Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cookie Sheet Activities: Sorting!

My good Friend Rebecca (who should be an author of this blog- hint hint!) had this idea!  I just stole it from her to share with you (If she was an author on this blog she could have shared it herself!) 

She does many things with cookies sheets that do not involve cooking or cookies!  They make great trays to toddler/kid activities!  For the next few weeks I will show you how I have used cookie sheets at my house for toddler activities.

Cookie Sheet Activity #1 - Sorting!

I got my sorting blocks from Target in the Dollar spot around back-to-school time... I am pretty sure that they have some at the dollar tree in the school supplies section. 

I get my cookie sheets from the Dollar Tree... they are the perfect size and the perfect price.  We have 4 cookie sheets that I rotate with activities.

Sorting by colors:
There are 4 colors in my blocks so I divided a piece of paper in to 1/4s and colored each on the corresponding colors.  I tell my toddler to put the blocks in the right color.

he like to build towers with his block... as long as they are in the right color it is cool with me! :)

 Sorting by Shapes:
My blocks have 3 shapes.  I divided my paper into 1/3s and drew the shaped out down the sections.  I tell him to find the shape to fill in the row (or column - depending on how you face the tray)

Matching a pattern:
Here I have him match the shape and color 

Here I just have him match the color.

For older kids you could do:
Adding/ Subtracting
Making up their own patterns

What kinds of sorting do you do at your house?

Come back next week to see our next Cookie Sheet Activity!! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mommy's Got Back...


Sorry for the month of blogging silence!

While visiting my family in Minnesota {including Fawnda (my sis) and Sherrie (my sis-in-law)--the other Mommy Tsunami writers}, I herniated a disc in my lower back. Can I just say, OUUUUUUCHHHHH!!!! I mean that junk really hurts! I have never had back problems before. It was crazy painful. Caused by an intense cough/sneeze. A freaking sneeze. I mean, really??? I wish I had a better story. But I don't. The doctor said it was probably weakened by a previous strain of my back, and the pressure of the sneeze just blew out my disc. Seems silly...but Totally NOT silly.

So, what was meant to be a fun family reunion ended up with my being hospitalized followed by over a week of being bed-ridden and loopy on pain killers and muscle relaxers (picture Paula Abdul on American Idol with narcolepsy). We ended up having to extend our trip an extra week, as I was traveling alone with my children (ages 2, 5,and 7), I could hardly walk, and I kept falling asleep mid-sentence.

When I finally came to, and regained use of my faculties...I had three main take-aways.

First, having a herniated disc SUCKS!!!!!!! So I am going to do everything in my power to keep that from happening again. I am going to strengthen my core, maybe start doing HOT Yoga. I am going to learn how to bend and lift properly. And I am never, ever going to cough or sneeze ever again for as long as a I live. Ok, that is obviously not possible, is it?? So, I guess I am screwed, aren't I? AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Second, there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, worth watching on television during the day. I usually do not even turn on my t.v. during the day, unless I am in need of a little afternoon entertainment from Dora or the members of Yo Gabba Gabba. Some days I feel like I must be missing out on some great television show that I could be enjoying while laying on the couch eating my bon-bons. I was wrong. There are no worthwhile shows. NONE!!!! And I have never tasted a bon-bon, but I am guessing that they too might be just as disappointing after all the hype about them.

Third, "A parent's job is never done." My parents had to take care of me like I was a child again. My mom had to take another week off work to care for my children while I recovered. My dad had to drive me to the hospital and doctor's appointments. They both helped monitor my meds and waited on me hand in foot. And I kept thinking, "I am 35 years old, and my mommy and daddy are still taking care of me." And then I thought of my own children. I came to a new realization. A slightly scary realization. "This parenting gig is going to last a whole lot longer than I had originally anticipated. Like DECADES LONGER!" "Moooommmmmmyyy!!!!!!!"

But the good news is, I am feeling much better. MUCH better!! And ready to starting writing again.

Again, we apologize for the lack of posts over the past month.

Hopefully, now we are BAAAAACK! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Healthy Breakfast Options

Whether talking to a working mother, or the stay-at-home mother there is a common place that we can come together and agree. Mornings are complete madness. The constant checking of the clock to keep everyone on schedule to get out the door on time, or at least as close as possible. Do we have everything? Do we have everyone? Oh yeah, breakfast.

If you are like me, I have very little energy and motivation in the morning. So, breakfast often becomes a list of options that are semi-healthy but fast and easy. But now those options have run their course and I have begun the search for better breakfast options. And in that search I have stumbled across some very unnerving information. The list of "do not eat" is much longer than the list of "eat." And on top of that, I found an article claiming that boxed cereal is not considered food.

Yes, it is true. Boxed cereal is beginning to be considered by some not to be food, but a food product. This wonderful staple that I have turned to in my mornings of madness has betrayed me. I thought that I was feeding my children "whole grains" and "organic" cereal. But alas, it is not true. According to the article by SimplyBeingWell.com cereal's processing strips it and actually damages the proteins. The proteins that naturally would be healthy for us, then becomes toxic. And most cereals, organic or not, contain sugar. And if you go the conventional route, we have all heard the risks of the dyes and high fructose corn syrup that they load into the cereal.

So, now what am I to do? My search was not going the way I had planned. But finally I came across an article at TheDailyGreen.com talking about some great tips for some healthy breakfast ideas. So, here they are broken down in an easy-to-use list.

1. Fruit - Good old fruit. Healthy and full of nutrients. It is also a great way to curb those morning sugar urges/addictions.
2. Yogurt parfaits or smoothies - the best is that both of these are fast and can be eaten on the run if you have to. And there are lots of combination possibilities with flavors and textures.
3. Bake your own breakfast bars - this is my new goal to try. I will be on the search for some great recipes to share, and please share if you have found some of your own.
4. Eggs - Simple. Eggs are one of natures superfoods. You can't give your kids a better source of protein to start their day other than a good ol' egg.
5. Breakfast sandwich - redefine your thinking on the sandwich. Natural peanut butter, honey, and whole wheat toast is a great healthy option.
6. Oat porridge - there is a recipe on the link to the simplybeingwell.com for this. It is supposed to be a great option for children and infants. You soak the oats and it helps to take the strain off of their digestive system. The longer you soak them, the less the strain. This one takes a little more planning ahead, but is a great option for younger children.

So, whether you are rushing your little ones to daycare, or you are wrangling them at home for the day, I hope that this list of "to eat" options helps to manage your morning madness. Or at least makes the breakfast options a little healthier and easy to manage.

I would love to hear any healthy morning food ideas that your family has found! Please share. My mornings need all the help they can get! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"What Do You Think?" Wednesday: Preschool

My son turned 3 this past week...{big sigh}... He is a big boy now (as he loves to tell me 100 times every day!)...{another big sigh}...And I am looking for a Preschool for him to attend next year.  I cannot believe how fast time flies! I remember people telling me that before I knew it my son would be in school... and I did not believe them!

 I have a couple of tours set up of perspective preschools this week.  I am excited to see them, but don't really know what to look for in a good preschool. 

So tell me:
What kinds of things do/did you look for in a good preschool? 
What kind of questions should I ask?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Toddler Tuesday: Fun with Cups!

We like to have fun around here... and if it can be done on the cheap - even better! : )

Here are some fun things that we do with a stack of plastic cups:

1. Building cup towers and knocking them down
Seriously, this never gets old for my 3 year old!

2. Stacking and unstacking... so simple... but he loves it. 
 I add in counting sometimes to make it more educational. 

3. Building bridges with boxes from our pantry. 
He likes to drive his cars under them  and on top of them!

4. Cup bowling! 
I stack 2 cups on top of each other to make the pins and we roll the ball at them.  

Even the baby loves to play with cups!   

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Challenge

It's Valentine's Day and love is in the air! Well, actually at my house, love is overseas...as my husband is in London today while I am here in Connecticut. So it's just me and the kiddos and way too many conversation hearts. UR CUTE, KISS ME, YOU ROCK, etc. My kids never tire of reading those things. And it's like they think I wrote the messages on there myself, just for them.

And that got me thinking about other ways to tangibly express love to my children. Supposedly, there are five different "Love Languages". Words of Encouragement, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, and Gifts. We all need all of them to feel loved, but usually each person has one or two that really speak "Love" to him or her in a powerful way...a primary love language. So my first Valentine Challenge is to try to find out each of my children's primary love language(s). Some suggestions that I have read are to "have your child draw a picture or call out ways that parents love their children (without influencing their answers)". "Observe how your child expresses love to yourself and others." "Listen to what your child requests or complains about most often." "Or you can experiment by expressing love each way, and then noting your child's response." I am totally going to try these experiments this week!

And once I figure that out, my next Challenge is going to be: To make each child feel like I love them the BEST. I love the book called, "You're All My Favorites" about a mommy and daddy bear explaining to their three baby bears how they love all three of them the best. Precious!
And I know a bit about this first hand. I am the oldest of four kids, and I think each one of us growing up secretly thought that my Mom loved us the the best. Actually, we are all grown adults with families of our own, and I still think each of us secretly believes that Mom loves us the best. Sure we know she tries to be fair and spread her love around to all of us equally. But each one of us knows in our heart she really loves me the best.

Now that is a good trick! I am not sure how she did it, but I need to figure it out. Because I want my kids to feel the same way. I want each one of them to feel so loved, that they think I love them the best. But then again, not so much that they feel like taunting the other two with this information. I can just hear it now "Mommy loves me BEST!! Mommy loves me BEST!!"
That's always good for a punch in the nose. (My older son is the taunter...my middle child "Rocky" is a man of action!)

So I guess that leads to my third Valentine Challenge...To somehow achieve Challenges #1 and #2 without any bloodshed! "Rocky" could prove to make this last Challenge very challenging. Then again, he may have already given me a clue to my first Challenge...perhaps his primary "Love Language" is physical touch. :)

Happy Valentine's Day! And Good Luck in whatever Challenges you face today.

And if you have any other fun and/or creative ways to show love to your children, please share!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Dirty Dozen vs. The Clean 15

Buying organic and balancing the budget are two things that do not live in harmony at our house. I want to do what is best for my family and feed them food that is good for them, but we also need to pay bills. I am sure that this is a scenario that is not unlike yours. How do you find the balance?

There is a large variety of pesticides and chemicals that are used to grow our food in the non-organic realm. The information that is helpful is to know what foods are worse than others. If you have to pick and choose what to buy organic, than you might as well buy organic on the ones that count.

This is where The Dirty Dozen come in. The Dirty Dozen is a list compiled by the Environmental Working Group on what foods have the highest concentration of pesticides, additives and hormones. The EWG continually updates this list. It is said that if you eat the fruits and veggies that are considered to be one of the dirty dozen, you will ingest on average of 10 pesticides per day.

The other side to this information, is what foods non-organic are "not so bad." This is The Clean 15. They have the lowest level of pesticides, additives and hormones. Many of these foods have a thick skin, or peel that is not eaten and protects the food from absorbing the contaminates.

We know that organic is most likely the best and healthiest option for our families, but not always possible due to the price of food today. So when you are at the grocery store bring with you the Dirty Dozen list and the Clean 15 list like I do. It will help relieve your stress or guilt about some of the foods you may have to pick to balance the budget.

What other guides have you found helpful?

Want more information?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"What do you think?" Wednesday - Snacks

Snacks, Snacks, Snacks. Kids love to snack! I know most moms struggle with what to give as snacks. And even once we settle on what is an ok snack, the kids get tired of the snack and are asking for a new snacking experience.

We have tried very hard at our house to eat snacks that have some nutritional value. Carrots and celery are always cut and ready-to-eat in the fridge. Apples are also always on hand. They have been a popular snack so far, but I have begun to see that they are losing their appeal.

Any snack suggestions? What creative and nutritious snacks have you found popular?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Who Moved My Cheese?

With 8 "snow days" in January and several "late-starts" and "early-releases" from school, lately my life has been in total upheaval. When I wake up in the morning I don't know if I am going to be getting everyone ready and shuttling them off to their schools. Or if I am going to be sequestered in my house with my three children trying to fill the next 12 hours with enough activities and entertainment to keep us all from driving each other crazy. I don't know if I am going to be visiting the dentist and then doing a long over-due grocery shop. Or if I am going to be rescheduling my appointment for the fourth time and then looking online for ideas of what I can make with lima beans, peanut butter, and ramen noodles (because that is pretty much all we have left in the cupboard).

All this chaos on a day-to-day basis has reminded me of a book I was made to read 10 years ago BC (Before Children) when I was a working woman. It was called "Who Moved My Cheese?" It is a parody about adapting to change. The book tells the tale of four mice in a maze and how they respond when their "cheese" has been moved. Some mope around missing their cheese and cursing the "cheese movers". Others choose to move on, looking at it as an opportunity to discover new cheese elsewhere. (This is a book that corporations give to employees before major re-structuring or down-sizing to deter whiners).

I actually thought the book was pretty cheesy. Literally and figuratively.

But now I feel like I am trapped inside that cheesy book.

I wake up expecting things to be a certain way...and then no cheese! Ok, one snow day is no problem. Hey, I love being home with my children! Let's go play in the snow! Day Two, no sweat. Let's make cookies and put on a puppet show. Day five...umm, really? Another snow day?? I guess we'll have a Dora and Diego marathon. And then we'll go scrape the ice off the drive way. YAY! Day Eight...are you freaking kidding me?!? God, take me now! I await your loving embrace.

Don't get me wrong, it's not the time spent with my children that is driving me crazy. (OK, maybe just a little bit!) But more so, it is the fact that our normal routine is being disrupted day after day.

And the truth of the matter is that I do a pretty good job losing my cheese all by myself, without any help from Mother Nature. I have the best of intentions, but I am often scattered and forgetful. I often walk into a room, unable to remember why I went in there. And I am always losing things. Either because I put something somewhere while I was distracted and I have no recollection of it. Or because one of my children found another home for it, and he has no recollection of it.

Maybe I should write my own book, "Who Moved My Keys?" I doubt it would be a best seller, but it might help me locate these very important items. Which I can't seem to find. Which I might need. To drive my car. If it ever stops snowing...

Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm Hungry.... What's for dinner?

One of the Mommy Tsunamis that I find hitting me over and over is dinner time. The crisis hour of the day approaches. You know, the one where the kids turn into constant whining machines, regardless of the amount of discipline or sleep in the last 24 hours. And for some reason, I find myself completely befuddled by their behavior, and say to myself "what is the problem here?" And just as I ask myself this, the kids start whining in unison, "I'm hungry....What's for dinner? Are we eating soon?" Oh yeah. Dinner.

How this happens to me most days is a mystery to me too. It's no surprise that we eat this time everyday, and that I am going to have to prepare something in order for us to eat. Some days I have things together and have a meal well planned out and ready to go. But lets be honest, this is not most days for me. Between kid activities, appointments, and errands my day "at home" is not at home. So I have come up with a survival solution. Easy, go to meals.

Easy go to meals for me are the ones where I try to have the ingredients on hand most of the time, so I don't have to run any last errands to pick up missing items. They also involve few dishes or time in preparation. I would like to share our family favorite with you. Cranberry Chicken.

Cranberry Chicken:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place 3 or 4 chicken breasts in a covered baking dish.
1 can of whole cranberries sauce
1/3 c western dressing
1 packet of dry onion soup mix
Cover the chicken with the sauce mixture
Bake for 1 hour

I usually serve it with brown rice and a salad.

This recipe is a constant request from my family, and has also become my go to meal to bring to new moms just home from the hospital.

What are your meal time survival strategies? Any great go to recipes to share?

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"What Do You Think" Wednesday!!

It's been a long winter...and it's not even half over. We have been spending a lot of time in the house. And it shows. So as I was surveying the disheveled landscape, I thought to myself "I need to make these kids do a little more to help out around here."

Now, my question is...Do you have your children do chores? If so, what? At what age? Weekly or daily chores? Do you reward them with stickers or money or nothing? And how is is working for you??

Do you have them rub your feet and feed you grapes? Haha. That does sound nice though, doesn't it? Maybe chocolate instead of grapes...Ok, back to reality!

The bottom line is that I think my kids need to work a little harder and I need to work a little smarter! I would love your feed back!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Toddler Tuesday: Paint Sample Magnet Fish

Here is a fun toddler activity that I made for my other blog: Fireflies and Jellybeans

My son still loves to play with it!

Here is an easy way to have some fun with your toddler! Go fishing with Paint samples!

Here is what you will need:
Paint Samples (2 of each color)
Paper Clips (one for each fish)

1. Take 2 paint samples of the same color and glue them together with a paper clip sticking out in between them.

2. Repeat with all the colors that you like!

3. Now use your scissors and cute out fish shapes

Be creative! I cut a jellyfish (the purple one), an octopus (black one) and a star fish (brown one)... the white one is supposed to be a shark, but he is a bit small.

I already had a magnet fishing pole from a magnet puzzle but you could easily make one from a wooden dowel, string and a magnet.

My son LOVED it. He kept saying "More! More fishing Mama!"

Too much fun!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Java Mama

It's still pitch dark outside. I can't see my hand in front of my face. But I can hear the pitter-patter of little feet climbing the stairs to our bedroom. "MOOOOOOOM. Wake UUUUUUUUUUppppp!" I can make out two small figures, but their faces are just a blur. I am assuming they are my children, but they could be a couple of munchkins who've escaped from the Wizard of Oz for all I know. I am still not sure if I am awake or if this is a dream.

As I stumble down the stairs, I am feeling bitter about the fact that I am awake at such an ungodly hour. Then I round the corner into my kitchen and I see it....The Coffee Maker. Like a ray of light shining through the darkness, I feel my spirits lifting. As I measure the coffee grounds and the water, I start to sense a giddy feeling inside. As I watch the dark liquid drip into the pot and smell the sweet aroma of the coffee brewing, my whole body starts to tingle in anticipation. As I take the first sip, I can feel the dark, hot liquid pulsing through my veins. A feeling of euphoria sweeps over me. Ahhhhhh. My whole body relaxes and my spirit is immediately lifted.

It's not so much that the coffee helps me wake up, the munchkins have already taken care of that. It's that it improves the way that I perceive the world around me. Suddenly those blurry little faces have transformed into little cherubs with an angelic glow about them . My resentment towards my husband (who is still in bed) has turned into love and gratefulness for how hard he works in order to provide for us. (i.e. He provides the coffee. Does that make him my Java Daddy?). The birds outside now sound joyous, instead of annoying. Even my house seems a little less messy. Shall I break out in song...."Oh, what a beautiful morning, Oh, what a beautiful day. I've got a beautiful feeling, everythings going my way."

A few more sips....and now I can face the day with a smile on my face and love in my heart. Pancakes anyone?

O.K., so I might have a problem.

My name is Karly and I am a Java Mama.

Any other Java Mamas out there? Should we form a support group? I'll bring the coffee!

Friday, January 28, 2011

What's the beef with Beef?

There are so many places to start when talking about organics and food information. I decided to start with beef. My main reason is Barbara Kowalcyk.

Her story is highlighted in the movie Food Inc., and her story very much stuck with me. Barbara was just any ordinary mother of a two year old little boy. They were on a family vacation and they were traveling. Just like we have done so many times, they ate hamburgers at drive thru fast food restaurants. Her little boy, Kevin ate a hamburger contaminated with E.coli. He died a little over a week later due to complications from E.coli.

I know that this is a sad story, but the saddest part of her story is that the company that processed the hamburger knew about the E.coli before Kevin ate his hamburger and did not recall the meat. There were other deaths related to the same contaminated meat.

I have a very hot injustice button, and this story hit it dead on for me. And of course the company should get in trouble for not reporting! Its just common sense. Nope. "In 1998 the USDA implemented microbial testing for salmonella and E.coli 0157h7 so that if a plant repeatedly failed these tests, the USDA could shut down the plant. After being taken to court by the meat and poultry associations, the USDA no longer has that power" - www.foodborneillness.org

What?! I could not believe what I was hearing. So, even if they are testing the food, they are not recalling it as they should, and the USDA can't do anything about it. This is crazy! As you are watching it is overwhelming and maddening. But there are things that we can do. Basically know what you are choosing when you are at the grocery store.

The answer? Grass Fed Beef.

First of all, grass is what cows were designed to eat. The other beef that you buy is grain, or corn fed. Corn is not a natural food for a cow and it throws off the acid balance in their stomach which allows for the E.coli. (Companies treat the grain fed beef with a variety of things, including chlorine gas to help stop the E.coli) A grass fed cow has a balanced stomach acid, and therefore kills off the E.coli naturally, without the use of any treatments or chemicals.

The nutritional content of grass fed beef is superior to grain fed. It is higher in Vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids and Conjugated Linoeic Acid (CLA- has been linked to cancer fighting). Not only are there more nutrients, but there are less calories! Yes! Less calories. A grass fed steak can be up to 50% less calories than a grain fed steak.

Grass fed cows are healthier and healthier cows require less hormones and antibiotics.

I know. Informational overload. There are so many things to consider and this is just beef! I think that if we just take it one topic at a time and talk it over together, it won't be so overwhelming. I would love to hear your feedback on this, and other facts that you have found.

As a mom, I know that we are bombarded with info about everything from immunizations, to car seats, to what schools to send our kids to. I hope that by talking and sharing we make that an easier burden to carry.

If you want to learn more here are a couple sites that I found helpful.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"What do you think?" Wednesday- Books

I know that I am not alone when it comes to reading bedtime stories with my kids! 

Here are some of our favorites:
Goodnight Gorilla- My son loves to find the balloon and the banana through the whole book.  His favorite page is the one the is completely black and it has just the eyes... he looks forward to it the whole time we are reading it.  I love that the wife is the one who really puts all the animals to bed... much like Mommy's do with their little ones!

The Red Thread- My kids are both adopted from Korea, so we have a lot of adopting books.  This one is my FAVORITE!   There is a Chinese proverb that says that you are connected to your loved ones with a red thread that attaches your hearts.  This is a story of a King and Queen who find themselves with a pain in their hearts and the only way to cure it is to find out what is pulling on their red threads.  

As a mom who had her kids grow up the first 8-9 months thousands of miles away from me, I do believe that we are attached at the heart... my heart ached until my kids came home!  I cry every time I read this book (but for good reasons)!     

Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies- This is my son's favorite adoption book. It is about a little boys journey to meet his adoptive parents.  It starts with him having pictures of his new mama and papa, follows him on the plane ride, and on to his new home and getting to know his mom and dad. My son's favorite part is when the dad rocks with the boy "back and forth, back and forth" in the rocking chair.  We copy this in our rocking chair.   I cry at this one too (especially when I catch my hubby reading it to our son!)!

I also like this one because it helps me talk about my son's journey home, although it was very different then this book, he can understand what I am talking about. 

The Runaway Bunny- I love this book because of the underlying message of - You cannot get away from your mama, even when you don't like her, she loves you {or is it... You can run, but you can't hide ;) }!  I like to have my son find the Mama bunny and the Baby bunny on each page.   I also like it because it is a Mom-Son book... most books are Mom-Daughter or Dad-Son books.

What are you reading to your kids right now?
I am always looking for a good book to read at bedtime!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Toddler Tuesday - Painting with Water

One of my son's favorite things to do is paint with water.   Although, he calls it "Brushing"  Almost every day I hear "Mama, can I brush?"

I wish he was talking about his teeth or hair but he is not... he is talking about brushing water onto his chalkboard. 

I have him "paint" right on his chalkboard easel.  It is great because the chalkboard dries off and he can keep creating new pictures without me having to change out the paper. And lets not forget that water is MUCH cleaner than paint!!

All you need is a paint brush and a cup of water.  I put very little water in the cup, in case it gets tipped over (that way I only have a little water to clean up) 

As you can see, he gets pretty serious about it!
If you do not have a chalkboard you can also use construction paper.  You can let the papers dry off and reuse them again!
Brush away little man! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Used to Be Fun...

I was complaining to a friend the other day that I am just not fun any more.

I used to laugh. A lot. In fact, I would laugh until I cried. Once I even laughed so hard that I peed my pants. Nowadays, if I am crying it is not because I think something is funny. It probably means I am either totally sleep-deprived or pms-ing. And if I have peed my pants, it is because I sneezed (just not the same down there since popping out three bambinos. Too much information? So sorry! I also used to be modest.).

I used to like balloons. I mean, who doesn't like balloons? ME!! I hate them. Really. One always pops before we even get it home, causing massive amounts of tears and wailing. Then my children fight like cats and dogs over the ones that actually do make it home. Not to mention the fact that they shrivel up overnight and in the morning, voilĂ ... a choking hazard. Did I mention that I HATE balloons? See, I told you...no fun!

I used to be spontaneous. Able to leave for the weekend on a whim. Now I need at least a week's notice for any kind of "trip"...to catch up on laundry, get everyone packed, leave detailed instructions, and think of everything that could possibly go wrong so that I can prepare for plan B, C, D, and E. And then instead of being excited, I end up so exhausted from all the preparations that I find myself thinking, "Maybe it would have been better to just stay home". Like I said, NO FUN!!

Every once in a while, my fun-side will make an appearance. Like this week when I was carving out snow tunnels with my kids. We made several snow tunnels in the mountain of snow at the end of our driveway. And we were totally into it. We made them interconnecting with escape hatches and secret passages. And while we were climbing through our creations, my son looked at me and said, "Mom, you are the most FUN mom ever!" Ahhh! A Hallmark moment!

And I thought to myself, "Why can't I always be like this? The MOST FUN MOM."

And then I remembered that someone has to make sure that they eat their vegetables, and that everyone has clean underwear, and that no one pokes their eye out. I mean, losing an eyeball would really not be fun.

Being "FUN" is nice and all, but let's face it with malnourishment, nakedness, and blindness on the line...Motherhood is actually very serious business!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Organic or Not to Organic? That is the question.

Welcome to Food Fridays! This is where all the food sharing and discussion begins. So much of our mothering has to do with food. What to buy? What to cook? What to feed and when?


So, lets get started with a hot topic: Organic or Non-Organic?

The movie that started it all for us was Food Inc. If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend it. I had had conversations with friends that were starting to eat organic, but it seemed so extreme. I had two young children that kept me at the end of my sanity rope, and I felt overwhelmed with everything else already on my plate. I was doing a good job of making sure they tried lots of new foods, had balanced meals and ate their veggies. We also had our son on a gluten-free diet already. So, now on top of all of that I had to start worrying about where the food came from, how it is treated chemically and what that does to us in the long run?! I avoided the topic for a while. But then I watched the movie.


The movie showed me all of the reasons that I no longer could ignore what we ate. My ignorance was not bliss. So what now? Where to start? How to afford it? And what the heck was the "dirty dozen"?

Every Friday, I will be posting a new topic or piece of information in relation to these topics. I know that many of them are hot topics for discussion, and I hope that we will receive lots of opinions and comments. I am new to the world of organics and its overwhelming entourage of information. So, this will be a journey for me also. I'm looking forward to it!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"What Do You Think" Wednesday!!

Question of the Week:

We have had several "Snow Days" already this January, and there seem to be more on the way. I am running out of ideas for keeping my children happily entertained while we are all stuck at home together. Does anyone have any creative "Snow Day" ideas to share?