Posts Tagged ‘ food ’

Milestone Monday: Food Dilemma: I’m Doing it All Wrong–Except I’m Not

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Author’s Note: Join me every Monday as I share Fia’s ongoing milestone (mis)adventures–from potty training to talking to everything in between.  Mayhem and mischief guaranteed on Milestone Monday!

Eating her Arm, While Distracted by Computer. Whatever Works!

I think we’ve turned a food corner. I’ve written a few posts about how frustrating it is to feed Fi.  And how I’ve just given in to Sesame Street. She watches while I shove food in her mouth. But lately–dare I say–it’s been getting better? In fact, the TV is rarely on when she eats.

Let me first back up: A few days before our move to LA in October, I took Fia to the pediatrician. I thought Wayne had accidentally scratched her eye, though nothing too severe (apparently a corneal scratch will take a 500-pound man to his knees, fyi. She was just a little whiny and occasionally would point to her eye and say “hurts”). Turns out, her eye was fine. But while I was there, the pediatrician asked about some other things, including Fia’s eating habits. I love Dr. Gold because she is a straight shooter. And her advice seems pragmatic.

I proudly told her our television was in transit and how I’ve turned to circus performing during meal times. I dance, I sing. I do anything to distract and shove food in. But I don’t turn on the television. This seemed a huge milestone to me.  She shook her head. Uh-oh, I thought.

(more…)

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Milestone Monday: Memory Lane

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Author’s Note: Join me every Monday as I share Fia’s ongoing milestone (mis)adventures–from potty training to talking to everything in between.  Mayhem and mischief guaranteed on Milestone Monday!

A Special Shakey's Moment

When I was a kid, going out to dinner was a treat. My mom (who passed away in June) ran her own plant business and whenever she had one of her sales, if she did well, that was our reward.  The sale was always on a Sunday at our house in the garage she had converted to a greenhouse. We’d run up to her constantly and look in the cash drawer.

“Mom, do you think you’re making enough for us to go to dinner?”

“Not if you guys keep distracting me from my customers,” she’d say with a laugh.

It was always a toss up between Shakey’s Pizza and Ponderosa. Both had the all-you-could-eat salad bar. At Ponderosa, we loved taking the red plastic tray down the line to pick out side dishes. We always brought our lunch to school, so cafeteria style, complete with hot food was like hitting it big time.  And the vinyl booths both places sported? You couldn’t get more chic.

Shakey’s had the arcade. We’d play the games while we waited for our pizza. And we’d always walk out with some form of trinket junk that would inevitably end up on the floor of the car, or in the hamsters cage a week later, with everyone denying who put it there.

On Sunday, it was pouring rain here in LA. I was stir crazy. I begged Phil to go with me to Lamps Plus. We desperately needed light in our living room. He equates lamp stores to the horrible fabric stores his mom dragged him to as a kid. But after much debate, he agreed. I’ll admit, having a hyper 2-year old running through a crowded lamp store screaming “I pooped!” isn’t ideal, but we found two lights so mission accomplished (btw—she didn’t poop. It just happens to be her favorite sentence).

On the way home, I spotted a Shakey’s Pizza.  Phil was game, seeing as his day was already ruined by the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) of Lamps Plus. We started to reminisce about our childhood Shakey’s experiences. We got excited to take Fia. We agreed it was a milestone—a rite of passage. Granted, she’s a little young, but we’re overachievers.

It was 5 pm and jam-packed. Phil ordered and I took Fia to the arcade, where she touched every button, even the car pedal on the floor. I was totally grossed out. There were kids running everywhere and I could feel the filth in the air. She won a spin top trinket. The perfect choking hazard.  She was so excited putting her tickets into the machine. “More! More!” she kept yelling.

She was in heaven.

At our booth, Fia kept touching the vinyl part that was ripped, laughing, while trying to destroy the hole further. I grabbed the sani-wipes and went to town on everything— the highchair, table, our hands—even the booth.

At the salad bar, I cringed at the cough guard, trying to forget a Dateline special I saw about the germs on those things.

When the pizza came, Phil and I could barely eat it. Granted, we’re snobby NYC pizza lovers, but this stuff tasted worse than frozen. Fia, who is typically a picky eater, devoured it, all the while playing with her choking hazard toy.  And for once in her life, she couldn’t get enough of the garbanzo beans from the salad bar.  At a nice restaurant she will refuse them. Here, they were like candy. She ate about 33 of them.

That night, all I could think of was how gross I felt; how I have to start exercising and eating better. Fia slept the longest she has in months–12 hours.

As a grownup, I’m a snob with a lot of stuff.  And I guess this is one of them.  I can’t say we’re going to become regulars at Shakey’s. Or ever go there again. But even at the expense of my sanity, I’ll admit, it’s fun traveling down memory lane, marveling at how little we cared about things as kids that we adults get so uptight about. This is the part of parenthood that puts life in perspective. In a good way.

Every once in a while we all need a Shakey’s experience. Tell me yours.

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Lost and Found

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Exhausted From His Adventure

We lost Wayne Sanchez today. Phil put him in the section of the house where his litter and food are, so we could eat breakfast in peace.

Side note: He’s like a rabid raccoon. Or someone with Prader Willi syndrome. He has an insatiable appetite. If I turn my back for a split second, he’ll be drinking from my cereal bowl.

I went to let him out and he was nowhere to be found–until we stumbled upon a crawl space. It was way back in a cupboard that was open. Neither of us could even crawl back to see where it went (my pregnant stomach kept getting in the way), but it appeared to go to a hole in the floor. Thoughts of Baby Jessica came to mind. We rushed down to the basement to see if the space connected there. It didn’t. I began to get hysterical. I called the owner of the house at 7 a.m. and left her a frantic message. Then went hand-wringing to Phil.

“What if the hole goes to nowhere? Like deep into the ground?” I said, near tears.

“Jill, a hole goes to somewhere,” Phil said annoyed, though clearly stressed himself.

“Not necessarily” I said, panicked. “It could go to the sewer and then to the LA River and Wayne will be gone forever.”

“It would not. I’m telling you, a crawl space goes somewhere. If it went to the sewer we’d have rats in the house.”

Phil went outside to look around the exterior of the house.

Then I heard the magical words.

“I found him. Bring me food,” Phil shouted.

Wayne was sitting under the house in a screened in vent like-area, that apparently the hole dropped into.  Phil pried it open and held food out (never misses an eating opportunity). Wayne got close enough for Phil to grab him and pull him to safety.

The Hole to Somewhere

Fia and I cheered. Then I called the landlord. “Hi, it’s Jill again. We found Wayne. He is worse than a toddler. However, we need a handyman to cover up a hole in your house.”

Thank god the hole went to somewhere. I shudder to think of a world without Wayne.

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Sesame Street TV Addiction Broken??

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

We haven’t had television for a week. Internet is about to be disconnected. I feel like Laura Ingalls. Or, since we have running water and electricity, perhaps a better analogy is a squatter. We’ve been camping out in a nearly empty apartment for days now.

The upside to this is without the televison, I think we are starting to break the Sesame Street Addiction. Usually we put her in her high chair to eat and she immediately says “Waatchhh” (heavy emphasis on the “ch”.) I point to the spot where the TV was and say, “Baby, there isn’t a TV there anymore.”  Now Fia runs a tough bargain. She knows I’m telling her the truth, but still doesn’t like it, so she starts to fake wail, as if I’m strangling Ernie before her very eyes. This is where my circus performance kicks in (just wrote about it). I’ll try anything to distract her and I’m finding usually it works. The price I pay is sheer exhaustion from it all. But I think this is good. She can’t always associate eating with Elmo, right?

There was a recent study just published about allowing children under 2 watch TV. The American Academy of Pediatricians has stated that no benefits have been found. Maybe that’s true. Maybe Fia would have learned to count to 12 (in English and Spanish) and recite the ABC song from us reading more books to her. But she has learned those things from her fuzzy furry friends like Elmo and Oscar. And I don’t begrudge them, or myself for it. Sometimes I need a break. Or the easy way out. Call me a weak mom. Or a realistic one.

This doesn’t mean I’m proud of her TV addiction, especially when it comes to mealtimes. But I don’t think I’m causing life long problems either.  Sometimes the path of least resistance makes sense. To a point.

We have to stay in a hotel for a few nights in LA while our house is getting ready. I know she’ll see the tv and try and hold out for Sesame. But I’m going to try my best to stick to my guns. And once we’re in the new house, I plan on feeding her as much as possible outside in her highchair. I am hoping all the scenery that nature provides will trump her favorite furry friends. Stay tuned!

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Fia’s Food Dilemma–Part 2

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

I begged Phi to take over today. He lasted 30 seconds. Argh.

I have become a circus performer. Ever since I wrote a few days ago about Fia’s finicky eating, I have taken in your comments like a sponge. My best luck from your tips so far has been the art of distraction. It is exhausting. I dance. I sing. I bark like a dog, moo like a cow, chirp like a bird. I ask her to color. To rip up paper. To bok like a chicken in her highchair. All the while, I shove the food in her mouth. I move from one distraction to another about every 2 minutes. Because it’s about then that she says “All Done.” And  I don’t believe her. Usually I’m right. A new distraction gets a new round of eating. I sweat. I go on all fours. I jump. But, it’s working.

Our kitchen has been shipped to LA so we have little to cook with. So the other day I took her to a restaurant. There, since I was a bit embarrassed to hop on one foot like a monkey, I distracted her for 20 minutes with a squirt bottle of hand sanitizer. She kept saying more, I’d squirt, she’d rub her hands together, I’d shove food in her mouth, she’d ask for another squirt. Granted it was the alcohol-free kind, but I kid you not, I went through about 300 squirts. Probably got at least that many calories in her stomach. And lord knows, she had the cleanest hands in Brooklyn. I think I’ll get a water bottle next time and pretend it’s sanitizer.

My resume is going to get updated this weekend. The first line will say Animal Imitator/Circus Performer. Hopefully in a few months, she’ll just eat on her own and I can take that line off. But for now, I’m going to embrace the 3-ring circus that is fast becoming my life. (Wayne being the 3rd ring, as he hungrily eats her crumbs).

The Svelte Scavenger

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