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Child Care

I did it. I dropped Chloe off at day care this morning. For and hour. For the First Time. I’ve never left her anywhere before, except for brief periods with her grandparents. It feels really weird. Exciting and a bit wrong. Sort of like leaving the house with only one shoe on. You know it is missing and it doesn’t feel right. But you can still run errands with only one shoe. And know that the other one is doing just fine without you, right where you left it.

A friend of mine started up a child-care co-op that I have yet to try. She printed coupon cards (that I got to design!) for AM and PM (see above), that you give to the sitter, so she can then use one when she needs child care. I want to take my husband with me to go see AVATAR again, and use one of my coupons, but it hasn’t worked out for us yet. Three+ hours seems like an awful long time. I’m hoping this will help me work up to it. You know, baby steps, and all that.


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Giving a boost to baby art

Chloe had her first finger-painting session last month, shortly before David’s birthday. I warmed up the kitchen, sat Chloe in her high-chair wearing only a diaper, and taped a sheet of paper down to her tray. A few globs of finger-paint in various colors were applied to the tray surface and directly onto the paper. She didn’t get it at first, and I was glad she had eaten recently or I would have been wiping a lot more paint from her mouth. By the end there was quite a mess, but several sheets of “drawings”.

From this:

To this:

To help her make a card, I used an exacto blade to cut out a fish pattern (her dad’s favorite sport) on cardstock before placing a piece of Chloe’s artwork behind it. Voila! Instant birthday card from Daddy’s special little girl. We also made a similar piece of art for Chloe’s Grandpa Feldkamp for Christmas, but I forgot to take a picture of it. Instead of lots of little fish the cut-out consisted of two more-detailed trout silhouettes.

A while back I came across a really good post on displaying baby and child artwork, but now I can’t find it. However, a quick “What to do with kid art” search pulled these other interesting display ideas from Tiny Decor, CookieMag, Real Simple and Parents.

P.S. I used cardstock for the paintings because the non-toxic kids paint can soak through thin paper pretty easily, causing possible tearing if baby tries to pull at the edges. Despite the heavier paper, they still wrinkled while drying so I placed them under some heavy books after they were completely dry to flatten them back down.


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My Life in France


A photograph from our 2002 trip to France

I’ve been reading Julia Child’s My Life in France. Its timing was perfect because I’ve really been longing for another trip to Paris. It has been 7 years since we were there last. Way too long.

I can’t say I’ve been a huge fan of Julia Child. She seemed to be on TV a lot when I was a kid, and I didn’t have the appreciation for cooking and food that I do now.  Plus there was something about her voice and mannerism. My mom, a very good cook and who has worked in restaurants most of her life, would turn on Julia’s cooking shows sometimes and I’d sit and watch with her.

Anyway, I’m enjoying the book. Some of it is rather dry, just day to day events, but there are wonderful descriptions of the people and places she experienced during her time in Paris and then Marseille. And the food! It is so clear how passionate she was about French cooking – the countless hours she would put in to making a recipe perfect, because, in this, she was a true perfectionist. Her enthusiasm is inspiring, and makes me think that a delicious souffle or buerre blanc might be in our future.

Naturally, next on my reading list will be Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously (unless I see the movie first), about how author Julie Powell spent a year cooking each one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking and then blogging about it. I’m also now curious about “Mastering the art…” as is everyone else. Apparently the cookbook will make its debut at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. I find it a shame that Julia Child isn’t alive to see this, but that just seems to be the way of things.

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