Archive for the ‘Carter’ category

wondering about cupcakes

August 27th, 2009

Does my child watch too much TV? Do I not watch enough?

Carter and I split the last piece of coffee cake this morning. Of course, Carter wanted the piece with more sprinkles. (When Jeff found out all the coffee cake was gone, he declared he’s going to start “taxing” baked goods, setting aside 1/3 of anything we bake, since he keeps deciding too late to have another piece.)

I asked Carter what we should make next. More coffee cake, or maybe muffins? His immediate, emphatic, and specific answer: “Ming-Ming cupcakes.” ???  He then proceeds to tell me that we need to buy yellow food coloring and chewy candies, like the ones at Finley’s birthday party, to make Ming-Ming’s hat.

First, I had to ask: Who? Apparently, I’m not up to speed on the Wonder Pets. Next, I sorted out that he had seen someone on TV make these cupcakes. Jeff confirmed that he and Carter had watched an interstitial about making  Ming-Ming cupcakes and told Carter that making them looked like a BIG project.

“Make” here means “decorate,” not “bake,” as the cupcakes are made from a box, and the frosting comes from a can! Cited prep time is 80 (!) minutes, with the caveat: “This recipe is best suited for parents to make on their own or with minimal help from kids.” The recipe flat out warns: “Ming-Ming cupcakes are a ‘serious’ treat, only to be made and enjoyed by ‘serious’ cupcake fans. Just warning you.” 

Seriously, Nick Jr., thank you for inspiring my kid to bake something new. But next time, could you feature something designed for kids to make? Just an idea, considering your audience.

Results to come.

sick day

August 21st, 2009

Carter nearly never gets sick. His daycare is the furthest thing from the stereotype of a daycare that’s a petri dish of shared germs. Lucy and her helpers clean twice a day, and I really would feel comfortable eating off her floor.

So why is it that the rare day Carter needs to stay home (a tummy bug visited him in the night), is also the rare day Jeff and I both really need to be at work? Unlike most days, when neither of us typically has meetings that require our presence and we can do much of our jobs from home. (In the same vein, we really don’t do that much socially, either, but inevitably, if we’re invited to do something, like go to a party, we will get at least two other invitations for the same time.)

We split the difference: I stayed home in the morning and drove to San Francisco for my afternoon meeting, missing the first half hour, and Jeff came home for the afternoon, not having finished what we needed to get done. So go the lives of working parents. 

Fortunately, Carter felt completely fine all day. In fact, he had a better day than usual because as he put it he got “special time with Mommy and then special time with Daddy!” And that’s never a bad thing.

(No) spilled milk

July 28th, 2009

A good way to teach kids to pour liquids (for example, their own cup of milk) is to first pour it into a small pitcher and have them practice pouring from there into a cup. I learned this tip from author Nancy Hall when I was editing the book Gymboree’s 365 Activities You and Your Child Will Love. I started doing this with Carter ages ago and still do it, using a 1- or 2-cup liquid measuring cup. He likes pouring his own milk without any mishap, and I don’t mind the mitigated risk of spills, either.

Unusually disagreeable

July 21st, 2009

“I don’t like eating dinner.”

“I don’t like taking a bath.”

Jeff: “Do you want to bake banana bread with Mommy?”

“No, thank you.”

Ouch.

Let’s pretend

July 13th, 2009

Tinker toy cookies and cakeCarter turned down the opportunity to make banana bread or bake the rest of the sugar-cookie dough in favor “baking” a Tinker Toy cake and cookies with me. He held up a piece of paper and told me that it was the recipe, which had “a half cup of sugar and some flour and vanilla” in it.

The results are why I didn’t buy him the Dave and Melissa’s “decorate a cake” toy. It just seems far better to me to have Carter seek out and turn over a plastic container that usually holds his balls, drape his blanket over it with the white side up for icing, and decorate it with Tinker Toy joints, with which he wanted to spell out” Happy Mothers’ Day, From Carter.” (This involved a few too many letters to approximate.) We settled for a big “M”—and purple sprinkles, Carter’s second favorite color.

The tray next to the cake holds “cookies” for Daddy. Wouldn’t want him to feel left out. In fact, in the end, Daddy got to blow out candles on the cake. cake for daddy

Staying cool

June 28th, 2009

Too hot to bake. Perfect day for Burger King $1 value chocolate shakes. 12 ounces of coolness.

Carter and I hit the drive-through after hanging out at the air-conditioned Hiller Aviation Museum, where we’re members. It’s a favorite weekend field trip.

Just a bite, please

June 11th, 2009

Since Carter turned 4, he’s subject to the one-bite rule. Whereas previously he could say “no thank you” to any food,” now he has to try one bite first. Tonight I made the same pasta dish (Fettuccine With Peas, Shallots, and Herbs) for my family that I made on Tuesday for Stacey’s family. Carter ate 1 pea, 1 noodle, 1 small piece of parsley, and handfuls of strawberries.

Then he was ready for the outrageously expensive flower-shaped frosted cookies from JJ&F Market. They cost twice as much as the six shallots and box of linguini that I picked up on the way home. I’m not sure about this slaving over a hot stove for dinner, since I’ve never been much of a cook, but I certainly felt accomplished having actually used a recipe for dinner. At least, Jeff had seconds.

Growing boy

May 28th, 2009

Right now, Carter is growing and eating more. Lucy says she makes three times (!) the food for Carter as for the other kids at daycare. Yet, he knows exactly when he’s done, even if it means leaving two bites on his plate. I wish I could still do that.

Over the bridge

May 23rd, 2009

I finally, for the first time, ate breakfast at the Dublin Country Waffles with the boys.

My husband and his former roommate, Danilo, have been going to breakfast with each other most Saturdays since Jeff moved back to the Bay Area in 1990.

When I became Jeff’s Palo Alto roommate and Danilo moved up to San Ramon, they started alternating locations. One week, Danilo would drive just shy of an hour each way so they could eat at their old stomping grounds, El Paso in Mountain View. The next, Jeff would be the one to cross bridges in quest of breakfast. All so they can sit, eat, read the papers, and generally not say much.

Carter has been many times (and I think Danilo misses him when he’s not there), but this was my first sojourn to the Waffle House. While I didn’t have a waffle, I can recommend the omelets. The waitresses sprinkle in a lot of “Honeys and “Dears,” and your coffee cup is always full. Dumbarton or San Mateo bridge? Carter makes the call, and I’m there.

Carter: Breakfast is all about salty meat: serve bacon, sausage, or better both, and I’m there.

Berry boy

May 22nd, 2009

Yeesh. The grill ran out of propane in the middle of this year’s first attempt at grilling. Jeff looked so sad. Beautiful berry salad, though: pitted (!) cherries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. I had to dole it out so that the grown-ups would get some berries before Carter ate all of them. 

Carter’s self-proclaimed favorite food: strawberries.

(Lucy’s meatball soup at daycare, which Carter also loves, would also be a strong contender. Jeff and I would love to eat at daycare: two snacks, two meals, all homemade.)