Dinner and the Checklist

My girls are 5 and 3 years old. That means, of course, that Rainforest Cafe is one of their favorite places to eat. So, of course, it was on the summer checklist. Not only do they love the food, the girls also love walking around and trying to find all of the animals. Little girl seemed a little worried when the “storm” happened (there is a thunder sound and the lights flash off and on) but that was really the only issue.

The checklist thus far:

  • Make lemonade.
  • Eat at Big Bowl.
  • Go to Millennium Park.
  • Go to Adler Planetarium.
  • Get space ice cream.
  • Go to zoo.
  • Go to Shedd Aquarium.
  • Go bowling.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Play at Maggie Daley playground.
  • Go to Field Museum.
  • Go to Art Institute and do a JourneyMaker tour.
  • Go swimming.
  • Go to the Children’s Museum.
  • Play at playground.
  • Have a pajama day (with daddy.)
  • See a movie at the movie theater.
  • See a movie outside.
  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the Family Festival downtown Chicago.
  • Make cookies.
  • Read books at home.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Draw pictures and cut them out.
  • Play with legos.
  • Make muffins.
  • Make pasta salad.
  • Play with toys.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Try to go to a water park.
  • Go to the Disney store downtown Chicago.
  • Eat at Rainforest Cafe.
  • Eat at Labriola Cafe.
  • Bake an apple pie.
  • Play games on the iPad.
  • Play Mario game with daddy.
  • Go to the Morton Arboretum.
  • Go to Mimi and Pa’s house.
  • Go to Granny and Pa’s house.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Winning at Parenting

Now, I certainly don’t always feel this way but sometimes I really do feel like I’m winning at this parenting thing. Sometimes. Sometimes.

For example, sometimes, your girls find a new kind of mac ‘n cheese that they want to try and they help you make princess pudding for dessert. And the girls aren’t arguing while helping with the cooking. And they eat all of their dinner. And they clear their places after dinner without being reminded to.

Sometimes.

 

Has Anyone Ever Been Excited to Eat a Salad?

I am fairly certain that no one has ever been excited to eat a salad. I know for sure that I never have. Well, let me specify. The only salad I’ve ever been excited to eat was the Waldorf salad that my grandpa made. Although, it wasn’t until I was much older that I learned that it was called a Waldorf salad. We always called it apple salad. His was not a typical Waldorf salad. That salad taught me that marshmallows could and should be a salad ingredient.

But…..I have been trying to eat better. Grad school and other stresses have led to some (or a lot) of stress eating so I’ve been trying to eat more veggies and more salad. I have found a salad that I don’t mind eating. Fresh Express bag salads (specifically the chopped kits) are pretty good.  There are greens but also extra crunchy things and the included dressings are pretty good.

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But really…..the reason that I am trying to eat more salad? It’s so that I can eat more of the stuff that I want to eat. I tell myself that if I eat some veggies, then I can have some dessert.

Why do I eat salad?

So that I can eat a donut.

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Guilty Pleasures

Carbs. Carbs. More carbs. I know that I don’t need a giant bowl of carbs….but sometimes…..you just need a big pile of carbs, right?

My newest guilty pleasure…..waffle fries from Spud Heads with the Guns’ n Rosemary topping. I mean. Seriously.

Because sometimes when you’re spending way more time at the mall than you had planned on….and sometimes when you’re kids are going insane because they are tired/hungry/hangry…..and sometimes when you are getting frustrated because you just need to buy some shoes but can’t seem to find what you want…..sometimes you need a bowl of fries covered in yumminess.

What is your guilty (or not-so-guilty) pleasure food? Carbs? Chocolate? Carbs and chocolate?

Donut mind if I do

You know how every couple years there is some new food trend? You know how the trend now is donuts? Donuts! Yay! Donuts! One of our local restaurants (that we eat at at least once a week) has donuts on the weekends. Yep. If you want some of Stan’s Donuts you can pick them on on a Saturday even if you aren’t in the city. Yay!

So, because I have a hard time making choices about donuts, I got three and the girls and I had a taste test.  (That’s a lot better than me eating three donuts by myself!)

Our choices: Nutella (the one with an N on it), powdered sugar, and pastry creme filled.

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Although, they were all yummy, there was a clear winner for the girls and I……

The pastry cream filled one was delicious! That one was the winner for us. The girls and I also agreed that the powdered sugar one was second place. I really thought that I was going to absolutely love the Nutella filled one but it was really, really, really rich. Probably…..too rich if you are eating other donuts as well……

Big plate of noodles – Summer checklist #12

One of big girl’s favorite spots for dinner is Noodles & Company. When she wants to go there, I usually say ok because it’s a big meal for the kids for not much money. Both girls get buttered noodles and applesauce pouches. Then, I get a side of broccoli with one meal and a side of apple splices with another. When the meals arrive at the table, I divide the broccoli and apple slices between the two plates so each girl gets some apples and broccoli. If they don’t finish the whole meal (because it’s a lot of food for little kids), I just stick the unopened applesauce pouches in my bag to take home.

And really, we’ll continue going here for dinner because once I find a kid’s meal that is good and not necessarily a giant plate covered in fries we end up going there frequently. 🙂

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Summer checklist thus far:

  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the pool.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the playground.
  • Make cookies.
  • Go downtown.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Go to the zoo.
  • Eat at Flat Top Grill.
  • Read books.
  • Eat at Noodles & Company.
  • Get ice cream.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Go to the water park.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Go to the movie theater.
  • Play on the McDonalds playground after lunch.
  • Go to family fun festival downtown.
  • Go to the Art Museum and go to the kids area after looking at paintings.
  • Go to the dinosaur museum (Field Museum).
  • Go to the space museum (Adler Planetarium).
  • Have a pajama day. (Although big girl has now requested that we have 100 pajama days.)

Summer Checklist – Update #6

Dinner. Check. Dinner from somewhere on the checklist. Check.

Both girls love going out to dinner or lunch or breakfast or brunch at restaurants. They both like picking what they want to eat. However, typically that means that they are choosing the same things no matter what restaurant we go to. Macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, or cheese pizza. Essentially, they eat a lot of cheese.

So, it’s nice to go to a place where (although macaroni and cheese is on the kid’s menu and that’s what they usually pick at other places) both girls choose to pick out different foods. Flat Top Grill is really the only restaurant where both girls will pick out lots of vegetables to eat! Yay! Veggies! And, there is always enough for them to eat for the next day’s lunch or dinner.

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The updated checklist thus far:

  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the pool.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the playground.
  • Make cookies.
  • Go downtown.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Go to the zoo.
  • Eat at Flat Top Grill.
  • Read books.
  • Eat at Noodles & Company.
  • Get ice cream.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Go to the water park.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Go to the movie theater.
  • Play on the McDonalds playground after lunch.
  • Go to family fun festival downtown.
  • Go to the Art Museum and go to the kids area after looking at paintings.
  • Go to the dinosaur museum (Field Museum).
  • Go to the space museum (Adler Planetarium).
  • Have a pajama day. (Although big girl has now requested that we have 100 pajama days.)