I Used To Love Dinnertime

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This is how dinnertime is at my house. A four-year old looks at the cheese quesadilla in front of her and says that she doesn’t like chicken, or brown things!  A two-year old cries continuously for crackers. When he is placed in front of his dinner, he screams louder, throws his spoon, his cup and then his bowl.

Everyone at the table ignores him. Then he starts screaming “All done!” and starts pulling at the tablecloth. So, he is released from his confines and free to play as he pleases. Thirty minutes later, as the dishes are being cleared away, he begins crying for a “COOKIE!” Two hours later, as he’s being put into his crib he will look up at you with big, beautiful brown eyes, and have the balls to say, “I want some dinner.”

Hello Fresh

Dinnertime is something I dread. I like cooking, but I don’t love the planning. I’ve never been good at meal planning. Half the time I don’t think about dinner until 5 PM, then realize I don’t have the ingredients and don’t have the time or the energy to go to the store, and so it’s frozen pizza again.

A couple of weeks ago Groupon was offering a deal from HelloFresh– 4 meals for 2  for $45 (Groupon value of $89.) I rarely buy Groupons but I was VERY excited about this deal. There would be no dinnertime dread for almost a week.

My Groupon was only good for the Classic box, but a Family Box and a Veggie Box are also available. Once you choose the box you want, you can then choose how many meals you want a week, the serving size for each meal (2 or 4 people), and then the particular meals that you want (6 meals are offered and they change weekly.) Then they deliver everything you will need to make your meals right to your door.

I loved, loved, loved getting the box. I got butterflies when I saw this sitting on my doorstep.

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The box held 4 smaller boxes which contained the ingredients for each meal, instructions for preparation, and nutritional info. First off, the quality of the ingredients was exceptional (and this is where I was skeptical.) I mean they managed to send me fresh shrimp, a perfectly ripe avocado and a perfectly ripe mango. The instructions were straight forward, easy to follow, and no meal required a ton of preparation or long cook times. According to the directions, most meals averaged around 40 minutes for prep and cooking, and this was about how long it took for me.

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One other thing I had been skeptical about was the size of the meals, especially after seeing the size of the proteins. We eat big. But, it turns out that my eyes were bigger than my stomach and we both felt satisfied with every meal.

The meals were SO good. We loved all of them. Preparing the meals was actually enjoyable. I had everything I needed!  In the right amounts! Delivered right to me!  And now I have the instructions on how to make the meals so I can do it myself anytime. Woot!

If the subscriptions were a little bit less expensive, or if I still worked outside of the home, I would definitely consider using HelloFresh regularly. For us, it doesn’t fit into our budget right now, but I don’t think the quality of the meals or the convenience can be beat. Plus the fact that I am preparing the meals myself, so I still know what we are eating, and don’t have to guess when it was made or what exactly it contains.

Plus, if these people are using it, you know it’s legit.

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Sidenote: No, my kids would not eat any of the meals, but there is a Family Box available which is supposed to be more kid friendly. So, yes, I was preparing another meal for kids on top of our HelloFresh meal, but that would be happening anyway.

Sidenote 2: I really thought I pulled one over on Jamie Oliver by keeping the recipes and making them myself, but it turns out you can download all of the recipes from the website, for free, without even buying a subscription!

Reese: 20 months, 9 days

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I haven’t provided an update on the subject of this blog for a long time. Actually, I’ve been posting for about a year and it looks like I’ve only provided two updates. Ever. Maybe I should stop talking about myself so much. God.

Reese is progressing as predicted. Tipping the scales at 29 lbs (90th percentile), no one would believe that we struggle to get her to eat most foods. Maybe a girl can live on pean alone.

She is like her mom in the way that she lives for consuming large amounts of carbs; loves include grilled cheese (wooo), waffles, oatmeal, baked beans, and “appasaw!!!!” (applesauce) which she demands fiercely and randomly, even while playing in her pool or sitting on the potty.  She’s not like her parents, or like anyone we want to know, in the way that she refuses almost all meat (except for these awesome turkey meatballs that I can sometimes trick her into eating.)

Reese is a shorty (75 cm and in the 16th percentile) and still has a huge, lovely head (95th percentile for head circumference), only these days it is full of bumps and bruises from her crib, the coffee table, the china cabinet, the steps, the floor, mom’s head, etc.

Words are her strong point and she uses sentences often. The other night in her bath she was talking to her bath toys and said, “Sit next to me, frog.” Andrew and I just about died.

She is a good sleeper except for the fact that daytime naps are not consistent. Many days she doesn’t nap at all. So maybe that makes her a bad sleeper? Not sure.

We recently took away her “baba” (pacifier) because she kept biting through it and small pieces were coming off in her crib, which was freaking me out. This event coincided with the end of daytime naps. She sleeps well at night without the baba, finally, but it was rough in the beginning. I was a thumb sucker myself and I vividly remember the comfort it offered, so it was a little sad to watch her go through the transition.

Each day we get another glimpse of the person Reese is becoming and we have begun to see a bit of her parents laid back nature, some of her mom’s  timidness, her dad’s smarts and dance moves, the sweet nature of her grandparents and a toughness for which I am thankful.

What I hope for most is that she grows up to be kind. This is what I tell people. Secretly though, I also really hope that she is hilarious. I think she will be.

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New Year’s Resolution Follow Up. I Still Love Food Too Much.

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022_phixr 018_phixrFollow up to my new year’s resolution post.

Exercising is going pretty good. Now that it’s getting warmer and staying light out longer, it’s easier to get walks/runs in after work.

Eating well is going as expected. There are cheat days and then there are Mondays.

Something I have discovered that has made this quest a little easier is the Skimble workout trainer app. It’s full of workouts you can do anywhere and allows you to search for workouts based on intensity level, length, target area, etc. I am a fan of searching for 5 or 10 minute workouts I can do while watching Tv. It’s free (woot) and has made it easy for me to squeeze in quick workouts while Reese is napping or for the ten minutes that an Elmo DVD can hold her attention. It makes me feel like I am doing something, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Food and self-control have never been strong points for me. I’d rather burn off what I eat than not eat. Reese too is turning into quite a food lover; a foodie if you will (can I really call myself a foodie? Does the term “foodie” encompass those who are Auntie Anne’s pretzel club members?) Either way, last night at the park she showed us where her loyalties lie when she chased down a family who announced that they were going home for pizza. As they turned and walked out of the park, Reese began chasing after them yelling “Peezee!” She was ready to trade families for some Papa Gino’s and she wasn’t looking back. Personally, I would have held out for some Regina pizza but she’ll learn.

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This month, Reese’s favorite thing is peanut butter. She wants it on everything. Anything we have ever given to her with peanut butter on it, she now refuses to eat plain. I get where she’s coming from.

Being 16 months old and all, she can’t say “peanut butter” yet, so she has shortened it (she’s her mother’s daughter) to a simple, yet unbecoming, “pean.”

She asks for it 24/7, and always with a hint of frenzied panic in her voice, as if she’s anticipating NOT getting pean and is warning us of what will happen if she doesn’t.

All. Day. Long.

The word has become such a part of our everyday language that we forget it doesn’t carry the best connotations. These are what a lot of the conversations in our world sound like.

“No pean”

“Do you want some more pean?”

“We’re not having pean right now”

“Ok, we’ll get you your pean”

“No more pean today”

“Pean’s all gone”

“They don’t have pean here”

I know I’m a grown up now and words like “pean” probably shouldn’t make me laugh anymore, but they do, ok? Sometimes I wonder what other people think when we are out in the world and my daughter is furiously throwing her rice cakes on the floor, screaming for “peeeaaannnnn” as I dig through my diaper bag for the full-sized jar of Jif that now lives there.

Hopefully, they just think it’s funny. Because it is. It’s hilarious.

To 2013

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I am not one for resolutions. The last one I made, much to the delight of my husband, was  to try to do less clothes shopping. But then I got prego and needed a whole new maternity wardrobe so that didn’t last long.

This year I have decided that a resolution is necessary immediately, in order to combat my extreme laziness and insatiable appetite for entire frozen pizzas and Bud Light. 

Since I stopped breastfeeding about a month and a half ago, my pants are getting a little tighter and the sad truth that I can no longer eat what I want and nurse/pump off the calories is setting in. It was fun while it lasted.

Pre-Reese, I worked out often and tried to eat semi-healthy. Now, going to the gym is no longer an option unless I want to wake up at 4:30 am (hells no.)

Thus, I have resolved to try to eat a little healthier, try to cook more (heating up frozen stuff doesn’t count) and do some sort of exercise where I can. Notice my use of the words/phrases “try”, “some sort” and “where I can.” Clearly, I am weary of setting myself up for failure.

So here we go.

Cheers to fewer cocktails, carbs and cookies, and more sweating, starving and stir-frying. Ugh.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday Funday

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Wednesday night I enjoyed a rare, baby-free night out with my girlfriends from college.

I headed to Davis Square right after I got out of work and since I was the first to arrive, I got to walk around ALL BY MYSELF for a little bit. I browsed the racks of “Found” an upscale consignment store in Davis Square, which had some great shoes and some hilarious staff members (one in particular who tried to convince me that I was cool enough to pull off a “formal romper”) and checked out some local boutiques while I waited for my friends to arrive.

About an hour later, everyone arrived and we met in Posto, an adorable Italian restaurant in Davis with delish pizza, where we were seated at a table in the back room (they must have known how loud we were.) We spent the rest of the night sharing fig and prosciutto pizzas and sipping Peronis while catching up on each others’ busy lives.

Reese didn’t want to miss out though, so while I was getting dinner with the girls, she was hitting up the Boston bar scene with her Daddy. For real.

A few weeks ago, I asked Andrew if he could watch Reese on Wednesday night while I went out with friends. He agreed, but then forgot and said he would go to a friend’s going away party at a bar in Boston. When we realized we had double booked, he asked me if he could take Reese. In true Mom fashion I asked him to use his best judgement about the place he wanted to take her (I know. I’m annoying)

His best judgement told him to take Reese to the bar.

So we all got our night out yet still managed to be in bed by 10 (and Reese by 8.) We don’t hang like we used to.

French People Are Hilarious

Yesterday I spent part of the day making Reese’s baby food for the week. While the sweet potatoes were steaming, I looked over the cook book that came with my baby food maker.

I have the Beaba Babycook and I love it and use it all the time (thanks Sus!) It’s  a French product and apparently French parents are the bomb, so this could explain some of the recipes in this book.

The recipe below falls under the “First Meals for Little Ones” category.

Really?

Seeing that my husband and I eat Trader Joe’s frozen pizza most nights for dinner I don’t think I’ll be whipping up Watercress Velouté for Reese anytime soon. Aside from the fact that the instructions include more than 2 steps, there is also a note at the bottom which tells the reader that only watercress that is grown in a certified watercress bed and watered with spring water should be used.

 Reese was a little mad at first when I told her she couldn’t have Watercress Velouté because our bed wasn’t certified……

But she got over it, and for now, she’s pretty happy with her pears and sweet potatoes.