lasts until Christmas (that is, way too long). And it seems like we get a whole lot of really rude kids that come to the door, and that really bugs me. So no, you’re not the only Halloween scrooge :)

Camille - October 26, 2011 - 10:56 pm

What’s the most happening Halloween event for kids? We have costumes (hassle-free thanks to craigslist and the thrift store), but are looking for a minimal-candy activity. Any suggestions?

Kim - October 27, 2011 - 7:26 am

I do not like Halloween at all either. I don’t like giving out candy – don’t get me started on the kids that are way too old or the babies in strollers who are clearly not going to be the ones eating the candy. I don’t like trick-or-treating. I don’t like scary stuff or being scared. I’d be perfectly happy to skip it all together and go straight to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those are happy, loving, family holidays.

I even quit giving out candy and gave prepackaged pretzels, popcorn balls, mini puzzle books, crayons, temporary tattoos, etc. My husband was not happy at first but the kids loved it, “MOM! LOOK! I got a popcorn ball!” Two years ago I refused to even turn on the light. I had all the stuff bought but just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Total Halloween scrooge.

Michelle - October 27, 2011 - 7:59 am

Aww, I LOVE Halloween!! But I almost never put up a Christmas tree… so, I guess we balance each other out! :)

adrienne w - October 27, 2011 - 8:28 am

Oh, how sad that there are so many Halloween Scrooges. I don’t love Halloween but I love that my kids love it. There is no deeper meaning behind it (that we celebrate anyways) so they just get to have fun! Did you hate Halloween as a kid? I remember planning for months what I was going to be. I swore as a parent that I would never sew costumes, but I’ve done it a few times now, because it means a lot to my kids. We rarely pass out candy tough because we’re usually out with the kids anyways. And I’m not big on dressing up myself, but I do it when the situation warrants. Like last year, I was 8 months pregnant so I went as an eyeball. It was pretty fun. Halloween is not my favorite holiday, but it can be lots of fun.

Wendy M. - October 27, 2011 - 8:44 am

I agree that Halloween is a bit of a hassle for parents, but I do love how excited my kids are about it. I figure I’ll be pretty sad when they decide they are too mature to dress up! I also love that Corvallis has the downtown trick-or-treating…that way we can get by with going to a few neighbor’s houses in the evening and not hit every house in the neighborhood (I’m still feel uncomfortable taking the kids trick-or-treating at houses if I don’t know the people.)
I also do not care for the horror-type costumes…if you are old enough to not be scared of those, I think you are too old to be dressing up and trick-or-treating! :-)

kara - October 27, 2011 - 9:04 am

It’s not that I really despise it or anything, I just don’t get excited about it. It does make me happy to see my kiddos happy, but we just won’t put as much energy into halloween as a family as we will into other holidays (is it too early to listen to Christmas music?). I did not grow up with Halloween being a big deal. My mom didn’t put a lot of effort into costumes, it was more like we just found random stuff to wear around the house (we were homeless and hippies a lot). In the 5th grade, my sister dressed me up as Sinead O’Connor :). So… I guess that my upbringing has a lot to do with the way that I am :).
Camille, the downtown day time trick or treat can be fun. They also have games for little kids to play in the garage of the library during the same time that don’t involve candy. There is also stuff at the fairgrounds, but I’ve never gone to that!

Tonya - October 27, 2011 - 3:11 pm

I LOVE Halloween. I think it is so much fun, but you already knew that about me. It’s fun to feel like a kid again getting all dressed up. I think that has something to do with my upbringing because both my mom and my grandma LOVED Halloween. I even remember my grandma dressing up. It was such a hoot! C’mon scrooges, let’s celebrate! :)

Kellie - October 27, 2011 - 9:09 pm

Hey Tonya…I think Kara needs to be boo’ed!

kara - October 27, 2011 - 10:30 pm

OH Tonya,
Celebrating anything with you is a pleasure… especially when you are dressed like an adorable peacock. Kellie and Tonya, you will have to show me some proper Halloween fun : )

Why Making Friends is Pretty Much Like Dating

My friend Becky and I were having a good laugh yesterday talking about all of the funny dynamics of friendship and why making friends is pretty much like dating. Here is some of my reasoning: -You hear some people talk about “Love at first Sight” when some people describe how it was when they met […]

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Megan - October 20, 2011 - 9:32 pm

It was love at first sight of your cute blue Dansko clogs!!! And look at us not =)

Megan - October 20, 2011 - 9:33 pm

look at us NOW!!! (typo above, woops)

adrienne w - October 20, 2011 - 9:45 pm

Oh, Kara, it’s so true! Having recently moved, we are looking to “date.” It’s been tough.
It was “love at first sight” with you, my dear! One weekend together as two guys prom dates and I was smitten! I knew I liked you well enough to plan to be roommates at College. Maybe we were moving to fast, but I think it paid off. You are an easy person to be friends with. Now we just need to talk more often! (Unless this is one of those instances where I was feeling it more than you…;) )

kara - October 20, 2011 - 9:51 pm

The only reason you made the freudian slip or writing look at us not, is because we aren’t together enough :). I loved the first time I met you when you came up and told me the shoe incident. I remember going home and telling Chris about a new friend I was going to make :)
Oh yes, that fateful prom night sealed the deal for us :). Yes, it is funny that we ended up being roommates from that! Ha ha… we did move fast, but it definitely paid off. Oh Adrienne, I would love to talk on the phone more at night… I just need my baby to go to bed earlier so I don’t collapse into bed by the time she is asleep and I take an hour for myself (when it is usually too late to be calling you). Good luck with your dating, I know you will find the right friends :).

Margaret - October 21, 2011 - 8:46 am

Love it. So true. I wish we talked more, but consider myself in the “we pick up right where we left off” category….right??? I think also you (not just you but people in general) make friends with those who are in the same stage of life that you might not be friends with otherwise. Does that make sense? But that is the beauty of it all.

Jasmin - October 21, 2011 - 11:03 am

And making friends once you have kids! Extra hard. Kids have to get along too! Family dating. It is hard! thanks for the article Kara.

Elisabeth@SimpleGreenishLiving - October 23, 2011 - 12:14 am

That’s a good way to put it…and funny too. Like when you told me you wanted to set me up on a blind date with another mom this week, and that we should, “take our relationship to the next level.” Lol, I laughed as I recounted all that to my hubby. You’re funny. I agree about the couple friends, too. I’m so thankful for the couple friends we have in our lives…especially the ones who have experienced becoming parents for the first time in the past year like we have.

Making Applesauce

  Applesauce making was a family affair the other day, and my kids had so much fun helping. Yes, when all of the regular spoons are in the dishwasher, we resort to eating off of measuring spoons. “Say Ah Miriam!” Here is a video of the kids making applesauce all by themselves: And the kids […]

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Kim - October 19, 2011 - 5:49 am

I LOVE the kids using the measuring spoons! That is SO fun! And the applesauce looks delicious! My three-year-old decided all applesauce is baby food and refuses to eat it. Maybe if we made some she have a vested interest in trying it…

Camille - October 19, 2011 - 9:09 am

Levi LOVES looking at your photos of Gabe. Maybe we should get together again sometime.

nancy - October 19, 2011 - 1:20 pm

Sophia’s eyelash-batting while cranking the sauce maker is *adorable*. Miriam looks like she’s thinking, “Come on, guys! Get the spoon IN MY MOUTH!”

Kara - October 19, 2011 - 10:00 pm

The sauce maker was an awesome investment. Makes the process so much easier!
Yes, we would love to see you guys!
Oh yes, she knows how to work her charm :), and I love how she takes a bite after every bite she feeds Miriam.

adrienne w - October 20, 2011 - 9:57 am

I also love Sofia’s “one-for-you, one-for-me” method. Very cute. How much applesauce did you make? Do you freeze it or can it?

Elisabeth@SimpleGreenishLiving - October 23, 2011 - 12:15 am

That is a super handy looking contraption. Where did you end up getting your apples?