Monday, April 30, 2012

Picky eater vs. Eater of everything

Does your kid everything you put in front of him?

Does he eat anything you put in front of him?

It's funny, you know, my son has always had an eating problem.  We've had an occupational therapist working with him since he was 9 months old and still do.

Picky doesn't describe him - that would be generous.  My son hardly eats anything. I used to be able to get him to eat chicken nuggets, but that is rare.  He drinks pediasure.

Pediasure has the calories and nutrients he needs to get him up to the 50% that he finally is ( from under the charts a year ago.) But how do get him off the pediasure and onto real food?  I wish I had the answer.

However, I have an Ace in my daughter.

Our chunkster eats EVERYTHING ( ok, well not everything, she hates peas).  She started crawling this week with food as a motivator.  She wants what is on her tray, my plate, my husbands plate, Daniels plate, what fell on her bib and... what fell on the floor.

When I say she gets into her food, I really mean she gets into it:

Here's what I think:  If Amelia shows Daniel how yummy some things are, and continues to eat well as she eats more and more solid foods, maybe she'll be a good influence on him.  Maybe by watching her eat, it will motivate him to eat as well.

With all ups there are downs.  When I say she eats everything, I mean anything.  I vacuum 2-3 times a day because if I don't she'll find the tiniest of crumbs of anything she can find on the floor and put it in her mouth.

I guess it's better than dirt.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fabulous Food Fusion

Often throughout the year I've posted recipes that make me happy. 

Today I made a dish that both surprised me and helped clear out some veggies in the fridge.

Do you like garlic?  Veggies?  Then here is a dish to try:

I'll call it Garlic and Greens

I'm sure you can add whatever you find that's green in the fridge (veggies wise, not mold wise)

I used:
1/2 head/stand(?) of Bok Choy
7 cloves garlic
1/2 TBS butter
2 handfuls spinach
block of fresh feta cheese 1" x 3" ish
tsp sesame oil
seasoning:  onion powder, paprika, salt, tumeric(little) and some awesome spice I found at whole foods called No Salt seasoning

-Saute garlic until fragrant
-add Bok Choy (halved and cut on its diagonal) and saute until slightly wilted and just barely showing -translucency
-add spinach and continue to saute until spinach is mostly wilted
-season to taste

Remove from heat in a serving bowl and sprinkle with Feta to taste

Eat while hot and feta is beginning to melt

Oh. So. Good.

It'll be helpful if others in your vicinity also eat this as the sheer amount of garlic is more potent than..well... it's pretty potent.

This, as far as I can tell, is a Greek-Asian fusion...

In other news, my 9 month old has been crawling for about a week now and is teething at the same time.  Not sure if her crankiness of from wanting to get around faster or getting 4 teeth at the same time.

Anyone know if it hurts the little ones as the teeth are growing in or just as they cut through the skin?  Wish I knew.

I'll try to post more often, promise.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2Y150D: She's crawling!!!

Nothing is safe.

Keep your eyes on your plates and on your phones, our little Amelia is on the move!

She'll be 9 months old this week, so, as averages go, she on the upper end.  It didn't help that she is over 20 lbs., and wearing 12- 18 month clothes.

Doctors were encouraging, "She is very strong, she just has a heavy trunk and may have a harder time getting it up in the air."  True, true, she is very strong, and must continue to be to survive in a house with her bruiser big brother who literally loves her nearly to death.

Here is a video I had been taking of her as she rocks just moments before...  Her first crawl!

Look what I can do!!

Nice, ey?

Now here's the rub; very much like her brother, she puts everything and anything in her mouth.  I can't vacuum enough, I can't sweep enough.  Honestly, though I thought I was getting more and more toddler proof everyday, I've forgotten that baby proofing and toddler proofing are different.  Much different.

My world has changed and I'm not young enough for this...

As many times as I pushed her to crawl, encouraged a little leg movement, or enticed with a  big hug or kiss, perhaps I should have just been happy with a sitter.

I should go to sleep, tomorrow will be a long day.  2 Years, 150 Days in, a lifetime to go...

Monday, April 23, 2012

On Choking

Choking is a real and very scary occurrence in most homes with children.  It happens when you least expect it, and faster than you think.

The first and most important thing is to know what to do.  Ideally, before the bundle of stink and joy arrives you've already taken a class - the Red Cross offers a variety of classes including infant and child CPR  (which includes choking victims).

Secondly, remember The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?  DON'T PANIC!  The last thing you need is to freak out, which wastes precious seconds.  Take a deep breath and do what you have to do, and keep doing what you have to do until either you've fixed the problem, or help has arrived to take over.

Today Daniel choked...again.

I say this like it's just been twice, but no, this is the third official time.  It doesn't get easier.

Time slows, just like in the movies - slow motion.

Did I mention that he can open doors now?

Anyway, earlier in the week I posted a picture of the powder he poured all over the floor,  oh wait, I forgot to do that, but I do have the picture.  He tore the spinning cap off the powder and poured it all over the floor:

That same bottle which still had a good portion left in it was put at the changing table.

Today he found it.

He found it while I was feeding Amelia.

Just as I said, time stopped for a moment, and I couldn't move fast enough.  He took that open top bottle of baby powder in both hands, made eye contact with me, and, tipped it up as if it were a large cup.

He tipped it up and, as powder tends to do, got stuck at the bottle of a brief second then, the entire contents came crashing down onto his face and into his mouth.

Yes, it was powder.

Yes, he choked on it.

Then, as time crashed back in again, I was up, had him in my arms practically upside down. With  one hand hitting his back the other sweeping powder out of his mouth mixed with the vomit that is associated with choking.  I had him over the sink, my hand filled with water flushing his mouth out the best as I could.

Did I mention he was still sick and his nose was stuffed up?

Finally he coughed out the powder in a surprisingly pleasant smelling puff, and continued coughing and I continued rinsing.

Amelia is now crying in her high chair, I am covered in puke and powder, and Daniel, already dealing with sickness and asthma is just miserable.

10 minutes later, the floor is clean, Amelia is down playing with toys, Daniel is running around in his diaper...and, of all things, eating stickers.

I'll post soon about the later part of that last sentence.

For now, I'll hope the rest of the day goes quickly.  Brian has a late night at the theatre tonight and won't be home until midnight.

Fun times.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sending sick kids out to play

Germs and bugs are everywhere.  I know this.  We keep a relatively clean home, but we are not anal about sanitizing the place unless someone is really sick.

Right now, we have a sick household...again.

I can't seem to get rid of it.  It goes from head cold to chest cold, kid to kid, to adult. 

When we bring the kids back to the Dr., one of the residents always says: "It's pretty typical to get lots of bugs when the kids are in daycare."  To which I reply, "But, as I've told every other resident in this place, they do not go to day care."  "Ah" they say, unamused "must be your husband bringing things back home from school, or picking up something from the grocery store."  This reassures me to no end.

The only other places we go to that have kids are to the park, and to the YMCA.  The bugs, it seems are everywhere.

So, putting on my Sherlock Holmes cap, I deduce...  if my kids keep getting sick by going out to public places, why don't parents with sick kids keep the sick ones home?

Sure, you have to get that Zumba class in, or swim a few laps, I get that.  But if your kid is sick, please, keep them home!  Please.

I keep my kids home when they could possible pass the bugs to other kids purely because I hope that the Karma I gain by doing the right thing ( in that case I don't really get Karma, huh?) will turn back around for me...

...but it doesn't.  The kids are sick again, this time, worse than before.

Parents, please, I know you have things you want to, or feel as though you need to do.  Your work-out can wait, can that meeting wait too?  Seriously, your kid is getting my kid sick!

The bright side of this, I keep telling myself, is that they are really building up their immune systems.  Aren't they?
However, it could be that he keeps getting sick from the crap he insists on putting in his mouth.  No amount of sanitizer can clean that.

Who knows...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

To Nap or not to nap...

They're babies, they need their sleep, right?

So why is it that my 2 year old refused to nap, and when he finally does take a nap, he's up until 10 - 11pm?

I wish I knew.

I wish I had an answer.

As I write this it is 1pm.  We recently returned from a little child study we do every few months, and, we were in the car...

...they love to sleep in the car.

And now the dilemma is this ( if you can call it a dilemma):  both children are sleeping, one still in her car seat, the other on the pile of clean clothes I haven't folded yet.   The house is amazingly quiet except for the light clicking of the keys as I type this.   The windows are cracked to let int he fabulous day, and the breeze feels nice...and quiet.

IF I wake up Daniel now, he'll surely cry and be cranky.  BUT, he'll fall asleep at a decent hour tonight.  If I allow him to sleep ( and mind you he's been sick) he'll be up until 10 or 11 tonight.

What do I do?

So far I making a decision to write in here rather than wake the kids, but as each minute passes, I know that means more time tonight. And, since my husband is back in tech for an undergraduate show, he won't be home until late.

But this soda tastes good, and I really am enjoying the quiet.

I don't even want to unbuckle the little lady for fear of rousing her.

Oh wait... I spoke to  soon.. the cries have begun.  Time to go.

But it's just one of them, giving me a quick chance to post:


 you got pepper flakes.

It trying to keep Daniel out of this mess.  Imagine what would have happened had he tried to eat/play/put in his eyes just one of those.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

When a child dies.

My thoughts in this post go out to friends dealing with a situation no one ever wants to face. I hope to never have to go through what they are going through right now...

No matter how old they get, your children will always be your babies.

Your baby might be in diapers, she is still your baby.

He may ask you to drop him off a block before school so no one sees him kiss you goodbye. He is still your baby.

She might wear make-up, date trashy boys and think she knows everything, but she will always be your baby.

He might go off to college, have great friends, and not so great friends, make good and bad choices, and not call as much as he should. But that growing man will always be your baby.

Even when she starts to have babies of her own, she, not your grandchildren will always be your baby.

Life is often funny, and sometimes cruel. Once in a great while it can be so devastatingly unfathomable you're not sure if you are awake or dreaming.

On that day, when you wake up and your son does not, there is no air to breath.

The light has gone out of the world, and your heart, which you would trade beat for beat for your child, stops.

And there are no words.

And there is no comfort.

And there is no time.

Today, a baby has been taken from his father, a baby has been taken from his mother.

And there are questions.

And there are no answers.

And there are tears and screams and cursing.

And there are still no answers.

Hug your children. Kiss them when they sleep. Listen when they talk and yell. Pick them up if they ask, and don't ask any questions. Ground them if they deserve it. Apologize if you are wrong.

Life is too short.

Even shorter for others.

Take advantage of the time you have now, you never know.

You just never know.

Rest in peace, Stinks. You left too soon.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Driving to sleep...

Even the best sleepers need a little drive around the block sometimes.

If you take the number of times the best sleepers need that drive and reverse it, so that the smaller number were nights that he fell asleep without a drive - well, that would be our eldest.

 When we lived in Brooklyn, taking cranky kids out for a stroll in the middle of the night, any night, wasn't a problem.  The weather was our worse enemy.

Here in Connecticut, I never feel safe.  Last year our apartment was broken into while we were home, sleeping.  Big D woke up for some milk and when Brian got up to get it, out walked the burglar - highly cologned, strolling right past him.   He kicked our cat and broker her tooth, pulled out all our electronics, opened and went through all our bags, and stole my brand new phone. 

We didn't hear anything.

The point here is that once it gets dark, we can't stroll the kids. So, every night for the past year, we have had to drive big D to bed. 

Every. Night.

If gas weren't $4/gallon and we didn't have Amelia, it wouldn't be the worst thing we could do.

We tried everything.  Honestly.

We read the books.  We tried cry it out.  We  tried laying down in bed with him.  None of it worked.  Driving was the best and most effective method.

Then the days turned into weeks, the weeks into months and now over a year... not the best bedtime routine.

Not even close.

However.. the last 5 days have been different, we've altered our nighttime routine.

Please don't judge, we do what we do because we have to...

Dinner at 5:30-6:00
6:00-6:45 Wind down play time
6:45 - Splish-splash time
7:00 Milk and Jeopardy!
7:30 Wheel of Fortune...  Daniel loves to watch the wheel.  He usually falls asleep in Amelia's bouncy seat watching.
8:00 (if he is still asleep) we lay in his bed (Daniel, Amelia and I) and sing a few songs over and over, read a book, and hopefully he falls asleep.

Best idea ever?  Not by a mile, but at least we don't have to drive him to sleep anymore.

Perhaps the money I save on gas I can pay myself - like I mentioned in the last post.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Being a mom is my job. BONUS: Chocolate/toffee covered Matzo

It's amazing how many things come between me and writing my blog;  kids, naptime, trips to the Dr., dead computers, dead cameras, down internet, laziness, frogs, boils, and name a few.

Having the time to do things I want doesn't seem to be in the cards, any deal, any day, any game.  Perhaps it's because I'm really not playing.  I bet if put my mind to it I could accomplish so much in a day.

When I was working, I commuted an hour each way, worked 8-10 hours, and still managed to make a nice dinner, get some laundry done, do some cleaning, watch a TV show, have some quality time with my husband, and if I were motivated, a small work-out.  Then, after all that, I'd get at least 6 hours of sleep.

How did I do it?

On a good day I put fresh clothes on, get the kids in fresh clothes and out of PJ's, feed everyone breakfast, do a bit of straightening, put a load of clothes up in the washer and head out to the park.  All before 9:30am.

On a bad day, everyone stays in PJ's all day, food is served as needed, no one goes to the park, and I sit, when I can, on the couch watching as the house gets taken apart one board book at a time.  I complain that Big D has too much energy, and put him in timeout for doing things he should be doing outside.  I feed Little D jarred baby food and don't prepare anything fresh for the week ahead.

There has got to be a better way.

How about I give myself an allowance for doing things I should do... yeah, that's it, whenever I get dressed I get $5, if I go to the park, another $5.  If I make babyfood, I get $10.  You know, like...wait....dare I say it: like a job!!

Sure, sure, who's going to pay me?  Me?  My husband?  How about some government program somewhere that pays mothers for being good mothers instead of paying someone else to watch bad mothers' kids.  That makes sense, right?  I'm raising the future of America!

Thinking about it like that makes me think that perhaps just being a good mom without getting paid is my job.  I'm supposed to be active, I'm supposed to keep my kids engaged and active.  Getting dressed, making healthy foods, keeping the house clean, are just a few of the things that are in the job description.  I knew that when I accepted this job, but lost sight of it somewhere down the road.

I've been looking for external motivation and, not surprisingly, didn't find any.

I have to do this myself.

I can be the best mother I can be.

I can get my sorry, saggy, saddlebags back in shape.

I can...damn, I just made chocolate and toffee covered matzo for Passover, no more room in the fridge for a week.  I'll start then.


To make up for a couple of weeks of no posts, the Messes of the Day are brought to you by:

Iams Cat Food:

Crayola / Bic
And the Recipe of the Day:  Chocolate and toffee covered Matzo

-1 Box of Matzo ( I like the lightly salted ones)
-2 sticks (1/2 lb) butter (I like salted, but it's up to you and your blood pressure)
-1 Cup Brown Sugar
-1 Bag (8oz maybe) chocolate chips ( I like milk choco. but I bet dark would be good, too)
-Nuts as desired (I like some boys, some know...some with nuts, others without)

How to:
-Cover baking sheets entirely with foil (it gets messy)
-Lay out matzos breaking as necessary to cover entire area
-Over a medium flame boil butter and sugar until melted then an additional 2-3 minutes, until it coats spoon
(Careful , that sh*t is HOT!)
-Brush caramel as evenly as possible over all maztos ( I find this amount makes three trays worth)
-Bake in 325 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until bubbly
-Carefully remove from oven and place on flat heat proof space.
-Sprinkle generously with chips
-Wait 2 minutes or so, and with the back of a turner (spatula) spread the now melted chips
-if desired, sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top lightly
-if desired, cover with chopped nuts ( above I used walnuts)
-while still warm, use large knife ( I used my cleaver) to score and cut into bite sized pieces.
-put in fridge to harden
-Deeelicious...and you don't have to celebrate Passover to love them either!


A reader suggested she do this with Pretzels !!! Genius!  To do this, instead of brushing the pretzels, dip them.   Then, once baked, dip them in pre-melted chocolate (use double boiler method if you can.) lay on parchment paper in fridge - oh, I can hardly wait to try this!!!!