Monthly Archives: July 2011


Gabe worked so hard picking berries. He seriously probably picked as much as some adults would. Miriam is never one to turn down the chance to smile for her daddy.  We went blueberry picking for the first time this season last Saturday and had a grand old time. Last summer we bought a little chest […]

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adrienne w - July 22, 2011 - 7:09 am

Oh, I love Blueberries for Sal! Also, One Morning in Maine by the same author is one of my childhood favourites. Aaahh, blueberry picking with the Becerras! Do you remember when we did that 5 years ago when Macartney and Sofia were babies? And Denver picked 10 pounds of blueberries because they were $1 a pound, even though he doesn’t even like blueberries? He couldn’t pass up a good deal like that. I think of that every time I buy blueberries and have to pay 5 times that for them!

EmmaJ - July 22, 2011 - 10:44 am

Blueberries for Sal is always checked out of our library and they have 5 copies. It took 2 months before we could check it out.

Katrina - July 22, 2011 - 1:45 pm

Such a pretty baby!

juliette - July 22, 2011 - 2:55 pm

Let’s pick together soon! I have a freezer to fill and you’re welcome to some space for overflow, we never seem to fill it up. Or perhaps we could trade freezers?

Kara - July 22, 2011 - 5:00 pm

Going to have to check out “One Morning in Maine” Wish I could send you some!!
Had no idea it was such a popular book. It is a book I should probably just add to our collection!
Remind me again of when your baby is due. Let’s throw you a baby shower!!
Oooh.. I like either of those ideas (trading/or leasing out space)… let’s chat more. Yes, let’s pick. I plan on picking at least once a week until they are out!

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Anita - July 23, 2011 - 6:01 pm

I wish I could beam my family over to you guys right now! Can’t wait to see you all soon!

Katrina - July 27, 2011 - 9:38 am

I’m due on Monday. (Hurray! I almost made it.) Don’t worry about a shower. I already have too much stuff. :) But you should come down and visit us. We would love to see you.

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Anonymous - August 10, 2011 - 3:43 am


Helping overcome picky eating!

A while back, I wrote a guest post for “frankly entertaining” where I rambled for awhile about picky eating. I am really interested in childhood nutrition, and I strongly believe that children’s behavior is effected by what goes into their bodies (and with adults too of course). I may rock some of your boats a […]

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EmmaJ - July 21, 2011 - 6:20 am

I try not to buy processed food. Potato and tortilla chips usually go stale before they bag is finished in our house. With that said, I have 2 picky children. When first introduced to solid food they both ate everything. I would make my own and bought baby food from the store. But usually between 1 and 2 years old they get PICKY. With Betty it is a texture thing, and she will spontaneously gag if it doesn’t agree with her. She will try everything , but she likes things that have a light, smoother texture. So zucchini (which I have shredded and hid in their grilled cheese sandwiches) cantaloupe, and mango. Then my son who just 2 months ago ate everything and then some all of a sudden won’t eat anything but crackers and cheese (sometimes turkey lunch meat. I wasn’t worried until he actually lost weight at his 15 month check-up. So for me now it is a battle between my kid eating at all, and if that means he has 1/4 of a banana and goldfish crackers, then at least he is getting some calories that day. I try to not make them different dinners than we are eating, sometimes I’ll keep theirs less seasoned than ours. Lunch is all their choice. But even then, little boy won’t eat pasta and cheese or bread. As a chef, this is all very frustrating and I often cry over it at night. I don’t stop serving foods just because they reject it once because I understand that tastes change. And I try to keep telling myself that it may seem like this goes on forever, but it does change eventually. But when it comes to eating anything or eating nothing, I have to choose the anything for my little boy.

I am rambling, I hope that all made sense.

Wendy M. - July 21, 2011 - 7:15 am

Great post! I agree with the idea that you need to keep offering foods even if they’ve been turned down repeatedly. Brenden refused/complained about black beans and rice for at least THREE years. Unfortunately for him, that is one of my favorite dinners, so I kept making it (and as a rule, everyone eats the meal I make. I often use my mom’s quote, “I’m not a short-order cook!”) Anyway, he finally really gave it a try and realized he loved it! Now he’s happy when I make it.
I’ve also found if I’m not feeling inspired to make a meal, the kids looove for me to put out a fruit/veggie/cheese/bread/nuts tray and they serve themselves. I was shocked the first time that they would be so excited when I put so little effort into it!

kara - July 21, 2011 - 7:45 am

 In regards to Oscar, I think that most toddlers are picky at some point. I think all parents of toddlers would say that some days they eat quite a bit, and then the next day they eat nothing. Feeding a toddler can be frustrating. It sounds like you are trying really hard and doing a great job Emma. Even if he is stuck on certain things, just keep adding healthy things to his plate that he doesn’t like and don’t stress about if he eats it or not, and someday he will! Even if Betty is picky about textures, I bet that if you experiment enough, you will find really healthy things that she will eat, even if she doesn’t like a lot of foods still. OH, and if she is weird about textures, you may try mixing her veggies into her smoothie with the fruits to h elp with getting used to the taste. Gabe definitely has a pickier personality, but I don’t stress too much over it, because there are a lot of healthy foods he will eat. OKay, now I am rambling, but all you can do is your best in the situation, and you are great!
I’ve always been impressed with how you feed your kids! I love the idea of the veggie/cheese/bread/nut tray. That would be such an easy thing to do for summer. Throw on some almonds, blueberries, hummus, veggies, and bread. I am so doing that, and I bet if the kids help put it together, they would love that too!!

Krista - July 21, 2011 - 8:26 am

Hey Kara – I wrote on ‘Parenting a Picky Eater’ a couple years ago, and recently re-posted it to coincide with the Muffin Tin meals. Here is my experience with parenting a picky eater:

I’ve found that doing the muffin tin meals: is super helpful at providing new foods in non-intimidating proportions.

My daughter is living proof that picky eating can be over come – the parents just have to be more persistent than the kids. It takes kids 10-12 tries to accept a new food; but it takes parents like 2-3 tries before they determine if the child likes a food. We recently went out to dinner for Mexican, and when she received her “safe” cheese quesidilla, she asked if she could have some of my black beans to put in it. That was one of my greatest parenting accomplishments!

Shannon - July 21, 2011 - 8:53 am

I love how you said Gabe has a “persistent personality” rather than saying stubborn, it has a much more positive connotation! I’m stealing that!
This post is so timely for me. My son, Declan, just turned one and food is totally something I have some secret stress and guilt over. He was a bit slow to start solids because he wasn’t a big fan of being spoon fed. It was such a relief when he learned to feed himself around 9 months! But I find it challenging to present him with new foods because if they aren’t his familiar favorites (cheese, whole grain bread, fresh fruit, plain yogurt mixed with veggie and fruit puree, or whole grain sweet potato pancakes) then he starts throwing them and anything else he has on his tray. He really analyzes his food before taking a bite and anything he can easily squish with his finger is out.
I’m really starting to feel like I need to find a way to get him into veggies because the fruit will be way less plentiful after the summer and while I’m sure he could technically survive on dairy and bread it doesn’t seem healthy (wouldn’t want him getting scurvy like a baby pirate!). I also worry about his iron levels, so having him eat a little meat would be nice too.
If anyone has ideas on ways to present veggies and meat that are more appealing to kids I’d love to hear them!
Also, any tips on how to discourage throwing food? I think part of the food throwing is a developmental thing with testing us for our reaction. He is also hitting then watching us for how we respond. And he suddenly refuses to use his signs (which he loved using only a week ago) and now insists on pointing and screaming when he wants something. He and my husband had quite the power struggle on that one the other night. I try soooo hard to remember he is going through big changes right now and that before I realize it this part will be over and it will be something else that is the issue. And I know that I should be trying to use these moments to teach him what is acceptable and expected and to keep giving him new foods, but I am easily frustrated and often at the end of the day I just want things to go smoothly, so I’ll give in (and then be annoyed with myself later for being such a push-over).
Wow, this comment turned into such a vent, sorry about that!

Annalise - July 21, 2011 - 9:33 am

Thanks for this post. I never gave the topic much attention before but now, sadly, it has become me. One of your points struck me and I think my kids see both of us parents making our own food of exactly what we feel like eating, so they expect to have the same privilege. Maybe it would benefit them for a family dinner where this is whats for dinner, period, and Dad and Mom eat it too. Usually I do, but we don’t do family dinner a lot because my hubby is an athlete and he is very particular about what and WHEN he eats. It’s so exhausting for a mom to cater to all these preferences… You are so right, its heartbreaking when a kid won’t eat what you make. And when they only want to eat the same 2 foods day after day after day. So I try to buy more variety and let them have a say in the shopping list….I will consider a few more ideas.. hmm

adrienne w - July 21, 2011 - 9:34 am

I have picky eaters. I also have a husband who is picky eater. I know that this is no coincidence. He tries very hard to not express his pickiness to the kids, but they know. It is a struggle in our house. When Macartney was a toddler, she was incredibly picky. I went to a picky eating seminar put on by our health region that helped a lot. Here’s a couple of things I learned that helped:
-Don’t put emotion behind food, whether that be a positive or negative emotion. For example, don’t scold kids for not eating something. At the same time, don’t praise them for eating well either. Food should be food, not something emotional. By making it an emotional issue, we teach our kids to eat emotionally.
-Think about nutrition on a weekly scale, not a daily one. Kids might not eat any vegetables one day, but may make up for it the next. So instead of thinking that they need a certain number of servings of this and that, think of what they are getting all week long.
-Don’t force it. They suggested at this seminar not to even push the one bite rule. I have at times, but I try not to.

We do all right. We are not the healthiest eaters, but in general, I’d say we have a healthy diet. The problem is that we as parents like junk! I’m doing better and we are slowly improving. I have found that focussing on the things my kids do like really helps. Macartney isn’t as picky as she used to be and we focus on all the healthy things she does like, like spinach and salmon. I try to include at least one thing I KNOW the kids will eat each meal. So if that’s all they eat, I try not to worry about it. This week, dinner was very unpleasant one night when no one would eat. So we talked about what healthy foods they would like to eat. And I made those meals. Guess what? Success! Healthy, delicious food chosen by my picky eaters!

kara - July 21, 2011 - 9:58 am

Those muffin tin meals really are brilliant. I just need to buy another muffin tin so each of the kid can have one :). I agree that parents decided very early what kids like without giving enough chances. Haaa… it must be the part latino blood in my kids, because they could live off of beans. My kids will eat all fruits, but we do struggle with some veggies more. Okay… I really am going to do the muffin tin meals. My kids would totally dig that.
Regarding throwing food… it is totally normal. I wouldn’t stress about it too much. In fact, I think that one of the biggest things we can do is to make meal time enjoyable. If they can sense that you are stressed, it makes them want to eat even less. I think it would be awesome if we all shared kid friendly recipes!! Your sweet potato pancakes sound great. You could sneak a lot of things into a pancake!!
The tons of different meals going on can get complicated and exhausting. I bet that you and Rychen can come to a middle ground on how to eat almost the same things. Maybe he could eat what you all eat for dinner and then eat a little extra after the kids go to bed? Or you could plan the menu each week together so that there are foods that hopefully the whole family will like.
Kids are so smart and there is definitely no way that Denver can hide his pickiness from them. You gave some great suggestions. I like the idea of not putting emotion behind food. I definitely can be an emotional eater. Also, thinking about nutrition on a weekly scale instead of daily is another great suggestion!!

carolina amador - July 22, 2011 - 8:32 am

Great topic! Wish I had more time to write but you make lots of great points and I especially like: (1) Not making your kids eat, or even try something. All we ask here is that it’s on your plate, you don’t have to try it.
(2) Imitation, imitation, imitation. Everyone has to eat new things, eat more vegetables, etc. Kids are incredible imitators. I am amazed something what I see them do just to act like me. They might need to watch you eat brussel sports for the 70th time before they will try it but it’s worth it and good for the whole fam!

Sunny - July 26, 2011 - 9:07 pm

Both of my kids will try most things and like Sophia, they prefer raw veggies compared to cooked. I’ve taken advantage of this fact and their love of drama by serving “appetizers” every night before dinner. I put the veggies I want them to eat that night on their plates while I’m finishing up dinner and announce “Appetizers are ready!” in a dramatic way. It could be a full salad, or just some cut up carrots and broccoli. When we first started this we always had a sauce (hummus, ranch, ketchup,etc.), but now they just eat them plain. I do sneak stuff into sauces. Whenever I serve/cook veggies I cut them into small pieces, even baby carrots. Neither one would eat zucchini (and I wasn’t thrilled with it either) until I started cutting it into matchsticks…magically it is now all of our favorite veggie to add to anything! We still struggle some days and new items can always be rejected, but every success is recorded in my brain so I can have a positive reference!

kara - July 26, 2011 - 9:54 pm

Sunny, the appetizer idea is absolutely brilliant. I will be implementing that immediatley. It would be something the kids could eat while I am finishing dinner!

The Real Housewives of Benton County Present: Cooking it up with Juliette Mulholland

Juliette with her adorable and fun family. There are many different levels of ability when it comes to cooking and baking. There are people who know pretty much nothing and get take out or cook completely out of boxes. Next, there are people who may cook a tiny bit but still rely on processed food […]

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Tricia - July 20, 2011 - 5:34 am

Lovely interview and gorgeous photos! I’m so glad you liked the Massaged Kale Salad, it’s one of my favorites too :) ~Tricia

Sunny - July 20, 2011 - 10:17 am

I’ve sampled some of Juliette’s fare and agree that it is quite good! I’ve just started branching out from recipes and my mom’s hand me down tried and trues. I’ve been trying to find new and easier ways to use dried beans, like making my own refried pinto and black beans. I really like to make my kid’s birthday cakes too! I think I may have peaked for Grace’s fifth birthday though, she wants the same thing this year!

carolina amador - July 20, 2011 - 12:37 pm

I am so jealous of Juliette’s cooking skills! And she is such a relaxed, down to earth mama too!

betsy - July 20, 2011 - 10:12 pm

Juliette is an amazing cook for sure. I feel privileged to eat at her home whenever I’m invited. Sometimes I even invite myself.

Adrienne S - July 31, 2011 - 5:43 pm

How did I miss this post? Juliette is so funny about her cooking, if she makes something and you say, “is it good or was it good?” She’ll say, “It was alright.” Then you taste it and omg it is g-r-e-a-t. She downplays all her cooking. Perfect modesty. Then I make something and I say, “wow, try this it’s great!” and she says, “don’t talk it up so much.” HAahahah! I’m need to learn her modesty. Ask her for her Marshmallow recipe!

Miriam is Eating Solid Foods and “Zoey Oh” Bib Giveaway!

And the winner is………. Emma!! Emma, let’s get in touch so I can let you know how to get your bib!! Congratulations, and those of  you who didn’t win may need to purchase yourselves one of these great bibs!! We have had so much fun introducing solid foods to Miriam over the last week. I […]

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Michelle - July 18, 2011 - 6:31 am

Cute photos! I went to her etsy site, and my favorite bib is definitely the Rose Bouquet / Opal Dandelion. And um, I haven’t quite started feeding my bebbeh any solids yet, since she’s still in my belly! :)

Sumo - July 18, 2011 - 6:37 am

I was the same way with #2 – Remi got way more food much earlier than with Reece. I can only imagine how it will be this time around.

I actually love the bib you have – I’m a sucker for houndstooth! Baby girl #3 definitely would make good use of this. I love that it’s not velcro closures; those never stay!

I usually start feeding my babies solids at 6 months. I like to start with veggies: peas, beans, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes. I know avocado is technically a fruit, isn’t it, but we like to do that, too!

Sumo - July 18, 2011 - 6:38 am

I’m a follower! :) Fun keeping up with you on here, Kara!

Kelly Hesselgesser - July 18, 2011 - 7:30 am

Yay to go! Carter has not started solid food, I’m too lazy

Wendy M. - July 18, 2011 - 7:51 am

I’m not entering (as my kids are too old for bibs) but I wanted to comment on these. First, they are very cute! Second, I am a huge fan of bibs that tie or snap. My kids always ripped the velcro-closed ones off and threw them on the floor (every time!)
Good luck to Danielle and her etsy venture.

Jill - July 18, 2011 - 8:35 am

I don’t have any kids as of yet but I would love to get this very cute bib for my niece who is expecting her first baby any day now.

Jill - July 18, 2011 - 8:43 am

I like the Waterproof Baby-to-Toddler Pocket Bib, Reversible (Tulips / Birds & Flowers). Very cute designs and cute photos of Miriam.

kara - July 18, 2011 - 8:44 am

Hey jill,
Here is another entry since you are a follower :).

EmmaJ - July 18, 2011 - 9:00 am

I think Oscar would like the hounds tooth/slim daddy one best, but I love all of them!

EmmaJ - July 18, 2011 - 9:01 am

I follow you.
And I liked the bibs on Facebook.

adrienne w - July 18, 2011 - 9:04 am

Very cute! I’d love the Trailing Orchids/ Temple Tulips bib. Our bibs are terrible. You’d think by baby #4 we’d invest in some worthwhile bibs, but we haven’t. Miriam looks so into the food!! Geneva took about a month to get the hang of it. Everything made her gag and she didn’t enjoy it, which was a surprise since she looked so ready for food and was 6 months old. Now she loves it. She still likes her food really well pureed, so I keep some staple jars of baby food like squash and sweet potatoes. With Vienna, I didn’t really make any actual baby food. We just had a few months of store bought (none with any added salt or sugar) and within such a short time, she was eating table food. I’ll probably do the same with Geneva.

adrienne w - July 18, 2011 - 9:04 am

I’m a follower.

Megan - July 18, 2011 - 9:17 am

I started Maria off at about 6 months (I think) and we had avacadoes. She has been a good eater from day one! Oh, and we still wear bibs…still (at 2.5) very eager to eat, just not so good with manners. Ode to Roses/Dots and Loops

kara - July 18, 2011 - 9:31 am

I saw that you linked on facebook… so you get another entry :).

kara - July 18, 2011 - 9:32 am

I am leaving another comment for you since you are a follower and linked on facebook (now you have your 3 comments).

Karli - July 18, 2011 - 11:24 am

Feeding my 3rd has seemed like such a chore! It doesn’t help that he is the MESSIEST of my three, and hyperactive and generally high strung. Make feeding him a pain. So when the doctor told me at his 6 month check up that I should be feeding him solids twice a day, I realized my “once every three days” plan was probably going to have to get stepped up. BUT, then we found a contraption that changed our lives. You MUST check out the Boon Spoon. Made feeding SO much cleaner and easier AND it’s fantastic to take to church. I’m going to be buying one for all my expecting friends from now on. You just fill it with food, and squirt it out on the spoon part, and it comes with a cap for travel. Awesome.

Doesn’t look like there’s a lot of bib options for my little man, but they are SO cute. So, I would choose the Hound’s Tooth / Slim Dandy, except it says it’s reserved. Maybe there will be another boy option if I win, cuz I’d love to have one for my messy guy.

Karli - July 18, 2011 - 11:24 am

I follow you on my Google Feed Reader!

Karli - July 18, 2011 - 11:26 am

I liked Zoey-Oh! on facebook

Rose - July 18, 2011 - 11:35 am

Can’t believe Beth an Miriam are 6months already! We too had been having some fun with solids. We started about 6 weeks ago, and so far the transition had been good. Some of our first tries were rice, sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini, avocado, and spinach. I even ventured in at giving her some boiled egg yolk at my mom’s insistent. Overall, Beth seemed to like everything except avocado. I guess she prefer something with more taste to it. We had not tried any other fruit yet, but I already have banana, apple, and peaches on our future menu. The bibs are all so adorable. My favorite will have to be Ode to Roses/Houndtooths just like the one Miriam is wearing :)

Sunny - July 18, 2011 - 11:52 am

This looks like a great bib! Miriam is so adorable! Evan started solids a few weeks ago. Despite his enthusiasm we hit few bumps (just some minor digestion stuff), but we are trying something new every couple days now. He likes Mum Mum crackers, rice cereal alone or mixed into: applesauce, pears, sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, blueberries, and green beans. Whew that list is getting long!

Audra - July 18, 2011 - 12:14 pm

I love the pictures of Miriam! I started solids at 6 mom with my other two we started with avocado and rice cereal. some of Molly’s favorites were peas carrots and parsnips:). Only 3.5 more months to go before lila takes her journey into solid food. I love the bib Miriam has on or Rose Bouquet / Opal Dandelion

Sunny - July 18, 2011 - 2:21 pm

I really like the Damask/Hexagon! Love the red and blue combo!

Elisa - July 18, 2011 - 10:49 pm

Miriam………….is so adorable! The pictures definitely capture it!

EmmaJ - July 20, 2011 - 10:02 am

Get out! I won! I bought one too, so now I am going to have 2 cute bibs. I’ll send you my info over on Facebook.

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Cousin and Updates

The kids had fun playing with their cousin Jackson at Finley Wildlife Refuge. Jackson lives in Virginia, so we only get to see him when he visits during the summer. Gabe’s looking a little skeptical like he isn’t quite sure if he wants to join in. I love how kids love playing the universal “I […]

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Chris - July 15, 2011 - 12:22 pm

My kids are so sweet! I love spending time with them too.

Amanda N. - July 16, 2011 - 9:11 pm

That is adorable! I’m glad that Sofia can feed Miriam with out choking her. Ha ha. ok…so, we need to talk soon. And a real talk…not when the kids are screaming in the background. xoxo.