Friday, February 27, 2015

Moms vs Dads - does one get better treatment outside the home?

I'm baaaaaaack ("you were missing?" - you, "um, didn't the sun disappear?" - me). I'm now recovering from my 4th (5th?) illness of 2015, which means I've been sick more this year than the last two years combined and it's not even March yet. Awesome. This time it was a particularly ugly bit of the stomach flu or the result of eating some bad yogurt (jury is still out on this one).

Luckily for me, Nate was able to step in and help out with some appointments this week. E had a follow-up doctor's appointment yesterday so Nate took off work, picked him up at our house and took him in. This really deserves a gold medal because taking E to the doctor is no picnic. True to form, he started screaming once he hit the parking lot. The kid has a sixth sense about the doctor - truly. And apparently was crying so much that the receptionist didn't even make him pull a ticket. She told him to sit down and that she would come to him. E was also screaming mama so maybe she thought there was a potential abduction situation happening? But really, who would kidnap a kid and take them to the doctor?

Anyway, this was a nice gesture. And to be fair, they've helped me out before as well. If E won't let me put him down they'll offer to fill out the paperwork so I just have to sign my name at the bottom of the page. Really great service.

But then they started asking questions like, where is his mother? Why isn't she with him? And it was in that judgmental, condescending, mommy guilt-inducing kind of way (from what I've been told). So Nate volunteered that I was "going at both ends" (thanks, babe) to which they responded "ewww" with lots of gasping and probably hid behind their desks with some Lysol (I would have). Naturally, this was followed up with lots of praise about what an awesome husband/dad he is to take off work so his son could go to the doctor (not trying to take away credit, but um, he's technically 50 percent parent here so you know, kind of part of the job) and then showered them both with stickers and lollipops because that's the kind of world dads live in. And while I'm really glad that they tried to take care of Nate and E, it also kind of rubs me the wrong way. I don't get sticker showers and unicorns when I go to the clinic. And once I get back to the exam room, I get lots of eyerolls and complaints about how I can't control my child (he is a beast) not a slow clap for showing up.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Reinventing Sides: Zucchini Fries

I love zucchini. I'll eat it raw, grilled, sauteed or baked. Have you seen people substituting their pasta noodles for zucchini noodles? I need to buy a gadget that will let me do that because, yum. However, E does not share my love of zucchini. The only way I can get him to eat it is if I hide it. So if you're in the same boat, this post is for you.

I found the recipe for zucchini fries awhile back on one of those healthy kids websites (I thought I pinned it, but I can't find it now). I've also tried using green beans, but they don't work nearly as well as zucchini. You're basically coating your veggies in panko crumbs and baking them so they're crunchy. They take a little time to prep, but they're totally worth it in the end.

For the three of us, I use two nice-sized zucchinis or three small zucchinis. You want to slice them into strips like fries. The easiest way is to cut each one in half horizontally and then make your slices vertically. You want the green skin to be on each piece so you'll get roughly 16 pieces per zucchini depending how big you slice them (again, think fries). The bigger the slices, the less crunchy they'll be.



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Brace yourself - Valentine's Day is coming

As usual, Ethan's plans are more exciting than ours when it comes to the holidays. While the two of us will probably order takeout and rent a movie on Valentine's Day, Ethan will spend the 13th at a big Valentine's Day party with his friends. This makes two years in a row (or his entire life for those keeping track) that he's shown us up.

Last year, we made a snack to go with our valentines, but this year we're taking it easy. We decided to give out stickers instead. At 18 packs for $1 at the Dollar Tree I really can't complain (currently, I think there are 17 children attending the party - #nailedit). I also ordered his cards from cardstore.com again. I loved the way they turned out last year and I'm just as pleased with the ones this time around. We opted for the pirate theme, which came with four different pirates. I snagged them during a sale and got each set of four for about $1.



Friday, February 6, 2015

Birthday Blues: Why is planning a child's party so stressful?

Photo courtesy of tiverylucky@freedigitalphotos.net
I'm not sure who to blame on this one. I'd like to throw some shade at Pinterest. And all of those over-achieving folks on Facebook. I'm sure my husband would argue that the blame rests squarely on my shoulders.

I prefer to blame others.

If you have children, you've probably experienced some form of the birthday blues. Not the kind that makes you sad when you blow out 30 candles on a cake, but the kind that results from the self-imposed stress of planning a child's birthday party.

Because let's face it - it's not "just a party." You only turn 1 or 2 or 10 once. And you've been to the other parties. It's not a competition, but at the same time, you can't phone it in either. Now it's activity-driven parties or themes that were carefully crafted using only your very best Pinterest skills. Have you seen the goody bags?! What happens when my child is old enough to voice his opinion (other than 'no')? But Joey is going to Six Flags! But Ryan is going to the zoo! But Natalie is going to the bowling alley! UGH. It's a black hole. And maybe it always has been and I just never knew about it.

Right so, all of the stress of planning a toddler's party (it even sounds ridiculous) brought me to yesterday when my time intensive, carefully crafted party invites came back from the printer and the colors were off. The fonts were smudgy. My light blue sky was gray. It was an invite for a very sad looking party.

I called and complained and ended up at the their location to show her what it looked like (oh, she knew) and then she turned it around on me. She said their digital printer only runs CMYK colors and my file had RGB colors. She only printed "what I sent her" (which was crystal clear, by the way). We went back and forth and eventually she had her son graphics guy redo the invites. He couldn't get the color right so my invites are still off. And I was grumpy the entire way home because who runs a business like that? Why didn't they check the file to see if they could print it? Why would you commit to printing something and expect to be paid for something entirely different? WHY DID YOU RUIN MY INVITES?!