A Quick Tip

Hello! Popping in for a quick nutrition hack. We just got back from vacation and dinner last night was leftovers + Annie's mac and cheese. I hadn't gone grocery shopping yet and our veggies were fairly nonexistent, so I added about half a can of pureed butternut squash right into the finished mac and cheese. The verdict? No one could tell the difference! It doesn't even change the color (below). (And please note Amelia's worried face. Why is Mom photographing the food instead of serving it to me?) I'm not big into "hiding" veggies--I want my kids to learn to eat and maybe even like them--but with a family of noodle lovers (one in particular--Amelia could literally eat "noo noos" for three me

Surviving Car Trips with Toddlers

We don't have a great track record of painless car travel with kids so I am definitely no expert in this arena. But with an upcoming 10ish-hour (if we're lucky) ride to the Outer Banks, I have been crowdsourcing and prepping for weeks now, and thought I'd share what I've come up with. ACTIVITIES: Boogie Board Aquadoodle (to replace our old one--would highly recommend! Just make sure you get an extra pen) Water Wows (we bring these to church every week--also highly recommend) Glowstick bracelets Buckle toy (for Amelia, who is obsessed with buckles and zippers, and this has both!) Washi tape Magnetic dollhouse Puffy sticker books Color blasts Mini sketch pads I'll also be bringing our Doodle P

Ear Infections: A Natural Approach

Three and a half years into this mom thing and I still feel like a newbie in so many areas. One area I'm slowly gaining confidence is dealing with various health issues, and doing so as naturally as possible. I know that antibiotics are sometimes completely necessary and even life-saving. But I also think our culture often wants a quick fix for everything, and sometimes these drugs end up either doing A) nothing (as they are only effective for bacterial infections, not viral ones, and there is often no easy way to determine which you have aside from waiting) or B) doing more harm than good, resulting in antibiotic resistance, numerous side effects, and most importantly in my opinion, destroy

The Berry Hierarchy

There's a hierarchy of fruit preferences in our household that I decoded awhile ago, and was reminded of it yesterday when we hosted Mother's Day lunch and spent 98% of said lunch listening to Amelia yell "MORE!" and helping her rifle through the berry bowl for the most prized berries. Let's go through the hierarchy, from lowliest to most exalted: BANANAS: What is a banana? Might as well be feeding them trash. Nick brings these to work, and the ones that go brown end up in the freezer for smoothies (with berries; see below). APPLES: See banana, above. A last resort when the only other option is starvation. CITRUS (mostly clementines): Tolerated, but mostly at dinnertime when the alternatives

Happy Mother's Day + Weekend Links

TGIF! I woke up this morning and was immediately so happy when I realized it was the weekend already--this week flew by. To all the mamas (especially mine!), I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day! All I ever ask for is breakfast in bed and a few blessed moments of peace while I get ready for the day. If the weather cooperates, we will be having a picnic at a magical local arboretum, and I'm hoping the lilacs are still in bloom. Here are some links for your weekend! "Today we can choose a peaceful response." Loved this. Treating (and dressing) children like children--I couldn't agree more. Social success in kindergartners is just as important as good grades. A little dirt never hurt! On bo

It Begins With Me

We have been in what I'd consider the newborn and toddler trenches for almost four years now, and I've finally gotten the hang of what works for us in terms of routine and activity level. And as soon as that happened? Change! In the newborn days, I've been told by seasoned moms that it does get easier in some ways, but harder in others, and I am completely finding this to be true. In a couple of small ways, it feels like we're coming up for air a little bit. We are sleeping, the girls take their three-hour nap simultaneously each afternoon, and for the most part they really do play so nicely together, especially when I'm not in the room. Now I race and chase all day long (and still get nothi

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