Friday, September 13, 2013

Back to School

A new city hasn't been the only change around here. My kids are going off to school this year; we are taking a break from homeschooling. It's different and weird, and I haven't fully wrapped my head around it yet. It has been good overall, so far. We have always said that we will play it semester by semester and do what we think is best for our kids and our family at the time. For now, this is best. I do not know what the future holds.

A little Night-Before-School-Starts party with root beer floats. (Baby got plain ice cream.) My oldest son doesn't like carbonation, so he had a "milk" float.

Also new to our lives: Planetboxes. I've been eyeing them ever since they came out. They are very expensive, which is why I never bought them before. They were a little gift to myself in honor of this new phase in life when I'm sort of at a loss as to what to do with myself and my time.

A few of their school lunches, so far:
Annie's bunny fruit snacks, Garden of Eatin' multi-grain chips, grape tomatoes, Starlite Cuisine taquitos cut in half, and guacamole with bell pepper strips. They also like it when I put an "after dinner mint" in the middle hole. It's also hard for me to leave a space empty.

Another kid that day had a similar yet slightly different take on the taquito/guacamole meal with mandarin oranges and mango slices. One kid leaves before the other two, so his lunch is sometimes a little different. She also had to share a baggie of fruit snacks with her other brother. (Not fair!)
Mandarin oranges, blueberries, bell pepper strips, half of a Tofurky/lettuce/avocado/mustard (with some hemp seeds thrown in) sandwich, and Veggie Straws. She has since let me know that she is still hungry if I only give her a half sandwich. One thing I often do for her is give her 3/4 of a sandwich (because the sandwich compartment is a little snug) and give the other 1/4 to her baby brother.

Edamame, baby carrots, grapes, gardein sliders, trail mix, and a Justin's pb cup. My daughter sometimes sweetly asks for TWO mints when she sees me packing her lunch.

Cheezey kale chips (which I put inside the sealed container to keep them crisp), fresh mango slices, bean/olive/palm hearts salad, baby carrots, and Tofurky slices. (If it looks like I rolled up the carrots, I did not.) And of course, a mint.

Bell pepper strips, peanut butter pretzel pillows, pistachios, a sandwich with tofu and veggies, mango slices, a Nibmor chocolate mint square...and a mint!

You can pick the magnet set you want for the outside of your lunch box. You should remove these when you wash it. My oldest son chose the Andy Warhol art set. I had no doubt that was the one he would choose.
My 8 year old son chose dinosaurs.
To be honest, I had no idea how he would embrace the Planetbox. He is so weird sometimes. He is my child who gets embarrassed about everything. (The other two kids are extremely confident in themselves and their choices.) I thoroughly questioned him before I purchased him one because I didn't want to waste money. He is too embarrassed to bring grilled or baked tofu in his lunch. Once at our home school co-op he was so embarrassed by what I had put in his lunch, he immediately zipped it back up and just didn't eat that day. He will take tofu if it is hidden on a sandwich and all other forms of meat alternatives are acceptable. 
He is the same way about a lot of things in life - clothing choices and family PDA, etc. His older brother is very affectionate, and it's the end of the world if he tries to hug his brother in public. Oh, and I put little notes in their lunches on the first day of school. He said he hid his immediately, but he is afraid someone saw it. So no more notes for him. I am understanding, though, because I was very self-conscious when I was young, too. I mean, I try to include a nice mix of fresh and processed in their lunches. His lunch does sometimes look slightly different than theirs. (No salad. There are certain veggies that are acceptable, and some are sooo embarrassing.) He does like his lunchbox, though. For now.
My 6 year old daughter chose fairies.
I'm going to get them each a different set of magnets (which are only a few bucks) for Christmas. What I like about these boxes: they're cute, they have compartments which are fun to fill, and I only have to clean one object, not lots of little containers and cloth baggies. We have a Laptop lunchbox and like it, but I was constantly misplacing all of the containers or realizing one piece was dirty as I was trying to pack a lunch. Each Planetbox comes with two sealed containers, one small and one larger for liquid items. We don't use them too often, but they are nice to have.
I put ketchup in one of the small containers the other day, and my son and his teacher couldn't open it. Somehow it got sealed up tight, maybe with ketchup. I still can't open it. I have no idea how to get that lid off; any ideas? I hate wasting a solid stainless steel piece.