February 26, 2024

Child of the 80s

If you're a child of the 80s like I am, you might remember the Garbage Pail Kids. Whenever I'd get a dollar from my grandparents or find some change in the couch, I'd go down to the local convenience store, The Food Bag, and buy a pack of those cards.

Yesterday I was cleaning out the glove box in the car when I was visiting my parents and SoJo was napping, and I found an old travel Scrabble game, which I must have made its way into the car from one of our road trips. It was mine when I was a kid. For kicks, I opened it and found this inside
It's Pollutin' Newton! I had to post this because I think I should make him the unofficial mascot of Green and Clean Week here next week.

I found this website that helps you find the card that is closest to your name. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the picture so you have to do a search on the card to see what it looked like. I was always disappointed that there was no Kathleen, only Catty Kathy, which looked like an even more obese Garfield, and since I already had body image issues, I never pinned Catty Kathy to my bulletin board.

Does anyone out there remember these? Which one was your favorite?

Recycled Boxes

Since we've been sick a record 4 times this year (I rarely get colds, that is until I had a baby, and I believe the lack of sleep has destroyed my immune system), we have been buying tissues as of late. Of course tissues in themselves are not necessarily an eco-friendly choice, but I'll admit that I was lazy about the handkerchiefs we have. Somehow they've disappeared, and I think Mr. Geek is to blame after using them all summer as bandanas for tennis playing (they are those navy blue ones that one assumes cowboys use...you know the type).

Enough of the confessional, though, and let's move on to what this post is about--reusing boxes. You'd be amazed at all of the things you can use them for. Since my empty tissue box had a cute pattern on it that was too nice to flatten for recycling, I decided to repurpose it into a bag holder for our car.
I took a few plastic bags (which we somehow manage to accumulate despite religiously bringing reusable ones with us) and stuffed them inside the empty box. I'll keep this in the car to use for trash and for carrying my and SoJo's wet bathing suits after our Monday swim sessions. I'm always forgetting to pack one in our swim bag.

A tissue box would make a great container for small dust rags, or ziplock bags that you've washed and reused. I also thought about cutting off the top and using it as a container for something else. With the top cut off, it could also be a pretty way to present a plant to someone. Just stick the pot inside.

I found some other ideas for recycling boxes on the web too. I've seen this one before, for turning a cereal box into a magazine holder. Imagine how nice it would look after decoupaging some scrapbooking paper onto it.

I also like this idea, of turing a pasta box into a cute little tray, from the blog all over the map. I can really see a person creating an entire desk set out of recycled boxes and coordinating craft paper. I'd love to do this, but I'd need an office (or desk for that matter).

February 23, 2024

Monday Musings: Breastfeeding

With SoJo closing in upon his first year on this earth, my thoughts have turned to breastfeeding, specifically whether or not I'll be continuing to nurse him after his first birthday. I've had my ups and downs with breastfeeding, especially in the beginning. I was thrilled when he latched on like a pro an hour after his birth. He wanted to be on the boob constantly, and I remember sobbing my first night in the hospital after the nurse brought him in yet again to my room because they couldn't soothe him (without a bottle, of course). I thought, my god, what am I in for? I won't sleep more than an hour at a time for the next few months.

He was voracious in his nursing, often wanting it every hour and staying on the boob for an hour at a time. At his 1 month visit, we found out that he wasn't gaining as he should be and that I needed to think about supplementing with a bottle. Of course this made me so upset, that I wasn't providing enough for him. Despite all the nursing we were doing, I still had a low milk supply. I started giving him a bottle of formula in the evenings after a nursing session, and he seemed so much happier. The poor little guy was hungry! I found a great article on BlogHer called "What if Breast Isn't Best?" that really made me think differently about this whole issue.

My low milk supply made me crazed over the first 6 months. I kept worrying that SoJo wasn't getting enough to eat, and also if I hadn't nursed or pumped in 3 hours that my supply would go down even more. These were the times when I hated nursing (well, to be honest, those first few months were bad at times too, having to be the sole provider of nourshment, no matter what time of day or night). I hated not being able to go out for a few hours for fear of damaging my milk supply. And having to get up at 4am to pump because the baby was sleeping through the night and I didn't want my supply to go down. Ugh!

Those times I kept saying to myself, if I can just make it to the 3 month point, then the 6 month point, then a year, I'll be ok about stopping. Well here it is nearly a year and I can't believe how much I enjoy it! I think when SoJo started eating solids, I was more relaxed about nursing, knowing he was getting calories elsewhere in addition to my milk. I think not having so much pressure about my milk supply actually made it go up. Weird, huh?

When I was pregnant, I planned on nursing for at least a year, but now I'm thinking I might go beyond, assuming SoJo still wants to "nursey-nurse" (he actually knows what that means now, and jumps up and down when I ask him if he wants to do it). Some of it is that I have some misgivings about giving SoJo cow's milk, since in my mind it's a little weird to be drinking milk from another animal (even though I occassionally eat cheese and dairy), especially since I can give him my milk. But often pediatricians and "experts" frown upon nursing beyond a year (not that I care what they think).

So that's my breastfeeding story. What about you? Did you nurse your child? Why/why not (of course this is not meant as a judgment)? Did you have challenges or doubts? How long did you nurse for? Would you nurse again if you had the chance? I really want to hear your stories!

February 20, 2024

Support Your Local CSA

We finally did it this year...we joined a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture group (sometimes called a co-op). From June through November, we'll be getting a box of locally grown, organic vegetables and fruits from Seasons' Harvest Farm. As much as I want to grow my own food, our yard doesn't get enough sun for more than a few tomato plants and herbs.

While it was more than a few pennies (about $17 a week), the cost is worth it, especially knowing that every week, all summer and fall, we'll have box of healthy food to cook up into stews, salads, and to eat raw. I end up spending that amount every week at the Farmer's Market, and last summer I was horrified to see that the sleeve of garlic I bought had a "Grown in China" sticker (to clarify, I mean this not against Chinese produce, but against shipping heads of garlic halfway around the world instead of selling locally grown ones). Thanks Renninger's Farmers Market, for masquerading as a venue for local produce.

Local Harvest is a great place to start looking for your own CSA, or a local farm market. That's where I found my farm (I love writing that..."my" farm).

February 19, 2024

Fishful Thinking

Fishful Thinking, a program created by Pepperidge Farm (cute name--get it, Fishful and Goldfish crackers) that helps parents raise confident children who have the tools to successfully overcome obstacles, thrive in the face of adversity and reach their goals.

If you're in the New York State area, you can attend a FREE symposium in White Plains, NY with parenting expert Dr. Karen Reivich. The date is March 7, 2024 at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains. Lunch and breakfast are included, and spaces are filling up, so RSVP ASAP on their website.

February 18, 2024

Wordful Wednesday: The Bunny Bowl

This used to cause a fight in our household when I was growing up
no, not the horrible photo, which sometimes causes a fight in our house now when I plead for a new camera with a macro lens. And kindly ignore the oatmeal remnants on the bowl
Ah, the bunny bowl. The one object that would make us finish our Cheerios. My 4 brothers and I would fight to use that bowl in the mornings, so that one of us could be the lucky kid to see that picture of Peter Rabbit and his mama and siblings playing in the kitchen. It's funny how things that seem so insignificant to adults are so special to kids.
A Similar Bowl

I got the last word on the bunny bowl, since I pilfered it from my parents' house last week before any of my brothers could break out the Fruit Loops. I had forgotten it was there, but came across it while visiting (and rifling through the cabinets) one day. Someone had given this set to the oldest of my brothers when he was christened. It is from the Bunnykins collection of Royal Doulton, which is still available today. There are so many versions of the plate, cup and bowl, all with images of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit. Unfortunately, the plate broke, but we still have the other two pieces.
I love the little mug with its pot-belly shape. It is easy for SoJo to drink from. And it has an adorable picture of a bunny with a crab pinching its toe.

Although one might consider these antiques, the bowl is a bit worn from all of the spoons in it over the years. The mug is in better condition. I'm so happy that SoJo will be able to enjoy these just as his mom and uncles did. We've added a new heirloom to our collection, a sweet little Giraffe spoon, from Reed and Barton, courtesy of Lisa.
Here's SoJo feeding himself, or at least trying, while using the spoon.

I wish he was happier in his high chair, but alas, he would much rather be kicking about, toddling around the kitchen.
Grumpy as usual when the camera comes out, just like his dad.

For more Wordful Wednesday, head over to

February 16, 2024

Calling all Cobwebs

Coming up during the first week of March, I'm hosting Green and Clean Week here at Katydid and Kid.
All week long (March 1-7) there will be tips and tricks on making your cleaning routine a little more eco-friendly. And of course there will be some Green & Clean giveaways too! If you're interested in sharing a post (either new or from your archives), feel free to leave a comment here. I'd love to hear your ideas and recipes for green cleaning.

Also, if you'd like to post my button on your site (for extra entries in the contests) the code is on the left. I'd appreciate the publicity!

Monday Musings

Here's what's been on my mind this weekend--how do you experience time? Mr. Geek and I talk about this often, especially since we are now parents and often it seems that time goes by so quickly. I find that the days go by so slowly, yet the months fly by at the same time. How can that be? Mr. Geek says that time passes slower for him, maybe because he tries to pay attention to each moment and be present. Not that I don't try to do this, but it still seems amazing that my baby will be a year old next month.

About 14 years ago, I read an interesting little book (it was literally a little book!) called Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman, and it was composed of short stories that played with the notion of time.
I remember one story where a man kept being yanked out of the present and dropped in the past, which was maddening because he had to be careful not to mess with past events for fear of changing the future. If any of you watch LOST, like I religiously do (and I rarely watch TV), then you would love this book.

Being at home with SoJo all day, it's almost like I can't wait until Mr. Geek gets home from work, just for a change of pace. But then I feel guilty that I just keep looking forward to another time of day, rather than fully experiencing the moment that is happening now. Again, I do try, but it doesn't always happen.

I frequently think of John Lennon's lyric "life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." It seems like many of us are waiting for that time when our children are walking, or talking, or when they start school because it will be fun and they'll be out of our hair for part of the day, etc. Or thinking things like "if I can only make it through today, or to the weekend."

My thinking is this: Let's slow down, enjoy the moments we have with each other. Truly, they are the only things that exist, since both the past and future are really just in our minds. What do you think? Does time go by quickly or slowly for you, especially after you've had kids?

February 9, 2024

Monday Musings

Because I'm really lax about posting things on Mondays, I'm going to use Mondays as a meme for some issue that's been on my mind this week. We went to a friend's for dinner this weekend and during dinner, my friend Kelly said that her 4 year old daughter had been asking her about what would happen to her "if mommy and daddy go to God." Whoa, that's really heavy stuff! It got me thinking about what I'd say to SoJo if/when he asks that someday.

Mr. Geek and I were talking about it last night, and my thought was that I'd just say that "Mommy and Daddy will be here with you, and don't worry." My reasoning was that there is no need for their little minds to worry over something that may or may not happen, and if it does happen, that would be the time for them to worry over it. What's done is done, and the child would have no choice but to carry on and deal with it (as cruel as that sounds).

My husband was more into the "honesty is the best policy" approach. He practices mindfulness and meditation, so his main philosophy of living is to be full present in each moment (a simple idea that is hard to practice--hence, practice and not mastery). His answer to SoJo would be something along the lines of "Mama and Dada are here with you right now," or "someone will always be there to take care of you. You don't need to worry."

When SoJo asks one day "what happens to us when we die?" my husband will tell him "No one knows for sure." I agree with him on that, since no one really does know. We may believe and have faith in something, but until someone dies and comes back from the dead (I won't even get into my thoughts on reincarnation), we truly don't know. Mr. Geek imagines the following scenario: he is with SoJo in his bedroom, with a globe or the world. He spins the globe and tells SoJo to stop it with his finger. His finger lands on Outer Mongolia.
Mr. Geek asks him, "what is Outer Mongolia like?"
SoJo answers "I don't know."
Mr. Geek: "That's like when we die. I've never been there, so I don't know what it's like. It's a new place to go."

Ok, is this crazy, or completely sane?

My thoughts on above scenario. When SoJo asks me where we go when we die, I say something like, "Where were you before you were born?" He says, "I don't know" and I say that I believe that we go back to that place, wherever, whenever it may be.

Of course who the hell knows what our opinions will be when our son is at the age where he starts asking these questions. I'd like to know what your thoughts are on this issue. Have your kids asked you these kinds of questions? What did you tell them? Or what will you tell them when they do ask?

February 4, 2024

An Afternoon at the Art Museum

Yesterday SoJo and I paid a visit to my former place of employment, which happens to be a great little art museum. I used to work in the Education Department, giving tours and leading classes, as well as helping to install our rotating children's gallery. We have both permanent galleries and temporary Special Exhibitions, and with each Special Exhibition, our Ed Staff would change over the kids' gallery to reflect the new exhibition's theme. Currently we have a Monet and Matisse show, so the children's area is decked out in Impressionist decor and activities.

Here we are in front of "Matisse's House"......and sitting on Arty, aka the bronze Galapogas turtle that is the unofficial mascot of the Ed. Department. Kids love climbing on him.
I miss working on those gallery installations, which if I were to describe the process, would sound like an episode of Trading Spaces. We'd usually have about 2 weeks to tear down everything and rebuild it, with a budget of like $10 (ok, maybe a little more). Here are some photos of our children's gallery that I took a few years ago during a different Impressionism show. I neglected to take photos of the current installation, but I was too busy talking with co-workers and making sure SoJo didn't eat the fake plants.
These are of the activity corner, where there are make-and-take art projects for families. The counter below the chickens had an origami frog project along with a flowery lily pad, both of which were made from paper.
The other activity seen below was a mini landscape made out of torn tissue paper. Very impressionistic.Right as you entered the kids area (from the left) you walked into the "artist's studio" with items that you might find in a painter's studio (kid-proofed of course).

This was a fun little activity where we laminated lots of postcards of landscapes and kids/parents had to sort them into different seasons.
I love our museum! And I miss the staff, many of whom I became quite close to. I'll return one day, I'm sure, either as an employee or as a visitor with SoJo at my side.

Great work Lauren, Amy and Jane! I'll take more photos next time.

Happy Blogiversary K&K;!

I can't believe it's been a year since the birth of this blog! This date really snuck up on me, and it wasn't until a few days ago when looking through my archives that I went "Oh crap--I mean, wow! My blogiversary is coming up!"

Allow me to wax philosophical for a few moments, after all, I am in awe of what I've done over the past year here. No, I don't have tons of followers or have posted something incredible every day, but I'm impressed that I have nearly written 400 posts in one year! All while having a baby and taking care of him over the last 10 months.

Here's one of Kid and Katydid's earliest photos together
Not the best look for me, but SoJo is so darned small and cute! Oh, I miss that babyness already. Do you think I was missing my blog that day? Of course not. It wasn't until probably August-September when I became obsessed. Just check out the number of posts in those months!

Now that's nothing compared to a lot of you fellow bloggers with 2 to 10 kids, but for me, this has been one challenging year.

I started out with a generic blogger template and a makeshift banner, did a complete redesign in July (remember my old look)
and yet another redesign in January. I think it's going to be bi-yearly thing. I also hosted some great giveaways and participated in a Tea Party with some of my bloggy pals back in November. {Girls, I hope we'll be doing another one soon...maybe coffee talk}.

This whole blogging thing has been really fun, and I can't say enough how happy I am to have met some really great women from all over the world through this technological tool. I never would have thought a computer would keep me up late at night or be one of the first things I think about in the morning! This coming from someone who would chastise her husband, the computer engineer, for being online too much.

I really wanted to give something away in celebration of this date, but like I wrote, it snuck up on me and I wasn't prepared. Forgive me if it's a little hasty, but I'd love to knit a hat for someone who leaves a comment here letting me know something you like about my blog or something that you'd like to see in the future. Maybe more of something that I already do!

I can say that I really want to do more arts and crafts and more of my own photos. I am saving up for a better camera, so hopefully you'll have some nicer pictures to look at. As for the arts and crafts, it's just been hard keeping up with an early walker around here. I'm in no way complaining, but my lack of good material lately has been a result of a toddling boy who is not napping as much as he used to. And a mama who is too tired at night to stay up really late. The final excuse is that I really am enjoying spending time with him, since he's at the fun age where he laughs and likes me to play with him. I'm trying to savor these moments, since I'm learning that they go by way too quickly.

So if you're interested in that hat, go ahead and leave me a comment. Comments with flattering statements about me or my son, will not be deleted!

Me today, one year (or so later), sans the kid
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