Friday, February 26, 2010

Spawn ate salad last night!!!


Using the three bite rule, I got him to eat (and admit to enjoying! =D) 3 cherry tomatoes and all of of the romaine lettuce in his salad! He ate the required 3 bites of cucumber, but it's not his favorite. 

Now, what I did (and so I won't forget what I did): I started with a small, not at all intimidating salad with just 3 cherry tomatoes and 3 cucumber slices on some small, torn, leafy green romaine lettuce tips. (I skipped the creamy salad dressings because I want him to learn to like the taste of vegetables. ;)) Instead of dressing, I seasoned it with just a little Adobo san Pimienta.=D I had the same on my salad. In addition to salad we had turkey-beef and bean burritos and steamed corn. Delish!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"I think I got cabin fever..."

Mother Nature hates me. There, I said it.

Note the Blue Band of Doom in this graphic from

Where the southern-most part of the blue band crosses from Pennsylvania into New Jersey is where I live - on the PA border just above the edge of the dark blue band. Where we are anticipating another 18 - 24" of snow in the next 18 hours. Seriously. Humor escapes me in this moment. I'm out of humor. All I have left is the milk, eggs, and bread we picked up before the storm began. WE DON'T EVEN EAT EGGS!!!

When I see this graphic... brings to mind a little Jimmy Buffet ditty (from "Songs You Know by Heart" - which I caught Spawn listening to on his school PC today. ::sigh:: Who could blame him? :p):

"Boat drinks.

Boys in the band ordered boat drinks.

Visitors scored on the home rink.

Everything seems to be wrong.

Lately, newspaper mentioned cheap air fare.

I gotta to fly to saint somewhere.

I'm close to bodily harm.

Twenty degrees and the hockey games on.

Nobody cares they are way too far gone.

Screamin boat drinks, something to keep em all warm.

This mornin, I shot six holes in my freezer.

I think I got cabin fever.

Somebody sound the alarm.

I'd like to go where the pace of life's slow.

Could you beam me somewhere Mr. Scott?

Any ol' place here on earth or in space.

You pick the century and I'll pick the spot.

Oh I know, (I know).

I should be leaving this climate.

I got a verse but can't rhyme it.

I gotta go where it's warm.

Boat drinks.

Waitress I need two more boat drinks.

Then Im headin south fore my dream shrinks.

I gotta go where it's warm (I gotta go where it's warm).

I gotta go where it's warm (I gotta go where it's warm).

I gotta go where it's warm!

I gotta go where there aint any snow.

Where there aint any blow.

Cause my fin sinks so low.

I gotta go where it's warm."

Weathering the storm (poorly :p),
Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Meal Planning

We eat entirely too much fast food. Not because we particulalry like it, but because I am a HORRIBLE cook, we're on the go a lot, and my poor husband just runs out of ideas and steam mid-week. :( He's a great cook (and he cleans he kitchen, too!), but winter produce can be so uninspiring and we fall into the trap of eating too much processed stuff and we all feel like fat, over-processed slugs now. Meh. :p

CS Dad is off to the grocery store right now to pick up some staples we'll need to get us through the big blizzard the next few days. There won't be take-out available if we get the projected 2 feet of snow they say is coming. :p And, honestly, who could blame the poor guy who owns the pizza place for staying home in a 'paralyzing blizzard'? ;)

Coming up with kid-friendly meals that Spawn will eat is always a challenge. You may notice a theme in the planned meals this week - salad. Spawn puts up a fight like you've never seen when it comes to eating salad. (Which totally baffles me because I LOVED salads when I was a kid - even those awful, limp, school cafeteria salads. I still love salads!) So what I've done is mixed foods he LOVES with foods that will challenge him. We have a 'three bite rule'. You have to try three mommy-approved bites of any one food item on your dinner plate before you decide not to eat it (due to being either full or just grossed out :p). And you can only opt out of one item at each meal, so if he skips the salad, he still has to eat the veggie to get his fruit and yogurt for dessert before bed. ;) He has willingly choked down zucchini marinara to avoid eating salad in the past. =D It's an evil mama I am. ;)

This week's meals: (Only 5 as we'll have an abundance of leftovers to pick at the rest of the week for the remaining dinners and lunches).

French Bread Pizza (with mushrooms, black olives, or pepperoni) with oven-roasted brussel sprouts with balsamic glaze and a basic lettuce/tomato/cucumber tossed salad with pickled baby corn, some fresh spinach, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Beef, bean, & cheese burritos with oven-roasted sweet corn and a small taco salad. (Same basic salad as the tossed salad, but with black olives, cheddar cheese, and taco sauce.)
Ham steaks with baked sweet potatoes (or maybe we'll make sweet potato oven fries), green beans, corn bread, and cranberry sauce.

Battered haddock filets, roasted new potatoes (with butter and dill), tossed salad with some fresh spinach and balsamic vinaigrette, and oven-roasted corn.

Grilled Turkey-Ham & Cheese on Wheat with Vegetable Beef Soup made in the crockpot with leftover oven-roasted corn and new potatoes, mixed veggies, beef broth, beef cubes, and barley.
My goal is to cover at least half of our plates with veggies. We haven't been doing that - not even close. CS Dad is not a veggie person and neither is Spawn. While Spawn does take vitamins, I don't think they can reasonably make up for real fruits and veggies. I LOVE veggies, but living with Crohn's Disease can sometimes make it difficult for me to eat veggies - especially during a flare-up. :( So, I want to take advantage of this lull between flare-ups that I'm celebratng now to get my guys into good eating habits. Wish us luck!
So, meal planning - do you do it? Have you tried it? What worked for you? Did you find yourself including more fruits and veggies or other things that are good for you?
Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Mo' Snow Fo' Sho'!

No joke - this is the graphic they're showing on one of our local weather stations (and this is the station to the south of us!):

Why, yes, that does say "PARALYZING BLIZZARD". Thanks for asking. :p For the last 20 years or so, a 10" snowfall every two years has been about average here in the Lehigh Valley/Pocono Mt. area. This will be our 4th or 5th significant (ie: 10" or more) snowfall this winter!!!

So now you know why I haven't been posting much - our internets are intermitent at best. ;) Pray for us!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Edited to add: They're predicting approxmately 24" of snow here for us. We just had 17" of snow two weeks ago, and 10" or so a few days before that. >:( When our weathermen indicate a storm could be 'memorable' that usually means anywhere from 2 - 3 FEET of snow. ::sigh::

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jamie Oliver on the Importance of Teaching Children to Cook

"I wish for everyone to help create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity." ~ Jamie Oliver ~

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Jamie Oliver's TED Award Speech

I'm so glad we don't have this particular problem with Spawn, and yet...we overlook the sugar in chocolate milk and buy it occasionally anyway. I wonder if I did the same experiment shown in the video above whether or not Spawn could name more than one or two vegetables in their original, whole condition. We've gotten a little out of practice due to trying to keep weight on Spawn, but I think it's time to get back to the basics of whole foods for the whole family.

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Updated to add link to 2nd video.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stuff I'm Digging This Week 2-11-2010

1. The PassPorter Moms' Podcast at My friends Jenn and Sara chat up another mutual friend, guest of the week, Don Willis. Don is a veteran solo traveler and offers his hints and tips for fellow solo-ers. ;)
2. Scooby Doo's Big Bad Blizzard - I just found it on sale in my son's Scholastic catalog from his school for $1. :o Woot! Oh, and we just had a big, bad, blizzard, so there's that. ;)
3. Family Fun's Weather Wizards - crafts and activities to build your own home weather-watching station. Great projects for a cold, snowy day!
4. The High Mowing Seeds Catalog - The only thing that is getting me through this interminably long winter is planning my summer garden and dreaming of delicious heirloom tomato salads. Yum!
6. Heavensent Bulldog Rescue - I've been mooning over bullies and planning for a possible future sibling for Nugga.
7. Land's End Snow Boots - Unfortunately, they no longer make the same amazing boots I bought there 8 years ago, but, GOOD GRAVY, do they hold up well! Sometimes, I don't even bother to put socks on - that's how warm they are!
8. Turkey Hill Green Tea - Yummy, but also loaded with cancer-preventative antioxidants!
9. Devil Dogs - Devilishly delicious! I haven't had one of these since I was in preschool. Tastes like nostalgia. ;)

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Part Snow Dog...

That's what Nugga thinks she is. ;) It was too cold for me. I could hardly breathe out there. Yes, that's me in the red coat. =D

This last one is of poor, fat Nugga trying to find her poopin' spot on the hill. She pooped right on a shelf of snow. I took pictures. (Yeah, I'm THAT mom. ;)) But I'll spare you the squishy details. =D

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom


Check this out! =D The last time I saw a white out like this was several years ago. That beige thing on the right beyond my SUV is our garden shed. (The thing sticking up out of the yard is our fire ring. It's about 10 yards from where I was standing at the back door.) Beyond that shed is a tree line about 100 yards down the hill, a neighbor's house, and the fire station and hall. On a clear day,we can usually see the elementary school about 3/4 of a mile away up the other side of the hill, but the hill is pretty much indistinguishable today. ;)

I've been trying to talk Spawn into going out to measure the snow every few hours, but he wants no part of THAT mess. LOL!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Snowmaggedon Continues...

The end is nigh!!!

Seriously, people, we live in northeast Pennsylvania. It's time for you to wake up and recognize that it snows here - a LOT. Nor'easters - despite what you New York City transplants may have been led to believe - are normal and FREQUENT in this part of PA. Why are people so shocked when we get 18" of snow? I can remember snow storms when I was a kid that were so bad, kids couldn't walk outside or play in it. My mom carried me through 3 feet of snow to our detached garage once when I was 3 years old! Pennsylvanians got soft and spoiled after a 15 year lull of low snow totals (ever heard of a drought? - they happen all year round!) and now they're freaking out that it's snowing like it normally would. In 1993, we had the STORM OF THE CENTURY!!! 3 feet of snow. Pfft! :p Piffle! :p It snows like that here. It's time to pull up your big girl panties, buy a shovel and some hot chocolate, and hunker down. ;)

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spawn's Point of View - Mommy's Cooking

Spawn asked CS Dad to make him some lunch this afternoon. CS Dad is still having trouble making the switch to a daytime schedule, so he was napping on and off. So I volunteered to make Spawn some lunch. He looked at me dubiously, but let it go.

So I threw together some graham crackers, peanut butter, and apple chunks for lunch and planted a little American flag toothpick in the apple chunks. (The kid will eat anything if I cut it into chunks and give him a toothpick to eat it. :p)

I brought it into the living room and set it on his school work table so he could watch  a little tv during his break. "There you go, buddy, an all-mommy-approved lunch. But your Daddy's making dinner since I took care of breakfast and lunch. ;)"

Spawn, very quietly and to himself as I walked away, "Yes!!!"

I guess that speaks volumes about what Spawn thinks of my cooking. ;)

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spawn's Point of View - Bulldog Heart

Spawn asked me during dinner tonight, "Mommy, what does it look like inside a bulldog?" We have a bulldog, Nugga, so the question wasn't COMPLETELY out of left field. ;)

So I said, "Pink, I guess, but it's dark inside a bulldog because there aren't any windows, so it's probably hard to tell what color it is in there."

Spawn, "No, what does her heart look like?"

Me, baffled, "I don't know. Like a dog heart, I guess."

Spawn, "You mean like this?" [making the heart symbol]

Me, "No, a heart looks more like a lump of clay than the symbol for a heart."

Spawn, "No, Mommy, I mean does she have a heart that looks like that - like a triangle with butt cheeks?"


I ♥ cyberschooling!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2nd Quarter Report Cards Are In...

...and it's GOOD!!! Spawn managed to get all A+'s again this quarter - making him 10 for 10! He hasn't missed Distinguished Honor Roll once since he began kindergarten! Okay... ::endbrag:: ;)

It would have been all 100's in every subject, too, but we kept having problems with user error in online Math tests on the Harcourt website. :p CS Dad and I usually do the button/link/multiple choice clicking for tests because Spawn gets ahead of himself and clicks without listening sometimes. CS Dad also reads the Math questions to Spawn and he read one of them incorrectly on a test this quarter. :p Not that I'm pointing fingers. ;) Or complaining. 6 A+'s is not nothing! =D

I ♥ cyberschooling!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom
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