June 24, 2010

The One About the Cat

I spend most of my days searching the corners of my brain for creativity that will satisfy the NEVER-ENDING request from my daughter to, "Tell me a story, Mommy!" Sometimes we take breaks from the world of fantasy but both my husband and I decided it's easier to just intersperse our conversations with flights of fancy than it is to say no. When I run out of fairytale-style stories, I just throw a few real life stories into the mix. That's where today's story originates.

As some of you know, I grew up in a full house. Five girls, mom, grandma (two different ones at different times), dad, a slew of friends (welcome any time), plus a dog (girl) and cat (girl - oops! - kittens) made for a lot of fun, craziness and - *ahem* - DRAMA at our house. We were also known for constantly running late, which my mom always tried to make up for by driving like a bat out of *somewhere hot* pretty much all the time.
  Not the actual wagon - but you get the idea...

One morning, as we raced to grade school in our super cool yellow Country Squire station wagon with the fake wood sticker on the sides (embarrassingly named by my mother the "Rotten Banana"), we found ourselves getting lots of attention. As you can imagine, riding in this amazing vehicle did not usually fill us with feelings of coolness but on this particular day, people waved and smiled as we passed. We waved and smiled back as my mom (skillfully?) careened down the road toward the light that marked the halfway point to school. There, to mom's chagrin, we had to stop for a red light. We stopped next to a firetruck, which captured our attention, of course. To our delight, the firemen not only noticed us, they also waved and smiled at us.

Then, we realized they weren't just waving at us. They were gesturing - excitedly - toward the back of our bus-length swagger wagon and out-right LAUGHING at us! We looked toward the back of our car - and saw OUR CAT clinging (for dear life) to a tiny ridge on the outside of the side window. For over a mile, she'd managed to hang on, despite mom's Dale Earnhardt Jr. imitation. Mom then demonstrated her less frequently used skill of pulling over gently and we carefully rescued our poor, traumatized cat from her perch. Needless to say, we did not make it to school on time but we definitely had a good excuse!

This is one of my daughter's favorite stories - and it always makes me laugh to remember how we were so excited that those firefighters were waving back at us. We thought we were so cool - and they were just trying to save a life!

June 5, 2010

Cool giveaway on Walk Slowly Live Wildly blog!

Good morning everyone. :)

Sara Jenssen over at Walk Slowly Live Wildly - is doing a great giveaway on these cool Emily Falconbridge camera straps. So, if you love taking pics and want a pretty strap to keep your camera around your neck - check it out here.

June 1, 2010

The Voracious Appetites of Toddlers (and Preschoolers)

Lately, it seems like I'm spending all my time cooking or preparing food for my kids. Part of this is my choice since pretty much everything we eat is homemade. It takes time to prepare real, nutrient rich food! But in the last few weeks, my kiddos seem to have gotten a lot more hungry. So, I've been trying to find ways to get more calories in them while still keeping to our healthy lifestyle. My biggest challenge is actually balancing all the fruit and veggies they eat with, um, more "bulky" food. We've had a few days lately where they clearly had waaaayyy too much fiber in their diet. Hopefully, I'll get it figured out soon!

Here's how a typical day goes for us. Need I say...Everything is either organic or grown naturally and locally as often as possible? :)

Eggs, toast and some kind of fruit like an apple or banana.
Steel cut oatmeal (no sugar - they prefer a little salt and butter) with raisins
Plain organic yogurt with honey

Green smoothie - usually involves apple, pear, banana, frozen mango or strawberries and LOTS of spinach. We use water as the liquid and no sweetener. The fruit is super sweet and it tastes awesome!

PBJ sandwiches
Homemade pizza (with a lot of veggies and goat cheese)
Cheese quesadillas.
Cut up veggies, goat cheese and other finger foods

Usually more fruit of some kind but sometimes special "cookies" that involve mainly oats, honey, eggs, veggies like carrots and zucchini, apples, raisins, nuts etc.
or popcorn with trail mix stuff

Amazing stuff made by my husband - lots of veggies with meat or lentils.

When I write it out, it sounds like so much food. But, they only eat a little of everything and they DO-NOT-STOP-GOING all day! Plus, I believe in teaching them to listen to their bodies when it comes to food. I refuse either to force them to eat everything on their plates or to refuse them food when they're truly hungry. That said, I'm not into wasting food - so if they don't finish everything and they're full, I'll put their leftovers in the fridge for a later snack. Also, if my oldest is too "full" to finish veggies, she definitely doesn't get dessert - even though it's usually made with fruit.

Anybody have other healthy snack ideas for growing munchers? Please share!
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