Friday, January 18, 2013

Lunch blues

This week was HARD!

 Monday wasn't-- Ben taught class and was home by noon. I laid around in my PJs, grabbed a workout while Coop napped, and took Harry out for a snack and groceries after school so we could whip up some chicken enchiladas to cook while the big boys and I went to karate and Ben and Cooper went to the Genius Bar to see why Ben's old, old laptop (it's younger than Jack which is OLD for a computer) couldn't run Java (needed Snow Leopard-- all fixed-- phew!)

 Tuesday wasn't, either. Neither one of us had anything to do, except Ben volunteered in 4K, and I volunteered in first grade. I don't even think we cooked dinner-- more like "made some food" Before Ben taught another night class.

 But Wednesday! Wednesday was killer! Ben had to leave by 6:30 am, and our lovely babysitter came over at 8, meaning I had to get me and the kids ready for the day, and my plans to wake up early and take a quick shower were foiled by Cooper who suddenly-- no matter what time he goes down-- is awake at 5:45. Blurgh. Then, I had meetings ALL DAY (seriously, my spoiled academic self is not used to an 8-5er). Ben taught a random night class, so he was gone from 6:30 am-10:30pm, and I had to do all the bedtime stuff myself which was actually fine because I hadn't seen the kids all damn day, which sucked.

 Thursday, Ben was home all day, and I managed to wrap my meetings up by noon, which was good because I needed to nap from 1-3.

 Today, we had another early morning with both of us leaving for work and the sitter coming over (thank god for wonderful babysitters-- another perk of knowing graduate students!) but I hope to be home before Jack is out of 4K today (and neither of us could go on his field trip, and he totally ugly cried about it. We felt SO BAD because this is literally the ONLY MORNING between now and the end of August that we both have to be somewhere at the same time) (and I have a meeting in a minute and some unexpected desk time b/c I am otherwise prepped for classes next week, so I really do have to be here right now).

 And when I write it all out, this week doesn't look so bad. Wednesday was kind of rough, I guess.

In keeping with my Happier at Home inspired theme of being, um, happy with all the aspects of my life that I can control, I decided to try to remake a task I find bothersome:  packing lunches.  Jack's is not bad because he just has to bring a morning snack to eat while the kids in his class who qualify for school breakfast eat breakfast.  Since he eats with Harry and Cooper at 6:30, I just send a YoKids yogurt tube and half a bagel with cream cheese and some sort of organic, low-sugar juice pouch or a Horizn milk box depending on what's in the fridge.

But Harry.

He needs a lunch he'll actually eat that's healthy and free of dyes, so he can have a good, focused afternoon.  He's not much of a breakfast eater (half of a half-bagel with peanut butter, berries or oranges, and some whole milk yogurt-- I also give him whole milk to drink in the morning because he barely eats his food), and he has a TINY (think one graham cracker) snack at school at 10, and that's it until lunch.  He is also easily distracted and likes to talk to his friends, so he finds himself pressed for time in the cafeteria, hence the awesome bento box.  The one I use is a Laptop Lunch.  I bought 2 sets of the box and inside dishes, so I can pack the next day's lunch whenever I have a free moment instead of waiting for it to come home from school, and I only bought one of the outer insulated carrying cases.  It came with a water bottle that we never use because he likes to buy milk.

This week, to make myself like the task better despite having more work responsibilities than I have had in awhile, I tried to be creative with lunch.  One day, I packed cereal and a juice, and he used his milk for his krispies.  Another day he had leftover pizza.  Another day featured hard boiled eggs. There was a random chicken leg.  But at the end of the week when I looked at the pictures, I realized that even when I try to be creative, he generally eats the same damn thing.  What can I say?  The organic fruit selection is shit lately, so we have a ton of clementines and kiwi, which are the only organic things besides apples that look delicious, and Harry can't take apples because whole ones don't fit in his special snowflake lunchbox and he hates when slices turn brown.

Cooper is happiest at home when he is destroying something.

Any tips for breaking a lunch rut? Any go-tos you find yourself packing every week?


  1. Bella's the same way about the apple. It would be so great if there was a way for them not to brown. I hear lime juice helps it but shit would I hear about it from Bella if her apple was sour! See, as much as I want to vary it up because I think we all need it--she really is content eating the same thing. On random days I'll hide a sweet little treat like one M&M under her sandwich or behind her dried fruit and she LOVES it!

  2. love the random chicken leg; my kid wouldn't eat that if it was the last piece of food on the planet. He likes chicken...just not in leg form. Sigh.

    Cooper's got some serious powers of destruction--that's awesome!

  3. We do the same thing pretty much every single day. They don't care and it's easy to keep stuff on hand. Cannot WAIT to pass this job onto the kids!

  4. Anonymous8:43 PM

    I saw a recipe for apple slices on Pintrest that involves soaking slices in a fresh orange juice and lemon juice combo. It's allegedly delicious. ~Sarah Schlossberg

  5. Anonymous9:24 PM

    getting caught up on the blog - maybe you should become a bento mom! Have you seen those lunches??You could probably actually do it! Boo

  6. I have no advice for lunch excitement because my kids eat the exact same lunch everyday (thank god!), but if you soak the apple slices in ice water with a little 7up they don't turn brown. Probably plain ice water would work too, but I'm trying to use up this case of disgusting natural Sierra mist I bought because I can't bear to just throw it away even though it is nasty and we don't drink pop anyway.