Friday, September 21, 2007

Food on the go

2007 will be known as the year in which kids' lunches were more well documented than at any other time in history. Like this: and this and this

What began as jaw-on-the-floor voyeurism into over-achieving moms' obsessions with something as mundane as fixing a kid's lunch (don't get me started on my theories on over-degreed moms and the boredom of rearing children and the need for kudos from internet strangers... that's what blogging's all about, including this one, and stop me before I reveal too much....) became a little inspiration that I, too, might be able to move beyond goldfish-in-plastic-baggies for our outings. It has revolutionized our trips out and about, keeping us away from drive-throughs, though I haven't quite ventured into creating dioramas based on PBS shows out of nori and rice.

What was I saying? Oh, yeah. Anyway, a few basic pointers on keeping you and yours fed on your outings about town. Cute, I admit, DOES work.

The scraps from the sandwich are under the star. The 'jello' is fruit juice and knox unflavored gelatin. That's applesauce, with platic 'ice cubes' to keep it cool (a lid then goes over that blue container). He loves it. The trouble is that the lunchbox, called a 'laptop lunch', is way more expensive than it should be. And could be better. I love it, but I'm still not sure it's worth the $20 (or more, if you get the insulated cover) price tag. But we do use it daily.

For our trips to the park, I use these little things by "Lock and Lock". The four little containers inside are removable. You can't keep liquids from mingling, but it will keep your crackers away from your cheese. And at $3, I'd much rather invest in several of these.

I wish the laptop lunchbox and this "fit and fresh" container could meld together into a single, perfect lunch carrier:
This is less than half the price (even less with a bed bath and beyond coupon), has an ice pack (hello! laptop lunch makers! you listenin'?) and two, count 'em, TWO little containers with lids rather than just one. My school-age son likes it, but sometimes needs help getting it open. This is the one I use if we're going to be out and about all day carrying food around in the heat. The ice pack, which you can't do with the laptop lunch other than packing in those plastic ice cubes, seems essential when you live in Florida.

We also have one of these in our car:

No, it won't cool things that aren't already cool, but when the temp is a billion degrees outside, you can store your sippy cups and snacks in here, the thing cools as long as the car is running, and when you turn the car off to go play, it stays relatively cool. Return to your car after a few hours, and it's hot as h-e-double toothpicks inside the car, but your water is drinkable and your snacks have not spontaneously combusted. I think you can get one for $30 or so. We've had ours for 5 years now.

So there. I've now photographed my kids' lunches to "blog" it. I'm sure I'll have to spend extra time in pergatory for that. But it has saved us some moo-la not having to grab fast food or pack a billion little containers of eats. (And I admit I owe it all to those overachieving mom bloggers.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Underwater Cameras

The good photo/ complete trash ratio on this roll is not good. But I suppose I've been spoiled by the infinity chances of digital cameras. Anyway, it's been fun to get an underwater disposable camera every year at the beginning of the summer, and develop it at the end of the season. I admit it was a bit more challenging this year since I was always holding a baby, but you get something beyond the usual photos.

Here you see the YMCA pool and Blue Springs. The top one I'm underwater and the boys are topside. Kind of interesting, even if not exactly frame-worthy. Beach underwater shots have never come out very clear, though the waterproof casing allows you the freedom to follow your subjects into the waves. Bright bright sunlight and clear water, like a pool or clear springs give the best results. And I suppose it's the film they use for those - they are assuming the bulk of the photos will include water and sky - but you get some incredibly vivid blues when using these underwater cameras. Like the sky in that bottom one. But beware - skin tones and greens, like trees, don't look so great if you aren't underwater.