Kids Say the Darndest Things: Snack Time Edition

Hubby and A have a new routine: when they get home after he picks her up from daycare, they share a muffin. It’s an easy snack food, she likes muffins, and any time we can get her to eat, it’s a win. Hubby takes special pleasure from sharing meals with A, so it’s a nice way for them to share some time together before I get home.

Yesterday, as usual, Hubby went to A’s daycare to pick her up. Like usual, he chats with the caregiver about how the day went, what she did, if she napped well, and so on. After a couple minutes, A turns to the front door and says, “Bye bye. Muffin.”  All this talk was keeping her from muffin time with Daddy, and we can’t have that. 🙂

Hubby and A


Dear A: 18 months old already!

It has been ages since I wrote, and so much has happened in the past few months.
You’re a very confident walker now and love to wander around the neighborhood, pointing out cars and flowers, and picking up handfuls of sand to let run through your fingers. Speaking of sand, you love going to the park with us and with your daycare. You like the swings and slides, but your favourite thing is to dig in the sand. You dig with a little shovel, or put handfuls on the shovel and then dump it over. You sometimes grab handfuls of sand and dump them on the bottom of the slide, and then swipe it off again.  Watching you play is fascinating, and Daddy and I love seeing you discover the world around you.
You started gymnastics class, and I think it’s the perfect activity for you.  The first day you were a bit shy, taking the measure of your instructor and the other little boy in the class.  This weekend, for your second class, you were ready to jump in and you had a great time.  Your favourite part was the trampoline area, and you love throwing a ball around and chasing it while jumping around.  You’re remarkably coordinated for your age, and can jump with both feet at the same time.  I’m so happy that you are enjoying it so much.
We don’t spend much time watching TV, but you do have one show that you ask for by name: Yo Gabba Gabba.  It’s fun and full of energetic music that you like to dance to.  You know all the characters’ names, and like to list them off at random times through the day.  The episodes have some good messages, and it’s nice when you snuggle into my lap and we watch together.  You’re not a snuggler, so it’s nice that for a few minutes, you’ll cuddle in, even if it’s just to watch a show.
You talk a lot now, and most of the time you like to announce what you see, or are doing, or are playing with.  You love to make animal sounds, and we go through your list of animal sounds in the car when the ride starts getting boring.  I love being able to communicate with you, and you still like to sign, although now you sometimes do the sign and say the word at the same time.  Daddy and I counted around 160 words that you know, which astounded us a bit.  You’re an extremely clever little girl!
You’re still a bit of a picky eater, and you still eat like a bird, but you’re able to handle bigger pieces of things, and you love to pick up a half a slice of toast in both hands and take a big bite out of it.  We have to work hard at getting enough protein into you, but you love fruit and bread and sometimes you’ll even dig into your vegetables with gusto.  You have your favourite foods, but singing the “Try it, you’ll like it” song from your favourite show will sometimes get you to try something new.
There’s so much more, but this is getting quite long.  I love you bunches and bunches, my little bean.  I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Digging in the sand

Digging in the sand

Recipe review: Sesame and Panko-Crusted Chicken

Like a lot of families, it’s easy to fall into a rut with dinners.  Hubby gets home with A about a half-hour before she starts getting hungry, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for cooking or being creative in the kitchen.

I hunted around online for some toddler-friendly recipes and came across this one on Red Tricycle, which ended up being a huge hit.  It was easy and quick to put together.  Since it’s baked, it’s way healthier than traditional breaded and fried chicken.  The chicken came out moist inside, and the breading was nice and crunchy.  I had to make two substitutions: I only had about a half cup of panko crumbs so I made up the difference with regular bread crumbs; and, I used skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips.  It was delicious, and I look forward to trying it again with just the panko crumbs.  It would also be tasty with some dipping sauce, perhaps some plum sauce.  Click the link in the recipe title to go to the original page.

“Crunchy-Crunchy” Sesame & Panko-Crusted Chicken


  • 1 kg (2 pounds) chicken wings or drumsticks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup fresh or panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds

Thai sweet chilli sauce
Cajun seasoning


  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Wash chick and pat dry. Rub all over with a little salt.
  • Place the beaten egg in a shallow dish. On another plate, mix the breadcrumbs with the sesame seeds and some salt and pepper to taste.
  • Dip each piece of chicken into the egg, drain off excess, and coat it well with the breadcrumb mixture. Press the breadcrumbs firmly onto chicken so that they adhere properly. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  • Arrange the chicken on the baking tray and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, turning halfway while cooking, until chicken is golden brown and cooked. Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy while hot and crunchy!

When the chicken is cooked, brush some sweet chilli sauce all over the chicken and bake again for 2-3 minutes until caramelized.

For a spicy twist, omit the salt in the breadcrumb mixture and substitute with 1 tbsp cajun seasoning instead, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for extra heat.


Over the past few weeks, A has not only been using her baby sign language but has also started using verbal words a lot more.  One of the things we’ve focussed on is food words, to give her the ability to voice preferences.

I took A to the grocery store this morning to pick up a few things, and when we came home, she toddled around the kitchen as I put things away.  Then this conversaton happened:

A: (picks up a bunch of bananas) Mama.
Me: Bananas.  Those are bananas.
A: Mana.  Mana!
Me: Very good, they’re bananas.  Ba-na-na.
A: (waving the bananas at me) Nana!
Me: Ba-na-na.
A: (Points at the bunch, looking at me sternly) This!


Kids sign the darndest things

Hubby and I have been using baby sign language with A since she was about 4 months old.  We have friends who have used it with varying levels of success, but it’s something we wanted to try, for a few reasons.  Verbal language is complicated, and it will take some time for A to really be able to verbalize well.  By now she can use several words, but we wanted to give her tools that she could use even earlier to communicate with us.  We wanted to minimize the frustration she might feel in being unable to make herself understood.

At this point, A can make several signs: milk, more, eat, drink, change (as in, her diaper), sleep, bye bye, and fan (because ceiling fans are FASCINATING.).  She’s even invented her own sign for Cheerios, where she rounds her thumb and index finger (like making the letter “o”) and pinches them together. I’ve seen her waving her hands and fingers around sometimes and wondered if she’s invented another sign that I haven’t figured out, or if it’s the sign language version of babble.

Last night, hubby woke A up for her nighttime bottle, as usual.  She woke up a bit more than usual, and I could hear her chattering to him.  As he was settling her back into her crib, he was telling her how much he loves her, to have a good sleep, when she abruptly makes the sign for “sleep”, and then “bye bye.”  Apparently, daddy was talking too much and getting in the way of her sleep!  He came stumbling out of her room, trying desperately not to burst out laughing.

Catching some zzzz’s

My daughter is a great sleeper.  From about 3 weeks old, she would have been quite content to sleep right through the night.  Both my husband and I counted ourselves extremely lucky!  (“She’s the baby that makes you think that having a second one is a good idea,” we both said.)  With her weight gain issues, we had to wake her up for feedings, which seemed unfortunate.  Even now, at 14 months, we still get her up around 10:30pm for a night feed.  Most nights we can get a bottle into her and tuck her back in without her waking up too much.

During the day, A has been taking 2 naps, one at around 9am and the other around 2pm. She’s been on this schedule for almost 6 months, each of her naps being between 1.5 and 2 hours long.  Over the past few weeks, though, she’s been waking sooner and fussing more before dropping off.  Her morning nap is nudging back to more like 10am, and the afternoon nap is sometimes only a half hour.  Our daycare provider suggested trying one nap, around noon.  She slept yesterday for 2.5 hours, and was pretty tired before her nap, but she seemed fine last night.  Try again today, and see what happens.

Baby Cereal Pancakes

I wanted to try something different for breakfast today, so I whipped up some baby cereal pancakes.  I found the recipe on , and it was a huge hit!  Here’s the recipe as found on the website:

1 cup whole wheat flour (this will make a dense pancake; you can use 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour if you prefer)
1/2 cup uncooked commercial baby barley cereal from the box (or rice commercial baby cereal) 
1/2 cup uncooked commercial baby oatmeal cereal from the box
1 cup formula (or another liquid such as milk) 
1/2 cup mashed banana (or fruit of your choice) 
1 tbsp melted margarine or butter (unsalted type) 
3 egg yolks 
apple juice (about 1/2 cup) or use water if you prefer

Add cinnamon, nutmeg, dash of vanilla or other flavorings if you wish.

Mix all ingredients together and add enough juice to make pancake consistency. Cook on your cook top in a frying pan as you would with “regular” pancakes. Cooking these baby cereal pancakes on a griddle will work better as you will have more control over the temperature and will be better able to keep the temp. at a constant heat. 

**Freezes Well**

I used whole wheat flour, and added a tablespoon of baking powder to fluff the pancakes up a bit more.  I used mashed banana, which I don’t think I’d use again.  I found wetter spots in a couple of the pancakes from where there was a little banana clump.  Next time, I’d either puree the banana first, or swap it for something like blueberries, or maybe some applesauce.  I also used 1 cup of oat baby cereal, as that’s what I had on hand.

My darling little A gobbled up her pancake and asked for a second.  Success!  Moments of enthusiasm about food are few and far between.

Baby Cereal Pancakes

Mmm, pancakes! The fork is still a work in progress. 🙂