I Used To Love Dinnertime

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This is how dinnertime is at my house. A four-year old looks at the cheese quesadilla in front of her and says that she doesn’t like chicken, or brown things!  A two-year old cries continuously for crackers. When he is placed in front of his dinner, he screams louder, throws his spoon, his cup and then his bowl.

Everyone at the table ignores him. Then he starts screaming “All done!” and starts pulling at the tablecloth. So, he is released from his confines and free to play as he pleases. Thirty minutes later, as the dishes are being cleared away, he begins crying for a “COOKIE!” Two hours later, as he’s being put into his crib he will look up at you with big, beautiful brown eyes, and have the balls to say, “I want some dinner.”

Hello Fresh

Dinnertime is something I dread. I like cooking, but I don’t love the planning. I’ve never been good at meal planning. Half the time I don’t think about dinner until 5 PM, then realize I don’t have the ingredients and don’t have the time or the energy to go to the store, and so it’s frozen pizza again.

A couple of weeks ago Groupon was offering a deal from HelloFresh– 4 meals for 2  for $45 (Groupon value of $89.) I rarely buy Groupons but I was VERY excited about this deal. There would be no dinnertime dread for almost a week.

My Groupon was only good for the Classic box, but a Family Box and a Veggie Box are also available. Once you choose the box you want, you can then choose how many meals you want a week, the serving size for each meal (2 or 4 people), and then the particular meals that you want (6 meals are offered and they change weekly.) Then they deliver everything you will need to make your meals right to your door.

I loved, loved, loved getting the box. I got butterflies when I saw this sitting on my doorstep.

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The box held 4 smaller boxes which contained the ingredients for each meal, instructions for preparation, and nutritional info. First off, the quality of the ingredients was exceptional (and this is where I was skeptical.) I mean they managed to send me fresh shrimp, a perfectly ripe avocado and a perfectly ripe mango. The instructions were straight forward, easy to follow, and no meal required a ton of preparation or long cook times. According to the directions, most meals averaged around 40 minutes for prep and cooking, and this was about how long it took for me.

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One other thing I had been skeptical about was the size of the meals, especially after seeing the size of the proteins. We eat big. But, it turns out that my eyes were bigger than my stomach and we both felt satisfied with every meal.

The meals were SO good. We loved all of them. Preparing the meals was actually enjoyable. I had everything I needed!  In the right amounts! Delivered right to me!  And now I have the instructions on how to make the meals so I can do it myself anytime. Woot!

If the subscriptions were a little bit less expensive, or if I still worked outside of the home, I would definitely consider using HelloFresh regularly. For us, it doesn’t fit into our budget right now, but I don’t think the quality of the meals or the convenience can be beat. Plus the fact that I am preparing the meals myself, so I still know what we are eating, and don’t have to guess when it was made or what exactly it contains.

Plus, if these people are using it, you know it’s legit.

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Sidenote: No, my kids would not eat any of the meals, but there is a Family Box available which is supposed to be more kid friendly. So, yes, I was preparing another meal for kids on top of our HelloFresh meal, but that would be happening anyway.

Sidenote 2: I really thought I pulled one over on Jamie Oliver by keeping the recipes and making them myself, but it turns out you can download all of the recipes from the website, for free, without even buying a subscription!

Talking Back

Andrew to ReeseWhich shirt do you want to wear?
Reese: Nonsense! I’ll wear a dress.


ReeseWhy does James have the Magic School Bus book in his room?
Me: He probably wanted to look at it.
Reese <in valley girl voice>: Why? James isn’t even interested in science!

These Two

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I knew there would be fighting, but I did not know it would be 24/7.

Reese and James spend the better part of their days fighting with each other. They fight over toys, they fight over who is the leader, they fight over who sits in the front of the bath, they fight over who has the pink plate, they fight over who can lock the door (neither can lock the door.) It is friggin’ nonstop. Most mornings I need to be out of the house by 9 AM or it begins, and it doesn’t stop.

My favorite fight is the clock fight. The “clock” in the clock fight is really just a sticker on the wall of their playhouse that looks like the face of a clock. Whenever we go outside, they both yell “clock!” and then sprint to the playhouse. Whoever gets there first (always Reese) simply stands in front of the clock, or sometimes covers it with her hands so the other person can’t see it. Then the other person (always James), inevitably loses his shit, and starts throwing punches. And then everyone’s crying and “WE’RE ALL GOING INSIDE RIGHT NOW!”

And I know that this too shall pass. And so that’s what we’re doing now. Waiting for this to pass.

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Oh My God, No One Told Us That!

No one ever told me that one night, a half an hour after putting your oldest to bed, she would literally bust into the bathroom, in just her underwear, while you are taking a bath.

Her eyes still adjusting to the light, she would immediately spot the bag of jelly beans that you were enjoying and say, “What are you doing with those?” Then, after you remind her that she’s supposed to be in bed, she’ll turn to leave, look over her shoulder and ask, “Have you seen my ballet suit?”

 

Talking Back

Reese <while in her car seat on the way home from school>: Shit! I forgot to go potty before I left school.


Reese <while driving home from the park>: Can you roll up your window? It’s too much wind!
Me: No, because I am hot and need air.
Reese: You had air at the park.


Reese: You wanna feel my esophagus?

 

James Eli at Two Years

 

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Dearest James,

You are two years old.

I will start out this post the same way I start out all the birthday posts,  by saying how quickly your first two years have come and gone. Probably because there were two of you, and I seemed to be always running after someone, cleaning someone, feeding someone, getting someone dressed, or rocking someone to sleep. I hope I haven’t missed too much. I hope there weren’t many times when you were trying to show me what you can do, and I was too busy to see.

You look just like your sister.

People always ask me, “is he ever unhappy?” Yes, you are, but not very often. Your smile cracks me up. It just radiates happiness. It is one of my favorite things about you.

You love the moon. You love trains and trucks and airplanes and motorcycles and the Count from Sesame Street. Your favorite thing to do is to go look at construction sites with your Dad.

You roll with the punches like a boss. You are ok to stay out past your bedtime, ok with being carted around on errand after errand, and you were a champ at the movies and at a seemingly never-ending Disney on Ice show.

You say so much. “Again” is your favorite word. When you hear a siren you say “Quick! Quick!” and point to the window. This means, we are supposed to pick you up and run to the closest window so you can see whatever emergency vehicle is speeding by. When we are in the parking lot, you always yell “Watch out! Cars!” in a tone that is very familiar and which I can only assume is mine.

You still like your sleep. You go to bed around 7 or 7:30 and usually wake up between 7 or 8. Occasionally, you’ll sleep till 9 or 10.

Your favorite books are Choo Choo, Katy, The Polar Express, Pout Pout Fish, and My First 100 Trucks.

You LOVE cheese. For the past couple of weeks that is all I can get you to eat consistently. Mealtimes are not fun right now.

You love your swimming lessons. You often push the  other kids, and sometimes the teacher, out of the way so you can get to the slide first. So unlike your mother, but I like your grit. Please hold on to a little bit of this.

Reese’s school may be one of your favorite places.When we pick her up in the afternoon and she heads down the hallway with her little friends, you are always running behind the pack, barely mobile in your massive winter coat, laughing your head off. If you could talk I think you would be saying. “Look at me! I’m one of the kids!”

You are mischievous, but your sister is a tattletale, so you don’t get very far in your endeavors before she is reporting to me, “James is STANDING on the coffee table!”

You are a momma’s boy and I love that.

You are in awe of your big sister and you are quickly learning how to push her buttons, as little brothers do.

Cheers to two years!

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Talking Back

Pediatrician: So Reese, do you ride a bike?
Reese: Yep!
Pediatrician: Do you wear anything on your head when you ride?
Reese: Yea, sometimes bobby pins or bows. Sometimes headbands.


Reese: <pointing at a picture of herself and Mira>: Is that me and Mira?

Me: Yes

Reese: We’re beauties


 

Reese: James is wagging his penis at me.


 

Reese <upon entering Trader Joe’s>: Can we please stop at the cafe down there?  <referring to the free sample counter.>