Sunday, July 25, 2010

Raising Good Eaters

(Yeah, another post about food.  Sorry.)

I always cringe when I hear mothers say things like, "Well, my oldest won't eat anything but chicken nuggets and macaroni, and my youngest won't eat anything green, so I end up making one meal for my husband and I, and a second meal for the kids every night."  Sometimes they even make each kid a separate meal!

And they wonder why they're tired!

Sisters, you've got to knock it off.  Have you looked around the playground lately?  We're not doing children any favors by feeding them a constant stream of their (HFCS* laden, fat filled, salt and sugar saturated, MSG packed) favorites.  If your kid will only eat kid food, you have one person to blame, and it's the person in the mirror.

I've heard all the excuses.  "Toddlers naturally go through a period of pickiness, we evolved that way!  It's protective!" and "It takes a dozen exposures before any child likes any new food!" and "I don't want him to starve!" and "I don't want every meal to be a battle."

Well, I'm here to tell you that you've got yourself in a power struggle and you need to stop.  Now.

To the excuses, I say #1 - most of the picky eaters I see are well beyond their toddler years, #2 - it has never taken any child a dozen exposures to like chicken nuggets, or macaroni and cheese, or chocolate, #3 - no healthy child has ever or will ever voluntarily starve himself to death, and #4 - it's only a battle if you choose to make it a battle.

Yes, it's normal to make special meals for your kids when they're infants.  Obviously your 9 month old isn't going to eat steak and baked potatoes.  But when your child graduates to finger food, you need to gradually wean them onto eating what the family eats (with reasonable modifications for spiciness, texture, etc.).  By the time my kids were two, they were eating whatever I cooked for the entire family every night. 

Here are the food rules in my house:

Breakfast:  Everyone eats what they want if it's cereal (we only buy Multigrain Cheerios in this house - none of that cartoon crap where the box is healthier than the cereal inside!) or bagels or things that are all equally easy, but if I'm making eggs or pancakes or something I make enough for the whole family and everyone is expected to eat what is cooked.  Everyone in my house likes their eggs scrambled, so that's what I do. But if one person wants toast and the other wants a bagel with their eggs, it's no skin off of my nose, so they can select what they prefer.

Lunch:  It's just as easy to make two different kinds of lunch meat sandwich as it is to make one, so since Claire doesn't like ham and MG doesn't like pastrami, I'll get out both.  But if I'm making something hot (mac and cheese, or soup, or something else that requires cooking) everyone gets the same.  I try to make sure that I have at least one item that each kid will eat, and I include a fruit and a vegetable as often as possible - it's not hard to throw the applesauce and the pickles on the table, or to cut up an apple. 

Snacks:  They choose their own, within reason.  I try to make it fruit.

Dinner:  This is the real battleground for most families.  I plan my meals to be a protein, a starch, a fruit and a vegetable as often as possible (I'll admit that I often miss the fruit, mainly because fruit is expensive and applesauce gets boring).  When all four are present, it's easy to think, "Ok, MG likes blueberries so I'll serve those, and Claire doesn't but she likes broccoli, so I'll make that..."  Everyone likes bread, but not everyone likes baked potatoes, so if I know they'll eat the protein I'll make baked potatoes, and if I'm not sure they'll like it (the chicken has a new sauce or whatever) I'll make bread.  It is very rare, cooking this way, that there's nothing on the table that a single child will eat.

I often leave extras, like sauces and condiments, off of things.  So I'll make chicken breasts, but mine will be barbecue and BJ's will be buffalo and the girls will dip theirs in ketchup (and I try not to gag).  I don't mind making burgers or hot dogs for the kids when we have steak, or fish sticks when we have the $7-for-two-servings stuffed salmon from the deli.  But it has to be similar and no more difficult than the adult alternative (I can grill hot dogs and steaks together, and the fish sticks and the salmon bake at the same temperature).  They are still given a bite of ours to try (once they're old enough not to choke on the steak). 

Everyone has to finish their vegetable and their fruit before getting seconds on any item.

Condiments are free, but we try to limit their consumption of ranch dressing, and we buy the HFCS-free ketchup (hooray Heinz!).

If someone has tried everything on their plate, and they truly don't like any of it, they can have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich AFTER I have finished eating.  Not chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese or a happy meal, a boring old PB&J.  In 4 years of feeding toddlers and preschoolers (so far) I have made exactly three PB&J sandwiches.

Two of them were tonight because I made pasta carbonara.  It was one of those boxed meals where you add the chicken.  They'd eaten the same box as fettucini alfredo before, but adding the peas and the bacon did them in.  I didn't follow my own rules, so the pasta dish was the only thing I served.  Well, they both tried it but neither kid liked it, so when I was done eating I made them PB&J and applesauce.  Lesson learned.  But hey, it inspired this post, so it wasn't a total loss.

I didn't make a big huff over it, by the way.  Actually, my exact words were, "Great!  More for me!"  See what I mean about not making it a battle?  Eventually even the stubbornest child is going to get sick of PB&J, and he's going to learn to eat what's put in front of him.  And he'll probably even learn to like some of it. 

* HFCS - I've been looking into this stuff, and the deeper I dig, the scarier it gets.  We have got to keep this poison out of our kids to the greatest extent possible.  All this hard work and research is paying off, by the way - I went shopping for maternity clothes today and the mediums fit.  I bought the large, so I'd have room to grow with the pregnancy, but I can't even tell you how good it felt to be OUT OF THE PLUS SECTION!  Shopping for maternity clothes was such a drag when I was pregnant with the girls and I was wearing a 1x or 2x - there was nothing cute!  But now, well, all I have to say is, BJ had better take away my credit cards!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Have Safety Fatigue

Just in time for our third child to be born, they recall every crib in the known universe.  I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to safely pick a baby up out of a crib without a dropping side - at 5'4" tall short, it's not easy.  I guess I'll get a step stool.  That should be REALLY safe at 3 am.

I've thrown out and replaced all of our plastic sippy cups due to concerns over BPA.  We also bought Pyrex storage containers to replace our plastic ones, and we use them most of the time.

At the grocery store today, I spent $7.50 for a gallon of Horizon Organic Milk.  We also buy our beef from a relative who only uses antibiotics when his cows are ill, and who doesn't use growth hormones, and who feeds the cows grass most of the year.

But I have safety fatigue.  I find myself wanting to rebel against the constant vigilance that is required of us - today's parents.  I am sick to death of having Google News Alerts for product recalls.  I'm pretty sure the bars of my crib were more than 2 inches apart AND the side dropped, and somehow my fat head and I managed to survive.  I remember riding in the back of the station wagon, and in the back window of the car, and somehow I survived.

There's a big part of me that thinks that they do this to get us to buy more stuff.  We threw out the carseat we used with the girls because it was 5 years old, and supposedly the plastic degrades after 5 years.  We threw out the stroller it came with because it, too, had been recalled, and the "fix" was a cheesy velcro and fabric cover that any baby I've ever met would rip off in about 10 seconds.

We've given up high fructose corn syrup entirely because of this video (we were on our way to giving it up because common sense says it's bad, this, and having to throw out everything in our fridge, pushed me over the edge):

I'm sick to death of anxiety.  I'm sick of worrying that everything from the milk my kids drink in the morning to the shampoo I use on their precious little heads at night is going to kill them.

I'm about ready to call it quits - to ignore the recalls and just keep using whatever works - because I don't trust the people in charge, and I don't want to spend the money, and I'm just plain tired of worrying about everything.

How do you decide, as a parent, what to worry about and what to ignore?  Do you follow every safety recall and take away the things that are "dangerous" or do you selectively ignore some?  Do you buy organic?  Where do you draw the lines?

Because seriously, sometimes my line makes me feel like a chump.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's Not Easy to Liveblog a Power Outage

Saturday night I received a severe thunderstorm alert e-mail.  I looked at the weather radar and saw a tiny dot of green near our town.  I thought, "Meh..." and went back to surfing the internet.  A few minutes later, all hell broke loose.

The wind kicked up and the rain started coming down in sheets.  It was so white outside that it looked like it was snowing, only it was rain.  I've never seen anything like it.  The newspaper said later that we'd had 70 mph winds.  Like turkeys, we all stood at the windows and watched rather than taking cover in a windowless area of the house.  In our defense, we had friends over and the four of us plus the 8 of them wouldn't have all fit in the closet under the stairs.  The tornado sirens never activated, anyway.

I heard water running in the family room.  The (locked!) patio doors had blown open, and it was like there was someone standing outside with a firehose.  There was so much water!  If we hadn't been home the laminate floor would've been destroyed.  The gate to our fence blew open, too.  We'll need to replace the hardware at some point.  I sent BJ for towels and we sopped everything up as best we could, then we made sure that the post that goes into the top of the door frame was secure, and that kept the doors shut for the rest of the storm.

While we were busy in the back of the house dealing with the water, the beautiful pine tree in the front of our house was losing the top 1/3 of itself to the wind.  It looked like a giant twisted off the top of the tree and threw it into the front yard.  Thankfully, it didn't hit anything on the way down.

As quickly as it popped up, the storm died down.  It wasn't long before I was outside with the neighbors surveying the damage.  The power was out, of course, and stayed that way until midnight Sunday night.

After 30 hours without power, everything in the fridge was garbage.  BJ and I spent last night inventorying it for the insurance company and throwing it away.  Thank goodness that today's garbage day!  We cleaned the fridge out (it really needed it!) and then went to the store to get essentials - ketchup, ranch, coffee creamer, eggs, milk, etc.  I'm glad to report that the 1/4 beef we have in the freezer survived (again!). 

The kids are up at their Grandmother Diana's.  She had planned to come down Monday so I could work, but we didn't have power most of Sunday, so we arranged to meet halfway and I sent the kids home with her for the duration of the outage. BJ and I will pick them up tonight.

It's amazing what we take for granted.  We honestly don't realize how much we depend on electricity until it's gone!  I would never have survived as a pioneer, that's for sure. 

We're all fine, the house is fine, the cars are fine, and we're grateful that the insurance company will replace what we lost to spoilage.  So now you know what I've been up to since my last post!

This is post #1501 on this blog, which blows my mind.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Buckle up, it's time for a rant. 

Mary Grace and Claire have been enrolled in swimming lessons at the local municipal pool for the past two weeks.  They have gone every day for 25 minutes to learn to blow bubbles in the water.  Last night MG told us that today was their "party," because it's the last day of the session, and that they needed to bring snacks. 

We thought that she was confused.  Surely there's no need to bring snacks for a 25 minute class at a pool, right?  I mean, seriously.  We can't go 25 minutes without eating?  The class is from 9 - 9:25 am.  They just had breakfast for God's sake.  We figured that she learned at preschool that party = snack, and we chose to not send a snack.

BJ just texted me and said that MG was right, they were supposed to bring a snack today.


Snack was the hardest part of preschool for me.  I understand that some kids don't get breakfast, and so it might make sense for those kids to get a snack in the morning between breakfast and lunch.  Most of those kids, however, don't go to our preschool.  If parents can't afford breakfast for their kids, how are they going to pay for preschool that costs $75 a month?  Preschool only runs from 9 - 11:30 am.  It's not like the average kid in our fairly affluent town is going to starve to death if they eat breakfast at 8 and then lunch at noon and nothing in between!  And if there is a kid in the class who is at risk, they could make special arrangements for him instead of feeding the whole class daily. 

However, the school disagrees, so every day we had to have a snack.  Fine, whatever.  I didn't want to become that mom over this. I've got 18 years of being that mom in my future, why start over snack?

A cupcake for Fat Tuesday - coincidence?
But you should have seen some of the cupcakes that kids brought for their birthdays and half birthdays to eat at 11 am!  How am I supposed to teach my kids about healthy eating if they're getting a 500 calorie cupcake for elevensies?  (I'm not kidding - the average frosted cupcake has 500 calories - look it up.  When you're 3 or 4 years old, that's 1/2 to 1/4 of your recommended daily intake - and seriously, 2000 calories a day for a 4 year old seems awfully high to me).

Mary Grace always saved at least half of her snack to share with Claire (awwww!), so I didn't worry too much about her overeating, but for plenty of other kids, overeating is a serious, serious problem.  One third of our nation's children are overweight. 

Look, I understand that everyone needs a treat once in a while.  I understand that breaking the rules and eating cake for breakfast every now and then makes for good memories.  I understand that eating junk and not giving a rip is part of what makes childhood fun and special.  They have their whole lives to eat salads, why start now?  (Actually, because Claire likes them and orders them in restaurants, that's why, but that's another post).  But when we can't celebrate the tiniest, most insignificant milestone (like finishing a two freakin' week swimming class) without eating something, I think we've got a problem.  When we get treats all the time, for every little thing, they cease to be special.

This isn't what I want for my kids.
The thing is, when you're a kid and you're only eating 1000 or 1500 calories a day, you can't let a cupcake be 500 of them.  You need fruits and vegetables and protein and nutrients and not empty calories full of high fructose corn syrup and transfats to make up the vast, vast majority of your diet.  Otherwise you're going to look like the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Kid by third grade!  And SO MANY parents are letting their kids drink soda, or unlimited amounts of juice...  These kids can't afford this institutionalized ........ (sound of needle being ripped off of a record).

OK, BJ just got home with the kids and their "goodie bags," which contained:
  • A juice box
  • Three homemade cookies
  • A snack-sized package of Scooby Doo graham cracker snacks
  • A snack-sized package of Mini-Oreos
  • Cantaloupe
  • A Tootsie Roll

And now BJ and I are the bad guys because we aren't letting them dive in head first.  He let them eat the cantaloupe and the (small) Tootsie Roll while they were there.

It's going to have to start with us.  We, as parents, are going to have to be the bad guys and we're going to have to say, "Enough is enough!  They don't need a snack during a 2-1/2 hour class!  They don't need a party after finishing a 2 week class!  And if you want to have a reward - fine, have a party, but don't center it around food!  Give them a coupon for free admission to the pool, instead.  That makes a hell of a lot more sense than giving them a 750 calorie bag of junk food after a class that their parents enrolled them in to promote physical fitness!"

We're going to have to demand that the government stop double-subsidizing garbage (first subsidizing the farmers who grow the corn to make the HFCS, then giving the poor food stamps and allowing them to buy soda full of the poison).  Why don't they subsidize apples?  Or broccoli? 

I've had it.  I was ready to call the people in charge of the swim class and give them a piece of my mind, but BJ pointed out that we have the option to opt out of the optional swimming classes.  Fine.  He's right.  We'll vote with our wallets, both with the classes and at the grocery store.  Because I love my kids I will continue to be the bad guy.  And I'll hope that they'll understand when they're the only kids in their third grade class who can walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This Baby is Delicious!

Baby Gozer is the size of a naval orange. 

You may not know it if you haven't had a baby since the advent of the internet, but on most of the e-mails and websites that track fetal development from conception to birth, they compare the baby to fruits and vegetables.

I don't know why.

It's funny, though, how far some websites will go to avoid the produce cliche.  Here's the list, in order from 4 weeks on, from one of the ones I read...

This week the baby is the length of a....
Period (the punctuation kind).
Sesame Seed.
Tic Tac.
Martini olive (not that you get to see one of those until 2 years from now when the kid's weaned).
Brazil nut.
Starbucks sized sugar packet.
Vienna sausage.
Nutter butter cookie.
Flip phone (so THAT'S where I left my phone...).
Kit Kat.
Mascara tube.
Baked potato.
Deli pickle.
6" sub sandwich.
Can of Red Bull (can't have that either).
Bottle of (root) beer (oh, now they're just teasing me).
Package of Oreos (and they wonder why women gain 82 pounds).
Harry Potter book.
Foot long Chicago style hotdog.
Elementary-school recorder.
Burp cloth.
Pot roast (HAHAHAHA!)

An amusement park Churro (???).
Loaf of bread.
Britney Spears' Yorkshire Terrier, London (I can't make this stuff up).
Miniskirt (either these authors wore seriously slutty skirts, or they had seriously tall babies).
Pair of above-the-knee boots (to go with last week's skirt, I guess - hope they don't have spike heels!)
Collarbone-length pearl necklace (complete with hint about push present - isn't that special?)
American Girl doll (yikes, that's big.  I'm glad actual babies are squishy.)
Sheet cake (I hope they mean a half sheet cake and not a whole one!)
Breadbox (does anyone actually HAVE a breadbox?)
Your average longmouth bass (snort!!).
Duffle bag.
Large rabbit.
Baby (thank goodness it wasn't born last week, I'm allergic to rabbits!)

Baby is the size of a Kit Kat, huh?  Sounds like a good snack to me.  I can't wait for Oreo week!


Nobody paid me to write this post, and nobody's going to pay me when you buy these shoes, but since I love you and I want you to be happy, you have to go right now and buy yourself a pair of these:

Here's the link.  They only come in whole sizes, so go up a size if you wear a half size (like I do).  They'll still fit.  Mom and I both have bad feet, and these feel fantastic.  My sister, who has more typical feet, also likes them.  I was nervous about ordering shoes online, but they're awesome.

If you haven't already, sign up for their mailing list and wait for the 20% off coupon before you order.

This is my first pair of Crocs.  I had to wait for them to get cute.  It was worth the wait.

Oh hey, they're cheaper at Amazon if you don't want to sign up for the mailing list, and I'll get a buck if you click through this picture and order them:

You won't be sorry!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I me'am Claire
One of the fun things about having a 3 year old is the secret language that they come up with naturally as they try to figure out the weirdness of English.  Here are a few examples of the Clairisms we hear daily that may require a bit of translation for anyone who doesn't live here...

I me'am - I am - Claire says this so consistently, it's so much a part of her everyday speech, that I'm really going to miss it when she outgrows it.  She'll also say, "Here me'am," when playing hide and seek.  The construction makes more sense here - she's just got her "I's" and "me's" mixed up.  And so when she says "I me'am" she's hedging her bets and using both.

Formiss - forget - This one took me a while to figure out, but the construction makes sense.  Before she goes to sleep she'll say, "Don't formiss the hug!  Don't formiss the kiss!"  Well, when you forget something, you don't get it, you miss it.  I actually think this is the smartest Clairism.  So, instead of saying, "Don't forget the hug," it's "Don't formiss the hug," every night.  Sweet!

Ladies and gentlemen!  I proma resent... - Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to present - I just think it's so cute that she can fluently say the word "gentlemen," but she hasn't been about to figure out "proud to present."  She's got it close, down to just a couple of missing syllables...  She'll stand on the stairs and do puppet shows, and she'll be "proma resent" the main character.

Lasterday - yesterday - "We went to the library lasterday."  Makes more sense than yesterday.  Yesterday wasn't the yest day, it was the last day.  What's a yest? 

We didn't correct these sorts of things with Mary Grace, and she has already sorted them out by 4-1/2 - most of them are long gone - so I don't worry that Claire won't ever be able to speak the King's English if I don't correct these now.  It's a normal part of speech development, as far as I'm concerned, and a very cute phase.  So many of the phases they go through at 2 and 3 are the opposite of cute - I hate to rush her through the one that's adorable.

What do your kids say that's too cute to correct?

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Very Medical Day

I had my second prenatal appointment with my midwife yesterday.  Everything is great.  I've actually lost a pound (not that I'm trying - I'm eating when I'm hungry, and I'm eating whatever sounds good, it's just how things have worked out).  My blood pressure was an unprecedented 104/58.  The baby's heartrate was 160 bpm.  Old wives will tell you that means it's another girl, but I don't know.  This pregnancy has been so different from the other two, I'm thinking boy.

We'll find out in December. 

Here's a tip - don't wear a dress to a prenatal appointment.  Normally when you wear pants (or a skirt) and a shirt, they just lift your shirt to listen to the heart.  Um, duh.  How many dozen prenatal visits have I been to?  But I swore off of pants (everything squeezes and makes me want to throw up - or it's too big and they fall off) and have been wearing dresses almost exclusively, and it made the whole heartbeat-listening part a little awkward. 

I really, really like my midwife.  Do you know anyone who just makes you feel calm without saying a word?  She has that quality.  It'll be good for me during the birth, because I tend to be high strung (I know this comes as a complete shock to most of you).  I'm really excited about having a midwife this time.  So far she's on board with all of our preferences (inducing but otherwise a natural birth, leaving the hospital after 12 hours if the baby and I are both fine, etc.).  I told BJ that I just don't want to spend the whole pregnancy fighting, and it doesn't look like I'll have to, which is a big relief. 

We're donating the baby's umbilical cord blood for Huntington's disease research (and if you're pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, by all means e-mail me and I will give you more information about it).  We did this with Claire's too.  Mary Grace was born too quickly, and we ended up leaving the collection kit in the car (I was HUGELY disappointed).

BJ took my car yesterday and I took his, because he had the kids.  I had left the paperwork for the donation in my car, though, so it wasn't where I was.  After I picked the kids up from school I ran it back down to the midwife's office (ALLLLL the way across town near the hospital). I could've waited, I mean, we have 5 months, but I didn't want to lose it in the 8 weeks between now and when I see my midwife again (next time I'll see my backup OB).

So everything proceeded pretty normally, I went into my usual afternoon coma and the kids watched a movie. Then, just after dinner, Claire stuck a bead up her nose.  I tried to get it out with a Q-tip, but I could barely see it and I was terribly afraid to push it in farther, so we went to the ER.  She was freaking out at home, but calmed down enough to fall asleep in the car (told you it was allllll the way across town).  Sleep was exactly what she needed, though, because as we were standing at the desk talking to the admitting nurses, I saw a bit of the bead peeking out of her nostril.  I held the other side of her nose and she blew and out it came - before we paid for the ER visit!  HOORAY!!  She must have relaxed and stopped crying long enough for the tissue swelling around the bead to go down. 

Right after she blew it out I grabbed our insurance card off of the counter and said, "Quick, let's get out of here before they charge us!"  Heee...

We managed to get the kids back home and to bed only a little bit later than usual.

That was our first ER visit since MG had rotavirus in February of 2007.  Not bad for a family with small kids.

What have your kids stuck in their noses?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summertime, and the Fad Diets are Back

Seems like everyone on Facebook is on some kind of fad diet.  There's the cabbage soup thing, and the lemonade "cleanse."  These diets are sooooo bad for you.  You can't live on lemonade and coffee.  Your body needs fiber, for one thing, which is not found in lemonade.  The cabbage soup diet isn't bad (at least you're getting some fiber and some vegetables) until you consider the amount of flatulence you're going to experience.  Seriously, that much cabbage and onion would wreck me.

A friend of mine was in the habit of drinking lots of water with lemon (instead of soda, etc.) and her dentist told her that it was ruining her teeth - it's too acidic.  I can only imagine what a dentist or a doctor would say about a lemonade cleanse (I'm deliberately not linking to either one of these diets).

If you want to cleanse your body, drink lots of water, eat lots of food in its natural state - mostly plants.  Don't eat things out of the middle of the grocery store - like Oreos and cereal.  Stick to the stuff on the perimeter - produce, meats, dairy, or things like oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, etc. that are un-fooled-around-with.

If you want to lose weight, try  I lost 50 pounds before I got knocked up, and I ate real, normal food.  I ate lots of chicken and lots of vegetables, in much smaller portions than I was used to, but I gradually tapered down from the way I used to eat to a much healthier number of calories. 

Here's the Amy diet - for free, as opposed to most diets out there.  This is what I ate in a typical day.  It was healthy, filling, nutritious, and it WORKED.  It's important to note that I measured out servings and weighed things - especially meats.  I avoided cheese almost entirely.

Breakfast:  Oatmeal (made with half milk, half water) with natural sweetener (honey), a piece of fruit, coffee.  Or an omelet made with one egg and one egg white, and a whole bunch of veggies, a piece of toast with spray butter, and coffee.

Lunch:  A big salad with as little dressing, cheese, and croutons as possible.  Or a bowl of Progresso light soup and a half a sandwich (light bread, no cheese, no mayo - use mustard instead).  I ate a lot of those Morningstar Farms meat substitute thingies.  Often I had a chicken breast sandwich from Subway with lots of veg and a half a bag of baked chips.  Fruit.  Water.

Dinner:  Load up on cooked veg, go easy on starch - 1/2 cup serving of rice or potatoes, small baked potatoes with spray butter being the best option, 4 ounces (MEASURE IT) of chicken, fish, or beef.  The average chicken breast you buy in the store weighs 8 oz.  You must measure and weigh it, or you're getting twice what you think you are.  Fruit. 

Dessert:  Frozen yogurt almost every night.  You have to live a little.

In between I drank water and iced tea with a TINY bit of sugar.  I tried to avoid chemicals (except that damn spray butter, and my Coffeemate creamer - I'm an addict to those two, but no Nutrasweet, etc.). 

You don't need to follow some "plan" to lose weight.  You just need to eat sensibly and watch your portions.   You don't need to drink some bizarre concoction to cleanse your body - water cleanses your body.  Fiber cleanses your body.  Your body isn't meant to be clean inside, anyway.  If you want to cleanse yourself of toxins, stop eating them!  Don't drink diet soda or eat things you can't pronounce.

I'm pretty much still eating this way, except with larger portions for the baby.  I was down to 1450 calories a day, and you can't sustain a pregnancy on that. 

Please don't fall into the Fad Diet trap.  There is no such thing as a quick fix.  You have to change your eating habits permanently to enjoy permanent weight loss.  If you do manage to survive a lemonade cleanse and you then begin to eat the way you used to, any weight you lost is going to come right back - probably in exactly the same amount of time that it took you to lose it.  Science has proven that yoyo dieting like that is especially bad for you.

Just don't.  Be smarter than the hype. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Awesome seats!!

We had amazing seats for the fireworks, and a good parking spot to boot. What a great evening! It'll be even better when the kids are old enough to stay up this late without getting cranky. When is that? 10 years from now?

On the plus side, we aren't even 5 feet out of our great parking spot, and Claire is already asleep!

The Citizens Band did a very moving tribute to the armed forces. They played each military branch's hymn, and asked vets to stand as their branch's hymn was played. It was my favorite part of the concert, except for the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The choir did the same arrangement that we did in high school. One of my all-time favorites.

For a day that began with no plan, this ended up being pretty great. Hope your holiday was similarly pleasant, and that everyone has the same number of fingers they woke up with!

Your seats probably weren't this good

We're with the band. Heehee!

Happy Independence Day

Hope you got good seats at your local community event, too!

Friday, July 2, 2010


I'm sitting here reading my e-mail, and the kids are playing on the floor.  They're running around in circles and laughing like maniacs.  They collapse on the floor in a pile of pink princess jammies and uncombed hair.  Claire wraps her arms around Mary Grace's neck and says, "I will love you forever and ever and always."