Friday, December 9, 2011

Healthy Snacking

So I'm cooking dinner and I'm in the middle with my hands dirty from meat or veggies and it never fails...."Mom I need a snack, I'm so hungry!!!"  It doesn't matter that I tell them we will be eating soon there is always groans, or tantrums, or "I'm going to die, I'm so hungry." comments.  Does anyone else have this problem?
I started doing a few things different that have seemed to help that I thought I would share and then if anyone else does something they like I love some more ideas!

  • First I decided I wanted to have snacks available for them.  So I got a couple baskets and I try to keep it stocked with different things like fruit, bread, nuts, dried fruit, muffins, etc.  
  • I also like to portion these snacks into little snack size Ziploc baggies so it's easy to grab and go if you are heading out the door.  My mom gave me that idea and I love when I have planned ahead and have these ready.  
  • I also try to dedicate a shelf for snacks in the fridge that need refrigeration.  (boiled eggs, cheese, cut vegetables and fruits, bottled fruit, yogurt)--I couldn't take a picture of my fridge because it's cram full of Leftovers from Thanksgiving that we ate this week. 
  • I started "closing" the kitchen an hour before meals and at least an hour after meals.  I want my kids to eat meals and not just snacks all day.  I put too much work into those meals and they better eat up!  =)  

This is my meager attempts and I hope it continues to help the before meal battles.
If you want more ideas for snacking the Mayo Clinic has a great article called, "Healthy Snacks for Kids, 10 childfriendly tips.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Gifts

The whole Santa thing is so confusing for kids as they see friends, cousins, and others getting way more from Santa then they did.  My mother-in-law was telling us about the kids in Russia who get 1 present from Father Christmas and that is all the presents they open at Christmas.  One thing that I thought was fun is they carry a basket around to family (kind of like our trick or treaters) and get candy from Grandmas, Uncles and Aunts on Christmas.
Christmas is for children.  The magic of Christmas is not in the gifts.  It's the Christmas lights, singing carols together as a family, reading the Christmas Story, making Christmas cookies, delivering treats to neighbors and family, and playing secret Santa.  The magic of Christmas is being with those you love.
Buying gifts just because it's a great sale, can be so tempting.  But is it all that necessary?
I love our sisters idea of giving three gifts like the wise man gave Baby Jesus Three gifts.  She gives one gift for their physical needs, one for spiritual needs, and one for cognitive needs.  This really helps us think outside the box for gift ideas.  Last year for cognitive needs we gave our boys each a fun book of music for their instrument. For spiritual needs we have given church videos, or quiet books they can read during Sacrament, and physical needs, we have given a new outfit, or a new soccer ball.
I've heard of some families doing away with all gifts and giving there Christmas to another family in need or using the money to go on a family vacation.  I think it's great to have an open mind and don't go over board on buying and spending money just because it's "on sale."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

No more thumb?

This is Pumpkin sleeping today without sucking her thumb.  We have been working on this for a long time.  We have tried many things.  To read my last entry about this click here.   There was some great comments from readers about people including them self who sucked their thumb and their thoughts.   It was written Oct 23, 2009 and I thought we were almost done with the thumb and now here we are two years later and I am really hoping we are done.  She is in Kindergarten and we told the kids that when they turn 5 they can have chewing gum.  I just don't think kids are wise enough to keep it in there mouth before then.  Well she turned 5 and I told her she wasn't ready because she still sucked her thumb.  (Oh, I'm so mean!)  Well, this really got her wanting to do it so she could have gum.  She is working for her own pack of pink, gum tape.  For the last 20 days --maybe more, we have had her wear a large shirt that I sewed the openings up.  Then we use masking tape around the wrists so she can't wiggle her hand up through the shirt.  This is all her own choice.  She is the one that keeps reminding us to tape her shirt.  Once she has not sucked her thumb for 30 days in a row we are taking her to the store for her bubble gum.  The worse day was after she didn't suck her thumb for 25 days in October she took a nap on Sunday and we didn't put on the shirt and so she started sucking her thumb.  I told her how sorry we were but she would have to start over on counting un-sucking days.  She was so upset!  But nevertheless we have continued on the quest and today during her nap at day 20 she didn't wear her shirt and she isn't sucking her thumb!!!
Don't worry, after she is all done we will get more experience and start working with her sister Peanut who is three.  Let's hope the process doesn't take so long.  =)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Simple Pleasures of Kindness

Have you ever caught yourself realizing how months have past without you really acknowledging it.  Time is crazy like that.  It feel like my youngest, who is 3 right now, was just barely born.  Time has just flown by.  I feel so extremely blessed to have such a beautiful family.  I really have been spoiled.  Four wonderful children, a loving husband, I couldn't ask for more then that.  I acknowledge that I have had it so good all of my life.  When I see others in the world who aren't sure where there next meal will come from or where they will sleep it makes me sad.  I want to be able to do what I can to help others.  I think that's why I love teaching children so much.  If I can impact a child's life for good, I hope that will effect the world in some way.  I believe every good deed, every smile, and every kind word given by you can and will change the heart of someone that will in turn make this world a better place to live.  I try to remember that with my own children.  If I can instill in them goodness and love, that will in turn bless them and the world around them.  As time blurs by, make time for the simple pleasures of kindness.  I thought of a few that don't require a penny.  If you think of some post them in comments!

  • When your waiting in a long line at the grocery store, a restaurant, show graciousness by not complaining and making the teller feel bad
  • In the car, show patience and self control as others around you are being overly cautious and slow
  • When your child is throwing a fit, show maturity to not let it emotionally effect you and let the moment be it's moment and then let it go
  • When your getting out of your car and someone parked next to you is blocking the way by their car door, be kind by just waiting in your car patiently, you can even pretend you have something to do until they are done loading.  Then as you get out of the car wave and sincerely smile.
  • Open the door for someone else
  • Get to know the children's name of your neighbors and say hi to them by name when you see them playing
  • Offer to babysit someones kids so they can go Christmas Shopping or wrap presents
  • Send a Birthday Card or just a letter to someone you love by snail mail

I just know if you take time everyday to do simple pleasures of kindness it will make your day, week and years more glorious and happy.  Pass it on!  =)