Monday, May 31, 2010

Pool Baby. Beach Baby.

I once took a one-year-old girl to the pool, when I was nannying for the summer. I only lasted one hour, and when I finally got her in her car seat I sat in the car and cried.

My mother would take four children under the age of eight to the pool, all at once, from memorial weekend through labor day. I don't know how she did it! My sister has this ease with children as well. I think my inner control freak gives me so much anxiety I can barely handle the day of "fun" in the sun. Babies run on the concrete and I see a face plant just waiting to happen. They squirm when you apply sunscreen and they end up getting it in their eye. They run for the water but want to be held even though they will drown if you don't! It is a scary experience.

Over the weekend my Mom assured me it is different with your own ducklings then when watching other's children. But if my worries do not subside by the time I have my own brood I told my sister she would be chaperoning pool trips and beach vacations (i.e. babysitting me and my kids).

So this is for all you Mom's out there! Kudos!

Top 5 Tips for taking kids to the beach or to the pool:

1. Apply sunscreen 30 SPF every thirty minutes and do your first round BEFORE you get in the car (Only if 6 months or older - any younger should NOT wear sunscreen)
2. Sun hats for ages 4 and younger. (The younger you have your baby wear a hat the less likely they will be to take it off as they get older)
3. Make it someones job to watch the children at all times. This works great in shifts, but make sure to communicate this clearly to avoid arguments or a losing a child.
4. Avoid dehydration & heat exhaustion by bringing plenty of water for babies, toddlers and kids to drink.
5. Pack healthy snacks. Avoid overly salty and high sugar foods which will just cause kids to crash and can upset tummies. The temptation in the summer time is to snack on junk all day, or buy fries and burgers at the beach club house. Avoid this by packing lunches and snacks in the morning and having them on hand for your crew. Some good examples include baby carrots, bananas, cut up apples, whole grain crackers, peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread, watermelon, grapes, & berries (kids love strawberries, blackberries & blueberries because they are sweet and the perfect finger food).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sick as a Dog.

I remember as a kid loving sick days. Even though I felt crummy my Mother was a stay at home Mom and so it meant I had her all to myself! Oh the love and attention! She would set me up on the couch, make me soup or toast, and I could watch endless hours of Disney Movie's and sleep.

Well here I am again, on the couch not feeling so great. It isn't as glamorous as it once was. In fact I HATE getting sick now. I never thought as a kid that sick days were an inconvenience for my parents. My Mother would have to be chained to the house (which I hate as a stay at home Mom, my to-do list and errands really keep me going), and wait on a sick child hand and foot. Once when I broke my collar-bone I couldn't even sit up when I woke up in the morning by myself, I would instead have to bellow for my Mom that I was awake. Talk about stressful.

All in all my days are totally shot when I get sick. I'm sure it won't be as bad when I have children home sick (versus me being the sick one) because I can still do things around the house. But right now I don't have enough energy to clean or cook, and so my hubby comes home to a dirty house and no dinner. He is a prince though, last night he came home and totally took charge by making us a wonderful dinner, and then I went to bed at 9:30. I woke up this morning still feeling under the weather knowing I was going to have to sleep this one off, I tried to clean the kitchen after breakfast but it just wasn't happening. The dizziness, the headache, my body aches! I wish my Mom where here to clean the house for me, pack for the trip we are taking on Saturday, turn on the Sex & the City movie for me, and make me toast!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

My Mother

She is a willow tree.
She is the summer wind.
She is a mighty oak.
And a river bend.
She is a hidden garden.
A mystery.
She is a humming bird.
She is sweet tea.
She is lip stick.
And bubble gum.
She is a wild thing.
And the wise one.
She is my shoulder.
And my secret keeper.
The comfy couch.
The put to sleeper.
She is the song I hear.
And bedtime prayers.
A whisper in the ear.
A talk on the stairs.
Heart of my heart.
Sweet friend.
The Mother I hope I can be one day.

"Wherever you go. Whatever you do.
I'll always be your Mom and I'll always love you." - j.v.
Happy Mothers Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Good housekeeping = Good dieting?

According to an article published by US today, in 2007, "married and single people in their late teens and early 20s gain a significant amount of weight — an average of 15 to 30 pounds — over five years. But newly married men and women in that age group gain 6 to 9 pounds more than their peers who are single and dating." The center for disease control and prevention state that "32.7 percent of U.S. adults 20 years and older are overweight, 34.3 percent are obese and 5.9 percent are extremely obese." Being overweight or obese is determined by BMI, not by the scale. I have been told "you don't need to loose weight", but according to the BMI index that is a false statement. I have struggled with weight loss since I was 13 years old, and I am not the only one. This is an especially touchy subject for women, since it seems to be harder for us to loose weight then men. It can be maddening and disheartening when you are counting calories, and your husband has a burger and fries and gains nothing, or can loose pounds with a simple 20 minute jog. This is a woman's issue whether you work, or stay at home.

As many rationals as we can come up with, I have grown weary of the excuses I keep giving myself. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired! Being overweight is an illness in so many ways, and I have started to read about the effects of the american diet on the body. Did you know that a majority of healthy problems can be cured with a nutrition makeover and exercise? The food industry in America is primarily a marketing business that has created mindless consumerism. We have bought the lie, yet we wonder why our European friends are skinner, healthier and have lower rates of cancer! It's time to think about the toxins in our diet.

This was an issue I was unwilling to truly confront for quite some time, but as a wife, I am not only responsible for what I put in my body, but for what I am feeding my family. Think about that. I am not talking about crazy starve yourself diets or even putting your kids on diets. I am talking about really being educated about what we are putting in our bodies. We have a major influence on the health of our husbands and our children, and it starts with us having a healthy mindset about food and our bodies. I was a 90's kid, name brand packaged food was everything, and to the mothers of that time it was a god send! It gave quick easy, no-hassle options for feeding your family when schedules were busy and life was simply overwhelming. Now twenty years later the food industry is being exposed for the poisons and additives that are in these "goodies". We have become addicted to sugar, crave carbohydrates, and slowed down our metabolisms. No wonder we're fat. There's that ugly word... there's that ugly truth.

Let's start a revolution on family at a time! It can start in your home today!

Times sure have changed! This was NOT considered skinny back then! She looks healthy to me though!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dye it.

I have had almost every hair color you can imagine (think Scarlett Johansson - famous for having every color under the sun). This is the first summer I am considering not highlighting my hair. I am a natural strawberry blonde, but since I was 13 I would always add highlights this time of the year to "brighten up my look" (thank you Seventeen Magazine). This year I will dare to see what happens naturally - how much my hair will lighten up on it's own with just the sun and beach water. I'm hesitant because I actually really truly love having super blonde hair, but I also love how healthy my hair feels now.

So the other hairy matter I am wondering about is all the side effects of dying and bleaching your hair. I know when a woman is pregnant she can't dye her hair (no Mom, I am not pregnant), so if you get pregnant during one of your hair coloring "cycles" you could end up with really really scary bad roots. Some of you may be laughing, but if I am having a BAD HAIR DAY it can end up being a BAAAAAD day!!! I guess it's the Southern girl in me?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

etiquette lesson 2. you're invited.

It's always a slight dilemma when planning an event... when should I send out invitations? Well, Emily Post is once again to the rescue. It's nice to have a guide that has already figured out the proper timing for sending out those over-priced, yet gorgeous, pieces of stationary. I will also address the concern and issue of the RSVP, which many people seem to not do and can be a major annoyance to the party planner. Don't assume that the host knows you are coming, or word will get back to him/her. When ever you see RSVP you should think "RSVP ASAP".

Here are the general guidelines for the timing of invites. This isn't set in stone, and I know in Northern Virginia you often have to book a month in advance to get on someone's calendar, so I took that into account.

The EventWhen to Invite (Non-NOVA)
Anniversary party3 to 6 weeks
Bar or Bat Mitzvah1 month
Bon Voyage partyLast minute to 3 weeks
Casual partySame day to 2 weeks
Charity Ball6 weeks to 3 months
Christmas party1 month
Cocktail party1 to 4 weeks
Debutante Ball6 weeks to 3 months
Formal dinner3 to 6 weeks
Graduation party 3 weeks
Housewarming partyA few days to 3 weeks
Informal dinnerA few days to 3 weeks
Lunch or Tea
Thanksgiving dinner
2 weeks to 2 months

The EventWhen to invite (NOVA)
Anniversary party 6 weeks
Bar or Bat Mitzvah1 month
Bon Voyage partyLast minute to 1 month
Casual partySame day to 1 month
Charity Ball6 weeks to 3 months
Christmas party6 weeks
Cocktail party1 month
Debutante Ball6 weeks to 3 months
Formal dinner2 months
Graduation party1 month
Housewarming party1 month
Informal dinner1 month
Lunch or Tea2 weeks to 1 month
Thanksgiving dinner2 weeks to 2 months

In regard to the RSVP Emily Post has some strong words for this. In short you should make it a habit to RSVP ASAP.

"It is inconsiderate, but unfortunately common, for guests to fail to RSVP. Some forget; others procrastinate and then feel guilty, so they delay even longer. To many a host on the non-receiving end of an RSVP, it seems as if an invitee is simply waiting for something “better” to possibly come along. One of the sad parts about the demise of the RSVP is that relationships often suffer due to hosts’ resultant hurt feelings and frustration. It is perfectly polite, however, for hosts to call friends to ask if they plan to attend. Anyone who receives an invitation has an important obligation to reply as soon as possible."

Well I have MUCH to improve on!