Category Archives: toddler

This Omnivore’s Dilemma

As I sit here watching my charming child chow down on fried balls of corn, which are radioactive orange, freeze-dried and reconstituted, and then coated in a “cheese-like” powder, I feel a little guilty about giving my child “food” instead of wholesome, real food. Then, I rationalize and tell myself that she doesn’t get these things very often, so it’s more like a treat than nutrition. I know her body won’t see it the same way, but it’s nice to make myself think it anyway.

Between my gall bladder, my second pregnancy, and Jewel’s asthma and her allergies to milk and soy, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what we eat here in America. The media (and all the fat people such as myself) bemoan fast food and obesity related illness, but then we proceed to turn off our brains and stuff our faces with all sorts of mystery “foods.” When did food start coming from factories instead of farms? And when did factories become acceptable sources of food? When did it become okay to have one real ingredient in a “food” and have the rest come from a lab somewhere? When we can’t even pronounce what’s in a food, then that ought to be a red flag, but we look at the pretty picture on the label, and it looks so good, so we ignore the adverse engineering and fill our bods with pseudo-food that is loaded with fat, sugar and salt. It’s food that completely lacks real nourishment and saps our energy and health. Sad, really.

As a way to get maximum nutrients with minimum time (and fat), I’ve started making green smoothies. I don’t know if you’ve ever had one, but they’re pretty fantastic. That is, if you upgrade your blender (the $15 Walmart version won’t work… believe me… it gets ugly). The main idea is blending greens and fruit together to make a tasty smoothie packed with super nutrition. I know it sounds disgusting, and I have to admit it does look pretty disgusting too (who doesn’t like gloopy brown food?), but it tastes really great, especially since we add local honey to ours to help with our allergies. I feel really good when I drink the smoothies, and I can tell a definite difference when I don’t. Even Jewel likes them, and she loves helping put the frozen fruit into the blender. The challenge is keeping her from eating it all before she puts it in.

I guess that’s all for my soap box today, and I’ll try to keep things on the lighter end from now on. Oh, and I think I’ll give Jewel a peach with her lunch. Maybe it’ll make up for the cheese balls just a little bit.

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Filed under family, green smoothie, marriage, nutrition, preschooler, toddler

Father Fodder

The hubby and I are headed down home to visit the parental units this coming weekend, and we’ll be there for Father’s Day. While my dearest and I tend to keep Mother’s Day and Father’s Day pretty low key, we usually go out for a nice meal and give each other a standard “Happy Mother’s/Father’s Day. You’re a really great Mom/Dad.” And so on and so forth. However, since we’ll be visiting both of our families this weekend, it would be nice to do something a little bit more. So, given our current gift-giving budget (i.e. nil, zip, zero), what could I possibly do for free? And what is it that I do best? You got it, cheesy poems! I figured a poem for each of the major dads in my life would be a good option. These are a bit beyond my usual cheese threshold (and a bit shy of my usual poetic standards), but that’s what holidays like Father’s Day are for. I know it’s a bit early, but I’ll share my queso-rific creations with you here:

For My Hubby

You’re stubborn and nerdy and at times quite annoying

But smart, thoughtful, loving and determined you are too

You’re so much fun to be with, your smile lights up my day

And for serving our country, I’m so proud of you

You’re the best Daddy Jewel could possibly have

She runs to you, laughing, when you come home at night

You’re part horse and part playmate as she giggles with glee

And she hugs you and kisses you when you tuck her in tight

For My Dad

You were cleaning your guns the first time he came over

My teenage self was mortified, I asked why

Pretending your timing was just coincidence

Your ploy didn’t work, but it was a nice try

Now he’s around for good, you’re a great dad-in-law

And you’re now the almighty and benevolent Pop

A super grandad for Jewel and her soon-to-be sister

In twenty-eight years of dad-hood, you’ve been at the top!

For My Dad-in-Law

Campers and coasters, cycles and scooters

To think, you take your life in your hands

But it’s not from all the adventuresome fun

But from teenagers and their testosterone glands

Fun and silliness you exude from your mouth

A better Grandpa is not anywhere to be found

From the backseat of the car everywhere we go

A thundering “I WANT GRANDPA!” does resound

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Filed under family, father's day, marriage, poetry, toddler

The Gall of It

It started with the worst spring break in history. My gall bladder decided it had had enough of this life and was ready to give up the ghost. And so began the excruciating pain as one small organ declared war on my digestion. In the beginning, I think it was winning. But… I went to the emergency room and to the surgeon and got myself all psyched up to have surgery. And then I didn’t. I was “not sick enough” to have surgery while pregnant. I don’t begrudge the surgeon for not wanting to operate on a prego, but what’s the real outcome here?

I have a severely limited diet now, 6 grams or less of fat per meal, and yes that’s for the entire meal. Can I push it a little bit sometimes? In short, yes. Will I pay for that in fairly unpleasant ways later? Unfortunately, yes. Now, in some ways, this diet has been really good for me. I’ve lost 15 pounds, and while I would have preferred to not lose it while pregnant, the weight needed to come off anyway. My diet affects everyone around me, though. My dearest husband has lost “sympathy weight” as a result of my low fat cooking, and we rarely get to have any special treats such as ice cream unless it’s more like ‘ice cream’ than real ice cream. Luckily, with a three year old (almost), sorbet still counts as ice cream.

Another good example? Right now my husband and daughter are at the store in search of fat free mayonnaise. I know, not worth eating, right? I mean, is it even considered mayo if it’s fat free? Somehow I doubt it. Who knows what kind of horrid Frankenstein-like engineering had to go into that jar to make it fat free. Why fat free mayonnaise, you ask? Well, we’re having some really good friends over this evening (they have to be good friends because mediocre ones don’t stick around through fat free cooking), and we’re making potato salad. It can’t be good potato salad, mind you, with fat free mayo in it, so, in the end, everybody else gets to enjoy their food a little bit less just so I can eat it in the first place. Cue dramatic sigh.

So, think of me this evening as I try to enjoy my low fat potato salad (eww), and take pity on me as I choke down my fat free turkey dogs (again, eww) while my friends and family enjoy their juicy burgers. At least, in the end, I’ll be able to drown my sorrows in a large bowl of watermelon.

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Filed under fat free, gall bladder, marriage, parenting, toddler

Underwear Everywhere!

I just have one question: is it normal for guys to have tons of underwear? I mean, really, isn’t it the gals who are supposed to have all the undies? Granted, a lot of it is for cute and/or sexy purposes, but we’re supposed to have all the clothes, right? Well, not so around here. My nearest and dearest has the market cornered in our house.

So, on the off chance that I don’t get laundry done (okay… make that regular event), he complains that he’s almost out of underwear. I can understand that. I mean, nothing says “I love you” like clean underwear, right? So I check his stocks. And I count. And I keep counting. And I count some more. How is 30 more pairs almost out?! I don’t have that many to start with! I guess it’s just like in the car when you hit the E on the gas gauge. E means 20 more miles, so why wouldn’t the E on the underwear drawer mean 30 more pairs?

My only consolation is this: when the nuclear war comes, and I’m instantly vaporized, my husband will have enough underwear to last through the apocalypse. He just might have to wash it himself.

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Filed under chores, family, married life, relationship, toddler

Two Have Become Three (aka What Happened?!)

Okay, so I’ve joined the blogging revolution. You know, the one that happened a few years ago when I wasn’t paying attention? I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon while the wagon’s still there. This is probably one of those things that I’ll start, and I’ll go with it for a few weeks and/or months, but then I’ll get bored and abandon it to start some other short-lived new hobby. But hey… that’s okay with me. It’s fun entertainment, and it’s free. And I am all about free entertainment right now.

So, now to the real topic. My sweet, adorable, bright, charming, sometimes strong-willed, little girl has suddenly become a monster. I’d been warned before that the threes are worse than the twos (a friend of mine calls them the Torturous Threes), but it never really hit home until the screaming began. And once I calmed down, I realized Jewel was screaming too (okay, I know, that was lame). Seriously, though, who flipped that switch and where can I find it? I need to flip it back! I want the little girl back who doesn’t scream at bedtime and doesn’t have a total meltdown when she doesn’t get her way. And who knew that asking ‘why’ all the time started so early? That, and I think she just keeps getting louder. Do they always have to get louder?

Still, she’s more cuddly now, and she can reason out her thoughts. She even started using adverbs the other day… correctly. I love listening to her tell about experiences from her day and make up silly games and stories. Her imagination gets stronger every day, and she is constantly fascinated with the world around her. I’m not really enjoying much of her three-ness right now, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

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Filed under parenting, temper tantrum, three year old, toddler, two year old