Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's Moving Day Again

That's right, the Random Handprints family is moving again. We're not quite sure where yet, but we are certain we're moving when our lease is up this summer.

You can read all my angst about telling my poor kids It's Moving Day Again at the NYC Moms Blog.

My mother is on her third Manhattan apartment in six years (following twenty years in the same house in Northern Virginia). When her rental apartment went condo she complained to Magpie about having to move again, and was met with the reply, "That's nothing! I've moved the same number of times as you and I'm only six years old!"

How many times have you moved in the last six years? We've moved three times, which seems like a lot, but I bet there's plenty of people out there who would tell us that's nothing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

American Vernacular Landscapes - Congratulations, You're the Random Handprints Site of the Month!

Congratulations to the winner of May's Site of the Month - American Vernacular Landscapes (AVL). I can't say enough good things about AVL, it is truly one of the best blogs out there. It's funny, topical, and just a little irreverent. AVL has also always been a champion of Random Handprints, so it is fitting our first Site of the Month award would go to them, as they have always supported this blog.

Here are a few more reasons why AVL is the Random Handprints Site of the Month:
  • Because you understand why one blog is not enough
  • Because you were the first to add us to your blogroll
  • Because you comment often, and thoughtfully
  • Because you understand the allusions when others don't
  • Because you set-up stats tracking before I even knew what that was
  • Because you were the one who first told me about aboriginal handprints
  • Because you are always willing to go camping, hunt vampires, or have a moonlight picnic.
Thank you AVL for making the world, online and off, a better place.
If you'd like to nominate a site for June's Random Handprints Site of the Month Award, email me at or leave a comment here on why you think it should win. Good luck!

Monday, May 24, 2010

I heart milk caps

I'm a collector, and always have been. I think some people just are, and some people just aren't. And unfortunately for the collectors, it's hard to explain why you need to collect to someone who doesn't share this need. This is particularly hard when a collector is married to a non-collector, though I must admit I guess it must be equally hard to be a non-collector having to live with a collector, and all of her (or his) stuff.

But I do collect. Largely from eBay, and I do enjoy it. And I keep what I collect small, and when possible, cheap.

My latest obsession is milk caps. I know these are trash. But eBay calls them ephemera, which sounds so much better. I came across the world of milk caps by accident, and was instantly hooked. I love the modernist design paired with the vintage colors. I love the glimpse of the past the caps provide with their miniature phone numbers that often include letters. And I love the history lessons of the small family farms and the days when cows needed to be cleared as free of tuberculosis.

And then I ask myself: What the fuck is wrong with me? Why do I keep buying lots and lots of used milk caps from strangers living in the Midwest? And why do I then spend hours categorizing them and putting them into their little custom milk cap sleeves and finally into the master milk cap binder? Why?

But right when my milk cap collection really starts to seem absurd, I just take a quick stroll around eBay and realize I am so not alone.

Have a collection even more questionable then milk caps? Don't be shy, brag about it here!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ and Clubbing 'Till Sunrise

That's how my daughters, ages four and six, spent their Sunday. Before you judge me, let me say that if it had been up to Kay, who's four, she would have skipped Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ all together and gone straight to Lincoln Park After Dark, but I said no way to that idea.

That's right, I took my girls to get pedicures. And they loved it.
Here's Magpie Clubbing 'Till Sunrise:

And here's Kay with Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ

How did you spend your Sunday?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baby Ziggy eats his first solid food.

That's right, at dinner tonight (technically, this afternoon - we dine early) Ziggy ate his first solid food. I'd been meaning to give him something he could pick-up with his own little hands for a few weeks now, but hadn't gotten around to going to the store and getting him anything suitable for baby's first meal yet.

But today - finally! - I had time to go to the local health food store and get him some nice low-salt Oatios for his first meal. Followed by gluten-free, sodium-free mini bears. Mmmm.

Eat-up baby, it only gets better from here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Me and my anti-salt agenda

I am, and have always been, anti-salt. It's an easy position for me to uphold because I have no taste for salt. Having been raised in a super-anti-salt house, I am not accustomed to salted food, and so I never feel like I'm missing anything.

But I still eat a lot of salt. And, my kids still eat a lot of salt. At home, I virtually don't use salt at all when I cook. But we eat out in restaurants, which are usually super-salty. And we eat a variety of pre-made foods, all salt mines. But I'm trying to be better, for the sake of my health and their health.

So I've started reading all the labels, and have decided to curb my salt consumption to... 100% of the daily maximum recommended amount. And even with just trying to reduce it to this, about 2,300 milligrams a day, is really, really hard. (It's about a teaspoon.) Most Americans consume over one-and-a-half teaspoons, about 4,000 milligrams. Of our many gross American habits, this is one of the grossest.

Kids ages 4 to 8 should consume no more then 1,200 milligrams of salt daily, and 9 to 18 year olds should consume 1,500 milligrams of salt max. Which of course, is plenty of salt. But I am guessing your kids, and mine, consume way more. If your kids eat any of the regular kid processed foods from graham crackers to goldfish to granola bars, they are eating a lot of salt. Even worse, even if you are eating the reduced-sodium versions of foods, they are still full of salt.

I try as hard as I can to never give processed food to my kids, but they eat tons of it. At every lunchtime I'm told their friends are nice enough to share theirs, and at just about every group activity from sports to parties, it's more of the same. Salted crackers. Processed cheese sticks. Fruit snacks. They're all completely full of salt, not to mention their other artificial ingredients.

I challenge us all - lets' start reading the nutrition labels on the foods we're eating, and let's see how much salt we are all eating. I think you'll be shocked. Just don't say I didn't warn you first.

Find a terrible salt offender? Leave a comment here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The need to tweet?

Do I need to tweet?

And even if I don't need to tweet, do I want to tweet?

Will I like Twitter?

And, if I do, will Twitter like me back?

These questions and more are explored in my very first post at NYC Moms Blog.

And yes, you can follow me at @randomhandprint.

Monday, May 10, 2010

To Tweet or not to Tweet

To tweet or not to tweet?

I have firmly stood in the "no" camp when it comes to Twitter. I work. I have kids. I have friends I like to phone and even -- gasp! -- go out with from time to time. I have a husband, and while we have been known to IM each other even when we're in the same room ('cause we both think it's hilarious), it would be nice if I spent at least some time talking to him and not pecking away at a keyboard.

Can't there be too much of a good (online) thing? I blog. I email. And Text. I Facebook. I even update my Goodreads bookshelf periodically.

So do I really need to Tweet, too? Even the whole hash tag thing seems complicated (and annoying). And has anything of value ever really been said in 140 characters or less? Can my already full and fulfilling life really fit in one more piece of social media?

Yes, I realize if I ever find myself in a foreign jail Twitter might come in handy. And yes, I also realize I could enter nifty contests, send my whereabouts at every moment to my Facebook friends, and find out the thoughts of celebrities in real time instead of waiting for Perez Hilton to post them to his site.

But I ask you, do I need to tweet? And if I do, will I wonder how I ever lived without it?

Anna blogs about all things Mom at Though she has yet to share her first tweet with the world, her twitter is randomhandprint.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mapgie and Kay are blogging now too!

It's rare when you and your kids can share the same hobby, so I am happy mine are already mini-bloggers. Magpie is blogging at Learning to Hula Hoop. Kay is writing her thoughts on modern family life at I love My Brother and Sister.

A warm welcome to you both to the blogging community!

A Big Day for Miss Kay!

Kay gets her first library card!

It is also makes a nifty eye patch:
Or, if the mood strikes,

An equally adorable ear patch:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Lag B'omer! Happy Birthday Jewish Mysticism!

For those of you who are not familiar with this (very fun) Jewish holiday, it was yesterday. Lag B'omer commemorates the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer, and is also known as the birthday of Jewish mysticism.

To celebrate, we went to a really great party hosted by the local Chabad chapter here in Larchmont. We jumped in the bouncy castle, ate yummy barbecue, sang songs, shot bows n' arrows (a Lag B'omer tradition, who knew?) and flew kites.

The best part, besides seeing lots of friends and hearing updates about many of our beloved morahs at the Chabad Early Learning Center, was watching Magpie stick to the giant velcro wall:
For those who are interested in learning more about the holiday, here is info from the website:
Lag B'omer is the thirty-third day of the Omer, a minor festival falling between Passover and Shavuot, commemorating the end of a plague which killed thousands of Rabbi Akiva’s students; also the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar.
If you don't know what the The Omer Count is, click here and all will be revealed.

How do I explain to my kids life is not a Wii game?

Image Source

My kids like to play the Wii. I do not. So their Wii-life (lived with their dad) happily does not intersect with the real life I live with them.

Until recent events have brought the Wii-life and the real life together all too much.

Yesterday, my husband reported that on the drive back from Hebrew School Kay (age 4) insisted when they were going along a nice straightaway of road, "Do a wheelie! Do a wheelie!"

And then a few minutes later, as they drove by another car, "Shoot a turtle shell!"

"That's funny," I replied. "I bet since Magpie's older (age 6) and realizes those things can't really happen in real life, thought that was really silly."

And my husband, chuckling, says, "Yeah, Magpie totally thought it was ridiculous because it was obviously a situation where I should use the oil slick, or maybe the magic bullet, but definitely not turtle shells."

But wait, there's more.

{Keep Reading}

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