Thursday, January 27, 2011

sleep & vegetables

It feels like all my conversations with other moms right now revolve around sleep schedules and feeding time. OK, it's probably been going on for months but it just seems like those issues dominate any other topic right now -- our kids are either going to bed too late, getting up too early or not napping enough (or some dreaded combination of all three) and nobody is eating their vegetables. But still we obsess and analyze as if there was some formula we'd overlooked that would get them to sleep more and not reject anything green. L. and I were discussing yesterday, brainstorming some vegetable ideas that might not get rejected. And so I made some roasted red pepper strips today that didn't even make it anywhere near B.'s mouth at dinner. I served dinner on one of those divided TV dinner-style plates that also included chicken, corn and raw slices of zucchini (because on occasion Ben will stick some raw zucchini in his mouth) and he refused to eat ANY of it. Which means he went to bed without dinner. Again. But it's fine because I've already found the next veggie recipe I'm convinced will be the one to make B. love his greens -- spinach and ricotta gnocchi as made by Debi Mazar and her husband on this new cooking show I love. Can't lose right?

UPDATE: I tried the spinach balls but they're good but they taste a lot like manicotti filling to me so I'm gonna stuff them into some pasta tubes and cover them in sauce before eating again.

Monday, January 24, 2011

what i learned from jon & kate plus 8

Wayyyyyy back in the day I used to watch this show and love it. The kids were so cute and I loved seeing how Kate managed the house with military precision. Plus everything she bought was organic, which I thought was really cool. Anyway, the reason B. now eats hummus at least twice a week is because I'd seen Kate serve 8 plates of hummus, pita and veggie sticks for lunch and it seemed like such a tasty/healthy meal that didn't involve cheese. (I mean how many times can you do pizza, mac n cheese, grilled cheese, quesedilla, etc.) I don't know what it is about hummus--give me tzaziki or white bean dip any day--but even borderline picky kids like B. eat it. Works for me. And every time he eats it, it cracks me up that such a train wreck of a show had such a positive impact on our mealtime.

Friday, January 21, 2011

no dinner for you

For the first time ever B. went to bed without dinner last night. He was really tired and cranky and when I offered him pasta (it was broccoli cream sauce but he's had it before) he refused and asked to get down from his highchair. Normally I'd start offering up a bunch of other options. I know you're not supposed to but who wants to see their kid go hungry? "B. want cheese? Raisins? Fruit snacks? Cheerios? Grilled cheese?" Yes, I have done the pathetic, desperate mommy dance--there may even have been the promise of seeing mommy hop up and down on a chair in exchange for eating a few mouthfuls. But this time I decided to call his bluff. And other than an extra bottle of milk at bedtime, he did not eat anything last night. And still he survived to tell about it this morning. (Actually, today turned out to be a great food day. He ate applesauce and spaghetti with red pepper sauce for lunch and rice with beans and avocado for dinner.) But it's like every day is a test of wills. Last week we went down to Main Street for dinner with T.'s aunt and uncle and he would not sit still at the restaurant--even with the promise of 2 different phones to play with. Bedtime is a one-hour battle minimum. But the worst part is clocking everyone he gets close to. I feel like I'm living a Modern Family episode only way less funny. Of course he thinks it's hilarious to hit. And we've tried everything but all the sites I've checked say you just have to wait it out and be on them 24/7 around other kids.
UPDATE: Just got a great suggestion from a friend whose baby is in daycare. They tell the big kids there not to touch the babies except to tickle their feet, so for now I'm going with kids/babies are off limits unless he wants to tickle them.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

researching preschools makes my head hurt

There are some things I know. Even if B. doesn't eat his vegetables, go to preschool or learn to self-soothe, he is still gonna grow up to be a functioning human being who holds a job, feeds himself at least three times a day and has friends. But ohmygod the frenzy among Santa Monica moms to find the right preschool. I just talked to the mom of one of Ben's friend's and they've already signed their kid up in two places for 2012. WTF? She also toured all the schools in the area and seems to know the dirt on each one. But it goes even deeper. When I visited preschools I was just looking for a clean place where the kids seemed happy, the staff wasn't pulling their hair out and there were enough books and toys for everyone to share. But D. knew specifics, like whether snack time was scheduled or if kids were able to snack at will. Who thinks to ask these questions? And does it even really matter? Or is the joke on me? Will B. grow up to be a weirdo because his mom didn't care enough to check when they served the cheese and crackers?! (LOL. I can't even keep a straight face while typing.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

if we had a dog...

The dog would eat all the vegetables B. refuses to put in his mouth. Instead, I eat them. (And love them.) But it sort of defeats the point. Which isn't to say I stop trying. I made a kick-ass succotash to go with roast chicken and sweet potato fries tonight. Mine was corn sauteed with diced zucchini and red pepper, shallots, garlic, thyme and lemon juice, (though Wikki says the traditional way is to use lima beans, which is where I draw the line). Anyway, B. didn't like it. He also didn't like the quinoa and veggies I made last year, the roast beet salad, the cauliflower puree or the spinach cakes. And it doesn't even have to be fancy. He also turned his nose up at steamed peas and carrots last week. Yet I'm convinced there's some magical vegetable preparation that's gonna get him hooked the same way he likes cheesy carbs. (I'm suffering some major nutritional guilt at the moment because yesterday he had pizza for lunch and mac 'n' cheese for dinner.) I'm out of ideas right now but tomorrow's mission will be to find some new veggie recipe he can reject.

*Oh yeah. Completely forgot green beans tossed in pesto/parmesan and snow peas in a honey/soy sauce vinaigrette were also part of the reject list. And now I have made myself very hungry.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

it's no Jim's Pancakes but...

I started making pancakes every weekend back when I was working because I felt like it was a nice ritual and it let Ben know first thing in the morning that Sat/Sun were more fun since mommy was around all day. Now, I just make them because B. loves them. But then somebody sent me this link to JimsPancakes. Holy cow what this man can do with a little batter. Anyhoo, I don't think I'm gonna get much more radical than this butterfly (there's also been a lumpy fish and misshapen happy face) but it was fun doing.

what is it about vacations?

We went to visit my family in Canada over the holidays and B. was a champ. He loved playing in the snow. Slept like a log. And ate almost anything we gave particular salmon, spanakopita, scrambled eggs, rice and corn (all things he shows no interest in at home). So we got home and I made scrambled eggs to accompany his bagel this weekend and he freaked out. No! No! No! That's in addition to the usual favorites he no longer enjoys, like bananas, avocado and spaghetti (seriously, just the long noodle in particular, he doesn't seem to mind macaroni or other short noodles). It's so frustrating.
Oh, and he isn't sleeping great either. We just installed blackout curtains yesterday hoping that'll do the trick but if it doesn't we're seriously considering redecorating his bedroom like a Westin hotel room...

long time no see...

All my plans to do more blogging as a SAHM evaporated once life got rolling. (Funny, so did my best laid plans to have daily jazz happy hour--milk for B., booze for mommy and groovy music to bop around to. Sounds nice doesn't it?) And I don't think we've been to the beach since I stopped working. It's weird, once you're home the time passes so much more quickly. Plus I find myself running way more errands than I used to. We're probably more caught up on our drycleaning and grocery shopping than ever before but I find myself forgetting to do the fun stuff. I think it's stay at home guilt that makes me feel like the house should be spotless and well stocked. So my New Year's goal is to slow down a little, walk (not drive) to the park, get to the beach more often, schedule more playdates and put on more music. Good luck to me.