Merry Christmas!

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Ah Christmas.  We’ve made it!

Cards are sent, gifts are wrapped and waiting under the tree, the weather is attempting to give us a white Christmas, and everyone is home for the holidays (except for my parents who just left to get that “one last gift”).  Time to relax and enjoy it.

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From my family to yours – wishing you love, joy and adventure the whole year round.  Merry Christmas!

 

 

Picky Eating Chronicles – My #1 Tip for Parents of Picky Eaters

One morning this spring as my son was getting ready for school, I noticed that his hair was wet.  I asked him why and he told me “I had something in it, so Grandma washed it out.”  It was only later that I heard the full story from my mom.  She had gone into the bathroom to shower and found Tyler in there just about ready to cut something “sticky, like a gumdrop” out of his hair (that would have been bad, considering his last cut-my-own-hair incident hasn’t fully grown out yet).  Any guesses on what that sticky thing was?  A fiber gummy vitamin – one he must have hidden in his bed instead of eating it as he told me he had.  *sigh*

That is just the latest in what has been our ongoing battle with our kids’ picky eating habits and our quest to get them to ingest something even partially close to the nutrients they need every day.  I know I’m not alone in this – plenty of children have eating issues of one sort or another and there are a lot of parents out there dealing with their own children’s eating habits with varying degrees of success (and frustration).  It has been a topic of conversation with my friends, family, and other parents many many times.  I have often been tempted to start writing a “Picky Eating Chronicles” series and with our latest brilliant idea (more on that soon!) being put into action this week, it seems like it would be a good time to put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and share what I have learned so far.

Picky Eating #1 Tip for Parents of Picky Eaters

My oldest is 11, and my son is 8.  Both of them started out as fairly good eaters, but right around the time the independence and the Terrible Twos kicked in, so did the picky eating.  I had hoped it was a phase, but it wasn’t.  So I’ve been dealing with this for a number of years at this point, going through cycles of “working on it,” ignoring it or being too busy with other things to think about it much, periods of complete frustration, and more recently, possible food-related health issues for my son (constipation, according to a military doc at the base in NC – whose diagnosis I’m still not fully confidant in).  Over the years I’ve done a lot of reading and research, talked to other parents, and tried a whole lot of different techniques and recipes and ideas and even developed a few of my own.  I will get to most of those in future posts, but my biggest and best tip for parents of picky eaters everywhere is this:

Stay positive and don’t take it personally.

What?  You think I have some sort of magic trick that will turn your child into one that eats all his broccoli overnight? 😉  Naw, that’s not how life works.  But the one thing I do know to be true in life is that our attitude and our expectations are the biggest influence on our happiness and success in every aspect of our lives.  The second you let your child’s appetite (or lack thereof) upset you, you lose.  Dinner can go from a pleasant family event to a battle of wills in no time at all.  Don’t let that happen.  That perfect meal that you spent an hour preparing and were SO convinced your child would love only to find you couldn’t even talk him into taking a single bite? And this was after he pinkie promised that he absolutely WOULD try three bites, even if it didn’t look like he thought it would look?  Or the time you make his absolute favorite thing for lunch (you know the one he requested 3 times in a row last week) only to be informed that he’s “sick of it.”  Or maybe you just spent $6 at a restaurant for a kids’ meal that didn’t get touched at all (because the cheese in the grilled cheese was white instead of yellow?!) and you find yourself swearing you are never going to eat out again.  Believe me, getting upset about it is just not worth it.  Instead of flying off the handle, yelling, making threats, or pulling your hair out remind yourself it’s not you and it’s not the food, your kid is just a little quirky (and stubborn, er opinionated) and that’s ok.

Smile.  Hug him.  And try again tomorrow.

Because you know you love that little bundle of attitude and stubbornness more than life itself and he needs a calm, happy mother (or father) much more than he needs a stomach full of brussels sprouts.

Linking to:  Snickerdoodle Sunday, Merry Monday, Blog Hobnob Link Up, Sundays Down Under, Tutorials and Tips Link Party, Something To Talk About, Idea Box, Made By You Monday, Lou Lou Girls, Pin Me Link Party, Pretty Pintastic Party, BFF Open House, Frugal Friday, Lifestyle Link Up,

April is Here! Did you get fooled?

April First.  I’m not sure where the concept originated (and I’m not curious enough to Google it) but an entire day devoted to tricks and playing pranks on people is…not entirely my cup of tea.  I’m not a prankster.  At.  All.  But I do think there is something to be said for getting out of the normal routine and adding some fun and laughter into life, even if it involves some (harmless!) trickery.  And frankly, when I helped the kids “leprechaun prank” my brother on St. Patrick’s day and then he retaliated by covering their room in a maze of crepe paper and silly string, it made for a really fun day – a day my kids will remember for quite a while.  Can’t pass up another opportunity for that, now can we?  Besides, the kids already talking their grandma into buying them silly string 😉 I will leave most of the April Fooling to the kids and my brother, content to play assistant to their plans as needed.  But running across all those crazy “April Fools Pranks for you kids” type posts on Pinterest the last couple of weeks did put me in the mood to do a little something.  So I pranked their lunchboxes. Last night, with my little guy in tow after a quick round of team soccer photos, we made a last minute stop at the grocery store.  I headed down the candy and cracker isle and let my son pick out a few treats for himself and his sister (is it more diabolical if they unwittingly participate in the trick?).  I tried to direct him in the process to ones with packaging I could easily open and reseal, like those great movie theater-style boxes of candy.  Then after putting the kids to bed, I drug the husband into the kitchen and instructed him to start opening the boxes (carefully! and from the bottom) while I pulled out the healthier food.  Each of the treat containers got an “April Fools!” note and a new item of food, then were resealed with double stick tape (worked perfectly!). IMG_3397 When the kids open up their lunches, they will find this.IMG_3398 When what they really get for lunch is this IMG_3395AI kind of wish I were there to see the looks on their faces.  But I’m sure I will hear all about it when they get home – which will be soon!  Oh wait – I think I just heard my son walk in the door.  I will let you know how the rest of the pranking unfolded later. Happy April Fools!  And as a quote I ran across this morning said – I hope it is filled with laugher and fun. I’d love to hear your favorite trick or plans for today.  I can always use more ideas for next year…