Archive of ‘Nom’ category

“What’s for Breakfast?”

My son has a habit of walking into our bedroom in the morning and talking. Just walking in and starting conversations at 6:30 in the morning…
“Hey mom, remember that time when we were at Lucy’s house and we got to play with her PlayMobile house and she had this one piece of it that came off and looked like grapes?”
Coffee. Where. Coffee.
So we made a new rule in our house that Abraham is not allowed to come into our bedroom in the morning without first saying, “Good morning.” Now it’s much better. More like this:
“Good morning, Mom and Ryan. Remember that time when we were at Lucy’s house and we got to play with her PlayMobile house and she had this one piece of it that came off and looked like grapes?”

This morning, though, my son made his bed, let the dogs out, and then came in and said good morning. I was SO incredibly pleased that this child was now 30 years old, I immediately got up and made coffee and asked…
“Abe? What would you like for breakfast?”
“Oh. Um. I’d like cereal. And bacon. And bananas. And cottage cheese. And eggs. Please.”
“Ok, new rule. You may have three things for breakfast. So please pick three.”
“Ok. Bacon. Eggs. Cottage cheese. And bananas.”
“That’s four.”
“That’s four. The new rule is you choose three.”
“Oh. Ok. Bacon. Eggs. And cottage cheese. With salt. Wait…that’s four.”
“No, baby. Salt doesn’t count as a breakfast item.”
“It doesn’t? Ok. Bacon. Eggs. Bananas. And salt.”
“Wait. Bananas or cottage cheese?”
“No. Ugh. Abe, you said bacon, eggs, and cottage cheese with salt. Are those the three you want?”

Our mornings generally consist of me bringing Bear some coffee (because the man works two jobs and deserves coffee in bed), making Abe breakfast, packing Abe’s lunch, and then drinking my coffee while eating steal cut oats.
IMG_2966I am obsessed with steal cut oats right now. I literally fill little mini-mason jars with almond milk and steal cut oats, put them in the fridge, and then open them in the morning and toss them in the microwave for one minute! Top with hemp and chia seeds, blueberries, and whatever else floats my boat. SO much easier than simmering them for freaking forty-five minutes everyday. And I know people put them in the croc pot over night but eww. They get mushy. I don’t like mushy.
Usually in the morning, I’m also thinking about dinner. And I don’t know about all of you, but dinner is one of the most difficult times of day for us…because 5-year-old. Growing up, we ate dinner at our formal dining room table every night. No TVs, no radios, no nothing. Just family and eating and chatting. After my dad passed away, my mom got a little more lax with dinner. We ate at the kitchen bar in front of a little, tiny TV most nights. But we were still together. We still talked.
Abraham is 5. He eats slower than molasses. He talks over everyone. He asks a million questions. He drops his fork. He complains that he doesn’t like “the green part.”
And we, in turn, are miserable.
How do other people eat dinner with a 5-year-old at the table?! IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. Is it possible for you? Are you able to eat at the dinner with your children like normal people?!

Anyway, I plated up Abe’s eggs, bacon, and cottage cheese this morning (with salt) and set it in front of him at the table. I walked back to the kitchen and grabbed my coffee and my oats. I sat down on a stool and began the few moments I have to myself each morning. It was glorious.



The Place with the Pepper on Top

59a17a54a5b7e8937b42ce6a4f7c5f26I took Abe to a(nother) doctor appointment today and on the way, I asked if he wanted to do something special for dinner.
“Oooo! Mom! We should go out!”
“Ok, Abe! Where would you like to go?”
“The place with the pepper on top.”
“The pepper? Wait…where is the pepper?”
“On top. And it’s brown.”
“It’s brown with pepper on top.”
“Brown AND dark brown,” he corrected me.
“Ok so there’s a place with pepper on top of something and it’s got brown and dark brown. Have we been there before?”
“Yeah, mom! We ate all the healthy food!”
“Healthy food…”
“And the pepper is on top!”
“Wait, is the pepper a vegetable? On top of the sign?”
“Yeah it’s at the top!”
“What color is the pepper?”
“It’s red. With green behind it.”
“Oh wow. You mean Chili’s?”

One time after church we took Abe to Chili’s because I wanted bottomless tortilla chips. I told him that we could all eat the chips but we needed to choose very healthy lunches since there

Big red pepper with green, brown, and dark brown. Healthy food inside.

Big red pepper with green, brown, and dark brown. Healthy food inside.

was no nutritional value to the chips. I felt like a detective today trying to figure out what he was saying to me, but once I got it, everything he was saying made perfect sense. Even the building itself is brown and dark brown. It was INCREDIBLE to me how he described what the place he wanted to eat dinner and the things he remembered about it from the one time we went there two months ago.

We sat down to eat and looked at the menu. He told me he wanted a hamburger with chicken. Again, I played detective while the server waited for me to figure out what my four-year-old wanted. Sometimes Abe likes chicken sandwiches and sometimes he likes hamburgers, but he always calls meat “chicken” no matter what it is. It took a few rounds of questioning and a few pictures using the crayons at our table to pinpoint that he meant a hamburger.

When our food arrived at the table, a mom and her son sat down at the table next to ours. Her son appeared to be about 7. He was either profoundly deaf with other special needs or severely autistic. He waved at me and then hit his mom.
“Oh, no hitting mommy, sweetheart,” she said sweetly. “How old is he?” she asked me, indicating to Abe.
I swallowed my bite of hamburger. “He’s 4,” I smiled. “How old is he?”
“He’s 11. A small 11,” she said.
“Does he have autism?” I asked. I realized after I said it that it was a rather bold question, but I have worked with and known so many with autism that I don’t find it to be a stigma at all.
“He does. He’s completely non-verbal. He also had cancer and has some other special needs. He’s a miracle kid.”
“I saw you signing to him. Can he sign?”
“No, he understands some of it. But I’m usually guessing most of the time.”

I couldn’t help but think about the detective work I do all day long trying to understand what Abe is talking about. Imagine adding to it a non-verbal child. How lucky I am…

This mom and her son continued chatting with us for our entire dinner while I watched her guess what her son needed and wanted. I watched him hit her and stomp his feet, sometimes in anger and sometimes in joy. Abraham waved at him, and sometimes showed him his hamburger.

I handled the guess-work of being a mom really well today. But I don’t always do that. Sometimes I get hella frustrated trying to figure out what my son, who can talk clearly and with a vast vocabulary, needs or wants. Sometimes I’m not the nicest, most accommodating mom. And if we’re all honest, meeting another mom whose son had autism won’t change the kind of mom I am, really. It just gave me pause to love and appreciate these moments of translating, of detective work, even if only for the time I sat at Chili’s with the pepper on top and the brown and the dark brown.


Curry Cauliflower Snack

I know I said I wasn’t going to be all “Look at me, I’m fasting!” this month, but some of these veg recipes are too good not to share.

This one is a combo of a few recipes I found.

1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil (just gently melt it in the microwave)
1 Tablespoon curry powder (or more if you like curry, and I do)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (or more if you like turmeric, and I do)

Mix ’em all up in a big bowl, coat the cauliflower really well, and put in the oven at 375 for about 25-30 min (depending on the amount and size of your florets and how roasty you like ’em).

Pull them out and mix them with some salted cocktail peanuts, crushed or not crushed (depending on how hungry you are).


Add sriracha.
Add cilantro.
Add whatevs.

So so nom. It’s the perfect “I’m working but I’m starving” treat.