Motherhood operating systems in progress.

This area does not yet contain any content.
Find Us On...
Subscribe to MommyBeta
Latest Tweets
Join My Parenting Book Club!


It's all about the thermometer. No fever.


Feeling better.

I learned something new last night. After almost five years of motherhood, I now know at what temperature a child has a fever.  

Previously, I thought anything over 99 degrees Fahrenheit was a fever, no matter what kind of thermometer is used. It turns out, that’s not right. According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the actual definitions of fever: 

  • Rectal, ear or temporal artery temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher
  • Pacifier or oral temperature of 100 F (37.8C) or higher
  • Armpit temperature of 99 F (37.2 C) or higher 

All weekend, I thought that Nic had a low-grade fever of around 99.8 degrees (along with congestion and moderate crankiness). Because of this, I cancelled all of our weekend plans and kept us cooped up around the house. When he still had this fever after three days, I started Googling. For once, Googling random symptoms was actually productive. I found out that because I use a temporal artery thermometer, Nic didn’t actually have a fever. Although he was definitely a little under the weather, he didn’t have a persistent fever. This was a relief.

Did you know that the threshold for fever is dependent on the thermometer?


Ice Skating with Toddlers and Preschoolers


We tried ice skating with Nic when he was about two. It was a total bust. He was a wet noodle we tried to pull around the rink.

We made our second attempt at ice skating yesterday with Nic, almost five, and Z, almost two and a half, and it was much more successful. Although it almost wasn’t.

I’d received an email about a local pop-up ice rink that had “bobby” skating aids—basically ice strollers that you could ride on or use for support. This seemed like a genius idea, so we decided to go on New Year’s Day. (Full disclosure: The rink comped our skate.) However, when we arrived, they were out of “bobbies.” (A hazard of going on a holiday, I suppose.) We got on a waitlist for a bobby, but it didn’t look like one would open up before our session was over. The boys were doing pretty well on the ice, but we were all a bit disappointed that we wouldn’t get to try out the bobby.

Then a Christmas angel swooped in and let us borrow her bobby for a few trips around the rink. It was amazing! The boys took turns riding on and pushing the bobby and it was fun for all. It also gave Nic a lot more confidence on the ice. After our turn with the bobby was over, he went back out with Daddy and even let go of the edge a few times.













The moral of the story is: Ice skating with little kids is a lot more fun with a little help.

Info for Bay Area Ice Rink:

The Little Ice Rink

South Shore Center, Alameda (Who knew Alameda was so cute? This center is really nice too.)

Open through January 19th

Thank you to the Little Ice Rink for our family skate!


Top 10 Reasons my Toddler Loves Sick Days 


Nic, age-four-and a-half, has a nasty bug. He’s been lazing about the house with a fever all day. As unhappy as Nic has been, Z has been in heaven since I declared this a “Sick Day.” That’s because although Z feels fine, he still gets to enjoy all of the sick day indulgences his brother is getting. It’s too hard to tell Z “no” when he sees brother getting the good stuff. Here are Z’s favorite sick day perks:"Sick days rule!"

10. Unlimited juice.

9. Unlimited TV shows.

8. Unlimited iPad/LeapPad time.

7. Being brother’s “nurse” by bringing him juice and snacks for Mommy.

6. Cookies for morning snack.

5. Ice cream for afternoon snack.

4. Not having to be loaded into the car for preschool drop off and pick up.

3. Jumping on brother’s bed while he’s asleep on the couch.

2. Mommy’s undivided attention for playing cars or building train tracks.

1. Brother is too sick to wrestle or steal toys. 

The sad sickie.


Culture at Christmas  


Nic and Z have spent a good deal of time in science museums, on hikes and playing in mud puddles, but I’ll admit that their education in the arts has been limited.

They’re still a bit rowdy for the de Young and until today, I wouldn’t have thought they could sit through any type of performance. I’ve loved seeing musicals in the City since I was a little girl and even Shaun is a sucker for A Christmas Carol, but I figured we were at least a few years off from doing any shows with the boys.

About a month ago, Nic’s Montessori teacher announced a field trip to a local production of Madeline’s Christmas. I was hesitant to sign up. I thought Nic would enjoy the show, but I knew I’d have to bring Z, who is only 28 months and pretty squirmy. Nic’s teacher assured me that I’d be able to take Z out into the lobby if necessary and that she’d stay with Nic in the theater. This sounded like a good backup plan, so we signed up to go.

This morning, I dressed the boys in their Christmas best (got to get the most wear out of the red plaid as possible!), and we headed to the show.

I was so impressed with my boys and the other kids from Nic’s school. They were all engaged and entertained. Granted, it was a short show (about 45 minutes), but it was easy to see that the audience really appreciated what was happening on stage.

I think we often underestimate kids. It’s definitely easier to put them into situations like playing at the park or running around the zoo, but I’m resolving to expect a little more from time to time. Not only do they get a little “culture,” but it’s also a lesson in self-control and good manners. Perhaps we’ll visit more restaurants with waitresses? Maybe we’ll even take on a morning at the de Young?


To My 4-Year-Old Daughter


Dear Elle,

You’re 4 years old!! You have been waiting to be this old for a long time. It’s all you’ve talked about for months. Now, you’re here and you can tell people that you are a big girl. You regularly ask, “Am I bigger than Reid?" Or "am I almost as big as the triplets (your cousins who you idolize.)"

You should know that three was quite a ride. I was taken aback pretty much in the first former discipline tactics no longer worked with you. You started to push boundaries. “What if I say no? What’s gonna happen? Mamma says I can’t have a cookie. What if I just sneak a cookie?” So you and I have bounced back and forth over the past year seeing what works.

The most important thing I’ve learned is that if you’re upset, you need a little time to relax and then most importantly a big hug. I often worry that my rules will make you turn against me but at the end of the day you still tell you love me so so so so much and want me to come back upstairs to snuggle and give extra kisses and hugs. I guess you aren’t holding a grudge.

Something I want you to know (especially when you’re a teenager) is that you love me. Love me like your heart swells so much and you grit your teeth when you give me a big hug…no matter if I say no more candy, or if it’s time to go home. And, I LOVE you. So. Much. So much that sometimes it hurts to breath if I think you’re hurt or that I’ve upset you. I wish I could give in to all the whims you want from my little pony dolls to treats but there has to be some limits. Children need limits. That’s what I’ve been told and I want so much for you.

I want you to grow up a proud, honest, empathetic, kind, outspoken, responsible, intelligent, warm, funny and loving woman who knows what’s right and what’s wrong. Who can make her own choices using good judgment, not someone else’s. I want so badly to raise you right so that you’ll cherish what you have, not think materials buy happiness, that you take care of your possessions and are a good person with a big heart and big mind.

I don’t feel like I can get there by giving you everything you want. That’s why I’m the mom who I am. Because I want so much for you.

Now, off of those serious, but important points and on to some fun ones. Here’s what you are or have been from 3 to 4 years old.

-          You love to be the boss. You love to be the bravest, fastest, tallest, oldest…you get the picture. Slightly competitive.

-          Your obsession with bugs has grown throughout the year. When we moved to Denver, things got crazy! You started digging and finding big, huge earthworms; you held a tarantula and smiled while doing it; you jumped up and down when you got to see a hissing cockroach mama and her babies; and your 4th birthday was even at a bug museum!

-          You love to dress up! From Rapunzel to witches, you love getting into character and love for your little brother to be right there with you. Elsa and Olaf is one of your favorites.

-          You love listening to Jack and Annie (Magic Tree House Series) in the car…so much that you make me just sit in the garage until a chapter is over.

-          Your favorite show is Scooby Doo…you LOVE spooky stuff! You love playing Monster hide and seek. Your first favorite book was The Spooky Old Tree so it’s no surprise.

-       You love to read books. It's hard to pick out a favorite but it's safe to say you're game for any story.

-           You love to play Jetpack with your daddy on the iPad.

-          You really have gotten great at riding your scooter, going super fast and doing some good tricks and you just learned to ride a big girl bike (with training wheels of course!)

-          You love facetiming your granny and granddaddy and your grandma and grandpa…and the triplets! You love traveling to visit them too and often say you want to live where they live.

-          You love your “baby brother” as you call him even though he is almost two. You guys are a riot together and he idolizes your every move.

-          This year you skied for the first time with a smile on your face and learned to swim!

-          Your kitty Lucy is your best friend. She snuggles with you, follows you around and even falls to sleep on your bed.

-          You still pretty much come sneak into our bed every night after we’re asleep but that’s ok. We secretly love the extra snuggle time even though we won’t admit it.

There are so many other things I could write from big experiences to everyday gestures you do that brighten my life a million times over. We are so blessed to have you as our daughter and are loving watching you grow into an amazing woman.


Mommy and Daddy