Tag Archives: Family

Retrospect Respect

A few weeks ago at my youngest brother’s soccer game, my father suddenly put me on the spot and asked if I appreciated him and my mother. Another soccer mom, whom I assume was having issues with what I call a ‘tude from one of her teenaged children leaned in to ask WHEN I realized I appreciated them.

Because my father was listening intently, I chose to be a smart alek with my response: “Of course! But I’d never tell them that while I was living at home… it would give them big heads and you know, we can’t have that!” Laughter from parents, everyone moved on in the conversation and I was left to contemplate how I really felt on the matter.

To be completely honest, I really started to appreciate and cultivate a deep respect for the sacrifices my parents made when I was in high school. Circumstances with Mom’s health and the later adoption of the aforementioned soccer-playing brother coupled with the fact that I was desiring the days when I could be a mother really opened my eyes to all they did. This, of course, does not mean that my relationship with my parents was Duggar perfect. Nope. While I appreciated my parents, we still butted heads because we were humans with different opinions.

But the point is that during this time, I saw what parents do for their small children not only by watching my parents care for that sweet little baby, but through my own involvement with him. My mother’s health was at a high point during the time of the adoption, but in the years shortly after things really suffered. I spent a lot of time and energy caring for my brother like a parent would because of the situation I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to since my next youngest brother is only 2 and a half years apart from me.

All the time I spent with him, going through the functions of a parent, I bonded with the little guy. I knew what it was like to love a child so much it hurt long before we even thought about starting our own family. I knew what it was like to try to communicate with a child who didn’t understand. I knew exactly how challenging two and three year olds (and let’s face it, 4 year olds, 5 year olds… all the ages!) are. I understood the depth of emotions and how we do anything to help our children.

As I’ve grown as an individual and as a parent, my appreciation for my parents have definitely deepened. I know now what a sacrifice it is to push through a chronic illness. I understand how difficult it to parent children when your husband’s schedule isn’t a normal 9-5. I get why she often snapped at me when I asked questions when she was tired or in pain. I understand my father’s stress over providing for the family on an average income. But I understand this only as I have experienced… not exactly how my parents felt in their own situations.

There are facets of parenting that I knew would be hard going into them and there still things I have yet to discover. If I could answer my dad’s question all over again I’d say something different. I’d say that I appreciated them as a teenager, but I didn’t get it. I’d say that I thought I understood their sacrifices and appreciated their willingness to do so, but until I stood in their shoes I couldn’t really comprehend it. And then, I’d look at that mother and tell her that appreciation doesn’t look the same for every child; and not every child will feel the need to verbalize their feelings or even act like they are appreciative, but it’s there. 

The fab five – stages so far

The Fab Five Stages So Far

Welcome to the May 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Ages and Stages

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about their children’s most rewarding and most challenging developmental periods. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Natural Parents Network: The Fab Five Stages So Far
I have often heard older, wiser mothers tell me that “each stage will be a new favorite” and while I have loved each moment a little more than the last, there are stages that stand out to me as the ones I never want to forget. Liam will be 5 this summer and Sylvi just turned 3, so I don’t have a huge span to draw from, but these are the stages that when my children are all grown up and having their own, I hope to be able to impart my delight for these moments that may seem so small and fleeting, but are just so precious. I cannot say there is one stage that rises above the rest, but I can narrow the choices down to five favorites.

The hidden weeks

Oh my. For me, these weeks were 13-18/20 of my pregnancies. I could feel the baby fluttering and moving, but no one else could. For those weeks, the baby was allllllll mine. My belly wasn’t big enough that people felt the need to touch or comment, but there was enough that at night, I’d lie on the couch and rub it, delighting in the little “bubbles” of movement after. Once these weeks passed, we knew baby’s gender and name. After that point, the baby was property of the world (ok, I exaggerate, but really…people really seem to feel that way about babies!) and I had to start sharing. So to me, those precious moments when I was the only one in baby’s world, those were a favorite.

Continue reading at Natural Parents Network ››

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon May 13 with all the carnival links.)

  • When Three-Year-Olds Stand Up For Themselves — Parenting Expert Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. at her blog, Parental Intelligence, enjoys the stage when three-year-olds dramatically wow their parents with their strong sense of self.
  • This too shall pass — In the beginning, everything seems so overwhelming. Amanda at My Life in a Nutshell looks at the stages of the first 1.5 years of her daughter’s life and explains how nothing is ever static and everything changes – the good and the bad.
  • Age 5 – Is It Really A Golden Period? — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at the developmental norms for the five-year-old set and muses over if this age really is the ‘golden period.’
  • How much do you explain to your preschooler when crime touches close to home? — When tragedy strikes someone your preschooler knows, Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings wonders how parents can best help young children cope.
  • Thoughts on ToddlerwearingThat Mama Gretchen‘s babywearing days are over, we’re living it up in the toddlerwearing days now!
  • Parenting Challenges—Almost a man — Survivor at Surviving Mexico talks about leaving childhood behind as her son turns 12.
  • How Child Development Works – Competence Builds Competences — Debbie at Equipped Family shares how each stage of childhood builds on the next. Focus on doing the current stage reasonably well and success will breed success!
  • Making Space — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is adjusting her thinking and making room for her babies to stay near her.
  • The Best Parenting Resources for Parents of Toddlers — Toddlers can be so challenging. Not only are they learning how to exert their independence, but they simply do not have the developmental ability to be calm and logical when they are frustrated. It’s the nature of the beast. I mean … the toddler. Here are Dionna at Code Name: Mama‘s favorite books and articles about parenting a toddler.
  • The Fab Five Stages so Far — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen couldn’t choose just one stage for this carnival and is sharing her top five favorite stages in the young lives of her son and daughter at Natural Parents Network.
  • The best parts of ages 0-6 — Lauren at Hobo Mama gives a breakdown of what to expect and what to cherish in each year.
  • Lessons from Parenting a Three-Year-Old — Ana and Niko at Panda & Ananaso are quickly approaching the end of an era — toddlerhood. She shares some of her thoughts on the last two years and some tips on parenting through a time rife with change.
  • Feeling Needed — Jorje of Momma Jorje ponders which developmental stage is her favorite and why. She bares it for us, seemingly without fear of judgment. You might be surprised by her answer!

Survival!

This is truly a “thank-God-it’s-Friday” sort of post. Except that after this post, I take a deep breath and then dive back in for a few more days. It is what it is, but I tell you that I am not an on-the-go sort of person and when I have a loaded calendar, I stress out. Is it awful that when my little woke up with stuffy noses, coughs and low grade temps this morning I breathed a sigh of relief because no one would want to be around us while I pumped vitamins and fruit? Probably, but I’m honest.

So here’s a quick catch up on the last week:

~ Soccer started! Soooooo exciting! And exhausting. Not so much for me, but for a certain 4 year old who is so wound up by the time drills are over he’s had a terrible time calming down for the actual scrimmages. Two practices this week and both days have ended in a tearful little boy who just can’t quite process all that emotion. I’m hopeful now that he’s back in the swing of things next week will go more smoothly.

~ Liam swam all by himself yesterday! I sat on my bench and cried. I’m SO proud of him! He’s doing great with the floatie, but this was the first time for him to swim from the wall to Miss Brooke and then back to the wall. Proud Mama!

~ I was in Columbus all day Wednesday for the Moms Clean Air Force Mama Summit. Excellent day, scary traffic. Whoo. I need to live in tiny towns for the rest of my life. However, as my BFF pointed out, I did it. I did what terrifies me by driving through a big city during rush hour AND meeting with our elected officials all by myself! Check me out setting examples for my children! ;)

~ I’m working on the final newsletter for my MOPS group for this year. I love MOPS and the community it has created for me, but I’m ready for summer break. I have used the last two summers to read the books that go along with the theme and prepare myself for the written devotionals and newsletters. The theme for 2014-2015? Be you Bravely. I love it. And I think I’m going to treat myself to this tee as a prize for getting my Steering Team responsibilities done for yet another year!

~ I went to Old Navy last night after the kids were in bed. This mama had no shorts. No capris. Nothing for summer. Turns out, the more you run, the smaller you behind gets and it’s just not cool to your britches falling off as your daughter tugs on them to gain your attention.

~ I downloaded the Wudnerlist app to my iPad. There are big, pink, puffy, sparkly hearts in my eyes for this app. And the “swoosh” sound effect when I complete a task. Sigh.

~ It’s raining today and I couldn’t be happier. I ran out right before it started and cut huge bunches of lilacs for my house. Lilac is the sweetest spring smell ever.

~ I need to sew more dresses for Sylvi. I have been informed that pants are “ugly”. Good heavens.

~ Now, it’s a return to my chores and to-do list. Quiet time is over and Liam is anxious to stomp in the puddles. Sylvi is sleeping in her room, snoring away her congestion.

Come back tomorrow for an excellent gluten free apple cake just in time for Mother’s Day!

Mighty Mommy Monday – Do it for the Kids

It’s Mighty Mommy Monday! Abbie of Farmer’s Daughter and I have decided to challenge you on a weekly basis.  Claim the Mighty Mommy title for yourself — every day, not just Mondays. Every week, we’ll host a link up for you to tell us what you’re doing to take care of your health: workouts, menu plans, how to keep your family active, etc. I’ve set a few goals for 2014, but my biggest is to swim a total of 30 freestyle miles this year AND run a half marathon in October! Join us!

 

I’m having a skinny day. You know what I mean? The kind of day where your yoga pants are actually flattering and you have energy and the soreness that has been plaguing you after every run is so minimal you forget that you pounded out 2 miles this morning only needing to stop to walk a few times. That kind of day. It’s the kind of day when I feel like I will never “cheat” on the diet or the exercise plan because I feel so. awesome.

Now, rewind to a few weeks ago when I could barely make it through half a mile and then wasn’t able to walk for two days after. I hated exercise. I was mad about my weight and the apparent inability to lose. I stood in my kitchen whining about how there is absolutely nothing to eat in a gluten free diet. On that day I was *this close* to throwing in the towel and taking the max dose of one of those pills they advertise all the time on tv for making people lose weight.

I don’t like days like that. But the reality is that no matter how great I do on my race times or my weight, I will feel down and defeated. It’s life. What I choose to do with, how I choose to modify my plan or my attitude, that is what determines how my day continues to go. Along the way, there will be struggles and binge eating and crappy nights.

But I’m trying to make this point today that no matter what my attitude is, I still have an audience. No, not you. Not really because you only see what I choose to share. My audience watches the Disney channel and runs up and down the stairs asking for snacks while I debate how many minutes I really want to run for. They see me wigging out in the kitchen because I want to eat something I can’t have. They watch me make decisions and watch my attitude as it ebbs and flows with enthusiasm. So yes, those bad days happen and my yoga pants are not often all that flattering, but there are still eyes watching how I chose to handle it. I read once that the words we speak are the ones that become our children’s inner voice; I want the voice that my children have inside them to be one that acknowledges the struggles and the pain but has a plan the ends with them being their best self no matter how hard it is to get there.

How to be in nature without feeling like you’ve gone wild

I have been loading my babies up and heading into the woods, creek bed or hiking trail for the last 4 years. It was awkward at first what with nursing and diapers and colic, but we did it. In the last few weeks of Sylvi’s pregnancy I took Liam to the nature center and we wandered around happy (him) and huge (me). A month or so later, I loaded my newborn safely into her carrier, strapped her to my chest and we headed back for another hike. Of course, that time I was so awkward and anxious about disaster and it arrived: Liam slipped right into the mucky duck pond and had to be hauled out of the cold, slimy water sobbing. Not our best trip.

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Since then, I’ve started to make sure that instead of just dropping everything and heading to the woods on a whim, I’ve got myself prepared. Ha! Now, we can go out on a hike and I don’t worry about all the things that can (and in our case, frequently do) go wrong. In my kitchen closet lives my old high school back pack loaded with our adventure kit. My back pack was purchased in 1996 and has been to college, grad school, India, Canada, Ecology field work, hospital internships, my first day at the lab, and spent an entire summer on the back of Matt’s bike while he cycled to the office. In my mind, there is no replacement for quality product.

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What’s in the bag? Some of the items might make you laugh, but I’m dead serious about it. Believe me when I tell you that fewer things derail a nice afternoon than wet socks and empty bellies.

  • Backpack
  • Field guide to North American Birds – my kids always want to know what they see and I think it’s about time for me to add a guide to plants and rocks.
  • First aid kit – oh yes. Sylvi managed to bite it today while walking down a brick path at Kingwood Center and cut her knee up even though her pants remained intact. Skillz people, skillZZZZ.
  • Spare socks and underwear – I do not kid.
  • Kids’ journals and colored pencils
  • Weather pod
  • Snacks and water
  • Picnic blanket – I keep this one in the car regardless of where we are going, you never know!
  • Binoculars – My uncle gifted us with a really nice pair for Christmas a few years ago, but I’m not up for dealing with two preschoolers bickering over whose turn it is to hold them, so we have the cute ones from Melissa and Doug just in case.

So when we head out, the time is spent answering dozens of questions and jumping in any available mud puddle. Only once have I made the mistake of not bringing my own boots and I will do ALL I can to not ever let that happen again. 

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Spontaneity is not something I’m gifted with, but boy oh boy I do so much better at it when I have a plan. I know it’s completely ironic, but with a plan for where we are going and snacks that are ready to eat. And band aids. With those things out of the way, I get to answer the questions, experience the feeling of soft moss on my fingers and listen to the creek bed while the new 3 year old is happily munching her snack instead of freaking out.

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We spend a lot of time outside playing and experiencing, but when we do our adventure hikes, I want to make sure we are getting every little bit out of it that the kids want. So if that means I have to haul guidebooks because there’s no wi-fi for miles, then so be it. I mean, gosh, isn’t that what *our* childhood was like? The internet is no replacement for the actual feeling of moss on your finger tips. So we go places that are muddy and mossy and wild. And even though it’s planned and organized and less wild, we get every little bit out of the moment we can.

Mathlete material

With all our free time this week, I wanted to tackle some educational themes so I could get a feel for next fall since we’ve decided to homeschool. I know, gasps!! It’s not like we hadn’t talked about it for years… I believe the first time I brought it up was shortly after I had convinced Matt to go for a homebirth and he was still processing the fact that there would be no hospital staff attending to our needs while our child was still new, so nothing really came of it. We entered Liam in preschool for the year and while we have all loved the experience and he’s grown so much, I just didn’t have peace about sending him on to kinder. Nothing about the school or the teachers or any of those factors, I just realized that we’d be missing out on more of his life and we’d never get that time back. We spent quite a bit of prayer and thought on this and decided homeschool is the best option for our family… right now. And I have to interject that once the decision was made and parental high fives given, I started to sleep through the night again. Ever since, I’ve been so excited about homeschooling I can barely contain myself. :) Bonus: Liam keeps asking when we will only do school at home.

Reading, writing, science and history are easy-peasy lemon squeezy for me. I love these topics and it is so simple for me to slip it in every other moment of our day. But math? Oh man. Liam isn’t as excited about numbers as he is letters so we have to work a little harder on that topic.

Counting is simple enough to work into our daily routine, but we are also working to learn how to add on. Blocks and legos are an excellent way to start up the hands-on learning, but I’m also looking into unifx cubes. My mother had a set when I was growing up and we all loved them.

We started out the week with numbers written out squares of paper and Liam had to place the right number of blocks under it. Initially, Sylvi wanted to join in, but holy wow. Competition was the name of the game in the worst way. We worked through 1-10 and then grouped the blocks together by type within the number.

Up next, we tried this blog post that was filled with ideas for using Legos in learning math. Favorite part? Measuring the creations.

Tomorrow, we plan to use this blog post because I, of course, have addition flash cards. Since I don’t have the unifix cubes, we’ll just use legos.

One of the things we do love to do together is graphing and looking for patterns. Blocks, Legos, matchbox cars… you name it and you’ve got options. AND it’s fun!

For the fall, I’m still up in the air on the math workbooks to use. I really am. For one, I grew up using Saxton math. I love the review aspect of the books afforded in each lesson, but I hate how long that makes the lesson. My mother was never one to deviate from the “plan” so that means if I spent over two hours on math completing alllllllll the problems, then so be it. A friend suggested the Life of Fred books, so those are on my radar now. The only thing I’m really sure of are the Kumon books I’ve used so far and love. And that over the years, I’ve learned to embrace the flexibility of life and make adaptations so that my kids and my family get the opportunity to really flourish because their individual needs are acknowledged and nurtured.

I really should be cleaning…

Ooooooohhhhh, spring is coming. Well, according to the calendar it’s already here. According to my bones, it’s just going to be cold and wet forEVAH. I have to finish up my spring cleaning and prepare for a 3rd birthday party, but I’d really rather be curled up watching a movie.

But the birds are back! YAY! Oh my goodness, I missed them all winter! I was hoping that they would continue to check out my well-stocked feeder, but only the deer and an occasional squirrel popped by. This morning, I cleaned out the feeder and refilled it. And then, 5 birds were thrilled to float over. My heart sang a little.

Spring break is next week, so in preparation for our week with a clear schedule, I went to the library and stocked up. Liam has 4 more letters to go in preK, so I grabbed books for those letters and a few on spring themes. I’m still working to build up our own stock of spring books, but the library is there for a reason! And scholastic book fairs :)

Today, I also ordered this weather station as a bonus Easter basket gift for the family. Liam has always shown a great deal of interest in the how and why of weather, so we find a lot of weather related books in our library basket, but this spring, I think he’s ready to start learning more. We are working on getting the kitchen boards back up and useful again. Sylvi has expressed an interest in having her own chore magnets, so I’m still working out the details and the layout. Thank goodness for those 3M strips. People like me who like to rearrange frequently, we owe our spouse’s sanity to them.

We are going to kick off spring break with Sylvi’s birthday party on Sunday. Oh my. How did she go from being this teeny little thing to the wild and independent girl she is now? The passage of time just amazes me. She requested I paint her nails this morning, so I think we will have to do that to match her princess dress she’s eagerly waiting to wear on Sunday.

As long as we are talking about growing up, Liam put away his own lunch leftovers today without even mentioning it to me. I just stood there watching him as he walked to the cabinet, grabbed a small container and proceeded to pop his wrap in there and then place it in the fridge. I’m still stunned.

So tell me, what does your family do for spring break? I’m not a big traveler, so we’ll be doing fun things around here… and of course, checking the weather.

Lately

Happy Friday. I’ve got a cake in the oven. I’m nervous about it as my last foray into gluten free baking had abysmal results. Nonetheless, Sylvi’s birthday party is in a little over a week and I really need a cake recipe. I figure if I can have a chocolate cake, then I can make my favorite marshmallow frosting. But, of course, something needs to be pink on the cake. Sprinkles?

Liam is still in preschool… it’s letter V week and I am amazed how quickly the year has flown by. His writing skills have improved exponentially. He shows signs of reading readiness and has plenty of enthusiasm. His math skills aren’t top notch. As a STEM girl, it worries me. Stay tuned. We’re going to be working the math skills in our living room over Spring Break.

Sylvi is in full-fledged princess mode. By this I totally mean that she wears her princess costumes all. the. time. We went hiking and she wore it. She has forgone actual shoes for a pair of Snow White princess shoes that are about 3 sizes too big. And by the way, if it isn’t “sparkly” she’s not wearing it.

She asked for a bicycle and a princess dress for her third birthday. Cinderella bicycle acquired. Prior to her gasping in Target, I had no idea such a thing existed. Princess dress in the works. I bought this pattern anthology and am using the 10th pattern with sparkly pink satin. Matt and I had such a laugh last night as I sat in a sea of tulle. 10 layers of it :)

And since I always seem to mention the weather in my posts this year, it’s raining. Which is exciting because I see buds on my lilac bushes!!! And the Weeping Cherry! And the trees! I celebrate the seasons for their individual awesomeness, but I’m finally at the point where I’m ready to celebrate spring. I hung the bird house and windchimes again. Oooh! And I opened the windows again.

The cake is out of the oven. And it’s perfect. Perhaps gluten free won’t be so bad after all…

Waving farewell – to my beloved gluten

Over the years, this blog has seen a lot of food changes. Back in 2007, I’d been married less than a year and needed to learn how to cook the basic foods. So I blogged about it. Then, because I’m a reader and really prefer information to fiction, I read a few books on local eating. And my goodness, it appealed to every single fiber in my body. Because, you know, as a child, I wanted to be a homesteader.

So during this time, I learned how to can and preserve my food. I had garden space all over the yard. I got pregnant and am not going to lie: having food cravings that were further than 100 miles away?  It did not go well. And let me tell you… cantaloupe was ALL I wanted come February 2009. After Liam was born, I settled into a food rut. The rut continued, with a brief trip down the comfort food lane while pregnant with Sylvi. But then, you see, Liam had more and more trouble with textures and what seemed like routine meals became a set series of meals in a rotation so I could pretend our child wasn’t struggling.

In the last two years, we’ve been working with Liam through occupational therapy and although the therapist kept telling me I needed to work more at home, I just couldn’t. Sitting at the table with a little boy who needs to be encouraged to swallow the food in his mouth, it’s exhausting. I gave up and served the shapes of pasta that didn’t take him hours to chew and swallow.

Now imagine my horror when last week my doctor looked me in the eye and said “Less grains, Laura, less grains.” She then said that my health issues were either the result of my thyroid bottoming out or lupus. So. Gluten free it is. And as Dr. House has “proven” time and again, it’s never lupus. Nope.

So now? Now I have to start adapting all my recipes, learning to use gluten-free flours and pastas and most of all, I need to expand my horizons once again. And I need to expand the experiences of my little boy. In the last 10 days, we’ve eaten a very grain-light, gluten-free diet. It’s hard for him. While the other three in our home are enjoying the variety and the almost-three-year-old is stealing all the broccoli out of the serving dish before I can even sit down, my little guy is slowly, but surely being forced into more and more variety.

So what does that mean for this blog? Weeellll… I guess I’ll have some recipes to post again! Ha! But seriously. When you don’t stray from a rotation of 10 meals, there isn’t much to share. I ordered several new cookbooks and am excited to try more gluten-free, paleo type meals. I didn’t realize how much I relied on breads and crackers to fill my belly until I couldn’t any more! And with the extraction of gluten from my diet, the joints that have often swollen and been so painful by the time I went to bed that I could only limp around, have seen a dramatic change. As I’ve done more research into the adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism, I’m learning that I also need to adjust my workouts, so as to not place additional stress on my body. Funny. All these years, I’ve been working so hard and it’s just done more damage!

Tomorrow you’ll get a post about one of my absolute favorite vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo snacks to kick off the week! Now… if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out what side I’m going to serve with the glorious Maple Dijon Chicken that’s roasting away in my kitchen. But don’t worry… the pug is really enjoying all these changes. Really. A lot. :)

Lunch solutions

Lunch is at 1130 here. School at noon. Quiet time at 1230. Three days a week this hour is very busy for me because I’m scrambling to make sure little ones are completely dressed, fed and snack is packed for preschool and are out the door on time. (Which, considering that we live across the street from the school shouldn’t be an epic feat, but for some absurd reason always is.)

Because we all seem to really thrive on routine around here, we try to have the same basic routine every day. (Key word: try.) Lunch, clean up, something educational (Today we graphed Liam’s 46 matchbox cars by color… Mom is a super-nerd, I know) and then the kids are in their room for about an hour while I work or make business calls. I try to keep things pretty simple at lunch so the afternoon, I’m able to be productive instead of cleaning up lunch. Or wishing we had had a good lunch. A couple weeks ago, I started searching Pinterest for good lunch ideas. And you know what? Tortillas are huge. I’ve been working with Liam and his therapist to help him handle new textures and we’ve finally overcome the tortilla crisis!

I’m learning to make our lunches fun and quick. We are having these power wraps (each packing a punch of 6-7 grams protein for each wrap), meatballs dipped in feta dip, pb&j puzzles and every now and then mac and cheese. I also bought some fun picks and suddenly, the kids are scarfing down everything on their plates… including pizza. (Yep. They don’t like pizza. Unfathomable, right?)

Power Wraps

  • Small tortillas
  • hummus
  • thinly sliced turkey
  • shredded colby cheese

Spread the hummus all over the tortilla, sprinkle on the cheese and place the turkey on top. Roll up and slice in half.

I’m leaning pretty heavily on this meal, hoping it stays a favorite for a while! There are summer picnics to pack for! And then, kindergarten in the fall. Oh my. By then, I’m going to be the one needing the extra power!