Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Pinky Promise

The gig is up, the truth is out. On the way to dance last night my 8 year old heard something at school and wanted to know if it was true "Can 9 year olds get pregnant?" Whoa . . ummm, "it's possible, but it won't happen to you when you turn 9 in TWO Weeks!"

Thankfully we arrived at dance and I avoided any further discussion on that topic! Then on the drive home I reminded her she needed to write the Tooth Fairy a letter as she lost another tooth that day. She blindsided me again. . . "Is the Tooth Fairy real?" Whoa . . . ummm "why, what have you heard?" My way of trying to not tell her if I don't have to . . . but I had to. Everyone at school was telling her Mom & Dad take your tooth and leave the note and a surprise under your pillow.

We have big rules at my house about keeping secrets (bad) and telling lies (really bad) so I had to come clean . . . but treaded carefully, I didn't want to throw Santa under the bus just yet if I didn't have to!! Here is how it went down:

Me "I am not going to lie to you & you asked me so, after you Pinky Promise to not tell your two younger sisters, I will let you in to the Tooth Fairy Club." . . . after said Pinky Promise was complete . . ."Yes, I am your Tooth Fairy" . .I held my breath in anticipation . . she's an emotional girl and I worried the truth would crush her!

8 year old "Really?" her whole face lit up, giant smile like she new the biggest Secret ever kept, eyes as wide as they were in Disney. "YOU are the tooth fairy?"

Me "I have saved every note you have written to the tooth fairy and all the teeth you've left under your pillow. Mommies do this when you lose your first few teeth so its not a scary thing, waiting for the tooth fairy makes it fun to grow up!"

8 year old "Wow. That's cool. So you wrote all those notes?"

Me "Yup. You Ok with this?"

8 year old "Yeah!" . . .pause . . . TEARS . . . the crying I had anticipated was starting!

She didn't know why she was crying but I suspected its how any of us feel when we find out things are not how they had always seemed. This was big news for her. For the next hour I was "Positive Mommy" and talked about how cool it was that now she was in the Tooth Fairy Club and could be her 5 year old sisters Tooth Fairy when she lost her first tooth, that this was something special she knew and was to keep close to her so others could still have the joy of the tooth fairy, she of course would still wrote her letter that night, and I would write a special letter back as her "Pinky Friend" now, and I showed her 2 years worth of lost teeth and tooth fairy letters. But she struggled. She was not sure if knowing the secret was better than believing in the Tooth Fairy. She asked me lots of questions. I answered them all with honesty, a smile and a giant Positive spin!

We talked about how getting older makes you a little smarter and I reminded her how she questioned Cinderella a Disney just a few months ago. One minute Cinderella was in the restaurant having lunch with us and the next she was on stage outside the castle dancing. She knew it wasn't possible and hinted that Cinderella was someone "just dressed up".

8 year old "That's right, there were Cinderella's everyone. It was hard to tell which one was the REAL one!"

LOL!! Oh thank goodness, all innocence is not lost . . . Santa . . your secret is still safe at this house !!! Easter Bunny, I think you might be next!!

How will you respond when your child starts questioning?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Healthier Zucchini Muffins

By request, here is the recipe for the zucchini, banana, apple, whole wheat, flax muffins - hope your kids enjoy them!
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large eggs
3/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup mashed banana's
1 1/2c whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flax
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup shredded or grated zucchini
chocolate chips on top

Preheat oven to 350, prepare muffin tins (I use silicone muffins cups in my muffin tins - no spray, no flour . . muffins literally fall out!).
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs and mix well until creamy. Stir in the applesauce & banana and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, flax, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon ad salt. Add this dry mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined.
Fold in the zucchini until well mixed and fill muffin tins. Then place your 3 chocolate chips on top and push into each muffin slightly.
Back for about 20 mins for large muffins and 16 minutes for mini muffins. I made 30 mini muffins from this recipe.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My friend . . The Chocolate Chip

I have become friends with the chocolate chip! It seems that a well placed chocolate chip can get my children to eat zucchini muffins, squash cookies and spinach brownies . . . really!!

I have learned that if I mix in a cup of chocolate chips into the batter they see only zucchini muffins and may get more chips then zucchini, but if I place the chocolate chips on TOP before baking then all they see is chocolate chips and they think I am the best mom evah!! Look at the finished product below . . would you believe I made these with 2 zucchini's, 2 banana's, a cup of apple sauce, whole wheat flour, and ground flax seed!

I do the same with cookies - I start with oatmeal because its good for them and they like it, then add flax, veggies, apples, pineapples and maybe I'll put 3 smarties on top of each cookie! They get so excited by the smarties they dig in!! Now granted if the cookie doesn't taste any good the kids wise up and the smartie gets eaten and the cookie gets tossed, so there is some skill in making a healthy great tasting cookie. But I tell ya, tossing in a few chocolate chips can go a long way to helping them enjoy healthy food !!

I have also started to tell my kids that I put all these crazy vegetables in their school snacks . . I want them to know healthy can taste good (and besides, they are catching on to my tricks!). I've also learned I have to change it up a lot . . squash cookies might work this week, but they need something more enticing next week. I am curious too see what happens when they get older. Now they eat what I pack them for school mostly because I tell them they have too!! Hoping these good habits I am instilling in them now carry over to their tween years?? Will let you know!!

What works at your house to get the kids eating healthy snacks?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Focus Lost . . . Reward if Found!!

I used to be so efficient! A time management professional. I could squeeze a million things into a day and get everything crossed off my list! My house was in order and my day was a well executed plan. THEN I HAD KIDS.

The first child was a blur as we moved when she was 7 months old. Enough said. Second child born not long after and the crazy that is my new normal began. Staying home & having three babies in three years and I totally lost the ability to Focus. I began Managing . . .going from fire to fire . . diapers, bottles, dressing, feeding, story reading, driving, shopping, doctors, cleaning up puke - never actually completing anything. THEN I DISCOVERED the iPHONE.

Fast forward 5 years and now I have mostly self sufficient kids but I have fallen victim to the iPhone, and twitter, and Facebook, and my never ending email. I can't circle the grocery store without "checking" my iPhone for something, anything, from anyone, that must be responded to STAT. Can't finish making dinner without picking up stuff on the stairs, organizing the mail, recycling the paper, Tweeting something hilarious, putting in a load of laundry, checking Facebook again, helping a kid with homework, getting a snack, getting a drink, paying a bill, breaking up an argument, putting in a DVD. Dinner used to take 20 minutes . . now I start at 4pm and we eat at 7pm . . .and its Spaghetti!!

Where did my Focus go? I need it back. I am getting dizzy. I literally stand in my house sometimes and am overwhelmed by the 300 unfinished projects that face me and I don't know where to start. So how do I cope? I check Twitter. See my problem!!

How do you Focus and ignore tempting distraction? Looking for useful tools to get my groove back!