Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Terrible 2's

The terrible two's. We are there. We are SO there.

I knew this was coming. Lucas has been having tantrums for quite a long time now. Definitely since before he turned 18 months. Ryan went through a tantrum stage around this age, although he was more quiet and determined about getting his way. Lucas is a totally different story. For the past month or so things have gotten much worse. This week in particular has been rough.

What do you think of when you think of a toddler tantrum? Screaming, kicking, crying, hitting, biting......Lucas does it all! He is so incredibly loud that sometimes his screaming makes my ears ring afterwards. He is a crazy combination of loud and physically strong. He kicks and bites and makes his body go stiff. I didn't know a 22 month old could test my muscles so much!

Lucas throws a tantrum when: being put into his carseat, being put into the stroller, arriving at home and being carried inside, I put the lid on his cup without him helping me, getting out of the bath, not being held immediately when he wants to be, strapped into a shopping cart, being strapped down for a meal, being told he can't be held, being told he can't have another snack, pretty much being told NO.

The worst for me is the fact that he throws a tantrum every time I don't pick him up. He hangs on me and cries to be picked up at least 100 times per day. And I just can't hold him all the time. Every time I ignore his request or try to divert him he starts screaming and crying and hitting. It's exhausting.

Here is an example of what he does in shopping carts:
video
Notice how Ryan doesn't even acknowledge what is going on? It has become so normal to hear Lucas having a tantrum. I would estimate that Lucas is in tantrum mode at least 50% of the day. And that is a conservative estimate. The thing about his tantrums is that they don't just start and stop a minute or two later. They go on and on and on. And I never know what will set them off. The other day his piece of bacon broke in half and that resulted in a 10-minute tantrum. I try to ignore it or discipline him, but it's pretty hard to ignore a screaming toddler who is hanging on your leg or pulling your pants off of you.

My new game plan for Lucas' meltdowns is going to be putting him in his room when we are at home. I think the ultimate punishment for him is being separated from me, so I am really hoping this works.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hypochondriac

Ryan is turning into a little hypochondriac. Here are a few examples.
He tells me almost every morning that he doesn't feel well. Within an hour of getting up he wants to lay back down. He tells me he's sick and he doesn't want to do anything. He will usually tell me again later in the day once or twice that he is sick.

The other day he watched an episode of Caillou where he was sick with the flu. Later that day Ryan came up to me and told me he had a fever. I felt him and he felt completely normal. But he was pretty sure he was sick with the flu just like Caillou.

He is obsessed with his "owies". He is constantly looking at his toes and fingers for new owies, which are usually so tiny I need a microscope to see them.

I can tell that Ryan is a bit of a worrier and internalizes certain things. So I understand why he may have some hypochondriac tendencies. But I have no idea why he thinks he is sick every single day. Maybe it's to get attention from me and I need to work more on spending some one-on-one time with him. Maybe he really thinks he is sick. I don't know.

Does your child imagine they are sick when they really aren't?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Blue Apron

I recently had the opportunity to try out a new company called Blue Apron. I am really excited to share my experience with you all!

Here is a description of their company from their website:

Blue Apron is a new concept in grocery delivery, built around incredible cooking experiences.  We offer a once-a-week subscription service where we deliver all the fresh ingredients you need to make 3 meals, in exactly the right proportions.  We’ve designed our service to teach you fun new recipes, save prep time and also reduce unnecessary waste.  By letting us shop for you, we can bring you fresher and higher-quality food than you can get on your own in the supermarket, and for better prices! 

Here’s how our subscription service works: 
  • Select the type of plan you want and the number of people
  • Delivery is free, and we deliver the same day each week
  • There’s no commitment: you can cancel anytime before the weekly cutoff 
  • Stick with us long enough and you’ll get additional free goodies in the mail!

My first impression upon receiving my Blue Apron box in the mail was that it was really heavy!
I opened it up to find it full of fresh, perfectly measured ingredients.
I appreciated how everything was clearly labeled so that I could easily identify which ingredients went with which recipe.

Each set of ingredients came with a large colorful recipe card that included step-by-step pictures, calorie counts, and a detailed description of the recipe. One item of information that I wished the recipe had included was an estimate of how long the meal would take to cook.

So how did the food taste?

Tilapia Veracruzana with Yellow Rice
At first I was a bit hesitant about some of the ingredients in this dish because they didn't seem to go together. Maybe I'm just not used to cooking authentic Mexican/Spanish dishes. Olives, cinnamon, fresh oregano, fish.....somehow everything came together to taste really good! The fish cooked perfectly with minimal effort and the sauce was a unique combination of spicy and sweet.

Roasted Chicken with Jalapeno-Herb Salsa, Mixed Citrus and Cracked Wheat Berries
I knew right away that I would like this dish, and Adam knew he would not. I love citrus so this was perfect for me because it contained clementine, grapefruit and tangelo, with a little zing from a jalapeno. I never cook bone-in chicken breast but I might try it again sometime because this chicken was extremely moist. I did end up burning the pistachios that were supposed to be lightly toasted and included in the salsa. It still turned out great!

 3-Chile Beef Chili with Red Kidney Beans and Pepper Jack Cheese
This chili was our favorite meal of the 3! It had a strong smoky flavor that came from roasting 3 different chiles in the oven before chopping and adding to the chili. The spice level was perfect and I was excited to see a small block of cheese included to grate over the top. However, I was missing something crunchy in this dish, so I added our own tortilla chips. Adam and I even argued over who got to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day! (Each dish we received included enough for two servings, although I found them to be quite generous and almost enough for 3 full servings).

Overall, I had a lot of fun trying out this company! I think it would be great for someone who has a difficult time menu-planning and grocery shopping because it basically eliminates those steps for you. I also think this service could be fun to try for a date night at home. It would save you the hassle of waiting at a restaurant but still provide you with a high-quality meal. One feature I would love for Blue Apron to add is a dessert option! I think it would be very fun to bake a restaurant-worthy dessert at home.

Would you like to try Blue Apron for yourself? First time customers can use the following code to receive 30% off their order!  https://www.blueapron.com/nullybabyblog042014

Let me know if you try it! And invite me over for dinner.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bay Walk

It's pretty rare that we spend time together out as a family of four. With Adam's long work hours, any spare time on the weekend is usually spent at home getting stuff done. So I was really happy when we took a couple hours on Sunday to explore the bay near our house. We threw rocks into the water, looked for shells, and just enjoyed the warm day. It was really nice.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chatterbox

People often assume Ryan doesn't talk much because he is so shy. And while he is pretty much mute when around people he doesn't know well (or even people he sees every week), he is a chatterbox at home.
I remember being this exact same way as a child. I would clam up in public and then my Mom couldn't make me stop talking once I go home!

I try really hard not to just brush off what Ryan is saying....but sometimes his questions are so constant that I find myself nodding and saying things like "Uh-huh, that's interesting. I don't know buddy. Maybe Daddy knows the answer to your question".

Recent questions Ryan has asked me:

How does water melt?

Is fire hotter than the sun?

What are germs?

I try my best to give simple answers that satisfy his curiosity, but let's be honest.....I have no idea what I'm talking about!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: Graze

I was recently given the opportunity to receive a free Graze box for review! Graze is a company that sends you hand-selected snacks in a cute little box. You specify on their website which flavor combinations you like and dislike. Based on that, the company choses 4 snacks to send you.
My Graze snacks came in a cute little box. A box contains 4 snacks for a total of $6. I really liked that Graze chose my snacks for me because I absolutely love receiving surprises in the mail. There is something about having someone else choose something for you that makes it more desirable.

Each snack container was pretty small. Here is one next to an Altoids tin to show you a size comparison. I'm pretty sure I could eat all 4 snacks in one sitting if I let myself! But again, the cost is really low ($6) so I wouldn't expect huge portions. It would be nice if Graze offered larger boxes for a slightly higher price because these snacks were so good I was left wanting more!
Here are my 4 snacks:

Herby Bread Basket
This was the first snack I tried, since I was craving something salty when my box came. I loved this one! It contained basil baguettes, garlic crostinis, and oregano rice crackers. It reminded me of a Gardetto's snack mix, but with a healthier and more unique flavor.

Raspberry and Coconut Muffin
This mix contained raspberry cranberries, coconut, amaretti drops, and almond slices.  For me, the amaretti drops were the best part of this mix. I would have been happy to just eat a boxful of amaretti drops! I love anything almond flavored, and coconut is also one of my favorite flavors, so I loved this combination. It was pretty sweet and the perfect little snack to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Chili and Lime Pistachios
The description for this snack is "pistachios roasted with lime and chili". Pistachios are one of the few nuts I enjoy eating, but for some reason I rarely eat them. I liked these, but didn't love them. The chili and lime flavor was very subtle and the pistachio flavor was definitely still the dominant flavor that came through. Adam loves pistachios so I saved most of these for him!

Pina Colada
This tropical mixture contained dried pineapple, coconut, and mango. I felt like the coconut didn't really add anything to this mix. I would have been just fine eating the dried mango and pineapple. I have had dried mango before from Trader Joe's, but I have never eaten dried pineapple. I might have to seek some out now because this was really good!

One feature that would have been nice is a list of ingredients on the snack containers, or at least on my little brochure that came with the box. Instead, ingredients are listed on the website. However, not having the ingredients in front of me certainly did not stop me from devouring my Graze snacks!
Graze has provided me with a coupon code to share with you all! If you would like to try Graze for yourself and get your 1st and 5th box free, please use this code: 7L539ZKQB.