I am pretty sure that my Wacky Wednesday posts will be migrating over to another blog that I started before starting this one. Honestly, two blogs is too much. And while this blog originally provided a nice deadline and inspiration each week, it has been hard to maintain the past few months. Yes, we do still do Wacky Wednesday and some of them are really fun and I want to share them. But sometimes I’d rather just write about what else is going on in our lives. Partly to share with other people. But mostly writing about it helps me chew on my thoughts and feelings about it. And while I could use a pen and paper this is just so much easier. And when you are a busy working Mom something has to give. Details to come as that unfolds…
So, back to Wacky Wednesday:
I have enjoyed taking ECFE since my kids were babies. A program unique to Minnesota it focuses on children ages birth to 5 years of age and provides a structured environment for kids and parents to explore education and parenting and the range of topics in between. Parents are kid’s first educators. It is a big job. And it is wonderful to explore it in a place where there are both laughter and tears flow easily in a supportive and understanding environment.
And I swear I this is all relevant to Wacky Wednesday…
This week’s ECFE topic was siblings.
The parent class shared some ideas about how to build good relationships between your kids. Things like taking pictures of one another playing together and creating shared experiences and creating opportunities for them to make something together.
And so that IS what I am thinking about for Wacky Wednesday this week!
Sometimes in the hectic pace of the past few months it would have been easier to skip WW entirely. Except that both of the kids look forward to it. And feel a sense of ownership in it. And it gives us all a chance to laugh at ourselves. And learn something: Like the week I made all dishes that were completely unrelated and had no theme and THAT was theme of Wacky Wednesday. Except that the kids both came up with several creative ideas that did connect the foods to one another and thus making my theme obsolete. So, every week there is a gold opportunity for me to create a shared memory for my kids.
So, one theme for Wacky Wednesday this week we are going to have foods that BOTH siblings like to eat:
- Cheese & Black Olive Pizza
Okay… yes, I see there is another theme going there but it is totally non-intentional.
And then we’re also going to give the kids a chance to create something together. The kids are going to make everyone dessert. Yep, by themselves. Yes, I am guessing that they will also probably make a mess. But I am betting that the memories they make will be more important.
Last night, WE ROCK’d for Wacky Wednesday. Here’s a picture of our Ramen, Olives, Cucumber and King Salmon. Get it? ROCK?
Stay with me here. You can see we also had Edamame. Add the Water we drank and you totally have the WE ROCK theme.
But it gets better because we also indulged in a childhood favorite of mine: POP ROCKS!
I can remember being fascinated by them as a kid. Something my own parents surely remember as they give me some of them every year during the holidays.
Apparently a lot of people don’t realize that you can still buy them. You can. And they even have new flavors. This was the first time I tried to the Candy Cane flavor. I am not a huge fan of mint so they were … interesting.
We also rocked out to some classic rock that kept us all dancing while I cooked and then we cleaned up together.
Hooray! It’s Wacky Wednesday!
I was thinking about Sophie’s friend joining us for dinner tonight. They have literally known each other since they were babies. And even though they don’t go to school together they still see each other at their afterschool program and for playdates. As I was thinking about them, and some of my own childhood friends, a song popped into my head. If you were a Daisy/Brownie/Girl Scout or went to summer camp you are probably familiar with “Make New Friends“. This is my favorite part:
A circle is round,
it has no end.
That’s how long,
I will be your friend.
So, for Wacky Wednesday this week everything we eat will be circular:
- Pita Pizza’s
- Sliced Carrots
- Strawberry Shortcake
When I think back on my childhood, a lot of my happiest memories came from when I lived in Chicago. We lived in Naperville back when our backyard bordered a cornfield, everyone who lived there was from “somewhere else” and our block had a handful of girls all the same age. My friend’s names still roll of my tongue: Dava, Michelle, Emily, Sharon, Kim, Jennifer… We sang along to Shawn Cassidy and learned to ride bikes and explored our neighborhood while it was being transformed from a small town into a suburb. It’s idyllic when I think back on it. Many of our mom’s stayed home and our dad’s commuted into the “city.” There were outdoor BBQ’s and backyard games at twilight. And I can still remember running into the house late in the day to ask my mom if a friend could eat dinner with us or, better yet, the absolute thrill of being invited over to someone else’s house to eat.
Our neighborhood was a melting pot! Our immediate neighbors were Columbian and I had friends on our block that were Indian and Vietnamese American. How I loved being invited to eat with them just as much as they adored eating my mom’s own “American” cooking.
Dinnertime is different for my kids; our days have different patterns and living in the city hasn’t yielded the same large gaggle of kids running from house to house trying to stir up an impromptu dinner invite.
Still it is one of my favorite parts of my own childhood so I am thrilled that we get to have a playmate of Sophie’s over for several meals in the upcoming weeks. Better yet her visits will all fall on Wednesday nights!
Now, I just need to come up with some good ideas!
We’ve been meaning to make this Marshmallow S’mores dessert ever since we saw it featured in an article somewhere. And that is partly why I love Wacky Wednesday. It gives me a little nudge to try something a little outside what we normally have for weeknight dinner fare.
This pie got raves from everyone! It’s especially perfect if you have little ones who are safer away from a campfire. Not to mention that you can totally control how perfectly golden your marshmallows get.
Here’s the easy as pie recipe:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line pie plate with tin foil.
- Mix in marshmallows, graham cracker pieces and chocolate chips to your liking.
- Pop in the oven for a few minutes until marshmallows/chips are melty and look done enough to your liking.
I have a hellish schedule this week at work. Wednesday will be a LONG day. I will leave the house at 7 a.m. and will not get home until well after everyone’s bedtime (including my own). Luckily, I don’t have too many marathon days like that with my job. But I am disappointed that I will miss Wacky Wednesday.
John and the kids insist that they will forge on and enjoy it without me.
As I was thinking of something fun and different for them to do that doesn’t involve a lot of prep for John, I realized that there is a one thing lurking in both John’s and my pasts that my kids have never enjoyed: TV Dinners!
Yep, it’s true. As a kid growing up in the 70’s my own cook-from-scratch mom occasionally let my brother and I indulge in TV Dinners. I don’t really remember what the food tasted like but it I do remember being giddy with excitement as she’d unwrap those divided tinfoil plates and set the timer on the oven. A heady combination of actually getting to eat something totally different from what my brother was eating (his favorite was Salisbury Steak while I favored Fried Chicken), seeing my dessert before I finished the rest of my meal and of course anticipating that my mom would let us eat dinner while watching TV! It was the one time I can remember that my bother and I didn’t fight about what our Saturday night line-up might be. We’d happily sit side-by-side and watch “B.J” and the Bear” or “Dukes of Hazard” while devouring our meals and washing them down with our weekly bottle of soda that we got to split.
And so my kids will be dining on the modern-day version: Kid Cuisine!
And despite the packaging seeming like a terrible waste and the food being, perhaps, full of more chemicals than I would prefer I am good with this. All things in moderation, right?
What kinds of foods are lurking in your childhood? Do you intend on sharing them with your kids? Why or why not?