Tuesday, May 27, 2008

play n learn

I feel like this has been a real 'mom blog' lately, with tips and ideas, and just everyday mom doings. Oh well, I'm a mom. I have this great "play and learn" group of kids and moms that Boo is involved in. She loves her friends. I love the experiences she gets, from train rides and water fountains, to painting on cookie pallats with pudding, to crafts.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

sisters by choice...

I like the quote, or some variation of it:
"Sisters by chance, friends by choice" . . .then . . . . . .I was about to use it with these pictures. . .but. . . I got one of those mom feelings, the kind you have a hard time explaining . . .

. . .that said to me, and I have felt it before: this is not chance . . .

. . . because I know where we are all family. . . and I know how important is the gift to choose.

Monday, May 19, 2008

to cry or not to cry...mom tip continued...

...before I became a new mom, a trusted friend told me about her experiences in letting her child cry himself to sleep. She started early and he wasn't ready. She figures around 6 months is a good age. She gave me some pointers, it made sense to me, and I decided it was what I would do someday with my kids. I was so scared the first time I let Boo cry herself to sleep. How long would she cry? Would we let her have her binky? Could we handle it? Was it good for her? It took 30 min the first day. 15 the next. She doesn't want us around at all when she falls asleep these days.

Little Bay was more stubborn, she still cries at times when we put her in bed. Her first time was probably an hour and a half of her screaming off and on. I don't mean hysterical, scared crying, I mean screaming at us. She was plain mad.

Both my kids, most of the time, sleep very well. 7 to 7. Both put themselves to sleep. Both can comfort themselves at their age level. And are pretty happy, mellow kids.

When they are old enough. I do the bedtime routine. I put them in bed at the same time nightly. And I check on them on intervals of every 5min, then 10 min, then 15 min. I just check, lay them down, pat their back, say loving words, and leave. Don’t pick them up. Then start all over again 5, 10, 15.

So, my thoughts on crying it out: As parents we have to do a LOT of hard things throughout the life of our kid. Most of the time it's what we deem as best for THEM even though its often the HARDEST on US. (They might see it as harder for them at the time; then, they usually adapt much better and more quickly than we do.). I see letting them cry themselves to sleep in this light. This is one of the first on the list of hard things we do for our kids that seems to me, much better for them in the long run. It's a LOT harder for us than it is for them. Kids cry, they always have and always will, and have lived and have come through it very emotionally sound. WE feel they are dying in there to hear them cry and not immediately answer them. We sit and bite our nails and stare at the clock while they cry…. Then… they go to sleep. The next morning they smile at us and love us. After a few days, less than a week for ANYone I have talked to that really sticks with it, parents see a complete transformation at bed time and sleep time. They snuggle with their comfort object, and if you are as lucky as my sister, they look up at you, grin, and fall asleep immediately. AND, night waking stops, because by then, if they do wake up, they know how to get back to sleep again. It's really an amazing process to watch them go through after you get over the scary, nail biting, phase of how hard it is for US, and start to consider what's best for them.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Zzzzzz.... mom tip

So, lately I've had a couple of friends/family ask, 'how do you put your kids to sleep?' I've also asked the question of others lately as my Boo was switching to a big girl bed and having a hard time (she's doing great now! thanks for the advice!). My kids are pretty good sleepers too. So, for starters 3 things I do (mainly so I remember with future kids! but also cause some of you have actually used my tips and they worked, I love it! It's hard enough to be a mom, we need all the help we can get!).

1-schedule: the kid needs sleep...they are in bed by 7pm after the daily routine.
2-about 6 months of age, I let them cry it out with the every 5,10,15 min check, pat on back, and out the door again! Let me expound on this one a little bit in my next blog...
3-a new little trick I learned, Little Bay wakes earlier than I would like (a little before 7). so lately, before I go to bed, I put a couple of safe toys she really likes and hasn't seen for awhile, into her crib with her. And some new books on Boos bed. So as soon as they wake up, they see them, and I get at least another half hour. nice....zzzzz

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dominican classics

We had a little ethnic night...I made some of my favorites from the Dominican Republic, I found recipes on a site online I liked, let me know if you know better ones!:
fried plantains (platinos fritos)
locrio de pollo (turned out okay, not that authentic flavor though)
mangu (mashed plantains, not my fav)
I miss the real flavor...I might be able to remember it again though...this summer...

Monday, May 12, 2008

touring...high school musical

I forgot to mention below, that while in East High School, we passed by the crew and set having a bit of BBQ in the school cafeteria (on a break, not doing the show). Yep, we saw the 'famous' ones...I don't even know names, but some cute girl, and we walked right by fuzzy-headed guy up there talking animatedly on the phone..."yes, it is a problem!...blah blah blah" I'm sure the life of an actor is a lot of problems, real or imagined. Don't get me wrong, I admire the amount of work put in by these folks.
no, I'm sorry, we honestly are not fans...I think we made it through the first High School Musical by fast-forwarding through the songs...the second as well...but they are filming number three...now...and we snuck around for some pics...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to...

...Little Bay had a birthday! And she wanted very little to do with any of it...
...as you can see from this little video clip... (pause my music playlist first so you can hear this)
For your moms who don't want to overload your kids with sugar on their big day, I use the carrot cake recipe found in the "What to Expect" book. It's all natural and healthy. I find it's so sweet that for the icing, all I do is whip some whipping cream and pour over top. It's not sweet at all and balances it all out nicely...for the kid...I would never eat it...bleck!...but they love it. We sang to Little Bay before dinner started and just gave her the cake for dinner.
Birthday Cake:
Here is my adapted/simplified version that makes one 9 in square pan:
~ 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
~ 1 1/4 cup apple juice concentrate
~ 3/4 cups raisins
~ Vegetable Spray/Shortening
~ 1 cups whole-wheat flour
~ 1/4 cup vegetable oil
~ 2 eggs
~ 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
~ 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
~ 2 Tbsp baking powder
~ 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Prep: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 9 inch square cake pans with waxed paper and spray the paper with vegetable spray/shortening. Or spray pan and coat with flour.
1. Combine the carrots with 1 cup of the juice concentrate in a medium size saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 15 to 20 mins. Puree in a blender of food processor until smooth.
3. Add the raisins and process until finely chopped. Let mixture cool.
4. Combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cups juice concentrate, the oil, eggs, and vanilla; beat just until well mixed. Fold in the carrot puree and applesauce. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
5. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 mins. Cool briefly in the pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. When cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. (this is another great recipe, I just beat some cream here and poured it over)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

sooooo good...

my cousin is visiting. she's from Scotland and we are glad to have her. she brought sweeties...chocolate...and my favorite, maltesers . . . mmmm mmm mmm

brussell sprouts mom tip

I read somewhere about how "mom blogs" are sooo boooring...so, hows this for a boring topic: brussell sprouts. Supposedly Britains least favorite veggie (but not in scotland, isn't that right, O?)
They are pretty good. lots of butter. pepper. cheese. and they are a good source of calcium. why mention them though? well, partly cause I just got Boo to eat some. How? We'll get to that. tried to convince a good friend to eat some, even made her some, and she even told me she tried them...only to find out she hadn't. This entry can be dedicated to her. :)
Well, my point, I got some great advice early on to use if you want your kids to eat veggies:
One: offer veggies always, insist they eat just a little, and eventually they will like them.
Two: you know that time right before dinner/lunch when the kids are just starving? Well, this is the time to sit them down, bless the food, and serve the veggies while you finish the entree. Let them fill up on the veggies. works for us!

touring..flying high...

a day out with the kiddos...watching the planes land
...Saltair and Great Salt Lake salt water taffy...
...this place use to be a mile wide amusement park! Biggest roller coaster in the west. I had no idea. It's in the middle of no-where...fascinating to think about. Anybodies grandparents go? Ours did.