Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I am about to step on some toes here, so I apologize. But here is a pet peeve of mine (and my husband's). Picky eaters. It is very difficult to feed a picky eater. Each of my kids has a friend or two who are picky eaters and it is very frustrating to keep them fed while they are in our home.
We have made LOTS of parenting mistakes, so I do not claim to be an expert. But we knew we did not want picky eaters. So, when our kids were little, we encouraged all sorts of taste testing. When they were 3 and 6 we took them to a Chinese buffet and I offered a dime for each food item they put on their plate and tasted. Chinese food became a favorite that day. When my daughter was 4 she started ordering spinach/artichoke dip as her meal at Applebee's, because we had encouraged her to try it once. My son was 6 when he started ordering seafood enchiladas because he had tasted Daddy's; and he has ordered grilled salmon for a few years now, because we encouraged him to try it once. Oh, and they fight over the artichoke hearts in our favorite Italian salad. I didn't know this was a big deal until some friends commented that our kids had "very mature taste buds". Really? We just never assumed they would dislike something.
Now I don't believe in making kids eat something they hate. But I also don't believe in telling them what they'll hate.
This is on my mind because one of the picky eaters is here tonight. She won't eat mac-n-cheese, she won't eat pb&j. SHE WON'T EAT DONUTS!!!! She won't eat spaghetti sauce, or pork chops, or even shaved ice. She won't eat the barbecue meatballs my daughter wanted for supper. She won't eat most of the things that kids love. I have been friends with her mother for years and love this family dearly. But I know that she vetoed LOTS of lunch ideas when the kids were little because "they won't like it." Another friend and I got sneaky one day and while she was ordering her taco at taco bell, after saying her 3 year old would eat at home, we handed him a soft taco and watched him go to town on it. When she came back to the table we just said, "He loves it."She was surprised but thrilled.
See, these picky eaters sometimes expect to be catered to at other people's homes like they are at their own. And that makes it really hard on the host family. It is one thing to have to be careful of somebody's food allergies. That is a matter of safety. But to have to be careful simply because kids haven't tried foods and, therefore, assume they don't like it. Well, that is just frustrating. I just want to scream "Well, what DO you like???"
So, we will either go out for dinner or I will serve our guest a plate of plain spaghetti and a slice of bread. Which seems very unappealing to me.

Friday, May 19, 2006


For several years now, summer has meant the end of school and the beginning of a new (temporary) routine for the kids and me. Dropping off and picking up at practices, friends' houses, the pool. Planning a vacation. Cleaning the kitchen 17 times a day. Now Summer is new again. It means a break for me as well.
Today was my last day of work until August 14ish. The college intern starts on Monday.
The 2 Sales Assistants (the only other women in the office) had a bouquet of baby carnations on my desk this morning with a very nice note. One of the brokers bought us Mexican for lunch, and I got to eat in the conference room with "the girls". My boss brought in donuts. A couple of the "grumpy" brokers said they'd miss me and that I really had lightened the work load around the office. Wow. After 8 weeks, I was still having days where I felt like I could not get anything right, and today I walk in and find out that they are actually going to miss me for the next 3 months!! I was blessed today.
Any minute now, the furniture guys are going to deliver our new living room tables that we bought with our tax return. This is one of the few years we have received a return. My husband the CPA has always worked it out so that we break even - no paying, no getting back - so that we can "receive the benefit of all of our money all year long." I am very excited. Also, next week is our anniversary - 19 years - and we usually buy something for the house. I have suggested one of those fire place thingees for our patio.
Tonight we are going to see The DaVinci Code with Pau's co-worker and his wife. I have no desire to see it but in the spirit of fellowship I agreed. Have any of you read the book? Are you planning to see the movie?

Friday, May 12, 2006


parenting tip: having trouble getting your teenager up for school? call his cell phone. works for us.

Now, it is castle time for our sixth grader. Every year the sixth graders do a medieval unit and they get to build a little castle with moat, murder hole, stable, etc. Blake had to do his alone and I remember helping him wrap little boxes and draw bricks on them.

Kayla gets to work with a partner. So, since Alexis's mom does daycare in her home, our house is the castle house. Yesterday they raided my pantry and fridge for different boxes and containers that would work for the castle. They each ate a cup of yugurt and then dumped 4 other cups in a tupperware container so they could use yougurt cups on the corners of the murder hole and around the wall. Then they emptied 2 boxes of oatmeal into ziploc bags and, after I jotted down the directions, they emptied 6 boxes of Jiffy corn bread mix into small zip lock bags and double bagged them, 3 each into a large ziplock bag, per my instructions. Then they proceeded to paint all the boxes and yogurt cups gray. All of this after I ran to Staples to buy a foam board ( on which the castle will stand, and around which the mote will flow) craft sticks for the draw bridge, tempura paint and a roll of brown craft paper.
So at 5:30 my counter top barely had room for the pizza I ordered because it was still full of the boxes that had not been deemed "castle-worthy". By the way, I am already eager for fall - mainly because the girls dragged out all of my tea and coffee boxes and it made me eager for cold nights in front of the fire place with a steaming cup of something.
But Kayla cleaned the counter, we ate some pizza and headed to the mall to buy shoes and earrings for her spring dance tonight. Thank you, Lord, for Payless. I've gone and blinked again and she is all grown up again for another dance.
Also, my son has twice this week come upstairs and said "mom I've turned out the lights and locked up so you don't have to go back down..." Paul's in London and Blake is really helpful when his dad's gone. Do I really miss the days of bedtime stories and hi-ho cherry-o? Yes.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Have ya'll bought cold medicine lately? Well, this cloudy damp weather we've been having lately brings on sinus headaches for me. My nose burns like I've inhaled pool water, I have pressure around my eyes and a nagging headache. Over- the- Counter sinus medicines don't usually take the symptoms away; but they take the edge off.

Just a couple of months ago, when you wanted sinus medicine, you had to pick the card off the shelf that coincided with the product you wanted, then take it to the pharmacist. He/she would then hand you the box and you'd pay for it with the rest of your groceries. Now, you have to stand at the pharmacy counter and show them your license, recite your name and address (which is entered into the computer) and sign something stating that you are purchasing a restricted substance. Then you have to pay for the restricted substance at the pharmacy - separate from the rest of your groceries. It is REALLY hard for me to be patient during this. I AM patient during this process, only because I know it is not the fault of the pharmacist that I have to go through all of this just to ALMOST get relief. I really could say something like "excuse me, but I happen to know that my finger prints are on file with the FBI and I believe if there was going to be a problem, I'd know by now. They have, after all, checked my prints THREE times. So you could just give me my box and let me be on my way to the check out." Of course, if the FBI ever does start that extensive criminal check on me, I wonder if I will be listed as a frequent purchaser of Aleve Sinus relief tablets, and what that will do to my reputation.

You know, if they did all that when you bought Brach's chocolate covered peanuts, a Twix bar, or Little Debbie Fudge Brownies, I might break an addiction of my own.