Friday, February 5, 2016

More Chalkboard Art

My second foray into chalkboard art worked out great I think. I still need to plan around the light switch better. And I've figured out that keeping the laundry room light off makes for a better picture. Can't help the angle though.
See my first attempt here.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Artificial Food Dyes Ugh!

The DH and I will admit we don't always eat as we should. However, we are voracious in our quest to feed our children healthy foods that will nourish their little bodies and minds.

After a few behavioral issues a year and a half ago the DH and I cut artificial food dyes from Stinky and Blinky's diet completely, and did our best to eliminate as many preservatives as we could. (Incredible where all preservatives end up, but I digress.) Naturally as we learned more about healthy eating and its positive impact on brain health, we made some other changes such as switching to whole grain breads and brown rice, and incorporating supplements such as Omega 3s and St. John's Wort, etc.Now, this did not solve all of the behavioral issues, but it did reduce the frequency and certainly helped the kids not to be so hyper.

Yesterday, Stinky's school had an ice cream party for its second grade honor roll students. I knew they were having the party and felt confident Stinky would stick with his plain vanilla ice cream. So I forgot to remind him to politely refuse all the "extras." Sure enough, Stinky gorged himself on sprinkles, M&Ms and "red juice." (Blinky's honor roll ice cream party was Monday. She had sprinkles but is not quite as affected by dyes as her big brother.)

All evening, Stinky was quite literally climbing the walls. And doing cartwheels. And jumping in, on and around the sofa. Several times he would hold his head and say, "I just don't know what to do with myself!" Twice, he giggled at nothing in particular so hard that it lead to intense crying. I was livid! Not with Stinky, well partially with Stinky because his excuse for not sticking with plain vanilla ice cream was that he would have missed out on his reward for making the honor roll, but with the school in general. Why are they feeding our kids this crap! Especially when at the start of the school year I wrote a nice note to Stinky's teacher letting her know that he is not allowed to eat dyes. In an ideal world Stinky would have stuck with his guns, appreciating that Mom and Dad would have rewarded him at home, but he's seven.

Well, increased grocery bill be damned, I am convinced that artificial dyes in children do negatively affect their behavior. We've had episodes before but nothing like last night. If I wasn't so scared, I would have thought to videotape the disaster. Thankfully it ended well. I made Stinky drink his body weight in water and do Cosmic Kids Yoga for about 40 minutes before bedtime. He seemed to have slept well although he woke up incredibly tired. Nothing a little more yoga didn't fix.

We've heard it before that "you are what you eat." Perhaps its time we gave this serious consideration. Especially for the sake of our children.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

When Little Ones Understand Death is Irreversible

Ever had a good intention that ended up being really sour? Mid November we sat down to let the kids watch Song of the Sea. It's an internationally acclaimed children's movie chronicling the adventures of a brother - sister duo, based on an Irish folklore about selkies. Winner right? That would be a resounding NO!

It's not your typical Disney animation. In fact, it could be interpreted by little eyes as a little spooky. Throw in a few scary situations, eerie music and the death of the siblings' mother and you have a combined disaster. Seven year old Stinky was pretty upset at the end, but quickly got over it. Six year old Blinky however cried hysterically for days and feared that the DH or I would die like the Mom in the movie. Of course we reassured her (as best we could) that nothing would happen and she didn't need to be worried. Slowly she began to believe us.

Just a few weeks later, we saw The Good Dinosaur over Thanksgiving Break, which I wrote about here. Yeah, total setback. With the exception of the week we were on vacation and she was bunking with my Mom, she has not been sleeping well, often coming into our bed. She has also had moments of sadness at random times throughout the day at home, school and ballet. After talking with her teacher, I reached out to a family counselor who reassured us that after she's had sufficient time to process death being irreversible, these solemn moments will pass. And of course we will keep reassuring her how much she is loved and that by the grace of God Mommy and Daddy aren't going anywhere.

The DH and I sure know how to pick 'em. We feel pretty rotten about traumatizing the kids in spite of thinking we had properly screened the movies. However we did better the third time around with Alvin and the Chipmunks Road Trip over Christmas Break. Total score!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Quote of the Week

If you live in the south, then you know last night was the championship game between Clemson and Alabama (whether you wanted to or not). Our school encouraged the students to wear red yesterday to support Alabama. Stinky was happy to oblige since it meant a uniform-free day. Blinky on the other hand had this to say:

"I am not wearing a red shirt today. I go for Auburn."

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


We have a chalkboard wall in our laundry / mud room. Typically the kids scribble on it, but I've always thought it was a good place to leave inspirational quotes to read before we head out for the day. When the DH and kids went to sleep last night, I got to work.

It's not Pinterest-worthy, but the kids did notice this morning and thought it was a great idea. Even Stinky...and that says a lot.

Wherever you are and whatever you have to do today, make it a good one.