Our lovely little three-year-old (what are they now…three-nagers) definitely tested my patience yesterday. So much talking back and so much attitude. And frankly this current pregnancy is wearing me out so much that I have just a little shorter fuse than usual. Oh…and I didn’t sleep much the night before since my husband stayed at church for a youth lock-in and I think I heard ever weird noise and had every weird dream my brain could generate. So we slept until about 3am and then we catnapped until 6am when I heard Lawrence wake up and go to the play room. I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was watch movies all day and sleep (which is also what I wanted to do today since the sleeping until 3am and then catnapping until it’s time to wake up is becoming a regular occurrence with this pregnancy).
So I came up with a plan. When Henry got home we would go to the store and get ingredients for Cookie Monster Popcorn and slow-cooker broccoli and beef, get it ready and be done for the day. Lawrence’s best snuggle friend is Cookie Monster, so this was going to be perfect! And with all his allergies, the broccoli and beef was perfect. The plan was made, Henry came home, we went shopping, came home, started the food, baby slept, we watched a movie…and I didn’t sleep. Sad. Sooooo exhausted and couldn’t nap during the movie. Thankfully, Henry let me pass out on the couch after the movie while he cleaned up the kitchen.
But let me tell you about the food!
The first thing we made was Cookie Monster Popcorn. Lawrence has quite a few food allergies (but he has also outgrown some, yay!) so we usually have to change an ingredient or two when we make things. For this recipe we had to change the butter since he’s allergic to dairy and the cookies since he’s allergic to wheat and eggs as well.
If you don’t have any allergies, here is the original recipe.
Now for our version:
COOKIE MONSTER POPCORN:
- 10 cups of popcorn (which is about one pan of popcorn if you make it the old-fashioned way on the stove)
- 3 Tbsp SmartBalance or EarthBalance butter
- 3 cups mini marshmallows (which you can find recipes for online if you want to make those yourself…not me)
- Mini cookies (we had some wheat-free, egg-free, dairy free Cocoa Raisin-Chip Cookies in the freezer)
- Candy eyes
- Blue food coloring
- Make your popcorn and measure it into a large bowl so you can discard any un-popped kernels. You can salt it if you want to give it salty sweetness.
- Melt your butter in a medium saucepan and add the marshmallows. Stir continuously and once they are all melted, turn off the heat and add your food coloring.
- Pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and fold it all together to spread it. Ours was barely blue, but we only used one batch of the marshmallow mixture. If you want to super-coat your popcorn, double the marshmallow/butter mixture. Also, ours may have turned out a little different because of the fake butter. I don’t know if regular butter results in a larger amount of marshmallow mixture. Note: you do want to have a little left over at the end for the next step
- Spread the popcorn onto a pan lined with foil, wax paper or a Silpat. Pour the last little bit of marshmallow mixture over it, but don’t mix it because you want the candy eyes and cookies to stick to it.
- We paired the eyes and placed them on the stickier parts of the popcorn and spread the cookies out. Then we put it in a large bowl and all shared it.
We watched KungFu Panda 3 and enjoyed our delicious popcorn. We made it last through the movie and that’s about it. And the other amazing thing was that I didn’t get sick from the sweet popcorn! This pregnancy, sweet things make me nauseous, but I am 12 weeks so maybe all that is just wearing off.
Then for dinner we made slow-cooker beef and broccoli with rice. It turned out pretty well. It might be the baby, but I feel like it is missing a flavor and I don’t know what. But the meat turned out really tender and was easy for both boys to eat. Lawrence liked the broccoli and Cyprian was like “no thanks”. Henry loved it!
Last year I was looking for a really good cilantro-lime rice and I came across this Pinterest link for Chipotle Cilantro-Lime Rice (copy-cat) and I use the stove-top method to cook all our rice and just omit the cilantro and lime for plain rice. You get perfect rice and it is only sticky if you over-cook it. It is wonderful!
So besides the food being mostly successful, parenting seemed really difficult. Lawrence cannot seem to understand patience and gratefulness. Not only that he was rude to Nana on Facetime. I get so worried that it is all my fault because, let’s face it, I’m rather impatient and rarely do I show a great example of contentment with my blessings (especially the ones I learned hard lessons from). How is he ever going to learn to be grateful and patient if we can’t show him? And my insecurity in this area gave rise to a small fight (which thankfully ended in a victory for us) with Henry about what his punishment should be. After his time out, we settled on playing the Thankful Game at dinner where we picked a category and went around to have everyone say what they were thankful for. He had to actually think of reasons and we could tell it was difficult for him, but hopefully he learns a lesson from it. We’ll have to keep repeating it at meals to make a point. After dinner, it was straight to bath and bedtime without stories. Hopefully, we won’t have to do that too often. It’s so fun to read to him and Cyprian.
Anyone have suggestions on how to parent a kid to be grateful and patient?