Monday, March 25, 2013

National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day

Today is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day! The CDC estimates that 1 in 303 in the United States have Cerebral Palsy.  Want to learn more? Click HERE

Yep, that's right! Most people know that the eldest minion is Autistic with Sensory Processing Disorder. We have another member of our household with a disability. The Elder has Cerebral Palsy. It effects both legs and his right hand is bent in towards the wrist. Also there are some fine motor skill problems in his left hand. One leg is longer than the other and he shuffles and has a limp when he walks. He has had several surgeries when he was younger that gave him greater mobility.

There are many simple things that most people take for granted. Lunch happens to be one of them. Until 6 months ago, The Elder took microwave lunches to work with him. Why? Because the box was easy for him to grip to get into work. Most lunch bags had handles that would slip off his wrist and containers are sometimes to bulky or flimsy.
Lunch with The Elder summer 2012

During lunch time he would have someone put his food in the microwave and bring it to him once he was done. Lifting a microwave meal out of the microwave is not an option for him. The container is to flimsy for him to be able to grip. I am trying to get our family off processed foods. So I began to try different options. For most people, lunch containers are no big deal. Any lunch container will work because they have the fine motor skills and 2 hands available to be able to handle any little bend that the container may do. To The Elder, that slight bend can make him lose grip on his lunch.

 I tried the disposable storage containers in the store. You can reuse them if you want and are microwave safe. Perfect, right? No. The way his fingers work, he could not set it on the table and open it. So he would hold it to his body so he could grip it with his "bad" arm and open the top with his left. Because the containers were so thin, they would bend and food would get on him. Also when warm and had the weight of potatoes and meat in it, the container was not firm enough for him to move to the table himself. He still needed someone to do it for him.

The next thing I tried was some more expensive thicker containers. I discovered that most of the really thick ones were expensive. One of the ones I tried out was circular. This did not work at all. The little tab to open it was pointed down and the top was a little more flexible than the bottom. This made it hard for The Elder to open. Also the shape was not something he could easily grip in his elbow. Things with corners worked best. The main issue with most were the tops being to flexible or the tabs to open the container not in the right position for The Elder to open.

One day I decided to give Easy Lunchboxes a try. I am a member of a group and I had heard many good things about them. I asked many questions about them before I decided to give them a shot. My main concern was how thick are they and how much does the top bend. The tab on the top was exactly what the Elder needed, but the top also had to be very firm and not bend.
The Elder can open it one handed. His other hand on the table for support.

Six months later, The Elder eats lunch out of an Easy Lunch box 5 days a week. The top is very firm and allows him to open it easily. The container remained solid even after being microwaved. This allows The Elder to place his meal in the microwave and take it out when it is warmed. He does not have to worry about the container bending at all. Also it stands up to his firm grip. Easy Lunchboxes have given The Elder the ability to have a hot meal and be able to heat and transport his lunch without needing help.

Opening a full bag. Notice that it does not bend and twist like some do when he puts pressure on the top.
I love the bag that Easy Lunchboxes has to offer. We have 2 bags, a green one and a black one. The green one is used almost exclusively.  The poor bag has been dropped several times, minions have spilled things on it, several times a minion have ran off with it and used it as a car tote. Still the bag is in good shape with no rips. The handle is not very long. This makes it easy for The Elder to hang it from his right arm and leave his left hand free to open doors or carry other items. Also the lunch bag is fitted for the Easy Lunchbox. This makes it keep it's shape when an Easy Lunchbox is in it and makes it easier for The Elder to unzip and zip the zipper. If a bag is to flexible, it makes it hard for him to unzip it.

Going to put shoes on for work. 
Daily this bag contains a small can of juice, a bottled water, a bottle of milk, and an Easy Lunchbox. The Elder appreciates the fact that even though there is a little room at the top of the bag, it does not bend like some do.  The handle is long enough that he can get his right hand into it, but short and wide enough so that it stays on his wrist. This allows him to keep his left hand free to steady himself going down the stairs or while walking into work.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bad day and an Elder lunch

 Garlic rice with chicken in garlic and white wine sauce and peas.

 There is no minion post today. Unless you count Julie and The Elder as minions. They kinda are.... I tell everyone that The Elder is my eldest child at times......

Anyway, The Colonel some how managed to get her finger shut in a door as Clark was about to go out to the bus. It was quite messy and since she would not hold still, I brought her in. Tyke missed class and we were at the Dr. till after 2pm!!! We got there about 11:40am. The Colonel ended up with 3 stitches on her tiny little finger. So I treated the minions to Mc Donalds. Then we had to go to the hospital for an xray (Dr. orders) to make sure her little finger was not fractured or broken. Her finger is fine. Good thing Aunt Agnes was able to pick up Clark from school.

Clark asked that I take a picture of him. So I did.

The Colonel's finger. I am not sure how they managed to get it to stay, but that sucker is on pretty well! Poor kid has 3 stitches. And that is chocolate on the bandage. I gave her a chocolate chip cookie after the xray.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Ham, pickle, and cream cheese

The Elder and Julie had cold lunches today. In the Easy Lunchbox we have Monkey Bread, carrot sticks, celery sticks and ham, pickle, green onion, and cream cheese rolls.

Tyke and Pork have almost the same thing. I did not add green onion to their ham rolls. Also they have a cheese stick and some organic peanut butter to dip their carrot and celery sticks in. I added a little cheese rocket.

I have to admit that Colonel Sanders' lunch looks nicer than her brothers. She has the same thing only I steamed the carrots and celery just a little bit so that they were not to hard, but still firm. I also cut her ham rolls into smaller pieces.

Easy Lunchboxes can be purchased through

The boxes the minions used today were found at Target (I bought them 3 days ago) and were in the area where they have the kids plates and cups. They were on the same shelf all the way at the bottom and costed $4.99.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pasta and an Octopus

I had some leftover sausage from making lunches for The Elder and Julie. They had already ate it 2 days this week so I figured I would give it to the minions for lunch. The top meal was what the boys had. The only difference between theirs and The Colonel's lunch was that her fruit was cut up smaller. She does just fine with sausage, so I had no left it whole.

Lunch in our Easy Lunchboxes today! We have carrot sticks (slightly steamed for Colonel Sanders), strawberries, grapes, cheese cubes, tri colored pasta, and a turkey sausage octopus with whole wheat spaghetti legs.

The Colonel Decided to eat the legs off first.

So did Pork. The octopus is always a huge hit around here!

Look at that! Clark ate the legs off too! 

Tyke was not very happy with me. First I would not allow him to watch tv, then I made him take his acid meds, then I forced him to eat at the table. *gasps* I know, I am a mean mama.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chicks #2

I could not find my chick cookie cutter, so I used the penguin one. We have a sunbutter and jelly "chick" sandwich on a "bed" of oranges and 4 grapes that make up the heat lamp to keep the "chick" warm. I also have string cheese and Unreal Candy Unjinked candy. Mmm... I like them because they are GMO free and I know what all the ingredients are in it. 

The "chicks" are jumping.

Sometimes getting dressed is optional for the first half of the day.

Unless you are The Colonel. Then sometimes you just get put into another footed outfit.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Today's lunch has 3 little egg chicks. We recently hatched some eggs and the kids are all excited about the chicks. (check out the Our Life tab) Under the chicks I have string cheese and leftover chocolate chip pancakes. for fruit we have strawberries, pineapple, and grapes.

Here is The Colonel's lunch. She pretty much has the same thing except her strawberries and pineapple are cut thinner. I also steamed her carrot beaks on the chickens so they were a hair soft. Colonel Sanders did have a cheese stick. She managed to get onto the table and eat it while I was taking a picture of her brothers' lunch.

Tyke smiling for us

Grinning cause she got to the cheese stick before I could take a picture of it in her lunch. 

"Look, Chicks!"

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rice, peas and chicken in white wine sauce

Lunch is rice with peas and chicken with garlic and white wine sauce. 

Next we put it into the lunchbox. This one happens to be a Jeff Gordon helmet lunchbox. Don't forget to add the silverware!

Then we add the drinks. Water and a soda.

Last we put it in the fridge. It will sit there till The Elder takes it to work.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sausage worm

I have a little worm made out of organic nitrate free hot dog slices sitting on a bed of cheese. Under it I have nitrate free turkey. On the top I have strawberries, an organic cereal, and carrot slices. The face was made with nori.

This is the Colonel's lunch. She too has a hot dog worm, turkey, cheese sliced into little pieces, strawberries, and some organic and GMO free cereal.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fun boxes today.

 I decided we wanted to use some fun bento boxes today. Sadly they are all hidden on that shelf. I need to reorganize them and maybe put them on 2 shelves so that I can see them.

The colonel has a baguette peanut butter and jelly sandwich, blueberries, orange slice, strawberries, cheese and a cookie left over from making mini cheesecakes.

The boys had cheese, orange slices, blueberries, a cookie, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a baguette.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Elder's lunch

This was one of The Elder's lunches earlier this week. He needed something that would be easy on his tummy since he has been ill. I am still working on getting all the overly processed foods out of my freezer. I came across one of our favorite Green Giant veggie packets with sauce. It consists of cauliflower, carrots, yellow carrots,  cranberries, and some sort of light sauce. I topped with with fiesta lime pork. To the left I have cottage cheese and pineapple and a single turtle.