Thursday, August 21, 2014

My son is 16 years old. No he's not.

My son is the type of kid that loves to tell people everything. I took him to story time yesterday at the library. There were two other shy boys, so he was the only one on the carpet who felt sociable. With 6 other little girls. Let me tell you, I already know, he has a thing for pretty blonds. In the span of about 10 minutes, he told the lady reading the book that he was going to 'the other Salvation Army,' after story time. By which he means the resale shop. But at least he prefaces his interruptions with 'excuse me Miss.' Which of course makes the other Moms in the room crack up. Let's be honest, his cute little four year old voice saying 'excuse me Miss,' is pretty damn cute.

He also told all the little girls on the rug that he's 16. A week or two ago he was 14, so at least this isn't some absurd version of Benjamin Button. He came to this conclusion because the scale told him so. Except, he's like 38 pounds. Not 16. Or 14. And try as I might, he simply will not believe that the scale doesn't tell him how old he is.

I know I should be grateful that he only lies about his age and doesn't pull out his slightly more disturbing party tricks when in public. Like taking of all his clothes, pointing his wiener at things and yelling pew pew, like it's a gun. Or when he holds it and stares at it like he's got the force and then looks at me straight in the eyes and whispers that 'it's getting bigger.'

God help me. I'm going to read this post at his wedding some day.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lunch; second grade lineup

Lunch; second grade style

I may have hit the pottery barn sale a few weeks ago. They had some really good prices. Like prices I would NORMALLY pay. Plus free shipping. So I figured we would try some of their stuff out for second grade. I also have several non PB items below.

I filled this with milk, juice and water several days and set it on a folded up kitchen towel. I laid it on it's side. I shook it. I even tilted it upside down. Then I opened the lid, had the girl drink it down and closed it back up. Shook it again and laid it on it's side for the rest of the afternoon. Three days I did this and it never leaked. Not once. I am super impressed with this cup!

My only beef with this is the largest compartment is not big enough to put a sandwich in easily. Definitely not whole. Cut in half, stacked flat, the lid mushes them down. So I put them on their side, cut side down and that did well enough. Also the small lidded compartment is nice. I don't think on it's own it's very leak proof, but when you close the top lid, it holds it close nicely. I put applesauce in there, closed both lids up and shook it up really good. It splattered the inside of the closed container, but didn't get any applesauce in the other parts. Plus, she can pop it open and eat right in her lunch bag, as the lunch bag is custom sized to fit only the bento container (though the ice pack fits below it quite nicely).

I love this lunch bag. Since it matches our backpack and is part of our gear, it has a strap on the back that helps you attach it to the backpack with buckles. The inside is easy to clean with a damp cloth and is sized to fit the matching bento container above. Our slim ice packs (see below) fit nicely underneath the bento tray, without creating any uneven bulges. A second slim fit ice pack can fit in the front zippered section shown above. 

The pros and cons of this bag will most likely show themselves throughout the year, so you'll get an update with our next big lunch post next year. For now, the things I'm excited for most are the fact that the matching lunchbox attaches to the backpack, freeing up some room inside the backpack. Also the fact that the backpack straps have a chest clip. As her backpack gets heavier with each grade, that helps distribute the weight across her back, chest and shoulders.

I tested these for four days. I used milk, water and juice. I chilled it overnight, pulled it out in the morning at 7 am, and placed it on a dish towel. After a couple hours, I pushed it on it's side. Later I put it upside down. At noon I had the girl turn it over, open it up and drink 3/4 of it. She closed it and set it back on the towel sideways. At 2 pm, I shook it up for 2 minutes and set it back upright. At 2:30 I checked it and found that some liquid had escaped the main chamber, but has stayed stored tightly in the lid. So technically this didn't leak. I can only hope that's an indicator of what is to come this year. Last year we had a lot of leaks with our thermos brand stainless steel bottle. Juice in the box even comes with an extra straw, every single piece is removable, for cleaning. 

So, I have a feeling these cups will perform in the same ways the others have. They make good dividers and are also nice for keeping smaller items from shaking around in her lunch. We really just wanted to try a new shape and new colors for this year. 

I tried to make homemade frozen gogurts with these. It did not go well. Things do not slide easily out of here. I suppose using a bit of cooking spray might help before adding it in, but that doesn't sound like it would taste good. Frozen is the only way the girl will eat 'gogurt' or any yogurt at all. They are impractical for packing in a lunch bag because of their length, which makes the idea of using them for small items unattractive. I'd rather use Ziploc bags and we all know I don't like using those. These will not be used in school lunches this year. Instead I will see if my son wants to use them and I will fill them with yogurt. 

You can't really go wrong with ice packs of any kind. I like these better than our brick ones, which create a bulge in our lunch box. These fit easily under the bento box of our choice inside our lunch bag. Which already gets my seal of approval.

Items from my first grade lunch line up

Easy lunch box mini dippers - We still use these, they are great!
Black food decorating pens - Still use these occasionally. Great for holidays.
Circle cutters - I like to use these for skinning cucumbers and on bread/meat/cheese for small circle sandwiches.
Heart picks - I don't use these as much as I had hoped I would.
Mini sandwich maker - These shapes are so crazy small, that once you're done punching it out, you barely have a bite to eat. This was no good, used it once.

Items from my kindergarten lunch line up

Easy lunch boxes - We had ordered a second set and we are still using all of them.
Bento forks - I STILL don't really use these
Rubbermaid blue ice pack - BROKE on the second to last day of school in Kindergarten
Stainless steel veggie cutters - I don't use these much now that I have regular circle cutters.
Silicone baking cups - These still go in almost every lunch as a dividing cup.
Glad press n seal - Rendered useless with the mini dipper cups.
Souffle cups - also replaced by the easy lunchbox dippers

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