Monday, June 7, 2010

A Cookie In One Hand Is Better Than None

Lola is onto me!!!! I bought Chips Ahoy, Reduced Fat. She and Gibby were munching on their before bed snack. "Mom, these aren't the cookies we've had before." She extended the cookie out before her eyes and gave it a mistrustful once-over. "What do you mean? They're the ones you wanted me to buy." "No, there's something funny with them."

When they are babies, it's easy to make sure they eat veggies and fruits. I find the older they get, they develop color aversion to certain foods. Green to Lola means NO GO!!! I made her spinach ravioli the other night and she noticed suspicious green specks of vitamin goodness. Once in a while she will eat corn on the cob. As a toddler, she loved grape tomatoes and avocados. I'm overjoyed she at least eats apples and blueberries!

Out of desperation and fear of rickets and scurvy, I made fruit smoothies and added two containers of pureed carrots. "Mom, why does it look orange?" I said "Oh honey, that's the color of the fruit." I served it to them both in fancy brandy snifters with straws. They loved them, for about three seconds and then abandoned them. Newman the mutt gave an appreciative wag after licking them both clean.

Last year, maybe several years ago? there were two popular cookbooks giving tips on providing veggie laden meals and snacks by hiding said unpopular food groups into everyday dinners. I'm torn, do you surprise attack and become the "sneaky chef" or do you teach them veggies are good for you, join a farm share, let them help you pick fruits and veggies still warm from the sun.

It continues to be an ongoing battle when Lola wants cookies or chocolate for breakfast. She knows she will get "the look" from me and be handed a yogurt drink and an organic blueberry breakfast bar. I'm not a complete food Nazi. Once in a while if she's running late, I send her out the door with Sean: a cookie in one hand and her toothbrush in the other.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Birdie Blues

Almost every spring, a robin attempts to play house atop the pillar of our front porch. Some robins begin the nest process only to leave under cover of night, their nests half built, a gaping hole with grass and twigs blowing in the warm breeze. It must be the activity of the house that makes them so unsure. I wonder about the birds that build under noisy train tunnels or choose sun scorched street light posts in busy downtown cross sections. They seem to stick it out, or tuck it under, or whatever they do in that nest?

I watched a tentative expectant birdie begin the building. She would fly to our porch with beaks full of grassy brick and mortar. Last week she added some tissues we had left on our side porch. Sean wanted the nest down last week. He's freaked out by birds in general and the poop is unsanitary and gross. I asked him to leave it alone, hoping eggs had been laid. I wanted the kids to see the nest and eventually babies learning to fly for the first time.

A few days ago while Mama Bird was away, I grabbed a step stool and my camera. I hovered the camera above the nest and captured some gorgeous pics of three perfect, bluest of robin egg blue creations. Nature is an amazing study.

I remember several years ago I miscarried our first pregnancy. I was five months along and we had named the baby and received Christmas gifts from family while visiting in Pennsylvania. We lost the baby that New Years Day. That spring, I watched a bird build her nest. Sean knocked it down with a broom and disposed of it in the woods. I watched that bird come back to her roost and take in the horror of no hope, no home, no babies. I knew how she felt; raw, drained, ripped empty, confused. I sat in the hallway and cried for almost two hours.

I showed Sean the photos of the eggs and it triggered that memory. You never forget, you sometimes talk to your spouse about it, even after seven years, and two beautiful children later. Most days I feel slightly like those eggs, soon ready to hatch. I am resilient: yet feel a scuff, a peck, a small crack kept under control.