Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Toys make kids fat.

This s an article that a friend of mine told me about, which I find utterly ridiculous.

Seriously.. go read it. I'll wait.

California County Bans Toys With Fast-Food Meals


Back? Okay.. here are my thoughts about this..

The basic point: Kids want the toy more than the food, and by putting toys in healthier meals, it may entice the children to pick those meals. The problem with this thinking, is that it makes it seem that the kids are in control. Um.. hello? I don't see many kids in McDonald's ordering their own food. As a parent, we must make the right decision for our children. Yes, kids will throw a fit, maybe even NOT EAT if they don't get what they want, but that's where the test is for us, as parents. Do we give in? Or do we stand our ground? Sure - we all give in sometimes. There are things I have given in on that on a normal basis I will stand my ground, but those battles are far and few between. I feel the lesson is important, especially at Bella's age. Giving in once right now means losing a lot of the ground we've covered thus far. But back to the topic at hand - toys making kids fat.

I really think that this *could* be a good idea. In theory, it sounds great. Fine the fast food people for putting toys with unhealthy meals. They are then forced to make the kids meals healthy, or fore-go the toy. Knowing kids will want the toys (and a lot of parents, when eating on the run, don't have time/patience to argue with their children). So the kids buy the healthy meal, rather than the fatty, over greased meal.  This means kids are eating healthier foods, and get the cheesy toy that came with it. Win-Win, right?

Except, what if they have their "healthy" kids meal, eat three bites, decide its "yucky", then proceed home to where mom then allows them to snack on chips or cookies in front of the T.V. Then what was the whole point of the healthy kid's meal to begin with? Healthy snacking and eating should begin at home. Eating healthy has been something I am trying to work on. Not only for myself, but for Bella as well. MOSTLY for Bella. I want her to WANT the healthy stuff. So I make sure to offer her a huge variety of foods, and if she doesn't like it,  will still offer it to her the next time I make it. I am not into making "special" meals, unless I know she can't eat it (ie: a steak she can't chew). Then I'll make some chicken nuggets for her. I can count on one hand how many times she's had chocolate, cake, or chips. Yes, she eats lots of animal crackers, veggie straws, and apple cinnamon straws for snacks. We also consume a good amount of goldfish, cheerios, and Gerber Puffs. BUT - I do not let her snack all day. I try to make sure she gets a good rounded diet. Three meals a day. Does this mean we don't ever have junk? Not at all - Bella's favorite breakfast is apple or blueberry nutrigrain bar, or a blueberry or strawberry pop-tart. (usually un-frosted). These aren't as healthy as say.. eggs and fruit, but she won't eat eggs (I offer at least once a week, or more) and if I have fruit on hand, I usually do add that in.

If we are out, I typically eat at Chic-Fil-A. Why? Well, for one, I like eating there. They are friendly, help me out (bring me a high chair, bring my food to me, get me re-fills, etc), and I feel it's probably the healthiest choice. No, they aren't the cheapest. But you know what? I'd rather spend the money, get Bella a fruit cup, milk, and a couple chicken nuggets, than get her chicken nuggets, fries and a pop.

Just for fun - let's compare nuggets at a few fast food restaurants- the calories, fat, carbs and protein.... Just 4 pc nuggets alone

Chic-Fil-A:  130cal; 6g Fat; 6g carbs; 13g protein
McDonalds: 170cal; 10g fat; 10g carbs; 10g protein
Wendy's:      180cal; 11g fat; 10g carbs; 8g protein
Burger King: 180cal; 11g fat; 13carbs; 9g protein



So.. what have we learned? Chic-Fil-A is "healthiest" when it comes to nuggets. SURE - there is a lot more nutritional info to gather up and analyze,but really, I don't have time for that crap. AND - this isn't an advertisement for them either. My point is - healthy eating should start at home, and shouldn't have anything to do with a freaking cheap toy, either. Take the toys out for all I care, they end up in the trash a day later anyhow!


Back to snacking - I *hate* grazing. I know I do it, but I try not to. Kevin does it ALL the time, and Bella is picking up this habit, and it affects how she eats her meals. I have "designated" snack times - in between breakfast and lunch, and depending on how long she naps in the afternoon, maybe one or two snack times between lunch and dinner. Snack can be yogurt, fruit, animal crackers, veggie straws, cheerios, cottage cheese, string cheese.. whatever I have on hand, and it also depends on where we are or what we are doing. If we are on the go, it's obviously going to be the dry pantry stuff, rather than refrigerated/messy stuff. These are things I want to teach her - pick the healthy stuff. So when we are out to eat, and she does get fries - they are a "special treat" rather than the fruit being the treat.



So, maybe instead of taking toys away, the restaurants can just change their menu's. Or - still take the toys away..because I don't need that crap cluttering the house up anyhow!


nutritional info taken from calorielab.com I am not responsible for how accurate it may or may not be. BK info was from www.bk.com
**yes I rambled a LOT in this post. I've been up since just after 4am. Plus, if you ever read any of my blogs, you know it's a bad habit of mine anyhow.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Check out what I won from some FABULOUS sites!

So, not to long ago I stumbled upon a great site that posted giveaways every week. Fabulous Friday Freebies posts one or two giveaways on Friday. You enter by leaving comments after you've done what the giveaway tells you. There is usually at least three ways to enter, sometimes more. They are all very simple to do, and usually only take moments to accomplish!

So, The most recent thing that I wont from Fabulous Friday Freebies was from a company called Polka Dot Kitty Co. . I won a $30 gift certificate! One of my entries was to post what I would like! Well, with Apple Blossom fast approaching, I had said I would spend my gift certificate on one of her adorable monogrammed ribbon onesies.  When I found out I won, I was *so* excited! I went on the site and *really* looked through everything. I finally decided on getting an adorable monogrammed toddler pillowcase and pillow. Why did I change my mind? Because while the onesie was irresistibly adorable, I wanted something that would last a long time. What better than a pillow? It can go in the car on trips, on vacation, and eventually, on sleepovers. She will always be able to have something to feel like she's at home. A little something you may not know about me - whenever I travel, I *always* bring one of my bed pillows.


I opened the box, and there were two wonderfully and sweetly wrapped packages, plus the pillow itself.  I opened the purple one first, which was the pillowcase, and immediately put the pillow in it! SUPER cute. THe embroidery was wonderfully done, and absolutely perfect.

I couldn't figure out what would be in the second package.. and I really didn't take too much time to think about what it might be! The note read "A little something extra", and I opened it up.. inside I found the onesie I had originally said I liked!  What an absolutely wonderful surprise! 




Let me tell you, I am really impressed with the quality of work on this onesie. It seems that every small detail has been covered! The backing is on perfectly, the ribbon is perfectly even, the bow is even, it just seems like she covered everything, and on an item she didn't even have to make! Thank you sooo much for throwing in this little surprise. I truly love it!


If you'd like to enter one of the many giveaways, be sure to visit Fabulous Friday Freebies. New giveaways are posted every Friday!

If you absolutely LOVE the items I won, be sure to check out Polka Dot Kitty Co. - you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Busy Week!

Boy! Have we been busy!  At least it *feels* like we've been busy! Last weekend we went up to PA for my niece's First Holy Communion, which was beautiful. We also went to a Pirates game.. and they actually WON which was awesome! Kevin almost caught a fly ball, but didn't because I "wouldn't" move out of the way. Don't get me wrong, I tried to get out of the way, but it's kinda hard to move when he is STANDING.ON.MY.FOOT. I dunno, maybe it's just me.. LOL anyhow, we had a great time. We left Bella with his parents because it was cold out, and she was getting over a cold and had developed a rash, which turned out to be Roseola. Yes, that was self-diagnosed with the help of a friend (Thanks Kerry!) but also when I told the pedi about it, they said so too. It was gone by the time we came home, and so I didn't take her in.  


Apple Blossom kicked off this weekend and Bella and I went to the wine festival Friday afternoon/evening with my dear friend Becky from R.Gonzalez Photos. We had a wonderful time, Bella was wonderful, and despite a bit of fussiness around dinner time, she really was a good girl! Lots of people complimented her and told me how beautiful she was. Someone even asked "do you have an agent for her? She should be modeling!" Which made me laugh, because Becky has done all of Bella's modeling pictures for GennySue. Anyhow, it was a great time.


Saturday I took Bella to the Pediatrician because she was messing with her ears and I wanted to catch the infection early on. She's been pretty snotty for over a week and with all her previous ear infections, I felt it was better to be safe than sorry. We went in, and I saw the one pediatrician that I really am not fond of. I had only seen him once prior to that, and he really made me feel like my concerns were unwarranted. He also makes me feel like he is in a rush. This time was no different. He asked "What brings you in", and so I started to tell him how LAST weekend, she had a fever for 2 days, then a rash, and has been real snotty all week - then he interrupts me and says "Okay, why are you here TODAY". And - he waved his hand, like he was dismissing me.  WTF. I'm FREAKING TELLING YOU why I came in today! So I said I was worried about her ears. So he comes over and tries to distract her with a toy, starts telling me how to hold her, like she was gonna spaz out or something. If you've been following my blog at all, you know Bella had been to the doctor a TON of tines. She's a champ at getting examined. She will sit in my lap just fine while they check her tummy and listen to her chest and back. She was more freaked out by him being all "weird" about it.  So anyhow, that was hard, because the way he wanted me to hold her while he looked in her ears wasn't the way I normally hold her, and she freaked out because he wanted me to hold her facing him, and usually she sits facing me, and i turn and hold her head. It works fine for everyone else, just not him I guess. So anyhow - After all that, he said there is clear fluid, or water in her right ear, but her left ear is fine. He said there is nothing we can do about the fluid, and that it's not infected. He was nice enough to inform me that because there is stagnant fluid in her ear, bacteria can come up into her ear from her sinuses and cause an infection. He also told me that there is one medicine  - Cingulair - that had shown in studies to reduce the fluid in children's ears faster in a 6 week study. BUT - it's only prescribed to children with asthma. So he said  "your insurance isn't going to cover it unless she has asthma". I don't know what he was getting at - that he would "diagnose" her with asthma, or if he was telling me to pay out of pocket. Regardless, i'm not giving her asthma medicine if she doesn't need it. 


So, we came home, since there is "nothing" wrong with her. This morning, at 5:20am, she woke up crying.. i went in and got her at 5:30, tried to get her back to sleep.. no go. We rocked a bit, she fell asleep, then when i laid her down she started screaming. so I brought her to bed, tried to lay down - scream. We were okay sitting up though. About 6 or so, she decided she wanted to eat, so I dragged us down the hallways and into the living room. got her set up with her sippy, and then went to go bathroom and stuff. She started crying again (so much for brushed teeth!) so I come get her and she is miserable. leaning her head, holding her ear, trying to drink and then throwing her cup and crying. Poor thing. Finally she calmed down, and we had some pop tarts and she eventually dank her sippy of milk. She is acting better now, but is still fussy, and it set off fairly easily. I just hope she gets a good nap today - because *I* need a nap!



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What we've been up to!

We've been enjoying the nice weather. Sunday, we went over to have a little cookout and visit with some friends. They brought out their daughter's 4 wheeler, which Bella isn't quite big enough for, but she liked it just the same! They took out the big one too, and Kevin took Bella for a romp through the woods on it. She LOVED it!  It looks like we will be investing on one of these smaller ones eventually. =)



Laundry is a daunting task, but Bella likes to help. This is her sitting in the basket of clean, unfolded laundry. Her job is to keep handing mommy clothes out of the basket. =) 


We love the park! Its great to pack up a light lunch and drive on over for a picnic! The fresh air does everyone good (except me when I forget to take my allergy stuff!) I can always bank on a good nap in the afternoon on days that I take her to the park in the morning!


This is usually the view in my rear view mirror on the way home from the park. Tuckered out. We get home and she usually goes right into her crib without even a whimper. Gotta LOVE the fresh air!

Have you joined a moms club?

Firstly, I want to say that my last post  was my 100th post! Yay me!

Now, onto what I'm really going to post about. Moms' groups, playgroups, playdates, mommy and me groups, whatever you want to call them,  are all over the place! It is almost like a secret group though, and you hardly ever hear about them until you are a mom. Even then, it wasn't until Bella was about 10 months old that I even found out about them! I only wish I had known about them when Bella was smaller, while I was pregnant even! Why? Well, because if you get into a good group, the other mom can become invaluable to you! They are there to help, offer advice, and keep you sane.

Mom's groups are like a whole different sub-culture. You are surrounded by different moms, from different backgrounds, who all parent differently. It is a great resource for people like me.. the first time mom. I have my idea of how I want to raise my child, discipline her, what I want to teach her, etc. But, having such a diverse groups provides me with many other ideas, when what I have been doing isn't working. In less than a year I have made some great acquaintances, and a few wonderful friends. For a stay at home mom, having other adults to talk to, other moms, is something that you don't know how much you truly need, until you have found it.

Not all groups are created equal, though, and that's where it becomes a matter of having patience and knowing what you want from a group. For me, I wanted a group that would allow for Bella to socialize with other kids around her age, and a group of moms who were laid back. The first group I joined was from Meetup.com. You simply put in what you are looking for - Moms Group, Stay at home moms, reading, poetry, pets, wine, anything! - and where you are from, and meetup will find groups in your area that match that. Some groups are public, however I have found that most moms groups or playgroups are private for the security of the kiddos, which I find so very important!  Just because it is private doesn't mean you can't join, it simply means they want to know who is joining, and who is viewing their info. The groups post playdates, park days, field trips, etc, on a calendar, and you can RSVP to whatever you want to go to. Most playdates are at another moms house, and that can be intimidating at first, but after you go to a few, you will find it second nature to walk into someone's house!

I just recently joined another moms group - MOMs Club International. This is a "corporate" ran club, with Chapters all over the nation and even in other countries. I joined this group because I am friends with other moms in this group, and this just allows me more opportunity for things to do.

There are dues to pay for each. Some are small, some are more. But I don't think any are unreasonable for all that you get. One of the big things I enjoy are the Mom's Night Out/In. It is a kid-free event for just the moms to get together and relax. I try to do one a month. Sometimes we all go out somewhere, other times we all go to someone's house. The last Mom's night In that I went to, was a wine tasting, which was super fun.  Nights out include a dinner, some drinks, and lots of girlish chatter and giggles.

I couldn't tell you how wonderful it is, and I highly highly highly suggest you try one out. Or, if you don't want a mom's group, search for another type of group (Meetup would be best for this!). As with any large group of women, there can be cliques, which can be frustrating, but you can't expect EVERYONE to be best friends. My advice - If you feel uncomfortable and are not happy with the group you've joined, simply contact the organizer and tell them you don't feel the group is a good fit for you. In most instances, if you've already paid dues, they may refund you full or partial. If it is a specific person causing problems, be sure to tell them. It is entirely possible that you are not the only one who has had issues with that person. At any rate, I think that all moms need a support group, people who understand and can relate to what you are going through (at least when it comes to your kids!)

So.. what are you waiting for? Go out and find a group and have some fun!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another Great Giveaway!






Rachel at Kenzigton Kollections is having another great giveaway! I'm a little late in posting this, it ends April 12th at noon so hurry and enter!

This time it's an adorable headband with a flower for your little girl, or a little girl you know and love! These are perfect for that added special touch to an outfit, and make a GREAT gift as well! All her items are hand-made with love, and she will coordinate with whatever colors you need! =)

Make sure you get over and enter now! You don't want to miss out! When you go, tell her I sent you! =)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Are you Swagging?

Search & Win

What is Swagging, you ask? Well, simply put - it's searching the internet, and in the process, getting awarded points, or SwagBucks. The more you search, the more you win! If you've noticed, I have a "Swidget" on my blog now, and you can search right from there! I like it, and am saving up to get a good Amazon gift card, or a Target card! There is SO MUCH that I am saving up for.. I have a goal set before I spend any of it.. will you join and help me reach it? If you join through my link, whenever you search and win, I win too!

There is no fee, and I get zero spam. The search engine isn't the best there is, but I typically have no issue finding what I'm looking for. So, just by using their search engine, rather than Google or Yahoo, I can win Swagbucks, save them up, and redeem them for some great prizes!

So what are YOU waiting for! Sign up and search now!

Friday, April 9, 2010

15 month checkup

Bella is now 15 months old.. She weighs 22lbs 12 oz and is 31.5 inches tall. She is 75th percentile in height and 45th percentile in weight.. meaning that only 25% of babies her age are taller, and 55% weigh more. She's growing steady, and looks like she has her daddy's genes in that department!

She has 12 teeth, and is working on her bottom eye teeth, or canines. It is still going to be some time before they actually cut through, but they are coming! She talks a lot and can sign a few things as well. She is incredibly smart and can follow directions.. when she wants to. She loves to be outside and loves to play on the swings. The doctor said she is perfectly healthy, and we do not need to worry about her ears, as they looked PERFECT. Well, we already knew she is perfect ;) but after the last month of ear infections, we did have our concerns.

Easter was fun, and next is Apple Blossom. I am looking to find her an adorable outfit to wear to the park.. I just haven't found one yet. =)

She also has a LONG list of words..

Mama, daddy, pap-pap, boop, Lizzy, Peanut, Meow-meow, moo, Jocie (friend's daughter), juice, eat, snack(nacks), moo, duck, quack quack, cookie, bye bye, outside(sounds like ah-ice), puppy, no, hi, nice, apple, night-night (ni-ni), baby....

That's all I can think of right now.. I'm sure I will think of more. The doctor said average for 15 months is 3-4 words. So we are doing well. She loves books and to read and be read to. This is something I will always encourage. In fact, she usually prefers to play with her books than toys. There will ALWAYS be room in our house and budget for a new book for her.

We've also been painting a bit, and I can't wait to be able to pull out the little pool and take her in it, and also to the big pool! =)

Anyhow, I can hear her babbling to her baby through the monitor, so I better get moving! I'll try to come back and post pictures soon!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Teach your children to love their bodies.. but please, don't dress them like a hooker!

I've been on the hunt for a bathing suit for Bella. I want the surf-shirt type, for the sole reason to cover her shoulders and stuff from the sun. It's where I burn the fastest and worst, and since I don't know if she'll be lie me or her daddy, I'm taking precautions. In my hunt for a bathing suit, I've come across many cute ones.. and some that would be cute if she were.. 18.  Seriously.. is this what we are really dressing our small children in these days?

This suit can be found at Macys.com HERE



Yes, I think it is cute, but truly inappropriate for 2 year old. (Or younger, as it also comes in 12 and 18 months!) I am all about teaching Bella to appreciate and love her body, positive self image, and to not be embarased about her body, BUT I'm also into teaching her modesty. If she's wearing this now, what will she wear when she's actually built to "fill out" a bathing suit like this?

Here is another...

You can purchase this swimsuit HERE

Maybe it's just me, maybe *I* am the odd one out, but I just can't see why I would put her in a swimsuit like this. Maybe as she gets older and can pick one out on her own... but still.. it just looks to mature for a toddler. Bella's Nana just bought her a suit - this is the one she got:


It is super cute, has ruffles on the bottom, and you can purchase it HERE at sears.com



No, I don't have anything against bikini's for babies. In fact, there are some super cute ones, that don't look like you are trying to pimp out your toddler  too "mature".

Purchase this one HERE
Find this one HERE




Of course, it's all my own opinion, and to each his own. If you like your daughter to wear little string bikini's, then more power to you. I suppose there is never a bad time to start preparing for a career as a Playboy model. 


*All opinions here are of my own, and no one asked me to write this or gave me anything or whatnot. I did it all on my own. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

End of Lent

Some of you know I gave up Facebook for Lent. Some of you don't. I didn't originally decide to do this.. I was going to give up soda, or candy, or.. something. It was actually Kevin's idea to give up FB. He said it as a joke/challenge, and at first I was totally against it.. but the more I thought about it, the more it really felt like the right thing to do. It was hard the first week.. but I found myself keeping busy in other areas. I still would find myself occasionally wondering what everyone was up to, or wanting to post something, but I did not..

Would like to take this moment to say - YES I AM aware that my Swagbucks were posting, *I* however, was not. It would automatically do that whenever I won. YES - there was an incident where my phone sent some old pics to FB - I was completely unaware until my friend told me. But I never intentionally or purposely posted anything or logged into FB, or check it at all.


So, now that tomorrow is Easter, I can get back on.. and I am honestly ready. It's not that I need Facebook.. But I do enjoy keeping up with everyone and sharing photos of Bella. I din't miss Facebook, I missed the connection I had with so many people.. a connection that, for some, was the only way we communicated.

On that note, I would like to say thank you to those who made an effort to text me, update me, and otherwise keep me in the loop. It's the people who made that effort to try to keep in touch that was truly special to me. As silly as it sounds.. it shows that "you like me! you really, really like me!". I know not every one could, and I don't hold an hard feelings for those who didn't call/text/email or otherwise contact me. Like I said, for a lot, FB was the ONLY way we kept in touch. I was sadly disappointed in a few people though, who I was SURE I would talk to, and hear from more often, and did not. I thought I would be worth the effort to those people, so to speak. I did my part to stay in touch. And it's not like I expected daily phone calls or whatnot. It's just I feel that, when you talk to someone sooo much on FB, and you have exchanged numbers and email addresses, and some you live close to.. and then you leave FB, you expect to hear from these people. When you don't, it hurts. Yes, I'm sensitive, I know this. It is part of who I am. So, if you are my friend, and you didn't already know that, make a mental note. I'm not overly sensitive about everything, but I am when it comes to things like that.


ANYHOW!

Tomorrow morning we have mass at 7:30am, then home for breakfast and baking a ham. We are doing an Easter lunch as opposed to dinner, and then it will be naptime. I made Bella a little Easter basket with goodies - no candy though. She doesn't need any chocolate or candy! I will let her have a couple of sugar cookies with lunch though. =)

So.. I'm thankful to have family close-by to spend Easter with, and I am happy to get to go back to Facebook. I'm just not a twitter gal after all. ;)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Pics!

We went out today and took some pics in Bella's Easter dress.. Here are a couple..