I have tried to use the racecar grocery cart. It is the most unyielding thing to try to push down the aisle of a store. JDaniel was placed in one at Home Depot once and ever since then he has pointed to them frantically as we enter the grocery store. They are always right inside the door. It is like they are waiting for him. I have tried to explain to him that you can’t have a petite mommy that is not muscle bound and ride in the cart with the car. Only big moms can use those carts. So far he is buying it. The day is coming when he is going to notice that there are little moms pushing those horrible carts that don’t turn in aisles. I hope it doesn’t happen soon.
I was just reading a post by Thrifty and Chic Mom called Tips for Avoiding the Flu.She has a great list of tips. I am only going to post five. Please go to her site and read the complete list.
1.Keep hand sanitizer with you always and use it frequently. I keep it in my car, my purse and around the house.
2.Eat healthy, if you are already healthy you reduce your risk of getting sick plus if you get sick you will get better faster.
3.Exercise, much like the healthy eating this reduces your risk and helps you get better faster if you do get sick.
4.Have a plan for if mom gets sick that includes people lined up to help get your kids where they need to go, but remember to stay home if you are sick and not expose others.
5.Have your sick supplies on hand make sure you have tylenol or motrin (adults & kids) , kleenex, hand sanitizer, cough drops and vitamin C.
Mom and Dad’s computer is a favorite thing for the whole family. JDaniel has a little laptop that he enjoys, but not as much as his parent computer. The screen is in color and the keyboard is bigger. Maybe that is why he loves it. I am not sure. I just know he makes a bee line to it now.
I have been trimming JDaniel’s hair for months. I just cut his curls off the collar of his pajamas, his bangs and the little wisps of hair that hang over his ears after he has a bath. Today I decided to take him for his first haircut to a hair salon for kids. They advertise that the first haircut is only one penny. He loved waiting for his turn while sitting in a motorcycle chair and looking around at the toys in the waiting area. When it was his turn, I was asked if a pair of scissors had ever touched his head. Yes, I admitted. He has had a trim now and then but, he has never had a haircut. Well, then he isn’t eligible for the 1 cent cut. His haircut will be seventeen dollars I was told. I am a cheap as they come as you will read in the next paragraph, but I did splurge. JDaniel had his hair cut in the racecar chair where he could watch a movie on a monitor. He was so good about the whole thing. That is until the stylist took out the trimmer to go around his ears. The sound really bothered him. JDaniel is going to be going to a family wedding in two weeks and now he looks amazingly cute.
The second hair cut is the frugal one. It isn’t as frugal as it could have been. On the way back from JDaniel’s haircut I saw a sign in front of the vocational high school in town. The sign advertised haircuts for four dollars. I have to admit I seriously thought about it. I just need to have my hair trimmed about an inch. Instead I went and paid eight dollars and fifty cents to a local hairstyling franchise in town. Their haircuts are usually I little more than that, but I had a coupon on the back of my Bi-Lo grocery store receipt for a discounted haircut. Honestly I don’t look nearly as amazingly cute as JDaniel, but it was the right price for what I had done.
Disney has a great video about chat rooms called “Whose Afraid of the Little Sweet Sheep.” I am not advocating children ever use chat rooms. I am saying I used to show this to my students to explain the dangers of chat rooms.
I love this site on PBS that allows you to get you web license. There is one thing I don’t like and it is the first thing it asks children to do. The site asks children to type in their name for the license. I don’t think there is ever a reason for children to put their name up on the internet. When I was teaching internet safety I told them to write “me” or their initials. The questions they ask on the quiz are very relevant and would be good to answer together. I just won’t have them put their name.
Safe Kids also has an online quiz on internet use. It doesn’t print out a cute license, but asks kids important questions.
I have used this site for years with children. She has how to cite a web resource, an interactive listing of search tools for kids, a glossary of technology buzzwords and the ten commandments of computer ethics. This is a great resource for children.
I was reminded of another computer related Mommyhood Tip today. JDaniel likes to hop from computer to computer and loves to have the headphones on. In my previous life as a technology resource teacher we cleaned the headphones in the computer lab often. I am not sure how often they get a chance to clean the headphones in the library. JDaniel is going to be getting a cheap pair of headphones from the dollar store to use at the library. With flu season here and lots of children with colds it will be a good investment.
We discussed the internet and computer usage at the Mentor Moms group I attend at my church. One thing that kept coming up was the amount of time both parents and children spend on the computer. A suggestion was to set a kitchen timer for the amount of time you want to be on the computer and to stop working on the computer when it goes off. I know easier said than done.
My friend Leila hosted playgroup today. She had the best soups. I asked for recipes so I could pass them on to you.
Chicken and Barley Soup
• 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approximately 1 lb / 455 g), cubed
• 2 Tbsp / 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
• 1 small onion, chopped finely
• 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
• 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch / 1/2 cm coins
• 3 stalks of celery, chopped into 1/4-inch / 1/2 cm pieces
• 1 large tomato, chopped into 1/4-inch / 1/2 cm pieces
• 1 tsp / 5 ml dried thyme
• 1 tsp / 5 ml dried celery seed
• 1/2 cup / 120 ml pearled barley
• 2 qt./2L of low-sodium organic chicken stock
• 1/2 tsp / 2 1/2 ml sea salt
• 1/2 tsp / 2 1/2 ml fresh ground black pepper
Place barley in bowl with just enough water to cover it.
Heat olive oil on medium heat in an 8-quart stockpot.
Add the chopped onion and garlic to the olive oil, cooking for 5 minutes.
Add the chicken to stockpot, along with the salt and black pepper. Brown for 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, vegetables, and spices to the pot.
Drain the water from the barley. Add the barley to the soup.
Let the soup boil for 30 minutes on medium heat.
Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup
• 2-3 sweet potatoes, sliced length-wise
• 1/3 cup / 80 ml of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 sweet onion, cut into large chunks
• 1 bulb of garlic
• 1/2 tsp / 2 1/2 ml of rice bran oil*
• 1/2 cup / 120 ml of canned pumpkin puree
• 2-3 cups / 480 – 700 ml of low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth
• 2 Tbsp / 30 ml of fresh lime juice
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• Ground nutmeg
*If you can’t find rice bran oil, olive oil will do
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a large roasting pan by pouring the olive oil into it, letting it coat the bottom. Cut the sweet potato in half and place in the roasting pan. Using a sharp knife, cut the top of the garlic bulb off and drizzle with rice bran oil. Place in the roasting pan with the other vegetables. Bake for 40 minutes or until tender. Remove and let stand.
Remove sweet potato from the pan and place in a large stock pot. Add the roasted onion and squeeze the roasted garlic flesh in as well. Add the canned pumpkin, 2 cups of chicken stock and lime juice and bring to a boil. Add more chicken stock to make the soup less thick. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Using a hand blender, puree the soup until it is evenly smooth. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.