When I was a kid, it always bothered me that I never really knew what my heritage was. On my mother’s side there were rumors that we were part Native American, French and German. And I had no idea where my father’s family came from. (Though, from their last name, I suspected English heritage).
As I got older, I became even more curious. Especially when I moved to the Detroit area and found that there were so many clearly defined ethnicities. I had friends of Irish heritage who could participate in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, I had friends who were of Polish descent who would make a special trip to visit the Polish restaurants, and friends from Trinidad, Albania and even Canada who all kept the traditions of their ancestors alive. And I always felt left out because I didn’t know the parts that made me, me.
All in all, I have to say that I’m a pretty good mom. I take The Goose to cool places, I don’t hassle him about making messes, and I encourage him to be himself, no matter what. But one thing I no longer do, however, is try to make food fun. Here’s why.
The Goose has never been much of a breakfast eater. He cries over waffles, doesn’t like hash browns, and refuses to even try eating toast. It’s always been a struggle – so when I found foods that didn’t mind eating, I made them over and over. For The Goose, there were only two foods that I could consistently feed him for breakfast without him crying, throwing a tantrum or refusing to eat. One was oatmeal and the other was scrambled eggs topped with cheese.
A few days ago I was perusing Facebook when I came upon a friend’s status that really struck a chord. She wrote about being busy with kids activities, meetings, and work and all the stress that comes along with it. But she wasn’t complaining. Instead, she was grateful. Grateful to have a job that she enjoyed. Grateful that her children have the opportunity to do so many things. Happy to be the ‘good kind’ of busy.
As I read what she wrote, I started thinking about my life. How things have been so incredibly busy since the start of school because of The Goose’s swim classes, soccer practice and cub scout meetings, PTO meetings, festivals, baseball games, popcorn selling, Etsy orders to fill, food to cook, and a house to clean. In fact, for 13 straight days we had a commitment each and every day.
I love to cook, so when I’m home I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. And when The Goose is home with me, he likes to be right there with me. He loves helping out in the kitchen, whether it is making his own dinner (he makes a mean turkey and tomato sandwich), or choosing a recipe out of his favorite new cookbook (C is for Cooking). He always tries to be helpful… and sometimes he actually is.
If you’re new to cooking with kids, here are a few tips to make it a little easier on both of you…
During the summer, grilled chicken salad is one of our favorite go-to meals, especially on busy nights. Not only does grilling give us a chance to eat on our patio (which is one of The Goose’s favorite things to do), it also doesn’t heat up the house and it gives us a chance to pick fresh vegetables from our gardens. (We have a large family garden and The Goose has his own garden, too.) Take it from me – If you’ve never had a chance to eat a fresh picked cucumber, you are really missing out.
Because I’m such a picky eater, I’ve worked really hard to make sure that The Goose doesn’t follow in my footsteps. When he was a baby, and first began eating solid foods, I made all of his baby food at home. I began introducing him to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (like mango, kiwi, cauliflower, peas and avocado) – all foods that I would never, ever have tried eating as a child (or as an adult, for that matter). Thankfully, all of my efforts paid off. Nowadays, The Goose is a big veggie eater. He loves fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and even eats raw green beans right out of the garden! He is also a fan of broccoli, corn, and sugar snap peas.
I have a confession. I am not a morning person. I never have been, and I probably never will be. If I had my way, I’d stay up until midnight and sleep until 10:00 in the morning every day. But, with a family to take care of, chores to do, and a kid who is always up before 8:00, I’ve done my best to adapt.
Because I’m not a morning person, it takes a lot of effort for me to get up and get going every day. Since becoming a mom, I’ve learned that there are five ways to ruin my day before it even starts. They are…
When it comes to food, my husband will eat anything. If it’s on his plate, he’ll try it without hesitation. Even when dinner doesn’t go as planned, I know he’ll eat it without complaint. And he’s happy as can be eating a plate full of leftovers for dinner once a week. (Spaghetti, taco cups and potato salad? No problem!)
And then there’s me… the picky eater.
Today is The Goose’s last full day of Kindergarten. I spent a lot of time last night trying to decide whether I should take some time to sit and relax, or if I should get busy cleaning the house, as I doubt I’ll have much time for that after today. I decided to do a little bit of both… we’ll see how that goes.
Because I’ve essentially been childless during the day since September, having The Goose home all day, every day is going to take some getting used to. And re-learning how to get things done while keeping him entertained is going to be my biggest challenge. We don’t rely on the television or the computer to keep him occupied, and we strive to limit his media time (including iPad, television, computer and video game usage) to 45 minutes per day during the school year (25 minutes after homework is finished and another 20 minutes before bed). Even though he’ll likely have a bit more media time over the summer, I will still need to find fun and interesting activities to keep him busy during the day.
The Goose is not the most graceful child. He is constantly falling down, tripping over cracks in the sidewalk, and falling off various pieces of furniture. The knees are worn out of all his pants (luckily, I have perfected the pants monster knee patch), and he is has more bruises, bumps and scrapes than I can count on two hands.
There you have it. My kid is a major klutz.
Earlier this week, I received a call that I’ve been wanting for years. It was my Endocrinologist – and she was calling to tell me that my hypothyroidism was finally under control. I was ecstatic – after nearly 15 years of taking medicine, having blood tests, and feeling ill, I was finally getting the treatment I needed.
I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism (also known as underactive thyroid) nearly 15 years ago. When I received the diagnosis, I had never heard of the disease, and wasn’t quite sure what it meant. I was given a prescription for Synthroid, a synthetic thyroid hormone, and told to come back in a few months for a recheck.