Saturday, September 17, 2011

Another obsession...

Okay, so I have confessed to my obsession with sunscreen and Purell. I have owned up about reading poetry to my children twice a day. Tonight, another obsession that has reared its head since I had children.

I am obsessed with food.

Now, there is a caveat. I like food that is not good for me. I drink two cans of Sunkist every day. It is my vice. When the girls go to bed, my very favorite thing is to open my Sunkist and take a sip. Heaven.

So, when if comes to my girls, I do tell them all the time that pop is bad for you. I realize, they will eventually discover that I have neglected to tell them of its wonderful fizzy goodness. They will rebel. Until that time, however, they believe me, even as they understand that I am addicted to it wholeheartedly.

My main thing with the girls is that I have a desperate need to be sure that they are eating enough vegetables and fruits. Fruits are easy. The girls love almost all fruits. Betsy eats an apple everyday, and Felicity a banana. (I have to limit her to 2 bananas a day, as Nicholas swears that he once got very sick from eating too many bananas.) I buy all the berries that they sell at Kroger and we always have grapes. To make life easier, I take all of the grapes off of the stem and wash them, then put them in tupperware.

I do the same with vegetables. We always have lots of raw vegetables in the fridge. I wash them (and cut them, if they need cutting) when we get them home. Usually we have carrots, celery, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower. We add in new things sometimes. This summer we found a lot of cabbage at the Farmer's Market, so we had a lot of that. In our own garden this year we have enjoyed tomatoes, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. I have found that the girls are more than willing to try things. Maybe my kids are just weird, but they really enjoy vegtables. I do try to buy organic stuff, and of course you can't beat the stuff we can grow ourselves.

So, the girls have a large serving of vegetables with lunch everyday. They have hummus with them most days. I like doing that because then if they aren't hungry enough for a sandwich, they have had a protein. (Sometimes Felicity is not hungry enough, but Betsy has a hollow leg and is hungry all the time.)

I like knowing that the girls almost always have a good lunch, and then I can be a little more lax with dinner. If we go to Wendy's for dinner, and they have cheeseburgers, it's okay. It's all a compromise.

As another example of compromise, take our breakfasts. We alternate all week between Honey Nut Cheerios and oatmeal. One day a week we usually have eggs, which we are blessed to get from our neighbors who own chickens. And then...Saturday. The rule on Saturday is that you get to choose whatever you want. Right now the choices are Pop Tarts, Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, and Frosted Flakes. (I always have Frosted Flakes.) The girls look forward to Saturday, and at the same time, they aren't eating junk every day. It works for us.

I have two books to recommend on this topic:

1) The American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Your Child's Nutrition. This is a handy reference book to have on the shelf to answer food realted questions.

2) Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense by Ellyn Satter. This is a really great book on this topic. A lot of it is about understanding that your job as a parent is to provide good food, and your child's job is to eat. You cannot force food down your child's throat. But, equally important, you are the parent ultimately making the decisisons about the food that comes into you home.

As I have been writing, the Buckeyes have been losing. I am sad for my sister and my dad, who love watching them...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Of sisters and stalkers...

I spent the day with my girls at a teddy bear picnic. As almost always, it was about Betsy. It was for her Daisy troop. So Felicity and I spent an hour and a half sitting on the picnic blanket while Betsy did the fun stuff. I'm thrilled that Betsy gets to do so many fun things, but I am sad that Felicity mostly just gets to watch. And then, when she is finally old enough to do whatever it is, then Betsy has moved on to the next thing.

That said, I love that my girls are close in age. I purposely didn't want to have them as close together as my sister and I are. (We are 14 months apart.) I always felt like I was just barely an "older" sister, as April always did things either with me or just after me. My girls are 3 years apart. It's nice because Betsy is truly older, but they are close enough in age to do things together. I have just cherished this summer, watching them playing together. They often hold hands, and it melts my heart. (April is still to this day my best friend, but we rarely hold hands, you know.)

Anyway, in honor of all of the sisterly love, here is a list of books that are good for introducing a new baby to your family:

1) What to Expect When Mommy's Having a Baby by Heidi Murkoff. This is an excellent explaining-pregnancy-to-a-toddler book. You can omit stuff if you feel like it's going into too much detail. I personally didn't. I have explained how babies are made to both of the girls many times. I'm pretty straight forward about it, and they ask me questions. It's one of those things that doesn't bother me. I know that not everyone feels that way, but for us, we have found that if we treat it like any other kind of question, it makes it easier to understand and less shameful.

2. What Baby Needs by William and Martha Sears. I like the Sears' because they are very into attachment parenting. I didn't do attachment parenting in this perfect way, but I did breastfeed and have the girls sleep in a bassinette in our room. I mostly liked this book for Betsy because it dealt with nursing as a big part of having a baby, and for us that was a big part of it.

3. What to Expect When the Baby Comes Home by Heidi Murkoff. Another What to Expect book. As always, it answers most questions a child could think up.

4. The New Baby by Mercer Mayer. A cute look at a new baby through the eyes of Little Critter.

5. A Pocket Full of Kisses by Audrey Penn. Most everyone in the world reads The Kissing Hand on the first day of school. This is the sequel, in which Chester's mother gives his brother a kissing hand too. Chester goes bananas. It's a good reinforcement of the idea that there is enough love to go around (as I tell the girls, love is not a pie).

As I wrap this up, I am as always listening to 80s music. Does anyone else find it creepy that so many 80s songs are stalker love songs? I have heard Every Breath You Take, Private Eyes, Sunglasses at Night, now it's on The Flame...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tales from a sunscreen nut...

Well, it's Saturday night. For me, that means I am listening to 80s music, catching up on my reading, preparing my Sunday School lesson for tomorrow, and realizing that I need to do a blog post to stay with my self-imposed goal of one per week.

I don't have a ton to talk about, but I can think of a few things.

Last week, when I talked about teeth, I wanted to mention that the brand of flouride that we use is ACT. I like it because you only have to use it once a day (once I bought the listerine brand and you have to use it twice a day). Also, to clarify about the singing, I sing a song to the girls while they "swish." It just makes the minute go faster. Betsy suggested it, because the child is ten times smarter than me and she is six.

I also wanted to give the Joy seal of approval to Aveeno lotion. My girls both have really sensitive skin that breaks into a rash pretty easily. This stuff heals it right away. We had always used Johnson and Johnson before, and one day we were somewhere that it wasn't available and we picked this up instead. It just works wonders!

Just as an aside, I am obsessed with sunscreen. That doesn't really have anything to do with anything, but in my mind, someone is reading this who really wants to know these odd things about me. And I do mean obsessed. My kids get slathered in sunscreen every morning. I've done all of this research into the best kinds and what all of the different products available can do for you. If you're interested in my opinion on this, I use Coppertone SPF 50 on the girls. Like I said, they get slathered first thing in the morning. Then, if it is a day that they are swimming, sweating, or the UV index is high, they get slathered again in the afternoon. I recommend keeping sunscreen in the car, near the door, little bottles in your purse-anywhere that you will be apt to use it. I do the same thing with Purell, which I am also obsessed with.

I have succeeded in making the girls hyper viligent about using sunscreen (and Purell). Unfortunately for us all, Nicholas could basically care less about sunscreen and I therefore have to worry if he has the girls for a "mom's day off." He's the fun one...

But that's okay. I like being the weird one. Weird is how I define myself. And the girls are okay with being weird too. We like to think that it makes us unique...