Treat yo self

Shortly after Graham’s first birthday, I started feeling really down, and I realized that was due in large part to the fact that I hadn’t done much to take care of myself in a while. The first year of his life was all about survival; since we made it through that first year and, dare I say it, things had gotten a bit easier, it became clear that I needed to get back to taking care of me.

Now, money certainly doesn’t buy happiness, but it sure can buy a few pick-me-ups to make a girl feel good. Here are a few things that have done wonders for my soul and self-esteem lately.

Treat Yo Self: Claremont Road blog

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
I actually bought this a while ago, but it is the self-gift that keeps on giving. I’ve never been much of a makeup girl, because I’ve never really been great at knowing what makeup looks right on me. I heard enough people rave about this thing that I decided to give it a whirl, and it’s a really great palette that makes it fun (and pretty fool-proof) to do my eye makeup. I definitely don’t wear eye shadow every day, but I wear it more often now that I have this.

Blakeley boots
Early last winter began my search for the perfect riding boot. The pair I had were about five years old and not looking so great, and the leather was stretched out enough that I didn’t thing it was worth having them resoled if they still wouldn’t be a great fit. I sure love Frye boots, but couldn’t stomach the price tag, so I looked around for a pair that would be less than $200 with the same timeless look. I ordered several pairs from Zappos, but unfortunately none of them quite hit the spot — most were too loose around my calves. Then my mom told me that the Blakeley boots I had pinned on Pinterest were on sale at Lands’ End, I ordered them in Cognac, and the stars had finally aligned — they were perfect! I pretty much wore them every day over the winter, and they put a little pep in my step each time I put them on. I’ll surely be wearing these for several more winters to come.

Wacoal bras
Being professionally fitted for a bra is one of the greatest things a new mom can do for her self esteem. I go to a local shop called Gie Gie every few years to get measured, and most recently went a few weeks ago (and left feeling like a new woman). It turns out I have a brand that fits me perfectly, Wacoal, so now there’s no more guessing when I’m in need of new bras. If you’ve never been professionally fitted (i.e., at a place where they know what they’re doing, NOT Victoria’s Secret), go. Do it. Now!

Stitch Fix
Since the baby weight is mostly gone but my old clothes are looking a bit sad and drab, I’ve been in need of some new wardrobe staples and a few statement pieces to spruce things up and feel like a stylish member of society again. A friend referred me to Stitch Fix, and after receiving my first Fix last week, I’m officially hooked. The things I love most about it are that you don’t need to subscribe — you can schedule a Fix whenever you want, and only pay the styling fee once you’ve scheduled one — and that I’m being introduced to pieces that suit my taste and figure but may not be things that I’d pick out in a store if I saw them on the rack. You can keep as many or as few pieces as you want, and send back the rejects in the prepaid envelope included with your Fix. As long as you keep at least one of the five pieces that are sent to you, your styling fee is applied to your final purchase, so you can’t lose. I kept three of the five pieces that I received so far, and I’ve tweaked my style profile to better reflect my sizes so my next Fix is even better.

What have you done lately, in the words of Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle, to treat yo self?

The Big ONE: Graham’s First Birthday

Last September we celebrated a very special day: Graham’s first birthday!

first birthday party | Claremont Road

We always knew we’d have a party of some sort, but the details didn’t come together until the months leading up to it. We settled on a family party at our home, and decided we will save inviting Graham’s friends for when he’s a bit older.

I initially thought a nautical theme would be fun… and then within about a day of adding nautical details to a Pinterest board, I started to feel myself getting stressed and overwhelmed by possibilities. That was all I needed to throw the theme straight out the window, and instead a fun color palette of blues, aquas, and greens became our focus. Best decision I’ve ever made! It saved us grief, money, and made it a whole lot easier to not go overboard with any details. (And, as you can tell by the colors of this blog design, I was certainly in my element.) I picked up inexpensive decorations and plates whenever I came across them, mostly at Target and our neighborhood 5 and 10, ordered a dozen colored balloons in mixed hues and a big silver number one balloon at Party City, and made a banner with paper I already had in my stash.

first birthday party decor | Claremont Road

I designed the invitations and had them printed by one of my regular print vendors that we use at Curious & Co. I absolutely adore how they turned out!

first birthday party invite | Claremont Road

I was (and still am) so, so proud of how the cake turned out. I love to bake, but I’m mostly a cookie girl and I had never baked a layered cake and decorated it myself before. I went back and forth about making a cake from scratch, but my wise sister-in-law told me there is nothing wrong with a boxed mix, and I decided she was very right.

first birthday party ombré cake | Claremont Road

Standing in the cake mix aisle at Target, I Googled the top rated cake mixes, and Good Housekeeping told me Betty Crocker SuperMoist Golden Vanilla was a good choice. That was enough to convince me: I bought two boxes to make my layered cake. I also purchased food coloring gel to make 3 of my 4 layers different shades of aqua/teal for an ombré effect. The batter was so bright and fun! I should have taken pictures. But no matter, because they still looked amazing once they were baked, too. I baked the layers the week before the party and froze them until the day before — this actually seemed to make the layers even more moist, and also meant I wasn’t baking the day before the party. Win-win.

first birthday party | Claremont Road

When it came time to decorate, I used canned buttercream icing in between layers, and then watched this video tutorial to learn how to create an ombré effect with the icing on the sides (using more food coloring to achieve the colors I wanted). I loved that imperfections just added to the charm, and I am still so in love with the final result! I didn’t have any fancy tools or a lazy Susan to spin the cake like in the video — I just used my cake stand and a spreading knife to go around and around until I was happy. I added edible pearl details around the top edge and blue crystal sugar to the center as the final touch. I ordered 6″ tall white candles on Amazon to top things off.

first birthday party | Claremont Road first birthday party | Claremont Road first birthday party | Claremont Road

The cake was delicious and every last bite was gone in a flash!

We tried to keep the food as simple as possible in terms of preparation, but still made sure we had plenty to feed to our guests. We ordered a few large hoagies and sandwiches and cut them into smaller pieces; I put Nick in charge of getting lots of fruit, veggies, and cheeses to put some trays together (much less expensive than buying pre-made trays), my best friend brought a yummy spinach dip, and I made cupcakes in addition to the cake, in case some guests preferred chocolate cake. I topped the sandwiches and cupcakes off with little flags that I made from washi tape and toothpicks, after I saw how cute it looked when Amy from The Nifty Foodie did it.

first birthday party | Claremont Road first birthday party washi tape flags | Claremont Road first birthday party cupcakes and washi tape flags | Claremont Road

I ordered a bunch of square Instagram photos of Graham from PostalPix and hung them on twine with mini clothespins around the house; my best friend helped me string banners of multi-colored, varied length streamers that we hung in doorways and outside to greet our guests. I printed the outline of large letters (in one of my favorite fonts) on a few different shades of paper that I had in my stash, and cut them out with my X-acto blade to make a banner that we hung on my grandmother’s large mirror in our dining room. Truth be told: the banner stayed up until it was time to put up Christmas decorations! I was sad to take it down and will probably break it out for as many of Graham’s birthdays as possible.

first birthday party | Claremont Road first birthday party DIY banner | Claremont Road first birthday party | Claremont Road

Because it was just too easy and I couldn’t resist, I made water bottle labels, too.

first birthday party DIY water bottle labels | Claremont Road

I definitely had fun with some of the details (I am still me, after all), but I didn’t let myself get stressed out, which was key. We had a great day with our little guy and our families, and it was so bittersweet to celebrate the end of our first year as a family of three (and the fact that Nick and I survived the first year of parenthood — hooray!).

We are positively crazy about this kid.

first birthday party | Claremont Road first birthday party | Claremont Road first birthday party | Claremont Road

Graham’s favorite toys: 6-12 months

As Graham is swiftly approaching 18 months old, it’s high time I share some of his favorite toys from the past year! First up: his favorites from 6-12 months. It was such a fun time seeing him become more interested in his toys and learning/growing along the way. In my pre-baby world, I would have said we don’t need toys that make sounds or play music, and we’d love to have all wooden toys. Well, when it comes to making your kid happy, sometimes those ideas go out the window!

baby's favorite toys: 6-12 months | Claremont Road

1. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Stack & Roll Cups
This was a gift from a good friend of ours and it was a HUGE hit — the cups stack together, they connect to form different sized balls, and they make a fun sound if you tap them together. They also come with a little yellow rattle ball that Graham was obsessed with. He could play with it alone, or put it inside one of the balls to shake around. At 17+ months, he still likes to play with this toy every so often. It’s also a fantastic gift at a reasonable price if ever you’re in need of something for a little one over 6 months — I bought it for a few other kids we know and heard the same rave reviews from their parents, as well.

2. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
This toy saved me on many a car ride — and still does when we’re nearing a meltdown. The music is classical so it doesn’t bother me, there are two volume levels, and it was one of the first toys that Graham would really grip onto and not let go of. Once he figured out how to push the big button to turn the music on himself, he was even more in love. The beads are a nice help for teething little ones, and this is easy to throw into my purse or diaper bag if we’re on the go. Best feature: it has an “off” switch. It’s amazing how many kids toys that make noise can’t be turned off.

3. P’kolino Fishing Hole Size Sorter
I loved watching Graham’s little brain work as he tried to figure out how to get the fish in the holes with this toy. It was a great way to see his hand–eye coordination improving over time as it became easier and easier for him to figure out, and he still pulls this toy out to play with on a daily basis.

4. Playground Ball
Any old rubber ball will do, and Graham loves rolling his little dodgeball around through the house. So far, all of our lamps are still in one piece.

5. Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table
My best friend lent this to us and we only just returned it to her last month. It was one of the first toys that Graham really interacted with for long periods of time, and also one of the first things he pulled himself up on to stand. Sure, the music and sounds got a bit annoying. But as the parent of a pretty clingy little guy, I was thrilled when this toy would buy me a solid 10 minutes to do something around the house, so I didn’t care that much about the noise! He played with it daily until he was 15 or 16 months.

6. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy
To be fair, Graham got this on his first birthday, but he took to it immediately and began walking on his own after just a few weeks; I think had he gotten this push toy a month earlier, it would have helped him to walk even sooner. I sort of loved hearing the cute click-clack sound rolling through the house, and seeing him so very pleased with himself when he made it to his destination.

7. Battat Electronic Keychain
He loved to carry his little keychain around, chew on the keys, and make noise with all the different buttons. This was another lifesaver on the occasional fussy car ride, and an easy toy to throw in the diaper bag.

8. Remote Controls (not pictured)
Don’t even try to trick your kid with a “play” remote control. Babies are smart and they want the REAL thing. Even when we took batteries out of old or unused remotes and gave them to him to play with, he still wanted the real thing (particularly the Verizon remote that lit up). When in doubt, household items for the win!

All images via the links above; opinions are my own. Claremont Road is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Canceling Cable

2013 was an expensive year for us, with hospital bills, unexpected costs of raising a child (newsflash: they’re expensive!), and just generally boring adult stuff that added up. Over the last few years we have cut back significantly on holiday spending, we rarely eat out anymore, I haven’t bought many new clothes for myself at all in the past year, and neither of us has a habit like smoking or Starbucks that adds up over time — but we were were still feeling stretched.

I have always justified the cost of cable by saying that it was our main source of entertainment, given that we rarely go to restaurants anymore and I can’t even remember the last time Nick and I saw a movie together. It was how we treated ourselves! We deserved something, right?

…Then I got a Verizon bill in December that was our first since our initial two year promotion ended, and I thought that maybe justifications like that were why we were feeling so stretched financially. I decided to really look at how much money we’d be spending on cable over the course of a year — and it wasn’t just cable, but also DVR and a landline that were part of our bundle — and see if we could cut back.

Here’s where it gets sticky and the cable companies suck you in: at first I asked about only canceling our landline that we really never use, but doing so would actually not change our bill at all AND it would take away our “free multi-room DVR for life” promotion. (The “free” part of that is of course not REALLY free, because we were still paying each month to rent the DVR boxes, but I digress.) So we’d be paying the same amount with less to show for it.

Grumble grumble grumble.

I thought about it for a few days and called again to discuss a few other scenarios — what if we drop the landline and change our cable to a package with less channels? What if we drop the landline and (gasp) get rid of the DVR that I love and adore? What if we only have one DVR because in reality we hardly ever use the one in the bedroom? The person on the other end of the line patiently ran through several scenarios with me, but the end result was always pretty much the same: we would cut out quite a bit but barely make a dent in our bill. (And that’s how they convince us all to get all of those things in the first place.)

It was then that we decided to take a drastic measure and do something I never thought we could do: we canceled cable altogether.

Yup, me: TV lover and pop culture aficionado, without cable. Take a moment to let that sink in.

But you know what? It’s been a full month now, and it turns out that it’s not so bad. I still have plenty to watch, and I’m wasting less time watching junk just for the sake of watching television, so there is even a huge bonus to our new set-up.

We still get all network stations in HD, plus PBS and a few random stations, with the bare-bones “local” package from Verizon that goes along with our FIOS internet (it costs the same as if we only had internet, so kind of a no-brainer). We already had AppleTV, my Christmas present to Nick a few years ago, which we use to watch Netflix and listen to music through our television; there are also AppleTV apps for ABC, PBS, and some others. As I mentioned, we have Netflix streaming, which is $7.99 a month, and, to be able to watch current shows more quickly after they air since we rarely have a chance to watch them when they’re live, we decided to also subscribe to Hulu Plus, also $7.99 a month. This is essentially a replacement for DVR since almost everything we used to record is available on Hulu Plus.

For shows that are not available on Hulu or Netflix, chances are they are available online. One of my guiltiest pleasures is Pretty Little Liars (yes, I am, in fact, a fourteen-year old girl), and it is available on ABCFamily.com or the ABC Family app the day after it airs.

Wondering how that all adds up? Here’s the math…

Money saved by cutting cable, DVR and landline: $73 per month (including taxes)
Cost of Netflix and HuluPlus: $15.98 per month

TOTAL SAVINGS PER MONTH: $57.02
TOTAL SAVINGS PER YEAR: $684.24

We’re still enjoying the same shows we always did, so I’d say that’s a big WIN all around. I honestly hardly notice the difference, and I waste much less time watching episodes of Friends on TBS that I’ve already seen 15 times. As much as I love Friends, my time is too valuable to watch the same episode for the 16th time, amiright?

Have you taken the plunge and canceled cable? Or have you taken any other drastic measures to save money?

Christmas cookies

Huh? Christmas cookies? It’s late-January, crazy woman.

I know, I know. I meant to post about these before Christmas, but as usual with my life these days, I fell behind. Still, though, I wanted to share my Christmas cookie successes for readers to bookmark for next year, if you feel so inclined!

I made four types of cookies this year to gift to neighbors, our landlord, some family members, and Graham’s teachers. I tried to find unique recipes that would look colorful and each have a distinctly different taste. My baking recipe Pinterest board is slightly out of control, so I started another private board to hone in on just the recipes that I was considering for the holidays. After some intense internal deliberation, the winners were:

Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookies (with pretzels added)
My old standby that never fails me. My newest trick is to crush up some hard mini pretzels and add them in, too, in order to bump up the crunchy-and-salty factor. (I don’t add the rest of the salt that the recipe calls for… just a pinch, since the pretzels are plenty salty).

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies
These were delicious and so rich — the cream cheese frosting is really what took them to a whole new level. I ended up needing to use all of the red gel food coloring I had to get the color right, so make sure you have plenty if you’re making these!

Eggnog Cookies
If you like eggnog, you will love these! I actually made a mistake the first time I made them — the recipe calls for three cups of flours, but my mom-brain couldn’t remember if I had already added two or three cups. The dough still seemed a little runny, so I went ahead and added another cup. The dough then ended up being much easier to work with, and the final result was a batch of deliciously cake-y cookies. Wouldn’t you know that when I made them a second time and correctly added three cups of flour, the dough was a bit runny and I found it hard to work with. So, accidentally adding a fourth cup of flour ended up making them better, in my opinion! The frosting (more like a glaze) was amazing and the perfect addition. Just a note that if you make these yourself, be sure to have plenty of flour on-hand to sprinkle on the finished dough before working with it — it is very sticky.

Peppermint Sugar Cookies
I’m not a big mint fan, but since I was baking these cookies for others I thought I’d give this recipe a whirl. Nick was my taste-tester and he gave them two thumbs up. Mine looked much flatter than the photos from the original recipe, but overall were easy and fun to make and still added some fun color to my cookie tins.

The photo above is what my final cookies looked like. Not as picture perfect as the images in the original recipe posts, but not too shabby, either — it goes to show that recipes found on Pinterest can actually work out for the average human who enjoys baking but is far from being a master baker!

For full recipes, check out the links above for each type of cookie. What great cookie recipes have you discovered lately?

Inter-neat | Friday, January 10, 2014

Inter-neat is a new series where I share neat things I have come across on the internet lately. (Inter-neat… get it?) I hope you find something new here that makes you think, smile, laugh or cry (happy tears, of course).

How Knitting Behind Bars Transformed Maryland Convicts
A really heartwarming story about a woman who has made a difference in the lives of these prisoners; discovered via my friend, Christiana.

Burglars Who Took on FBI Abandon Shadows
This is a fascinating story about a pretty historical event that happened in the town we live in, and I had never heard of it before now; be sure to watch the video if you have time!

Lakeisha’s Journey: 100 Days
You’ve probably already seen this, but it’s worth a mention even so — I adore her determination and spirit.

An Amazing 16 Foot Shark Made Out of Snow
I just can’t stop thinking about how cold they must have been! Discovered via my business partner, Maggie.

Questlove: Trayvon Martin and I Ain’t Sh!t
Okay, I cheated: it’s actually been months since I read this. But it really stuck with me (I’ve read through it three times on different occasions), and it’s worth a read. It makes you think twice about judging a book by its cover, racism and racial profiling, and our justice system.

Coming up for air

It has been a very long time since I’ve blogged. It turns out that balancing a family and a business leaves little time for much else, and I’m pretty okay with that most days. But then there are days when I miss doing things for myself — reading, baking, creating (non-work things), and blogging are at the top of the list. I make promises to myself to get back into some old hobbies, and then Graham looks at me with puppy dog eyes, hands me a book to read to him as he crawls into my lap, and my hobbies go out the window again — because, really, what’s more important than spending time with my littlest best friend?

(Skip ahead to a few days later when I yearn for some hobbies again, puppy dog eyes, yada yada yada… rinse and repeat.)

I don’t typically get into New Years resolutions, but after the fog that was the first few months of parenthood in late 2012, to the full year of adjustments, kidney stones (yup, again!) and hospital bills that was 2013, I’m ready for 2014 to be a brighter and more goal-oriented year. Graham was a daily bright spot in my life, of course, but I still need to take some time for myself this year to be a better mom, wife, friend and designer. Even small things go a long way in helping my sanity and well-being. On the top of my list:

• finish reading Mockingjay, which I was in the middle of reading when Graham was born and I never picked it up again. Oops! I’d also like to read more in general.
• Get back into an exercise routine. (Damn you, Exercise, for being necessary, because I truly loathe you in the hours leading up to you… and then feel a million times better afterwards. You’re a jerk, exercise.)
• Re-learn knitting and get better at it. My mother-in-law taught me how to knit years ago, and after making scarves for everyone I know, I abandoned it and never learned how to make anything more interesting. I’d like to give it another shot.
• See some live theatre again, and maybe volunteer at our local theatre. Tickets can get expensive so this isn’t something I’ve done for quit some time, but I really miss going to shows and being part of a theatre community.
• Blog more. First I need to redesign this blog that I strongly dislike, which will motivate me to write more. I need to write down post ideas before they escape me, yet at the same time stop caring if it’s perfect or interesting before I post it. Because who cares? I like having readers, but I also blog because I like doing it. Whether I have 5 or 5,000 readers shouldn’t really matter.

What have you been up to lately, friends? Any goals for 2014?

the best day of his life.

I’d like to think that we provide lots of entertainment for our little guy and fill his days with plenty of joy and fun. But riding in a shopping cart in Target for the first time? This was the best day of his life so far.

Photos are blurry because he would not. stop. moving. He was that excited. The whole time.

Why have I been putting him in the stroller all this time?? Shopping cart for the win.

oatmeal banana bites

Disclaimer: these do not look very appetizing. But they are good!

oatmeal banana bites - Claremont Road

These oatmeal banana bites (my variation of the two ingredient cookies you may have heard about) are awesome to have on-hand for a quick breakfast when you otherwise have a hungry and cranky 9-month old hollering at you for his own breakfast.

Not that I’d know anything about that.

For the first 7 months of Graham’s life, like the diligent breastfeeding mom I was/am, I had oatmeal for breakfast just about every single day to help keep my supply up. And while quick oats are, indeed, quick to make, there are still certain “quick” tasks that become difficult to master with one hand while you have a squirmy baby on the other hip who will not let you put him down without a meltdown. All of a sudden, measuring half a cup of oats, adding a cup of water, opening the microwave, closing the microwave, setting the time on the microwave and pressing start, opening the microwave again, carrying a steaming hot bowl of oatmeal over to the counter, mixing brown sugar and cinnamon in, and slicing up a banana to put on top starts to feel like a near impossible task. Somedays it was and I just shoved a brownie into my mouth and called it breakfast.

Then I discovered the two ingredient cookies. Now, let me be clear: baking does not magically turn a combination of bananas and oatmeal into gooey chocolate chip cookies. When Googling for the recipe one day on my phone when I didn’t have the original link on-hand, I came across a few disgruntled bloggers who were upset that these just tasted like bananas and oatmeal, not the cookies they were promised! Well… they are bananas and oatmeal. And they are in cookie form. That does not make them sugary treats. I would not serve these as dessert at a dinner party in lieu of chocolate chip cookies!

Glad we got that out of the way.

The main ingredients are:
• two large ripe bananas
• one cup of quick oats

Put them in a bowl, mash them together, add anything else you’d like, place balls of them onto a greased cookie sheet (I grease aluminum foil on a cookie sheet, so there is literally no clean up aside from washing your bowl and throwing out the foil), and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Since I typically add brown sugar and cinnamon to my oatmeal, I did the same with this recipe: just eyeballed it based on two servings of oatmeal, and mixed in. If the two bananas I’m using are on the smaller side, I’ll add in a third to the mix.

I have been throwing these together one or two nights a week after Graham goes to bed, and it has made my mornings run so much more smoothly when Graham needs my attention. I just grab five or six of them and eat while I’m in the middle of entertaining him or getting his breakfast together. In general, preparing anything for our day the night before means I’m less crazed no matter what the day holds (lately: teething fussiness — yuck).

The best part is that they’re literally the same exact thing as eating my bowl of oatmeal for breakfast (minus the water, of course). And, since I’ve been known to be a snacker, grabbing a few more throughout the day while I’m grazing in the kitchen feels like a treat since they’re in cookie form, except they’re a generally healthy snack. At least, healthier than the Girl Scout Cookies I stockpile each year or going around the corner to help myself to some self-serve froyo.

What’s your best time-saving breakfast tip?

original recipe found here

everybody gets a trophy

Every parent wants the world for their children. Becoming a mom has opened my eyes to the sacrifices I’m willing to make for my little guy without batting an eye, and it has made me understand how easy it can be to get passionately carried away when you want something for your child. I want Graham to have amazing opportunities and experience feelings of pride and success when he accomplishes something great. I want him to reach for the stars and discover his talents and work hard to move mountains.

But I also want him to experience failure.

I mean — I don’t want him to fail — but I want him to learn important lessons about life through failure, because at some point, everyone fails at something. If he plays sports some day, I don’t actually wish for his team to lose the game or the race, but if that happens (and it will) I want him to learn to accept defeat with grace and the understanding that not everyone can win all the time.

We’re not there yet so maybe my tune will change in a few years, but I have heard from acquaintances who have older children that many kids sports leagues don’t keep score these days. Soccer games and t-ball games are for learning and fun, and everyone wins.

Well. Of course I want my son to learn and have fun. I don’t want him to think, at age three, that winning is all that matters. But shouldn’t he learn that winning is at least an option? And so is losing? Shouldn’t he learn early on that when you win you have accomplished something, but you don’t need to gloat? Shouldn’t he learn that when you lose you can handle it with grace, take it as a learning experience on how to improve next time, and congratulate the winner on a job well done?

If he plays sports for a few years and no score is kept, what is going to happen when they do start keeping score?

As my husband says of our self-centered society, “Everybody gets a trophy.”

But that’s not real life. Everyone doesn’t get a trophy all the time. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t our kids be learning that from the very beginning? Are we just setting them up for even more disappointment if we shield them from reality for their early formative years?

So many questions, and I have no answers :) For anyone reading who has children old enough to play sports, do their teams keep score? How do you feel about the trend of not keeping score when kids are young?