Happy New Year!

So we planned a quiet New Year’s Eve at home with just the three of us. This was to follow a morning of snowshoeing at sort-of-nearby Mt. Pinos, with Bestie and her parents and another family.

Baguette had a lot of trouble getting to sleep Tuesday night; she and I were up until at least 1 a.m. Still, we were on the road at about 7:45 this morning and at the parking lot at the top of the road just over an hour later.

But then something very unusual happened: Baguette refused to get out of the car and play in the snow. Our girl loves the snow; she’ll put on all her gear and ask for it in August. We’ve made two other snowshoeing trips this month, and she had a blast both times.

This morning, though, she was tired. And it was cold. How cold? It was 13 degrees Fahrenheit in that parking lot. While that just means adding a layer of clothing for Mr. Sandwich and me, it has quite a different meaning for Baguette. I guess she’s not completely impervious to cold after all.

Bestie and her parents couldn’t make it, and eventually we packed up and headed back down the mountain, spotting the third family on their way up as we were on our way home. (Although by that time, we’d have been pretty much done even if Baguette had been willing to leave the car.)

So then a lot of texts went back and forth, and Bestie and family came over to our house for an impromptu New Year’s Eve dinner of take out from a local Mexican restaurant. We cut technicolor snowflakes out of colored copier paper and finished up with ice cream for dessert

A good time was had by all. And Wicket didn’t even have to wear a hat.

Happy 2015, everyone!

Auld Lang Syne

When I was younger, I thought it would be fun to go to a big, blowout New Year’s Eve party.

I never did. I’m totally fine with that.

First of all, I didn’t want to go by myself; I wanted to go to that kind of party with a boyfriend. And I almost never had a boyfriend, which limited my opportunities. (I did once go to First Night in Manhattan with a friend, her husband, and her brother, but I’m not even sure that was a set-up; I think we just all wanted to go to First Night.)

So what have been my favorite New Year’s Eve celebrations?

Growing up, we would have dinner at a Chinese restaurant and then see some blockbuster or other. That was always good.

One year–I can’t remember whether I was dating Mr. Sandwich yet–another friend invited me to a party at her brother’s Manhattan apartment (different friend, different brother, same Manhattan). But it was supposed to snow, and my block was always last to be plowed, and at the last minute I canceled because I wasn’t sure I’d get home. Instead, I spent New Year’s Eve curled up on my couch, watching movies I can no longer recall and eating either Chinese food or pizza. The details don’t matter, because what I do remember is that it was a great evening.

When we were dating, Mr. Sandwich and I spent one New Year’s Eve with his friends, starting at Cheesecake Factory and moving to one friend’s nearby apartment; we spent others playing board games with some of my friends.

The year we moved into our house, we hosted a party at which I learned that if I’m going to drink, I really need to eat dinner. Or at least lunch. But that lesson didn’t make itself clear until after everyone else had gone home, so the party itself was a lot of fun.

Since then, we tend to stay home, safe from the drunk drivers of the world. Last year, Bestie and her parents came over for dinner (we planned to start early, to reduce their odds of being menaced by drunk drivers on their return). A good time was had by all, including Wicket–although the hat placed on her head spoke more to her tolerance than to her awareness of the passage of time.

This year, we have planned absolutely nothing. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with lots of events filled with people who want to see Baguette. She’s done really well with it, but she needs plenty of downtime. We all do. So we have no plans, and I think it’s going to be another great evening.

So to all, near and far–may you have a Happy New Year. And those good wishes aren’t just from me. They’re also from Wicket.

small dog wearing Happy New Year hat and leis

Happy Anniversary, Wicket

In November 2009, Wicket followed Mr. Sandwich home from the corner store.

Five years ago today, I picked her up from the shelter.

Based on everyone’s best guess, she’s 16 or 17 now. She sleeps more and she can’t jump onto the couch from the floor anymore, but she still loves her walks and her food and her tummy rubs.

I have too many Wicket stories for one post. But this dog, who is not at all the dog we imagined or expected, is one of the best things to ever happen to us. She brings us so much love and kindness, and we are really grateful that she found Mr. Sandwich on that corner.

So here’s to Wicket. And here she is today, in all her Wicket-y glory.

apricot toy poodle


Q & A?

Question mark in Esbjerg

I read this list of “the best” children’s books of 2014. A lot of them look great. And then the entry for The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall got me thinking.

The standard advice about answering children’s questions about “tricky” subjects–sex, death, etc.–is to answer the question that was asked. Don’t overthink it, don’t give more information than they can process. They asked a question that reflects the level of information they’re ready for.

Sounds great. I certainly want to teach Baguette everything she wants to know.

But what if your child can’t ask the questions to begin with? How do we know what she wants to know?

Photo by Alexander Henning Drachmann, via Flickr. Creative Commons.


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.