Conversations with Baxter

Wonder Woman wants inB is home recovering from a random fever today, and we’ve had some fun talks in which I’ve gathered interesting information:

  1. He thinks it is crazy that The Princess In Black has not yet been made into a movie. He thinks that George Lucas should produce it, since he did a good job on Star Wars. He suggests we just “go down to there” to go see Mr. Lucas and ask him, since he’s just “across from us” in California.  It is shocking that I don’t already know Mr. Lucas, but we shan’t let that stop us.
  2. Classic videos of Wonder Woman > Dinosaur Train > Thomas the Train > Sesame Street
  3. He can carry very heavy pillows, and thereby help me make his bed.
  4. When I say “eat three carrots,” that means he will eat three bites of carrot.
  5. “It’s a good thing Wonder Woman can help!”
  6. “Whoa, you can take this off. Look, I took this off.”

A candid conversation about the anatomy of plants

Amelia and I were eating some of the previously mentioned strawberries for lunch. 

Suddenly she said, “Mom look: stamens!” 

 And we started talking about how the green flowery-looking stem of a strawberry is actually the cover of the bud of the strawberry flower, and that the flower was pollinated by bees probably, but other animals can also pollinate, and then she adroitly finished the discussion with:

“Well, I’m eating a swollen ovary right now — I know that!”

Thank you, Montessori education! 

Games with Thrones

Sometimes she shares.

Amelia has started building herself more and more elaborate, throne-like seats (the better to rule her kingdom from, my dear). 

When Baxter asked her to read him a book this morning, I walked back in the room to see her leading a one-person story hour.  To his credit, he lasted about 10 minutes.   


I love this slow, unstructured time we sometimes have on weekends. And now, I need to chase them into street clothes and get them out the door before all the strawberries at the farmers market are bought up! 

Back to sleep

Baxter wakes up and groggily stumbles out of his room, saying “Mom, the green light* is on! I’m going to go back to sleep.”

Me: “You’re going back to sleep?”

Baxter: “Yes, right here on dis chair.”  
He turned on the lights between curling up on the armchair, the way you do.

His “sleep” didn’t last long. 🙂 Have a great morning!
*The kids have stoplight alarm clocks in their rooms, in an effort to keep them in bed until a certain time. When the green light comes on in the morning, they are allowed to get up. 

Selling some old stuff

 We have a bunch of baby/toddler stuff that we’re selling on Craigslist this weekend, and the kids are entirely unhappy about it:

Amelia: “Mom, you need to ask Baxter’s permission before you sell his bed!” (He’s been sleeping on a new twin bed for over a week now, btw.)

Bax: “But Mom, we LOVE our stwoller!”

Amelia: “Mom, did you know that all these things have our memories inside them?”

I’ve promised them that we can keep pictures of everything so we can still remember them. Hoarders evidently breed hoarders. 🙂

My new cookbook, and reflections on Make Your Own Dinner night

I bought myself a little something.  IMG_5421
I have just about cooked Time for Dinner — of which Jenny Rosenstrach was one of three authors — into oblivion. It’s my most-recommended cookbook to anyone with kids. Things needed freshening up on the meal plan around here, so I picked up one of Jenny’s newer books. If you don’t already read her blog, Dinner A Love Story, I suggest you add it to your food blog rotation, pronto.

I’ve cooked two recipes this week from Dinner: The Playbook, and they’ve been very well-received! The Slow-Cooker Korean Short Ribs were a huge hit, and the whole house smelled amazesauce all day because of the crockpot. I made sesame broccoli to go alongside, and served it over the Goya-infused rice I made for beans-and-rice night the day before. Yumtastic! Amelia had thirds. It makes a lot of meat, so I froze the leftovers to use later in Lettuce Hand Rolls (also known as “make your own dinner”) next week. I do like a flexible prepared protein!

Then on Wednesday night I made the chorizo tacos. I used a really mild Longaniza for the chorizo, actually, since my kids are horrified by anything spicy ( and it was the only link style chorizo I could find at the grocery store).

This was a minefield of “I don’t like that” for the kids — avocado, raw cabbage, and yogurt sauces are all highly suspect among my littles — but I tried something new and it was brilliantly successful. I assembled a taco with all the ingredients (made them watch), took a bite, made appropriate yummy noises, and then offered them each a bite of my taco. They both liked the bite they took, and when I offered to make them a taco just like mine (with all the “icky” components!), they eagerly said yes. They both ate the whole taco I made for them, and then they started making their own combinations. Did those combinations include avocado, raw cabbage, and yogurt sauce? No. But they got to taste how all of the ingredients work together, and I think that’s a win. 🙂

 The concept of “make your own dinner” is one I adopted from Time for Dinner.  I put a bunch of bowls of ingredients on the table, and everyone can assemble their own perfect meal — is a huge hit with my family. It exposes the kids to lots of flavors but reduces the amount of New Food left on their plates. We do multiple versions of this now: lettuce hand rolls, as mentioned, tostadas (which we had last night), baked potato bar, sesame noodles… and I think I’ll add the chorizo tacos to our rotation with a few edits (I’m the only one in my house who likes corn tortillas, put a bowl of cheese out and maybe some refried beans). If you have a table full of picky eaters at your house, I highly recommend “make your own dinner” night in all its many guises. It does produce more dishes than simply plating the kids’ food in the kitchen, and that is a total drawback, but I think it’s worth it.