Use Your Words Sweetie

 

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The ability to express emotion, whether verbally or written, is important for a healthy social and emotional development.  From frustration to jubilation, we teach kids what actions or words are appropriate for those feelings.  Emotion talk is probably one of the hardest ways to convey a persons feelings because sometimes it’s hard to “find the right words”.  Supporting a child’s emotional understanding from day to day is a task that is not just important, but it’s necessary to help them as they grow.

As I work to teach my children how to express themselves, imagine my surprise when I came across these LoveSnack cards the other day.  They are affirmation cards you put in your child’s lunch box.  A product on the mirrorbook.me website, these cards feature  loving and positive messages that you can include in your son or daughters lunch box.  What makes these cards unique is that the cartoon characters span several races.  No one card is the same.  I think this is very important as I work with my children to recognize and appreciate the differences in everyone.

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On the reverse of each card is a place for you to fill in the name of your child, and who the card is from.

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I am putting these in my 6 year old’s lunch box today.  Although I wanted the card to be a surprise, my daughter is very inquisitive and wanted to know what I was writing.  So, I sat with her and read the front of the card and told her when she was finished her school day she could answer the “How Do You Feel Today?” portion.

I’m excited to incorporate this into our morning routine!

 

These cards are an awesome addition to any child’s lunchbox and I feel that they could also be used outside of the home by teachers and other individuals that work with young children.  And did I mention that the founder of the product was featured in O magazine too! (Yes, Oprah!!)

I encourage everyone to look into these products! I’m happy I was able to receive them.

The whole set of cards can be purchased for only $10 at www.mirrorbooks.me .  Get 10% off your order by using the code NewCustomer16 .

 

**NOTE: I received this product for free.  I was not asked to write a review for this product or to promote this product in any way.  My review was based on my genuine love of this product.  This review contains no affiliate links.

5 Things I Won’t Miss Now That My Kids Are Back In School

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My kids went back to school on Tuesday and the joy that filled my heart was out of this world.   I love my kids with ALL my heart, but they can not only work a nerve, but gang jump that nerve and make that nerve their bitch.  But those are my babies!

Here are a few phrases I won’t miss now that my darlings are back in school:

  1. I’m bored: My 6 year old managed to say this as soon as she woke up.  Before breakfast. While at the playground.  While eating a snack.  While watching TV. While at the beach.  In her sleep.
  2. Can I have a snack?:  I feed my kids, and I don’t mind giving them a snack between meals, but these kids think they should have an after snack snack.  In their mind their feeding schedule should go as follows:
    • Snack, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, snack, snack, dinner, dessert, snack
  3. It’s my turn for the remote! : I try to limit TV time for my kids, but with the new baby and juggling everything with my full time job, I’d sometimes let them watch TV a lot more than I’d like.  We have a total of 7 TVs in this house.  3 with cable. 4 with Roku/Chromecast.  They choose to fight over 1 TV. *sigh*  I usually end the fighting by telling them to turn it off and find something to do that doesn’t involve a TV.
  4. It’s hot outside! :  IT’S SUMMER!!!!!
  5. Why? : This is a year round phrase, but during the summer it popped up more often. It didn’t matter what I said to them, they’d ask why.  And it wasn’t a disrespectful why all the time.  They just needed to know EVERYTHING.
    • Me: Get dressed.  Them: Why? Me: Because I’m selling you to the highest bidder.  Them: Why?  Me: Because you ate all my snacks! NOW GET DRESSED!

Me and baby Ken are going to try to enjoy our time alone as best we can.  I know a closed school day is lurking around the corner!

Check out our video!

 

Quick Bites: Pureed Apple & Peaches

tempBaby food is a bit expensive these days.  I didn’t realize how expensive until I started introducing my little one to solids.  I made baby food for my other children when they were younger, so it wasn’t a huge leap for me to make some for my newest bundle.  I also believe homemade baby food is a bit more healthy than store bought, but I will TOTALLY buy a jar of baby food with no reservations.  I just understand that jar food is made using concentrated ingredients and water.  That can make the sugar content a bit higher than if you are to simply mash a few fruits and veggies yourself.  Plus I love the fact that you can create your own recipes/unique food combinations.

I’ve been having a ball with my new copper chef pans so I am also using any excuse to just use them!

 

 

This recipe calls for only 3 ingredients and is super easy to make.

I used 2 apples, 1 peach and about 8 strawberries.

I boiled the fruit for about 10 mins to get them nice and warm.  I then covered the pot and let everything sit for about 45 minutes.  The water should be cool to warm and you should be able to handle the fruit.  The skin literally falls off the apple and peach.  Discard the skin and seeds, and place the flesh of the fruit in your blender or food processor.  The strawberries are  used in this recipe for flavor.  (I don’t actually add them into the puree).  Scoop a few spoonfuls of the strawberry colored water into the blender.  I used my Vitamix to get a really smooth consistency.  The amount of water depends on the consistency wanted.  More water yields a thinner puree.

Since this is for a 5 month old, I used a bit more water.

I’ve heard various ways to store homemade baby food.  Since I breastfeed my daughter, I simply used the breastfeeding bags for storage.

I’d only recommend keeping the frozen puree in your freezer for no longer than 4 months.  But feel free to use your own discretion.

Since I had a lot of the strawberry water, I made a nice strawberry lemonade.  Nothing is better than natural strawberry flavoring!  No red dyes.  *smile*

 

 

 

The Other Women

The other day my mom sent me chocolate covered strawberries.   The note attached was fitting since I have 4 kids and she knew they’d be in my face asking for some.   

Hi! My name is Crystal and I’m stingy! I really don’t like sharing,  but I do share.  They say it’s the right thing to do,  or something like that. 

When it comes to my friends,  I’m even more possessive.  But I understand that I can’t be everywhere at once,  so my friends are allowed to have other friends. 

I kid.  I kid.  Honestly,  as I grew up,  I struggled with sharing the people special to me. From my mom to my BFF, it has always been this way.   I don’t know if it stemmed from daddy issues or what.

Fast track to now, and I no longer have those feelings about sharing my friends (still not sharing my strawberries). 

To the close friends of my mom and my sister-friends,  I say to you “Thank you for being a friend”. Real talk. 

Now I’m not talking about you raggedy ones, that are only good for sharing funny memes on FB, but won’t lend a listening ear when trouble comes. I mean REAL friends. 

  I now find comfort in knowing that there is someone out there that loves my loved ones as much as I do.   I’m a worrier,  and if someone presents me with a problem,  I naturally try to fix it.  It’s nice to know that there is someone else on the team to help.   

I love my close friends.   I love my mom. And I guess by default,  I love you too.

Kid Approved Spaghetti Squash (low carb)

In a last minute effort to create a tasty, quick and healthy meal for my family, I remembered I had a spaghetti squash.  It’s fairly easy to prepare the squash and virtually takes on any flavor you throw at it. 

Since I was pressed for time,  I made it with a meat sauce.  The squash itself is about 7 carbs per serving (1 cup).  This is great since my daughter is a type 1 diabetic. 

To cook the squash,  I sliced it in half,  added some garlic salt to the flesh and baked  (cut side down) in a baking dish (filled with 1/4 cup water) for 25 minutes on 375°.  I made sure to cover the squash so it wouldn’t burn.  Cooking times may very depending on your oven.  I have a convection oven. 

While that cooked I made the tomato meat sauce.  Feel free to use your own recipe.   

Once the squash was done,  I forked out the “noodles” and added them to my meat sauce.

After mixing it all together,  I added the mixture to the empty squash skin,  topped with shredded mozzarella cheese and baked until the cheese melted. 

You can serve with a salad to complete the meal.

The kids enjoyed it and it really didn’t take any longer than making traditional spaghetti.   PLUS IT HAS WAY LESS CARBS!  😉

“Look Ma!” Our Adventure for the Day

Today me and the girls decided to go on a short adventure. I needed to unplug from my laptop. I also wanted the kids to stop watching tv for the day.   

We traveled about 9 miles from our house to a national park. We brought our lunch and ate on a bench overlooking the Potomac River. There’s so much to do at the Fort Washington Park. We wished we had arrived earlier so we could have explored the entire park. I didn’t imagine the kids would enjoy our adventure as much as they did. They were so sad to leave. I let them know that since this treasure was so close to home, that we would definitely be back to explore some more. I can honestly say that they seemed genuinely happy as they ran around.