Category Archives: eating out

Spring Break In Review

Spring break is over! Yay!

Almost. Boo.

Dylan is back at school, but Riley, because of the Passover holiday, doesn’t go back until tomorrow. Bugger.

Just as I anticipated, it was a long week, and just as I predicted, I wanted to pull my hair out by bedtime on Thursday. All in all, though, it was an interesting week filled with dilemmas, adventures, anxiety (of course), firsts, and family.

Dylan bought new sneakers with laces. The “with laces” part is important. I vowed never to buy him (or Riley) sneakers with laces until he could tie his own shoes, but then he drooled over these really cool black Nike basketball sneakers and I couldn’t say no. (Never say never.) Now I’m desperate to teach him to tie his own shoes (so I don’t have to do it ten times a day), and let’s just say progress has been slow. This milestone – tying ones own shoes – feels like a big deal, and I feel as much pressure to get it done as I did when Dylan was almost three and a half and not yet potty trained. I can’t help but think about Lisa Belkin’s recent piece, “Parenting Memories: The Bubbles That Unite And Divide Us,” about how we get caught up in whatever stage of parenting we’re in (breastfeeding, potty training, applying for colleges, etc.) and then find it hard to relate to parents who are in a different place. My friends, I am in the “learning to tie shoes” bubble. (Help!)

We went to the zoo and the lion roared! It. Was. Amazing. It was the first time I ever heard a lion roar, and it’s going on my Runaway Mama Bucket List, for sure. It was a first for Dylan and Riley, too, although if you ask Dylan what his favorite part of the zoo was, he’ll say, “eating popcorn.”


I got the results of my thyroid biopsy. Don’t get too excited. There was no result. Really. It was non-diagnostic, which means the cell sample wasn’t large enough for the pathologist to make a determination. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s nothing. It’s like it never happened. I have to do the biopsy all over again, and I have to wait three weeks to do it so the thyroid can heal completely from the first procedure. This non-diagnostic result happens approximately 10% of the time, which made me want to scream into a pillow for a little while. I’m okay now, but the anxiety has propelled my spring cleaning energy to a dangerous level. I still haven’t started on my closet, but the laundry room looks great, I rearranged the kitchen, and we finally hung some framed pictures of the boys that I’ve been meaning to do since Christmas (and before they graduate high school). Next up: the patio, the toy closet, and the boys’ bedroom. [Insert dramatic music].

Riley got his first ear infection! In fact, it was our first ear infection as a family. Dylan has never had one. Crazy, right? Poor guy was stuffy and coughing all week, but it wasn’t until Friday that his ear nearly exploded.

We had a very successful family dinner on Saturday night at the Macaroni Grill. Both kids behaved, ate the food they ordered, and only went to the bathroom once. So that’s what it’s like to go out to dinner with my children and not have an uncontrollable urge to hurl myself out a window!

We celebrated Easter on Sunday. I (a Jewish Mama, remember) hid candy and Squinkie filled eggs in the backyard, the boys ate excessive amounts of chocolate…


Riley=1. Bunny=0.

…and we had a lovely brunch with stimulating conversation about Plato and Socrates’ Allegory of the Cave, “The Croods” (major philosophical undertones!), and Jesus Christ, all of which made me wonder where the hell the Easter Bunny came from.

Last but not least, bedtime last night, after a week of staying up late and sleeping in, was, predictably, a bitch.

How was your spring break?


Filed under anxiety, bedtime, bucket list, cleaning, Easter, eating out, health, movie, spring break


Spaghetti has been a big deal in my life.

Editor’s note:  That sentence sounds as silly to me as it probably does to you!

Remember the song “On Top Of Spaghetti” by Tom Glazer?

On top of spaghetti,

All covered with cheese,

I lost my poor meatball,

When somebody sneezed.

I’m 37 years old and I still sing this song in my head.  Occasionally.  You?

My mom makes really good spaghetti and meatballs.  I’m talking yummy, hearty, fill-up-your-plate-twice good.  It’s so good that when I went through a (very) brief vegetarian stage as a teenager, it was my mom’s spaghetti that, in the end, kept me a carnivore. Twenty plus years later, I don’t eat much red meat, but I make some exceptions, most notably my father-in-law’s “fill-in-the-Jewish-holiday” brisket.  I don’t live near my mom now, but I’d make an exception for her spaghetti and meatballs anytime.

My childhood memory of spaghetti isn’t just culinary.  Whenever my mom made spaghetti for dinner, my parents fought. Spaghetti=fight.  It never made any sense to me, but now that I’m a Mama, I have some theories.  Maybe my sister and I drove my mom batty while she was cooking, and by the time dinner was ready all she wanted was to be locked in a closet alone (been there).  Maybe she was exhausted and felt unappreciated (been there, too).  Maybe my parents were in that phase of “marrhood” (marriage+parenthood=marrhood) (yes, I just made that up) where everything is hard, there’s never enough time, and there’s always something to do…for someone else.

Side note: Mike and I went through a period once where we fought every time we went out to dinner.  I grew to fear the nights we had a babysitter, and there’s something seriously wrong with that.  Babysitter=fight?  No way.  It was marrhood.   Eventually, it passed. 

Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me.  Maybe there was one spaghetti fight and my mind has altered the memory over time.  Maybe I should ask my mom about it.  (Mom, are you reading this?  Call me.)

After all these years, spaghetti is still a big deal.  With Dylan’s sensory issues, especially related to food, our “strategery” has been something akin to throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.  In the name of trying new food, we’ve done it all (at the very least, a lot).

  • Color-themed menus – read “Gut Check” here.
  • Picnics – read “Smile, Laugh, Quack, Sneeze.” here.
  • Taste tests – read “Pancake Party” here.
  • Meal decorations (i.e. cocktail umbrellas stuck in turkey burgers) – read “Fortunate Friday” here.
  • Rewards – read “Prepositions” here.
  • Therapy – read “Outsourcing” here.
  • Tough love – read “Fear and love and food” here.
  • Cooking together – read “Choice. Words.” here.
  • Applied behavior analysis – read “Trying” here and “The Couch (Or Blame) (Or Hands)” here.
  • Dinner logs – read “New” here.

The tricky thing about throwing spaghetti against the wall (in my house, anyway) is that it only ever sticks if Dylan wants it to.  Recently, out of the blue, Dylan told me he wanted to eat – you guessed it – spaghetti.  Of course, I wished he wanted to try chicken, hummus, or eggs, but spaghetti was pretty exciting.  He eats a few other pastas, like elbows and ziti…but not penne because the ridges on penne are scary.  FYI: the ridges on potato chips aren’t scary.  At all.  Spaghetti would be another carb on a long list of carbs he likes to eat, but it would be a new food (a good thing) and a game changer for eating out (a great thing).  It’s much easier to find spaghetti on a menu than it is to find elbows.

I’m pleased to report that spaghetti – with no oil, no sauce, and a lot of Parmesan cheese – has officially been consumed and L-O-V-E-D by Dylan (Riley, too).  Even better, Dylan ate spaghetti in a restaurant!  In case you’re wondering, the preparation of spaghetti at home was quick and easy and didn’t cause a fight.  In fact, it was just the opposite.  I had the priceless opportunity to teach my boys how to do “spaghetti kisses.”


Is there a particular food that means a lot to you?

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Filed under cooking, eating out, food, food issues, sensory processing disorder