Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Jared the Negotiator

Hello everyone,

Life goes on for the Oregon Porters. On Thursday I had to get Camryn caught up on her immunizations, so we took her to the doctor after preschool for the dreaded shots. To my complete surprise, she didn't cry at all during her shot. Then they came out and said they had to give her a second one and she didn't cry during that one either! I was amazed and impressed. What a brave girl!

On Sunday, we made steak for dinner with the yummy sea salt with herbs that Jen gave us for Christmas. Jared suddenly became convinced that steak was his favorite food and ate a whole piece by himself. Dave had a proud moment as a father when Jared said, "This steak is SO good. The pink part and the sea salt make the steak taste good." He has taught him well: medium or rarer is the only way to have steak. For that dinner we also had broiled zucchini and wilted spinach with garlic and oil. Jared "didn't hate" the spinach, but he only liked it a little bit. In his own words: "I liked the spinach this much [putting his fingers a 1/4 inch apart], I liked the zucchini this much [putting his fingers a 1/2 inch apart], and I liked the steak THIS much! [putting his arms as wide apart as they would go]

In spite of my annoyance and frustration with our recent health-food enrichment, I still was inspired to try to incorporate more whole grains and natural foods into our diet. So, taking advantage of our day off from school on Monday, I followed the health food lady's advice and drove 30 minutes with the kids to Bob's Red Mill, to browse their huge store of every imaginable kind of whole grain and health food. Jared was so thrilled with the idea of going that he drew a picture of a windmill and wrote "BOBS RED MIL" on it, to give to them. He and Camryn were so excited to see the real waterwheel they had in front, despite the fact that it was frozen over. I realized that I truly am a shopping addict when I can be happy as can be, browsing aisles with several different types of oatmeal, comparing whole-wheat farina to gluten-free rice farina and debating between millet grits or hulled millet. I also realized that I am more like my mom than I suspected: I really am a collector, I just collect different things than my mom does. So, since we had driven 30 minutes to this mecca of whole grains and health I HAD to get at least a decent sampling of what they had to offer. So, in addition to picking up some hard white wheat (for bread making), soft white wheat (for making biscuits and pancakes), and hard red wheat (to fill out the group), we got muesli, two different kinds of granola, two different types of hot cereal, whole wheat farina, arborio rice (for making risotto), whole-wheat farina, hulled millet and millet grits (since I didn't know which was better I HAD to get both), steel-cut oats, scottish oats and fresh-ground peanut butter. (The kids HAD to get some when they saw the machine that ground peanuts into peanut butter. They were confused when they didn't like it. I guess sugar-free peanut butter isn't as tasty as Skippy.) So now I have enough whole grains for us to live off of for at least two months and I spent double what my estimate was at the cash register. Ouch. But at least I can revel in how healthy our family is going to be with all of these nutritious things in our diet, um, cupboard.

After our fun outing to Bob's Red Mill, complete with a whole-grain peanut-butter cookie (yum!), we ran into Old Navy to return a shirt. While I was looking at a map to figure out how to get to Old Navy, Jared pointed to part of the map and said, "That says 'Happy Valley.'" Sure enough, it did! While we were at Old Navy, I happened to stumble across an AMAZING clearance sale, so in spite of our post-Christmas spending moratorium, I bought a, er, um, a few things. Okay, you'll have to excuse me if I brag for a moment here, but I bought Camryn some turtlenecks and leggings for next year for $1.99 each! I got a two-pack of girls tights for 99 cents, several sweaters for me for $6.49 (including one I almost bought earlier in the winter for $30) and a denim jacket for $8.50. Jared and Camryn entertained themselves by finding footballs and soccerballs that they had for sale and kicking them around the store and throwing them into baskets. Jared decided that he could not live without an iridescent blue soccer ball, so he opened up negotiations, continuing throughout the whole 10 minute checkout line and up until we left the store. Jared: "Mom, we really need to get a soccer ball today." "No, Jared, we're not buying it." "But mom, the ball is not for me. It's for you and dad to play with. Dad would love a soccer ball. I need to get it to give to him." He would not let up: he just pushed and pushed until finally, the girl at the cash register started laughing and said, "I swear this kid is going to grow up to be a lawyer."

After Old Navy, it was late, but I had to run into Costco to pick up some pictures. We had spent so long out shopping that I just got the kids Costco hot dogs and lemonade for dinner. (Maybe we'll have some whole grains tomorrow....) In spite of the fact that we just needed to get one thing at Costco, we picked up a few things and ended up leaving the store just around the kids' bedtime. Bigger ouch.

So as we were driving home, we went past Michaels. I debated because it was so late, but I just needed one thing: a photo storage box that was on sale for $1.50. I was just going to go back and get it the next day, but it was all the way in Tualatin and that would waste gas and wouldn't be earth-friendly, so it was definitely morally better to just run in and pick up the box now and reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil. So I ran into the store with the kids to get "just one thing," but of course I looked at the scrapbook paper that was on sale and then the kids had to go to the bathroom and then I got a call from Dave saying, "Where ARE you? It's past the kids' bedtime and you aren't even home yet." I sheepishly told him that I was at Michael's "getting just one thing" and that we were about to leave. So we did leave, with $20 worth of stuff (yes, more than just one thing) and I put the kids immediately to bed when we got home (with a Costco pizza slice for Dave as a peace offering for being so late). I would have felt much more guilty about keeping the kids out so late, except the next day we woke up to 2 inches of snow and Jared didn't have to get up for school. What amazing luck! However, I think that I have conclusively proven that: 1) I am completely incapable of going into a store and getting "just one thing." 2) For me, being fast in a store means getting out in less than 30 minutes. 3) When we are on a budget I should just avoid stores altogether.

So yesterday we were snowed in: there was no school and Dave's boss paged him to tell him to stay home from work (How often does THAT ever happen?). So Dave got to work from home and I took the kids out sledding with the neighbors on a side street that had a slight slope. I got Dave to take a break in the middle of the day to watch a movie and we generally had a very good time. The snow still hasn't melted, so we still have two inches. Even though Jared didn't have school today, Dave did have to go back in to work. Unfortunately, in all of the snow play, movie watching and hot chocolate, we have had a pile-up of dishes and general mess, so I'd better go start the excavation.

Hope you all have a great week! Love,


Quotes of the week:
Jared's Word of the Week: Dis-esplode (explode)
Jared: After we had tilapia for dinner, Jared said he was full, so he asked me to put his leftover tilapia in the fridge for tomorrow. About 30 seconds later, he asked if he could have an orange. I said, "I thought you were too full for tilapia." Jared answered, "The orange doesn't have as many calories."
Jared: "I like steak better than anything except candy." Dave: "I like steak better than candy." Jared: "Actually I like BOTH steak and candy."
Camryn: This is ridick-a-lous!
Camryn: I'm going to grow into a mommy soon.
Jared wrote: "MOM. I. RUD. 1000. LAPS" (Mom, I runned 1000 laps)
Jared (to Dave): If you and mom do 1 job for me, I'll give you a penny. If you do 3 jobs for me, I'll give you a penny and a dime. Then you'll have 11 cents.
Jared: "I want to be a rescue hero when I grow up!" Camryn: "I want to be a princess when I grow up. A beautiful thing that lives with a prince." (Aaack! What am I teaching her!)

Jared's shopping list:
SELREE (celery)
APPOLS (apples)
CERITS (carrots)

Jared and Camryn, over dinosaur vitamins (Camryn got the coveted Tyrannasaurus Rex and Jared got Triceratops): Jared: "Camryn, do you want to trade with me?" C: "No." J: "But, yours is the scariest one of all. It will go RAAAAAAAAAAR!!" C:"But it's not real." J:"But it will bite your head off. It just goes RAAAAAAR, but this one goes, "purrr, purrr". So do you want to trade me?" C: "Okay."

Yep, Jared the negotiator.

No comments: