Saturday, October 6, 2018

Mark and I texted about the printer not working, possibly due to lack of toner...

I showed this to Julia and she said, "When you run out of hair dye it'll be grey ink."

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Kids' Lunch Ideas

This is how we roll here when it comes to kids' lunches...

-Peanut butter and jelly*
-Peanut butter, banana, and honey (I’ve also used a hot dog bun for this.)
-Turkey and hummus
-Turkey wrapped around a breadstick (Trader Joe’s boxed breadsticks)
-Hummus and veggies
-Egg salad
-Chicken salad
-BLT (made with turkey bacon but some turkey bacon has been inedible), served cold

*I actually use Trader Joe’s sunflower seed butter. Kids can’t tell the difference.
There isn’t a nut ban at school but that’s a swap I can easily make.

Trader Joe’s sunflower seed butter. Your kid won’t know the difference.

Other Stuff
-Yogurt (I do non-fat Greek yogurt with honey and a sprinkle of granola or non-fat strawberry with aforementioned granola sprinkle)
-Hummus and selection of veggies (carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers) and pita or crackers
-Cheese and crackers
-Cold leftover omelet
-Hard-boiled egg
-Pasta salad
-Skewers of fresh mozzarella balls and tomato chunks
-Teriyaki tofu (sold in a package at Trader Joe’s and I just cut up)
-Leftover sushi (soy sauce on side)

Unusual concoctions
-Whole garbanzo beans, chopped up orange, mint (if you have), olive oil
-“Cracker dip” (mashed garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, salt) and serve with crackers*
-Sushi using rice and a protein (salmon, chicken, tofu) or kappa maki with cucumber. Wrap with seaweed sheets they carry at the store (Nob Hill has). Cut one in half and roll it up, sealing the end with a little water. Do not cut or it’ll fall apart. Include soy sauce.
-Quinoa salad with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil (Julia loves this. We make it together for her lunch when we have more time. It’s her annual first school lunch)

*I like Ak Mak crackers because they’re 100% whole wheat.

Easy sushi made with rice and a leftover protein

Quinoa salad with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil

It may look like Ok-Mok (which is what we call it), but it’s really Ak-Mak.

-Potstickers (can put soy sauce in small separate container or use a to-go packet)
-Shu mai (Trader Joe’s with soy sauce)
-Fried rice
-Canned black beans and brown rice mixed together*
-Leftover pasta (ravioli, gnocchi, mac n cheese)
-Hot dog (bun outside of thermos)
-Hot leftover egg (bread to make a sandwich outside of thermos)

*When using canned beans, I recommend rinsing them first because there’s a lot of
added salt.

Trader Joe’s potstickers. Their shu mai is also a winner for kids’ lunches.


Yumbox (Keeps each compartment sealed so nothing travels to another compartment.
Also has a small compartment for a dipping sauce.) Comes in lots of colors/variations.

Yumbox comes in lots of different colors and has a variation that holds an entire sandwich.

Lock N Lock (4 compartments. Doesn’t leak or travel to other compartments.) Sometimes
I remove two compartments and put in something like a sandwich instead.

Without the removable compartments, Lock N Lock can also double as tupperware for home use.

James eats a lot (he downs 1 ¼ sandwiches - sometimes more - while Julia eats less than a ½  sandwich), and his lunch doesn’t usually fit in either container any more. For him I stick his sandwich in a plastic bag and use a divided snack container for a veggie and fruit. I could buy the Yumbox that fits a whole sandwich but even that might be too small.

Best Lunch Idea Site
Kudos to the One Hungry Mama website and Facebook page. It has great kids’ lunch
ideas (including the sushi one) and some good dinner recipes as well.


And then if you’re not tired enough after making lunch, include a lunch box joke. (Actually
I like doing this. It breaks the monotony of making lunches.)

The first lunch box joke I ever gave the kids on the first day of first grade.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Mother's Day Part II

The kids gave me kisses and showed how well they know me.

Thanks, James!

Um, James?

Sounds like a good day to me, Julia.

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Royal Wedding

Julia was pretty excited about a certain wedding today...

Friday, May 25, 2018

Mother's Day Part I

Julia's been complaining that it isn't fair that we never get to do all the “fun” things in San Francisco that tourists do (and apparently "The Boxcar Children" do), like ride cable cars. So after a stop at the Cable Car Barn to see the actual cables pulled on giant wheels, we proceed to catch the Van Ness - California Street line (highly recommended since we had the half the car to ourselves). There's nothing like holding onto the cable car with one hand and leaning out with your arm outstretched to make you feel like you're flying down the hills. The kids loved it.

And then we Ubered back to our car because the cable cars are a ridiculous $7 per person for a one way ticket. Next time we ride the cable cars, Julia, will be when you have something called a job.

Thursday, May 10, 2018


We spotted a skunk in our backyard this morning before school. The kids were excited until they realized that they would eventually have to go outside to get to the car. They kept concocting ridiculously elaborate plans to do so that would, in fact, expose them even more to the skunk. These ranged from Julia's ("We'll run to the end of the block and you pick us up there") to James's ("Do we have an axe? What about a really sharp knife? Don't worry - I'm not going to kill the skunk. I'll just go into the attic and make a hole in the roof and climb out to see where the skunk is. Then we'll take a ladder down to the car.")

Of course we got to the car just fine. And then Julia realized she forgot her library book so I had to go inside and get it. It would have been funny if the skunk had then shown up in the front yard while the kids were stuck in the car, but of course no skunk was spotted (just striped!).

In our backyard. If it's nested under the deck we'll just have to move.

Some choice quotes:
James: (In planning our exit) "Wait, where are the walkie talkies?"
Julia: (Once we all got in the car) "Quick! Lock the doors!"
Julia: "What if the skunk follows our car to school?"
When we got to school James joked that everything was okay, and there weren't any little pawprints left from a skunk hanging off the license plate. Julia went to check anyway.

And that was our excitement for the day.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Paris Epilogue

James waxes poetic on his final night of the trip about how his heart is being tugged in two by Paris. One wants to stay so he can run across the street and play in the rain, and the other wants to go home and play video games (notably “Stardew Valley”). He turns his thoughts into a poem. (James says he got the idea of his heart being tugged in two from a "Chicken Squad" book, but the illustrations are all James.)
(I considered cropping the poem about two-thirds down because I think the beginning is better. But sometimes it’s nice to have some insight into the mind of a 7-year-old, like about how he misses his favorite video game and his stuffed golden retrievers, Bowser and Goldie. “D. Dude” is what he calls the dalmatian “tattoo” on his arm. Also, if I cropped it early you’d miss out on the drawing of the smiling heart back together again at the end.)
James has said since the beginning of first grade that he wants to be a poet when he grows up. Despite my angsty high school days editing a literary magazine, I assure you I’ve never encouraged him in this direction. I think it’s because he likes rhyming words. This poem is the first he’s written where he didn’t.