And Twins for Lunch!

25 03 2015

Well, I promised a photo of the green smoothie, and look here it is — almost three years later!  And I was right about one thing back then:  The famous green smoothie of June 30, 2012, was the beginning of a new era, but not only in our beverage options.  In fact, in just 2 months and 3 days after that posting, our girl/boy twins, LA and BB, arrived on the scene.  And IMG_1100with that we immediately entered the world of families with three children, which is a crazy place to be when you’ve only had one for almost five years.  And this explains my three-year hiatus.

But while I may have taken a lengthy break from blogging, let me assure you that my kitchen saw no such vacation!  I will admit that I have made exactly ZERO yeasted breads since 2012, but LA and BB have been great teachers in so many other subjects, including “How to Make Dinner in Random 2-Minute Intervals Between Nursing Screaming Twin Babies” and “What to Cook When None of Your Children Will Eat the Same Two Things.”  So, yeah, there’s been plenty going on.

And the smoothies?  Well, they are definitely an old family favorite at this point, and I have a tried and true formula that is easily tweaked in a variety of directions.  While I occasionally make a pink or orange smoothie that involves no veggies (just fruit) or a chocolate nut-butter smoothie, most everyone seems to prefer the green smoothies, so who I am to argue with that one?

I’m not one of those moms who whips up a smoothie for breakfast every morning.  Sorry to disappoint.  The kids generally get a couple of pieces of toast or a bowl of hot or cold cereal, and that’s it.  If I have time to toss them some cut-up fruit left over from lunchbox packing, then that’s a great day.  But the smoothies are handy to make later in the day and pour in a sippy cup for the kids as a snack after school or when we are out and about.  We also enjoy them with a weekend breakfast or lunch, especially when it feels a little grain/protein-heavy or when the grown-ups are having a tough-to-chew green salad for a side.  Here’s the formula:

(Makes about 7 cups, give or take)

1 handful of ice

1 handful of cashews or hemp hearts

2 apples (or pears)

2 bananas

a bit of something citrusy (pieces of orange, a scoop of orange juice concentrate, some frozen mango or peaches)

1/2 cucumber (if available)

1/2 bunch of kale or spinach

1/2 cup or so plain kefir or yogurt

1/2 cup or so cold water as needed

And blend!  I almost never put berries in a smoothie because it seems like a waste since the kids eat them up like candy in their natural form anyway.  Plus most berries will turn your green smoothie into a REALLY unattractive shade of brown.  Trust me on this one.  Even if they look excited when you put that brown smoothie in front of them, they will NOT be happy when they take a sip and realize it tastes like sweet and sour fruitiness instead of chocolate.  Because let’s face it… chocolate is really the only liquid in a cup that should be that shade of brown.  Right?

Poop and More …

18 07 2008

My long absence from these pages might lead a reader to believe that Masher’s digestive life has been relatively uneventful of late, but–au contraire–we have had a series of new experiences and no time to post anything at all about any of them …  until now.  

The most important thing that happened this week was that Masher pooped.  He pooped, you ask?  What’s so special about that?  A-ha, you, my friend, have evidently not waited around watching your infant son’s stomach slowly expand over the course of 10 days of no solid waste.  To be honest, I wasn’t too worried.  I read on various web sites that 7-10 days could easily pass between poops for babies who were being exclusively breastfed and hadn’t started solid food yet; some sites said even 2 weeks was fine.  But it was everyone else’s reactions to the situation that began to make me slightly concerned:  “OMIGOD, HE HASN’T POOPED YET?!?!?”  What do you say?  

And the nurse I called on day 7 had the same reaction as most of our friends and family.  “Maybe I just have super-efficient breastmilk?” I posited hopefully, breaking out some of that online MD I’d earned researching the poop situation on the Internet.  “Yeah, that’s it,” she replied, exhibiting considerably more sarcasm than I generally like to see in my caregivers.  “Here’s what you need to do …  ” and she gave us a list of activities (a) make Masher poop or (b) keep us occupied until he pooped (one or the other, you be the judge) that included warm baths, apple juice, and rectal manipulation.  Mmmmm, rectal manipulation.

On the other hand, we took advantage of the situation to blame any bit of fussiness on the extra weight in his belly.  “Oh, it’s not you,” I said when he mysteriously burst into tears when a cute, old lady smiled at him in his stroller, “He hasn’t pooped for DAYS.”

And then, at the 10-day mark, almost exactly to the hour, sitting on my lap after a short walk around the neighborhood, he pulled up his legs, broke into a happy grin, and let it fly.  Yay for poop!

But back to the nurse’s instructions …  Apple juice, you say?  So, did Masher drink apple juice?  Has something other than breastmilk at last touched his virgin lips?  Yes, yes, and yes.  Here’s how it all went down:  The day I called the nurse was also the day we drove back from the Eastern Shore, and I really wasn’t about to head back out to the store for apple juice when the kid needed a nap.  So, I called around to the neighbors, and–to my great surprise–it turns out I live in a no-apple-juice cul-de-sac.  Not being a juice person myself, I’m okay with this, but it did surprise me.  “I guess we live in an anti-juice world these days,” I said to the third neighbor I called.  “Yeah, it is pretty anti-juice,” she answered, “But do you have any prunes?  I always used prunes with my son when he was a baby.”

I DID have prunes!  But I couldn’t very well just hand Masher the prunes and let him go for it.  How could I distill the essential prune parts for his consumption?  I threw a handful in couple ounces of boiling water and let them steep while I held another in my hand for him to suck, which he seemed to enjoy quite a bit.  Then I mixed the prune water in with some milk, and he swigged the whole thing down.

As he sucked the last few drops from the bottle, I suddenly had a vision of prune-driven poop shooting out his tush with the force of a nuclear bomb.  Dear Masher, I thought, please don’t let this have been a mistake.  Who gives their baby prunes for his first food???  

Luckily, however, the prunes seemed to have no effect.

The next day, I took Masher to go see Emeril Lagasse, who is taping a new show at the Whole Foods in Fairfax, and I bought some apple juice.  When we returned home, I mixed an ounce of apple juice with an ounce of water, per the nurse’s instructions, and I gave him the mixture in a bottle of breastmilk.  Again, he ate ravenously and then fell into a deep sleep.  This is it, I thought, but no, no poop until the following day.

So, what made him poop?  Who knows.  Probably his own body finally just said it was time.  But I’m keeping that apple juice on hand just in case!

Then, having had such success with the prune and apple juices, we decided to debut some Nature’s Own organic brown rice cereal just yesterday.  Not wanting to waste my liquid gold, I used water to rehydrate the mush and settled down with a bowl and spoon–and daddy with the camera–in front of the little boy in the high chair.  “So, did he like it?” you ask.

The photos speak for themselves …


Playing with rice cereal is fun!

Playing with rice cereal is fun!


Trying out a spoonful ...

Trying out a spoonful ...

Mmmmmm, that was good!

Mmmmmm, that was good!

Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme!!!

Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme!!!