Sunday, October 21, 2007

The perfect New England fall day

Today was one of those infamous New England days. The sky was an amazingly vibrant blue, the air crisp but the sun warm, some colors still on the trees. Perfect. We went for a refreshing hike around our neighbors' property through peaceful hemlock and pine groves (as peaceful as a 1 and 3 year old will let you be). Then we came home to be greeted by some of the staff bringing us butternut squash soup and homemade pumpkin pie. Yummy!

What could be a better close to the perfect autumn day than carving pumpkins, eating warm, crunchy pumpkin seeds with friends?

This pumpkin was carved by a friend of ours. Abigail has been obsessed with the Bearenstain Bear books lately. And this is a "Space Grizzly" character from the book Bad Dream. Awesome work!

Matt and I are leaving for NYC tomorrow for an overnight. Post some stories and pictures when we get back.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cures for a case of the breakfast time blues

Anyone with small children can relate to the struggles that often arise around meal time. Breakfast is one of the hardest for me and the kids. Well, not Tristan so much, he is ready to eat anytime. But Abigail is often too excited to start her day to stop and eat a meal. So I have been experimenting in ways to make breakfast, if not fun (I am not a morning person:), at least enticing.

One that, I am sure many parents have tried, is playing restaurant. We do this all the time for all kinds of meals! I am often the waitress and Abigail (again Tristan doesn't need any prompting to eat!) gets to choose her food and drink from a verbal menu and her place at the table. She also likes to be a waitress herself and deliver food to her brother.

Lately, however, I think she is catching on to this playtime and is realizing that is it actually a parenting methos getting her to eat. So, we have also started eating breakfast with her tea set. I put juice in her tea pot and she pours it into her cup herself. She chooses which plates hold what, etc. I think having control over her meal helps her want to eat well.

Also, I often allow her to eat non-breakfast type foods if she requests them. Does it really matter if she eats mac-n-cheese or PBJ sandwich for breakfast? Not in my mind. She is eating!

Finally, our latest breakfast has been the stuffed apple. Great for preschoolers. Here are the instructions:
1 Take 1 apple and slice it in half.
2 Core it but do not quarter it.
3 Leave skin on or cut off, depending on child's perference.
4 Fill the whole left by the core with peanut butter or jelly (I know it sounds a little gross but they like it!). Nuttella may also be good although I have never tried it myself.
5 Put the two halves together (Peanut butter helps them stay together the best) and viola, a fun new breakfast with a surprise in the middle.

If you have any meal time secrets, please share them.

Happy eating!