Munchkin Meals is a link-up hosted by Brittany at A Healthy Slice of Life. Ever in need of a fun, healthy meal or snack for your kiddo? Click on over to find loads of ideas all put together by other Mamas.
7:45. Human alarm clocks comes bounding into our room. Look at the clock and see it’s not some ungodly hour, and Matthew actually slept all night. Immediately know it’s going to be a good day! Matthew does his morning marathon nursing session, and we snuggle while we chat with Eric while he gets ready for work. The joys of only living 5 minutes away from work. Matthew turns 2 this month, and I totally thought we’d be done with nursing by now. He has other plans, so we’re going with that for a while…hopefully just a little while…
8:15. Matthew and I feed the cats, open the curtains around the house, and begin to prepare breakfast. He helps with getting supplies out of the pantry, putting the toast in the toaster, and putting butter and jelly on his toast.
8:30. Breakfast time. Whole-grain organic “duck” and “bunny” toast (his choices from our cookie cutter collection) with Earth Balance dairy & soy free “butter” and Grandma’s homemade strawberry jam (<–he’s gone through a whole jar recently); goji berries; almond slivers (I found these at Whole Foods–easier for him to eat than whole almonds); cashews; sunflower seed kernels; sliced apples with cinnamon; slice of Applegate Farms organic chicken; few ounces of my green tea.
8:40. Matthew has generally lost interest in breakfast and is playing with cars at the table. He gets down to run around while I clean up, but comes back frequently to grab another bite.
9:00. I hit the shower while Matthew watches a Curious George episode. This is a recent development–after watching a monkey video on Youtube, a Curious George preview came on, and bam! just like that he was hooked. He also grazes a bit and has an Honest Juice brand apple juice (which he doesn’t really like, so he only drinks a few drinks, BUT he’s so excited to get a juice, so I get super-mom points).
9:10. Me putting makeup on trumps Curious George and juice, so he’s at my side “helping” me get ready. Some mornings he even tries to put my pants on for me. Such a littler helper…I clean up his breakfast plate, throw in some laundry, get Matthew dressed and teeth brushed, and take care of other messes and shenanigans. I normally put music on during this time, and we sing and dance while we clean. I let him help wherever he can–putting clothes in the washer, putting away the silverware from the dishwasher, or putting his toys away.
He always wants a duck, but he NEVER eats the duck…
9:45. Matthew gets engaged in playing ball with the cat, so I check email/facebook/Pinterest/blog.
10:00. By this point we’re heading out the door for a walk. He loves to snack in the stroller while we walk, and this morning he chose pretzels and peanut butter. We love Glutino brand pretzel sticks (I’ve even shared with folks who normally don’t care for pretzels, and they love these), and Smart Balance creamy peanut butter. We stopped twice to restock the pretzel tray, and he also drank an entire cup of water.
10:45. Back from the walk. Matthew wants to play with his scooter in the driveway, so I work on cleaning the garage out. We haven’t parked in there in months because we’ve been using that space to work on house projects. It’s a beautiful day, and he SHOCKINGLY keeps himself generally entertained with rocks, mulch, the cat, and outdoor toys until around noon. I TOLD YOU IT WAS GOING TO BE A GOOD DAY!
Noon. We go in for lunch. I didn’t realize how late it had gotten, and he worked up quite the appetite, so I’m scrambling. Thankfully, Hubby had some leftovers in the fridge–a 3 way from Skyline Chili. Now, if you’re not from these parts, you’re probably thinking what-the-what? It’s a local chili, piled on spaghetti, with shredded cheddar cheese on top. It’s delicious, and Matthew loves it (he’s eats the whole plateful). It’s extremely unhealthy, so I added a few baby carrots and a celery stick, which he also ate. He also had a bite of yogurt, which he is convinced is ice cream until he tastes it, along with another cup of water.
12:15. Kitchen clean-up again. Matthew is begging for me to play with him, and keeps carrying toys into the kitchen. So much for cleaning up.
12:30. We hit the couch for reading time. We read a few favorites, along with a new book that goes with our weekly theme we started this week.
1:00. He’s started to get whiny and clingy, which signals naptime. Lately, he’s been pushing his nap further back, and for shorter periods. We read 3 “bedtime” books, then he nurses before snuggling up to sleep. He’s out in under a minute (crazy for him). I TOOOOOOLD YOU IT WAS GOING TO BE A GOOD DAY!
2:50. Up from his nap 1 hour and 20 minutes later. On.the.dot. I could set a clock based on how long he’ll nap. He’s in a big boy bed, so he runs to the living room to find me as soon as he wakes up. He normally is quite cranky and wants to nurse when he wakes up, but when I tell him we’re going to the grocery store, he’s perky and ready to go. I force a potty break and we head out the door.
3:15. It’s snack time. A word about this…Last year I read Bringing Up Bebe, and really, the only thing I got out of it is that French moms let their kids have chocolates and cakes and other unhealthy treats…but just once per day. At the same time. And not at any other times. Hmmm. Doable. So a couple months ago when Matthew began asking for chips or cookies, I implemented this. It’s worked great! When he asks for a cookie, I can say, “okay, we’ll have a cookie after naptime for special treat!” He usually replies with “ok”. And of course I follow through and give it to him. Now obviously, we don’t keep Oreos or giant cookies or cakes in the house. Usually, he has a VitaTop brownie or muffin, some “healthy” cookie option I pick up at Whole Foods, we spend time baking something, or we go on a little mommy-son date to Panera for muffins when we need to get out of the house.
Today, Matthew has a “special snack” at the grocery. Grocery shopping used to be a nightmare. Then I broke down and allowed a special snack, and now we can survive short, simple stock-up-on-basics trips, though we don’t do it often. Today’s special snack rhymes with “ronut” and I am shameless to admit this. Grocery shopping done in under 15 minutes, with a 5 minute stop to look at the fish in the fish tanks. Hint: He may have had one of these special snacks for our Father’s Day breakfast, too…
3:45. Obviously my child just ate his bodyweight in sugar, and there’s no way I’m taking him home like that. So I dropped the groceries off quickly and headed to the park.
4:00. Park time! I play monkey bars and slide for awhile, before hitting the bench to check email/blog/facebook/Pinterest. Another mom shows up with a little girl, who forces Matthew to play with her (imagine Elmyra from Looney Tunes and Matty as a cute puppy). Bought me another 10 minutes of phone time.
5:00. I think he’s got enough exercise to work off the snack-which-shall-not-be-named, so we head home to start dinner. I pop in a freezer meal that I prepared a few weeks ago, while Matty plays in the backyard (fenced-in). I can see him and hear him from the kitchen, so I also prep salads and our veggie tray while he’s engaged. I alternate between cleaning up the playroom (where I can also see and hear him), and going outside to play a quick game of ball, rockbox, cars, or chase the cat with Matthew.
5:45. Matthew comes in to help me make garlic bread. This is pretty much his favorite activity ever. He also snacks on a cucumber slice, another celery stick, and a baby carrot. He also licked an olive–a step in the right direction!
6:00. Through trial and error, we learned 6:00 is an ideal dinner time. Hubby doesn’t have to leave work too early, and Matthew is hungry enough to eat, but not so hungry that he’s cranky. Hubby is home and we’re sitting down to dinner. Stuffed shells (mixture of turkey and ground beef, spinach, kale, and cheeses), salad, and garlic bread. Matthew picks the bacon and croutons out of his salad, takes a piece of garlic bread, and wiggles down from the table to run outside. Clearly not his favorite meal, but I got so sick of never getting a hot, relaxing meal, that I learned not to worry about it. He can be excused from dinner, and Hubby and I will enjoy some nice adult conversation. When he inevitably gets hungry later, he’s only allowed two choices: oatmeal or peanut butter & jelly sandwich (though lately this hasn’t really been needed because he’s been eating MUCH better).
6:10. Matthew runs back in for more garlic bread, yelling “Kitty eats gar-lick bwead”! I don’t know if Kitty ate his, or if he wanted to offer some to Kitty. Either way, he was out the door again after snatching a new piece.
6:20. Matthew is beginning to get whiny and pouty (he’s hungry, but doesn’t want to eat), so Eric takes him to the couch to play iPad/Kindle/watch racecars (or whatever it is that men do in their downtime) while I clean up. By the time I’m done, Hubby is dozing, and Matthew is wired…
6:45. I may or may not be frustrated (!) so I take Matthew for an early bath. He decides he wants a shower tonight, so now I’m dealing with a whiny, clingy, wet toddler with water shooting all over the floor. I get as far as lotion on, but he makes a break for it before I can get jammies on.
7:00. Matthew decides he wants oats, so I wake Hubby up (#$*%&!) to do jammies while I make oats. This turned into a tantrum, from both of them…Eric storms off and Matthew is left in a naked heap of screaming on the floor. I redirect Matthew into the kitchen with promises of adding cinnamon and raisins to his oats. He eats about 1/2 cup of cooked oats before he decides he wants to go “cook oats” in his play kitchen. I go to check on Hubby, who is on the couch watching Curious George. Two toddlers around here, I tell ya.
7:30. I’m still soaking wet from bathtime and grimy from cleaning the garage, so I pop in for a quick shower. Matthew comes in and says he wants to eat (!), so I yell to Eric to make him a PB & J, since I already threw his oats out. In just an hour and half, we’ve gone from GOOD DAY to FRAZZLED, so we all gather for a spontaneous playtime activity. I was going to get this out the next morning during “tot time”, but desperate times call for desperate measures…(and there’s something to be said about pre-planned activities!)
DO YOU NOTICE HUBBY IS STILL ON THE COUCH?! I think he’s pouty because his “work wife” is on his honeymoon and won’t be back for two weeks. Ha!
8:00. It’s bedtime. So I put his jammies on (no fight this time), brush teeth, and read three books. He nurses, snuggles up, and is out in about 5 minutes. We’ve found that 8:30 is his ideal bedtime (to limit night-wakings and early wake up), and we hit that perfectly. Aaaahhh, back to a GOOD DAY!
Pssst…I’m linking up for Munchkin Meals. Don’t forget to click on over.