Sunday, June 29, 2008

Clarifying and De-Junking

First off for today, I want to clarify my last post. I wrote it after reading a magazine article about how kids don't have enough time to play and it got my brain churning. I was truly surprised that "lack of free play time" was a big enough issue that I was reading a magazine article about it. I wasn't trying to be negative about kids being in sports and activities but that's totally how I came off. SO sorry about that. I think sports are GREAT for kids to be involved in and as mine get older I'm sure we will. I was just stating why at this time in our family's life, it doesn't make sense for us, time-wise, financially, and otherwise. I'm not saying we CAN'T afford it, but just that it makes more sense for us to spend our cash on things we can all do together. With 3 little ones, schedule is huge. If we get off kilter for more than a day or two, Mommy pays dearly!

Moving right along, I'm on a quest. I have been reading a lot of labels lately and I'm getting serious about removing junk food from my kids diet. Now, I'm not going crazy and outlawing McDonald's or anything but I want our eating at home to be as healthy as possible so that things we have elsewhere are a treat. My first goal is to remove refined sugar from our house. It is SO much harder than I thought. Sugar is in everything! I have started with the basics~all natural peanut butter, applesauce, yogurt, ect. I am trying to get rid of the high fructose corn syrup type sugars. Some things like dried fruit are higher in sugar but are also high in vitamins and fiber. I'm also trying to keep all processed foods to an absolute minimum. Things like hot dogs, Spaghetti Os, and such.

I want to get some breakfast, lunch and snack ideas for summer and for fall lunch boxes. Breakfast is the easiest but snacks are killing me. Once you get past fruit and veggies there is not much left! We already do things like low fat string cheese and yogurt. The big girls love hummus with whole wheat pita chips.

The other big challenge with healthy eating is the cost. It is more expensive to go all natural for many reasons but so far in my experience, the biggest reason is the removal of generic products from the mix. We go through applesauce like crazy here but only Mott's makes a "No Sugar Added" applesauce so I'm stuck.

So throw some ideas at me! What healthy snacks do your kids love? What healthy options are good for lunch boxes? Do you have budget friendly tips?

Friday, June 27, 2008

If Play Is the Work of Childhood, How Come None of My Kids Gets a Paycheck?

"Children today do not have enough time to play."

"As difficult as it is, we must encourage unstructured free play for our kids."

Am I the only one who finds these quotes a bit, um, nuts?! All my kids DO is play. Not one of 'em did a lick of work today. Not one of 'em earned a paycheck. Not one of 'em did a single thing to earn their place at the dinner table. They are a bunch of free-loaders.

I have never been a joiner-type mom. My girls have never taken dance. No one in our house plays soccer. They wouldn't know a T-ball if it hit them in the face. Gymboree is a store we shop at not a place to have "Mommy and Me" class at. I don't like chaos and all these activities would seem to bring a whole lot of unwanted chaos to my world. I like days at home. I like all my ducks in a row.

My other issue is money. All these things cost lots and lots of cash. I don't want to spend my cash until I am totally convinced that it is something they will truly love and benefit from. Stalin-esque mom that I am, I also require them to kick in some funds for an activity. Yep. Caroline is forking over some of her allowance for this week's golf lessons. I'll probably let 'em hit VBS for free being that it's spiritual enrichment and all that jazz.

So back to unstructured free play. Um, I guess I'm a good mom cuz I spend most of my day saying, "GO PLAY!"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's a Garage SALE Not a Garage GIVE AWAY

I survived Day One of my garage sale. Heck, I thrived on Day One! I cleared just under $1000 and I am pretty cleaned out. People were buying things as Tim pulled them out of the basement. My glider that has rocked four babies~2 of whom had reflux~sold as we carried it out the front door. The funnest part was by lunchtime I had people showing up telling me their friends were calling them to come to my sale. Hee, hee. I'm famous.

Lady #1~How much for the glider?

Me~Um, $45?

Lady #1~Sold. Just keep walking it to my truck.

Me~Okie dokie.

The one thing I hate? The barter. I do make offers when I go garage sale-ing. If my pile is $12 I will offer $10. I had a lady this morning and it goes something like this:

Lady #2~Can you add me up? (As she drops about 15 outfits at my feet.)

Me~Sure. Add, add . . .$48.

Lady #2~Will you take $10?

Me~Uh, no. I'll take $45.

Lady #2~Well, all I have is a $20. Will you take $20.

Me~No, I'll take $45. You can come back Saturday afternoon and I might take $30.

Lady #2~Fine. (All huffy.) Here. (shoves $45 at me.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Evidently, It IS a Toy

My sweet baby boy is a man. He has discovered his winkie. Last week at a routine diaper change, his chubby little hand accidentally ran into the member and The Boy broke into a huge grin. Now any time he can, he shoves both chubby little hands into his Manland to play. He giggles. He squeals with delight. He yanks, pulls, and twists. I get a little green just thinking about it.

Friday, June 13, 2008


1. Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves~Cher
2. Dead Man's Curve~Jan and Dean
3. Leader of the Pack~Whoever sang it?!
4. Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun~Julie Brown
5. Mr Roboto~Styx

1. I don't have to get dressed til lunchtime.
2. Caroline is here to play with her sisters.
3. It's warm.
4. I don't have to remember to read 900 papers every night.
5. School lunches.

1. Who else will I talk to at 7:30 am?
2. She gets me, man.
3. She doesn't laugh at my strange quirks.
4. She reminds me that my house really isn't that small. :-)
5. She goes shopping with me in the "backroom"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wearing Her Wooden Shoes

My conversation with Caroline this evening while listening to the Sox game.

Caroline~How many people in baseball are named Cabrera?

Mommy~Lots. In the Spanish speaking world it is like. . .

Caroline~Van Drunen?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Preschoolers and Baseball Do Not Mix

We took the girls to the White Sox game today. THAT was an experience. Some dreams were fulfilled and some went unrequited. Amelia was begging to leave in the top of the 2nd inning and Greta slept from the 4th to the 6th. Yep, you read that right. She slept. Not even Alexsi Ramierez's 3 run shot complete with fireworks could wake her up. It was Kids Day so the girls got to meet some players and get lots of "phonographs" (as Amelia referred to it as!)

Too bad Tim and Wyatt aren't in the pic~this would make a great Christmas card! Well, at least Mark Buehrle and I look good!
You can't see his face but at this moment Caroline's dreams are coming true~Mark Buehrle is signing her jersey! Other girls dream of meeting Miley Cyrus, mine dreams of baseball players. She was positively star struck.Greta on the other hand was not. She asked every player she saw, "Is you Bobby?" Lucky for her, they either laughed or didn't speak English. Unlucky for her, no one could point her to her beloved Bobby.

Ah, the ballpark hot dog. At least Tim got Greta's order of "plain" correct. Somehow my request of "Polish with onions" was heard as "hot dog with mustard." I hate mustard. Always have.

Just plain pre-nap cuteness.

Amelia was true to form. She either loved something or wanted to go home. She cried when she heard AJ wasn't signing today but perked right up when she got a bottle of Gatorade. She was too hot, she was too cold, it was wet, it was boring and on and on and on. . .Nighty, night.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

New Summer Resolutions

So tomorrow is the last day of school. Yay! I think. . . I am so excited about sleeping in~if you can call 7:15 sleeping in~and not having to go go go. I am not so sure I want 4 kids in my face ALL. DAY. LONG. This is the first summer in eons that we are FREE! It's been a long time coming! Summers past. . .

2002 My mom died in June so that was kinda a crazy summer.
2003 Amelia was born in June
2004 I found about I was expecting Greta in early June and spent most of that summer puking and sleeping on the couch.
2005 Greta was a teeny baby and I was post-partumly messed up.
2006 We moved in the middle of July.
2007 Wyatt was born in July.

SO 2008 is going to non-stop fun and games! I think. . . This is my solemn vow.

I will take the kids to the library once a week.
I will cook a real dinner 4 times a week.
I will do a fun craft/activity with the girls once a week.
I will say "yes" to more sleepovers.
We will all make our beds every day.
I will make a new chore chart next week. (Stay tuned for that post)
I will put sunscreen on everyone every day!
We will have ice cream for dinner once.
We will play in the sprinkler.
I will make lots of healthy snacks so we don't eat junk all summer.

Check back in Sept. . .

Monday, June 02, 2008

Jesus & Joanna, Sunburns and Plaid

We were at my niece Joanna's Profession of Faith all day on Sunday. At the risk of sounding totally cheesy and old, she's growing up so fast!! Joanna was born right before Tim and I got married. She was my first niece and I had so much fun with her! She's almost 15 now and so pretty! And TALL! She's a sweet girl and totally lets my girls look up to her. They think she walks on water so hopefully she'll be the perfect teenager!
Yes, I am aware that sun causes sunburn. Ouch. I was so comfy in my chair at the party after church yesterday. Wyatt was sleeping in the house and the girls were playing in the barn. I was so relaxed and now I'm paying for it. Ouch again.My children have been taken over by a strange plaid virus.