What *I’m* gonna do in 2012

don’t do New Year’s resolutions anymore. People who know about my last one remember how THAT turned out. (She’s nine and STILL doesn’t eat vegetables.)

But I do have plans for this year, hopefully on my timetable:

1. Complete Stella & Dane, my honky tonk romance that is a prequel to my published novel Baby Dust

2. Create a short story anthology of indie writers of middle grade light fantasy to benefit Dell Children’s Hospital

3. Complete Marcus Mender, the sequel to my published middle grade book Jinnie Wishmaker

4. Create an anthology of essays on loss by various leaders in the baby loss community to benefit a miscarriage/stillbirth organization

5. GET MARRIED! The big day is June 9 in Manhattan! Everything is already selected except the photographer. Sigh. The hardest part.

I hope your 2012 is eventful and full of joy!

Veggie Wars: A New Beginning

web-eliza-happy.jpgSo, when we last visited the front line of the veggie wars, Mom was losing, big time. We’d discovered Elizabeth was hiding her veggies under a side table (and not thinking to go back and throw them out later.)

I didn’t blog about the veggie wars for a while because I was, well, despondent. Failing.

But I regrouped, and with some luck in the form of Luby’s veggie plates, we went through vegetable after vegetable to find something, anything, this child would eat.

Our next breakthrough was sweet potatoes, a favorite of Elizabeth’s when she was little, but somewhere around age 3, she lost her way. Around then, actually, we lost everything that wasn’t yellow–mac and cheese, bananas, apple sauce, and chicken nuggets were our only friends.

The trick to the sweet potatoes was to let her make them. We boiled the fresh sweet potatoes, peeled them, mashed them up, then added a little bit of butter and just a touch of brown sugar (literally a teaspoon per potato), and topped them with just a few marshmallows. Bake it for about 15 minutes, and yep, she’d eat it. With relish.

We’ve added french fries and mashed potatoes to our veggies as well, even though fries aren’t my favorite. She’ll also eat some whole kernel corn. We no longer offer carrots after discovering the stash of dried ones. Too easy to hide.

Elizabeth is six now and I never thought we’d be fighting this hard, this long. Emily is an excellent eater, adding a new food to her diet every few weeks. But we keep plugging at it, enduring the dinner time tears when necessary, breaking out the dessert bribes without guilt, and wishing Deceptively Delicious was just a tad more deceptive, as it hasn’t worked once on this little princess who may not be able to feel a pea under a mattress, but can spot a veggie at 20 paces.

The Veggie Wars: Ultimate Failure


My quest to get Elizabeth to eat vegetables could not have gone any worse than today.

We sat around the table, arranging a board game for our Friday game night. As we’re doling out the cards for Hands Down, I notice something in the corner under a low table. Flower petals? Strips of paper?

I go over to investigate, feeling mildly alarmed.

What I saw made my stomach turn over.

A pile of dried baby carrots.

Elizabeth has not been eating her vegetables effortlessly and without complaint.

She has been HIDING THEM.

I turned to my five-year-old angel, whose eyes were large and dark. “Go to your room this instant,” I said.

She did not whine or cry. Just set down her cards and walked calmly away, as though she’d already imagined this moment many times over.

The rest of us played the game, and she occasionally called out to ask when she could come out.

About ten minutes later, I went to her room. I asked her if she knew what she had done.

“Didn’t eat my vegetables,” she said.

“But what else?”

She lay there in the half-dark. “I didn’t tell you.”

Like many moms, the bigger problem was the dishonesty, not so much the original mistake. I asked her if she wanted to play any games.

She nodded.

“Then you have to eat five carrots.”

She shook her head.

“No?” I asked. “You’d rather lie in bed than eat your carrots and play games?”

She nodded again.

And she did. I sometimes heard her singing to her stuffed dog. I checked on her once or twice, and she asked if she could turn on the light or come watch. I said no. She simply accepted her punishment.

What a long hard fall this has been.

Veggie Wars: Month Two

web-eatveggies4.jpgI admit it, I’ve been slacking. Emily, my eight-year-old, frequently reminds me, “Elizabeth hasn’t eaten a veggie today!”

Or we trade eggs for a veggie. Or fruit. Some days are better than others.

I’m teaching them flexibility, right?

We have two winners: baby carrots and mashed potatoes. The green things are still tough. But I’m taking my winnings and running with it.

It hasn’t helped that we’ve had the run of illnesses lately. If they won’t even eat Girl Scout cookies, then green beans don’t stand a chance.

Thanks to Wendy for sending me this image of her little veggie eater! Keep them coming!


The Veggie Wars: Day 19

web-eliza-eating-veggies-2.jpgMy New Year’s Resolution to ensure my 5-year-old eats one veggie every day is going…well, it’s still going. So far we’ve had a variety of green beans, peas, raw carrots, mashed potatoes, and whole kernel corn. I’ve had success with two things I hoped would happen:

1. Elizabeth would find a vegetable she liked more than the others and would start “trading” for it and eat it easily. The winner has been raw carrots. At this point, she will trade eating twice as many carrots as the other vegetable I am already serving.

2. Elizabeth would be upset about a vegetable at first, but when she wasn’t thinking about it, would eat it painlessly. This has started happening with mashed potatoes.

One thing I have tried but failed: mixing veggies in with other items. She can spot a veggie at 20 paces.

Pictured here: a spoonful of corn. I might eventually be able to start a photo blog called “kids eating veggies.” If you have images to share, email them to me!