Happy Monday to you!
Our family decided to go to the Mall of America on Easter Sunday. Usually, a weekend trip to the mall would be handled by the Mister while I get to stay home and clean/organize/catch up on my online shows. Today the kids insisted that we all go together, so I sacrificed what would have been a nice afternoon in an empty house in hopes that I'd get a little shopping done. Unfortunately, all but two or three of the stores were closed and everyone in the entire building seemed to be crammed into the Nickelodeon theme park. We took a couple spins on the merry-go-round, then went to SeaLife, where the kids appeared to be tiny geniuses by correctly answering all the scratch-off quiz questions. The truth is that we have a family membership and go a few times a month so they have the answers memorized.
After the mall we checked to see if Ikea was open and thought that would be a good place to get some dinner. In the past, we have packed a lunch for Punky because I assumed nothing was safe for her to eat, but this time we didn't have much along except an apple and some pretzels. As we walked through the line I took the time to ask some questions about the food to find out if there was actually anything she could eat. The Ikea meatballs turned out to be the exact ones that you can buy in a bag and they aren't cooked in anything else. Punky has eaten them at home, so that means they're safe from the restaurant too. Also, the carrots are completely plain, steamed carrots, so they are also safe for her too. I was so excited that, for the first time, we were eating at the Ikea restaurant without bringing anything special for her. Now technically, this isn't the highest quality food and I'd prefer her eating homemade meatballs, organic carrots and applejuice, and ketchup that doesn't contain HFCS (which I'm assuming this does), but from the stand-point of allergies and intolerances it was a great meal. It's so cool to me, as a parent who deals with food allergies and FPIES, to be able to go out to eat like a typical family once in a while.
Here's some creepy, cool eye-candy to start off your morning: The World's Most Beautiful Abandoned Places.
I like to cook, and my family seems OK with what I make, but I'm no expert. Some of these 100 Rules of Dinner kinda made me think I could pay a little more attention to what I'm doing when I'm in the kitchen.
From yesterday's Star Tribune: Teaching Organizational Skills to Children. I love that this is broken down by kids' different sensory strengths.
Also from the Star Tribune: How To Deliver Good Praise. Basically, "I like how you keep trying those math problems," instead of, "You're so smart!"
Right on! Six Tips on Food Allergies for Babysitters and Caregivers from Marketing Mama (who I once met, and blurted out creepily, "I recognize your cute kids from your blog!")
And lastly, it behooves me to tell you that if you have a Hennepin County Library card you have access to Freegal, where you can download, free and legally, three songs every week from the Sony Music Catalog. It will take me a few weeks, but I'm on my way to having Justin Timberlake's entire new album without having to pay for it. (If that's not your flavor, you can also get Mumford and Sons, Two Door Cinema, Foster the People, Adele, The Strokes, and lots of other good ones).
Have a great week!