Five Things I’ve Learned About My Pre-Schooler This Week

Ethen started pre-k this week and after only three days in I’ve learned some interesting facts about my little boy:

1. He will actually lie down and nap during the day. Pre-K must be mucho exhausting for Ethen. Today his teacher informed me that they have to wake him up after rest time. Who would have thought my little Ethen all curled up in the corner on his sleep mat snoring and drooling all over his make-shift pillow? He would never nap for me at home. Never. In. A. Million. Years. I mean why would he? You know, in his nice comfy bed and all?

2. He hangs out with kids named after a variety of dry pasta. According to E, the following kids sit at his table: Ethen (obviously), Evan, Laney, and Macaroni. Yes, Macaroni.

3.  He goes potty with the bathroom door open. Now this one he does do at home, but I figured at school he would at least close the door when he’s doing his business. (Note: The pre-k bathroom is across the hall from their classroom and apparently they are sent there unescorted.) Ella (my first grader) told me she was walking down the hall with her class when she saw Ethen sitting on the toilet with his pants down and the door wide open. Oh Lord! I just hope he washed his hands!

4. He will only eat yogurt at home. We’ve been having some debacles at lunch with the slightly fermented, semi-solid food. Needless to say, this has led to Ethen being deathly afraid of transporting and consuming yogurt anywhere outside the confines of his own home. We don’t even mention the word. We’ve started referring to it as “probiotic.” Even so, I think he might be catching on. Every time we say “probiotic,” I see him flinch a bit.

5. He kinda likes me more than daddy this week. (I’m not positively sure about this, but all signs are pointing in my favor.) Nick and I went together to pick him up from school yesterday and he ran straight into my arms like a bat outta hell. When I told him to give daddy a hug and a kiss, he perplexedly replied, “Daddy who?”

Cue Cards for Life — a review

This has been a much-needed reading week for me! I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Christina Steinorth’s new book, “Cue Cards for Life – Gentle Reminders for Better Relationships” and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The last few months have exhausted me.  The early mornings and long days with the kids have left me a bit short-tempered, disconnected, and dare I say – moody. With summer drawing to a close and the kiddos heading off to school, I needed some simple reminders for improving my relationships with my husband, my children, my parents, and my friends.

Let’s face it, we have become a nation of non-communicators who ironically enough communicate all day long via text, Twitter, Facebook, and email. Sometimes it seems as though we put more effort into our electronics or what we’re eating for dinner than we do into our real person-to-person relationships. Are we lacking the skills needed to nurture and grow in our own lives?

As a private practice psychotherapist, Christina knows first hand that healthy relationships are imperative for a successful and happy life. She also knows that communication may be the most essential part of developing, building, and maintaining prosperous marriages, friendships, and parent/child relationships. Drawing from her expertise and experiences, Christina developed user-friendly guidelines or ‘cue cards’ which serve to invoke a wakefulness within us. A gentle push to help us begin tackling our unique relationships with others more compassionately and efficiently.

Christina portrays beautifully and simplistically her intent to help us first think through our situations and then react appropriately. She introduces us to the basic building blocks of communication and goes on to divide her book up into easy to navigate sections including: Cue Cards for Love Relationships, Engagements, Weddings, Babies, In-laws & All Things Family, Cue Cards for Parents with Teens, Cue Cards for Mending Bridges, Cue Cards for Interacting with Aging Parents, Cue Cards in the Workplace, and Cue Cards for Friends, Parties & Social Events.

Our lives and our relationships are constantly evolving, changing, growing. It is up to us to bring forth the effort needed to endure these changes. Ultimately, the relationships able to withstand the tests of time are usually the ones we have consciously committed to. The power and potential of acquiring good relationship -building skills relies heavily on our ability to understand our perceived feelings and thoughts. Sometimes we need a little help and guidance along the way. “Cue Cards for Life” helps to point us in the right direction.

To pre-order your copy of “Cue Cards for Life – Gentle Reminders for Better Relationships” – click here. To learn more about a lovely friend and woman on a mission, Christina Steinorth – click here.

 

 

fifteen seconds

gotta love it!

My kids this morning:

Mom?  Mom?  Mom?  Mom?  Mommy!  Mommy!  Ma!

Where are you?  

Where’s my puzzle pieces?  Mom!  Help me find them!

What comes after the ‘A’ for astronaut?  Mom?

Ella keeps eating my grapes!  Stop!  Ma….I need more grapes!

Where are you?

I want my hair in piggies!  

Mooooooommmmmmyyyy!  I can’t find my flip-flops!

MOM!  It’s good morning time.  Can we go outside now?  

Mom?

MOM!  MOM!  

Where are you?

flush.

Fifteen seconds in the bathroom and you would have thought I packed up, traveled to the ends of the earth, and the world (as seen through the eyes of my three year-old and my six year-old) was coming to an end.  I can see the headlines now:

Puzzle Pieces Gone Missing!  Grapes Stolen!  Flip Flops Vanished!  Hair Gone Wild!

One Mom Sets off the Butterfly Effect 

Is the Universe Telling Us Something?

The funniest (and most obvious) part is the fact that I told them exactly where I was going (at least two or three times), I left the bathroom door wide open, and I kept yelling out “Hold on guys, one sec!” the entire time.  Is it possible that I miss the days yesterday when we all were holed up in the potty party room together?  Privacy is kinda stressful.

 

in the moment

Be in the moment.

Be in the moment.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Hold on to it.

Mommeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Hold on to it.

Mommeeeeeeeeeee!!!

and….done.

Oh yes! A record ten seconds to clear my head!

Live in the moment.  We hear this saying all the time in some form or another.  Whether it be in a yoga class, philosophy book, or from the older lady at Target who is keen on observing our primo mommying adventures.  But what does it really mean to us as mothers?  Frankly, I find it extremely hard to “be” in the moment as a mom.  I am constantly on the go, go, go.  With housework and work work  and play dates and nap time and bedtime and lunch time and freak-out time (the kids, not me—OK, me too!), there never seems like enough time in the day to actually exist in the moment.  As a mother to small children, I feel like I am constantly battling.  I’m battling laundry and dishes and dirty floors and messy bedrooms and scraped knees and melt-downs.  All the while leaving me exhausted and short-tempered, craving a piece of chocolate cake and a shower.

To revel in a clear mind and a calm body, it feels foreign to most.  And it shouldn’t.  Maybe the definition of living in the moment has everything to do with the jumbled and discombobulated life I do live and nothing to do with the life I perceive it to represent.  Not yearning for the past when I was flying solo or a future that holds the next best thing to make my life easier.  The clean house that I strive for or the live-in nanny that I will never have, but dream about often.  Maybe if I stopped fighting the daily chores and the sleepless nights, my mind would awaken to the revelation that, YES! this is my moment.  Every day with my children and my husband.  The good, the bad, the pee all over the bathroom, they all lead me to me.

Vegan is L❤ve

As a mom who writes children’s books on veganism, Ruby Roth is on a mission to help change the way we see food and the world.  While Roth has recently drawn criticism for her new book ‘Vegan is Love,’ I really believe the overall message she is sending to moms and dads and families across the globe is invaluable.

The harshest criticism this book is receiving according to registered dietician Nicole German:

“...it could easily scare a young child into eating vegan, and without proper guidance that child could become malnourished” and “…children are impressionable and this is too sensitive of a topic to have a child read this book.”

I agree that children are impressionable, but I also believe that it is our responsibility to convey truthful messages to our children without guilting them or instilling fear.  Furthermore, any diet that is not properly overseen by a responsible parent has the possibility or tendency to become unhealthy – not just veganism.  It’s the lack of supervision, not the diet in this case.  Why does the media tend to forget that WE are RESPONSIBLE for raising healthy, well-adjusted kids?

In a video book trailer (below) for ‘Vegan is Love,’

Roth says:

“If we want to move towards an era of solutions where the planet is healing, people are fed and healthy, there is good in the way we do business and a reverence in the world for all living things, then all we have to do is live that life ourselves.”

Whether you are vegan or vegetarian or omnivore – we ALL need to become more connected to our food and to Mother Earth.  As parents we need to teach our children about proper nutrition, why healthy eating is a must, and how every decision we make influences our world.  The best way to do this is to live that life ourselves!

Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.~David Bly

Remember to get your Earth Day on this weekend!

dr. lisa

things crunchy kids say…

Okay so, I have to just come out and say it- I am raising two very crunchy granolas.  Isn’t it so true that kids say the funniest things?  Well let me tell you that “crunchy” kids say laugh out loud, the funniest, belly aching, most hysterical stuff.  Imagine sitting with your three-year-old and he starts talking about high fructose corn syrup.  What?  Or your five-year-old starts rambling to her little friend about the importance of using BPA free cups.  Totally happened in our house today!  Her sweet friend looked so confused!

Here are some other things my kids have said in the past:

Mom, I’m feeling sick can you rub some garlic on my feet?

Hey, we’re out of elderberry!

Can you please carry me in the Moby?

Asparagus is my best friend.

I think I’m out of alignment. I need an adjustment.

You forgot my Catalyn and Tuna Omega’s.

Can I have pickles, olives, and a seaweed wrap for lunch today?

Let me have a sip of your Kombucha.

Hi, my name is Ella Moon.

Are we going to the farmer’s market today?

Some other things crunchy kids say:

Are you raising a little granola?

What would make your list?

lisa

hang up the gloves

When it comes to motherhood, all bets are off. Any woman out there will tell you that having a baby changes everything. Motherhood is an incredibly important job AND an incredibly hard job. There is no instruction manual to follow. No step-by-step guide for guaranteed success. We all just take a deep breath and jump in.

That being said, there is an enormous amount of pressure for us to do everything the “right way” when it comes to raising a family. This pressure comes from expectations we’ve set for ourselves, as well as from outside sources such as our own moms, family members, friends and yes, even strangers. And probably the harshest critics of all: OTHER MOMS. No one tells you before you become a mom that you will soon be entering the Mommy Wars. A place where everyone has an opinion of what you’re doing wrong, what you should be doing instead, and why they want to punch you in the throat.

I think one of the hottest topics when it comes to bringing up babies is breastfeeding. There seems to be this ongoing war between moms about the pressures to breastfeed, the successes and failures, how long to do it (short-term, extended), and the thought that bottle-feeding (not only formula, but breast milk as well- yikes!) somehow makes you inferior as a mother. This is all a bunch of malarkey. While everyone clearly understands that breast milk is best, there are barriers that keep 100% of all moms from breastfeeding. Some of these include milk production (or lack thereof), premature deliveries, latching problems, medications, single-parenting, working full-time, lack of support, etc., etc. Add to those the fact that breastfeeding is certainly not all sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, and lemon drops all of the time.

Breastfeeding is hard work. Bleeding nipples, cracked nipples, inverted nipples, flat nipples, blah, blah, ouch. Exhaustion, confusion, infection. Cradle hold, cross-over hold, football hold. The list goes on and on. You know what else is hard work? Yep, you guessed it- everything else that goes along with having a new baby in your life.

I am a breastfeeding mom. I exclusively breastfed both of my children well past one year of age (ages two and three if truth be told). I was extremely lucky and my babies were perfect little latchers. I had a great supply (I seriously could have fed a small country) and everything just seemed to click for me. What does this mean for you? Really it should mean nothing. I am not in competition with you. I do what’s best for my kids and my family and I would expect you to do the same.

The greatest caveat to achieving and maintaining the health of my children and myself is AWARENESS.  It is unacceptable for me to “just go with the flow” so to say when it comes to decisions that impact my family. It takes education, tons of reading, mucho support, and a “BIG” set of balls to stand firm in my beliefs. I take what I learn and apply it to my life as best I can. If others warrant my opinion or advice, then I give it. I’ve created this blog to help, not to divide.

The bottom line: Be confident and secure in the choices you make for your kids and there will be absolutely no room for others to knock you down. I can only hope that sometime soon we see motherhood as a journey we’re all facing together.

So ladies, whatta ya say-

Shall we hang up the gloves?

dr . lisa