Fractured Fairy Tales

As a child fairy tales, especially the kind that involved a princess and a prince, were my favorites. I could listen all day to stories as long as someone was there to read them. In second grade my favorite teacher, Mrs. Wortley, asked the class if we had ever heard the story of the Three Pigs. We all laughed. Of course by 2nd grade we knew the story — the pigs outsmart that nasty wolf and live happily in their brick house. Mrs. Wortley then asked us if we knew the real story of the 3 pigs? The real story? What was that? She pulled out The True Story of the Three Little Pigs told from the point of view of the wolf, who was simply caught at the wrong place and time when he was sick.

After hearing that delightful tale I was hooked. What other fairy tales had this kind of twist to them? As I grew older I learned the term for changing fairy tale stories was actually called Fractured Fairy Tales. Since then I have been in love with stories, movies, and anything of this nature. The Angelina Jolie movie Maleficent is an example of a fractured fairy tale, and I recently read a young adult version of the Twelve Dancing Princesses one as well. I am always on the lookout for more stories like this to share with my kids. Here are some I have found, most I haven’t had experience reading yet as they are a little older reading for Drake right now (plus he needs to know the original stories first before we fracture them right?) but I cant wait to share them with him when he gets old enough.

EIEIO – How Old MacDonald Got His Farm With a Little Help From a Hen |  Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse  |  The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig  |  Honestly Red Riding Hood Was Rotten!  |  Newfangled Fairy Tales  |  Prince Cinders  |  Little Red: A Fizzingly Good Yarn

Are you a fan of fractured fairy-tales? Which are your favorites?

A Day in the Life: Oatmeal Edition

Now that I’m back to work, I thought I’d share what a typical day looks like at the Oatmeal house. We’re lucky that Mr. O’s work schedule can be flexible, so that helps a whole lot. Mine is more rigid, but it’s only Monday to Friday. Overall, adjusting to being back has been much easier than I anticipated…but there will be a post to come on how we keep things balanced at home. For now, here’s a snapshot into a typical weekday:

6:45am- Little Oats wakes up, so I bring her into our bed to nurse while Mr. O showers.

7:00am- Mr. O takes Little Oats downstairs to eat while I get showered and ready.

7:25am- I get Little Oats dressed, make coffee, and ensure that her bag for daycare is packed. Mr. O makes his breakfast smoothie and loads up the car.

7:45am- Mr. O and Little Oats leave for daycare and work, and I have a few quiet minutes to myself to eat my breakfast and finish getting my lunch together.

8:05am- I leave the house, arrive at the office by about 8:15.

4:30pm – Mr. O picks Little Oats up from daycare and they head home.

4:45pm – We all arrive home at about the same time. LO nurses, we have a snack.

5:15pm- Someone starts dinner, LO plays.

5:40pm- We all eat dinner together.

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Ikea Ribba vs. Bekvam as Display Bookshelves

Most of you have probably seen Ikea’s Ribba picture ledges and Bekvam spice racks used as display bookshelves in children’s room. Charlie has had the Ribba shelves and Olive has had both the Ribba shelves and Bekvam spice racks in her room for almost a year now, so I thought it was time for a comparison of the two!

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Early Teething Babies

Baby Pencil had been fussy since… well, since as long as I can remember! The type of fussiness varies. He was a high maintenance sleeper and did not smile a whole lot. I just accepted the fact that I did not have a super smiley, Gerber baby. But there was a period around 3 months when he would have meltdowns. Someone mentioned that since BP was drooling and gnawing on his hand that he could be teething. Teething!? I thought that was supposed to happen at 6 months! But the drooling and gnawing was getting out of control. And then sure enough…

At only 3.5 months out of the womb, this little guy decided to sprout teeth! They fully emerged at 4 months and they are super sharp! I have to admit — it was kind of cute seeing his teeth when he opened his mouth.

You know how they say every baby is different? I wish they wrote that in the first line of every parent book. Baby Pencil did not follow any of the patterns or rules of what teething babies were like. Nor did he like ANY of the suggested remedies!

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Onesie Upcycle

If your toddler is anything like mine, getting them to stand, sit or maintain a position conducive to snapping a onesie closed has become a nearly impossible task. If your dryer is anything like mine (and you have the tendency toward forgetting to snap onesies closed, like I do), you’ve probably lost a few onesie snaps to the machine. And if you have a friend, relative or are yourself anything like my mom, who has bought every adorable onesie ever made for her only granddaughter, you likely find yourself with a closet full of barely worn onesies that you now avoid or can’t use.

When my mom was visiting us this past week, I mentioned to her that Baby Carrot has become too wiley to make putting onesies on her a worthwhile endeavor, and I felt awful because have a ton of adorable onesies that are going unused. I was planning to pass them on to friends or donate them, until my mom offered to turn them into t-shirts instead. The process ended up being so incredibly brilliant and simple that I just had to share it.

1) Grab a onesie or jumper (aka, anything with snaps). It can be one that got damaged, like the one in my picture below (thanks, dryer!) or just one that you no longer plan to use with snaps for whatever reason. Cut a straight line as close to the leg seams as possible (or higher, if you want to make shorter tops), to cut off the snaps.

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Getting Ready for (Pre)School

After we enrolled in the Montessori school and I started to get an idea of what the children will be learning to do, I began to work at home with the cubs to get them ready for this new shift in our daily life. At first I was afraid that we would have to introduce too many new things, but after observing what we do around the house, I found that it probably wouldn’t be that much of a leap for the kids after all!

Things We’re Already Doing:

* Making Books and Toys Easily Accessible, Enticing Play

All of our shelves are at toddler eye level or lower. Nearly all of our toys are either laid out on the shelf in a pleasing manner (I do this at night, after the kids are asleep) and invite toddlers to interact with them. Since we have two main play areas, the living room and the play room, it gives each toddler a space where they can work, but they tend to play together and with similar toys at the same time. Books are made available and enticing by displaying them on a forward facing bookshelves instead of in boxes or by their spine, since my tots can’t read yet.

* Chairs and Tables at Their Height

While our main dining table isn’t at their height, we do have boosters so that they are at table level. We also have two blue plastic chairs that the children often pull up to the toy chest that’s being used as a coffee table/work area in our living room. Sometimes we’ll eat snacks there. There’s also a new addition to our playroom that I scored from a Mother’s Day Out program that was going out of business – a classroom table with old school chairs. This gives the cubs a large work area that they can bring their toys and projects to and keeps them away from my desk!

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Peach + Basil Salad Dressing

Peach + Basil Salad Dressing l Hellobee

Before this year, when it came to salads of the lettuce variety I was pretty dedicated to my mustard vinaigrette. Although I never received any complaints I started feeling like it was time to make our salads more interesting, and there’s no easier way to do that than to change up the dressing. My most recent creation is inspired by this magic nectarine dressing recipe, which relies on pureed stone fruit for a subtle sweetness and creaminess. I changed around the ingredients, including swapping out the cider vinegar in favor of red wine vinegar and adding our favorite finishing oil – a spicy extra virgin olive oil. Think of the recipe below as a great starting point for all kinds of fruit-based dressings and feel free to change up the herbs or play with additions like Dijon mustard and fresh garlic.

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