Toddler Eats

The last time I talked about food on ze blog, it was over a year ago (you can read that post here). I thought it would be interesting to discuss how O’s eating has evolved since then, particularly because the Terrible Twos really are when kids are at their pickiest.

I’m very fortunate in that O is a pretty good eater. She most definitely has major preferences, and all of the sudden she’s completely rejecting eggs (which is brutal because it was so easy to scramble 2 eggs on evenings after work when we were too tired to cook), but for the most part, she’ll try anything we offer her, even if it’s just a quick bite, followed by a cringe and a “I no like it!” All that I ask of her is that she try. Last week she even insisted on tasting grape flavored Kombucha (fermented “living” tea for anyone who hasn’t heard of it). It’s a little fizzy and an acquired taste, so basically I knew it wasn’t going to end well. She spit it out. Her reaction was priceless. I think she shuddered for like 10 minutes afterwards.

Protein – Lady O is strictly a beef, chicken, and turkey kinda gal. We don’t try seafood much with her because we don’t eat it at home very often, and I think the flavors are strong and would be a hard sell. Because I’m a shitty cook and perpetually exhausted, we default to grilled chicken breasts and homemade burgers. She really dislikes sauces and condiments with her food though. Eating out is tricky because she won’t eat the protein from our meals if it’s touched a sauce or condiment.

Carbs – Carbs are toddler crack. There is nary a carbohydrate my child won’t devour. She loves pasta, rice and bread, but also enjoys more nutritious grains like quinoa and barley.

Fruit – Easy sell. She eats all fruits, sometimes in epic proportions. Lately she’s been eating multiple apples a day, because we went apple picking and they’re sitting out/readily available for her. She will also eat avocado with almost all her food (avocado is a fruit I think?). She loves flavor combinations, and when we put avocado with her chicken or beef or pasta, we find that she consumes a lot more.

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Apples taste better when you’re mixing prints.

Veggies – O really loves vegetables. She eats raw carrot sticks, cucumber, sugar snap peas, broccoli and cauliflower, and also loves roasted veggies like Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower (apparently the stinkier the veg, the more she loves it). She also likes green smoothies and juices.

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Dairy – O hates dairy. Like…except for ice cream. Hates. She won’t eat yogurt, barely drinks any milk, and will sometimes eat cheese on pizza, but that’s pretty much it. I think this is pretty bizarre, because I’ve heard dairy is pretty popular with the toddler set. I’m super worried about her not getting enough calcium, because I myself didn’t drink milk as a kid, and I already have some pretty brutal bone density loss.

Sweets – When it comes to sugary snacks and treats, I believe moderation is key for both O and myself. We like to indulge sometimes, and I think it’s important not to restrict her diet. She gets dessert if she eats her meals well, and sometimes we celebrate milestones with frozen yogurt outings or cupcakes. I feel bad for kids who are deprived of delicious things. So yeah, we stick to occasional treats and that’s worked well for us.

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I mean, how happy does she look here?

So there you have it. If anyone has any calcium tips for me, I’m all ears. Or even some fun toddler-friendly recipes. I’m in dire need of some new meal ideas! XO

What O has Learned in Pre-School Thus Far

O has now been in the pre-school room at her daycare for a month. There’s definitely a lot of learning going down, but not all of it has been positive. So without further ado, here’s a list of the changes we’ve seen in her so far.

1. She’s learned to suck her thumb.

Yeah, I dunno. You wouldn’t think this was cool, but apparently it totally is. Because her friend who does it is almost a full year older, she copies him like it’s all the rage. So now we have a paci user *and* an occasional thumb sucker. Note to self: better start saving up for orthodontia, like, yesterday.

2. She’s learned how to beat the crap out of other kids.

I definitely thought this would have happened earlier, in the toddler room, but counted my blessings when it didn’t. But now that she’s with older kids (and plays on the playground with the oldest kids in the daycare), she’s supposedly pushing and shoving and hitting, and no this isn’t okay. The other day I witnessed three older boys lying in a pile and pummeling the shit out of each other on the playground when I came to pick her up (don’t worry, a teacher intervened really quickly), and so I can’t say I’m surprised that she’s acting out now. Monkey see, monkey do. Lectures, time outs, and apologies for the win.

3. She “tattle tales” on other kids.

O loves to tell us about her day when she gets home. Problem is, she likes to tell us about other kids’ days too. “__________ got a time out today. She was crying.” Or “______________ hit me today.” It’s pretty obvious that she is perceptive and astute and watching all the discipline and action go down. For this reason, I liked her better when she couldn’t talk. I don’t want to know about the violence. Ignorance is bliss on this one for me.

4. She can “flip” her jacket on.

The way she acts after successfully doing it, well, you’d think homegirl just won the lottery. Victory dance and elation ensues, and it’s pretty hilarious.

5. ABCs, counting, and colours are all now perfect. And she doesn’t just count. She associates each number with the amount (ie. number of animals in a book), which is pretty darn  impressive. Most definitely the learning is accelerated in her new class.

Overall I’m pretty happy with her progress in one month, but I can’t help but think it would be better to freeze time and/or home school her one day and/or keep her in a bubble, because really, that’s all just so much easier than exposing her to other kids and their drama, yes?

Sorry…I got nothing.

Dear 5 faithful followers,

I am *so* sorry I’ve abandoned you. I went back to work and shit got crazy real fast, and then I just lost my inspiration/motivation. I’m not so sure I’ve retrieved said motivation, but here is a lame half assed post for you to tide you over until I get my mojo back.

A little glimpse into what we’ve been up to lately.

O has moved up into the preschool room at her daycare. The transition was pretty easy for her. A couple mornings of tears at drop off, and by day 3 she was putting her hands on another kid’s shoulders and joining their train as they went to their room for breakfast. I attribute the ease of the transition to the fact her old teacher from the toddler room is now in the preschool room, and she moved with one of her friends. I think it was a bit early, but between her being more or less potty trained, and talking in full sentences, I think she had outgrown the toddler room.

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Someone’s hair styling game in the preschool room is on point.

We also started gymnastics, which has been all sorts of fun. O isn’t the strongest by any means, and has no upper body strength (like her mama), but she’s super into it. She especially loves jumping on the trampoline.

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“Mommy, I a monkey. Eeee ooooh ahhhh.”

And last but not least, we’ve been spending time coordinating outfits. This fall, O is rocking mini moto boots like her mom, as well as leggings and oversize sweaters. I’m determined to twin with my child as often as possible. Yes, I’m a nerd.

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Sorry for the lamest post of life. I’m sure I’ll be back soon to throw some shade at celebrity parents. XO

Road Tripping with a 2 Year Old

We did it. Over 12 hours in a car in a 72 hour period. And guess what? It was pleasant. So for all you naysayers who told me it could not be done, alas, it can and was.

We went to Montreal for the long weekend to visit family. It was really important to us to go, and we’d been putting it off for months (sometimes out of fear, sometimes due to sickness). We needed a car to get around, so we opted to drive instead of take the train or fly. I’ve been crazy anxious about it now for quite some time. O often says “I wanna get out” after 10 minutes in the car, so I had visions of 6 hours straight of screaming and tantrums, but she didn’t have a single one. I guess I don’t give her enough credit, because she was an angel. She slept in a pack and play (!!!) for 12 hours straight each night, and handled being car-bound like a champ.

Here are some of the strategies that I found particularly helpful in making for an easy trip.

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Dear Frozen, how did two year olds take car trips before you?

Using the iPad for movies. O watched Frozen on the way there, and Finding Nemo on the way back (with some more Frozen sprinkled in for good measure). This kept her occupied intermittently for up to two hours, and also helped her fall asleep.

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Praying to the nap gods. Many people say to have lunch and leave afterwards during nap time, so that you can ensure they sleep. That being said, we left at 9 am on the way there, and O still slept (albeit from 11:30-12:30 which is *not* normal nap time). On the way home we left at nap time, and once again she only slept an hour. I guess that’s her car nap threshold. But it was okay, because she was still in good spirits regardless.

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All. The. Snacks. O has an affinity for Starbucks breakfast sandwiches, and this one kept her occupied for a good 30 minutes. Warning: 12 hours of car snacking in a brand new car is bound to leave it disgusting. Bring wipes, buy a seat protector (whoops didn’t do that one), hell, bring a dustbuster.

I also recommend some cheap new toys, colouring books and those markers that only work on special paper, and TONS of stickers.

Frequent stops are also a must. We stopped 3 times each way (every 2 hours), for pee breaks and to run around. Initially we wanted O to wear diapers and not worry about this whole potty training thing, but the stubborn bat refuses to wear them. So we put her in pull ups, and every couple of hours, daddy (her requested pee buddy) would take her to the bathroom. We also chose our rest stops strategically. We went to McDonalds to play in their indoor play area (shudder, yes, but necessary), and one rest stop we went to had an outdoor playground. She had to exert some energy, and this worked well for us all.

Lastly, I would consider a shit ton of Gravol. If you’re like me, and get car sick, you’ll need it. I refused to sit in the back with O, but some moms like to do this I guess. For me, it was easier to just pass her stuff from the front. Well, my strategy backfired, because I think I spent more time turning backwards than actually facing forwards. Barf city. This is probably the biggest sacrifice I’ve made, but it kept her happy and quiet, and that was a parenting win.

So yes, parents of toddlers who are avoiding long car rides out of fear, I get it. But I promise you it’s not as bad as you anticipate. It’s a lot of work, but you’ll be thrilled once you reach your destination.

Also, this post has been entirely too positive, so allow me to end on this note. I go back to work tomorrow. I hate you all. XO

“She’s Not a Baby Anymore.”

Yesterday I was with a friend who has a two year old son (one that is going to marry O, but that’s a whole other blog post). I was telling her how nice his “big boy” room was, and she asked when I’m going to make O’s big girl bedroom with a bed instead of a crib. My answer was “soon,” but in my head I was actually saying, “Maybe when she’s five? Never? Cribs FO LYFE!” I don’t get the point of rushing this, since she’s never tried to escape, and she sleeps so well every night. I don’t want to rock the boat. But my friend encouraged me to do it sooner rather than later and reminded me that O isn’t a baby anymore and needs her independence. She’s wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. O is totally a baby. And we have to tread lightly with her and transition her to kid-dom step by step. Luckily, we have a plan. It goes:

1. Potty train

2. Big girl bed

3. Operation toss pacis

Potty training has been going swimmingly. I didn’t read anything prior to starting it, and I just followed O’s cues. She’s always hated the feeling of poop in her diaper, so the first few times we put her on the potty, that’s what we got. Apparently we’re lucky she started with that, because a lot of toddlers are hesitant to do anything but pee on the potty at first. Anyway, once she got proficient with that, peeing on the potty came pretty naturally. My daughter is extremely motivated by chocolate. So much so, that every time I tell someone she’s potty trained, and she’s within ear shot, she tells them “I get chocolate.” Parenting fail! Please don’t judge me. At home, she now wears Pull Ups. I’m scared to go the full underwear route, because we *have* had accidents. Also, she doesn’t go to the preschool room at daycare until next week, which is where they use the potty, so we’re not 100% there. Until she’s using the potty and not diapers at daycare, there’s no point putting her in underwear. Lastly, I have no idea how to go about night training. Do people wait on that? If anyone has some advice, I’m all ears. In any event, I’m super proud of her for the day training that she essentially did herself.

Our plan for the big girl bed is to wait until I get pregnant (if I get pregnant). We’ll give her ample time to get used to the bed before the baby comes. I think that’s reasonable, but no, we’re not in a rush, and being reminded of her age and independence is not incentive to move her earlier.

My biggest fear is getting rid of the paci. O still sleeps with one and loves to use it around the house. She doesn’t have one at daycare and we don’t let her bring it out anywhere. I recently took her to the dentist, and he told me to get rid of it by 3, but also that he can usually tell which kids use them by looking at their bite, and he couldn’t tell O used one until I told him. So ultimately this will be our last step out of babyhood, and it’ll happen around 3. In the meantime, I limit it as much as I can and I’ve already started planting the “paci fairy comes to take them away and leaves you a big present” seeds so she’s well prepared. O does well with a lot of advanced warning.

So there you have it. Our three-step “she’s not a baby anymore” plan. Feel free to weigh in and tell me all the different ways I’m ruining my child. XO

Daydreaming about Newborns

I’ve been terribly bored this summer (at least during the latter half). O has been in daycare, the weather has been shitty (Augtober, wtf), and there are only so many times you can lunch with the same 5 friends. All this spare time has left me with nothing but my own thoughts, and we all know that spells trouble.

Confession: All day I dream about newborns.

I want to be pregnant again in the worst way. I’m mad jealous of all my preggo friends literally every pregnant woman I see. I want to go through labour and delivery all over again. I want to give O a sibling so badly it hurts. I am literally consumed 24/7 with thoughts of a new baby. I want to feel all those awful pregnancy symptoms so hard, I want to nurse again even though it was a treacherous 6 months, and I want to experience the sleeplessness that is caused because a tiny infant is dependent on you, not because your mind be cray cray despite the fact your 2 year old sleeps 12 hours a night without a peep. None of this is normal considering I hated pregnancy, I hated the post-partum emotions, and I certainly didn’t love the newborn stage the first time around.

I won’t get into too many details about our current situation, but I will say this. We aren’t actively trying right now, but we do have a plan. I will leave it at that, and end off with a picture of a preggo Rachel Bilson because she is the epitome of knocked up gorg. Obsessed.

 Exclusive... Pregnant Rachel Bilson Goes Shopping

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Kids Say the Darndest Things Part Two

Can I just say that so far I am *loving* two? The last few months have been pretty hard as O loves to test boundaries and can be pretty defiant, but I honestly think so much good comes with the hardship of having a two year old. Every day O learns more words. She speaks in full sentences and 9 times out of 10, these sentences crack me the eff up. Here is just a small sample of what comes out of her mouth. *Yes I do fully realize that you have your own kids who say funny things, therefore you may not appreciate these the way I do.*

Last week I picked her up from daycare, and brought her a new toy. It’s a purse with keys, a cell phone, a debit card, lipstick, etc., and she is OBSESSED. The first thing she did was take out the cell phone, put it to her ear, and say, “Hello Jennifer [her daycare teacher]? Mommy crazy!” Gee, I wonder who taught her to say that?

While out in our backyard the other evening, our neighbor was outside as well, doing sit ups and push ups. She walked right over to the fence as close to him as possible, and said, “Neighbor funny!” And then proceeded to make monkey noises at him.

The other night, O was running around the house diaper free while I  made her bath. I trust her to do this most nights because she’s really great at using the potty and has decent control of her bodily functions. Or so I thought. She comes to get me in the bathroom, and says, “Mommy, carpet. I pee on it.” Sure enough, I follow her into the room, and yep…she peed on the floor. Ah well. The upside of this is at least she can communicate what she did, right? Ain’t no shame.

Lately she’s been really into dresses. Recently, I put a dress on her and she said “I ballerina” and proceeded to spin around in circles.

She also really likes to play in my makeup case. Again, I trust her with this one because she’s great at just pretending to apply the makeup, not actually applying it. So I turned away for a few minutes and she comes up to me and says, “Mommy, I do lipstick.” She had smudged brown eyeliner ALL over her lips. It took several applications of makeup remover to get it off, and even later in the day, she still had a bit of a Hitler ‘stache situation going on.