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Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #23

It’s lunch time! Here’s another look at what Kiddo1 brought to school for lunch last week.

If you’ve been keeping up with our “three big posts” for March, you know we have one more big one on the way! I’ll give you a hint… it does have something to do with lunches, in a small way. And we got a new lunch container – no more plastic boxes! So coming soon you’ll see a slightly different weekly wrap up. Next week is Spring Break so stay tuned for the launch date for Wrap Up 2.0 in two weeks!

Monday

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Leftover pork roast for lunch on Monday! And we have been continuing with our rainbow carrots – today Kiddo1 had yellow carrots with some broccoli. For sweets he had strawberries and applesauce.

Tuesday

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Lately I’ve been obsessed with making myself sandwiches (darn pregnancy hormones!) so there has been more lunch meat in the house lately. For Tuesday’s lunch Kiddo1 got one of his favorites: rolls of ham lunch meat (and turkey this time too) with slices of cucumber in the middle. He also had more broccoli, a mix of yellow and orange carrots, and more applesauce.

Wednesday

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I’m not sure why this picture looks so weird… maybe I left an extra light on or something? Well anyway, Wednesday is always leftover tacos day, I believe we had beef tacos this week (it seems to be alternating between ground beef and ground pork lately – tonight we’re having chicken tacos though!), always served with shredded romaine and diced cucumber on soft corn tortillas. He had yellow and purple carrots with strawberries.

Thursday

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Recently Kiddo1 told us he likes salami (where did that come from??) and since I’ve had some around lately for my sandwiches (and it is casein free!), Kiddo1 got some along with ham sticks in his lunch. He also had the veggie trifecta: cucumbers, broccoli, and carrots. And rounding out the goodness is more applesauce.

Friday

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Finishing out the last day before Spring Break, and the last day of the trimester! And I had no idea what to make for lunch! So I settled on the rest of the leftover taco meat in a “taco salad” with blue corn tortilla chips (it’s hard to see them under there) plus Kiddo1’s traditional taco toppings of shredded romaine and diced cucumber. He also had even more carrots and a couple small slices of vegan dark chocolate truffle from Missionary Chocolates.

See you for new and improved lunch posts in two weeks!

Big March Post #2: A Mama’s Evolution

Some big things are going on at 9 Years Later this month! The first big post was all about our new beds and all the research and self-education we went through to get to our amazing sleeps. With this post, I’m talking about a subject that’s a bit closer to why this blog got started in the first place.

The announcement this time is that we’re expecting our third baby here in the 9YL family! (Which is another reason why I insisted on new beds – I’m not going through another pregnancy on a lumpy mattress!)

This baby is expected to arrive sometime in September and everything is going really well so far. We’ve had two appointments with our midwife and everything is looking good. Baby has a nice heartbeat, I’ve got good protein levels, etc, etc.

As far as the blog goes, I won’t be going back to doing weekly pregnancy posts or lots of pregnancy book reviews like I did last time. While every pregnancy is different and I’m sure there could be a bunch of new things to post about, I’m kind of feeling like I’ve been there and don’t want to repeat myself. I do love having my old posts to look back on now, though. It’s nice to have the record of what was happening – so much better than relying on my memory!

Something that has been big on my mind for this particular post, though, is how much Mr. Handsome and my – and especially my – parenting has changed in the 12 years that we’ve been parents. I say “especially my” parenting not because Mr. Handsome hasn’t evolved in much the same ways as me, but because it is just easier to reflect on my own thoughts and actions than trying to over-analyze him or read his mind. My mind-reading skills have not at all evolved.

As many similarities as there are between Kiddo1 and Baby2, they were also very different babies. So I tend to wonder if my parenting style has changed due to my thoughts on parenting evolving over time or is it just my babies needing different things? I don’t know for sure what the catalyst for all this is. But I do know that some things that worked great with Kiddo1 just didn’t translate to Baby2. One is quick to adjust her practices if the existing ones are not working anymore!

Take scheduling, for example: Kiddo1 was a Babywise baby, and he rocked it. He loved a schedule. He got up every day at 5:30 AM on the dot (and we quickly became morning people because of it). For the most part, we knew what he needed before he was hungry, before he was tired. Honestly, he still thrives on a solid schedule. Give this kid too much free time and you’re asking for trouble (although that’s probably a common pre-teen thing too).

Fast forward 9 years to a Baby2 that doesn’t do schedules. She has a loose routine but it is harder to predict her needs. She is not at all Babywise (in fact I’m sure she would not thrive with that method at all), and she has opened my eyes to why so many people hate Babywise because you really have to have a baby with the right disposition in order for it to be successful. Baby2 is an “Attachment Parenting” baby all the way – she loved co-sleeping, loved nursing on demand, loved the breastmilk SO MUCH (we were going to wean at a year because of my work schedule but that didn’t happen until she was almost two), she loved being worn (although lately she’s not that into it – she’s way too independent), and I found myself loving to do all that stuff too.

I never envisioned myself to be the consistent co-sleeper that I was with Baby2 (she’s been sleeping in her own bed since we weaned). When Kiddo1 was a baby, he was pretty much banned from our bed because I didn’t want him getting in the habit of coming in our room in the middle of the night. Of course he did that anyway – I should have learned that no amount of effort can really stop what most consider to be normal child behaviors. 

Something that I think has influenced my parenting evolution is also just me being more mature now. Kiddo1 was born when I was in a much different place in my mindset. I was 22 and thought I knew everything. I basically followed the parenting model that I saw around me, and it was fairly strict and rigid, which is mostly counter to my personality but I didn’t know there were other choices. I guess my desire for confidence blinded me to wanting to know if there was another way to do things.

Back then I also didn’t understand (or chose to recognize?) the impermanence of babyhood. I wasn’t excited for the dependence of a baby. I was excited to play with a kid but babies scared me. I wanted my baby to be less helpless, less likely to “break,” less dependent on me and Mr. Handsome, more of his own person. I cherished his baby time, don’t get me wrong. I have 1000 photos to prove it, boxes full of mementos, memories that only a senile elderly brain could wash away. I held him, I “spoiled” him, I loved him then every bit as much as I love Baby2 now. But today my mindset is different.

With my second attempt, I understand and appreciate the brief time that is infancy. I know firsthand that dependency, helplessness, “breakiness” (the constant feeling you’ll break your fragile little human), only lasts so long. Shoot, blink and you missed it, right? I mean, when did Kiddo1 stop being a baby?? When did he become so independent? These things don’t happen overnight – they evolve over time until one day you give him a goodbye kiss in the morning and realize you didn’t have to bend down as far… or at all. Or you’re out getting new school shoes and realize his shoes fit on my feet. I have watched my firstborn grow SO FAST over the last 12 years that I now cling to every second of whatever baby time is left with Baby2, and even that is fading fast.

So perhaps it is this awareness of all things impermanent that has made me love attachment parenting traits like co-sleeping, which gives me extra time with my baby, while she’s a cuddly, snuggly baby. Add to that the fact that when she was a baby I worked full time outside the home (read: no time with my baby during the waking hours!) and co-sleeping/baby-wearing/extended breastfeeding/EXTRA SNUGGLE TIME becomes even more appealing. Now I work from home, thank goodness, so I have a feeling things will be a little more relaxed with this third baby.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: every baby is different. Every family is different! And, apparently, every mama is different with every baby! We adjust, we evolve with every child, every experience, every mistake, every success. We become the mothers, the parents, the families, that we need to be.

Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #22

Welcome to another weekly wrap up of last week’s school lunches! Here’s what Kiddo1 took to school last week…

Monday

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We started off simple and basic on Monday. No meat leftovers from Sunday so Kiddo1 got some “sticks” of ham, along with carrots, cucumbers, a Mandarin orange, and strawberries (organic strawberries were on sale again – score!).

Tuesday

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More ham on Tuesday – apparently we needed to cook more last week! But things around here have been super busy so I guess ham comes to the rescue again! More cucumbers on Tuesday, along with carrots – but this time they’re special yellow carrots! Another Mandarin orange and two Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.

Wednesday

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Leftover tacos on Wednesdays! This week we had ground pork with our tacos, and Kiddo1 likes his with romaine and cucumber on a soft organic corn shell. He also got purple carrots (we’re on a colorful carrot kick!), broccoli, apple slices, and a couple more Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.

Thursday

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For Thursday’s lunch Kiddo1 got leftover meatballs we made Wednesday night from more of the ground pork we got in our half pig share. He also had broccoli, carrots, cucumber, and some apple sauce.

On Friday there was no school, yay! And only one more week of lunches before Spring Break! See you next week!

Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #21

We’re back to regularly scheduled weekly lunch posts!

Monday

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We started off the week with some strips of leftover chicken. We usually eat a whole chicken every other week or so, and when we’ve had our fill we strip off all the leftover meat and make a broth with the bones. I love that our chickens do double-duty, or even triple-duty, for us – we get dinner, some lunch leftovers, and tasty broth too! But back to this lunch… Kiddo1 also had his fairly standard carrots and cucumber, along with some strawberries (organic strawberries were on sale last week – it’s almost strawberry season!).

Tuesday

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No leftovers from Meatless Monday so Kiddo1 had ham, more carrots and cucumbers, a Mandarin orange, and Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.

Wednesday

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Beef tacos again this week, since they’re Kiddo1’s favorite. Plus more carrots and cookies! A fairly standard Wednesday lunch.

Thursday

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Kiddo1 finished off the leftover chicken for Thursday’s lunch, plus had a bunch of veggies and fruits – carrots, broccoli, cucumber, and strawberries. And of course the Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies are not to be forgotten!

Friday

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Finishing off the week by finishing off a few things from the fridge – the last of the carrots, some more ham, another Mandarin orange, and  a special request for raisins. And those are the lunches for this week!

 

So after much teasing last week about the “three special announcements” for March, I’ll finally have the first one published this weekend. And it won’t involve lunch foods at all!

Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #20 (Catch Up #3)

Whew, the last catch up post is here! This one covers the last week of February. Next lunch post will be at its regularly scheduled day on Tuesday. And of course, since I haven’t mentioned it already (ha!) there are three big posts/announcements coming in March too! Keep checking the blog or drop your email in the “Follow” box at the right to stay updated.

Monday

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Kiddo1 hasn’t had a lettuce wrap in a long time! We had some leftover pork roast from Sunday night so I figured wrapping it up would be the best way to get him to eat it. There’s also diced cucumber in the wrap. On the right we have carrots sticks and a couple Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.

Tuesday

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Once again we were out of meat leftovers for Tuesday’s lunch (because Monday nights are meatless) but we do almost always have our back-up: ham! We buy Beeler’s uncured ham. Kiddo1 also had his usual carrots and cucumbers, plus a nice-sized little Pink Lady apple and a couple Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies. It was a chocolate chip cookie week around here!

Wednesday

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No leftovers again on Wednesday, this time it was because we went out to eat on Tuesday night – something we rarely do anymore! But it was my birthday and the family wanted to celebrate, so we did a bunch of research to find a place where Kiddo1 could eat foods that he would both enjoy and wouldn’t give him tummy troubles. We found a place willing to make some plain chicken and french fries for him – it was so good we didn’t have any to take home for lunch the next day! So instead of more ham I cut up these meatsticks that everyone in the family loves. The are beef and organ – yes organ – meat, super good for you and you don’t even know it is in there! Kiddo1 was a little weirded out at first but he loves them – and loves freaking out his friends a little when they see the package. Kiddo1 also had a bunch of good-looking veggies and some more Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.

Thursday

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On Wednesday we had to have tacos (since we missed them on Tuesday night) – a week can’t go by without tacos! For Kiddo1 we had beef tacos again (two weeks in a row!), along with his favorite toppings, romaine and cucumber. He also had more carrots and cookies.

Friday

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On Friday, Kiddo1 had more sausage from the pork buy we got in February. Our whole freezer is full of nothing but pork right now, so we’ll be eating a lot of it! Completing this lunch are more carrots, cucumbers, another mandarin orange, and the rest of the Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.

See you with more lunches on Tuesday! Have a great weekend!

Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #19 (Catch Up #2)

Here’s our second of three “catch up” lunch posts to get us back on track after a busy no-post February! There are also THREE big posts/announcements scheduled for March coming up too – and they aren’t involving lunch! But for now, let’s get to the wrap up – this post covers the third week of February (no posts for the second week because I was out of town).

Monday – no school, happy President’s Day!

Tuesday

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Kiddo1 had some leftover bits of pork chop on Tuesday with a side of bbq sauce. It’s been difficult finding good bbq sauce – one without corn syrup (or even without a ton of sugar), no artifical flavors/colors, etc. This one is the Woodstock brand and it is pretty tasty, plus organic and a decent ingredients list. Kiddo1 eats it with everything! He also had his usual carrots and cucumber, plus two Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.

Wednesday

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More leftover tacos! This week we had beef tacos, Kiddo1’s favorite. He also had his favorite applesauce and some carrots. And this week we had a good supply of cucumbers so no running out before Wednesday like last week.

Thursday

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Iin February we bought a half pig’s worth of pork and it came with a whole lot of the boys’ favorite – sausage! So you’ll see a few lunches with sausage over the next couple posts. Normally I’m not a huge fan of processed meats – we try to limit ham (but everyone loves it so we’re not too successful), but this sausage isn’t too bad because it is pretty “minimally processed,” if that’s a thing. We talked a lot to the butcher who processed our pork and he left the sausage uncured and kept the ingredients minimal and to our “clean eating” standards. So I can’t complain too much about this sausage! “Rounding out” this lunch – haha, notice all the round foods? – are carrot rounds, cucumber, slices of apple (they don’t brown too much if you keep them stacked up like this) and some slices of vegan dark chocolate truffle from Missionary Chocolates.

Friday

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On Friday, Kiddo1 said he wasn’t too hungry so we packed a fairly minimal lunch of ham sticks (we can’t ever get away from ham!), carrot sticks, a mandarin orange, and more vegan dark chocolate truffle from Missionary Chocolates.

Weekly Lunch Wrap Up #18 (Catch Up #1)

Yikes, we are waaaay behind on the lunch posts! February was just a crazy month around here. It started when I went away for a business trip and missed a Tuesday warp up post, then everything else in life got behind schedule too. I’m finally just now catching up so this week I’m going to marathon post all the lunches from February… except for those that I didn’t photograph while I was away.

Another reason lunch posts have been delayed is that I’m working on THREE big posts/announcements that I plan to share in March. So watch out for those as they’re posted this month. For now, on to the lunches of the first week of February!

Monday

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The first school day of February kicked off with our normal carrots and cucumber, plus some leftover chicken from Sunday night. For sweets, Kiddo1 had grapes and his favorite, applesauce.

Tuesday

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We changed up our veggies a bit on Tuesday, with broccoli instead of cucumber. Broccoli is still not Kiddo1’s favorite, but he will eat it if it’s given in small quantities. For protein he had ham, our go-to when there’s no leftover meat (because typically Monday nights are meatless). And rounding out the left side is a small mandarin orange and a chunk of vegan dark chocolate truffle from Missionary Chocolates.

Wednesday

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Wednesday is leftover taco day! This week we had turkey tacos on Tuesday night, so Kiddo1 gets a leftover one with a bit of lettuce. He usually takes cucumber on his tacos as well, but we ran out! Hence the servings of broccoli two days in a row. But we tried to compensate with more grapes and applesauce.

Thursday

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More chicken for lunch on Thursday, plus carrots and another mandarin orange (we must have still been out of cucumbers). More applesauce AND a vegan mint chocolate truffle from Missionary Chocolates. Must have been something special going on…

Friday

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Friday was Kiddo1’s 12th birthday! So he got something very special for lunch – a sandwich! He hasn’t had a sandwich for the whole school year. I usually make bread but it is more for toast, it’s not a real soft sandwich bread. And I haven’t made any bread since the New Year, mostly due to lack of motivation. But we found this amazing bread at the store from a company called New Cascadia. Their bread is pretty much just millet flour and yeast so we can eat it! And it is soft and wonderful. So Kiddo1 got a surprise birthday sandwich with ham, romaine, and cucumber slices. I think it looked pretty good! He also had some carrot sticks and a homemade birthday brownie.

Tomorrow we’ll catch up on the third week of February (skipping the second week because that’s when I was away). More to come!