Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Do you dumb your food down?

There has been a discussion on one of the parenting boards I frequent about food and kids. It's really interesting to me because food has been one area we really haven't had any issues...until we had the kid that broke that mold.

For the most part, my kids have always loved to help in the kitchen. I've found that the more you involve kids in the cooking process (from meal planning to meal preparation), the more they are willing to try new foods. My kids have enjoyed a wide range of foods from takoyaki to raw veggies.

The foods they don't like border on abnormal. For instance, Leelee hates sloppy joes. Sloppy joes is one of those foods that most kids will eat. But with our food rules, she's also been willing to try each new incarnation of sloppy joes I've tried. Last night's was a slam dunk, imo; she tasted it and still didn't like it. She made herself a sandwich instead.

Lizzy, who broke my good eater mold, will only eat certain veggies. She will not eat green leafy veggies! Everyone else loves salad. She won't touch it. I put it on her plate anyway, night after night hoping that eventually she'll change her mind. She sees everyone else eating it and each night, she takes a bite then spits it back out. Sunday night, she tried dipping her steamed spinach in ranch...she liked the ranch.

The moral I take from this is, you need to put the food on their plates even if they don't like it. They may eventually change their opinions.

Don't be a short order cook. Everyone eats the same thing. I don't even make special things for my babies. Once they are on solid foods, they eat mashed up whatever we are eating. I don't change the spices, either. This is probably why Lizzy will eat gobs of salsa, heavy on the cilantro.

Don't dumb food down for kids!

Another great tip...get a membership to a warehouse club that has lots of samples. The kids love trying them and have found many foods that they do like by just trying one bite. This is how we found that Lizzy loves french onion soup. They also love various stinky cheeses, falafel, and whatever else they can get for free.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday and menus

I am still trying to figure out where the week has gone! I think I must have slept through it.

The weekend was hectic to say the least. D went with Alex to the scout camporee at Lake Martin. that left me home *alone* with five children. As if that wasn't enough, we had to finish the school project from H-E- double hockey sticks. It was a year long project and they had checks throughout the year to make sure they weren't falling behind...but this project was far too big for fourth graders and parents were *expected* to help. Sure, with all my spare time, I have time to do my kids' homework. Fortunately, it did get done and it was 99 percent her work. Unfortunately, most of the other kids in her class had parents that probably did 75 percent of the work. I told her to be very proud of the C she's probably going to get because it's hers...and that many of the kids who get As...well, those are the parents' As.

Last night I attempted a good Sunday night dinner. And, I must say, it was delicious once I finally got it done. We had crispy curried fried chicken and it was wonderful!

This week's dinner menu is coming primarily from the latest issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray. We cook so much from her recipes, i might as well start a blog reviewing the recipes LOL

We still have a lot of leftovers in the freezer after friends bringing food over! Amy brought us a huge tray of pulled pork we're trying to use up and Lynn was gracious enough to bring over parts of her cow. We don't eat beef unless it's on sale cheap, so having freshly butchered cow is a rare treat indeed!

Monday...Pork Lo Mein (leftover pulled pork, noodles, soy sauce, veggies)
Tuesday...sloppy joes, oven fries
Wednesday...Mexican Chicken rice bowls...taco seasoning on chicken, served over rice
Saturday...Biscuit Crusted egg and sausage pie (modifying recipe and will post the final results)
Sunday...Grilled round steak with peppers, potatoes and onions

Monday, April 20, 2009

Let's get going!

Today is my first day "alone" with the three little ones. It's been a long time since I've had three kids at home, and one being a newborn! Naturally, one of the older ones is sick and naturally, I'm not doing the greatest with the palsy. If it's not one thing it's another.

I'm jumping right back in to routine today. I have to! As much as I love my husband and all the help he is for me, he has not been the best on keeping up with the housekeeping routine. The laundry is piled high. It's ridiculous. I'm already on my third load today and I'm nowhere close to being done. He kept up fairly well with everything except laundry...and the kitchen floor. Thankfully, the floor in the kitchen just needs a good mopping.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out what to make for dinner using what we have in the house. I'm not cleared to drive (ridiculous. imo) which means D won't have a chance to take me to the store til Friday at the earliest. We made a couple quick trips last week for a few things, but not a full shop. I have enough food...I just need to be creative!

So far my menu looks like this:

Monday: Spaghetti
Tuesday: Chicken
Wednesday: Pancakes
Thursday: Beef
Friday: Pizza from Costco

Now exactly what I'm doing with the chicken and beef are up in the air. We have beans, spinach, potatoes, rice, etc. So I'm sure I'll come up with something :P We'll probably end up having taco salad on Thursday, now that I think about it.

So hit me with ideas for chicken thighs!

Friday, April 17, 2009

so beautiful!

I received in the mail this week a beautiful apron by Solidia as part of an apron swap.

It is yellow and orange with big flowers on it. It is soooo me :) She also sent some recipes and fixins we can't wait to try :) Oh and a pair of dangly earrings.

Now the earrings are way cute. Having lots of little ones, I gave up wearing jewelry a long time ago, outside of my wedding ring. I don't even KNOW where my jewelry box is. So it was really exciting to get some cute ear rings in the mail. It was like wow! something just for me that one of my kids can't make off with!

I put them on and with my short hair, I thought they were the perfect length. So a huge THANK YOU for the earrings and getting me out of my rut :D

My 2 year old had never seen me in earrings before and she was sooo funny. "mommy, what's that? what those?" She was trying to figure out how to get them on herself. Not happening there any time soon! These are mine mine mine...MINE! all MINE!

Honestly, I really needed the pick me up this week, especially with the eye patch and the palsy. I need something to make me feel pretty :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rest, relaxation and recovery?

This past week I'm supposed to be recuperating from having a baby. We have been very blessed to have wonderful friends bringing meals in. Millie's birth was a bit rougher than I expected. Who would have thought that #6 would decide to come forehead first? So, I've been pretty much confined to bed for the past week.

Today, I felt marginally better. My back hasn't been horrible and I was hopeful I might be able to get away with not having any help any more.

WRONG. Dead wrong.

Instead, I started developing some troubling symptoms: blurred vision, headache, drooping eyelid, drooping lips, numbness in my face...

These symptoms and a quick call to the doctor, sent us back to the hospital where we actually got the best case scenario diagnosis: bell's palsy. Believe me, it's much better than the worst case going through my mind!

Tomorrow, I'm supposed to see a neurologist. I'm sure my doctor is just playing it safe since I am just a week out from having a baby.

Meanwhile, I have to wear an eye patch because my left eye won't shut all the way. The tear ducts are also stuck pretty much open and constantly tearing. Without the eye patch, they may dry out which can cause other problems. So, I get to look like a pirate for awhile. I would much rather have a cool authentic pirate eye patch. For now, I have boring gauze. If this looks like it's going to be a longer problem, I may have to make myself a cool pirate eye patch ....ARGGGGG

It also stinks that I am completely unable to drive because of the patch. DH even had the audacity to suggest that I shouldn't sew! Pfffft on him.

Friday, April 10, 2009

please welcome Amelia Marie

7 lbs 6 oz
19 inches long

Lots of black hair. we'll see if it stays. It will probably turn blonde like all the others. I thought she favored Ben and Kari, but looking at pictures, she definitely favors Lizzy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

be vewwy vewwy quiet

Nothing happening here yet.

It's been a fun week with MIL here visiting. She was supposed to be here to help with the new arrival, who has yet to make her debut, but we still managed to have a fun and productive week.

Even tho things have been so focused on getting ready for the baby, we are still having fun making homeschool plans and looking for ideas. We are also anxiously planning our big trip for the summer. The kids are wanting to hit various food destinations they've seen on Travel Channel. My kids are so strange!

We are also getting ready for the science fair next week. The project this year is What is the difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder. This is one of those universal questions that many home cooks have wondered about and Leelee is excited to tackle.