A Gift for Every Mom on the Block (and Pie Crust Cookies)

Would you believe that I have been a mom for 7 years and until recently I have never read a parenting book. The last book I picked up that had anything to do with parenting was What to Expect When Your Expecting. Trust me… it is not that I think I have all the answers. I know I don’t. I know I am not a perfect parent and that reading up on some parenting books would probably do me some good. My problem is, I know so many people who read parenting books and then that book becomes bible to them. “This author says you should let infants cry it out… don’t feed that baby until four hours have passed or you will spoil him.” “If you don’t give your child choices, they will have poor self esteem. You should really practice Love & Logic with him.”

I guess I would say I parent mostly based on my instincts. I rely a lot on advice from other moms, blogs and my own family. I know a lot of people who do read the parenting books and they waste no time at all in passing on the information to me :) One of the biggest reasons I have avoided parenting books is because I always had the feeling that I would question my own parenting instincts after reading one. I did not want to feel extra guilty about the job I was doing as a parent simply because someone else did not agree with how I did something.

Recently, Naomi of Rock-n-Tot, Tracing Handprints and Being Savvy Cleveland stopped by my blog and commented on my post about Jacob, Parenting With a Heavy Heart. That day, I took a look at her blog and was intrigued by a parenting book she had reviewed on her site titled “Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box.”  You may remember back to the beginning of the school year when I realized the day of that I forgot my daughters 1st day of preschool. How about when we had the lovely situation where Kelly completely undid her car seat while driving down the interstate and my day ended in being puked on. Another gem.. the day I locked both girls in the car at the grocery store parking lot? Those were all days where I lost the Mother of the Year award (and the reason I started investing in a therapy fund for them for their adult years). Those parenting moments where you feel so guilty and so inept to be a parent and just know in your heart of hearts that you are the only mom in the world who would have this experience with their kids.

Parenting these days seems to be done in extreme measures. If your child hasn’t already had 3 years of soccer under their belt by the time they are 7, good luck finding a team that will take them. Mom’s are shuttling kids each and every day after school to this extra curricular activity or that. Birthday parties… oh don’t get me started on the birthday parties. Gone are the days of a simple cake and ice cream party, here are the days of traveling petting zoos, tot makeovers and live bands. It has all gotten to be a bit rediculous to see the pressure moms have on them to keep up with each other and to be “perfect”.

Enter Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box by Ann Dunnewold, Ph.D. This book needs to be in the hands of every mother on planet earth. Give it away at baby showers. Have a neighborhood book club featuring this book. Do something, please, so that mom’s all over the world can realize that there is no need to be a perfect parent. From the back cover, “Follow your gut, not your guilt. Connect with instead of compete with other mothers. Curb your need to overprotect, overperfect, or overproduce.”

Parenting books aren’t my thing, but if they were all as real as this one, I think I’d be singing a different tune. Namoi graciously sent me an extra copy to give to one of my readers. If you don’t win a copy, be certain to pick up a copy at your local library or head to your neighborhood bookstore and pick one up. It is an attitude shifting book that every mom needs to read! To win, please leave a comment on this post telling me what the best piece of parenting/marriage/life advice was you have ever received. All comments must have a valid email address. Deadline to enter is Tuesday, December 9th midnight CST.

And, since this is a cooking blog, I am adding a “recipe” if you can call it that for one of my kids favorite and simple treats. If I don’t have enough left over pie crust when making a pie to make them these cookies, I’m in big trouble with them!

Pie Crust Cookies

Use this pie crust recipe or your favorite pie crust recipe… it works either way!

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 teaspoon lemon juice or cider vinegar

5 to 6 tablespoons ice water

3 tablespoons sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Place flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl or a food processor bowl. Mix thoroughly. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add lemon juice or vinegar and enough ice water to make a dough that just clings together. Cover dough with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll dough our on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth to 1/8-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake in the center of the oven for 9-11 minutes, until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Updated 12/10/2008 – And the winner is…. Stephanie from Fun Foods on a Budget. Congratulations, Stephanie!

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  1. says

    my mom gave the best advice when she said, “don’t worry about how your house looks….there’ll always be dishes in your sink, but your kids will only be little once.” It’s hard sometimes with my perfectionist tendencies to remember it’s okay to let some parts of the housework slide on occassion and to stay focused on what’s TRULY important to me and what’s going to matter most when I am no longer on this earth.

    candy tais last blog post..Hello December.

  2. Ana de Paula says

    The best advice I’ve received for parenting was that my husband and I had to be “in tune” and act as one, and not the “bad cop-good cop” routine. Even when one disagrees with the other. the children should not see us discussing the matter. Decisions should be made behind closed doors.
    The best life/marriage advice certainly came from my mother. She said whenever I felt upset or angry, I should look at the issue closely and change the way I feel and the way I am. Because the only person we have control over in life is ourselves. We cannot change other people and should not spend our time trying to. Others will change whenever they want to change and not when you want. Our efforts would be better invested if we spent our energy working on being better ourselves.

  3. Brandi Hamerstone says

    The best piece of advice I have to give is to love. Love your life, your husband, your children, just learn to love what you have and you will always be happy. It isn’t always easy, but it will always work.

  4. says

    My sister (who is actually younger than me) told me to ‘pick my battles’. That means letting go the fact that my husband put a tacky ceramic toothbrush holder in our master bath, because when he suggests a medicine cabinet instead of a nice mirror in the half bath I can say “NO” without looking like I try to control everything.

  5. says

    I know my wife visits your blog (and I visit infrequently), but more than that, we enjoy you food pics on Flickr. I remember popping over for the “missed the first day of preschool” post. Not trying to win the book, but I enjoy your writing and just thought I should “de-lurk” while I was here.

  6. says

    We’re foster parents and haven’t read many (any) parenting books either. This is partly because we became parents (of an 8-year old) rather suddenly and because he’s not actually ours and so much of the advice doesn’t quite click with our experience. I did take a parenting class though and learned some valuable tools. One that we are still working on, “Address the behavior and ask God to change the heart.”

    Jimis last blog post..Mexican Chicken Soup

  7. says

    It’s amazing what parents have to go through these days! Just like you mentioned, even birthday parties are out of control! I admire all of you and wonder how I’ll ever learn :)

    The best piece of advice I’ve gotten for marriage and/or children and friendships is “never go to bed angry”

    sharons last blog post..Sweet Potato Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

  8. says

    The best piece of advice I received before getting married was actually from a coworker, and it was something she had been advised by her mom:
    “If you don’t want to be doing something forever, don’t start doing it just because you are getting married. In other words, if cleaning toilets isn’t your thing, don’t feel like it is your job to do so just because you are married. Every task can be shared.”

    Michas last blog post..Crows Mill Sandwich Bread

  9. says

    Hey there!

    I think the best advice I have heard is something I heard just a week or so ago… Give yourself ALOT of grace… give your children more grace.. Know that God has equipped you to parent your children..not anybody else… but YOU!

    Hugs.. Amy

  10. Suzyn says

    Wow! This is my first visit to your website (I was directed here by Naomi). What an amazing writing talent you have. While I was reading just now I felt as though I could hear your voice in my head (and I have no idea what your voice even sounds like) and it was as if you were talking right to me!

    That said, like many, I have been offered a great deal of advice about a great number of issues. However, I have managed to determine on my own that what works for other families may not work for mine…and vice versa. I have learned to listen to others opinions, consider them, take from them what I want and leave the rest behind without any guilt.

    In addition to that, whatever it is my husband and I decide to do in any given situation, we have come to see that consistency IS the key! If our children know what to expect from us, and that we will not waiver from our choices, they are happier for it and they don’t even know why.

    Thanks for sharing a slice of your life with me and for allowing me to do the same!

    I would love a copy of the book, but indeed I will add it to my wish list should I not win one. Thank you!

  11. Mellisa says

    I just recently had my second child. Our first was 7. I read somewhere to err on the side of the older child with your attention, the little one will not know the difference.

    I know that is sound harsh, but giving the older child a little extra attention solves a lot of problems before they appear.

    Also, the 7:00 pm bettime book. The 7:00 pm betime ritual has given me back my sanity.

    Thanks for the reading suggestion.

  12. says

    I’ve done that with pie crust scraps after making a pie, but never cutting it into the cute shapes! How fun!

    The best piece of advice I’ve received is pretty much the basis of that book – it’s okay to not be “perfect.” I very often have to remind myself of that over and over again…because I am definitely not perfect!

    Stephanies last blog post..Inaugural Baking – Snack Cake

  13. says

    And just imagine, you have been positively influencing your beautiful children for seven years…preparing them for the world and sharing your words of wisdom. There is nothing more amazing and awe inspiring then the bond that a mother has with her children and the memories that they will cherish.

    You have a wonderful family…enjoy every moment.

  14. Lana says

    I was drawn to your blog from the post on tastespotting…Pie Crust Cookies. I never liked pie as a kid so my grandma would always make me my very own “cinnamon pie” at the holidays. I thought I was pretty special being the only one of 8 grandchildren to have their very own pie. It’s the same concept as your cookies except she used the entire crust and shaped it to the pie pan. I LOVED that pie. My grandma passed away 13 years ago and I still miss her everyday. I’m 37 and although pecan pie is now my favorite I still make a “cinnamon pie” every year in her honor.

    Your picture and recipe stirred up many wonderful childhood memories. Thank you!

  15. Julie says

    I saw this through Tastespotting and had to come see. I grew up eating Pie Crust cookies every Thanksgiving with my mom’s extra pie crust. I think it is something you have to grow up with, because I made them this year at my husband’s house at Thanksgiving, and they weren’t impressed. But they are delicious (even if you cheat and use the refrigerated roll out pie crust like we do).

  16. says

    What a great idea. We don’t have kids yet, we’ve been married almost a year in half and plan on at least another year before we start planning. I love reading informational books though, I always try to “take the meat and spit out the bones”. But the best advice I have applies to parenting, marriage and life: “Always be willing to say I’m sorry”. There are several times where I felt I was right, but knew I hurt someone and said I’m sorry. Then it led to a good conversation to figure where the misunderstanding happened.

    Dianas last blog post..Judge our Gingerbread House Competition!!!


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