Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I'm not sure how I feel about 'tricking' your children into eating healthy food, a la Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious. I suppose there is a time and place for it, especially if you can get them to agree to also eat the obvious vegetables on their plate.

I fully embrace the idea, though, of bulking up the 'healthy-ness' of foods that kids already love - like adding extra veggies to pasta sauce, or using ground turkey or chicken instead of beef - that kind of thing.

I've started making mac n' cheese lately as a good way of cleaning out the fridge. The Girl likes most noodles, and still gobbles it up if I add chopped up broccoli and cauliflower and use whole wheat noodles. See? Healthy(er).

I've just discovered a fun new food blog called Dinner: A Love Story. The author used to write food columns for Cookie magazine and Real Simple, and now she writes this blog about cooking for her family with young children. She had a great post this week about making boxed mac n' cheese a little healthier for her kids - so clever! She uses the boxed cheese sauce mix, but instead puts it over quinoa or quinoa noodles. Never would have occurred to me ...

I was reading something else this week (can't remember where - memory loss is a terrible thing) about the nostalgia you still have as adults for those special childhood foods ... the things you got for special occasions, or birthdays, or babysitter nights. For us, I clearly remember the babysitter food as mac n' cheese from a blue box or McDonald's. Even though I've had a thousand better, healthier, meals since then, I still have a soft spot in my heart for those foods.

I guess the challenge is finding those special foods that your kids love now, and continue to have fond memories of for years to come, while still setting them up for a lifetime of healthy(er) eating. Will the Girl have fond memories of Quack & Cheese? I'm not sure, but I'll give it a shot.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Silver lining

We recently had our 18-month visit with our parent educator from Parents as Teachers. We talked a lot about music as a good tool for toddlers to teach listening skills. (Lord knows, we could stand to improve on those over here).

Coincidentally, we received a music kit as a gag baby gift from the Huz's co-workers. They thought it was hilarious that our future baby would drive us crazy. Fast forward and I just got it off the shelf a few weeks ago. It does kind of drive us crazy, but Girly really loves it. I added a drum made from an old oatmeal container with seeds inside. The band is in session.

The best nugget I learned, though, was about Girly's tendency for early rising. Our parent educator used to teach elementary school and she has three school-age children. She went back to work full-time after her first child was born and said that her oldest child still gets up early, gets dressed quickly and independently, and is always ready on time to leave for school. Our educator stayed home full-time after her 2nd and 3rd children, and she let them sleep in and their morning routine was much more leisurely. Now, it's a daily struggle to get them up and out of the house.

She was encouraging and said that the things you find hardest to deal with as babies and toddlers are often the things you are most thankful for as your kids get older. (i.e. sleeping, eating, napping, sleeping and - oh yeah - SLEEPING).

So, having an early riser won't solve all our future problems, but I am a little bit more accepting of the idea now.

(A little).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yikes! of the day

Did you know that cottage cheese has a crazy amount of sodium?

I am trying to pay more attention to the hidden sodium in our food, especially for Girly. She eats mostly whole foods, but does love cheese. I've been giving her whole milk cottage cheese, and even sought out the organic kind, and just today realized there are 520mg of sodium in 1/2 cup!! That's as much (or more) than she needs in a whole day!

I almost fainted, but then my blood pressure was so high from all the sodium we've been eating that I was just fine.

I'm sure brands vary in the amount, but this was surprising to me. Maybe you have been paying closer attention.

Back to the drawing board ...

Monday, June 14, 2010

If you're ambitious

We had a lot of fun with our monthly photos of Girly. It was especially great because she was born in December, so the month 1 photo was in January, just in time for the new calendar. In case you are wondering, I stole this idea from somewhere on the internets - feel free to steal it from me. The calendar is from Crate and Barrel.

I've recently started reading Young House Love. It's a great blog by a young couple who describe all kind of projects in renovating their house on a budget. Their newest project is a baby girl (!) and they had some fun projects today - find the details here.

This is a fun, homemade baby book that is customizable. (You can get the pdf's on their blog).

And here is their cute baby! I love this idea to keep track of her growth, but it requires: 1) photoshop skills, 2) 52 kinds of fabric, and 3) lots of clean white onesies.

I don't have any of those things, but you might?

I agree with them, though, that a photo book of just these 52 pictures would be really amazing.

By the by, I previously mentioned my plan for documenting Girly's first year. I did reasonably well with the monthly Blurb books, but just haven't quite gotten to November and December 2009. It has been on my to-do list for the last 6 months. Oh well, I think I'll get to it in 2010.

As an aside, how do you store your digital pictures? I upload them all to my laptop and periodically back-up to an external hard drive, but I am so fearful of losing them because I rarely print them or upload to an online site, like Snapfish. Parents magazine recently had an article about this and suggested an online service, like Mozy, Carbonite or Backblaze, that continuously runs software to back up your computer. Any of you use something like this?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hello, buggy

I really wanted to say, Hello, Lover ... a la Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City.

But. That is for expensive, non-mommy shoes.

And. This is about plastic toys.


Regardless, this little Buggy has made for a happy week at our house.

I'm still on the hunt for outside play equipment that doesn't cost a fortune. Unfortunately, Craigslist has a lot of very aged specimens and I just don't have the time (or energy) to troll garage sales.

I did, however, stop by Once Upon A Child (link has music) this week and scored Mr. Buggy. It was about half price and in very good condition. Plus, I feel better about recycling this one very large hunk of plastic. (And I scored some brand new little skorts for the Girl for $2).

We've gone on a walk every night in the car, up and down the block, and Girly has spent LONG amounts of time just crawling in and out and out and in of the seat.

Good times.

P.S. Supergoop has free shipping this month for orders over $40. The stuff is pricey so it isn't hard to get $40, but I am loving the sunscreen wipes so far!

Friday, June 4, 2010