Ten Things About Me

I totally stole this from Nina at Sleeping Should Be Easy. As you do.

So here are 10 questions for you to answer on your blog(s), should you so choose.

  1. What’s the last movie you watched (in the theater or DVD)?
  2. What’s a random fact about you?
  3. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
  4. What are three things you can’t live without?
  5. What is the best thing to happen to you this past month?
  6. What is the biggest stress in your life right now?
  7. Tell me five things I’d see when I walk in your door.
  8. Did you—or do you—have a nickname? What’s the story behind it?
  9. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  10. Why do you come to this blog?

And here are my answers:

  1. What’s the last movie you watched (in the theater or DVD)? Frozen. I do have a four-year-old, after all. The last movie I saw in the theater was Star Trek Into Darkness, and WOW, was that was a disappointment.
  2. What’s a random fact about you? I have ancestors from a lot of places, but only the Celtic ones show.
  3. Would you like to be famous? In what way? Not famous enough to get doxxed, I can tell you that much.
  4. What are three things you can’t live without? Baguette, Mr. Sandwich, and butter.
  5. What is the best thing to happen to you this past month? Baguette moved into the bed in her room!!!!!!!
  6. What is the biggest stress in your life right now? Lack of time.
  7. Tell me five things I’d see when I walk in your door. A giant pile of mail, a lion chair/pillow, my bag, a camera on a tripod (we just finished taking our family picture for our holiday photo card).
  8. Did you—or do you—have a nickname? What’s the story behind it? As far as I know, I’ve never had much in the way of nicknames. I have no idea why not.
  9. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be? I very much appreciate the way my parents emphasized breadth of interests, but I wish I’d been taught how to focus on something beyond the task/project level.
  10. Why do you come to this blog? Because it wouldn’t be here without me? I’m guessing this one is more for you.

What Comes To Mind

  • I’ve read Tuck Everlasting more than once and have no idea what happens in that book.
  • Ditto Wide Sargasso Sea.
  • I also don’t understand the appeal of ripped jeans as attractive fashion. I didn’t get them last time, either.
  •  Is there a way to eat meringues gracefully?
  • Why am I eating this meringue?
  • High temperatures still are in the 80s in our part of L.A. Hello, November!
  • I baked pumpkin bread anyway.
  • We are entering the world of LAUSD. I’ll admit it, just like everyone else does–I’m apprehensive.
  • But, hey, at least there’s pumpkin bread.


loaves of homemade pumpkin bread


If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that sleep has always been an issue for Baguette–and, by extension, for Mr. Sandwich and me.

Baguette naps at day care, but not at home, and nighttime sleep is very hard to come by. Although we never planned to bed-share, it turned out that doing so got all of us more sleep than any other approach we tried.

But she kept growing, and the bed didn’t. Eventually, none of us was getting enough sleep. And then, on a trip to visit family, she suddenly decided that she would rather sleep on the hotel room’s couch.

We capitalized on this by moving her to the couch when we got home. One of us has to lie with her until she goes to sleep, and that can still take a while. Our girl does not slip off into dreamland, not even when she’s clearly exhausted.

And, frankly, the couch is not really big enough for two to sleep, even if one of us is still pretty small.

Mr. Sandwich therefore took his experience in building a toddler bed and put it to use in building a twin frame. One of my cousins made a beautiful elephant quilt, because elephants are Baguette’s favorite animals. We bought a mattress and some sheets.

And then this happened.

twin bed

Now, if we can just get her to stay there. Wish us luck.

A Little of This, A Little of That

Friday morning, I went to The Help Group Summit. For those of you not familiar with The Help Group, it’s an organization focused on research about and support for autism and ADHD. The annual Summit presents a variety of topics for researchers, care providers, and parents. Because of some scheduling conflicts, I could only make it to one session. Fortunately, it was the one I wanted to go to most, about tactics for handling feeding issues with picky eaters.

Baguette’s appetite is expanding. This may be the perfect time to try out some of those tactics.

Afterward, we packed up the car (very full), picked Baguette up from day care, and drove up to Santa Barbara. The next morning, Mr. Sandwich left very early to compete in the Santa Barbara Century. Baguette and I left not very early to go to breakfast and the Santa Barbara Zoo, where she saw “wions, and ewehphants, and giraffe, and sheeps, and fwamingos, and penguins, and goats.” The next day, we had breakfast with friends, made another trip to the zoo, and drove back to L.A.

Baguette is sleeping on the couch. This has been going on for a few weeks. It’s not as magical as it sounds; often, one of us has to sleep there with her, sometimes for more than one stretch per night. But it’s still better–and we all get more sleep–than when the three of us are in the same queen-sized bed.

Next up, moving Baguette into a twin bed in her room. Mr. Sandwich is building her a bed.

Yes, you read that right.

But I can tell that I have more energy, because I’ve been wearing contacts on a semi-regular basis. Next up, I may actually manage to put on lipstick.

None of this keeps me from drinking a lot of coffee.

small girl leaning on elephant statue


Leaf Bag List – Fall 2014

Illustration of bag full of autumn leaves

This summer my goals were to go to the beach (we made it two or three times), go to the pool (we went a lot), and learn to make a really good hamburger (turns out the answer is fry, don’t grill).

So what’s on my Leaf Bag List for this fall?

1) Use the slow-cooker more.

2) Set aside weekend time for batch cooking–I may start with this breakfast recipe.

3) Inventory the kitchen freezer and chest freezer so that I can effectively store what I prepare while pursuing goal #2.

4) Learn to make a good pot roast. (Any recipes to recommend?)

That’s a food-heavy list, but, hey, I like food. And I want to come up with more Mom-Friendly Meals. So let’s see what happens.

Friday 5: September 26, 2014

Thoughts from my week (or two):

1) I’m a little concerned about the nature of Baguette’s relationship with Bert from Sesame Street. She keeps kissing him and then feeding him to her dragon.

2) While I think she has a point about the animation style, based on her criticism of the plot and themes, I’m going to assume that Mayim Bialik has not actually seen “Frozen.”

3) Speaking of “Frozen,” there are lots of ways to interpret that movie. Personally, I see it as a sharp criticism of helicopter parenting.

4) We went to visit my dad and stepmom this weekend, and on the drive back, Baguette let us sing with her. While we have found the Busy Beavers “Color Songs Collection Volume 1″ to be maddening, we are delighted that she was willing for us to join in–even choosing which colors she wanted us to sing about.

5) This fall, I really want to get better at meal planning, and I want to use the slow-cooker more. Which means I probably ought to clean off the kitchen counter. Hey, time for a Leaf Bag List. Maybe I’ll get to that soon.

the number five

Friday Five, September 12, 2014

Here are a few things from the past week.

1) Baguette is perfectly fine with cold macaroni and cheese, except when she’s not okay with it.

2) I have some really good support at work. That’s good to know.

3) Baguette hates pigtails with a passion. I knew this, because she would never let me put up her hair. But today it turned out that this is also true at school. When I picked her up, she was sobbing–almost keening, in fact–in front of the mirror and trying to get the rubber bands out of her hair. Fortunately she sat very still while I took them out, and calmed down shortly thereafter.

4) This bed isn’t big enough for the three of us.

5) I’m starting to wonder if I will ever not be tired.


Will Disneyland Be the Happiest Place on Earth for Baguette?

A through E

A lot of Baguette’s peers have been to Disneyland–many of them, more than once. My parents first took me when I was four, and we had annual trips until we left California a couple of years later. I’ve been a handful of times since, as a teen and as an adult (most recently with Mr. Sandwich and one of my college friends, about seven years ago), and it continues to be an amazing experience.

Baguette is four, and we have no plans to take her to Disneyland. It’s not that we have any objection to Disneyland. It’s more that we’re not even remotely sure that she’ll like it.

She’s just started to discover Disney movies, and she’s really only interested in Frozen. While she does know Mickey and Minnie, I’m not sure she sees them as anything more than two of her (many) plushes.

Disneyland is crowded. It has innumerable lines. While there is a program to accommodate people with physical disabilities and special needs, I haven’t yet figured out how it works, and it still sounds as if there is a lot of line-standing and coordination required to navigate the program and the park.

Will Baguette like any of the rides? Will she be okay with having a lap bar that holds her in place? Will flying on the Dumbo ride completely terrify her? Will Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride be a little too wild? Will Snow White’s Scary Adventure give her nightmares that she can’t tell us about? After all, this is a kid who won’t even ride one of the moving animals on a carousel.

Also? Disneyland is freaking expensive. $96 each for Mr. Sandwich and me, and $90 for Baguette. That’s $282, and we haven’t parked. Or eaten. Or bought a single souvenir. $282 and a drive that isn’t short, for a day she may find frustrating and frightening.

We’ll wait. Disneyland isn’t going anywhere. Plus, that gives us time to save up for it. Because entry will probably be $500 for the three of us by the time we’re confident about her readiness.

Photo by Andy Castro, via Flickr. Creative Commons.

Friday Five: September 5, 2014

Things that come to mind:

1) We took a trip to visit cousins over Labor Day weekend, and had a wonderful time. I grew up across the country from much of my family, and didn’t know what I was missing. Fortunately–and thanks in large part to Facebook–I’ve gotten to know quite a few of my cousins now that we’re adults. But I want Baguette to just not miss it to begin with.

2) Someday all too soon, Baguette is going to stop singing “Wet It Go,” and I’m going to miss it So Much. Just as I will miss it when she no longer says, “Want get wemon” at the grocery store.

3) I wonder how many times I can re-read Cryptonomicon. So far, the answer is “a great many times.”

4) It is becoming clear that we are about to enter a Winnie the Pooh phase. And because it’s the question everyone asks next, I mean Disney Pooh, not Classic Pooh.

5) Mr. Sandwich’s hugs are like being wrapped in a hug. That sounds like it is circular and self-evident, but in fact it is just the best.


Back to School

Baguette is four. Today she started her second year in a 3-year-old room at her day care.

In fact, she’s been in a 3-year-old room for close to 18 months already, because she moved into that group just before her third birthday. So why are we keeping her there?

Because it’s the best solution for her, although we didn’t arrive at that in a straightforward way. If it weren’t for a screwup on my part, she’d be in pre-K today. But that wouldn’t be the best solution. It was a fortuitous screwup.

Baguette’s day care has a re-enrollment system. Each year, in the spring, you pay a fee and file some forms to indicate that your child will be coming back in the fall. (My friends with children in similar centers find this surprising, but it’s how Baguette’s center does it. And, yes, I do think it’s weird considering that we paid a deposit up front when we first enrolled her four years ago, to cover her last month, but that’s how the center does it. Fine.)

The director sent out the re-enrollment information, and I submitted the form and paid the fee. Later, she sent out a reminder, and I thought, “Should I confirm that I submitted everything? No, I know that I did.”

Except I was wrong. I hadn’t sent them in. We learned this in June, when the director emailed me to ask if Baguette would be coming back in the fall, because there was no re-enrollment form for her. Oh, and all of the pre-K classes were filled, but we could be first on the waiting list.

Cue discussion of how we’ve been there for four years; how we’d paid for a year of Friday pizza at the school fundraiser in the spring, and maybe that indicated an interest; and how the policy really makes no sense to begin with; and so forth.

Also, cue panic. I sent off inquiries to a number of other day care centers, one of which we later toured. Mr. Sandwich and I each sent emails to the director to get clarification on our options. Finally–maybe a day later, but it felt longer–the three of us had a conference call.

The director offered us a solution: One of the existing 3-year-old classes was very large, and was being split into two. While pre-K did not have any open spots, one of the new 3-year-old classes had room. Baguette already knows the teacher, who gets her and who she loves. The class, while still for a 3-year-old bracket, is a little more academic than the developmental class she’s been in for the past year and a half. So she’ll get new experiences and challenges, but in a more comfortable and familiar environment.

Pre-K would not be as good a fit for her this year. The thing that stands out for me is that the children are required to sit still at a table and work in workbooks for 30 minutes at a time. And each week, they have homework.

I don’t think 4-year-olds should do that, period. That’s not how they learn, and that’s not how they should be taught. But I really don’t want to ask that of Baguette. She loves to learn new things, and she has an amazing memory. She’s much better at listening and following instructions than she used to be. She should not be asked to sit still for that long so that she can complete worksheets.

I also don’t think that they should be doing homework. At this age, they should be learning through play, and they should also just be playing. In Baguette’s case, she gets 10 hours of ABA at home each week–on top of the 15 hours per week she’s getting in the classroom. That’s enough homework. She’s doing enough.

If I’d turned in that re-enrollment form when I meant to, she’d be in a pre-K classroom right now. And that would be wrong for her.

I want my girl to be confident, to be capable, and to have the skills she’ll need to succeed in whatever way she chooses. She doesn’t need to be doing worksheets and homework this year in order to accomplish that.

Next fall, she’ll be 5. She’ll be old enough for kindergarten. Will we have her go into pre-K instead? I don’t know. We’ll figure that out over the next year. And we’ll decide based on what seems best for her at that point. I have the feeling that this is going to be a big year for her. Without worksheets.