Sunday, February 22, 2009

more updates

1. First things first--Iyyar did in fact poop yesterday. Three times. (I know, you were all holding your breaths, right?) But this morning he didn't eat much breakfast or lunch, moped around, and then by lunchtime burst into tears saying he didn't feel good. Half an hour of rolling around on his bed with his blankie and Grover later, though, he seemed fine. He happily shared a bowl of cereal with Abba and is out with him and Barak now. Avtalyon is napping and I should probably be cleaning up, but I choose to sit here lumpenly instead. And blog, of course.

2. Avtalyon is shattering all known cuteness records. Today he picked up a toy phone and intoned "Iiiiiiiii," into it, very seriously, several times. His other fun activity of the day was picking up an empty, capless Avent bottle, dropping a yellow piece of Lego (the medium-sized kind) into it, and trying to get it out with his fist. The proportions of his hand to the bottle neck make this impossible, so it's kind of a frustrating exercise; after a while he gets mad and cries, I take the bottle off his fist and tip it upside down, and the piece of yellow Lego falls out. He then looks at me and grins, picks up the Lego, drops it back into the bottle, and puts his hand back in. Lather, rinse, repeat.

3. Last week my husband needed to put a program on his laptop, which is almost six years old and very full of stuff. So he took all the pictures on there--of which there were many--and moved them onto my computer. This meant that I rediscovered a bunch of knitting pictures I'd forgotten I had taken, some of them of knitting I've already given away and had forgotten I'd even done.

Naturally, the next thing to do was start adding those projects to Ravelry, which I did. One of them was a pi shawl--an Elizabeth Zimmerman creation that is my only piece of lace knitting to date. I made some mention of it being my "first and probably last lace shawl."

Can you see where this is heading?

After I added the project I took a look at some of the other pi shawls, saw one done in Trekking XXL, thought about getting a similar effect with my box of Koigu scraps, and, well... I'm on the 568-stitch section now.

4. I am running out of ideas for things to cook. I've taken Iyyar off dairy again, and since he's not feeling good he's being really picky. Barak is always picky but does have a reasonable range of things he'll eat; however, most of them contain dairy or things Iyyar won't touch (like raw vegetables). If you were to draw a Venn diagram representing the range of healthy food items that Barak and Iyyar like, there would be very little overlap.

My general philosophy on picky eaters is "This is dinner, take it or leave it." I don't force anyone to eat anything, nor do I offer alternatives. However, given how Iyyar's been losing weight I can't let him skip meals--meaning I really need to be offering him something he'll eat at every meal, and it wouldn't be very nice of me to only make things that Barak hates. This means that currently, we're down to about three recipes.

Complicating things massively is that Barak won't eat meat, except for bologna and hot dogs (yecch) so if I make, say, spaghetti and meatballs, Iyyar and Avtalyon are thrilled but Barak ends up eating plain spaghetti with spinach. And I truly don't think meat as it is produced in this country is good for anyone, so I don't want to be forcing Barak to eat it--especially since I was myself a vegetarian for 12 years and fully understand his "I can't possibly eat THAT!" reaction.

Any ideas for pareve, kid-friendly, quick and easy meals? Ideally, I'm looking for ideas that don't involve scrambled eggs, Hungarian noodles, Trader Joe's chickenless nuggets, corn, carrot pancakes, peanut butter sandwiches, or spaghetti, because I've got those covered already.

5. Barak is being really sweet lately. Not every second, obviously, but often. He's bigger now--closing in on five in a couple of months--and much more interesting to talk to. It's also getting more interesting to listen to him play. Last Friday both of our guests canceled on us at the last minute (as in, half an hour before licht, but that's another story) and my promise to Barak that he could come out of bed when our guests arrived, as long as Iyyar was asleep, hit a snag. Not only that, but Iyyar's four-hour nap that afternoon meant that he wasn't interested in falling asleep, and in fact stayed awake until past 9--pestering Barak the whole time.

At 9:15 pm, after Abba and I had finished eating our own dinner and he'd gone out to a shalom zachor, out came Barak. "Iyyar's asleep. Can I play with little Lego?"

What to do? I'd told him he could come out if he stayed in bed quietly till Iyyar fell asleep, and he'd kept his part of the bargain. I'd also told him he could play with little Lego, which he hardly ever gets to do, since it's a choking hazard for Avtalyon and Iyyar scatters it on the floor.

"Okay," I told him. "But just for a little while, and very, very, very quietly."


This is where I comment that Blogger autosave is not to be trusted. I had finished this post with an entertaining roundup of Barak's Lego session, wherein I got to witness the construction of an amphibious helicopter and listen to Barak's commentary on same. I also mentioned the ridiculous cuteness of his green bear pajamas, how Avtalyon likes to toddle around the house with one hand on his chest a la Napoleon, and how Iyyar has been spending a lot of time lately talking about his boot powers (apparently, his boots have superpowers. And to think I got them on clearance at LL Bean.) Alas, the end of the post is gone, so you'll have to content yourself with this, I suppose. And I'll have to go clean the kitchen, because it is incredibly unlikely to clean itself.


shanna said...

Dairy-free meals that my kids eat (which doesn't necessarily mean they are kid-friendly):

- Rice and beans. Rice can be plain brown rice, or "Spanish rice" with sauteed onions, celery, and green peppers, some cumin and garlic, and some tomato sauce in the cooking water. "Beans" usually means black beans cooked with sauteed onion, green pepper, jalapeno, chopped tomatoes, and the spices you'd expect. I usually offer guacamole in addition to sour cream/yogurt as a coolant topping, since Julian is not a fan of the yogurt.

- Sushi night: miso soup; soba noodles with a sauce of shoyu, mirin, and vegetable stock; and sushi makings - rice (TJs has a good seasoned rice vinegar), nori, avocado, cucumber, steamed carrot matchsticks, mango, and sometimes defrosted surimi sticks.

- Vegetable-barley soup. Around here it's heavy on the mushrooms, with carrots, parsnip, onion, and celery, and lentils and of course barley. All veggies except mushroom diced small, all sauteed, some garlic and thyme and a bay leaf and a generous sprinkle of tamari soy sauce. Combination of veggie stock and water for the liquid. I usually do all the sauteing at night and then put it up in the crock-pot int he morning. Add a loaf of beer bread and there's a meal for everyone. It actually works for Shabbat lunch, too (instead of cholent), if you are careful to have enough water.

- Make your own tacos/burritos, pareve or fleishig. (We don't do the latter, but I thought you might.)

I think I'm out of ideas. Those are probably strange enough as it is.

persephone said...

I don't know about the kids, but *I'm* drooling over Shanna's sushi night.

Um. Pareve things my kids will occasionally eat:

Falafel (from a mix, I'm not that ambitious)
Hummus & veggies/honey wheat pretzels for dipping
Morningstar black bean burgers (actually, we think Aleph is allergic to something in these, but he USED to eat them)
Salmon patties (I make them quarter size, and they usually get 2 or 3 in before they realize there's something odd under the cornflake crumbs)
Gefilte fish

I'm thinking of trying baked beans on them next...

Wendy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
miriamp said...

Okay, not scrambled eggs, not pancakes, not spaghetti or other pasta shape, not meat or dairy...

Fish? Light tuna, fish sticks made from actual fillets, salmon? Most of my kids will eat at least one of those.

Anyway, pretending for the moment that my kids actual tastes don't count, since they're the pickiest kids on earth, what I like that is parve (and I'm kind of a picky eater myself):

-lentil soup (okay, not so different from Shanna's veggie barley soup) start with sauteing onions and garlic in the bottom of the pot. Add whatever veggies you feel like -- celery, carrots, peppers, diced tomatoes (canned or fresh if you're ambitious) assorted spices, lots of water and 2 cups of red lentils. Cooks maybe an hour. Spinach optional -- add for last little bit.

-"refried" beans -- how I learned that beans are in fact food after all.
quick soak beans (hot water, bring to a boil, turn off and let sit an hour) any variety, dump water, add more hot water, cook at a simmer for another hour or two. When beans are tender, puree them in food processer or blender. Saute onions in frying pan, add beans and spices to taste, cook 5-10 minutes more. Use white lima beans and basil and whatever you'd put in fancy mashed potatoes, and that's exactly what it tastes like, only way more protein and fiber! Works with pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans (except I still don't like those)... etc. We tend to eat it in a taco shell with salsa, but whatever presentation you chose will work.

Tofu in any number of presentations.

One of my kids lives on hardboiled eggs and parve instant oatmeal. oh, and the occasional bowl of noodles with tofu/potato flakes (ie fake cheese) melted over it.

Anonymous said...

Ah phooey on the Blogger saving non-function! I'd've really liked to read all that. I assume LiveJournal has a similiar function, except I write it all in Arachnophilia (the legacy version) first b/c I like to do HTML tag checks myself, then cut & paste. And the world does not lose any of my award-worthy writings, on the off chance I get offered a book deal to write about the minutiae of my life.

Re. food, I was going to suggest lentil soup and fish sticks, but I see I've been scooped on those brilliant ideas by much better cooks. Rob likes uncooked or blanched broccoli/broccoflower/cauliflower, and surprisingly few other vegetables. Also he doesn't like things with mushy textures so that leaves out a lot. Umm, sorry, back to YOUR boys. My mom's feed-em-quick fallback was something like sloppy joes: basically fried ground meat (could do it with ground turkey too, I suppose) and then add a LOT of ketchup and continue to stir until it thickens. It turns a dark color and gets sweet. You can also saute onions with it. Rob likes this with white rice. (He likes anything with white rice.) No bits to choke on, either.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, hit "Post" before I was done.

The current meal for "out of ideas" at our house that may work for Barak while the others are eating things he hates could be hot pocket sandwiches, if you have one of those things that makes them. You can stuff in anything, plus cheese to bind, if you like. If you don't have the apparatus, open-faced grilled could do (slap them together if you like). Ketchup plus cheese (or meltable tofu-cheese) on top. Sliced hotdogs under cheese.

Otherwise, you might just have to ride out a bunch of boring repetitive meals until somebody's taste buds accept something new. My mom says she would eat nothing but red food for almost 2 years. I'm amazed Oma let her get away with it, but then she was seriously underweight most of her early childhood, so perhaps she felt as you did about the weight loss issue.

- Jasmin

persephone said...

I forgot one: french toast. I usually do put a dash of milk in that, but I'm not sure why, or if anyone would miss it.

miriamp said...

My French toast is dairy free. I usually do use soy milk, though.