Saturday, June 22, 2013

Children's Menus

I hate the kids' menus at restaurants. It's nothing but beige coloured crap, even if you're eating at a 3 or 4 star restaurant.
  • Plain Cheeseburger
  • Hot Dog
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Chicken Fingers & Fries
  • Mini Cheese Pizza
  • Grilled Cheese
Without even looking, I guarantee at least half, if not all, of those meals are served with fries at any given sit-down restaurant. Where's the flavour? The colour? The vegetables? So boring and greasy! I don't want my kid eating that stereotypical junk. When we go out to eat, I want Tesla to expand her horizons and not be afraid to try something new. How can she try something new when all of the restaurants have the exact same kids menu?

But I've found some restaurants that serve interesting dishes on their kids menu!

Chopstick Chicken n Rice Bowl
From Boston Pizza, the Chopstick Chicken n' Rice Bowl.
Chicken, red peppers, pineapple and seasonal vegetables tossed in teriyaki sauce and served on rice, topped with crunchy noodles.

At Moxie's kid's can have Teriyaki Salmon with jasmine rice and steamed vegetables. They can also have Grilled Chicken with asiago cream penne and steamed vegetables.

Quarter Chicken with Garden Salad
From Swiss Chalet you can order the all white meat Quarter Chicken with your choice of a garden salad or fresh vegetables.

If you're ever at Chop Steakhouse, you can get the Sirloin Dinner for your kid. A 7oz AAA sirloin served with seasonal vegetables, and mashed potatoes.

At Montana's Cookhouse, you could get Pork Back Ribs. They're hickory smoked pork back ribs brushed with barbeque sauce and served with your choice of side. Some of those sides include cucumber coins, apple slices, salad, or fries and carrot sticks.

From Red Lobster, of course you can get seafood. Try ordering the Snow Crab Legs or the Garlic Grilled Shrimp off the kids menu for your offspring. The meal comes with milk and your choice of orange wedges or broccoli.

The stereotype that kids won't eat vegetables or properly seasoned food and will only eat bland "kid" foods is such non-sense. Food is for everyone. My 9 month old baby ate yam fries with chipotle-ranch dip just last week.  She eats everything I eat.

I love garlic and onions and when I cook I use all sorts of different herbs and spices, even crushed chilies. The only thing I don't season food with is salt. Tesla eats all of it! I try to expose her to as much flavour and texture as I safely can.

Tesla's too young to order off the kids menu, but if none of these restaurants ban children in the next 3 years, I think I'll keep them in mind for when we decide to go out to eat as a family.  It's nice to know there are places that serve child sized portions of food that aren't part of the "Stereotyped Six" listed above.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sippy Cups

I'm making a parenting choice that all the books disagree with. I put liquids other than formula in Tesla's baby bottles. (Gasp!) Tesla hasn't mastered the sippy cup yet. She's not even close. So why should she be excluded from trying new things just because the experts don't want her to try them in a bottle?

Tesla drinks broth, vegetable juice, fresh fruit juice and water in her bottles.

Apparently the whole thing is that doctors want babies off of their bottles by the time they're a year. By giving Tesla drinks other than her formula in her bottle, she going to apparently be even more attached to her bottle and not want to let it go, thus making it harder for her ween.

If I give her liquids in sippy cups, she will make the association that bottles are for formula and sippy cups are for everything else. When I stop giving her formula, it won't sting as much not being able to have a bottle.

Here's the thing: Tesla isn't attached to her bottle. Not even a little bit. I've never given her a bottle to go to sleep. She absolutely loves table food and I think she actually prefers it to her bottle. In August when I start to ween her off of her bottle, I know it will be a piece of cake.

But I still have 2 whole months, plus some days for Tesla to learn how to use her sippy cup "on time." I'm not really worried about it. Tesla has already shown that she will do things her way when she wants to. She's often offered a sippy cup with water and she really doesn't get it. She just likes to shake it and throw it. It will come to her.

Until then, I want Tesla to be able to enjoy soups and juices because it shouldn't matter how she gets her nutrition, it should just matter that she's getting it and she's trying new things.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Perfect Cursive

I was reading an article about how cursive writing may become extinct. Ontario, Quebec, and at least 45 US states have all taken cursive writing out of the official curriculum. In lieu of learning to type, cursive just isn't an integral part of our life like it used to be. Everything we do is on a computer and a lot of it is mandatory that it be typed. Imagine submitting a 5000 word essay to your university professor completely handwritten? What a nightmare for everybody involved.

Due to the illegibility of most people's handwriting, I would say that more people choose to print as opposed to using cursive when it comes to having to communicate via the written word. And on any official document or form that must be filled out with pen, it is clearly stated that you must print.

So, who uses handwriting on a regular basis? Doctors who write prescriptions? My doctor uses a computer to print out prescriptions, but I know that system isn't set up everywhere. People who need to write quick notes, maybe? Most people email notes to coworkers, or just send a text. It's so rare to have to leave a physical note somewhere. Most students take notes on their laptops.

The only time I use cursive is when I'm signing my name, making lists, and when I'm writing in my journal. I find handwriting to be faster then printing. That was the whole point to learning cursive, wasn't it?

I'm a little sad that cursive will one day be extinct, but our society just doesn't use it and so I can see the value in dropping it from the curriculum in order to spend time on more important subjects. I really enjoy using it on a regular basis and am glad I learned it.

Maybe if Tesla is interested I can teach her myself when she's older. (I should look for workbooks now before those are extinct too) By the time she's a teen it will be cool and ironic to use cursive and everyone will be jealous of her skills. Or maybe in however many more years cursive will turn into an art form like calligraphy or glyphs or something.

Not all hope is lost for cursive though. In Prince Edward Island cursive remains a mandatory part of the curriculum, and in Nova Scotia teachers get to decide how much time they spend teaching their students cursive. Good for them! Long live cursive!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Home-Made Cough Syrup

It's 11:00 at night and I'm very sick. Not as sick as I was yesterday, throwing up, cold-sweats, and dried up like a raisin, but my neck is stiffer than an adolescent's erection and I've got this dry cough that won't quit.

I look for some cough syrup. I can't find any. I know, let's make some!

I find a simple recipe online and start to throw it together. I need to can it to preserve it better, so I get some clean baby jars I've saved and begin the process of sterilizing them. The fucking stove catches on fire! Yeah, I haven't cleaned up in a while.

It was a small fire and I doused it with just one cup of water. The smoke detector didn't even go off.

Now it's almost 11:30, I'm still trying to sterilizing the jars and I'm totally exhausted. I caught this bug from one of my daycare kids. Thankfully 2 of them are still sick and aren't coming in tomorrow. I'll just have the 4 year old and my baby for the third straight day.

I had to call in reinforcements for Monday and today. I just slept and fasted for 2 days. I knew I was feeling better when I had a bit more energy despite having not eaten anything. I actually left the house and went grocery shopping. It felt good to get some exercise and fresh air.

Nobody is coming to help me tomorrow and I really hope I can make through the day. Netflix is a miracle time waster for children and adults alike, but not being able to nap is going to be tough I think, especially since I'm not going to be getting a full 8 hours tonight.

Moment of truth: This home-made cough syrup tastes like... super sweet, yet sour syrup. It's mostly made out of honey with some olive oil and lemon juice mixed in.  Here's to hoping I can fall asleep before midnight and that my cough stops.


I took 3 tablespoons of my home-brew, which didn't work,  and 2 hours later I completely lost my voice and felt worse than I have all week. I didn't get any sleep and Bob had to stay home to help me because I was exhausted.  He's also sick.

I can't wait for this virus to be over with!