Confessions of a Middleagedmom

surviving motherhood in the “middle ages”

Bento Insanity? September 27, 2007

I recently mentioned my new obsession with bento and bento boxes to some people and frankly they think I am out of my mind. But I know all you “bento purists” out there understand how this gets started. (I do need to post some pics of my bento boxes that I recently purchased. No, I didn’t even make 1 bento yet.)

Exciting news! My brother and his wife recently found me the coveted Lock & Lock bento set! It’s the set that has a blue bag and it contains 2 containers (1 divided and the other not) and a water bottle. They were able to get 2 of those so I’ll probably keep 1 and put one up on ebay and sell that. They also picked me up an orange Lock & Lock bento set that is a little smaller than the blue one. I don’t remember what they said was in there but I think it is basically the same as the blue one. I’ll post some pictures after I receive them. At the same store, they picked up 2 more Lock & Lock containers with divided sections. I am so excited because I have read  (esp. on Lunch in a Box) great things about this Lock & Lock stuff but haven’t ever seen them here. I know you can get Lock & Lock on-line, esp. on QVC but I think those are made in China. I read that the ones made in Korea have an embossed logo on the container itself.

That’s not the end of it…they called today to let me know that they found a Zojirushi “bento box” set. It’s really not a box. It has round containers that stack. It comes with a green bag with leaves on it. They found it for approx. $34.00. I checked on ebay and I think it is going for approx. $43.00. I think I got a deal!

So, just how “insane” am I about this bento stuff? Well, for the past few weeks I’ve spent almost every free moment on the computer reading bento blogs or searching for bento supplies. Hmmm….that sounds a little extreme doesn’t it? I mean considering that I should be cleaning the house for an upcoming dinner that we’re hosting. Or I should be making the numerous handmade greeting cards (birthdays and thank yous) that I need to  complete. Not to mention catching up on scrapbooks (yes, more than 1) of my daughter.

BTW, I finally thought of an on-line name for my husband since I probably shouldn’t keep referring to him as “the husband” or “my husband”. So, I’ll call him Mr. Mad. NO, not to say that he’s mad…that’s far from the truth but I’ll use the word “mad” to refer to him as the “middle-aged dad” that he is. Hee hee hee…kind of cute? I’m still pondering a name for my daughter since I’d like to find one that suits her to a T. As for the bun in the oven, yes I am pregnant, I guess I’ll call  her “baby” since I am not 100% certain that she is a girl. Supposedly, the ultrasounds show she is a girl because they don’t see “anything” down there but I’ve heard numerous stories where they think it’s a girl and it turns out to be a boy. Only time will tell!


To Discipline or Not to Discipline…that is the Question September 22, 2007

Yesterday was the first day I have ever used a time-out for my daughter! That’s how frustrated I was. I always knew the day would come but I thought it wouldn’t happen yet. Although I know some parents who have been using time-outs for a while now (since their children were around 1 year old), most of the parents who I know don’t really use any kind of structured discipline with their toddlers. Needless to say, I never really put any real thought into a “discipline plan” for our household. Not to say that I have never said, “no” to my daughter or asked her to stop doing something. I have…many times! Usually, she stops or I can distract her with something else. But not this day!

Let me backtrack a bit to give you some background info on my little one. For a while now she has been excited about using sign language. We’ve introduced her to sign language through books and videos. (Yes, we do let our daughter watch TV. That’s a whole post topic in itself!) She really enjoys “Signing Time” with Rachael Coleman and Baby Einstein. Since watching the Baby Einstein “Baby Wordsworth” video, she has learned the sign for computer. She’s always thought the computer was fun especially banging on the keyboards. But now…she constantly wants to get to the computer and she insists that she sit at it (like an adult) and bang on the keys. Of course, she also insists that the screen be on (in the past it didn’t really matter if it was on or off). Her recent growth spurt as allowed her to climb on the office chair by herself and swivel around to face the computer.

Well yesterday morning she woke up full of energy but a little fussy due to interrupted sleep the night before ( a couple of bouts of crying). She refused to eat her breakfast after I made it. She insisted that she did not want to leave the family room to go to the kitchen. So I decided to give her a little time to herself and go check my email in the other room. Not long after I hear the “pitter-patter” of toddler feet heading my way! So I quickly turn off the screen trying to fool her into thinking that the computer was off. No such luck! I guess she is smarter than I think. She excitedly climbs on the chair and starts banging on the keyboard. I quickly tell her, “The computer is off. Let’s go eat breakfast!” Then she starts, “Wait! Wait! Wait!” Next comes the whining and banging on the computer screen! I attempt to carry her off the chair and she wiggles out of my hands and back up to the chair with “Wait! Wait! Wait!” over and over again. Yikes! Yes, I know…I shouldn’t have even entered this room and attempt to use the computer in the first place.  So I quickly picked her up and carried her reluctant body straight to her crib and put her in. There she stayed with the light on and the door open crying and whining. In the meantime, I sat in the kitchen listening to her wailing cry on the baby monitor thinking, “Hmmm, how long should I leave her…2 minutes for her age? Or until she stops crying?” Not knowing the correct method I decided to let her stay for 2 minutes. When I took her out she was still whimpering a little but was anxious to get out of the crib. I gave her a hug and told her that she needs to listen to mommy.  Whew, that was stressful for ME! Probably more so than for her. I have to admit I felt a little guilty about the whole incident. Yes, I know I know…I’m spoiling my daughter! You can’t blame me since I’m a middleaged mom who has waited many years to have a child! (Again, a whole other story!)

That evening I headed straight to the bookstore for a book that was recommended to me. It’s called 1-2-3 Magic Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D.   (Don’t you like the word magic…if only it was that easy.) Let’s face it I was in desperate need of a plan of action before my daughter became the sole dictator of my home. As soon as I got home, I dived right into the book to get some quick tips. Of course I knew that it wouldn’t really be quick but I needed something to make me feel like I was doing the parent thing correctly.

At this point, I’m half way through the book. I did learn a few things so far. First, there is a distinction between “Stop” and “Start” behaviors. Second, do not talk or show emotion when using the techniques.  Third, these children are not “little adults” in disguise.

Believe me I can’t wait to get to the end and get started with my daughter. It’s for my own sanity as much as it is for her growth. I’ll be sure to tell you more when I’m done reading this book. If anyone out there has read it and can share some insights, I’d love to hear from you!


Success…Cute Bento Food Find! September 19, 2007

Filed under: bento lunches,children,Christianity,family,Hello Kitty,moms,Oprah,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 2:29 pm

September 19, 2007

Today I took my daughter to a toddler activity at the mall. First of all, getting out of the house was enough to want to call it quits and stay home. For some reason she did not want to leave the house and get in the car. To begin with once I put on her shoes she proceeded to walk around the house! Yikes, tracking dirt everywhere! Then when we finally get out the door she doesn’t want to walk to the car. Whining the word “wait” over and over again! I figured that she was whining about her daddy since two seconds before that she saw his shoes sitting outside of the house. So I finally said to her “Daddy’s at work today.” Then she came trekking along to the car. Finally!  No, that’s not the end of it! When we get in the car and we’re ready to leave, she starts crying. Why? Who knows why a toddler cries sometimes, esp. when that’s they’re main mode of showing displeasure. Let me tell you my level of frustration was fast rising to the upper limits! I took a deep breath and said “We’re going.” and off we went. Soon after the crying stopped I thanked God for His grace! Whew!

At the mall they have a Sanrio store that sells all kinds of Hello Kitty stuff along with many other characters. I stopped in to check out their bento lunchboxes.  I’ve seen a few on ebay but they are quite expensive since they’re mostly coming from Asia. Well, I found a  latch style two-tier plastic lunchbox. It’s the cutest thing since it is pink and is adorned with Hello Kitty.  The first tier has a divider in it.  (I hope to get a picture uploaded soon.) Apparently, there were more lunchboxes prior to the start of school but not too many were this “bento” style. I asked the salesperson if they had any other food prep items with Hello Kitty on them. She informed me that they will soon be getting jello molds, cookie cutters, and a cake pan. Hooray! I’m so excited and I can’t wait to get my hands on the cookie cutters and the jello molds. I hope to use them for rice. I also saw some ice trays that were pretty cute too. 

On a less happy note…when we got home from the mall today there was an emergency broadcast message on TV about a child abduction. I wasn’t able to get any details but I said a little prayer for that child.  I hope they find the child soon as I know every minute counts. I’ll need to watch the news to find out more details. It was only a TEST! My husband watched the news and found out it was only a test! I am so happy! Sorry it must have been my “middleaged” hearing.

Whenever I hear stories like this or anything that has to do with children getting hurt, it makes my heart break.  I’m sure it affects all of us the same way but I must say there’s an extra added twinge in my neck now that I’m a parent myself. Not to mention a parent of a girl! Once when I was watching an episode of Oprah about child predators, I was overcome with disgust by they things they said. I think one man said something like when he sees a little girl doing a cartwheel and her skirt flips up he thinks that she wants to have sex with him. They also mentioned that these predators like to hang out at places where children hang out…places like the mall, toy stores, parks, etc. Let me tell you the world was a different place when I was growing up some 30+ years ago. Needless to say, this makes me a little paranoid when I go to the mall with my daughter and she happens to spread her legs a little to wide for my taste. Isn’t that sad…she is only a toddler just doing toddler things and I have to worry about other people.  I wonder if I’m the only mother out there that feel this way about their daughter? Maybe I am paranoid.

Speaking of the past, I do remember an incident when I was in elementary school that has never left me since it happened. I used to walk home from school with my brother and sometimes with friends. For some reason I had to walk home alone that particular day. It wasn’t a long walk maybe a couple of blocks. I remember just getting past the boundaries of the school property and seeing a car parked  along the sidewalk.  I saw someone sitting in the car and I had a pretty scary feeling inside the pit of my stomach. So I quickly crossed the street and looked back towards the school and started waving. (Pretending that I was waving to someone). Then I headed back towards the school to wait a while until I could walk home safely or find someone to walk home with.  I really don’t remember the rest of it but I do know that I followed my gut that day. The lesson I learned…follow your instinct. When you get they scary uneasy feeling in your stomach, don’t ignore it. You’d rather look foolish and be safe then find yourself in a dangerous situation. I believe angels were watching over me that day!

 BTW, I don’t claim to be an English major so don’t judge my grammar!


Hello world!

Filed under: bento lunches,children,family,moms,scrapbooking,toddlers,Uncategorized — middleagedmom @ 7:27 am

Why blog, you ask?

Because I have something to say, of course! It actually started by accident. I was doing a search on the internet about school lunch recipes ( for a recipe called Creole Macaroni that is served as a school lunch) and stumbled upon a couple of blogs about food. Yummy!

Sidetracked by the food and those who talk about food I plugged on, delving into more and more blogs about food, esp. bento lunches. I was sold! Yep, I’m now a bento lunch fanatic. For the past week I’ve spent countless hours on the computer searching for the  cutest most affordable bento lunch supplies. I’ve gone to local stores in search of my bento supply stash. I’m happy to say I found some cute food liners from the dollar store and a mini microwave steamer. I was also able to find a cute food container that has 2 latch type locks on it. ( Maybe I’ll add pics when I’m more experienced with this blog thing.) I can’t wait to get out there to my local Asian stores in search for more stash. I know…there’s stuff on the internet but those prices from Japan seem a bit much for a beginner. I’m looking forward to creating my first bento (probably a snack bento) for my daughter and me.

 Okay, so I’m interested in food and bento lunches. What else you ask? I have a huge passion for scrapbooking. Do you know any mom who doesn’t love to scrapbook, esp. about their families?

Movies…yes, I enjoy a good movie. If I had more time (don’t we all), I’d see more movies, esp. romantic comedies. Who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh now and then? Not that I don’t laugh. I do. A lot…esp. when you have children. They never cease to amaze me!

So here goes my 1st attempt at blogging…fear of failure you ask? Of course, what if no one ever reads this? Am I supposed to tell my friends and family about this blog? What is the PC thing to do when starting a blog? Tell others or wait until people stumble upon it? If no one reads it I guess I can use this blog as a “venting tool” or “memory keeper” since I have never been good at keeping an ongoing written journal.

To those out there in blogland who stumble upon my newbie blog…enjoy!