Thursday, November 29, 2007
Here is my planned project for the day:
I am not proud of this. Behold my "kid drawer." This is basically a drawer full of garbage. Plastic garbage. Melamine garbage. It is a graveyard of mismatched sippy-cup tops. I am inclined to take this entire drawer, dump it into the trash, and start over (maybe I should hold on to one or two sippy cups).
I am looking for something a little more civilized and understated than green plastic (but this isn't as easy as I thought it would be). Here is what I have found. This set is a little too "jailhouse" for me. I adore this place setting, and imagine a group of perfectly-behaved children sitting together dining on quiche with a simple green salad while they sketch with their little all-natural crayons or whatever those are.
I think I am just going to order child-sized stainless steel flatware and white porcelain tableware from Michael Olaf. Simple. A definite improvement over my current mess. So long plastic pink spoons.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Oh . . . me neither. Much too late. Definitely . . . not.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
You MUST take a moment to ElfYourself and your loved ones. Watch my family, and then create your own . . . all courtesy of my clever sister.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Traditionally, on your child's first birthday, you place one candle on the
ring and fill the rest of the holes with figures. On each consecutive
birthday, you replace one figure with a candle. Place the unused figures in
the center of the ring to signify the child's previous years. Finally, on
the twelfth or sixteenth year (depending on the ring you choose), the ring
will be fully illuminated. . . . You may choose to create your own
variations on this tradition, perhaps placing figures that represent events your child experienced during the year since the last birthday or using just one number decoration to represent the child's age along with the corresponding number of candles.
I love the idea of taking time on each birthday to acknowledge your child's growth and accomplishments that year. FYI . . . I found the above-pictured rings at The Wooden Wagon, Three Sisters Toys, and Magic Cabin.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
David had a lovely idea for a little adventure this morning. With Mr. "I Love All Things Transportation-Related" and Miss "I Want to Ride the Train like my Dad", we headed off to the Damen stop on the Blue Line. And we rode the train three stops to Grand, where we exited . . . and then hopped into a taxi headed for the Jazz Brunch at Bistro 110 (this route made absolutely no sense, but we got there eventually).
Brunch was delightful. The kids split quiche lorraine with pommes frites. David and I had crepes. Live jazz. Ellie somehow ended up with THREE SCOOPS of chocolate gelato. And then we took a taxi home, playing "I Spy" all the way.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
The Nasty Part
As for Mrs. Seinfeld . . . I am sure that some of her recipes (say the burgers with mushrooms and zucchini?) are just delicious. But her suggestion that moms serve their kids spinach brownies or chocolate and avocado pudding is just too much for me. It offends all of my food sensibilities. I can barely think about it without gagging. I don't believe for a second that the "hidden ingredients" don't affect texture or taste. I cannot imagine serving my family brownies with spinach in them, much less eating one myself.
Although I confess to tricking my kids into eating healthy food from time to time (I think all moms do), I think that Jessica Seinfeld's approach sends two undesirable messages to kids about food. First, vegetables ARE disgusting, which is why we hide them in other foods to disguise how they really taste. And second, she totally overlooks the value in the process of preparing food (i.e. choosing quality ingredients, combining them together in a way that is complementary, and serving food in a way that appeals to all of our senses). She just throws some mushed butternut squash or beets . . . well, wherever they are unlikely to be noticed.
Food is about so much more than nutrition. Kids benefit from the opportunity to talk about food, help prepare it, and watch others enjoy it (even if they don't). Who knows, maybe next time they will try it. I just don't think that getting them their spinach via a brownie is a sensible idea.
Now Back To My Own Problems
My Dinner Ideal: The Family Dinner. We all sit down together and enjoy the same food. The kids sit patiently and try new things. We have delightful family conversation about our day. And then we all help clean up.
My Dinner Reality: It is 5:30p.m. (which unfortunately turns out to be about lunchtime for poor Daddy's workday). Ellie is declaring that her belly is hungry, while Brendan has gone into the drawer to retrieve his bowl, hoping I will get his clear message. This is usually about the time I crack into the Annie's Macaroni and Cheese (the three-minute microwavable variety), and throw it on a plate with some raspberries and a few steamed baby carrots or peas. And Ellie reminds me - again - that she finds carrots to be "extremely yucky."
My Alternate Dinner Reality: It is Friday night. I bought trout from the fish monger that David is going to turn into something delicious when he gets home around 7:30p.m.. We are going to sit and eat together after the kids are tucked in bed. So that means I throw something together (do we have leftover pasta?) for the kids around 6:00p.m. and look forward to eating my trout like a civilized adult.
I can do better in the dinner department. On the nights that we aren't all going to be able to eat together, I am going to do some dinner prep earlier in the day so we don't have a mac and cheese crisis at 5:30p.m. when I don't have anything ready to go for the kids. I am also going to aim for more family dinners with food we all love to eat (no "children's menu items"). I'll probably start with Bolognese, which is a favorite cold-weather dinner for all of us. But I am also going to try some new things (maybe steak diane with some broccoli, or crepes stuffed with ham, leeks, and cheese alongside mixed greens). And when I go to Trader Joe's today, I am going to skip the Annie's Mac and Cheese (for this week at least).
Friday, November 2, 2007
Ellie: "No, I quit soccer clothes"
Ellie: "Well, I quit then. SO THERE."
Ellie: "I already tell you three times . . . I quit."
Ellie: "I quit that milk since yesterday."
Me: "Put the lollipop down. We are not buying that."
Ellie: "I have had it. Now I quit for serious MOM."
Cute today. Certainly not cute a few days from now.