Best toys for kids, my ass

On Parents.com, there is a slide show I saw this morning called “Best Toys for Kids under 5”. I am always on the hunt for new and interesting toys for Kylan. He’s picky with the toys that he  likes to play with, a lot of the time they just sit around, unused.

The list of toys was a huge, annoying let down! Most of these toys wouldn’t be found the least bit interesting to a child under the age of 2, so I don’t know where the hell they got the idea that all these toys would fit in the infant to 5-years old range. I am assuming the children they tested these toys on are total simpletons. And what the fuck, none of these toys are electronic. What exactly is wrong with electronic toys? Kids like lights, sounds, and obnoxious tunes coming from their toys. Most parents are so against the use of electronic toys, like it makes them seem like a bad parent or something.

Anyway, I have some beef to pick with these toys!

ss_101980862

 

Weird ass bike thingy, with a weird ass name. This looks like a freaky smiley face animal. How exciting, the child sits on it and pushes it around. Woopty freaking doo. The highlight, according to the slide show, is that it won’t mark the floors. If you can’t handle marked floors, stained furniture, and broken shit, you have no business being a parent.

ss_101980856

 

A wooden pull-toy. I’m pretty sure my son would hold the string, and spin around in circles, and let go as the toy would fly across the room, immediately breaking into God knows how many pieces.

ss_101980858

 

Oh joy, a plush cube that comes with cards telling your child to clap five times, make a funny face, etc. Yo Gabba Gabba can tell them to do that, and it doesn’t cost you $20.I wonder how many minutes the cards would last before being chewed on, bent, and torn apart.

ss_101980852

 

This is a fancy ass pillow with crinkle-cloth, teething rings, a mirror, and a whoozit. What the fuck is a whoozit? This toy is 35 freaking dollars. No, thank you.

ss_101980863

 

Build-a-bouquet thingy. This toy is made from recycled milk jugs. Why is it that cheap ass toys made out of recycled cheap ass materials have to be so expensive? This toy comes with dozens of flower, leaf, and stem pieces that are sure to end up all over your house. For only $27.

 

Advertisements

Restaurant nightmares

Since having the lap band surgery, I do not go out to eat very often. I can’t eat much of anything I order, not to mention most restaurants somehow manage to make a salad that has 900 calories. I have no effing idea how they do it! I bet they have calorie sprinkles that they shake the shit out of all over the food before serving it. Anyway…. Since becoming a mom, I have a new reason as to why I rarely go out to eat; because it’s a fucking nightmare.

I feel so bad for the servers that have to deal with me on the occasion that I do take my son to a restaurant. Imagine you’re hiking in the woods. You’re enjoying nature; it’s beautiful, quiet, and you’re enjoying the sight of the animals. All the sudden you see a bear coming at you. That’s the look I typically get from a server as soon as they are walking towards our table. Yeah. They know exactly what they’re getting themselves into, and they’re scared shitless.

images (1)

Don’t get me wrong, Kylan is a very well-balanced toddler. But that all goes out the window as soon as we set foot in any restaurant. I think there may be something in the air that sets him off, I don’t know. He absolutely despises the high chairs, he acts like a person might act if they were unexpectedly put in a straight jacket. He squirms, cries, and bangs his hands violently on the table. But in the booster seat, he refuses to sit still, and tries his best to get out and run around the restaurant. Forget sitting him in my lap. He slams the back of his head against my damned collar-bone, kicks the bottom of the table, and screams like a banshee on crack-cocaine. Any attempt to give him crayons and one of those little coloring pages is useless. The boy absolutely loves to color, but he is not the least bit interested when in a restaurant. He throws the crayons across the table and crumples up the paper. I figure I’ll give him a fork or spoon to play with, but no. The only piece of silverware he’s interested in are the sharp-as-fuck knives. God forbid the restaurant we are at has the cups with lids for kids. Give him a regular cup and he tries his absolute best to knock it over and spill his milk or juice all over the table. Sometimes he succeeds. It’s awesome. I pray to the sweet baby Jesus that the oncoming food will save me from the nightmare I am experiencing, but of course not. He doesn’t want to eat the food, rather he tries to drink the ketchup that comes with his fries, and throws the rest of the food on the floor. Thanks sweetie! Meanwhile, I’m lucky if I get three or four bites out of the food I’ve ordered. On top of everything, I get looks from other people like my kid is the biggest brat in the universe. And to be honest, I don’t really blame them for feeling that way. If your only experience around my son was the same as the poor people who are lucky enough to sit next to us, you’d think my kid was out of control, too. 

But tonight Kylan really surprised me. For the most part, he sat happily in his booster seat at the table and colored with his crayons. He drank his milk without making a gigantic mess, and he actually ate his food. He was so pleasant, that other people sitting around us were gushing over how cute he was. He did get a little restless during our meal, but was very content when I took him over to this seating area in the restaurant, and we played 1-2-3 toss the toddler on the couch. For once I was able to tip our server the normal amount, rather than giving him a guilt inspired $10 tip. It was great.

IMG_20130422_182321 IMAG0454

The best part was I was able to eat ALL of my food. It was fan-fucking-tastic. And it was really delicious, which is awesome, because there aren’t really any great restaurants in this town. Being as it’s a small city, there are really only chain restaurants like Applebee’s, Chili’s, and Olive Garden. A few weeks ago a new restaurant opened called The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen. I don’t know what the fuck is up with that name, but whatever. The food was really great. I am obsessed with buffalo wings, so I ordered the buffalo chicken-wich. So good! My mother ordered the prime rib, and her ex(for some reason she feels the need to include him in family stuff, ugh) ordered the buffalo meatloaf. We will definitely be going back, and I have hope that eating out will be more of a pleasant experience for me from now on. But we shall see!

IMAG0455 IMAG0457 IMAG0458

 

The dark side of the sea otter

I’ve always loved sea otters. When I was a child, we would stand by the docks on the beach and watch them roll around in the water, being all cute, adorable and furry. When we go to the zoo, seeing the sea otters in their habitat is my favorite… they go down their little water slide, play with each other, and ham it up for the crowd. But there is something about sea otters you don’t know. They have a dark side. A dark side so disturbing, I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry at my lost innocence.

Sea otters are rapists. RAPISTS!! Not only do they rape each other, but they rape baby seals. BABY FREAKING SEALS! And they kill them in the process. So they are murderers as well. These cute, furry, fun little creatures are baby seal raping murderers. According to an article on The Discovery Channel, male otters that are pushed out of other groups where other male sea otters are dominant. They are sexually frustrated, and so they rape and kill baby sea otters. Lovely. And PETA says people are evil? Wild animals are pretty evil too, apparently….

otter

Thank you, Discover Channel, for ruining the way I feel about the sea otter.

 

Cooking for children with autism

Cooking for kids with autism can be tough. Actually, tough is an understatement. It makes you want to pull your hair out, curl up in the corner, and sob. As good parents we want our children to eat well-balanced meals, and we also want for them to enjoy variety. Those two things can seem nearly impossible when you’re cooking for a kid on the spectrum, because a lot of them really do not like veggies, and variety is almost unheard of.

My 13-year old brother has autism. Since I’ve gotten into cooking, I’ve made it a mission to try to find things he will enjoy, that are healthy, and not the usual that he tends to gravitate towards. He has surprised me, because I’ve managed to make some things that he has really enjoyed, things he will normally not want to eat; pasta, vegetables, eggs, etc. It has been really great, and my mother loves me for it!

The following recipes are all things I’ve cooked that my 13-year old brother has really enjoyed. I hope you try them for your child with autism, and I hope they enjoy these dishes as much as my brother has!

green-smoothie

The green smoothie! I make this for myself for breakfast nearly every morning. It’s delicious, and it’s good for you. It’s a guaranteed picky child pleaser! The original recipe is on Two Peas and Their Pod, although I’ve made some changes to it to suit my personal taste(the need for sweet!!).

  • Six large strawberries
  • Two cups spinach
  • One banana
  • Eight blueberries
  • Half of a peach, skin removed
  • 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

Pour all ingredients into a blender, and puree that shit until it’s nice and smooth! Viola!

a99757_0103_mac_l

Macaroni and cheese with butternut squash. Yeah yeah, I know a lot of people are like, “You shouldn’t sneak vegetables into food” blah blah blah. A lot of people who say that have no idea what the fuck they are talking about so oh well! This macaroni and cheese is good. It’s creamy, it’s cheesy, it works! The recipe for this is by the lovely Martha Stewart.

556731_621631524530681_1091197012_n (1)

 

Spinach and prosciutto Quiche. Okay, this may have just been a fluke to be honest! All I know is my brother, the most picky kid on earth, loved this! You can find my recipe for it here 🙂

thumb

 

Cheddar jalapeno chicken burgers. I posted about these previously. They were really good, and they passed the picky kid test! I found this recipe on What’s Gaby Cooking.

wpid-IMAG0232.jpg

 

Bacon burgers with gorgonzola cheese and caramelized onions. These were a hit, minus the onions. The cheese and bacon give these burgers a nice flavor that just can’t be beat!

Check back in this category, I plan to post more autism friendly recipes every time I get the stamp of approval from the picky kid in my house!

Happy 4/20!

I would be a terrible food blogger and ex-stoner if I didn’t post a few recipes in spirit of 4/20. It’s 2013, and there are recipes out there that go above and beyond the special brownie. For the record, I do not condone illegal activity. But I also don’t really give a shit what you do, and I love pot-infused food, so I choose to share these recipes with you 🙂 So if that’s your thing, get your bake on!

Simple Cannabutter

Aaahhhh, cannabutter. It looks a lot like jarred baby vomit, doesn’t it? It’s good for toast, bagels, and any food that utilizes butter. You’ll need this for the following recipes. You can snag this recipe on Food Republic.

peanut-butter-blast-brownies-300x238

Peanut butter blasted brownies. So it’s a brownie….with peanut butter….and pot. Sounds pretty good to me. I found this recipe on Good & Baked!

Strawberry-Banana-Marijuana-Pancakes

Shit just got real with these strawberry banana marijuana pancakes. I am drooling over here! I’m going to second the advice Stupid Dope gives for this recipe; eat these on the weekends. Unless you work from home, or feel like being an idiotic zombie all day. But that’s probably not a good idea.

gu

Ganja guacamole. Holy guacamole Batman! This recipe is on Culinary Cannabis. I recommend taking some of this with you to Chipotle and putting it in your own burrito. Awwww yeeeeeeah.

Chocolate_Red_Velvet_Cannbis_Cupcakes

RED FREAKIN VELVET CUPCAKES. Need I say more? Get the recipe on Marijuana.com

My breastfeeding adventures

I stopped breastfeeding Kylan quite some time ago, but I really wanted to share my experiences with breastfeeding. So many women have troubles with breastfeeding, and they suffer in silence. It seems like a ridiculous thing to feel guilt and suffer over, but you would understand the feeling if you’ve ever tried and failed at breastfeeding before. I want to share my experience so that maybe some women struggling in the way I struggled might be able to find some peace and release themselves of any guilt they may be feeling.

When I became pregnant, there was no question of whether or not I wanted to exclusively breastfeed. I wanted to be the mom that didn’t give bottles, or formula. I had this perfect image in my head of my son suckling on my breast, getting everything he needed. Oh how happy and joyful and perfect it would be. I was so fucking naive it was sick! It never occurred to me that I might have problems breastfeeding. It really should have, considering there are lots of first time moms that have problems producing milk, getting their babies to latch on properly, etc. But I blocked all of those things out of my mind. I was determined that it would work out perfectly.

I had a c-section. I wanted to nurse right away, so as soon as they took me into the recovery room with my son I had them bring him to me. I was very excited, because he latched on right away. He was clearly a boob man, and that made me very happy. He nursed for about 10 minutes, 5 minutes on each side. The entire day he nursed every two hours, like clock-work. It was great….until that night. He was very fussy; he would latch on for a few second, suck a little, and start to scream. I would switch breasts, and the same thing would happen. I was frustrated, but determined not to give in on the first day. I gave it a little break, and as the nurse suggested, got a little milk to come out with my fingers before having Kylan try to nurse again. By 3 in the morning he was still struggling, still screaming, and he was clearly very hungry. I asked the nurse for a bottle of formula. She asked, “giving up so early?” I couldn’t believe her… but at the same time she also didn’t like the fact that I had him sleeping next to me in my bed so I mentally gave her the middle finger. When I gave him the bottle, he sucked it down so fast that he spit up after he was finished. It was obvious to me that he hadn’t gotten anything at all from my breasts that day. That was so disappointing….

In the recovery room, right after our first meal together!

In the recovery room, right after our first meal together!

We were very popular in the maternity ward, between my red hair and how tiny he was.

We were very popular in the maternity ward, between my red hair and how tiny he was.

All night I racked my brain trying to figure out why I had hardly any milk for him to eat. Was it because I had a c-section? Was it because I was induced 2 weeks early? Was it just my body? I knew it wasn’t productive to think those thoughts, but I couldn’t help myself. I also knew I wasn’t going to give up.

Our second day together :)

Our second day together 🙂

The next day I was visited by a lactation consultant. She was a wonderfully sweet Irish woman. She gave me some very helpful tips, and assured me that there was no need for me to feel bad about giving my son a bottle the first night. A baby’s gotta eat, even if it comes from a bottle. After she left, I felt very motivated and encouraged. Per her suggestion, I continued to offer Kylan my breasts when it was time to eat, even if I knew he may not get something from them. If he didn’t, I gave him a bottle. I was very happy the third day, because it seemed as if he was actually getting some milk from my breast, and we were doing half formula, and half breast milk. I was confident that I might be able to eat least breastfeed him half the time.

The next morning, the day I was going home, I knew I was going to have more problems. My left breast was very sore. I went to the bathroom, and noticed only my left breast was engorged, the other looked like there was nothing in it. It looked like I had a cheap implant in one breast, and that the surgeon forgot to put in the other one. Before going home that day, I got a breast pump. After resting at home for a bit(I was at the hospital for five days, and was dying to relax!), I decided to try out the breast pump. I pumped for ten minutes on each breast, and got a whopping half of an ounce. I was incredibly upset. If I could barely pump a half an ounce, how was my son supposed to breast feed?

Our first day home!

Our first day home!

The following weeks were awful. I had cracked and bleeding nipples, both of us got thrush, and I also had mastitis. Through all of that, Kylan still wasn’t able to get much breast milk out of me. At that point, I felt like giving up. I couldn’t pump, I couldn’t breastfeed…. it was an awful feeling. I felt even worse for wanting to give up. It didn’t help that I had people telling me, “Don’t give up. You won’t be doing your son any favors by only feeding him formula.” That made me feel worse. I felt like a selfish person. I felt like a failure. I couldn’t help by think that if it were two-hundred years ago, my child would probably die. But more than anything, I hated that this was supposed to be a joyous time for me, and all I could do was feel so negative towards myself.

So I stopped breastfeeding. I realized that by dragging out, I was causing more problems for myself. I was dragging out the bad feelings and the guilt. So I stopped. I felt like I grieved for over a month. That’s how awful I felt. Every time I gave Kylan a bottle I wanted to cry. Sometimes I did. But I knew the feelings I had were normal, and eventually the guilt went away. It took a while, but I finally felt at peace with my decision. Kylan was a happy and healthy baby, so what if I couldn’t breastfeed?

Perfectly happy with a bottle :)

Perfectly happy with a bottle 🙂

I don’t think I would have felt so shitty about the situation if society didn’t make such a huge deal out of breastfeeding. I got so tired of seeing/hearing people say, “Breast is best”. Well no shit Sherlock, I know that’s what is best! But you know what? Formula is just as good. There are so many women that never have any issues breastfeeding. They have no clue how emotionally draining it is when you can’t breastfeed. And a lot of them aren’t sensitive enough to stop telling you that you need to keep trying, that you can’t give up, and that your baby is losing out if you give in and give them formula. It would be so much easier for women like me to feel better about our decision to formula feed if breastfeeding advocates would just stop shoving their beliefs in everyone’s face.

If you find yourself in the same position I was in, the best piece of advice I can give to you is this; there is nothing wrong with doing what is best for your baby. Formula feeding does not mean that you’re robbing your child of nutrition or the opportunity to bond. My son is a very healthy boy. We bonded incredibly during meal time without me breastfeeding him. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re a failure, especially yourself! You’ll get through it, just as I did. Now that he’s two, I look back and I feel no guilt.

Does this kid looks like he was missing out on nutrition to you?

Does this kid look like he was missing out on nutrition to you?

Annoying family visits

Today my mom and I went to go visit my grandmother, whom I am extremely fond of(I hope you sensed the sarcasm there…). My grandmother and I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye, but she enjoys seeing my son. Or at least I think she does…she didn’t acknowledge his birthday, but anyway. There are certain things that go on in that house when I visit that annoy the shit out of me. The first being that she talks way too much about the self-help book she wrote and how it’s going to save the entire world from things like rape, murder, and suicide. Really, she does think that. She also talks way too much about politics and how Obama is going to destroy America(but I’m sure the sale of all her books will prevent that). The most annoying thing, that drives me bat-shit crazy, is that she and her boyfriend(ick, gross) seem to think they get to take over my role as a parent while I’m there.

It’s pretty nightmare-ish taking a two-year old to a house where there are lots of breakable stuff. I have heart palpatations the entire tine. But I manage to keep him from breaking and getting into shit the whole time. My grandmother and her boyfriend always forget that he’s a pretty well-behaved toddler. They constantly remind me how expensive everything is that he’s standing within three feet of. That’s a $200 vase. That’s a $300 lamp even though it looks like we got it from the dollar store. You should make sure he doesn’t touch those, they are older than Jesus. I was there, I would know. I know I don’t own nice things. It’s not because my two-year old would break all of it either, I just don’t wish to spend a ridiculous money on crap just because it makes me look like I’m rich.

I must be invisible, or they must think I’m not mentally present. I’m following my kid around, and as soon as he gets within a few feet of something, they’re telling him no. HELLO I’M STANDING RIGHT HERE YOU ASS-HAT. I even remind them very politely not to worry, that I will make sure he will not be touching their expensive things. In my head I’m thinking, what do you think I’ve been doing for the last two years? Letting him get into and break whatever he wants? Uhhh, no!  I’ve done a really good job so far making sure he is well behaved and not disrespectful of other people’s things.

Even outside in the backyard, her boyfriend was on him like a hawk everywhere he went. The back yard is fenced, he’s not going to hurdle the fence and make a run for it. Apparently two-year olds shouldn’t pick up rocks, either. Maybe he thought my son was going to grab one and chuck it at one of the windows or something.

images

My grandmother always tries to make me feel guilty by telling me that she wishes she would see Kylan more. Well, gee, as far as I knew you didn’t really like seeing him all that often since you never call and say hey, I’d really love to see Kylan this week. She never wants to come over to our house, either. I think she is afraid the plague has hit our house. Besides, I would probably be a lot more motivated to go over there more often if you people weren’t so effing annoying. Sheesh.