Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Always Say Cheese And Thank You

This week has been busy so far! Monday morning was our second day of co-op preschool (we go every Monday) and since the Snack Coordinator (the parent who makes up the schedule of who brings snack each week) is a friend of mine, she assigned me first. Yay. (It was her week in Parent Ed, and Snack Parent is supposed to be a parent from in the classroom that day, and I foolishly showed up to orientation, so she assigned me.)
I decided to make shaped cheese of some kind, since it was such a hit at the end-of-year potluck last year, and Veggie Chips in the fry shapes, but wavered on fruit. Make apples into shapes? Just slices? Strawberries? Shapes? Strawberries and Kiwi shapes? Half-bananas? A moot point, as it turns out, since I completely flaked on going to the grocery store, and we were headed to bed Sunday night when I remembered. Apples it is! Only... 1 slice of cheese left to make shapes with. Fine. String cheese. *sigh* But then I saw that we only had 2 apples! 10-12 kids plus 6ish adults.... 2.... apples.... Ugh. So hubby went to the store [My hero!] and got Monterey jack cheese and some Gala apples. (I chose Jack because one of the kids can only eat white cheese. And no soy, and only recently is she able to eat limited amounts of gluten. Her grandma is going to bring her snack each week, but I wanted to be sure that mine would be okay, in case she wanted some.)
I stayed up late slicing cheese. I couldn't decide what cutters to use, since I wanted as few scraps as possible so I wouldn't have to cut more slices to make enough shapes for everyone. I opted for my Lunch Punch Match N Munch and used half of the small rounded-corner one. It didn't fit my cheese slices perfectly (I had a 2" thick slab of cheese and was slicing that end, rather than one of the long or wide sides.) And my slicer was malfunctioning (or else the cheese was super soft) and I kept getting big hunks tearing off at the bottom. I just powered through and made 40 puzzle pieces and called it good. I was pleased to do it all waste-free! I used a resealable container to put my shapes in, and another for the scraps.
Since it was late and I was tired, I opted out of apple shapes and just used my slicer, then cut each slice into thirds (to make it easier for the little ones to eat.) Sloshed them around in a resealable container with apple juice to prevent browning [note: I left the juice in all night, which made them super moist and kind of slimy. Not moldy or yucky... just creepy to touch. Next time I'll drain it.] I found a bag of Whole Grain Goldfish crackers and tossed that into my reusable grocery bag I was planning to carry everything in, and my Veggie Chips fries in the individual sized baggies from Costco (that will expire in a week! I bought them for her birthday party in June!) and went to bed.
Got up on time. She didn't want breakfast until I told her it was time to get dressed, then she sucked down all the Froot Loops off the top of her Cheerios. We arrived on time (for once!) I warned her in advance that I would be in the kitchen, and that she could come stand by me or play in the classroom (the kitchen is attached to the classroom and the Parent Ed room, so the kids can easily access their parents.) Last year she spent almost the whole time in the kitchen with me. Especially after I started feeding her scraps to get her to leave me alone. This time I refused to feed her, and she went into the classroom and played! Now, this might not seem like a big deal to any of you, but to me, it's like Invasion of the Body Snatchers! MY child keens and wails if another adult talks to her, or sometimes even looks at her. MY child freaks out and stands at the gate in the doorway to the hall, crying because she can't see me, even though I'm standing right behind her. MY child, for some reason, assumes that I'm going to ditch her and run for the hills the first chance I get, even though I never ever have. Seriously. I would wake her up if I had to leave during a nap. I always say goodbye, and that I'll be back.
Now, we've gotten a little better. We've practiced where I go on little forays out to the car to offload something and come right back, or go get the mail and come right back. Or even I go to another room and come right back. So she's learned to trust me there, if she's well rested. This summer I was even able to get her to understand that if my arms are full I can't carry her, so she can choose to walk, or wait for me to drop off the stuff n the house/car/park picnic table and come back for her. HUGE step for us. HUGE. But I never expected her to pick up where we left off last May at school. We have a different teacher this year, and a lot of different parents. And most of the parents we DO know are in the group I'm not in, so they weren't in the room with her this week!
I was able to get my prep done in record time. (Although apparently we aren't supposed to cut food at home first, but no one told me until after, so I'll have to double check for next time.) I had an extra 15 minutes to be in the class with Z, and she couldn't have cared less. I was so happy I could have cried!
The kids loved the veggie chip fries and puzzle cheese and goldfish, and almost everyone ate their apples. Huzzah! Naturally, I forgot to take any pictures. So you'll have to take my word for it how awesome my snack was!


  1. Veggie Chip fries EXPIRE?

    I bought some after your post. I'll have to check what the date is on them!

  2. I bought them late May, or very early June, and they are good until Sept. 30, so 4 months isn't bad. I just tend to forget what all snacks I have, or forget to even bring any with us, and feel silly opening a mini bag of chips to eat at home, so they sit around and expire!


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