Sunday, April 28, 2013

Food Issues

The fam and I went to Five Guys earlier this week and as Stinkerbell was ordering her burger, the cashier asked her what she would like on it. She replied "Ketchup, mustard, tomatoes, and a bit of lettuce, please."

"A bit of lettuce?" I jokingly asked her. "How much is that?"

And because we're a teasing family, Peanut Head piped in, "You know, they really don't have adjectives on the cash register keys."

We continued our banter as I asked Peanut Head to get my soda and to "please put a bit of ice in it,"  and "Stinkerbell, would you like a bit of ketchup for your fries?"

Quickly she grew tired of our joking and she spat "What?! I don't really see what the big deal is? So I said 'a bit' So what?"

"It's just funny, that's all." I answered.  "It's like when Zoe was in Kinderarten and she prefaced everything she said with  'Actually, . . '  It's just not the kind of thing that you normally hear kids say.

She rolled her eyes and continued eating her burger, fed up with the whacked out parents that she has to deal with every day. Poor girl.

Honestly, I feel her pain. I couldn't live with myself if I wasn't already me. Case in point, my dad is just like me and he annoys the crap out of me. Can't stand to be around him for more than a day. Love him. Can't live with him. Not even in the same state. He can't be around people without teasing them. That's how you know he likes you, he teases you.

When I was a kid he would come into my room in the mornings with all manner of noise makers to wake me up. After I shot out of bed he would screech "GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE!"

Hate, hated that.

What's worse is that he still does it when I visit him. Every seven years or so, that's how often I can deal with my creator.

Anyway, this post was not intended to be about my dad and my resultant baggage, so change of subject. Sort of.

I've been collecting a few pictures to write a post about food issues. Not anything really helpful to anyone, mind you. Just meaningless reflection on my part.

This particular picture is an example of how Zoe eats personal pizzas when we go out to eat. She's been doing it for years. She pulls off a slice, eats everything but the crust, and puts the remaining crust neatly back into place. I have loads of pictures like this.

She's my neat eater, and she's serious about her food. Like her Mama.

When I was a kid I loved tomatoes, and I would eat cherry tomatoes right out of my grandparents' garden until I was about to burst. I loved tomatoes and I think I was encouraged by my grandparents' horror at seeing me eat so many tomatoes. I clearly remember them exclaiming to my mother, "That can't be good for her! How can she eat so much? You should stop her." I would giggle to myself and eat even more, relishing the feeling of tiny tomatoes bursting in my mouth, enjoying the look of horror on my grandparents' faces. I'm sure my mom was very proud.

This picture reminds me of the contrast in the way my kids eat. As a baby Stinkerbell ate with gusto, but she has never been a neat eater. Never ever. She leaves a trail that screams "Annika was here!" In this picture you can't see the trail of french fries that she has scattered around her because I cropped them out, but they're there. Zoe Bug, on the other hand, ate her first birthday cake with a fork, ever so delicately and tidy. Sure, I put the bib on her in this picture, but she let me. She's always been a neat eater. I just wish it translated to her bedroom. Gads, she's a hoarder when it comes to material objects.

Changing the subject again, but still on the larger umbrella topic of food, I've been making smoothies for breakfast lately and I love, love them. 

The Stink likes them too, so I've been sending her off to the bus stop with a smoothie in a travel cup, tucked into a baggie so it doesn't get all over her backpack when she's done with it, content in the knowledge that she's getting a nutritious breakfast that doesn't involve french toast sticks and Fruit Loops--what she gets at school when she doesn't eat at home.

What the Stink doesn't know, and you mustn't tell her, is that I sneak a handful of spinach into the concoction when she's off to feed the chickens. I have to be quick and hide the evidence before she gets back inside, as well as add enough fruit to the mix to bring the color back to a more palatable shade before she catches a glimpse. Wicked witch green is not palatable. The first time I did it she raised her eyebrows and asked me "What did you put in here? It's funny."

"The same thing as always, honey, except no cherries this time. Like you asked." I reply, smiling sweetly, that alone enough to put her on her guard. She walks off, suspicious, but sipping cautiously.

So the smoothies are going well, and I've dang near killed my blender in the process. We've had this same blender for at least fifteen years now. It's an Oster 12-speed, 400 watt deal, and it really does a great job at making smoothies. The pulse switch has been acting moody lately and I know my days with it are numbered. I'm hoping it hangs in there a few more weeks because I'm not ready to buy another blender yet.

I've been researching smoothie blenders and I think I'm leaning towards the Ninja, although not the one with a meellion accessories. Apparently the Vitamix is the Rolls Royce of blenders, but it is so not in my budget.

So, all you smoothie makers out there, what kind of blender do you recommend? And, do you have a favorite smoothie recipe that you'd like to share?

I'm a newbie here, and I've just been tossing things in, trying to keep the color a reasonably pleasant hue. Like I'd never want to add the cat. That would probably produce an unpalatable color.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Double Digits

Stinkerbell turned 10 today and I'm a little bit freaking out because my babies are growing up. Sniff, sniff.

It sure doesn't seem like it's been ten years since the Stink came into this world screaming and madder than a hornet on fire. In fact, she looked extremely angry for the first four months of her life. She had angry eyebrows and every time she cried they turned bright red.

Thankfully that didn't last and she began to look like a normal, pleasant baby.

From the get go, Stinkerbell was serious about her food. Just like her Mama.

She would have her mouth and both fists full of food and still she would be spray shouting "More! More!" It was alarming and impressive all at the same time.

Stinkerbell has always been her own person and she could care less what everyone else thought of her, a trait I tend to admire. I think she'll survive the trials of peer pressure.

The flip side of that is that she is extremely stubborn. She gets that from both her parents.

I don't know how Zoe Bug lives with the lot of us.

I put this picture in Annie's ABC album when she was a toddler, and it sits on the page for "A" is for artist. Little did I know when I snapped this picture that she would blossom into quite the little artist. She is happiest when she is spending hours drawing pictures, making cartoons, and writing stories.

Which is why we got her this for her birthday. She is over the moon happy about it.

I miss the days when I could dress Stinkerbell in girly things and she paid it no attention. These days I can't even hand her a pink shirt without her retching violently.

Which is why I so love this picture of her in her pink and yellow girly room. It's only purpose anymore is to serve as a juxtaposition to the person who sleeps in it.

Kinda like this. My sweet little princess.

This may very well be the last picture I have of her wearing something so girly. If ever I am successful in wrestling her into a girly outfit, she ruins the effect by walking around in it like a truck driver, belching and passing gas impressively.

That is to say not dainty and hopefully wearing underwear.

As much as I miss dressing her in girly things, I love that she has her own tastes and she won't be bullied by the likes of me.

Maddening as it is.

I love that Annie wears her glasses and she likes wearing them. So, parent of the year story. Another one. There are so many.

Annika's teacher has been telling us since parent-teacher conferences in November that we need to get her eyes checked and we just recently made that happen. Apparently it had been three years since her last eye exam and her eyes had changed considerably. My bad.

In our defense, I intended to get them checked last spring, but then we had that whole absorbed twin thing with Zoe and there went all our medical flex money for the year. In fact, we just got those medical bills paid off, finally.

Anyway, long story short, we're driving home from picking up her new prescription lenses and she's in the back seat, all dramatic and laying it on thick, or maybe it was real, who knows, but it felt like she was rubbing it in how much I suck.

I have guilt issues.

Anyway, how many times can I say anyway in one blog post? Anyway, she's looking out the window and exclaiming "Wow! I can actually see the bricks on the building and not just the color!"

I suck.

Yeah, I suck, but I love that my kid knows how to put me in my place when it's needed and deserved.

Most recently, I love watching Annika learn how to care for and ride a horse. For such a little thing, she has no problem getting the horses to do what she wants them to do. Although I still get nervous watching her pick a horse's rear hooves. I worry that she'll get kicked, but she worries she'll get pooped on.

Story of my life.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Stinkerbell! Our family wouldn't be complete without you.