Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Haircuts, Bathtubs, and Nutella

I finally cut my son's hair not too long ago. It was the first time ever, and I hadn't realized how difficult it would be. I know he looks cute on this picture, but, trust me, he really needed a haircut. His hair was really long in back, almost non-existent on the sides, and very different lengths on the top. My family was always referring to it as his baby-mullet. Nevertheless, the 80's are over. Thank goodness!



My neighbor, whose son is a couple months older than Jonas, took her son to the hairdresser to get his haircut for the first time a couple weeks ago. He has stick straight hair. It didn't look like it would be hard to cut. She came back with his haircut only on one side. From what I heard it was a disaster. I guess, one and a half year olds are just not ready to sit still while a stranger takes a scissors to their head.

I also read a couple entries on Facebook from friends of mine who wrote how they dreaded having to cut their child's hair again. They said their kids screamed, moved their arms around, or just plain refused. Sitting on mama or daddy's lap didn't seem to help either.

I tried to take their advice and realized I had to have a plan. I knew that if Jonas saw the scissors, i.e. me standing in front of him, he would want to have them so that he could explore what a scissors is. That would definitely not work. And, if he sat on daddy's lap and I moved around him, it probably wouldn't be much better. I decided I would need to distract him with what he loves best. I remembered a friend of mine in Germany, who would give her son a spoon full of Nutella so that she could cut his nails. Not a healthy route, but it did work. So what does Jonas love more than anything? Water!

I decided to cut his hair in the bathtub. I got in with him and sat down behind him. Right outside the tub, I had a few papertowels and a large bowl. I put in plenty of bubbles and gave him lots of toys. It worked! I was able to work on his head for as long as I needed. He didn't care as long as he could play in the tub. I used a comb and then pulled the hair between my ring and middle finger (like I saw the pros do), but had the palm of my hand facing me so I could catch most of the hair when I cut. I then dumped this hair in the bowl next to the tub. Alright, I'll admit, a certain amount of hair landed in the tub, but it didn't matter because I was actually able to give my child a decent haircut and save some of those glorious curls for an album.

The tub haircut worked for Jonas, but I have another baby on the way. He might not be so easy to fool. So I'm curious, how do or did the rest of you cut your child's hair? Any success or horror stories?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teething Scarves



Jonas at
7 and
15 months

Most people think of scarves as something that you wear to be warm or fashionable. I’ve now come to the conclusion that there is another great use - as a teething scarf.

The moment Jonas turned seven months and started getting teeth, his salivary glands began working overtime. At that point, I decided to sew up a few handkerchief-sized scarves in my sewing class to help catch a bit of the downpour. I had seen kids in Germany wearing little scarves, but had never thought of them having any practical purpose other than for added warmth since German homes are kept at colder temperatures than American ones. Nevertheless, as teething scarves, they worked wonderfully and looked cute as well.

Recently, Jonas started getting his first year molars, and I have had to sew up a few more. There were days when he went through 3 or 4 scarves. If I forgot to put a scarf on, his shirt would be soaked with drool in no time. A wet shirt in the winter can’t be very comfortable, so I always try to remember to put one on. With the scarves, every time one got too wet, I would just take it off and put on another one. Now, my boy could stay warm and relatively dry.

How to:
I’ve made quite a few scarves over the last few months (I posted only a few to this page). The majority of them were triangular. This is a very simple scarf to make. All you need to do is cut out a square piece of material. Then fold over the edges with the nice part of the material on the inside and sew all the way around leaving only a little hole to turn the material back right side in. Then once you have turned the material from inside out to right side in, fold and pin the hole shut and sew a nice border all the way around. Finished!

You can also make a long rectangular scarf out of fleece or flannel for winter; however, without the added triangle in the front, it doesn’t catch as much drool.

If you would like some added fun, add an iron on to the front of the scarf, some strings on the edges, quilt the material first, or embroider the child’s name on the front. Let your creativity lead you!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

No Cabbage, Cheesy Bierrocks

I came up with this recipe, because my husband wanted bierrocks and I didn’t have any cabbage. Also, I love the bierrocks concept.

In comparison to a hamburger, you can actually get some veggies in a bierrock that your kids will eat (you could trade zucchini in this recipe for about any other green vegetable). I actually like this recipe better than the traditional cabbage one, because the inside is a bit creamy and cheesy. My fifteen month old also loved it, so you could call it a great family dish.

Don’t worry, if you have never made a yeast dough before. It’s really easy, and you’d be surprised how good it turns out even if you are not skilled at kneading. I’ve given a few tips in the recipe on how to make things quick and easy. The main thing you need with a yeast dough is a couple hours to make sure the dough has time to rise. The dough itself, only takes about 5-10 minutes to make.

No Cabbage, Cheesy Bierrocks

1 C warm water
1 pkg yeast
2 T sugar
½ t salt
¼ C olive oil
1 egg, beaten
3 C flour (2 C whole wheat/1 C white)

1 lb ground beef
1 onion
¼ bell pepper (any color, depending on taste)
1 zucchini
1 T honey
1 T flour
1 T butter
Circa ½ C milk
1 /c shredded cheese
Spices: celery salt, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper

Makes 12 bierrocks.

1. In a large bowl, add water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until foamy.

2. Add salt, oil, and beaten egg. Mix well.

3. Add 3 cups flour. First mix with a spoon until you can form it into a ball with your hands. Then knead for a few minutes in the bowl (adding a little more flour if necessary) until you have a nice ball of dough that is uniform. Tip: to knead dough, punch down and forward with the bottom part of the palm of your hand, then take the dough that has been pushed forward, fold it over towards you, and punch it down again…

4. Let dough rise until double in size. Roll out on a floured board until the dough is about ¼ inch thick. Cut into 12 squares with a butter knife.

5. While the dough is rising (beginning point 4), brown hamburger in a frying pan. Drain grease if necessary. I prefer to drain grease and add butter for flavor, but don’t forget, I am pregnant. Add vegetables and cook until slightly tender. Add spices to taste. A tablespoon of honey also really helps to pull the flavor together.

6. Sprinkle flour over meat mixture and mix in well. The flour should attach itself to the fat particles, so that when you add milk it doesn’t get clumpy. If this doesn’t happen, you will need to add more fat. Then add milk, adding more if necessary to make a thick sauce which just covers the meat. Finally, add the cheese, mix well and let your meat mixture cool.

7. Spoon meat mixture onto dough squares (see picture above right). Pull up dough from all corners (see picture left) and pinch shut. The dough doesn’t always pinch shut well, but don’t worry, because this part of the dough goes down on the pan and bakes together later. Place bierrocks on a greased cookie sheet.

8. Let bierrocks rise for about 15 minutes and then bake for about 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. All bierrocks taste great with ketchup, but I’m sure you could eat them plain as well. Enjoy!