Monday, 24 October 2011

solid foods

G has been trying solid food for almost 2 months now...  And by "trying", I do mean trying.  It took her 5 weeks before she actually swallowed any baby cereal (well, who could blame her?  I'm pretty certain its not exactly tasty).  When she finally started actually consuming cereal, we moved to veggies and fruits.  It took another 2-3 weeks to stop putting on a sour face every time we tried squash, sweet potato, applesauce, name it, she hated it for the first 5-6 tries. 

And then came today.

Green beans.  Pureed.  Squishy disguisting looking green sludge. 

And she inhaled it.  Every last bite.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Fall Farm Fun

Warm fall days, sun shining, not a cloud in the sky- what better times to visit our local farm to scavenge for our Halloween pumpkins, have some fun on the farm-made activites, and milk a plastic cow (?  yup- I did say milk a plastic cow.  Nice of the folks from Dairy Farmers of Ontario to be present teaching kids where milk comes from- no, Rowan, milk doesn't come from our fridge)

Looking down from atop the Combine!

Yup- that's our son milking a plastic cow.  And he loved every freakin' minute of it.  Even went back for "seconds"

stinkin' cute!

The things I swore I'd never do...

I think this whole parenting journey started off with great intentions...having carefully observed those friends and family who ventured into parenthood prior to Glen & I, we very artfully crafted our list of parenting do's and do-not's, and stuck by it religiously.  We weren't going to be one of those parents that bring their kid into bed with them at night, "that family" at the restaurant with the crazed-kid-gone-wild getting up and down from the table and running around like a wild banshee was definitely not going to be our kids.  We vowed we'd never, ever cut the crust off bread, peel the "green stuff" off a cucumber, or splash chocolate milk into the white stuff to encourage them to drink it.  Our kids were going to stay away from processed foods, I was going to cook every night, and frankly, there would be no candy in our house until they went to high school.  Oh yeah, and my son was going to be potty trained by problem, right?   Wrong.  And most of all, I wasn't ever going to have to ask my kids more than once to do something...they'd just do it- right away- and then get back to their play task at hand. 

Wow.  Was I ever naieve.

Lately, I've really been feeling like I'm not even in the running for the "Mom of the Year" award.  In the past week alone, I have (almost) singlehandedly violated all of my things-I-swore-I'd-never-do...KD for Rowan's dinner one night, upped the ante for R's potty training treats by using gummy worms and large gummy bears (likely 3 x's the sugar of the jujubes we've been using up until now), lost sight on our new redirection focus for behaviour issues and reverted right back to time-outs and the futile counting 'till 3.  Aish.  The list goes on...  Rowan had his first night wake-up in months, and it sure was a doozy.  11:25pm-3am (I had likely falled asleep at about 11:10- the 15 minute cat-nap did nothing to encourage compassion in this situation), so after an hour of him clearly not going back to sleep, I broke down and brought him into our bed.  And then after an hour of telling him to stop moving, stop talking, stop everything, I took a screaming toddler back to his room so we could try again from there.  I probably cut the crusts off his bread on 2...make that 3 occasions this past week.  I think I used cold cut ham rolls for his protein for dinner at least 1 night (and chicken fingers on another).  And broke down on both visits to WalMart to buy him a toy, despite the fact we are working very hard to make him realize that he doesn't get something every time we walk into a store.  I lost my cool on way too many occasions, and pretty much felt like I'd failed the Mom test every day this past week.

Today was redemption day- at least part of it, anyway.  Homemade Sunday breakfast: eggs, toast and pineapple.  A morning of fresh air and fun at a local farm to enjoy the activities and pick out our Halloween pumpkins.  Hot lunch and much-needed nap in the afternoon, followed by a family adventure in the Quaker fields, slow-cooker sirlion and roasted potatoes, yams and carrots for dinner.  Bath, books and bed...this week could be a total turn-around.

Its hard to stick by your laurels as a parent.  We made a conscious choice when Rowan was born that we were going to be a "no-tv" household, and despite the fact that it has been difficult, we've pretty much stuck by it.  Its probably worked so well because we do not have a television on our main floor in our house...its not present, and its certainly not convenient. TV is a treat around here, and it works as a reward for good behaviour.  Rowan's screen time is about 30 minutes per week- which we are quite proud to continue to maintain, but certainly know its not going to last forever.  It just means we have to have other "busy" things available for him to focus on, he engages in pure play on, perhaps, a more regular basis, he loves to colour, craft, do playdoh, read books, race cars and build track and big-long-trains.  The fact that we have been able to stick by our little use of the TV in Rowan's life makes me reflect on things-gone-wrong last week, and realize that I just need to have better focus, more patience, less personal stress, and the energy to ensure we can get back to the way I had dreamed of raising my kids.  And in the mean time, a little KD isn't going to hurt anyone.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Aspiring Foodie...

I'm not much for recipies- I tend to "create" in the kichen, rather than cook, so if someone asks me after-the-fact how I made something, its a rare occasion that I can actually recount the ingredients and/or process as to how I concocted the dish. 

Thus said, there is nothing like warm heaven in a big bowl of Butternut Squash Soup on a cool fall day.  If you're looking for a meal that is chock-full of veggies (and has received the kid seal of approval from Rowan!), look no further...

Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash
2 medium carrots
1 large sweet potato
2 stalks celery
1 large vidalia onion
1 tbsp butter
chicken/vegetable stock

Melt butter in a saucepan and add chopped onion and celery- saute for ~5 mins, or until soft.  Add chopped butternut squash, carrots and sweet potato, and use enough stock until you have just covered the vegetables (usually about 16-20 oz).

Let boil and simmer for 40mins-1 hour, or until a fork inserted into the squash suggests that it is fully cooked. 

Transfer to a blender and puree.

Return to a soup pot and warm on stove.  Add salt/pepper to taste.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream in the centre (don't skimp- best enjoyed with the full-fat're only eating a tablespoon anyway!)


We're back!

We're back from vaycay, and when I find a few minutes in the mountain of laundry, grocery shopping, kid entertaining, and other post-vacation necessities, I'll upload some pics and recap the events.  Highlight: Rowan's declaration to the Customs officer, as we crossed the boarder into Canada: "I'm watching Misty Island!".  Yeah, like he cared.  Then again, at 9pm at night, it put a smile on everyone's face!