Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Flannel PJ Baby

Eleanor is our baby.  All the kids are our kids, but William and Lainy Ann definitely favor me in looks and personality.  While Alexander and Connor take after Caskey's family.  But Eleanor is the perfect combination.

The girl can sleep.  She is often the last one up in the morning and likes to go to be fairly early.  She is the spitting image of Connor - complete with round face, tall, and big.  She is wearing size 4T and 5T clothes at 2 1/2 years.  She is a giant.

But she is also *my* baby.  Today during nap time she wouldn't sleep until she was changed into her flannel Christmas jammies.  It was 75* today.  But she needed to be in her cozy flannel jammies to rest.  She cracks me up.  She got them out of her drawer and brought them to me.  She sifted through the elephant jammies, the nightgown, and the new panda jammies with tags.  She was searching for her santa jammies.  Even though her little belly is sticking out since they are last years Christmas jammies.

She is similarly *my* baby at school.  She is a bossy little thing, getting on the other kids to follow directions.  Then when they don't she says, "I'm angry.  No feet on furniture".  If they still don't listen she will move the furniture away from them.  At least she isn't putting her hands on another child.  I guess it could be worse.

Whipping Cream Drink

I have two skinny-minis in our family.  They were always tiny and skinny  It was just part of their DNA.  But once they started taking Daytrana it became a real struggle to keep the calories on them - especially with all of their physical activities.  

My husband suggested the kids drink whipping cream.  This is much preferable to the doctor's suggestion of nightly milkshakes and ice cream - which just causes tantrums in a family of 5 children.  I was trying to give them pediasure for a while too - but the chemicals, additives, corn syrup and dyes make me nervous.

Whipped Cream snack is a whole food and I know exactly what is going into it.  Although I am adding sugar, you can add honey, agave, or even stevia - depending on your sugar preference.  

Each night before bedtime I make the 2 kids a glass of whipping cream.  Whipping cream by itself is pretty bland so I add a bit of vanilla extract and a tsp of sugar as well. 

The goal for me is the snack has to be easy.  I could also make smoothies, but then I am stuck making a lower calorie one for the non-skinnies and then I have to clean the blender.

 After the ingredients are added I stir it all together. 

Whipping cream is 50 calories per tablespoon.  The above serving is approximately a cup putting the caloric intake at 821 +sugar.  

Some people have mentioned that the children should be eating healthier calories.  I agree, but healthier calories are usually a lower calorie count.  We usually make up the difference in calories with fast food hamburgers, fast food milkshakes, or even ice cream.  I can't imagine any of those things are healthier than a drink with 3 ingredients.

The drink is a little cost prohibitive at $6 a quart.  However, pediasure isn't too cheap either.  I believe I got 6 servings out of the quart - so $1/serving.  I plan on looking for an organic less expensive brand in the future.

Finally, I am happy to report a cut-down on sleep-eating.  My medicated kids get so hungry between 10 pm and 6 am that I have found an entire box of granola bars empty or 1/2 dozen pumpkin muffins gone.  Its a struggle not getting mad when they are eating, however, they are eating overnight and not rebrushing teeth.  Plus, it has been very unpleasant finding missing food or crumbs in beds.  With the high fat content of this drink the kids feel fuller longer and don't get hungry, which is why they get it at bedtime. 

Why Soccer is Awesome

We are playing A LOT of soccer.  Lainy Ann is on a club team this year and is also the goalie.  We decided to also have her play AYSO this year.  That puts her total number of practices at 5 per week and up to 3 games each weekend.  Soccer is great for her for so many reasons, but this week she came home and told me a story.

Lainy Ann will not be able to attend a 6 pm Sunday soccer game 90 minutes from home because of her commitment to FLL Robotics.  We discussed is with the coach and decided he would be able to find other players to sub and since this isn't a league game it would be okay for Lainy Ann to miss.  Lainy Ann is the keeper.  She is the only keeper.  She plays goalie for the entire game, every game.  The team and the parents depend on her.  She is fearless and that makes her a good goalie.

Her teammates were dismayed when they found out she wasn't going to be at the game.  Several said, "What are we going to do without you?"  She replied, "Its okay.  You guys will do fine without me.  When we first started playing I would touch the ball 20 or 30 times during a game.  You all have gotten so good that I only touch the ball a few times during games."

This is why we play soccer.  Teamwork.  Plain and simple.  She is part of a team, part of a whole.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Webelos year

We are kicking off a new scouting year in all the dens and the pack. Connors first den meeting of the year is this evening so we spent Sunday evening talking about the transition from sub scouts to Webelos. We got out his book and talked about how he would need to start keeping track of his achievements as he works towards arrow of light.
We paged through the book looking at all the activity badges, checking off the badges he has completed. Often times Connor would say, "I haven't done that one". And I would assure him that he had during camp in which I was the leader. He kept repeating, 'wow. I have done a lot' over and over.
I told him that I have been working really hard to ensure he achieves all 20 activity badges and although it seems we do soccer all.the.time. That the reality is that I spend even more time reading, thinking, planning and researching opportunities for him to earn his badges.  He was pretty pleased and gave me a big 'thank you' hug.
We really do a lot of soccer these days, but we try very hard to ensure all the kids are doing all of 'their' activity - trumpet, flute, soccer, baseball, scouts or robotics.  Scouting is Connor's thing and he will get his Super Achiever patch next year.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Science In Chores

We have a lot more chores to do these days.  With all the volunteer work I am doing the kids are having to pitch in more, and they are getting older, so they are capable of it.  Today I asked Lainy Ann to disassemble a car seat for washing.  I felt a little guilty about it as that chore is clearly a 'parent chore' rather than dishes which is an everyone chore.

But as I set her to work on the project I realized that she is having to reverse engineer the car seat and figure out how it works to take is apart.  I gave her no other instruction other than "take the cover off".  She did great with the task and accomplished it quickly.

As we have really begun studying engineering and science with robotics it is amazing to discover engineering all around us.  Its been great fun for the kids to do basic engineering tasks - and being gender neutral when assigning them.

The previous day she had mopped the floor and the water on the floor was beading due to oil splatter.  We had a long discussion about oil and water mixing and the use of soap to cut the grease.  She observed the differences and was able to clean the floor.  Connor asked what was going on and she then explained to Connor about oil and water.  Connor responded, "Lainy Ann, I have mopped a floor before."