Thursday, February 16, 2017

Learning Tower Love

My kids love to help in the kitchen.  I don't know if this is because food is such a significant part of their lives, what with the whole One Potato thing, or if children the World over find it fun to throw flour and sugar all over the place and call it "cooking".  Unfortunately, the reality of cooking with toddlers is less Pinterest-y and more pain-in-the-ass-y, so I'm a fan of anything that keeps messes and migraines to a minimum. 

My number one tip for cooking with kids is to invest in a Learning Tower.  I know that these can initially seem like a big investment, but we use ours all of the time (read: almost daily) and it's significantly safer than having your kids stand on a regular step stool or a chair.  Take it from me, you really don't want to learn that you need a learning tower by having your kid fall off the side of a dining room chair and onto his head.  The one we have folds up, so I can easily store it in the pantry when it's not in use (a BIG plus, as our kitchen is pretty small), the height is adjustable so that I'm able to lower it as the kids get bigger, and they can easily climb in and out of it, but don't ever fall off of it.  If you follow me on Instagram (as you should), you've definitely seen our learning tower in action; in the last week alone we've made heart-shaped cookies, mini banana muffins, and at least three dinners from our One Potato Box.

So, to all of my friends who posted photos of their kids making Valentine goodies while perched on precarious step stools, I implore you to order one of these, stat.  Or, at the very least, mention to your Mother-in-Law that your kid fell off the counter while helping you cook, and follow that up with a link to your preferred learning tower, and one is sure to show up on your doorstep within the week (along with some snarky parenting advice, but hey, it's a price worth paying).

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Here, Read This

Finally, a parenting book that doesn't put me to sleep.  

I'm not big on reading parenting books.  This is primarily because at the end of a long, exhausting day with my kids the last thing I want to do is read about children, but it's also because I figure my kids are going to end up in therapy no matter what, so I may as well save my time and energy for more important things, such as binge watching The Crown.

Lately, however, I've been really struggling with parenting a four year old and a two-and-a-half year old.  The tantrums - oh, the tantrums - are really something else, and since Cedars Sinai doesn't seem to have a return policy for the children birthed there, I figured I needed some guidance.  A friend loaned me a copy of the book Permission to Parent and I'm so glad that she did.  If you have kids who are at the age where they're becoming more independent and, as a result, are pushing boundaries, this book is for you.  It's an easy read, which is so important when you can barely keep your eyes open after 7PM, and full of really good, practical advice for how to assert your parental authority in a firm, but gentle way.

If you're committed to raising a confident, well-adjusted child, this book is a must read.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mom Lifestyle

Well, hello, stranger!

It's been awhile since we shot the sh*t here at the Misadventures, so I want to welcome you back and suggest you pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee (or wine, if you're into day drinking) and settle in for a ride on Anna's neurosis train.

I've decided to take the blog in a little bit of a different direction in 2017.  I have absolutely loved sharing my parenting triumphs and tribulations with all of you over the years, but now that my kids (specifically my son) are older, I'm less willing to share stories about them that they may not want splashed all over the World Wide Web.  A big reason I took a break from blogging last summer was because I wanted to find a way to still share my life with you without sacrificing so much of my kids' privacy.  I'll still be sharing funny parenting stories here from time to time, but for the most part, I'm refocusing on living your best life as a parent in Los Angeles.  (Yes, I stole that line from Oprah; no I am not ashamed.  The woman has a point.) 

What does this mean, exactly?  From pregnancy through preteen, I'm going to cover it: 
  • What to register for when you're expecting
  • What stroller(s) I'm loving
  • Great Mommy and Me classes
  • School info (like real, inside info, not the brochure stuff)
  • new products for Moms and babies
  • kid-friendly restaurants and activities
  • Mom and kid fashion that's affordable and chic
  • Home decor that can withstand children
  • Traveling with kids
  • Recipes for stuff your kids might eat
Essentially, this is going to be a lifestyle blog for real people with real children and real budgets.

The Muffin Man and The Little Lady will still be your guides to the good (parenting) life, and I can't wait to share our many adventures with you in the coming year(s).

Welcome back.  Parenting in Los Angeles is a wild ride, and I'm looking forward to being your conductor.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Practical Parenting Classes

5 parenting classes you actually need
Skip the gym class and sign-up for something practical instead. 
When you have a baby, everyone urges you to attend classes.  From Mommy & Me, to Baby Sign Language, to Infant Massage, the list is endless.  Personally, I think most of the classes are a waste of time and money.  If you have lots of cash to spare and need some adult interaction, by all means, sign up for whatever you damn want, but by the time your kid learns how to say "more" in sign language, he'll most likely be able to actually say more, like with his voice.

That being said, there are a few classes that I think would be helpful for first time parents:

One Handed Parenting.  If there is a particular skill that parents need to master for their own survival, it's doing everything with one hand.  Topics covered in this class would include: cooking dinner while holding a baby; driving a car while entertaining a child in the backseat; and how to fold laundry using only your teeth.

No hygiene, no problem.  Parents often don't get a chance to shower regularly, so this class would teach valuable short-cut grooming skills like which natural deodorants are the most effective at covering up body odor, how to best style greasy hair, and which cosmetics look fresh even after having been slept in.  I would assume that this would be a very popular class for sleep deprived, full time working parents attempting to appear professional despite not having been within shouting distance of a shampoo bottle for nigh on a week.

Phone home.  It is parenting law that your children will most need your attention when you are on an important business call.  This seminar will be invaluable for parents who work out of the home, as it will instruct students on effective use of their phone's mute button, the best places to hide from needy children, and TV shows guaranteed to occupy your offspring until your conference call concludes.

Negotiating with terrorists.  While it may currently be U.S. policy not to negotiate with terrorists, as parents you will find yourselves negotiating with tiny, irrational, narcissistic dictators on a daily, if not hourly basis.  This class will be taught by an ex-marine who has experience working with volatile individuals, and who understands the psychological damage that can be inflicted by crazy people who will not stop until they get what they want.

Diaper changing without borders.  There will be many times in your parenting career when you will be forced to change a diapers in strange, possibly unsanitary conditions.  This class will teach new parents how to quickly and efficiently remove, clean, and re-diaper a squirming child under any circumstances.  From the trunk change, to the stroller swap, to the gas station giddyap, this course will cover it all.  Students will also learn and practice related contortionist poses required to change diapers under these battlefield conditions.  Please note that Diaper Changing Without Borders will have an additional cost due to the various local points of interest participants will have to visit. 

I'm pretty sure that One Handed Parenting class would've been much more useful than the Mommy & Me Classes I took, but I guess it's possible knowing all the verses to Bim Bom will come in super handy someday.