oatmeal3

Everyone in our home headed back to work or school today.  The weather here has been grim, so we’re getting off to the right start with the most traditional of English breakfasts: porridge.  Except that I am American, and I call it oatmeal.  Sorry, porridge just sounds so dreary.  Either way, it’s so good for you with its whole grains and protein.  But all of that warming nourishment is wasted if it is gluey, gloppy and boring.

Here are some of my tricks for keeping it easy and manageable. Read More →

When we moved to London on six weeks notice, we dropped the Fives (then Threes) into a local nursery school that was convenient, warm, kind and fun. This little nursery also had the most amazing lunch program, hot lunches cooked on-site every day. Real food — things like turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes and broccoli served family-style at a low table. They even gave the kids real knives and forks, trusting there would be no casualties. The most amazing bit, all of this lovely nutritious real food was being cooked by someone else.

But they don’t go to school there anymore.

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Sweet conkers

Sweet conkers

Every September and October, the Fives come home with pockets full of chestnuts that have fallen from the trees in London. For weeks, I find them everywhere — school bags, shoes, buckets, drawers… In the face of my exasperation, and dodging the actual point I was making about hoarding, they informed me that these weren’t chestnuts at all. They are CONKERS. Silly mum. They even taught me the conker song:

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Five years ago, I was stuck in the hospital with preeclampsia, a magnesium drip and two preemies in the NICU.  My life has changed so much since then — homes, countries, employers, careers, hobbies — but these two little kidlets have been a constant grounding force for me.  Which is not to say they have been constant.  They seem to grow before my very eyes.  And they are always revealing details of their hysterical little personalities that we hadn’t seen before.

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