Posted by: workforcookies | January 14, 2014

When your mom’s a yoga teacher…

When your mom's a yoga teacher...

Pete is flying high in his crow pose here and he couldn’t be prouder. He and Piper are both featured on the Yoga Playhouse website: Take a look, but not too closely it’s still a work in progress 🙂

Posted by: workforcookies | October 6, 2013

Pete’s Winning Story



Here’s the story Pete wrote to win the lunch with Julianne Moore:

In hurricane Sandy, a little puppy got lost. She went to the pound. She needed a new home then we adopted her so she came to live with us. She looked like a cotton ball and we learned that she didn’t like dog treats. She likes apples.

We drew straws to pick out her name. I won the straws so we named her Yoshi. Sometimes I wish she could talk so she could tell me how she got lost and then my Mom decided it would be better if she didn’t talk because it would be creepy. She follows Mom everywhere. I think she is the cutest puppy in the Universe.

Posted by: workforcookies | April 21, 2011

Sometimes motherhood bites

As all moms know, motherhood has an ugly side. We don’t often talk about it, but we all know it’s there. I met it head on this last week when my 3-year-old daughter—while sitting in my lap— threw her head back to laugh then snapped her head forward and planted her two front teeth into my forehead. (Note the teethmarks just above the camera/phone.)

Of course, she began crying immediately, and through her sobs she managed to tell me she needed a BandAid—for her teeth!

Posted by: workforcookies | May 9, 2010

From One Mother to Another on Mother’s Day

My husband had to work this Mother’s Day, so I decided the kids would take me out to dinner! My brother-in-law and niece came with us, which meant much more fun for the kids—cousins are always more fun than mom! I guess that the cousins had a little bit too much fun though because as we were leaving the restaurant, a woman with a thick British accent called me over to tell me that she couldn’t believe how poorly behaved my children were in the restaurant. I didn’t catch every word of it, but got the gist and remember that she ended her brief rant by saying: “I’m appalled.”

I wish I would have thought fast enough to respond by telling her Happy Mother’s Day, but she took me by surprise, so all I could think to say was: “Sorry,” followed by, “C’mon kids, let’s go!”

On the drive home, I tried to figure out what exactly it was that was so appalling. We were sitting in the very back of the restaurant with two empty tables between us and the rest of the diners and our kids stayed at our table through the entire meal (except for one trip to the bathroom for the girls). There were a few times that the kids were standing in our booth rather than sitting and there was one time that I worried they were too loud. I asked them to quiet down and quickly scanned the restaurant to see if we were disturbing the peace. I didn’t see anyone glaring in our direction, or even glancing.

In fairness to the woman who filed the complaint with me, there was one appalling incident. When it was time to leave the restaurant, we began gathering kids and jackets. I told my son it was time to leave and he took me at my word. As I was putting my niece’s jacket on her, my four-year-old son walked out of the front door of the restaurant. I was appalled, as was my son when I told him that he would have to forfeit his newly acquired (and much loved) Legos tow truck as punishment. But I seriously doubt anyone other than myself and my son were too disturbed by this incident.

On the way to the car, I told my brother-in-law about the woman who complained. He too was confused and thought the kids were fine. He also pointed out that we were in a kid-friendly, not-at-all-fancy establishment (the kind of place where you order your food at a counter and a waiter brings it out to you). He also sagely suggested I forget about the silly woman and her comment.

Believe me, I’ve tried. And hopefully by tomorrow, I will have succeeded. But for now, I’m still wondering why another mother (she had what appeared to be her teenage son sitting next to her) would have anything but empathy for another mother in a restaurant with three kids between the ages of two and four.

Posted by: workforcookies | May 5, 2010

Dads Gone Wild

Two nights, three days, five kids (under the age of five) and three…dads!

A dear friend of mine and I recently went on a business trip to Napa. I was excited to go because I knew that not only would there be good food, good wine, and my good friend, but also cooking classes at the Culinary Institute of America. At the same time, I dreaded going because I would be away from my kids. I guess you could call it “Mommy Guilt” because among the parade of images that marched through my mind was one of my children asking for me  then looking confused when my husband told them Mommy wouldn’t be home that day…or the next. But too, there must have been an element of plain selfishness. I say this because of the other images of me sitting in a hotel room—too far away to wrap my arms around either of my children when I needed to. The emotional tug-of-war left me feeling somewhat ambivalent about a opportunity that might have otherwise excited me four years ago. (Funny how this also accurately describes how I feel about any opportunity for promotion at work these days!)

The rope tugged a little further in the direction of me actually enjoying a glass of wine in Napa when my dear friend had the brilliant idea of setting up a trip for our kids and husbands. Not to Napa—actually to a cabin nestled in the woods about a three-hour drive from our house. Of course, this meant our husbands (gasp!) would be taking the kids. (In all fairness to the men, my friend’s husband made this same trip last year with another dad and it was HIS idea.)

With my Mommy Guilt assuaged, I packed a bag and joined my friend on a flight to San Fran. Over the next four days, we crammed in as much good food, good wine and—of course—work as we possibly could. I also managed to make a few—okay, 10 or 15—phone calls to my husband. Just to check in. During each call, my usually cool-as-a-cumber husband uttered about 20 words total, most of which were some version of “Oh no! I gotta go!” I told my friend it reminded me of the phone conversations I had with my husband when he called me from his office while I was on maternity leave at home with the kids. It occurred to us both that dads are way more involved in parenting these days. Do you think 20 years ago—or even 10—three dads would have willingly taken five kids under the age of five on a weekend trip while the moms were away on business? I wonder…

In case you’re wondering, no children were harmed during the Dads Gone Wild production. In fact, by all accounts—and as evidenced by still shots and video images—everyone seemed to have a fantastic time!

Posted by: workforcookies | April 20, 2010

Birthday wishes

As a working mom, I make the choice to be away from my children 11 hours a day, four days a week. Of course, as any working mom will tell you, it’s not that black-and-white and there are questions as to how much choice is actually involved. Regardless, this is what I do.

Because I feel like 11 hours a day, four days a week is quite enough time to spend away from my children, I’m rarely found in the office outside those hours. And I have a strict rule about seeing my children (awake!) at least once a day. They are usually asleep when I leave for work, but wide awake (and clamoring for dinner) when I get home. If I ever need to attend a work event in the evening, I go in late. That way I can spend time with my kids in the morning— because I know they’ll be asleep when I return home. But this year, my son’s birthday presented an interesting dilemma.

I work in a creative field in a company that is large enough to have it’s own version of the Oscar’s. There’s a big to-do about it every year, a dressy award ceremony in the evening with champagne and caviar. Or so I’m told, I’ve never been high enough on the food chain to receive an invitation … until this year. My invite came via e-mail and I quickly pulled up my calendar to mark the date, that’s when I first noticed that the date was the same as my son’s birthday. I couldn’t possibly miss him blowing out his candles. But after sending my regrets, my bosses assistant came to me and said it was important for me to attend the award ceremony. I explained the problem. She shifted back and forth nervously and repeated: “It’s very important that you attend the AWARD ceremony.”

“Oh,” I said, finally catching on. I’ve never been so unhappy to win something in all my life!

So I pulled from some of my best (albeit fledgeling) parenting skills to work myself out of this tight spot: resourcefulness, creativity and compromise. I decided that my son would blow out his candles in the morning—a top a Belgian waffle loaded with strawberries and whipped cream. Then I got busy lining up a babysitter for the evening and convincing my husband that he would have to get out of bed early on the day (perhaps the more difficult task—my husband likes his sleep).

As the day approached, I worried and worried that my son would feel slighted. In my mind’s eye I saw a snapshot of him blowing out four candles on a lonely chocolate cupcake with nobody but the babysitter at his side. Was I making a selfish decision? Why couldn’t my company have their version of the Oscars on some other day—ANY other day??? But on the day, my son was perfectly happy with the early morning celebration. He didn’t really remember his birthday from the previous year, and seemed completely unaware that a birthday waffle wasn’t the norm. He was all smiles as he opened his gifts and wiped a smear of whipped cream off his cheek.

The award I received was the second one to be announced. I was able to toast my other co-workers, down a glass of champagne (who needs caviar?) then slip out an hour later after the Lifetime Achievement Award was accepted. (Did I mention, this ceremony is like the Oscars?) I grabbed some cupcakes at the bakery in the train station, and made it home in time to see my son blow out candles again! As I tucked him in bed, I realized all was well. “I love you so much. I’m so happy,” he said before drifting off to sleep.

All that worry I’d been holding onto melted along with my idea that there’s only one way to celebrate a birthday!

Posted by: workforcookies | March 22, 2010

Kids Cook Monday

I’ve been cooking meatless meals every Monday for a while now in support of the Meatless Monday campaign. It’s a great cause that not only helps the environment, but can help families save money and get healthier. If you want to find ideas for meatless meals to try out this Monday (and the next, and the next…) check out the Cookie Sheet. If you want to find ideas for healthy meals that you can cook with your kids, check out Kids Cook Monday—a new website from the folks at Meatless Mondays.
My niece Lindsey and I actually made a video for the premier week of Kids Cook Monday. Check it out (above) we’re making some tasty black bean tostadas—a family favorite of ours!

Posted by: workforcookies | January 18, 2010

Bedtime befuddlement

I just went upstairs because I heard my three-year-old son walking around—it’s 9:20 p.m.
The conversation we had made me realize we’re probably both sleep deprived:

ME: What are you doing out of bed?
MY SON: I’m sorry Mommy. I didn’t know.
ME: You didn’t know what? That you were out of bed?
MY SON: Yes, I didn’t know I was out of bed.
ME: How can you not know you’re out of bed?
MY SON: I don’t know.
ME: Lay down and go to sleep!

Posted by: workforcookies | January 7, 2010

Public Pumping

Last night, I sat next to a woman on my train ride home from New York City to my suburb in New Jersey. She was a new mom. I know this because she had a breast pump…and she was using it!

I’d like to say I gave her a big smile and a thumb’s up as a show of support. After all, just like me, she’s a working mom trying to make it work. But I didn’t. To be honest, I tried not to look at her at all.

I nursed both of my children until their first birthdays and I’ve never been one to argue about whether nursing in public is a right—I see it as a necessity, no question.  But, there was something disturbing about the sight of this woman untangling the tubes of her Medela underneath her Bebe au Lait nursing cover. It looked like she was conducting some sort of bizarre science experiment on New Jersey Transit, and it didn’t seem like this was something she was doing in a pinch or on the fly—she had a system. Bottles, tubes, cover, then came that unmistakable swishing sound…

Admittedly, I have pumped in some pretty odd places myself: bathrooms of restaurants, behind a skrim at a photo studio, the passenger seat of my friend’s Porche. I remember going back to work after maternity leave with my breast pump in hand. After my first child, I returned to an office building with a pumping room that was stocked with Easy chairs and smelled of soured milk. With no fewer that six new moms working at the company—one who was still nursing her four-year-old—there was never a shortage of company in the pumping room, like it or not. After my second child was born, the office I went back to had no pumping room. Fortunately, I had my own office with a door. Unfortunately, the door was made of glass. I taped sheets and sheets of company letter head up as high as I could reach in order to make a private space for me and my breast pump. My barrier seemed to work pretty well until an I.T. guy came to work on my computer. Not understanding why my door was locked, he stood on a stool to peer over the letterhead. I turned just in time to see his eyebrows pop over the top. For the next year and a half, the poor guy apologized profusely every time I passed him in the hallway. I haven’t seen him in a while, so maybe he got a job elsewhere. Wherever he is, I’m sure he is glad not to have to bump into me. I’m even more sure that if he ever comes upon another wall of letterhead, he’ll keep his feet firmly planted on his side.

Now I’m wondering…why did I go to all the trouble to hide away with my pump for those two years, why did I rearrange my schedule to fit in time alone with my pump when my fellow commuter clearly thinks that pumping is an activity approved for the public eye?

Personally, I don’t think I would have been comfortable pumping publicly, but my question to you is: Should anyone be comfortable with that?

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Posted by: workforcookies | December 16, 2009

Stomach bug ugh!

My house is a puke-a-torium and I am the clean-up crew!
Is this my payback for making fun of colored lights on Christmas trees???

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