Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Learn Something New: Car Seats and Coats

I am always surprised that someone allowed me to be a parent.  Sure, I do research and I have an elementary education background, but really, what do I know?

And while I am at it, where did I put that child-raising manual?  
I want a refund!

Anyway, it frightens me to think that although I have been a parent for 7 1/2 years, I can majorly mess up for the majority of those years...just because I was uneducated and inflexible to new ideas.

Let's talk car seats and coats.

All of our little cuties have sat in those super heavy car carriers or five-point harnessed car seats (keep them in as long as you can, people!).  And if you live anywhere that gets mildly chilly, I have a PSA for you...and read it LOUD AND CLEAR.


Before you roll your eyes or pat yourself on the back, humor me and pay attention for a second.  Those carseat straps may feel super tight against the coat-wearing little bodies, but when in an accident, the coat will compress and your little Picky can slide right out of the car seat.  NO joke.  Give yourself four minutes and watch this video:

(please note that this is NOT me, haha)

I found this to be deeply disturbing and shocking. Now, my Pickies all take their coats off and snuggle up with them in their laps while driving. Much more comfy, much more safe.

Please, please, please pass this on!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dinner Plans 2/27-3/2

I had to take all three Pickies to Whole Foods yesterday...on a Sunday afternoon.  I think I deserve a medal or at least some delicious chocolate cake.  They can be super helpful, picking out the exact tortillas we need or loading up the cart with various colored bananas, but having three Pickies wander an already-crowded grocery store is...well, an adventure.  Thankfully we don't have to do that often.

This week is a crazy one, so I only planned the dinners and figured we will be in survival-mode for the rest.

Breakfast for Dinner:  pancakes, yogurt, fruit and maybe some scrambled tofu

Chickpea cutlets shaped like veggie tenders, roasted potatoes, green beans

Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

Chickpea picatta, mashed potatoes, salad

Homemade pizza, salad, green beans

I let the Pickies each choose a dish this week and I am often surprised when the seven year old picks "chickpea picatta"...really?  What kid does that?  She likes capers, which I find extremely delicious as well.  Weirdo child.  ;)

What are you eating this week?

Friday, February 24, 2012

I May Be a Bag Lady

Honestly, why on earth do I carry a big purse?  

All I do is fill it up with junk, necessities and "No, thanks, I don't need a bag" purchases!  Really, this borderlines ridiculous (with the border being completely ridiculous), and boys listen up:  
This is why you never look in a woman's person.  God only knows what you will find.

The Bag.  

Oh, so cute.  I bought this across-the-chest bag at Whole Foods a year or so ago for $15 for a trip to Atlanta.  

It's a perfect bag for toting stuff around and I'm pretty sure at this rate, a small child could fit in it.  

The Contents.
Oh, let me list the full contents for you.

1.  A Super-why coloring book
2.  Various broken crayons, pencils, pens and markers
3.  Thomas the Train CD
4.  Two Jane Iredale concealers--two different shades
5.  Aveda hair product
6.  Brand-new mascara
7.  An empty Kombucha tea bottle (that's right-a heavy GLASS bottle)
8.  1/2 eaten Pure bar
9.  Empty iPhone case
10.  Various papers, including a funeral program
11.  This knitting pattern
12.  Wallet (well isn't THAT handy?!)
13.  Empty compact

Now seriously, why do I have so much stuff in my purse?  
I think I may have found a pug in there.  ;)  
What's in your purse or backpack?  'Fess up!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kids are Funnier Than Most Sitcoms

These past few weeks have been packed with kid stuff:  Valentines Day, the middle Picky's 6th Birthday, a 125-person breakfast for art kids and their families, paper-mache in the kindergarten classroom.  LOTS.OF.KIDS.

But man, these little guys are funny.  

As we were prepping for a long weekend costumed as a "Mid-Winter Break", Picky #1 started to talk and ask about our plans for President's Day.  She wanted to bake a cake and Picky #2 said:

"Am I going to get presents, too, for Present's Day?"

Awww...sweet little guy.  I had to tell him that no, he wasn't going to get any presents and didn't he just have a birthday?  

When I was in Kindergarten class, I helped a sweet little boy wash his hands of all the paper-mache gobbly-goo that was on his hands.  This was our serious conversation:

"I don't like hot water in my bath."
"Really?  Why not?"
"It hurts my skin.  Especially my privates."

Ohmygosh, I just wanted to burst out laughing because he was so completely serious, so the only response I could fathom was this one:

"I totally can understand that.  You're right, little man."
But inside, I totally lost it.

Winnie, Dog #3 (and also a very playful puppy) finds Picky #3 to be a suitable play-friend.  She will chase, nip and knock him over just like she does with the other dogs and most days, he plays right back.  A little while ago, I heard a nervous wail from the other room:

"What's wrong?!?"
"Weeenie!  WEENIE.  BIT.  MY.  BUTSY!!!"

What a bummer.  he quickly got over it, but Hubby and I have been laughing about it for a while now.

The Perpetrator
When these vacation breaks get stressful, listen to the kids.  
They can provide you with lots of comic relief.  
What are some of your funnies?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meal Planning Monday 2/20-2/24

Wow, these past few weeks have been crazy and I'm looking forward to a little bit of chill time; the kids are out of school for a so-called "Mid-Winter Break"...when in all reality it is just a long weekend. That's OK, I'll take a few days with no huge plans and rushing around trying to get three Pickies out the door by 8:30am.  :)  I'm really excited to try some of these new recipes this week.  :)

Smoothies and cereal
Crockpot Cherry BBQ tofu, quinoa, salad, green beans

Chickpea cutlets with mustard sauce, mashed potatoes, salad

(did you know that cooked butternut squash can be swapped with pumpkin?)
Bean burritos, veggie sticks and apples
Crockpot African Peanut stew, roasted potatoes, biscuits

Smoothies and muffins
Grilled cheese sandwiches, carrots

Smoothies and cereal
Tostada pizza, green beans

Friday, February 10, 2012

Traditional Values

Like most Americans, I love Ellen.  She is funny, inspirational and kind to others.

Oh, and if everyone cares, she is gay.

As the new JC Penney spokesperson, there is a whole bunch of people who decide they aren't shopping at JC Penney because Ellen is gay.  If you haven't seen this, take five minutes and wait to be inspired:

"I want to be clear and here are the values that I stand for. I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, and helping those in need. To me those are traditional values. That's what I stand for."

I think Ellen should run for President...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


A busy mom of three needs her coffee, 
especially when they are in full Picky form.

I didn't start drinking coffee until the 2nd picky was born;  I guess that having two children 18 months apart forces you to the dark side.  Hubby always drank his morning brew and I would have a diet coke or Mountain Dew; not exactly the poster board for morning nutrition.

I have come to love and appreciate my coffee; I don't want it to light or too dark.  I would rather pay more money to ensure that it is Fair Trade and I adore my vanilla coconut milk creamer.  I understand that there is quite the culture when it comes to coffee drinkers and although I am not too picky, there is something I do not understand:

Why do people love their Keurig Coffeemakers?

To me, it tastes like coffee flavored water, nothing more than a replacement for Folgers except with a really expensive coffee maker and cups that pollute our landfills.  Obviously, many people disagree with me because the Keurig Coffee maker is one of the best-sellers and really, you can now get K-Cups anywhere.  But man, does the coffee ever not taste like flavored water?

We have a Keurig and it is reserved for when my mom comes and needs decaf (it used to be in hubby's office but now he works from home), so it is sitting on my counter, occupying even more space and tempting the Mister to make an afternoon cup.  Well, then I got lazy and forgot to buy a bag of whole bean coffee (and by "forgot" I, of, course mean "wasn't told we were out of coffee") and we have been drinking this coffee-tinged water for a couple days.

I woke up at 5:30am this morning with the smallest picky whispering to me, "Mom.  Guess what?  I go to school today." and I looked forward to the new coffee I bought yesterday.  I come downstairs, my good-looking barista handed me my coffee in my favorite mug and tasted like sweaty water.  Yes, my friends, the damn Keurig struck again.  I poured it down the drain and happily made a fresh pot of coffee.  Peace.

So, Keurig Coffee drinkers, prove me wrong.  
Explain to me how those magic K-Cups are filled with morning magic and motivation.  
I just don't get it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meal Plan Monday 2/6-2/10

Meal planning hasn't been going so well at our house ever since I got sick, so I took this weekend as an opportunity to start fresh.  I'm tired of spending money eating out when I could be cooking; don't get me wrong, I love eating out with a purpose.  But it seems that those "I'm too tired to cook" days are far too often right now.  

Rangoli buffet to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday
Tomato-rice soup with roasted garlic and navy beans, kale salad

Smoothies and cereal
Sandwiches and fruit
Leek and bean cassoulet with biscuits, green salad

Smoothies and chocolate oat bars
Enchilada casserole with spinach and corn, tortilla chips
Cauliflower and kidney bean stew with coconut milk, green beans, cornbread

Smoothies and cereal
Leftovers and fruit
Whatever we can scrounge up because it is a crazy busy night for us!

Smoothies and banana millet muffins
Pizza lunch for the middle Picky's 6th Birthday
Homemade miso udon soup (his pick), rice edamame salad

Birthday School Treat--Chewy chocolate raspberry cookies
Pretzel bites

Yes, the six year old picked out miso soup for his special birthday dinner.  Silly kid.  :)  Looking forward to trying out a bunch of these new recipes!