A Moment in the Life with my 2e Child

I wrote this initially as an email to a friend - a play-by-play of what was happening in the kitchen as my eldest daughter (our 2e child) was attempting to make herself a snack. This whole episode probably took 45 minutes. A task that typically takes less than a minute.

Right now, I’m at my desk looking into the kitchen and I’m working with Sophia through the steps of making Banana Pudding.

[Basically: mash a banana up with peanut butter.]

She is having a really hard time with it. She is already in nearly-freakout mode this morning (I think triggered by disappointment over what she got for breakfast, and possibly a drop in blood sugar before she got calories into her; she’s...

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Hey Laura, what are some great iPad apps for kids?

Harmony writes:

Amazing friends recently gifted us with a new-to-us iPad.  We are leaving for a cross-country trip in a few days, and I would love to load it with some child-friendly activities.  Do you have any apps that you would recommend?

Oh, yes! We have some beloved iPad apps to recommend. I’m pretty picky about what my kids spend their screen time on, so here are my picks. I hope readers chime in with their own; we are always looking for more goodies.

There aren’t many free apps on my list. That’s because most free apps come with annoying ads or in-game payment opportunities. Both really bad if you are giving your kids screen time so you can have kid-free time. You don’t want them...

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Recipe - HeyLaura Wonder Bars (GFCF)

I don’t think I’ve been more proud of a recipe, you guys! This one has turned out so great! Remember that ooey gooey potluck favorite, the Wonder Bar, full of sweetened condensed milk and refined sugar and flour? Well, I’ve cleaned it up and made it even more delicious. Not only more delicious, but also vegan and gluten free…and maybe even raw, if you choose your ingredients with that goal in mind!

Doesn’t that look tempting?

HeyLaura Wonder Bars (gluten free and vegan!)

For the crust
2 c almond meal (not blanched almond flour; I get mine at Trader Joe’s)
1/2 c date sugar (you could use 2-4 TB of agave nectar here - taste for sweetness. I like a hint of sweet, but not enough to drown...

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Discovering our 2e child

Last fall, I began a more formal homeschool attempt with my eldest daughter, Sophia, who was newly 6 years old.

It was a disaster.
There were meltdowns galore. Her attempts were fraught with anxiety; she couldn’t seem to remember to hold her pencil correctly for more than 5 seconds; she couldn’t follow a simple two or three-step set of directions. I was completely blindsided by my bright, creative, articulate little girl’s apparent inability to do the simplest of Kindergarten type academic work.

I was also desperately exhausted and nauseated by morning sickness with my third baby. So we put schooling on hold indefinitely and went back to just sitting on the couch and reading library...

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Recipe - Crockpot Bean Soup

I make soup (usually beans, sometimes minestrone if we have leftover veggies ailing in the fridge) and bread almost every Friday, and by the end of the week it is really nice to have the work done for me. Most weeks I make cornbread (my family’s favorite) or quick biscuits, but sometimes I’ll stir up a batch of dough from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day and we’ll have hot loaves of bread to share with our neighbors and enjoy with butter and honey that night.

I never measure when I’m making bean soup, and I often end up soaking way too many beans. Lately, I’ve started purposefully prepping too many so that I can freeze some soaked beans for later, thus cutting down my meal prep time by...

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Snippets: The Crust Wrap

Are you a parent like me, who grazes off the kids’ scraps and inadvertently consumes a whole meal’s worth of calories off of the “crumbs,” before even sitting down to your own actual meal?

I discovered a new lunch time hack last week. When I cut the crusts off my kids’ ham sandwiches, I added some cheese (they’re dairy free, but I’m not!) wrapped them up in big crunchy leaves of Romaine lettuce, and sat down to the table right away with my very own “Crust Wraps.”

These delicious, inside-out “mini-sandwiches” are a perfect answer to wasted crust and extra calories. Don’t they look delicious?

Emergency Fund: Now is the time!

About five months ago, my husband quit his job. With no other job prospects on the horizon, it was quite a leap of faith. But we knew it was the leap to make.

The only reason we could walk away was because we have always lived below our means and made savings a priority.

This has been true from the time we were first married and were hovering around the poverty line, living in a stranger’s basement in Nebraska and standing in the weekly charity food line at our church. We couldn’t put away much, but we scrupulously stayed within, if not under, our budget; we never went into debt and we often were able to put a bit into our savings account.

As our income grew, we kept our budget much...

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