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Why? Why? Why?

If I’ve spoken to you in the past 3 months, you have certainly heard a shameful number of schemes to fatten my baby up.  Now, at 13 months, she is skinnier than ever – as tall as the average 2 yo and as heavy as the average 7 mth old.  As my mom says, she “eats like a bird and is busy as a bee.”

I’ve brainstormed, I’ve consulted pediatricians, done web research, I’ve even asked the oldest members of both An’s & my own family.  Everyone tells me the same thing, “Don’t worry, it’s just her build.”  This would be fine for me, IF SHE EVER ATE!

My baby hates to eat food as much as she hates to have her diaper changed or her nap disrupted.  There are a few exceptions: she will eat a whole banana, unsliced only.  She will also eat an entire cereal bar if it is apple flavored.  She eats an egg for breakfast every morning, if it is scrambled with salt only.  Pepper in the scramble or cheese or even frying the egg are all deal breakers.  She will eat home-baked cookies but nothing out of a box.  She will eat the yogurt made of cream (that is super expensive & fattening and I cannot throw out if she doesn’t finish it) and she will totally gorge herself on goldfish.

If goldfish and bananas constituted proper nutrition for toddlers, I’d worry less.  As it is, I try and cook as many meals for her as I can, with the hopes that I’ll persuade her to discover another food she likes to eat.  I steam and butter baby carrots, I bake sweet potato french fries, I make her fresh bread for her sandwiches with homemade jam for her toast (thanks to Guncle Dan).  I cook her roasts, mash potatoes for her, bake tiny little chicken nuggets…by God, I’ve even made her a butternut squash pie because she seemed to like squash baby food.  The point is, I have tried everything I can think of to get my baby to eat and had little success.

Until today.

Today she ate until she couldn’t eat another bite.  Is that homemade pasta and grass-fed beef sauce?  Fresh, organic steamed green beans?  Nope.  Momma was too busy cleaning Mia’s room to make her dinner, so I popped the lid off of a Chef  Boyardee Beefaroni and some Green Giant green beans and set her in her high chair.  She ate half of the can!

How does this work?  Why does the nasty shit in the can appeal to her so much more than all of the things that I cook?  Is my desire to make her eat oozing into her food and repelling her?  Is all my “yummy!’ and “mmmmm” just too distracting? Maybe me watching each bite and mouthing chewing is simply too much pressure.  Whatever it is, I need a lesson or two from Chef Boyardee.

And I don’t need anyone (Mom, this means you!) to tell me exactly how nasty that stuff is.  It took 3 baths to clean the orange grease off her and there is definitely a semi-permanent greasy orange ring around my bathtub.  There is no doubt in my mind that it is terrible for her.  But at least it had 350 calories.

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Homemade Dish Soap

As I was running a sink full of hot water, I realized that we’re fresh out of our Green Works dish soap.  Now that I’ve made this soap recipe and seen how well it works (and how great it smells) I don’t think we’ll be going back.  Reuse your plastic bottle by refilling it with your new soap solution.

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A Yat Goes Green

As a fifth-generation New Orleanian, I’m proud to embody this amazing city.  I am an eater, I am a drinker, I am a member of a large Cajun family, I am a practicing Catholic and I am a Momma.  In honoring these parts of myself, and my city, I am finding that a turn toward simpler living – sustainable, organic, natural living – is working for me and my family.

Unfortunately, of all the great things our city does offer, it has taken some searching to make this transition.  My hope is that in writing this blog, I can share the things that I am learning & maybe even get a little feedback.  I want this blog to blend my own heritage with this turn toward the “green” and make this info more accessible to others.

Here in New Orleans, we believe in the power of faith to transform, we believe in finding a way to preserve the old while adapting to the new.  We have learned that by honoring our heritage and respecting our common love of this great city that we can overcome anything.  It is my hope that as our home faces yet another disaster, we can also pause to consider our contribution by being so dependent on the produced, the manufactured and the gas-powered.  In a city of believers, it is time for us to believe that we can make a difference.  Maybe we can find a way to meld the easy-living we love with the respect that Mother Earth deserves…and support some local Yats’ along the way.