January 30, 2009

January 25, 2009

Busy, busy, busy...

I've been so busy this week I haven't even READ any blogs until today, much less posted on my own. I was going to post something on Inauguration Day, but now it seems too far in the past. I do want to share that I was able to view the big event on cammpus in the ballroom with about 700 other citizens. Very inspiring. And the best part? Picking up Ross from his classroom and bringing him to the ballroom to experience the inauguration with me. He was so excited to wave his little flag, clap with everyone, and point to "Rock Obama" on the big screen.

Thanks to Bonnie for the advice to my previous post. We've moved Ross's carseat to the middle row in the minivan, and that seems to be helping with drive-time bickering.

January 16, 2009

Seeking advice from other moms....

on how to get my boys to stop bickering, hitting, and screaming in the backseat EVERY DANG TIME I pick them up at the end of the day. It's really getting to me; I've become snarly/screamy mom. Here's how it went tonight:

Grant: Mom, can I have a drink?

I pass Grant the bottle of water that I made sure to grab from gma Jeanne's fridge before picking everyone up (I park at my folks' house every day).

Ross: Can I have a drink, too?

Grant: You better not get cheetos stuff on it!

Ross drinks.

Grant: AHH GROSS! There's cheetos on the bottle now! I'm NOT drinking that, but (get ready for the whining) I'm soo thirsty!!!

And on and on and on--with indignant screams from Ross when scolded by his big brother.

There's also hitting, flicking, and other "picking" behaviors. Meanwhile, I'm trying to drive across Fargo on slippery roads without getting into a car accident at 4:30 on Friday afternoon.

I want to beat the living tar out of the two of them by the time we get to Hope's daycare. This has become a daily occurance.

Did I mention how much I hate pick-up time? And how much I hate picking up all three kids at three different places? It takes a full hour--or longer--if the traffic and weather are bad (and they almost always are). I know, I know. Now I'm the one who's whining.

So, what do you suggest?

January 9, 2009


I am grateful for:

healthy children
a strong marriage
loving parents
amazing in-laws
a rewarding job
good health
a warm home
the endless grace and mercy of God.

January 3, 2009


Hope Caroline turned one year old today!!! We had a wonderful party with almost all of the Gilletts and all of the Ingersolls together. Children played, everyone ate, and Hope was the prettiest birthday girl ever. We love you, Hope!

January 2, 2009

New Year, New Habits (this is a really long post)

I am so excited to blog about this! My New Year's resolution is to invest a little more time in meal planning and work on increasing my kids' healthy eating habits while reducing the unhealthy ones. I know it's only January 2, but so far I am doing well on both counts. Tonight, I actually prepared a pork roast. Yes, it was pre-marinated, but I baked it, checked the temp, and it came out juicy and delicious! Maybe next time I'll actually cook potatoes instead of serving instant, but that's all right. A bona fide, sit-down-around-the-table-and-say-grace meal was enjoyed by my family tonight. And the kids ate well...they even ate small servings of peas! Which leads me to my next topic:

For weeks I have done some reading up on and comparing of two similar books: Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld and The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine. Both are cookbooks offering moms strategies for sneaking veggies into our children's food--primarily by pureeing vegetables and adding them as ingredients hidden in the dishes. I even spent a few hours at Barnes and Noble skimming through both of them (this was one of the few times I spent with myself this holiday break--what a treat! If you haven't gone browsing by yourself at a bookstore lately, I highly recommend it. It was great therapy.) I'm not going to get into the pros and cons of both books here. I decided to invest in Seinfeld's book, mostly because I am NOT a great cook and her 'busy-mom to busy-mom' style was laid back and less threatening (yes, I said threatening. I really do get stressed out when it comes to meal prep). Her puree add-ins are single-ingredient, which also seemed more up my "easy alley" than Lapine's combo purees.

So, on New Year's Eve day I bought the book, made a shopping list from the book while still at B & N, and headed out to buy some fresh vegetables, a rice steamer, and a mini food processor, both of which I got for under $80 total at Kohl's. I bought the Rocket, a cheaper version of the Magic Bullet. After we got the kids to bed that night, Kris hung out on the computer and I spent a few hours in the kitchen steaming cauliflower, roasting squash (never done THAT before), and pureeing my little heart out. It was fun! I learned that a rice steamer also steams veggies so that they are tender yet firm, maintain their color (and thus, the vitamins), and taste wonderful! But I digress. I made two purees: cauliflower and squash, in 1/2 cup servings.

The next morning, I tried Jessica's recipe for pancakes with sweet potato puree in the batter (I used a leftover jar of babyfood for this one). They weren't as fluffy as regular pancakes, but they tasted really good. The best part: all three kids ate them up without detecting the hidden sweet potatoes! Grant noticed that the texture and color were slightly different, but I told him it was because I added cinnamon to the batter, which I did. I also tried one of Jessica's tips--giving the boys their syrup in small medicine cups so they could pour it on themselves. They loved that.

Thus far, I have also made her Greek dip, with pureed chickpeas and artichokes, parmesan cheese, lowfat mayo, lemon juice, and a few other ingredients I forget right now, which I think is fabulous. That's just for me. And this morning, I made scrambled eggs with pureed cauliflower added in. Can you believe it? Again, the boys didn't notice it and they both ate it up. I confess, I still added cheese b/c Grant really likes cheese in his eggs, but I think the real diversion was the fact that I treated them to green eggs via food coloring. That's always a hit at our house. Finally, this afternoon I made Jessica's applesauce muffins with unsweetened applesauce, oatmeal, and pureed squash. They aren't as sweet as Grant would have liked, but he still ate his, and Ross and Hope devoured two apiece. I really love these because without as much sugar you can actually taste the cinnamon and applesauce. I might add in a little Splenda next time I make them.

So, just to recap: in the last 48 hours my kids have eaten cauliflower, squash, and sweet potatoes (none of which they would have touched had I served them outright) all because I
1. actually cooked and baked, and 2. invested a little time and thought into planning ahead. If any of the rest of you have tried either of these cookbooks, I'd love to hear your experiences.