Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Boy and His Blanket

Brendan has a thing for his blanket. It is a disgusting, stinky little thing (see photo). He sleeps with it. He rubs the soft edges against his face to self-soothe. But mostly, he sucks on it. It is continually damp. Yuck.

When he sees me put it in the washer, he bangs on the machine and cries. He grabs at it through the slats on his crib and tries to bring it with us when we leave the house. When we return home, he runs to his crib for the happy reunion.

The blanket gets unbearably funky and I replace it every two months. I know I should stop replacing it and start weaning him away from it but I can't bring myself to do it quite yet.

His first love affair, I am afraid.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Veggie Tricks: An Update

I have previously blogged about my ongoing efforts to encourage my two little ones to consume veggies, particularly the green ones. In pursuit of this objective, I have resorted to lots of tricks (usually with little success).

Imagine my surprise to discover that after a trip to the park with Grandma and Auntie Beth earlier this week, Ellie marched into a local convenience store, chose a smoothie called The Green Machine and declared it "fabulous."

I think The Green Machine more closely resembles pond scum than a beverage. And I would certainly rather eat my broccoli than drink it. But between her Green Machine smoothies and the ten or so leaves of basil Ellie eats from our little garden each day, she is suddenly doing just fine in the green veggies department.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Our Tiny Table

This Noah's Ark themed table was a gift from Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas last year. Aside from the five days it took to assemble, it has been a fantastic gift. Ellie eats her breakfast there. She uses it for art projects and coloring. It has been the site of countless delicious meals Ellie has prepared for her babies and animals. We sit together and play games. Brendan likes to stand on it and attempt to reach the television. He has also just figured out how to climb into one of the chairs and sit properly on his bum (and he smiles delightedly at me each time he successfully accomplishes this). It is built well and has withstood some pretty rough treatment.
A great item that we will no doubt use for a long time.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Veggie Tricks

No peas. No broccoli. No zucchini. My kids just seem to be hardwired to reject most vegetables, particularly the green ones. And Ellie won't eat orange food either (yuck, carrots). So I have resorted to vegetable trickery . . . with mixed results. In my experience, here is what has worked and what has most definitely not worked.

A New Twist on the Familiar
Ellie loves pancakes in the morning . . but my sweet potato pancakes with cinnamon honey butter (recipe from Cookie Magazine) were a huge flop. They were delicious and I happily ate the whole batch myself, but they were too orange for Ellie's discriminating eye. S0 much for a little vitamin A in the morning.

Tough Choices
Sometimes I will chop some mixed vegetables up very small (the Cuisinart accomplishes this nicely) and mix them in with the things I know they love to eat. For example, my kids love macaroni and cheese so I sometimes put a little bit of chopped broccoli in the cheese sauce. This usually meets with protest ("why my noodles look green?"), but Ellie will sometimes decide to take the bad with the good. Other times, she will spend twenty minutes picking our every offending piece.

If You Won't Eat Them . . .
My latest approach involves tricking them into drinking vegetables. Whole Foods sells a product called Vruit, which claims to provide a full serving of vegetables in each eight-ounce serving. It comes in a variety of flavors (many of which surreptitiously contain beet, celery and carrot juice). But both Ellie and Brendan seem to love it. V-8 has a similar product called V-Fusion which they will also drink. It isn't a perfect solution, but I figure it is better than nothing.

But now I have taken this trick too far. I bought carrot juice last week and mixed it with a little regular juice, which worked until Ellie saw the bottle with the damn carrots on it. Horrified, she asked, "Why you do that? Why there be carrots in that juice. I already tell you I no like carrots."

And periodically, they will both surprise me. Brendan ate about half of a sauteed red pepper last week. He tolerates my "kale pesto" over buttered noodles. Ellie has been known to inhale mixed salad greens (but only if served with Daddy's homemade vinaigrette). And last night Ellie was out on the porch eating basil right off the plant. That counts as a green veggie, right?