Five For Friday

Some baby posts.

1. We had two earthquakes yesterday. TWO. I mean, we probably have several tremors every day that we don’t feel, but yesterday there were two large-ish quakes, upper 3s and lower 4s on the Richter scale. Quakes like that are always a little unnerving, but to have one in the afternoon and then another in the evening is…GAH. Reminds me that I need to put together some kind of earthquake kit. Water, canned food, a flashlight, what else? They say these smaller quakes help relieve the faults, maybe preventing “The Big One” or at least staving it off for a few more years. Still, it’s scary.

2. A few months ago, I was casually browsing online for holiday gifts, now I feel like the holidays are coming at me like a freight train. I usually have it somewhat under control, but not this time around. I’d love to make some of the gifts this year. Anyone have any good craft ideas?

3. It pays to buddy up with the owner of your local corner market. Remember on my epic bad day, and they didn’t have a single Coke product to be found? Turns out he had to have them take away his Coke cooler so he could fix the floor underneath. Since he wasn’t willing to take it back at the end of the same day they gave it away, and now he has to wait for a new one to become available. Boo. BUT, today he dug out a can of Diet Coke from the back of a cooler just for little ol’ me.

4. Have you found the Trader Joe’s chocolate covered potato chips yet? TO DIE. Sounds strange, but it’s an amazing chocolatey, crunchy, salty delight. And if you’re into it, then you have to seek out Jimmy Fallon’s flavor of Ben & Jerry’s. Late Night Snack.

4 1/2. Sorry that like, half of this post was about junk food. It’s just been that kind of day.

5. We have lots of visitors coming next week, and the weather is slated to be AMAHZING so new posts may or may not happen. But I’m still here, still love you guys, have a fantastic weekend.

50

A very happy 50th anniversary to my favorite film. The anniversary was actually yesterday, but my blog’s server was down all day. Better late then never. Enjoy this great moment in cinematic history:

The Versatile Blogger

I have been given a wonderful award from lawyer-turned-stay-at-home-mom Chrissy over at The Outlaw Mom. The Versatile Blogger award! I’m so honored she thought of me to include in her list of fun bloggers and great writers! Many, many heartfelt thanks to her!

I like reading The Outlaw Mom for her yummy food ideas, great project ideas for toddlers, fun style ideas and generally just her down-to-earth take on motherhood. Once in a while, I have the pleasure of stumbling upon a blogger who’s such a pleasure to read, because we’re so similar. Chrissy is one of those bloggers.

It’s also always a surprise to find out that people out there are actually reading (and enjoying) Very Bloggy. It amazes me. And I still get those fun butterflies in my tummy every time I have a new comment (even though most of the time it’s family) (thanks mom!).

So, the idea with this award is to pay it forward to 15 fellow bloggers that I have recently discovered or that are old favorites, and give them some much deserved special recognition. Here goes:

[If you’re one of my 15 and you want to participate, here are the rules: 1) link back to the person awarding you, with thanks; 2) pay it forward to 15 newly discovered bloggers; and 3) list 7 random things about yourself.]

1. Blue Jean Amy — I’ve been following BJA for a while now, she’s a great writer, a fun gal and a wonderful mommy.

2. The Bra Factory — The story of Nikki and her (expanding) brood. Always a fun and charming read. I actually discovered her through BJA.

3. Grumble Girl — Tracey is so great, and she always makes me laugh (even when I really don’t wanna). Fantastic blog from a wonderful mama.

4. Mama Mash — Hilarious and fun, always a great read.

5. Culdesacked — A poignant look at suburban American life. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, always raw and honest.

6. Two Adults, One Brown Baby — She’s always got me cracking up reading her posts. A fun and sweet blog.

7. Karyn Gallagher — Super fun-to-read blog about Karyn’s life as a mom and woman.

8. Mommy-Schmommy — A fun, entertaining, honest look at motherhood.

9. White Sugar, Brown Sugar — Sweet, smart, adoptive mama with some really lovely posts.

10. Kelly Tirman — Great, fun lady I have met IRL. Raising a multilingual brood. Her blog is stylish and lovely with timely posts on all kinds of fun stuff.

11. Navigating the Mothership — Love her writing style, love her take on “the mothership”.

12. Sweet Stella’s — A fun gal, a super mompreneur and great blogger.

13. Meghan GWine — I knew her when she was “AMomTwoBoys”. Good reads on motherhood, parenting and life.

14. Diaper Dads — A fun dad blogger and overall good guy, on a mission to help dads find mens rooms with changing tables.

15. Late Mommy’s Blog — She sweet and funny, and a Chicago sports fan to boot.

Fifteen slots is just not enough! I hope no one feels forgotten or left out. If you’re not on this list, that in no way means I don’t enjoy your blog. Also, I know I use “great” and “funny” and “sweet” a lot, but I don’t want it to seem like I’m not genuinely in love with those folks. It’s just tough to find 15 different ways to say “they’re awesome.” Haha.

And now…drumroll please…my 7 Random Things About Me:

1. I love old Barbra Streisand movies.
2. I could eat pizza for every meal for the rest of my life and be perfectly content.
3. My son is not actually named after David Bowie, but we love the association.
4. I worked at an amusement park in college. I ran some roller coasters, the train, some little kid rides and, yes, the Tilt-a-Whirl.
5. My three favorite hobbies are crafting, gardening and cooking.
6. I LOVE living in San Francisco. I hope I never have to live anywhere else. Ever.
7. I’m a hippie, straight up.

Thanks again to The Outlaw Mom, and I hope all 15 of my picks can participate!

Into the Mouths of Babes

All of my blog drafts lately have been long, ranting messes. Thus, their lack of “Published” status. I don’t enjoy reading angry run-on blog posts, and I reckon most other people don’t either.

That said, I haven’t published a post in a while. So, I’m just going to talk about something sucky that happened at the zoo today, and if it gets a little ranty, well, sorry. Mostly, I just want to see what other moms think of this.

Bowie and I went to one of the handful of food stands they have at the zoo. I had brought food for him, but not for myself. So, I ordered the chicken strip basket, comes with fries. Got the kid a juice. We sit down at our table, he’s drinking juice, I’m eating food. He’s eating some of the cheddar bunnies, applesauce, cheese stick and raisins I brought. But, he is picking up a French fry every now and then.

A mom comes over with her brood of 4, and from what I could surmise, her mother-in-law. She denies her son a snack from the food stand, they’ve just come to sit at the tables and eat the lunch they brought. Totally fine. But, then she goes on a long tirade on the food at the zoo, deeming it “some of the worst stuff you could put in your body” and “probably even dangerous, this place CAN’T be clean.” And she gives them each a big thing of Yoplait.

Eventually she notices us, we’re only a few tables away. I get a long, purposeful stare from her, and a look at our tray followed by a dramatic and audible “TSSSSK.” But that wasn’t it! She KEPT giving us the stinkeye, probably a half dozen times. And, she started saying things to her kids like, “Doesn’t it feel so good to eat healthy foods? We’re helping our bodies with this healthy food!”

I mean, let’s just push aside the fact that the healthy food she was having them eat is riddled with sugar. And let’s also bypass the totally useless passive-aggressive method of delivering her “message”. And, let’s instead focus on the fact that, from her vantage point, she couldn’t see the food I’d brought for Bowie and put on the tray for him to eat. She also got there long after I was finished eating, and there was a fair amount of food leftover. So, from first glance, it looked like I had intended for my 3 year old son to eat all of that fried, greasy food. But, the whole time she was there, not once did he put a fry into his mouth.

If she was truly that concerned about the food that a complete stranger’s toddler eats, then she could have tried a little harder to assess the full situation. That’s the whole thing about judging other people: most of the time you have no idea what their situation is, you have no back story, you have NO IDEA. And it’s best to just leave well enough alone.

What’s more, we are at the ZOO. If I want to let my son have some junk food during our fun day out at the zoo, then what the hell business is it of hers?! We certainly don’t eat like that all the time. When I go somewhere like the zoo, or an amusement park, or the movies, somewhere fun like that where going is kind of an event, I like to indulge a little. If my kid eats a handful of French fries at the zoo, he’s not doomed to poor health for the rest of his life. I know it’s not great for him, I know it’s not the most nutritious lunch, but I’ll make up for it at dinner.

That woman acted as if she saw us every day, for every meal, and saw the same lack of nutrition in front of us each time. What she should have reminded herself of is the fact that she’s never seen us before a day in her life.

Have you ever encountered something like this? Not just with food, but with any of your parenting? I hear a lot online about moms getting judged, but this is the first time it really happened to me. And such a seemingly innocuous situation. Would you feel the same way if you saw us sitting at the zoo today?

Oh yeah, I had a birthday.

Totally forgot to put together the requisite birthday post this time around. It came and went in a giant whirlwind. And now I am 32. *SIGH*

It was a fantastic day, though. My husband surprised me with taking the day off, sent me off with my sister-in-law for a mani-pedi and then surprised me again with dinner reservations at a fun place with an ocean view. It was a nice, fun and relaxing day.

It was also a day filled with phone calls and texts and the zillion emails you get, courtesy of Facebook broadcasting that it’s Your Day! Your Special Day! (Kids in the Hall fans?)

Thanks to all, you guys made what I thought would be a pretty boring birthday into one of the best I’ve ever had.

And, fun fact: my little robotic flower that my husband made for me when we were a brand new couple on my 22nd birthday is now 10 years old. WOW time goes fast.

Exciting Bloggy News

I’m so excited to let you know I’m working with SocialMoms (formerly known as TwitterMoms), helping them to moderate their discussion forums for online selling tips and promotion of handmade goods by moms! I’m also working with them to choose items for their new “Shop” tab!

This is my formal invitation to all of you SocialMoms out there to join the fun on Facebook and promote your products or ask questions about online selling, or really just to hang out and connect with other online moms, there are tons of different discussions and ways to get involved.

Click here to check it out!

5 Shorts

1. Yesterday I went to Target and thought while I was there I would try to find a new swim suit for Hawaii. My old one is weathered and…too small. So, it was in order anyway. The scant selection was terrifying, but I managed to find a plain black suit in a nice (flattering? maybe.) cut. That’s probably the first time in my life I thought I looked halfway ok in a swim suit, even counting my stick-skinny years.

2. On that same thought, my absolutely favorite pair of fit-me-perfectly-every-time jeans have a hole in the knee. Le sigh. Le sob. They are now hereby downgraded to my worn-in, comfy, patched-up weekend jeans. And it will probably be like, a year before I find a good pair again.

3. This was where I was going to talk about the great weather we’ve been having, but most of the country (including pretty much all of my family members) have not been so fortunate lately, with the snow and the cold and whatnot, so I will just keep my trap shut.

4. But seriously, it’s been awesome here.

5. On my never-ending quest to “sneak” good food into my son, I’m making this recipe for kale chips. He likes nori (sheets of dried, sometimes roasted, seaweed), and I figure this can’t be that much different. Here’s the recipe I will be using (I have not yet tried this out, so please don’t blame me if you try it and it sucks):

Kale Chips from an article in Real Simple magazine

Tear kale leaves into pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300 F until crisp, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Time.

Bowie was running a fever (again) today, so I kept him out of school. But, because it’s against every single rule in the Motherhood Handbook to keep a 2 1/2 year old inside a house on a sunny 65 degree day, I buckled him into the stroller and we walked to the park.

The whole walk there, I had this really weird feeling…I couldn’t quite place it…then finally when we were leaving the park, I got it: nostalgia.

There was a time, not so long ago, when I would buckle him in pretty much every morning, and we would make our trek to the park, and maybe he would swing or maybe he would slide, maybe he would just sit next to me on the bench, didn’t matter, I enjoyed those trips to the park so much. And I realized that we hadn’t been in a long time. Too long.

I have a big boy preschooler now, and a lot of days we just can’t seem to find the time for a walk, let alone time at the park (except our walks to school, which I cherish and will miss SO MUCH). I still remember his first trip to the park, SIGH:

The Aformentioned Lime Vinaigrette

By popular demand. (Ok, so just my mom asked, haha). An SF Wankel household classic.

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)

2 tbsp rice or white wine vinegar

a few grinds salt and pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over salad/pasta/pretty much whatever you want.

I adapted this recipe from making this salad so many times (which is UNBELIEVABLE, make it NOW). But, I have also put it on green salad, quinoa salad, a whole bunch of stuff, it’s very versatile. I tried making it with lemons once, and I didn’t care for it, but some might.