Coming Soon – Tips for a Great Start with Team Kellogg’s

 

This winter I’ll be doing a series of posts that will be part of the “Tips for a Great Start with Team Kellogg’s” program, with advice about getting off to a great start when we need it the most. Like this one – play at the table:

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I prefer to have the boys in their seats, sitting still so they can actually eat their meals, versus them taking a bite of cereal and then getting up to run around or wrestle. I love when they play together and have fun, but with 15 minutes to go before we leave for school, ain’t nobody got time for that.

The Eat’n’Play Placemat, above, has games both of my boys like, especially Kyle who loves anything that involves math. Click here to download the placemat and print it out for your own kids! (Remember to leave out a crayon or a pencil, or you might get lines drawn in milk, which is what happened at my house.)

I’m a big fan of breakfast, and I’ve definitely passed that down to the kids. No matter how hectic our morning might be, there’s always time for a meal, even if it’s on the go. So as I share more helpful tips for a great start from Team Kellogg’s, I’ll have stories to tell about how our days begin.

They’re never boring, that’s for sure.

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Kellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips.

Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.  

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Little Victories

Several months ago, my friend E. and I spent a few days calling each other to report how many times we cursed in front of our children. “I made it all the way to 10:30 AM before I let out a goddammit,” I’d report, a little proudly. It was a measure of how nuts we felt we were going.

And then we started listed the few things we did right in a day. We congratulated each other for accomplishments as minor as brushing our hair. (All day with the kids can be brutal. Now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure this was back in the summer.)

I told her I wanted to try keeping a record of the little victories I have during the day, because I see so many failures in myself that it gets depressing. The times I lose my cool. The times I give up and let the boys watch too much TV. The days I don’t get enough housework done.

I’ve been thinking about that plan a lot more lately, maybe because I’ve been sick, and the holidays were upon us, and there was little energy or time to be as intentional with my parenting and wifing as I want to be.

And I’ve been up late at night, too, unable to sleep, which isn’t like me. So my head spins. I catalogue the events of the day. I remember more good things.

My intention, then, is to record them here when I can, so that I can look back and remind myself that it’s not all bad. I mean, I brushed my teeth AND my hair today. Score!

Today’s Little Victories:

Went to church
Surprised kids with Golden Grahams for breakfast, which they loved
Matched up 10 pairs of separated pajamas in Brady’s laundry
Wrote 2 overdue product reviews
Talked to my Aunt Jeannie on the phone
Stayed off the computer until after 2pm
Ate a tangerine
Got Stewart fix our bed frame and our vacuum cleaner
Vacuumed the snowdrifts of dust on the stairs
Took a walk around the neighborhood as a family
Made delicious margaritas for me and Stewart
Remembered to hang dry Stewart’s coach jersey instead of destroying the polyester garment in the dryer
Finished washing the inside of the refrigerator
Washed and changed all the sheets on all the beds
Did some research for my book
Read an article that my mom sent me that I’d been saving
Snuggled with Brady on the couch
Listened to Kyle talk about a video game without interrupting or checking my phone while he talked (this totally counts and if you have a kid who loves, say, Minecraft, you understand)

This exercise feels good. I’m going to do it again, especially on a day when I really feel like a shitty mom or a lazy writer or a terrible housekeeper or a bad wife. If you try it too I’d love to hear your little victories.

Christmas Card 2013: …and this one was JUST right!

When my parents were visiting, we all headed up to a picturesque hilltop so they could help take our family Christmas card picture. It was a very short uphill hike, but the kids started complaining about three steps into it. We did manage to capture one good image for the card, but as usual, the outtakes are hilarious.

This spot was too squinty:

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This kid didn’t want to smile. Plus there was a spot on the camera lens. Duh:

 

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This kid kept wandering away…

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And this spot was just right, if we could only get all four of us to look at the camera and smile at the same time:

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Finally, success!

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(Later, there was a scorpion:)

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas Morning Breakfast: Apple Puffed Pancake

Puff Pancake

This is what my mother made for breakfast on Christmas morning. Now I make it every year. But also every year, I lose the recipe and I have to call my mother for it. Luckily, I remembered that last year she emailed it to me, so I found it nice and snug in my Gmail archives. I am posting it here for posterity, and so that you might also enjoy:

Apple-Puffed Pancake

6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup flour
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 lb butter
2 apples, peeled & thinly sliced
2-3 tbs brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425. In a blender or large bowl, mix eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon till blended. If using a mixer, batter will remain slightly lumpy. Melt butter in a 12″ fluted porcelain quiche dish or a 13×9 baking dish in oven. Add apple slices to baking dish. Return to oven until butter sizzles. Do not let brown. Remove dish from oven and immediately pour batter over apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake in middle of oven 20 minutes or until puffed and brown. Serve immediately with bacon and some Lipitor. 6-8 servings.

Photo courtesy of Our Cooking Cafe, with permission.