Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bottled Water Says "I Hate the Environment as Much as SUV's"

Nothing drives me crazier than the bottled water phenomenon. Why do we need to fill landfills with plastic when it comes from our taps, and most of the time it's filtered there too? But this article gives me hope that it could be coming to an end. If restaurants in California are catching on, then maybe it will hit the Midwest in 7 years too. Check out this article from the New York Times.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Getting My Kids to Eat

It's summer time and it means that the girls and I will be eating out on a picnic blanket a lot over the next few months. We will leave the pool with hungry bellies, so I am inspired again to get them to eat new things when they are desperately hungry without other options around.

This New York Times article inspired me since it seems like we have fallen into the kiddie menu. This summer I'm hoping back onto the "kids eat what the adults eat, or they can just be hungry" mentality. Read the article, it's great to know restaurants are starting to realize we would eat out more often if the kids had options other than mac and cheese, grilled cheese and chicken chunks. I couldn't help but copy what one reader wrote in response to the article, since he does have a point. Most of what I ate growing up was total 70's crap-tastic food.

Oh come on! The author ate what her parents ate- that proves this young
generation is going to pot. What a lot of hooey. I suppose if I too grew up in the upper echelons or in NYC, we’d have eaten out too. But growing up in the 70s, with four kids and a station wagon, we didn’t even DO restaurants. And we ate crap food at home: hamburger stew, mac and cheese, meat and potatoes. Inexpensive and something both kids and adults would eat. Where do you think ‘comfort food’ came from?
And not surprisingly, the 70s children grew into
anorexic children of the late 70s and early 80s, and many are now fat adults
that eat frozen meals from the grocer.

My point? There is nothing inherently wrong with ‘today’s generation’ and just because you got to travel Europe and eat Julia Child food hardly means the current generation of kids is somehow uniquely impoverished because they can eat out and have chicken strips. With some many pressing issues of the day regarding children of the world: child labour and exploitation, poverty, AIDS, and starvation and the best you could come up with is a rant against chicken strips in NYC restaurants!?

posted by Adios Amigos

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ice Cream

My husband and I don't always agree. Shocking to know that, right? It's usually the little things that we don't always see "eye to eye". Sunday evening after dinner we took the girls, and ourselves on a nice leisurely walk out for ice cream. It's something we do every few months, so it's a very exciting event since it's out of the ordinary. So this past Sunday we were sitting at the ice cream parlor eating our cones and my oldest daughter dropped her half eaten cone on the floor. She immediately looked at me waiting for me to say "hey, this floor is clean, carry on with eating, not a big deal". But I didn't. It wasn't even an option. She was so upset and the verge of tears so I offered her my cone since I had the cone filled ice cream left in mine. But due to our flavor differences, it wasn't even an option for her. She was not about to have fruit in her ice cream no matter how desperate the situation. I mentioned the idea of a replacement cone. I said that I was certain it happens all of the time and I'm sure the kid behind the counter could make us a new one without charging us. Michael, my husband was appalled. He said it was a lesson of life. Kids need to be more careful and how will the learn if their cones are just going to be fixed by parents throughout life? I'm paraphrasing of course, but it was something like that. So I suggested a compromise of having my daughter, who is five now, ask the kid scooping if they make replacement cones for kids. She did end up asking in a quiet and polite voice, that he couldn't help but get her another cone. Don't worry, I did ask him to make the ice cream slightly peaking out of the cone since that is how far along she was.

So my question is, "is it ethical to ask for a new cone"? Am I babying my kids too much that they won't even be able to hold down a job one day? Should she have to sit there while we all finish our icecream and reflect how things could so easily have gone differently had she been more careful?

Friday, May 18, 2007

An Affirmation

Guest Editorial from Karen

If you're ever feeling low, see if these words are helpful:

I am what I am right now. Those around me are what they are right now. Discontent with what I am, or with others, does not change what is causing my discontent -- it only creates discord in me. Even feeling bad can be embraced -- it's just a feeling. Peace within me comes from creating resonance within me in response to everything that life presents to me. This includes my own thoughts. When all else fails, laughing at my flaws and weaknesses can lift the burden of the perceived importance of self.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Getting Through Divorce

Guest Editorial from Karen

I must say that tonight I am thinking, "thank goodness for the Internet." I both found some great support just by Googling "getting through divorce" and I'm able to air my thoughts, too. Today, a friend and I were wondering if someone had documented classic post-marital-breakup emotional stages, and sure enough, the first article that I pulled up did a great job of doing just that. A couple of excerpts:

The adjustment period after divorce trauma (whether you are the "leaver" or the "leavee") is between two and five years, depending somewhat on the amount of pre-grieving you've experienced. Some people begin the emotional journey when they realize the marriage is dead -- sometimes well before they mention the word "divorce" to their spouse.If you're in the early stages, you're probably wondering what to expect -- and how to accelerate (or even bypass) the painful stages to reach the place where you feel whole and happy again. Unfortunately, recovery from divorce is not an express elevator from the basement of grief to the penthouse of joy. It's more like a maze: you go forward a bit, become confused, find the way forward again, hit a wall, retrace your steps, find a new way forward, realize you took the wrong turn and back-track again. Like wandering through a hall of mirrors, you confront yourself -- or what looks like yourself -- around every corner.

The first year is characterized by numbness, denial, relief, acute periods of pain, and back to numbness again. This is the divorce roller coaster, which includes periods of euphoria ("how nice to be rid of that louse!") followed by deep lows ("oh my God: she's really gone!"). During the first year, you may sometimes feel like a robot going through the motions of living without really participating in your own life, or like an unwilling passenger on a wild roller coaster ride.

The whole article is at this link.

Another great article is on gratitude in divorce. Here is an excerpt:

During my marriage I learned and experienced at least 100 things that have contributed to my life. When I breathe them in and honor my life by honoring my experiences, I bask in the joy of emotional freedom. My list of the gifts of my marriage looks like this:
I have the child I always wanted.
I moved to beautiful La Jolla, California.
I get to be a parent to Beau.
My sister moved to La Jolla to be close to us.
I began working with Deepak Chopra.
I developed the Shadow Process.
My ex-husband paid off my school loans.
I was able to experience having a family of my own.
My parents moved to La Jolla to be near Arielle, Beau, and me.
I received enough money to stay home and write my first book.
I had the privilege of being the daughter-in-law of Bernice and Marty.
I've learned how to look at life through the eyes of another.
I learned that you don't have to go to Harvard to be brilliant.
I've learned how to share and include others in my life even if I disagree with them.
I've become more thoughtful in my words.
I received the inspiration for my second book.
I've learned to not verbalize every thought I might be having.
I've had the profound experience of seeing how others change as I change.
I learned that I could make it on my own with a child.
I'm learning how to be a good mother.
I've learned that co-parenting can be a joy.
I've learned that in conflict I need to keep the attention on myself.
I had the wedding I always dreamed of.
I've learned to ask for what I need.

How can I resent a man who has given me so many gifts?

Lastly, I ran across the following fantastic tip in another article. How ready I was to start making a new life out of new changes, but now I realize it is wise to:

Delay major changes
Who you are today is not who you will be tomorrow or in a year from now. Fears will be resolved. Don't dismay if one day you feel confident and strong, the next ragged and worn out. Delay any major changes for six months. In a separation, when your self-esteem may be low or your anger may seek revenge, this especially means great caution with the opposite sex. Dr. Joy Browne best explains rebounding in "Dating for Dummies" where she advises waiting at least a year to date. I loved her line: "Hang out with friends, large groups, small countries." She's right. You can meet your social needs without risking heartache.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Laptop Lunches

For those of us with kids starting school in the fall, and those of us that are freakishly concerned about nutrition in the cafeteria, check out this site. The website makes me hungry.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Organization Help?

I know this is a funny post coming from me, but my neighbor is a professional organizer. She is amazing. Every single time I've been to her house, not a thing is out of order. A great example for myself. Oddly enough, every time she has been in my house she has said "You know, I organize professionally, don't you"?

I thrive on the mess and disorder, but for those of you that don't....



Does it take you a long time to find things?

Are your closets so full your clothes are wrinkled?

Do you miss important dates because you lost the invitation?

Are you usually late for appointments?

Call her- Edy Allen, she will change your life, that is, if you are looking for a change.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Lovely Day For a Hike

On occasion being a stay at home mom gets to me. I get tired of the potty accidents, the spilled food, the constant fighting, the endless sink full of dishes, the house that is never clean.... and the list goes on. Then the weather changes. Life is suddenly so amazing. We have been blessed with the most incredible days these last few weeks. The sun is shining, the air is warm and lacking humidity, our windows are open and the rain comes in the evenings or for only a few minutes- it's impossible to be inside.

The girls and I have been able to take full advantage of these days by going on daily nature hikes. This is the reason I wanted to stay home. To teach my kids to love the outdoors. We start off the day with a quick read of the paper, by just me, interrupted frequently of course. Then we head outside. Now that I have a five year old who is strong enough to manage one of the dogs, the three of us have been hiking everyday, with the two dogs. One dog goes off leash, one on leash, held by my oldest daughter. I hold the hand of my soon to be three year old, and the baby is in the backpack. All is wonderful. We hike for a little over an hour each day, and suddenly there is the absence of all fights, and other things that can get us down over the course of the morning. Today we mixed things up a little, we went to story time at the arts and crafts library in Corryville, Wednesdays at 10:30am, and went hiking in the evening- all to end our day with a picnic dinner at the park with some friends and their dogs.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Breaking a Habit

Doesn’t it feel great to do something different than whatever you tend to do by habit? And you know when you’ve done it, too. Some of the habits that we have are clear for all to observe, if they happen to be watching – smoking, drinking, watching tv, etc. Others, only those closest to us know about. Still others might only be known to ourselves. We are definitely more intimately involved with our own habits than anyone else is. And they fit our psyche so very comfortably. Mental patterns and actions that others wouldn’t even want to try on, and to which they would definitely never create feelings of attachment. But it goes both ways – their habits wouldn’t suit us either. Just because a habit suits you doesn’t mean it’s a keeper, though. I think that even so-called “good” habits are worth shedding once in awhile. I think it’s like dropping a piece of luggage – it can make you feel a little lighter.