Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So Whatcha Want?

Dashiell has always been a fan of  music--what child isn't?   So I've been trying to compile a list of Dashiell's  favorite songs, and thought I'd share what I've come up with so far:

So Whatcha Want, by the Beastie Boys.  Really, any Beastie Boys song is a hit, but this one always makes him laugh and sing along.  He calls it the "Punk Farm" song, which is the name of a book he loves.  I'd have to guess this is probably his favorite song right now.

Peaches, by the Presidents of the United States of America.   He loves peaches, and therefore loves this song.  Always sings it when he eats peaches.

Uprising, by Muse.  Anytime it comes on the radio he runs over and starts dancing.

Loser, by Beck.  He heard it this weekend and declared, "I like that song!"

Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu, by  Bad  Manners.  Rick often plays it for him and he'll dance around the living room like a crazy man.

Bird is the Word, by the Trashmen.  Another song  he declared to like the other day.  Peter Griffin would be  proud.

Linus and Lucy, by the Vince Guaraldi.  He excitedly calls out "Snoopy!" when he hears it.

Lollipop, by the Chordetttes (I think).  A couple of  girls were singing it on the beach one day, and Dashiell has been singing it ever since.

We are Family, by Sister Sledge.  It was in a birthday card we sent to auntie Lisa, and he thought it  was the funniest thing.   I caught him on video:

Of  course there are kids' songs that  he loves too,  like I'm a Little Teapot,  ABC,  Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, Shake your Sillies Out, and something I think is called Bim  Bam Razzamatazzama.  And inexplicably, he asks us to sing You are my Sunshine, then starts to cry during  it.  It  is kind of a sad song, if  you  listen to the whole thing.  He and Rick both like the melancholy tunes.

Quick update on D's sleeping--we laid down the law and decided that  Dash could have no more than 3  books in his crib, and he has to pick out which ones they are.  We had a rough couple of  nights, but have adjusted and have far fewer protests at bedtime now.  The newest challenge?  He's been trying to climb out of his crib.  Hasn't succeeded yet, but we have caught him balancing on the front rail a couple of  times.  So we promised him that he could sleep in a big boy bed after we get back from Minnesota, however until then he'd need to sleep in a crib.  I'm not really looking forward to it, but he's super excited.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I want another book!

We're having some bed time issues in our house.  In my opinion, it all started when we got rid of Dashiell's pacifier.  Prior to that, Dashiell was a champion sleeper--loved sleeping, wouldn't fuss, fell asleep relatively it's a totally different story.  It now takes him at minimum an hour to fall asleep at night (usually a little less at nap time, WHEN he naps--that's a whole other issue).  Granted, it could just be that he's two.  Two-year-olds are not always the most reasonable human beings. 

Here's the story:  For a long time we've left books in his crib at bedtime and nap time for him to read until he falls asleep or before we get him out of bed.  Rick and I are both fairly avid readers, and always read before we sleep so it only seemed natural to let Dashiell do the same.  Lately, though, we put him in his bed with a few books, and before we can say goodnight and close the door, he tells us he wants another book.  Okay, fair enough.  But he won't tell us what book he wants, and if we give him a book he doesn't want he says no, he doesn't want that one.  So we play this guessing game, trying to pick out a book he might like and get out the door before he can ask for something else.  It sometimes works for a little while, but most every night he'll look at the books in his crib for a bit, then cry for something else.  The guessing game begins again!  Usually that will happen at least one more time before he falls asleep.  I'd like to point out the above photo of him sleeping the other night.  If you look closely, you'll notice that there are 9 books visible in his crib!  He barely has any room to sleep!

I personally am getting really frustrated by this game.  Rick thinks we're getting played.  Dashiell knows we're suckers for books, and we'll come back into his room when he cries for another one.  But honestly, I'm not really sure what to do!  We took away his comfort item (the pacifier), and now he finds comfort in his books.  And they're BOOKS.  We can't take them away!  And if we don't go to him when he cries, he just cries louder and more frantically.  Rick thinks we should let him tough it out, but how's he supposed to sleep when he gets himself so worked up?  I've tried encouraging him to pick out his own books to put in his crib before we begin our bedtime ritual (or right before he gets into his crib), but that doesn't help.  He still asks for more books.  Sigh.  So, yeah, if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.  I'll keep you posted if things change.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Little Big Park

We tried out a new park on Sunday--Friendship Park in Chelmsford.  It was a hit!  It consists of a few big wooden structures with plenty of things to climb on, slides to slide down, and swings to swing in.  There's a sand pit in the middle of one of the structures, and people seem to leave their unwanted outdoor toys there as a donation to the park (note the Cozy Coupe in the background of the above photo).

Sunday was a good day to go--overcast, hot but not oppressively so, with just a few other kids there.  Enough kids for Dash to play with, not so many that he got overwhelmed or impatient for his turn to climb/slide/swing. 

Our pictures are very blurry, since it was hard to get Dashiell to stay still long enough to photograph!  Plus he kept telling me that he didn't want any more pictures taken.  He didn't care that we wanted to preserve precious memories, he just wanted to play.

The problem with finding this cool new park is that Dashiell now wants to go to it constantly!  Yesterday before his nap, he spent a good 10 minutes crying because we weren't going to the "new little big park" right then.  Poor kid!  But what that really meant was that after his nap we HAD to go to the park.  He didn't care that it was almost 90 degrees outside with 70% humidity, he NEEDED to get to that park!  So I dragged our sweaty bodies to the park, lots of water and sunblock in hand.

THANK HEAVENS for our friend Meghan, who saved us after about 20 minutes of playing by calling to ask us over to her air conditioned house!

This morning at breakfast, Dashiell asked again to go to the new little big park.  I'm sure I'll get another request to go again tomorrow.  And probably the day after.  I love my little one-track-mind kiddo!

Monday, August 9, 2010


That's it!  Dashiell is only allergic to nuts!  And sesame seeds, but who cares about those?!  Woo-hoo!! 

We went to his allergy appointment this morning, very concerned about what other allergies we might find, or about being told his soy and milk allergies were fairly severe and we should avoid all dairy and soy products completely, but instead we met with the most down-to-earth, awesome allergist ever.  When she looked at the blood test results, she essentially told us that they're unreliable and what might seem like a high number for some allergens could actually be a low number.  When we told her our concerns about milk, she asked if he'd ever had a reaction prior to having the blood test, and when we said no she said she's not concerned about milk at all.  She tested for soy, and it was negative!  Which was a shocker, since he used to throw up every time we gave him something with soy protein in it (tofu, for example, which we haven't given to him in about a year).  Tested for chick peas, too, since that's the food item we thought he reacted to originally (and came out positive in the blood test).  Negative!  As mentioned, sesame seeds were positive, which might have been what he originally reacted to since we were eating hummus that day, and sometimes is made with sesame.  She did suggest that if we were to try feeding him chick peas again, she'd feel more comfortable if we did it in their office (a chick pea "challenge"), just in case.

I never thought I'd be happy to find out Dash has a nut allergy, but if he's going to be allergic to any food, I'm GLAD it's nuts.  Easy to avoid--everything nutty is labeled as such.  Milk and soy?  So not easy to avoid.

We didn't test for any additional environmental allergies.  She asked if we wanted to, and when I asked if it would change anything we would normally do to treat his environmental allergies he has, she said no.  We'd still give him Zyrtec.  So I kind of figured that the additional testing wasn't really worth it.

Yippee!!  I can't tell you how relieved I am! :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mmm...blueberry muffins!

I took a baby step into the realm of dairy-free baking today--blueberry muffins!  Made with rice milk!  And they turned out GREAT!  If I hadn't been the one who made them, I would have never known they were made any different than "normal" blueberry muffins.   Whew!  I was feeling very leery of dairy-free baking...long ago I was roommates with a woman who wanted to be vegan, and wanted to master vegan baking.  Some of her creations were decent.  Others were just not quite right.  And still other were bad enough that she didn't even let me sample them.  So food substitutions in recipes always make me nervous.  And yes, I was a vegetarian for 13 years, and I did plenty of "fake meat" substitutions, but that's different.  Baking is much more scientific than cooking.

Anyway, I thought I'd share the recipe I used in case anyone wants it!  I adapted it from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, copyright 1989 ("new" indeed...):

1-3/4 c flour
1/3 c sugar (I used just a little less than that)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 c vanilla rice milk (plain would probably work just as well, I just happened to have vanilla open)
1/4 c cooking oil
3/4 c blueberries
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center.  In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, rice milk, and oil; add to the flour mixture.  Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).  Fold in blueberries and lemon zest.  Fill lightly greased or paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.  Remove from pan.  EAT! 

They could probably use a little more lemon zest or some sort of tasty dessert-y spice (nutmeg, maybe?), just to give them a little more flavor, but I think that's an issue with the base recipe, not with the rice milk substitution.  Any suggestions are welcome.  However, I should note that I was raised on Betty Crocker Blueberry Muffin Mix, so my taste buds are accustomed to a more "processed" flavor of muffin.  Maybe I just need to adjust!

Don't they look tasty??

I was hoping to have a cute picture of Dashiell enjoying a blueberry muffin to post on the blog, however he decided he didn't even want to try them.  Not a single bite.  I think it was because I so emphatically told him how tasty they were and that he'd love them.  I should know better than to try to convince a 2-year-old of anything!  Next time I'll tell him he can't have any--then he'll want them all!

The BHaG cookbook has adaptations for many varieties of muffins using the same base time I might have to try pumpkin muffins.  Or oatmeal muffins.  Or JELLY muffins--YUM!