Latest Entries »

Where I’ve Been.

Hi.

I know, I haven’t blogged in awhile. Life gets busy and, with three kids, even the laziest days are filled with distraction and demand. But that’s not really why I haven’t been writing here.

I started feeling really awful over the Summer. My energy level took a huge dive and there were some alarming changes in my breast tissue. As I’m normally a healthy, fit person, I couldn’t imagine what was wrong with me – the vapors, early menopause, disco fever, cancer?? After endless blood tests, ultrasounds, and doctor’s visits, I was told that my hormones were in a precarious state of imbalance (in my mind, this looked like St. Bernard on a high-wire) and that it was probably due to a combination of insulin resistance and ovarian cysts. Not knowing the root of the problem was the psychological equivalent of walking around all day, everyday, with a sharp pebble in my shoe, so finding out it wasn’t something super serious was a huge relief.  I’m managing everything pretty well with meds, diet, and exercise. Trying to adjust to a life without sweets has been hard, but totally worth the effort. I feel a lot better now.

(Actually, disco fever sounds pretty awesome and I wish it had been the cause of my troubles. Any excuse to wear this.)

Other than being preoccupied by my own imminent decrepitude, time moves fast. The days bleed into each other like, well, like bleeding bloody days.  The kids are getting bigger and most of my domestic energy is spent trying to stop them from becoming more grown-up. This is obviously an exercise in futility, but like a pit bull, I won’t loosen my jaws until the struggle itself becomes futile.

This will be all too soon, in Noah’s case. He started 5th grade this year and turns 11 in March. He’s doing well in school and is enjoying his steadily increasing independence. His life is all about friends, school, camp, music, and fun these days. When he’s not busy with those things, he’s eating, growing, and taking things apart just to rebuild them.

The girls are good, too. Lilah is 8 now and still a wise, creative soul with an incredible amount of common sense. She’s super bright and expects a lot from herself, which is both a blessing and a curse. She loves to read and draw for the most part, but her feistiness comes out when she’s horsing around with her friends or playing soccer.

Aviva is almost 5, which blows my mind. She’s in that stage between preschooler and big kid – still biologically drawn toward cuddles and comfort, but unwilling to hold my hand when we cross the street. She’s a sassy, clever girl who loves preschool and playing with her friends. We’ll register her for kindergarten next month, which is something I’m not at all ready to accept. In fact, my insistence on keeping her small runs so deep that I’m planning to spend most of August at home with her, enjoying lots of carefree fun during the last few weeks before she starts elementary school.

See? Pit bull.

Now that I’ve bored you with a quick update, here are the highlights of the past 7 months in short order:

– Yoga. I started doing it because I lacked the energy to do my normal, cardio-heavy workouts and now I’m hooked. And really, really strong. Because my schedule is pretty packed and I can’t make it to a live class with any regularity, I take my classes online through Yogaglo. I love it.

– Noah went to overnight camp in Maine for 3.5 weeks over the Summer. We missed him like crazy, but he had an amazing time – learned lots of new things, made lots of new friends, and was really sad to leave when we picked him up. To cheer him, we ended his month-long Jewish indoctrination by taking him out for some delicious Maine lobster on our way home. Sacrilege never tasted so sweet.

– Aviva is learning Chinese in preschool. She’s picking it up so quickly that I’m thinking about hiring a tutor to help her continue the language when she starts kindergarten. She loves trying out her new words on actual Chinese people, so this comes in very handy when there’s a long wait to be seated at Hei La Moon.

– Lilah blocked all shots in goal during the Spring and Fall soccer seasons. Hell yeah!

– August brought us an ancient scourge: head lice. There is truly nothing like the moment when you realize that your child – your child with super thick, curly hair – has a head full of bugs. Thankfully, for me and for my children, this moment occurred in public, so I couldn’t fly right into screaming banshee mode. The delayed reaction proved to be advantageous because when I got home, I was able to just skip the hysteria phase and go right into the heavy drinking phase of head lice coping techniques. I only reverted back to the banshee phase once, when close inspection revealed that all three kids had it…and that I had it, too. The next 6 days were spent spinning through an endless cycle of combing, nit-picking, laundry, and stupid movies. Was it the end of the world? No, definitely not. Do I ever want to go through it again? Fuck no. In fact, if given the choice between Louse House: The Sequel and a non-serious injury, I’d take the injury…unless it was a bug-related injury, of course.

– We barely celebrated the high holidays this year. Our house was still somewhat disorganized from the lost week of lice, I was exhausted, and the kids had just started a new school year. We weren’t up for hosting Rosh Hashanah dinner for our extended family like we usually do, so we didn’t.  In hindsight, I missed it and plan to make up for it with a huge, fun Passover seder.

– Michael and I went to The Rally to Restore Sanity back in October. My parents had already planned to have the kids at their house that weekend anyway, so we went for it! It was the first time in five years that we’d been away without the kids.  It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but we had an amazing time – saw some sights, went to some museums, ate some fabulous food, and rallied sanely. It also made us realize that we should spend a weekend away without the kids at least once a year. Grown-up travel is much more relaxing than family travel.

– Lilah turned 8 last month. We celebrated by getting her a fancy new bike and letting her host her very first slumber party. Seven extra girls invaded our house and, even though we braced for chaos, everyone behaved really well. The giggles tapered off around midnight and we didn’t hear another peep until 7am. This has led me to conclude that these children could stand to spend some time with 8-year-old me and my 2nd/3rd grade friends. We’d teach them to raise some sleepover hell. None of this “asleep at midnight” malarkey.

-The December holidays were good. Chanukah was fun, as always, and the surrounding weeks were punctuated by visits with dear friends. We welcomed the new year at home with the kids, playing games and dancing.

Happy 2011 to the handful of you who read this blog. I hope to be here more often this year.

Poems by Noah

The school year is nearly over. This morning, we went to Noah’s class breakfast, which celebrated the end of 4th grade. While we groggily sipped our coffee and ate our baked goods, we also got to see a lot of Noah’s school work from the past couple of months.  His hand-drawn map of Colonial America was great and his science folder was well-organized, but his poetry journal is just fantastic…and absolutely MUST be shared.

So, unedited, the following are a sampling of poems by Noah…

An Alphabet Pyramid

M

Marker

Mellow Marker

Marker Marker Mocks

Mellow Marker Mocks Mythically

A Poem in the style of Langston Hughes

In Time of Frosty Snow

In time of frosty snow

I see a village

covered in frosting

The smell of maple

Syrup steels my nose

In time of frosty snow

I see a chanukia

In a window

And a Christmas

Tree as bright as

The stars in the night sky

A loud steam engine

Roars its way by

The horse drawn sleigh

Rings its way by

And the kids

Come out to

Play.

In the time of frosty snow

I feel

Like an angel

An angel

An angel

Cinquain

Blood

Red and Salty

Always rushing around

Coming out of a big red scrape

Liquid

Poems in the style of William Carlos Williams

Computer

I went on your

computer and

accidentally

erased your

presentation

I knew it was

tomorrow but

I did it anyway

Forgive me

it was fun.

and the

laptop was

so cool.

—————

TJs

The produce section

of

Trader Joe’s is where

food

begs to get out

of their packages

which shine like

A brand new lightbulb

Old Pizza

Pizza with old trout

the smell of rotten sourkraut

my nose is really scrunching up

my face looks like a wrinkled lump

Tomato sauce is starting to ooze

I smell the smell of worn out shoes

it’s even worse than rotten dairy

and highly toxic, so DO NOT CARRY!

Happy Mothers’ Day! I hope you all enjoyed your burnt pancakes this morning.

Awhile back, I mentioned that I was fooling around with coconut milk in the hopes of making some really good dairy-free chocolate pudding for Lilah, who is severely allergic to all dairy products.  I came across several decent recipes during the course of this little experiment, some with eggs, others with additional ingredients like tofu and lecithin. All of them were just OK – a little too eggy, a little too chemical, a little too sweet. They all lacked that smooth, creamy, deeply chocolate richness that I was so hoping for.

Then I saw this recipe. It originally called for whole cow’s milk, which I easily replaced with coconut milk and hoped for the best.

And, well, let me tell you:  It is THE BEST. I love it so much that Pee-Wee Herman would probably suggest that I marry it.

Not only is it the most delicious pudding I’ve ever eaten, but it is also the easiest pudding recipe I’ve ever made. No eggs, no weird stuff – just pure chocolate-coconut bliss.

You can thank me when you’re done licking the bowl.

Chocolate-Coconut Pudding

(adapted from John Scharffenberger via Smitten Kitchen)

Serves 6

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups light, unsweetened coconut milk
6 ounces 72% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler*. Slowly whisk in the coconut milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 20 minutes or so, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer** into a serving bowl or into a large measuring cup with a spout and pour into individual serving dishes.

3. Cover dish(es) and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days (if you can restrain yourself for that long).

*You can fashion your own double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a pot of water. Just make sure the bowl fits just inside the top of the pot without falling in!  And please save yourself a trip to the ER by using good oven mitts when removing the bowl from the pot.

** I didn’t strain the pudding. The world did not end.

Routine Bedtime

“I am weddy for the soap!”, Aviva announced from the shower.

“Ok, Sweetie. Here you go.”, I said, squeezing soap into my hands and gently scrubbing her little four-year-old body.

“Oh! Oh!”, she cried as she rinsed off, “My skin! My skin is just SHOUTING OUT!”

“It’s shouting out?”, I stifled a laugh. “What is it shouting?”

She grinned at me, then answered,

“It’s shouting out: AAAAAAARGH! I’M ITCHY AND I NEED SOME LOTION!”

——

A few moments later, she was out of the shower and standing on the bathmat, hurriedly demanding, “I’mcold! I’mcold! I’mcold! Pleasepleaseplease get me a towel and WARM ME UP! Huwwy up! Pleasepleaseplease!”

I quickly wrapped her up and gave her a squeeze.

She sighed happily, kissed my forehead, and theatrically gushed, “Oh THANK you, my love-ah-ly mother!”

——

After putting lotion on her shouting skin, we went upstairs to get pajamas and read some bedtime stories. Aviva quickly lost interest in the chapter book I was reading to Lilah, so she decided to climb into bed with one of her many Curious George books and “read” aloud to herself…

“This is Curious George. He is a cwazy monkey. He has an owner with a lellow hat and lellow pants. He likes to go sledding down big mountains, which is very fun and a little scawy! He cwashed into a pole and got a little scrape, but he is OK. He loves to climb and swing and jump through trees because he is a monkey. He stoled a pizza plate and sat on it and turned it into a weally fast sled! Wheee! He go’ed down the hill. He knocked over the skiers and winned a prize and the skier was not even mad and they didn’t get a bwuise. Everyday is a good day for George the monkey.  The End.”

By the time I finished reading with Lilah, Aviva was more than ready to be tucked-in. “Hello, Miss Aviva, “, I said quietly as I crossed her room, “That was some good reading I just heard!”

With a drowsy smile, she nodded, and said, “We need a pet monkey. And a pizza sled! Whoosh!”

(beat)

(yawning) “I know, Mama. I am soooo silly!”

Then she closed her eyes and fell asleep before I had the chance to agree.

Four Years Old

She turned 4 yesterday, my little Aviva.

She was born stubbornly, wide awake, noisy, and ravenously hungry. In that respect, it seems very little has changed.

But, now she is simultaneously so big and so small, such as all four year olds are.  She’s still a baby in so many ways, but so hell-bent on independence and autonomy that her everyday must feel like a challenge against an impossibly slow clock.

In my everyday, that clock moves far too quickly and I am powerless to stop it.  She changes a little each day – a new word here, a new skill there, a new question, a new answer, a new connection, an increasingly sharper wit.  Even though it feels like her childhood is stuck on fast-forward, it is amazing to watch.  I love every minute of it, every minute of her.

Aviva at age four, in short order…

– First and foremost, she started preschool this year and loved it from day one.  She was so ready, so excited.  We dropped her off and that was that.  No tears, no drama – just a hug and “See you later!”.  It’s been great for her. She loves her teachers and her new friends, but now she’s starting to really love learning, too.

– We got rid of her stroller this year.  This was a huge deal because we live in a very urban area and walk pretty much everywhere.  I’m thrilled that she can finally keep up with us on foot without complaining, but I’m also just glad not to be pushing a 36 pound child around town anymore.

– By her third birthday, she was done with diapers during the day and now she’s also done with them during the night!  Hurrah!

– She is prone to melodrama and I try very hard not to encourage it, but sometimes, for the sake of awesomeness, I have to let her get it out.  She got a haircut a few weeks ago and loved her new style so much that she refused to shower.  The mere suggestion of a quick rinse caused heart-wrenching sobs and wails of “Noooo! It will ruin my perftic haircut!“.

– Clever and funny, she loves to catch our attention and her siblings’ affection by doing something silly or saying something hilarious, like dancing on her chair during dinner or referring to herself as a superhero.  She definitely knows her audience and enjoys clowning around in the spotlight.

– She loves books and loves when we read to her. She also “reads” to herself, poring over her story books, waiting for the words to sink in and bestow literacy.  I’d wager that, by her next birthday, she’ll be reading.

– Lately, her favorite word is “fabulous”.  She had this conversation with Noah yesterday, with regard to a paper doll:  Noah remarked, “That doll is really ugly.”  Aviva sassed back, “No, she isn’t.  She is FAAAAABUUUUULOUS and you LOOOOOOOVE her.” He chuckled, shook his head, and walked away as Aviva quietly affirmed, “Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous…

– She loves nature and enjoys learning about plants and animals.  Currently, she’s obsessed with Venus Fly Traps and Polar Bears. She offered this dissertation on polar bears last week, “You should be careful because they are big and they could bite you and it would hurt. They live in the snow, so you have to wear boots and snow pants to play with them.  And you can play with the babies because they are so cute and little, but the mommies are huge.  So huge!  Bigger than Daddy! You should not play with the mommies, but they might like it if you scratched them on the head like a doggie. That would make them so happy, I think.” As for the Fly Traps, she recently saw footage of one devouring a fly and, wide-eyed,  she exclaimed, “Whoa! That is NOT NICE.”

She gets carsick very easily, even with dramamine and ginger candy.  The doctor thinks that she’ll outgrow it, but in the meantime, we have to carry along some towels, plastic bags, and a few changes of clothes each time we go for a ride in the car. Thankfully, she is very self-aware and will shout, “I’M GONNA FROW UP IN A MINUTE!” about 20 seconds before she inevitably does.

– This self-awareness is also what makes her incredibly feisty, opinionated, and outspoken. She knows what she wants, likes things her way, and will try to convince you to like them her way, too.  I cannot imagine where she gets this from.

– She is very affectionate and just loves to love!  And we love her right back.

– She’s a daring, energetic little sprite with pink cheeks and an untamed mane of curls – a rosy child, strong and wild.

And we are so glad she’s ours.

Happy 4th, baby girl.

Pumpkin Bread

I ran out of snacks for the kids yesterday.  So, I went to Trader Joe’s and picked up a bag of peanut-butter pretzels to stave off any late-afternoon belligerence. When I got home, I started dinner, then decided to make a pumpkin bread for the kids to snack on during the next few days.  It’s easy to put together and I thought we had all of the ingredients…

And we did…except for the cinnamon.

Blerg. I hate waiting to cook when the mood strikes.

Thankfully, Michael picked some up on his way home last night, so I decided to get up early this morning and bake.  A literal wake and bake, if you will.  It was already in the oven before the kids left for school, the pumpkin-spice scent delighting them with the promise of a homemade treat this afternoon.

They were kind of bummed that I didn’t put chocolate chips in it this time, though.

I’ve been tinkering with this recipe for about a year, but I’m finally happy with my adjustments.  It’s definitely a keeper!

Pumpkin Bread

(loosely adapted from Simply Recipes)

  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 C olive oil (I know it sounds strange, but it really brings out the pumpkin flavor)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can of pumpkin, preferably organic (I just think the organic stuff tastes better)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 C dried fruit, nuts, and/or chocolate chips, optional

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil until fully emulsified and pale yellow. Gently stir in the pumpkin, vanilla, and spices until the mixture is smooth.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture until they are fully incorporated, but being careful not to overmix. Gently stir in the optional ingredients if you’re using them.

5. Pour into a well-greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan or an 8×8 cake pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes, then turn it out and cool on a rack.

Makes one loaf, but can easily be doubled.  Enjoy!

When I took Noah and Lilah to see the new version of Alice In Wonderland, we got 3D glasses.  Several pairs.

As you can see, Aviva LOVES them.

This morning, she put some on and demanded to have her picture taken.

I obliged.

When I put the camera down, she rhetorically inquired, “Don’t I just look so FABULOUS, Mommy?”

Laughing, I tickled her belly and answered, “Of course you look fabulous! You look like a fabulous goofball!”

She giggled, paused for a moment, then said, precisely and theatrically,

“And YOU look like a FABULOUS meatball.”

Just Dance

It’s rainy today, and very gray.

Because it’s the perfect kind of weather to stay indoors and play Wii, I opted to just bring the kids home after school instead of dragging them along to run errands or allowing them to make impromptu plans for themselves.

(I believe the technical term for what I just described is “lazy parenting”.)

We walked home in the drizzle, jumping in puddles along the way.  As we ambled up our very long driveway, Aviva slipped and fell.

She is prone to melodrama, so I didn’t react immediately.  One does not feed a dragon that breathes imaginary fire. Besides, she seemed fine.

And she was. She picked herself up, sighed, and brushed the gravel off of her knees.

Sensing that her window of over-reaction had closed, I gave her a hug.

“Are you OK?” I asked, kneeling down to face her.

“Oh yeah, Mama”, she said happily, “I’m gonna be OK!”

With that, she grinned a mischievous grin, twirled around, struck a pose, and, with a pantomimed microphone, started singing…

“Gonna be OK – dada-doodoo…Just dance…spin that record, babe…ladadoodoo…”

Then she strutted away in her Hello Kitty rainboots, shaking her little tush all the way to the front door, leaving me behind to wonder what sassy, brassy planet she came from.

Good Things To Eat

Because of this blog’s title, you had to know that I’d be talking about food at some point.

I love food.

And!  I’ve loved to cook since I was 7 years old, which is when my Mom first taught me how to make scrambled eggs.  At that point, she was taking a break from her 30-plus year teaching career and running a small-but-successful catering company out of our kitchen (obviously, this was way before you needed a license and a commercial kitchen to do such things).  Everyday, I’d come home from school, tell her about my day, and watch her cook for awhile.

I was fascinated and learned quickly.

By age 10, I looked forward to new issues of Bon Appetit more than my Mom did.

By age 12, I could make basic things – spaghetti, burgers, baked chicken, cookies, quickbreads, etc.

By age 14, one of my chores was to cook dinner once or twice a week.

At age 16, I cooked my first-ever “fancy” dinner for my high school boyfriend and he INHALED it.  This bolstered my confidence considerably.  (In hindsight, though, he was a growing, teenage boy and, even though he definitely liked what I made, he was probably just really, really hungry, too.)

At age 17, I hosted 20 guests at a dinner party for my parents’ 25th anniversary.  I made a lot different tapenades and served them with toasted baguette and vegetables.  Dinner itself was a buffet with lamb (mom helped a little with the lamb since I’d never made it before), pasta with pesto and tomatoes, stuffed peppers, and salad.  Dessert was fresh berries and cake…from a bakery.

At age 19, I came home for Mothers’ Day weekend and made wild mushroom risotto, grilled steaks, and a homemade ice cream cake. (There’s nothing to do in my hometown, so weekends home from college were always a good excuse to buy groceries with my parents’ money and play around in the kitchen.)

In my early 20’s, I lived in Europe and then lived off-campus when I returned, so I learned how feed myself well for very little money.  This skill came in handy again when, 5 years ago, my husband was suddenly laid-off.  With two small children and another on the way, it was a relief not to worry too much about getting food on the table. (Thankfully, he got another job 3 weeks before Aviva was born and he’s been working there ever since.)

In my mid-to-late 20’s, I was home on-and-off with babies and had some time on my hands. I worked on my techniques and started using a wider variety of spices.

Also, since my teens, I’ve been pretty keen on trying any and all types of cuisine.  I figured that the more I tasted, the better my own cooking would be.

Now, here I am, at age thirty-something. My Mom now thinks that I am a better and more adventurous cook than she ever was…and, man-oh-man, that is some high praise.  When I thanked her, she clarified, with a wry smile,  “But I’m still a better baker.”

That is very true, and due mostly to my flawed character.  I don’t have the patience for large scale baking projects.  If a baked dessert requires more than 30 minutes of prep time, I won’t make it. What I do bake, however, is always pretty decent.

So, now that you know how I’ve come to love food and cooking, I’m going to try to share good things to eat with all of you.  If I go to a good restaurant or try a new recipe, you’ll probably read about it.

You’re welcome.

I just realized that you’re probably wondering where I get my recipes.

The answer is: EVERYWHERE.  Online, cookbooks, magazines, friends, family, my own mind.  If it sounds good, I’ll give it a go.

Like this recipe here.

I’ve made it twice in the last three weeks and might make it again next week, I love it so. The kids love it, too, which surprised me because Noah and Aviva normally HATE spinach. It’s a good recipe to play around with, too.  Next time I make it, I’m omitting the bread, doubling the sauce – spices, vinegar, and all – and serving it over saffron rice.  Yum.

In my cooking, I always need to consider my Lilah’s severe dairy allergy, so I sometimes have to modify recipes to make them safe for her to eat. It can be tough, but we work around it and have found suitable replacements for most dairy products.  This week, she and I will be playing around with coconut milk in the hopes of making some amazing chocolate-coconut pudding.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  It will definitely be a delicious experiment.

Also, Passover ends tonight.  I plan to serve some citrusy grilled chicken alongside a simple pasta – spaghetti tossed with quickly sauteed garlic, baby heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, a handful of chopped kalamata olives, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and a squeeze of lemon – and celebrate not having to eat matzah for another year!

Remember, in junior high, when your pit-stained social studies teacher explained the meaning behind the phrase, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”?

I think kids should learn that concept much sooner than 7th grade.

Perhaps a change in the curriculum is due.

Due like the $150 we owe to the school cafeteria because Noah has been buying lunch IN ADDITION to eating the ample lunch that I pack for him everyday.

ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY AMERICAN DOLLARS.

Since September, he’s been using his school lunch PIN-code to buy extra food. Last week, he was sent home with a detailed printout of his account along with a bill and a note from the cafeteria saying that we should regularly check his school lunch account online.

It was shocking to me.  Sometimes he bought as much as another full meal.  Other times, he purchased ice cream or cookies.  Either way, in the last six months, he’s augmented his lunch at least three times a week and it’s added up very quickly.

Because we pack his lunches, it never occurred to us to check his account.  He never complained about needing more food or mentioned buying extra from the cafeteria. We had virtually no reason to think that we owed a balance, nevermind one that surpassed $100.

Obviously, we needed to confront him, which we did after his sisters went to bed.

At first, he denied EVERYTHING.  But, given the fact that his school picture would have appeared to the lunch room staff every time he entered his PIN, we were pretty sure that the printout was legitimate.

We weren’t angry, but explained that we wished he’d been honest with us from the start and made it clear that we expected his honesty henceforth.

He grumped and grumbled and said we were being mean when we told him that his allowance money would go into a jar until he had enough to pay his debt.  He nodded begrudgingly when we explained that anymore cafeteria purchases would be met with severe limitations to his social life.

On the other hand (and with some supervision), he’s now allowed him to make his own bigger, better lunches.

A few days after we confronted him, he apologized and admitted the whole truth about buying extra food.

“I didn’t think it would cost anything”, he lamented.

“Everything costs something, Noah”, I said, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”