I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long. I feel guilty on a near-daily basis that I haven’t updated very frequently this fall. I like to write, which is why I started a blog. The “experts” always say that you should blog for yourself first, your audience somewhere else down the line. I’ve belonged to online communities for over a decade now. I started on discussion boards, moved to private chat rooms, semi-private journaling and back into the public. Being out in the public is hardest – you’re putting parts of yourself out there in ways you sometimes don’t even realize until it’s too late. Often, blogging has forced me to be honest with myself and I suppose that while October really was crazy-busy, a few things happened behind the scenes with my blog that forced me to be honest with myself. Since I really didn’t like what I was seeing, I opted to take the easy route out and just ignore everything to do with my blog. Any sane and stable person would say that would be the wrong tactic, but well, I don’t know that I consider myself to be among the sane and stable.
That all being said (because I know most of you come here to read about birthday parties, according to my stat page, not my yammering), it’s amazing what can snap you out of these little funks. Today it was two things. The first was just plain ol’ flattery. A friend of mine is re-starting her blog. I love her because she is kind and wise and creative in both the kitchen and in her craftiness. These are attributes that I aspire to have. I noticed that she linked up to me, and well, that just made my heart a bit warmer 🙂 The second thing that got my hands typing again, is actually a little chat that I had with my eight year old tonight. His piano teacher is trying to convince him to play a composition that he wrote at his upcoming recital, but he is balking. While she and I both understand the inherent risk of really putting yourself out there, I spoke to him tonight about the responsibility of sharing your gifts. He and I have spoken about this numerous times (he’s an old soul): God grants everyone gifts and the ultimate sign of gratitude is to share that gift. As I spoke to him, I realized that by ignoring this blog, I have also neglected the responsibility of sharing one of my gifts. And because I believe that one of the best forms of positive parenting is to model behavior you wish your child to emulate, I am aiming to get back to writing.
So there you have it. If you’ve stuck with me through that confession (or maybe just scrolled down to pictures), here are several lunches that I made over the month of October. Enjoy, and I will do my best to not be so scarce this month. If nothing, I have a fun fall craft project to share and a yummy pork recipe that left my entire family bidding for the leftovers for the next day’s lunch.
Take 10 – Yes, this was the lunch my daughter got for her 10th birthday. Which yes, if you’ve been following my blog, you know was over a month ago. She got half a jelly sandwich (quartered and stacked) with a tub of peanut butter so she could spread her own at school, carrot sticks, apple slices, kiwi and a “10” brownie. Have you ever made brownies in muffin tins? If not, try it! It’s a great way to make lunch box portions (and to not eat the whole pan in one sitting).
Big Box – This lunch was packed into one of our bigger boxes with all of the inserts taken out. It included a soft taco (beans, taco meat and cheese), half an apple, carrot sticks and cucumber slices. Mario fruit snacks for a treat. My kids eat the soft tacos barely warm – I nuke them in the AM and wrap them in foil. I do recall eating lunch with my kindergartener that day and he struggled to get the taco open. Even though they have paraeducators there to help with this sort of stuff, I have learned that he won’t ask for help, so I was glad to be there that day!
Mama’s Lunch – Speaking of having lunch with my kindergartener, I do this once a week. I spend all day once a week at my kids’ school,
spying volunteering in each of their classrooms. The way my schedule works out, I am able to have lunch with my littlest guy, which is great because he actually likes having me there. I don’t pack anything near as exciting for me: half a turkey sandwich, apple slices and a Fiber One bar.
When They Start Whining About Buying Hot Lunch – This month, my little guy started making noise about buying hot lunch. I let them buy twice a month but I had been trying to put the little guy off as long as I could. I think our cafeteria does a reasonable job, but it’s just an unnecessary expense for us. I’ve found that one of the ways to get around the hot lunch whining is to replicate some of the meals they like to buy. In this case, they got chicken nuggets, carrots, cucumber, watermelon and a few chocolate Panda cookies. If they bought at school, they would have also gotten potato hash and milk, but no cookies 🙂 I’d go for cookies over potatoes, wouldn’t you?
And When They Start Whining About Lunchables – Which is really a nerve-grater for me because my kids don’t like anything in Lunchables other than the crackers and candy…we make our own. Triscuits, cheese slices, ham on a sword, carrots, apples and oranges. Oh, and caramels too, because homemade lunchables without candy is just not acceptable.
Lunches Gone Bad – My kids really like pita and they really liked the artichoke chicken we had for dinner, so I thought they’d like the leftover chicken chopped and stuffed into mini pitas, but I was totally wrong. Paired with apples and kiwi and these really yummy pumpkin cookies. The little guy grew a whole bunch in October and was needing more lunch, so he got a yogurt tube too. Now he just needs new pants…
When Mom Wakes Up Really Late – The kids get less creative lunches. Half a turkey sandwich, apple slices, pear bites, a mini pumpkin muffin and Trader Joe Veggie Chips.
Last Week’s Attempt to Get Back on Track – I was feeling like lunches were getting a bit boring and I had all the ingredients to make pizza muffins, so I whipped up a batch. Too bad I misread the directions and didn’t realize that I needed 10 minutes of resting time for the batter AND 25 minutes to bake, not 10 minutes of bake time. The boys muffins made it out in time, but my daughter walks to school with friends and left before her lunch was ready. Fortunately, I was going to be up at her school so could bring her her lunch. I sent a side of pizza sauce for dipping and added pears, carrots and peas.
Okay, that’s 8 lunches and I suspect you’re all bored silly. Glad to be back. Talk soon, and thanks for sticking around.