simple is beautiful…a message for the moms and dads out there :)

Ok.  I figured parenthood would be challenging.  Everyone talks about the sleeplessness, the lack of personal time, and the farewell to freedom.  But I didn’t realize what some of the other obstacles would be and I guess I wasn’t prepared for how often I would feel like I really didn’t know what to do or how to handle a situation.  Even when it comes to the really, really great times, the times we watch what our little (or big) ones do, watch them accomplish something, go for something for the first time, make some sort of incredible association, and we want to say something, but don’t know exactly what to say.

Theories abound these days regarding child-rearing.  We hear from “Tiger Moms” who say expecting greatness and refraining from too much praise leads to independence.  While Dr. Sears (the “father” of Attachment Parenting) suggests that you can never love your child or support your child too much.  Then there’s RIE which favors large amounts of dialogue and narration of what it seems your child is feeling and doing over excessive praise so that s/he may remain fully authentic and capable.  All of these approaches seem to share the same ultimate goal: confident, happy, well-adjusted children who grow into happy and well-adjusted adults.

With all this information, I must admit that I sometimes feel stalled in my reactions when I witness certain moments of what I feel is “awesomeness” in my son.  Then I read this.  It made so much sense and hit me so profoundly as something that is so right, I wept: “I love to watch you play.”

Have a look and see what you think:

http://www.handsfreemama.com/2012/04/16/six-words-you-should-say-today/

snacks reinvented…

One of my all-time biggest peeves is wasting food. I’m slightly neurotic about it, actually, which drives my husband kind of crazy.  One day I had what Oprah has coined an “a-ha moment”… I could turn all that leftover yogurt my son didn’t finish into tasty, healthy treats!  You can, too – it takes all of 60 seconds. Just put a few bits of fruit of your choice (frozen or fresh) in the bottoms of a popsicle maker and then spoon the yogurt on top. Your child can also help by putting in the fruit or the popsicle sticks, and voilá!  Yogurt popsicles for the whole family!  P.s. this works wonders on those teething babes or for sore throats/mouths

Homemade Playdough :)

It’s great for little ones to experiment with textures and forming shapes.  They have fun while working on their motor skills.  Check out this playdough recipe!  It’s all natural, as organic as you want it to be, and it’s ready in a flash.  Store it in a zip-top bag or covered container and let the good times roll!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon oil

Directions: Mix all the dry ingredients, then slowly add water and oil.  Heat the mixture on the stove in a pot over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until much of the moisture has evaporated.  Dough will form a ball when finished.  Allow to cool.

If you build it…they will come

Being a mom is great.  Really, it is.  But some days, time seems to stand still and I am left wondering what I am going to do with my child until dinner rolls around.  One day I found the most perfect pinecone, no easy feat in Los Angeles, and I knew it would be my ticket out of the doldrums for us when boredom struck.  You likely made one in childhood at sometime: The Pinecone Bird Feeder.  Super simple and not as much mess as I feared, we coated the pinecone in peanut butter, smooshing it into all the crevices, and then rolled it in birdseed.  I then tied a long hemp string to the top and hung it from a tree near our kitchen window.  We waited in anticipation, but it took a little while for our first customers to arrive.  I sped the process along by sprinkling some birdseed on the ground nearby.  But, 24 hours later, the tree was atwitter with birds of many colors all clamoring to get a piece of our hot, pinecone action!