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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Boost Your Protein Intake With Greens

I read this in Health in High Heels. I thought it was very helpful. If you need to boost your protein intake then take this advice!!

Tip: Handle your craving for protein

If it's protein you're looking for, then your best bet is definitely going to be found in in crispy, fresh greens and sprouts.

Since sprouts are up to 35% protein and greens like spinach are between 40 and 50% protein, increasing the quantity and quality of greens in your diet will more than adequately meet your ongoing protein needs.

Green smoothies are our recommended way of consuming sufficient greens. Just take your favorite fruit smoothie and add any of the following: kale, chard (take out the stalky part), spinach, lettuce, parsley, mint or celery.

Contrary to popular belief there is absolutely no problem mixing these leafy greens (or celery) with fruit. Enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Adventures in Parenting a 13 Year Old

Oh Judah. My Judah. She would have to be the funniest and funnest person that I've ever met. Look at that sweet face, cute hair and nerdy glasses. I just love her. Just so you have a little peek into my world I'll share a funny Judah story.

A few days ago Judah asked if she could use my credit card to update her iTunes account. I completely trust her, so of course I let her take the card. She came back to me only a few minutes later saying that she couldn't get it to work. She said she had tried it a few times and something wasn't matching up. I checked what she had, tried a twice and decided we'd have to come up with an alternate solution.

The next morning I stuck the littles in the car and headed to Target to pick up a few essentials. On our adventure through Target I let Havah pick a snack and begin to munch on it. We made it to the check out, but when I went to pay my card wouldn't work. I found another method of payment (there was no getting out of paying - we had already consumed the snacks!) and headed to the car. I called the bank once in the car. The kind lady on the other end said that I had exceeded my limit of charges for a 24 hour period. I wracked my brain, but couldn't think of anything that I'd purchased in the past day except maybe some gas. She then asks if I purchased anything from iTunes. Well...yes...but it didn't work. Apparently it did. Okay, well that can't be the problem. Judah tried it a "few" times and I tried twice. She counted the list of charges from iTunes. Twenty-five charges! Count 'em and weap! We purchased one song 25 times!! Wow. That's a lot of Justin Beiber.

I contested the charges and waited for a few more hours to pass before making any more purchases. When I talked to Judah later that day she told me that, yes, she had tried maybe 20 or so times. :) Her persistence warms my heart. When she sets her mind to something she will not give up without a fight.

Lesson learned, when 13 year old asks for credit card supervision is necessary.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Mothering: Things You Might Not Expect

I am expecting my third and I have two teenagers. I am by no means an expert, but I do have lots of opinions.

This is for the new mother, the friend of a mom with small children and for spouses that aren't around all day. There are so many changes that you can't be prepared for when you become a parent. There is so much that you have to learn as you go... Little surprises. That's the nice way to say little (or big) smacks in the face. Here's one of em: Play Dates.

The idea with play dates is that your kids are going to get some fun play time with other children and the attending parent will get some quality time with another adult. Nice idea, but not reality. Welcome to your new reality. Play dates go more like this:
*Kids play, parents chat.
*Kid steals toy from friend, parents must deal with it.
*Parents return to postponed conversation. Now what was I saying?
*Kid needs to go potty, parent takes them.
*Parents return to fragmented conversation.
*I need a snack.
*I need a drink!
*My hands are dirty.
*That's my cup! Give it back.
* He hit me!!
*Parents give up on conversation and just manage children.
* Family packs up and leaves at the end of the play date. Kids have been entertained, but are now tired and possibly grumpy. Parent leaves possibly feeling disappointed because of the lack of connection.

Play dates are opportunities to parent together. You get to parent your kids while I parent my kids. We just get to do it in the same room. There's always the possibility of a few full paragraph exchanges, but your first priority is still your own children...not your own desires. Did that sound harsh?

Parenting is invasive. It takes over every part of your life and it takes up most of your brain power.

So here are some of my strategies for optimizing play dates. Of course, they are just what work for me currently and I may be humbled in my parenting strategies on any given day. :)

1. I do my best to train my children to be kind and obedient at home. It makes play dates much less work for if my child has already learned to share, some basic personal boundaries (don't hit and extended hugs aren't always appreciated) and to respond to your direction. Of course, younger children don't always learn this as easily, but then the play time may become learning time for that child.

2. Have a plan. When we get to our destination we play and have fun for about 1/2 to 2/3 of the time. When conflict begins to present itself (because it almost always does) deal with it accordingly then move on to snack time. If little ones have food in their hands they aren't touching each other and they aren't talking which maximizes the adult talk time. It also keeps blood sugars stable, little tummies full and bad moods at bay (most of the time).

3. I almost NEVER take my eyes off my children. If we are at a friends house then of course I leave them to play independently, but if we are at the park, zoo, local farm, or the book store then I don't let them out of my sight. New environments are always "growth opportunities". What that really means is they are going to find new ways to get into trouble. Oops I didn't know that I shouldn't lay in that puddle, tear the page out of that book, dump my drink on Caden... you get the idea. I'm keeping the conflict down to a minimum. If they get too out of hand it is usually my fault. Also, I don't want strangers preying on my darling little ones. If I can see them then I don't have to worry. There are times when Havah will be out of my sight for a moment, but I try to keep it at just that. A moment.

4. Conversations take a back seat to my children. I require my children to play with their friends or independently while there is another adult around, but my children are still my first priority. Their needs (which are different than wants) will come before my wants.

5. Pack emergency snacks. I know I mentioned snacks already, but there's regular snacks and then emergency snacks. These could also be substituted with an emergency activity (like a pack of play dough in the diaper bag). If at any time a new mom or tired mom produces tears then most all bets are off. At the first sighting of adult tears do your best to ensure that her (or his) and your children are occupied and safe so you can listen, empathies and lament with this friend in need.

6. Lastly, I play according to naps. I try to get my little ones home as close to their regular nap time as possible. If I push them way past nap time their behaviors have become my fault. I can't expect an exhausted hungry child to be well enough equipped to obey.

Life of fragmented conversations is deflating. It requires a lot of patience. It means you might have to get off the phone to parent. It means you might have to be more direct when talking to someone when you would really rather not be. It means you may have to go home early when everyone else is staying.

So all of that to say...I'm sorry new mother, I'm sorry friend of a friend who has small children, or spouse that gets their ear chewed by a parent who is thankful just to have someone to talk to... We are all suffering together.