McBento

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2015!

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LAST year I tried to continue my St. Patrick’s Day tradition of blogging 7 days (or so) in a row around some sort of theme.  St. Patrick’s Day is the ONLY holiday I have been consistent in recording here on this blog. The first time in 2010 with just some photos of Fiona in a green dress. Then, in 2o12 I started the 7 day thing with the Green Smoothie Countdown.  In 2013 I highlighted each color of the rainbow with some of my favorite photos featuring that day’s color, starting with Red.  In 2014 my idea was to show different Bento lunches….since I have to make Bento twice a week anyway..and wanted to try out some new techniques. So…I made and photographed the Bentos….but then things got busy as they always do…and I never posted a thing! I consoled myself with the idea that I could just use those photos in 2015.

And here we are…St. Patrick’s Day and I almost forgot about it. In fact, I almost even forgot about St. Patrick’s Day altogether! It has been so busy for me– that the leprechauns didn’t even come last night and the kids didn’t get anything from them for St. Patrick’s Day. Which has been the tradition…..

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Fiona’s first St. Patrick’s Day in 2012 (3 yrs)

…the leprechauns come, leave green footprints behind (idea from my mom) and some treats/small gift(s).

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2013 (4 yrs)

You can also see how the leprechauns were much lazier with the rainbow that year. (It looks though as they were especially pious in 2013, but they were not responsible for  writing up that scripture. That was on the board because Fiona was learning it to say at church the upcoming Sunday.)

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2014 (5 yrs) Here I see the Leprechauns didn’t bother to write on the board. The kids cleaning to-do list is on there….I guess the Leprechauns figured they shouldn’t mess with that. Below is a collage I made for Instagram. (Proof that using Instagram made it easier for me to not worry about finding time to blog).  As you can see though….nice trail, nice set-up….little gifts for St. Patrick’s Day morning.

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And here we are in 2015. Less than a week after Fiona’s elaborate Egyptian Party and a week after returning from Taiwan….and the subsequent very busy preschool graduation schedule- not to mention that I started up with my private English lessons again and worked two evenings last week- got the sewing machine out to make a skirt for a friend’s daughter…and also went out with my Japanese friends on two evenings and spent most of the day at the park on Monday.

 Our house is (still) in total chaos. I’ve not gotten a chance to organize and put away the party things. Fiona brought home a lot of stuff from her 2 years of Preschool I haven’t had a chance to look at or put away. The laundry was started but I never had a chance to fold anything so the laundry has been encroaching upon our living room for the past 4 days!!! I still haven’t had a chance to unpack everything from Taiwan!

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I’ve posted messy room photos on this blog before. Please trust me that this room honestly is clean 95% of the time.  Monday night I left for work at 4:30 and didn’t get home until 9.

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On my drive home Rijen texted me and told me to come in quietly because Reika was sleeping. He didn’t tell me that she was keeping him prisoner! IT was so sweet. Evidently she started fussing because she was hungry but then (because he had nothing for her- she doesn’t take a bottle) she just laid her head down on him and fell asleep.

After feeding the baby and eating dinner myself I was too tired to get out any of the St. Patrick’s Day stuff…and honestly I didn’t feel like putting anything up if the house was a mess…So- no St. Patrick’s Day for the kids. Luckily (maybe even the luck of the Irish) the kids didn’t say anything. However, Fiona had mentioned St. Patrick’s Day earlier in the week- and with neighbors who have real Irish blood in them and might talk to the kids about it- I feared that I couldn’t totally forget about St. Patrick’s Day this year.

So before taking Fiona to preschool, I told her the truth. I told her that the Leprechauns didn’t come because the house was too messy.  She cried. I felt bad. But not too bad.

Then I tried as hard as I could to clean up so that the Leprechauns would come back. I did the laundry and most of the kitchen. We worked on her room together. It was enough. After getting the kids and the baby to bed- lthough I really didn’t feel that up to it, I got out the footprints and put them up.


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I even put one on her back but she turned and you can’t see it. It was quite risky and precarious putting those things up on the top bunk without waking her up.

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The Leprechauns also brought glow in the dark stars and letters (picked up in Hong Kong) and put them on the wall and ceiling.

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They did kind of a shoddy job on the white board. But…..it was really dark in there. I just don’t have the energy I had in 2012.

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I also hadn’t planned ahead for any good gifts. NO fun Lucky Charms cereal like I usually get as a special treat. So I found skittles and underneath the gold tins are green M&Ms. I got out the book they were given LAST year (that I had put away in the bin). I searched through my “treasure trove” of gift items and found this little purse I was thinking of saving for a Christmas present. I picked that up in Hong Kong at a store called…..”Fiona’s Prince!” You can kind of see that writing on the leather label. Since the purse is green and has her name on it, I thought it would be the perfect Irish gift.  Then I did a bad thing. Here is my personal apology.

Dear Melinda: You might recognize the gift the leprechauns are giving Leif. Yep– it is the birthday gift you sent for him. I’m sorry. I admit I opened a corner, saw that it was green and looked fun. I’m sorry to give the Leprechauns the credit and not you. I will make it up to you. Since St. Patrick’s Day is your favorite holiday, I hope you will understand. 

Sincerely, Your shoddy (but very grateful) friend Megan

That funny little picture is what Fiona drew last year- what she imagines the Leprechauns look like. If you are someone who finds Leprechauns a bit creepy, don’t look too closely at her artwork.

So that is that! It wasn’t my best year….but at least I gave them something. Plus….and I know I am rationalizing here..even though it is a day late in Japan…when they wake up it will still be St. Patrick’s Day in America. And Ireland.

So….Sláinte and please enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day McBento!

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I’m sure there are better ways to do Bento rainbows, but here I used blue colored rice as a backdrop. The red is obviously cherry tomatoes.  Orange and Yellow peppers were cute in little shapes for the rainbow. Then a green bean. The purple is a purple carrot from a local Farmer’s Market.  Do purple carrots exist outside of Okinawa? In the second layer is fruit and there are craisins for the “purple” that you can’t see because of the shadow.

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I made Leif’s identical and am just putting that photo in so you can see the colored rice a bit better.

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Here they are together. Fiona loves rainbows of course, so this Bento was a big hit. (Last year).  Today her Bento was a baloney sandwich and that was not such a Big Hit.

Tomorrow….and for the next few days I will do my best to share some other Bentos with you!

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4 responses to “McBento

  1. I loved reading this post! I was almost too tired this year as well & our grocery store was SOLD OUT of lucky charms!! Is that even possible?? So it was a bit of a disappointing year…but I am sitting here at the end of my St Patrick’s Day so happy that a gift I sent helped you out – especially on this day! I’m really happy about that and happy to give the leprechauns credit!!

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  2. Yes, I get purple carrots in Austin, but not at HEB. “She cried. I felt bad. But not too bad.” Haha!

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  3. This is why when I started having children and I realized that people did these kinds of things for St. Patricks Day, I thought—Ummm…no. It’s hard enough for me to pull of the fun and surprises of Christmas and Easter. Our extent of the celebration is wearing green. So I applaud you. You didn’t get it done that night, but you made up for it. That’s what counts, right?
    By the way, I had to click on the picture of your mess and enlarge it and look at it so could feel a little better about my mess. Because my mess IS like that 95% of the time.
    So I guess what I’m trying to say is–even when you don’t pull off everything the way you want (cleaning house, leprechauns visiting, etc) you’re still doing way more than me.

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