Pile into the Kitchen for Mother's Day!

There's a sweet collection of Winnie the Pooh stories that my 2 year old is obsessed with these days. The pages have been torn and taped in places from those moments that her excitement got the better of her. One of the stories is about a scavenger hunt, and ends with Christopher Robin telling Pooh and the crew that friends working together is the greatest thing in the whole world. I thought of that story over and over this Mother's Day. 

My husband had a Mother's Day plan. He and the kids would get up early and make me a fabulous breakfast (not in bed – I have a thing about food in bedrooms). How do I know about this plan? Because my kids can't keep a secret! Well, my 9 year old can. But her brother and sister spilled the beans. They created a menu using LaLa Breakfast on the iPad and each person claimed a role in the making of a delicious Mother's Day breakfast.

LaLa Mothers Day 2015

Most important first step? Coffee. My husband took charge of that one. The kids created a Mother's Day Breakfast Sandwich that they knew I'd love – the SAT sandwich: Applegate Sausage, Avocado and Tomato with fruit on the side. My husband, armed with the camera, sat back and watched the collaboration magic. My littlest one washed berries: 

washing berries for Mother's Day

My middle guy chopped bananas:

LaLa Mothers Day bananas

My 9 year old stole the show. I'm so impressed to see how motivated she is in the kitchen these days. She's eager to prepare foods and has been careful to watch, listen and learn new techniques. She toasted bread, sliced avocado and tomato, and even prepared the sausages all by herself and brought their sandwich vision to life. 

LaLa Mothers Day avocado
friends working together

The Greatest Gift in the Whole World! The sandwich was delicious, of course. But as I sat in my bedroom – under strict orders not to come out until they gave the green light – I remembered that I'm celebrating my 10th Mother's Day this year. Tenth! And my big family is finally getting to a place where we're able to pile into the kitchen and work together as a team. It's an absolute thrill to see a spark of independence in all three of my kids. And sure, it sounded hectic in the kitchen at times (I sat quietly playing Words with Friends and drinking coffee) but look what came out of it! The SAT is a perfect sandwich, and this savory breakfast with a hint of sweet was a delicious way to kick off Mother's Day. Awesome teamwork! 

LaLa Mothers Day 2015 SAT

Apparently parts of it had to be made a couple of times: 

LaLa Mothers Day 2015 avocado toast
LaLa Mothers Day ipad

I'm grateful at my soul's core for the opportunity to be a mom to my three kids. Thanks to them I feel hope, courage and tenderness in ways that I hadn't previously even comprehended. I'll be celebrating later today with my phenomenal mom, without whom none of this would have happened. 

Three cheers to moms everywhere and to the folks who love them and make their lives richer! And best wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy Mother's Day! 

My son was busy drawing a heart for me on the iPad and didn't want to be part of this photo. 

My son was busy drawing a heart for me on the iPad and didn't want to be part of this photo. 

DIY Pizzas and "no touching raw meat"

It's well documented that my kids voice their opinions when it comes to breakfast and lunch and that it's something that I both encourage and celebrate. But dinner? That's all me. Whatever I want to make (and eat) for dinner is what we're doing. I'm usually pretty confident that each of my kids will enjoy some part of dinner – but frankly with three kids (one of whom can't eat dairy, another who would eat her weight in dairy and pasta every day if she could and a third who basically only eats fruit, yogurt and chicken legs but will sometimes experiment with whatever his big sister is eating), it's near impossible to please everyone all of the time. Fine. Even when I'm past that challenge, dinner needs to be ready quickly. I aim for 30 minutes or less. And it usually has a protein, a vegetable and a fruit. 


After this weekend's kitchen disaster, where embarrassingly I mangled two fingers in a stick blender, I was told by an ER doc not to touch raw meat until the stitches come out next week. You can't be too careful when it comes to potential infection and wounds. I'd be fine with grain and green salads and black beans for days (or weeks!) on end, but I'm not sure the rest of my gang would feel the same. 

So tonight we're making pizzas. I bought whole wheat pizza dough and found these organic (fully cooked) sausages at my local market that my crew can add to their pizzas or have on the side (or not). My kids go bananas for DIY pizza. I cut some corners by buying pre-shredded cheese (I'm feeling a bit squeamish about sharp edged things at the moment) and buying already prepared sauce. We'll pair it with grapes (cut for the baby) and frozen peas (my son prefers these still frozen) and call it a day. It's a win-win, as far as I'm concerned. The prep time is not much more than the time it takes for my kids to roll out the dough and spread their own toppings, and I've followed doctor's orders. 

DIY pizza means you can leave the cheese off part of it, for the dairy-free! 

DIY pizza means you can leave the cheese off part of it, for the dairy-free!