Mini McDreamy

True love.

I am slowly brainwashing my little boy into becoming my dream man. I just realized it this morning.

I always run in to get Alex when he wakes up (nothing better than a handsome sleepy face who wants to deliver a binky breath kiss), but I gave my husband the go-ahead today. Since he didn’t see me right away, Alex kept yelling, “Mama! Mommy! Mooommmmyyyy!!”

I waited for him in the living room without saying a word, enjoying the feeling of being so wanted.

And then he laid his eyes on me in all of my morning glory (I am a perfect candidate for a surprise makeover show 6:00 a.m.). He tilted his head to the side, smiled widely, and said, “Mommy, I love you.” My heart, once again, melted into a puddle on the floor (he just started saying that a few days ago), and then he added, “Mommy’s pretty.”

Dreamy. And he didn’t stop there.

Future heartbreaker. No doubt about it. And of course he's brilliant!

“Mommy up!” he said, while pointing to our chaise lounge. “Chair.” I knew exactly what he wanted…for me to sit next to him while we enjoyed our morning fuel (industrial-strength coffee for me, whole milk for him). I scooped him up, and he placed his hand on my face, and kept it there…like he always does.

It doesn't matter if I am brunette or blonde...he always thinks I am beautiful.

Really, McDreamy’s got nothing on Mini McDreamy.

In addition to giving me hugs all day with feeling–he locks his arms around me and nuzzles into my neck–his kisses are anything but brisk, and he’s always in the mood for love. He looks at me like I am the very best thing that’s ever happened to him. It’s a look he’s learned well, because that’s the way I look at him.

Do you have a toddler who's OBSESSED with vacuuming?

He takes great pride in sweeping, vacuuming, helping with the laundry, and unloading the groceries (he gets so jazzed

Mommy's little helper!

up in anticipation of me saying “thank you” that he says it as he gives me my beloved Starbucks K-Cups). Always up for an adventure, he makes ordinary errands fun because he has such a zest for life. His comedic timing is impeccable–he always makes me laugh that real belly laugh, not the fake one I save for people who really aren’t funny–and he’s the absolute king of the dance floor. My son always shakes his tush to the beat whenever there’s music playing, with an audience or without, and he likes slow dancing, too. He serenades me to the creeptastic Barney theme song (I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family). But don’t think he’s all mush…he can be a tough guy. No one puts Mommy in the corner with him around.

Sure, I could do without the temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way (but, really, that’s just imbedded in the male genetic code, I think), and the little messes he leaves everywhere all day long (again, probably a testosterone trait–most men leave their dirty laundry next to the hamper, right?), and the wild protests about getting dressed (who knows a man who loves suiting up, anyway?)…but, generally, I am grooming my little guy to be the perfect man. Whoever lands him is going to be one lucky girl. Do you feel the same way about your son?

I’ve received a lot of letters asking me for healthy toddler recipes. I am going to share some this week! My son LOVES Mexican food and vegetables (Mama ate quite a bit of both while he was in the womb!). Here’s a snapshot of his tray: homemade kid-friendly guacamole (he inhales it), broccoli and cheese quesadillas, and black beans. More to come!

Toddler-Friendly Guacamole
(And you can find Chef Julie’s adult version here)

I always cut the quesadillas in different ways to make it more visually appealing! : )

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon mild organic salsa
1 pinch of onion powder
1 pinch of garlic powder
1 squeeze of fresh lime juice (to preserve color)

Method

Remove the skin and pit from the avocado. Mash with a fork until creamy. Add in the salsa, onion powder, garlic powder, and lime juice. Alternatively, you can substitute a tablespoon of fresh tomatoes if they’re in season for the salsa, and use red onion and garlic instead of the powdered spices, but I find this is a quick recipe for a hungry toddler! He loves it.

Broccoli and Cheese Quesadilla

Ingredients

1 serving of broccoli, cut into small pieces (preferably organic)
1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese (again, hate to preach, but I give him antibiotic-free cheese, too)
1 tortilla (I prefer the high-fiber flour version)
Olive oil

Method

Lightly coat a skillet with olive oil. Cook broccoli until soft. Transfer onto a plate.

Add a little more oil in the same skillet. Place the tortilla in the skillet, and sprinkle cheese and broccoli on one side of the tortilla. Flip the opposite side of the tortilla over on top of the filling. Cook until both sides are light brown and the cheese is melted.

Black Beans

Ingredients

1 can black beans, drained
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Method

Mix all of the ingredients together in a sauce pan, and cook until thoroughly heated. It’s a messy dish, but it gives him fiber and protein–and he loves it!

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