Monday, April 27, 2009

Is there such a thing as a Fruitatarian?

Tia has pretty much always been a vegetarian, even as an infant. She just doesn't eat meat products. I've learned to accept that and try to figure out other ways to get her to eat protein. She used to love beans. She and D.R. could eat a whole bag of edamame together. She also used to drink milk with breakfast and dinner, and loved cheese. Those days are gone. She says milk hurts her tummy, she doesn't like cheese, and all things green are off her menu!

What's a Mom to do? She loves apples and grapes. That's about it. Could she really be a fruitatarian? There's no protein in fruit so I'm not sure how she can sustain life on that.

This morning I tried to bribe her with chocolate milk. I had until now been very proud that my kids have NEVER even tasted chocolate milk. In my defense, it was actually Carnation Instant Breakfast, but still, it was bribery. Her response to my offer was "No thanks, I just want water please". Well, at least she's polite!

Her daily menu usually consists of toast with peanut butter and jelly for breakfast, apple sauce or an apple for lunch (no protein here) then about half a yogurt and some grapes for dinner. She might be convinced to have a graham cracker for an evening snack. I wish I could follow this diet, I'd be bikini ready in no time!

So my challenge this week is to try to find healthy things to feed my daughter, that also have protein and calcium in them. Today it was Instant Breakfast and yogurt. Let's see what I come up with tomorrow!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Good intentions, not such a good outcome

Today is a gorgeous, sunny 80 degree day. I promised the girls a walk to the library and then the park. I thought in order to take full advantage of the day, we should pack a lunch. Tia is really into picnics these days, so she was all for it. While making lunch, Tia was watching "Caillou" and noticed he was eating heart shaped pancakes. She thought that was really neat. Not to be outdone by a cartoon Mom, I decided to do shaped sandwiches. We had done this once before for her birthday tea party. I found the biggest cookie cutters I own and here is the result.

We all know I don't like to waste food, so Gia and I had the left over crust for breakfast. Not bad with a cup of coffee!

So, about 5 minutes before we were ready to leave, Tia decided to have a full blown tantrum, complete with screaming that could be heard by neighbors on all sides. I'm not sure what is going on with her but it was not pretty. I made her sit in the naughty chair, then on her bed, still more screaming. Finally I told her that Gia and I were walking to the park and she was free to join us. She followed me and Gia all the way to the park, screaming at the top of her lungs, the whole way. I'm sure all the other Mommy's thought I was a horrible Mom because I just ignored the screaming. I thought it would be unfair to Gia if we didn't get to go, or if Tia got all the attention for having a tantrum. So we played, and listened to irrational, uncontrollable screaming. Eventually (after about 30 minutes) she decided she'd like to have some fun too. We played, got some sun, had lunch/snacks, then it was time to go back home. Miracle of all miracles, neither of them cried when it was time to head home.
I will think of this day each time someone tells me it would be fun to have another baby.
I say, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Do I get Mommy points for having good intentions today? I sure hope so.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

All tuckered out

This morning I had the girls stay upstairs with I cleaned. I thought it would keep them away from the television for at least a little while, and I was right. Tia got right into the groove and started cleaning up her room. She even made her bed, perfectly.
They helped me tidy up, put books away, put clothes in drawers, and change sheets. I think it's a great idea to get them into the habit of helping around the house, and at this age they think it's fun.
We then came down to clean up the first floor. I had the girls put all their blocks away in the play room while I vacuumed the family room. They did a great job.

By 11am. Gia had discreetly gone back upstairs.

A few moments later this is how I found them.

She not only went up to get her pacifier (which is supposed to stay in her crib), she grabbed her favorite quilt that was made with love by Great, Great Aunt Joan.

Apparently toddlers get tired out from doing chores! I think this was their quiet way of letting me know they had done enough.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring in in the Air!

I told the kids it was warm enough to have our snack outside today. Tia specifically wanted to have a picnic on the grass. Well, I happened to have this great blanket that is designed just for that. I was grocery shopping a couple months ago and found it on the (you guessed it) clearance rack. It was originally $14.99 and it was marked down to...hold on to your hats...$1.49! It folds up into a little square with a handle so you can carry it to the park. The underside is lined with nylon so the blanket won't get wet if the ground is damp. I bought two!
The blanket was a big hit and I have the feeling we won't be able to go to the park without it from now on.

After she was done with her snack, Gia wanted to check the mail.

Tia got nervous about her baby sister being so close to the road and decided to take control of the situation. She dragged her by the hand back to the blanket (several times). You can see by the look on Tia's face, she is all business.
Safety first!

After a snack, a few trips to the mail box, and a couple test drives of the tricycles that have been in the garage all winter, it was time for a cookie!

A little warmer weather and sunshine is all it took to get us out in the fresh air, and away from the TV. By the time we got back inside it was nap time. Time flies when you're having fun!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hi, My name is Ronda and I'm an addict!

I think I'm totally addicted to reading. My current 'drug' of choice is Janet Evanovich. The funny thing is that I NEVER used to read fiction. I figured if I was going to read something, I might as well learn something factual.
My friend Emily send the first 3 books in the Evanovich series to my Mom to read while going through chemo. She passed them on to me. I read all 3 in just 4 days! I was thrilled to discover there are lots and lots more.
Last year I wrote a post about wanting to read more and that I had read 10 books by July. That's 6 months to read 10 books. I thought that was pretty good at the time. Today I am proud to say that I have finished my 11th book, and this time it only took me 3 months! It's not that I am a faster reader. It helps that my kids no longer take bottles, one of them is totally potty trained, and they both still nap nicely every afternoon. Talk about free time! I'm carving out some "me time" each day and I love it. It's so quiet in the house when the girls go to bed. I turn off the TV, curl up on the couch, and get totally lost in the latest adventure.
I guess I could be addicted to much worse things. So, here's to the next 11 books!

Monday, April 13, 2009

What a Difference a Year Makes

I wanted to post this yesterday but it took me a while to fine last year's picture.
Here is Gia on her first birthday with her big bunny, and then on her second birthday next to the same bunny. She has definitely grown in a year!

I think her face has a more 'mature' look this year. She's not a baby any more!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to Gia!

Here is our big 2 year old. If you ask her how old she is, she'll likely tell you "Four!". It was so sweet that her birthday fell on Easter Sunday this year. Instead of a party, we had some friends over for Easter brunch, and the birthday cake was our dessert. Nonna and PaPa were here from NY to help us celebrate. It was a great day.

She really liked the Elmo cake

After brunch, dessert and presents, we decided to get the kids outside for an egg hunt. They absolutely loved it!

I can't believe 2 years has gone by so fast. I know everyone says that, but it's true. It seems like just yesterday we brought her home from the hospital.
We are truly blessed with our little birthday Easter bunny!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Coloring Easter Eggs

We tried our hand at decorating Easter eggs again this year. I was a bit worried because Giuliana actually wanted to participate this year. She's sort of messy with ordinary things, let alone dye! It went really well and I can't believe how fast we went through a dozen eggs. I think I should have made more.
There's always next year.

Here's the finished product. They were both so proud of their work.

Whenever I take on a project like this I think of how the heck my Mom did it when there were 4 of us. We did it all though, Easter eggs, carving pumpkins, waxing leaves. I don't know how she had the energy or patience, but now I feel I have to continue the tradition with my kids. I figure I'll probably learn to be more patient through it all.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Toddler Art Class

I'm sure I'm not the only one to say "They never had that stuff when I was a kid". I'm amazed at all the things available for young children now. I signed Gia up for a toddler art exploration class at the local recreation center. We were supposed to start last week but that's when Tia had her fever so we couldn't go.
Gia was very excited to go and meet her teacher. She was also pleased to know she didn't have to go into the babysitting room where we left Tia. Funny how she was perfectly fine leaving her sister there, but wouldn't dream of staying with her!
We started out having great fun with paint and glue, but Gia became quickly irritated by the mess on her hands and wanted to go wash them at every opportunity. Odd, she loves making messes at home.
After about half an hour she became bored with the whole thing and told me she wanted to go get "Sissy" and then go home for "wunch" (lunch). I guess she's a girls who knows what she wants, and isn't afraid to say so!
Here she is proudly displaying the necklace she made. She wore it for a little while then ripped it off and said "Nonna". We'll give it to Nonna tomorrow since she will be in town for Easter.

We'll be back at it again next week!

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm a blog slacker

I haven't updated in a while but have good reason. My Mom is my biggest blog fan, a faithful reader. She makes sure to remind me if it's been a while since I've posted something new. Well, my Mom is in the hospital again. She doesn't have a computer with her so she can't see if I've written or not, and even more importantly, she can't yell at me!

Also, I picked up whatever virus Tia was trying to fight off the other day. It has turned into a horrendous cough now. So, after I bragged that we have only had one illness all year, I jinxed myself and got sick! I'd rather have it be me, than the kids anyway.

We're laying low and staying home all day today. We're trying our best to get well before Nonna and PaPa arrive on Wednesday. Easter is at our house this year, as it's also Giuliana's birthday. Hopefully by then I'll have something new and positive to write about!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Only one sickness all year!

Well, yesterday Tia had a low grade fever. Neither of the girls have been sick at all for as long as I can remember. I had suspended my health club membership for the winter months which means the kids wouldn't be going to the day care there. Lo and behold, no colds!
Thankfully the fever lasted less than 24 hours, and she is back to her old cheerful self today. We have spent the last 2 days in the house, watching too much TV, and doing a lot of cuddling. You can't have too much of that. Hopefully we'll get back outside tomorrow.

I was thinking that this is probably the last year ever that we will go a whole school year with no colds in the house. Tia will start pre-school in the fall and I'm sure she'll be bringing all sorts of stuff home with her. I'm pretty sure that stuff will get shared with the rest of us as well. So, I am going to be forever grateful for the one year we had with no illness!

The only other news to report in our family pertains to my job. I usually drive into Chicago once or twice a month to work a few hours in an interpreting center. It's about an hour drive each way. I am happy to report that my company is opening a center a little closer to home, and means a much better commute for me. I will be driving in the opposite direction, away from Chicago, which will be so much more pleasant. I'm really excited about this change and may even accept more work now that it won't be such a hassle to get there.

That's all the news to report in the Salerno family today.
Have a great day!