Happy about food choices and some pictures from Paris

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Last night I was going through my cupboards after my kids had gone to sleep partly out of boredom and partly because it was my birthday, Patrick was at work and I was going to snack on whatever I wanted too! I slowly came to the realization that I no longer kept secret stashes of junky food to mow down on in moments like these! The worst thing I could come up with was popcorn and dark chocolate! I even marveled at how one bar of dark chocolate has lasted me about a week because I now find myself biting off little squares fully intending to come back and eat more later and then, somehow, I end up forgetting about it. How can this be? Am I slowly learning the art of moderation? Maybe.

I do know that when I was on vacation I ate what ever I wanted to knowing it would be another 11 months before I would get to indulge like that again...but even still...on most days I did not go crazy. I even realized that my kids are not accustomed at all to junk food. One day a lady at a gite where we were staying at in the Pyrenees fixed us a packed lunch for the day and included in it a bag of potato chips. "What are these?" my kids asked! I told them that they were chips. "What are they made of?" they asked! I was stunned to realize that although I do have a recollection of having chips a year ago on vacation they had no memory of them and had no clue as to what they were!

We kind of let them go crazy on vacation and eat sweets (mostly) when they wanted, drink soda, watch tv, stay up late and spend our money on frivolity! :) I was pretty pleased that at first Liam wasn't even sure what soda was. He sometime picked it and some times opted for juice. Quin enjoyed Coca cola at lunch time...she had had it once or twice before and now felt very big to be able to order it. In general though they ate well and adventurously. Liam ate anything unquestioningly including lots of French pate, baskets of strawberries and tons of nice yogurts (his favorite bedtime snack...the fridges were small and he could get in there himself to fix his own snack) of his favorite things was the croissants and steamed milk in the morning. Quintessa enjoyed ordering off of the menu at lunch and ventured often times into the unknown. She was dismayed that we did not find any escargot like the last time we were in France where she would hoard the entire appetizer of it, and she stunned a waiter in Spain by ordering the octopus appetizer as a main even after he insisted that children don't like octopus. That made her all the more determined and after enjoying it she made it her "thing" and ordered it at every chance she got! I later asked her why she even ordered it in the first place and she replied "Well, I wanted to try it...I have never had it before." Of course, every six year old thinks like that!

I have to thank Spark for helping me to eliminate most of the junk food from my life and my kids life. We are normal people and of course I feed them hotdogs and pizza but basically if you take most of the junk out you have room for so much more and I think that the kids palates are not muddied up by artificial flavors, salt and grease. I like these trips because it forces us all out of our rut of everyday foods and opens our minds to different ways of eating. It feels good to give them the freedom to do what they want on vacation but to sill have them want the good stuff (and not to even know what the bad stuff is). It also feels good to me that although I ate what I wanted on vacation that did not open the floodgates to let just anything back in the house when we got home. …although I sure wouldn’t have minded a little runny French cheese, a baguette and a nice chocolate tart for my birthday!

Here are a few pictures from our first day in Paris:

Excited kids on a pretend airplane waiting for our trip to begin.

Arriving in Paris.

Quin climbing at Luxembourg Gardens.

She made it to the top!

Luxembourg Gardens

Quin enjoying a pastry from one of the best pastry chefs in Paris.

The first of many carousel rides on the trip. Notice there is no floor!

Outside the Louvre.

The big Ferris wheel we rode near the Louvre. I recommend it for the great views.

One of the great views!

Another carousel ride.

Liam played fotbal with a guy while Quin jumped and jumped.

Quin jumped and jumped.

Liam about to enjoy a pastry from another famous pastry shop.

The day winds down as the kids examine the love locks on the Pont des Arts bridge.

Sometimes I look back and can't believe that we had just arrived at noon that day!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD9631366
    Oh I have not been on here in so long! Yet look at the treat I get! Your photos are wonderful and the blog a joy to read. Thank you for sharing with us all. You trip sounds so wonderful. I am very glad that all went well. Happy Birthday too!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3303 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6994021
    You amaze me dear! What a wonderful description of children who have been introduced to fine fare early in life! I agree though, I am exhausted looking at the pictures of just one day! Wonderful way to spend a holiday though. You look amazing, as always (but so did the pastries) :)
    3303 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8937156
    I'm envious of your visits to the famous French pastry shops! I hope they were inspiring. I missed riding the ferris wheel, but I did walk the stairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower. My grandmother never missed an opportunity to hike stairs. We did Sacre Coeur too naturally.
    I can't wait to see more vacation shots. I'm sure you took lots of pictures of food. Love your adventurous little palettes! :)
    3307 days ago
    How fabulous! And Quin is such an adventuress! Way to go Mom and Dad!

    Happy birthday (belated) to you... I know each day just gets better and better!
    3308 days ago
    Great pictures, and a great blog. Thanks.
    3309 days ago
  • TERRYT55
    It sounds like you had such a great time......I love the pictures! Especially the one of Liam peeking over the top of the pastry and Quin leaning out of the pretend airplane.

    I love that your kids are such adventurous eaters. I can't imagine any of my grand-kids eating like your two do. Congrats on them not knowing what a potato chip way. That is amazing.

    Thanks for this happy blog and all of the pictures! I hope you write more about your vacation.....more pictures too!
    3310 days ago
    Beautiful photos! I sincerely hope that when I have kids of my own one day, they won't know what potato chips are either. Fantastic job raising open-minded, healthy kids!
    3310 days ago
    Fantastic parents! How lucky Quin and Liam are that they are being exposed to so many different cultures, cuisines and experiences so early in their life! So much of their futures are being shaped subconsciously in their minds right now.

    The pictures are just precious!
    3310 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/30/2011 9:35:53 AM
    Oh! Big smiles about your kiddos being so adventurous with food! Yay...that makes me happy. My kids were always like that about most things too - except it was years before they'd eat homemade mac and cheese. That was "grownup's mac and cheese". They always wanted "kids mac and cheese" which was the box mix with yellow cheese powder. emoticon
    3311 days ago
    Happy Birthday! What a wonderful blog. You and Patrick should be very proud of all you have done as parents. I loved the picture of Liam with the pastry. It was bigger than he is. The octopus story about Quin was wonderful. I am so glad you have such a wonderful vacation to remember.
    3312 days ago
    You are amazing. What a wonderful job you have done raising your kids. Amazing. I love the pictures. They are all wonderful but I just fell in love with that second one. Could anyone be cuter? Should like priceless memories were made.
    3312 days ago
  • LENKA763
    gosh, you make me hungry...not only for the pastries but also for the view.

    I'm glad you guys had such a great time!
    3312 days ago
    I so enjoyed reading your blog this morning! Thanks for sharing! Your trip sounded wonderful. The experiences you and your family had are what vacations are all about. Creating memories. (Even though neither Quinn nor Liam remembered what chips were...a good thing.)

    Dark chocolate & popcorn? I'm getting closer to that point, but unfortunately can still sometimes find the mini milk chocolate chips or stale marshmallows in the back of my baking cabinet when feeling desperate. I just keep remembering, I'm a work in progress. :)
    3312 days ago
    Hey, I have pictures in some of the same places!

    Your kids are really cute, and it's so cool that they have adventuresome palates. My son is more hesitant, although he did insist on having soup that the waitress said kids didn't like. LOL (I had it too, but I couldn't tell you what it was!)

    You're inspiring me to get to work on my own vacation photo story.
    3312 days ago
    You are such an inspiration! And your kids kick the stuffing out of the ridiculous stereotype that kids "only" want Pop-Tarts and chicken nuggets. I'd give all of you a humongous hug if you were here. I'm glad you had such a spectacular time in France.
    3312 days ago
    What a wonderful vacation you and your family had!
    Love your attitude about eating well and adventurously on vacation!
    That's my attitude too...only I didn't get to Paris this summer. (I did get to Washington DC and Virginia & I had that 'perfect' cupcake or 2 from DC Cupcakes: Coconut & a Red Velvet - worth the wait!)
    I too, am surprised that your kids didn't know what chips were...that's just awesome!
    Loved hearing about Quin's octopus appetizer! She's got spirit! Bet you are so proud of her!!!
    I remember when our daughter (as a youngster) ordered mussels & fresh seafood in Sacramento because she just wanted to try them. She continues to broaden her food horizon and I am happy about that.
    Thanks for sharing your photos of your vacation. Your kids will remember these times forever!
    It's tough to have to wait 11 months to do this again...hope you can have a few day trips squeezed in there between now and then!
    3312 days ago
    Simply amazing, inspirational, and wonderful. Still laughing trying to picture kids asking, "What are chips?". So awesome.
    3312 days ago
  • ERIN4771
    ronna...this blog made me laugh and cry at the same time!! i love how your kids embrace the european lifestyle!!! that is so awesome that quin ate octopus!! and liam would prefer a croissant and warm milk over pop tarts and soda!! how cool is it that you and patrick are opening them up to new experiences and places!! i am a bit green with envy after seeing the paris pictures, but know that one day we will be there as well.....i teared up after seeing the louvre, knowing how many great pieces of art are there, and knowing we don't have the same here....oh well....some day soon!!
    i also have to say brad and i are in the same boat when it comes to junk food in the house...we don't have any either emoticon ...amazing how things can change, isn't it?
    3312 days ago
  • IONA72
    What lovely photographs, glad to know you had a great trip.
    3312 days ago
    Looks like you all had a great time!

    I'm so impressed with your children being so adventurous with food, and making such healthy choices. It shows what a good example you and Patrick are giving them!

    3312 days ago
    3312 days ago
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