Tuesday, October 23, 2012

4 sneaky secrets

i was blessed in this world to have very picky eaters.  carter has been picky since birth, only choosing to eat select baby food and promptly spitting out anything that he didn't approve of.  the worst has always been vegetables.  i can't entirely blame him for that, however, since vegetables aren't my favorite thing either.  in an attempt to give him the best nutrition, without the battle, i have since become quite good at sneaking vegetables into things he doesn't know.  early favorites were the v8 fusion juice, which is 1/2 fruit 1/2 vegetables and chips with vegetables in them.  

when holden came along, i had hope he wouldn't be quite as picky and he wasn't!  he loved almost all baby food given to him, with his favorites being green beans and peas (gross).  however, once we started to give him table food, that all changed.  he has never once ingested a normal green bean or pea.  and now that he's just turned 2, and entered the picky(er) phase, he seriously doesn't eat much at all.  there are many times where he literally doesn't eat because he refuses whats on his plate.  we do our best, and all those sneaky vegetable tricks i learned with carter are coming in handy.  i thought i'd highlight of few of my recent favorites, for anyone struggling with the same problem.

1) baby food pouches.  either these didn't exist when carter was a baby, or i didn't know about them,  and truly didn't discover them until holden was "off" of baby food.  however, even though he is 2, he will still suck one of these bad boys down in no time flat.  i try to get the fruit/veggie combos since any regular vegetable will be nowhere near his mouth.  although kinda pricey, i stock up when there are sales, and bottom line is that it's a way to get vegetables into his body, so it's a win.

2) rice milk snacks.  since holden has always been a fan of the gerber yogurt melts, i saw these in the aisle next to them and decided to give them a try.  they're made with organic rice milk and have fruits and veggies in them too!  this particular flavor isn't his favorite, but he will chow down an entire package (if i'd let him) of the red or purple ones.  score one for snack time.

3) pancakes.  as i mentioned previously, holden is a fan of the baby food pouches.  he didn't like one of the combinations i bought him once, and wouldn't eat it.  since they aren't cheap, i didn't want to throw it away.  i was making pancakes the next day and decided to try and just pour it into the batter and see how it went.  not one, not two, but THREE kids (i was watching my niece at the time) chowed them down.  since then, i've routinely added baby food to their pancake batter, they have never noticed and it's one of the very few meals that will make them both happy.  sweet potatoes are a go-to and then whatever fruits are yummy also.  today i put sprinkles in the batter too and that was a hit :-)

4) powdered baby food.  yes, you read correctly.  this organic baby food, freeze dried and powdered, is a product new to the market that i just tried today for the first time.  as i've been adding baby food to my pancake batter, sometimes it ends up too runny and they are too flat.  i saw these at the store and am happy to report that they worked great in our sprinkle pancakes for lunch. one package equals one jar of baby food if you were to mix it with water, formula, or breastmilk (as per the directions), but i just added the powder directly to my batter.  i can imagine that these might be a great way to add fruits or veggies to any baked goods you may be making, but i've only tried it with pancakes so far.  try them for yourself and let me know!

i hope these ideas help out some of you other mamas who struggle with veggies like i do for your kiddos.  anyone have any tips to share with me?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

he is lucky that i love him

fact: one of ryan's favorite meals is beef and noodles.  his mom and grandpa cook it frequently and he loves it.  although i am more of a chicken and noodles girl, i also enjoy eating beef and noodles on occasion.  what i DON'T enjoy (at all) is the COOKING of the beef.  i'm not sure why, but the smell of the beef boiling nauseates me like crazy and i usually have to leave a house where it's cooking.

ryan's birthday is on friday, and he said what he really wanted was...wait for it...beef and noodles :-/  after allowing my stomach to calm down from the mere thought of the smell, i decided i would give it my best effort.  after a phone call to his mom for instructions, and secretly buying the ingredients at the grocery yesterday, today is the day. (we are babysitting for some friend's kids on friday as our end of a date-night childcare swap)

with my stomach as strong as i can make it, the meat is currently boiling away on the stove, and i haven't sprinted to the restroom yet.  i consider this a major success, even if it ends up tasting like crap.

UPDATE:  my stomach lasted until i had to remove all the fat from the roast, and took a turn for the worse.  i managed to keep everything that in my stomach that was originally there, but it was close.  i even managed to ingest some of this meal on a queasy stomach.  i'm far from a food photographer, but here is proof that i accomplished this feat today.

the icing on the imaginary (early) birthday cake, was that ryan had to go do a school project at a friend's house today, so he was gone the whole time i cooked this.  i'm certain he thought there was no way i'd attempt to fulfill his request, and was very surprised when he walked in the door to find his birthday dinner request almost complete.  if there was a contest for "most kick-ass wife", i'd say this pretty much clinches the victory for me :-P

i'm baaa-aaack :-)

first things first, I'M BACK!  or, rather, i'm going to do my best to be back.  life had gotten in the way of blogging and then life got in the way of life, and a crazy year and half later (really?!? has it been THAT long???) i am going to give this another go.

to sum up the last year and a half:  after my sinus surgery (my last previous post), we went on 2 insane family vacations-to gatlinburg, tennessee and then to breezy point, minnesota.  we drove both of them.  with a 4(ish) year old and a 9 month old.  enough said.

carter started back to preschool, and life resumed some normalcy.  ryan decided he didn't like his job anymore and quit to start selling cars.  since money got tight really quickly, i also began working at a brand new sports bar that happens to be across the street from my house.  i had been contemplating picking up a part-time serving job for a few years, but never was able with ryan's crazy work schedules to do so without getting a sitter, which wouldn't net us enough money to make it worth it.  i loved it!  sadly, after a short time at the car dealership, ryan learned that the management there was content being verbally abusive to their employees and he needed to leave.  he was also wanting to go back to school to get his master's degree in counseling.  something needed to change.

i was burnt out of being stuck at home all the time with just the kids, and loved the opportunity with my job to have interactions with adults that didn't involve any talk of poop, pee, or puke.  ryan was burnt out on working all the time and not being home with the kids.  so i hatched a crazy plan to swap roles, and have him become a stay-at-home dad while doing online schooling, and me to become the full-time working parent.

it really was a welcome choice for our whole family.  quickly learned that (although he always claimed to understand) being a stay-at-home parent isn't a walk in the park, literal or otherwise, and if said walk in the park is attempted it would most likely to turn into a disaster.  we've been rocking this plan ever since, and coming up on the year mark of doing so.  not without it's moments, we are faring pretty well so far.

we took an amazing trip to cozumel in january, partial courtesy of my in-laws.  in february, my life changed drastically, and my granny died.  she really was one of a kind, and more than just a grandma to me.  not a day goes by that i don't think of her and wish it wasn't real.  i comfort myself knowing that she is doing was i was never able to do, which is hold my preston.  

i had another surgery in april, the details of which won't be blogged about.  and then summer came again.  it really went by in a blur and before we knew it, it was time for school to start again.  after debating back and forth, we decided to send carter to kindergarten, although he will be a young one.  the transition into his morning hysterics before school has resumed, although reports are that he is behaving like a model citizen at school, so nothing has changed there.

holden turned 2 in september (seriously canNOT believe that), i turned 29 for the 4th time, and here we are in october.  ryan's birthday is friday, but i'm cooking his requested meal today.  that, however, will be another story.