Thank God we have had such a mild winter, but with the kitchen renovation going on and multiple illnesses striking our family we needed a lot of new entertainment choices. I broke down and got the kids a trampoline. It's awfully bulky and cumbersome, but it does the trick when Boo needs to burn off some energy.
As you can see in the background, I also broke down and borrowed "Cars" from the library. I'm not a huge fan of movies with a million product tie-ins, or lots of noisy action, but we had a moment of desperation when we just needed the kids to sit down and watch something by themselves for a couple hours. It worked like a charm, and although I don't personally find it entertaining, it seems to speak some special "little boy language" that hits Boo right at his level.
Hours of playing Angry Birds on multiple platforms made Boo want to build towers and then knock them over. That's where this catapult from local company, Mindware, came in handy. And if you look on the product site, those faux blueprint-y instructions happen to be the work of Boo's daddy. There's also a trebuchet available. As long as the kids stick to flinging the little beanbags and not something bigger or harder, I guess it's OK.
"Ages 7 & Up!"
What little girl doesn't want to wear pink glitter nail polish on her toes, just like Mommy?
And what little boy doesn't feel a little left out when he sees the girls are having pedicures? I think the "Mochaccino" goes well with his camo pants.
As predicted, I gave up on trying to cook in the mess that was our kitchen. We ate a lot of pre-cut fruits and veggies, pretzels, and homemade hummus.
Every meal was like a picnic. And although we lowered our standards of healthy kid meals, we didn't fall into the McD's trap (although various pizza and sandwich shops got a lot of our business).
I did find time to work out one kid-friendly food solution. I'm not happy with most of the frozen chicken nuggets on the market, but I can't argue with the convenience of heating them up for quick lunches. I bought Empire Kosher ground turkey from Trader Joe's (chicken, turkey, what's the difference?). I formed little balls and dipped them in corn flour, mixed with a pinch of salt, then cooked them in a skillet with a thin layer of safflower oil. Boo loves them, they freeze and re-heat well, and they are super-healthy with no fillers or mystery ingredients.
I'm hoping to eventually try them with Punky. She's never had turkey, but just this week we had a successful chicken trial so I feel turkey could be tolerated as well. There was one concern I had, because the package listed the ingredients as turkey and natural flavoring. I hate "natural flavoring" because that could mean pretty much anything. I emailed the company for clarification and the answer I got back was that the flavoring, in this case, was rosemary oil. Now, it seems to me that it would make more sense to just say on the package that it contains rosemary oil. But manufacturers seem to like to be vague as much as possible and keep us allergy families on our toes.
Punky has gone through a few confusing food fails. Oats and avocado were major disasters, and then she had terrible reactions to her homemade muffins that I had been making with coconut flour. She tolerated them for a while, then suddenly they made her sick. Every other ingredient in the muffins is something she still eats with no problem, so coconut is out, at least for a while. On top of that, I had a horrible experience when I tried to get in touch with her gastroenterologist at the U. Several calls, messages left, and an unhelpful conversation with one of the staff, got me nowhere. I know others have had issues with the same clinic and I'm hoping this isn't a sign we need to move on. Punky seems to have recovered from a few bad weeks of tummy troubles and I feel a visit with a specialist isn't needed immediately, but what if it was? How would we get her an appointment if we had an urgent need? I have some resources at our pediatricians office that I think I can count on for help, so I guess I'll start there.