Monday, September 27, 2010

A List (Of Recommendations)

Or boring life details you never cared to know.

#1 I like for us to eat oats for breakfast. I think limiting wheat is important, and we've gone through different phases of wheat avoidance for health reasons... but in general the kids and I eat oat cereal, or some such oat product, for breakfast. Even this one small change does make a difference.

On that note I have recently discovered a new oat cereal (warning: not organic)
I originally picked this up for Mr F. He is, by far, the pickiest most "white bready" style eater in the house. For this I damn him all the time. Anyway, Mr F loves to eat Apple Cinnamon Cheerios or something like that and pretend it's healthy. It's not. Even the raisin bran he likes has more sugar than Lucky Charms. So this seemed like a good compromise choice. Yes, it has some sugar (8g) but it also has 9 g of Fiber... 5 insoluble. It also has slightly more protein and similar sodium to plain Cheerios. I prefer to mix it half and half with regular Os for myself. It isn't very sweet but it does have a strong cinnamon taste. But more importantly, I will report that Kid said last week "Mom, when I eat that cereal I don't have a sick butt in the morning." So. Nuff said. Because that had been a problem. I promptly went to the store and bought two more boxes!


#2 Mr F and I have been watching 2-5 episodes of Lost EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. for the last month. We're just starting season 4 now. Holy Mother. We mocked Lost and Lost viewers relentlessly over the years. Anytime we saw a Lost commercial we'd say ... "Thank God we never got started with that crap!"
Um... we beg your forgiveness. There really aren't words to describe how awesome it is. Even, now, in the 4th season when things have kind of gotten a little crappy... it's still good.

Since moving we have not gotten any kind of TV service. And, people, I love it. Yes, I miss an occasional Oprah or Top Chef... but for the most part (thanks in no small part to Lost being such a prolific show) we don't regret it. We went through a phase during our separation where in order to survive I had to have the TV on... a lot. As a family we've had different TV viewing habits. I am a strong proponent of NO TV for kids... and we managed to maintain that with Kid for several years. Baby, not so much. And with the kids I do find that when it isn't an option they play SO MUCH MORE. There is no whining and asking for shows. There is no caving in. There is no feeling guilty for letting one show turn into 3 because I'm kind of enjoying the break. When they watch TV regularly it is always an issue... they are always asking for it... and when they aren't watching it during those higher TV viewing phases they are needier and more demanding and less satisfied to play on their own. When we don't have it at all ... I don't know how to even describe it... it's like we NEVER had it. They don't ask. (Although I should note that there is a short adjustment period. I found actually NOT having TV service was easier for them to accept, and there were only a few days of complaining, than in the past when I've just tried to put a ban on. No TV is kind of hard to get around when there is NO TV service.)

So, in light of that. We have not turned it on. We go to the library (where they have all the seasons of Lost!) and I rent Lost and a couple kid movies and on the weekend, or whenever the kids might watch a movie. This is completely satisfying to them. And there are no more sexy/violent commercials for me to have to intercept!

This weekend, after finding someone had checked out season 4 of Lost (the horrors!!!) we signed up for a free trial of Netflix (they have Lost for live streaming!). We got a Samsung blu-ray player with a 10 year old store credit Mr F found (go Crutchfield! They honored it!) so we could get Netflix (seriously, we are that behind the times... and we don't have a gaming system we could have used).

When we sat down to watch Lost, and brought it up through Netflix, Mr F said "I can't believe this magic box!"

And, really, I had that feeling people must have had when they first got a TV.

It's kind of amazing.

That's that. On average the kids watch 1 or 2 movies a week. I'm hoping Netflix doesn't push us over that. Only time will tell.


#3 I'm kind of loving this right now...

In general I am not a juice for kids person. And I am slightly disgruntled that Naked doesn't make this in an Organic version (which heads up Naked I'd be happy to pay a little more for!). But I've been happy to have this on hand these days. The summer fruit season is coming to an end here and this product has some crazy amount of fruit in it. It is a fruit puree and juice mix (strawberry & banana puree, apple & orange juice). It has more strawberries than anything else (11 per serving) and nothing is added to this product. And it is naturally low in sodium and high in potassium. On the days when Baby isn't eating anything (99 out of 100) she will drink a cup of this. And on the day that Kid buys lunch at school (Mac & Cheese day) I send her a thermos of this so I know she at least had some kind of vegetation. If you buy the little bottles this is extremely expensive. But I've recently found these large 64 oz bottles for 6 bucks. Which for the 94 strawberries alone is cheaper than I could make this at home for. Plus, we all know, if I tried to make this the kids would not drink it. It would surely be, in Baby's words, "agusting". That's just how the cookie crumbles around here.

On the lunch front Kid still brings her lunch the rest of the days. I had to go buy a lumberjack's lunch bag because Kid told me I wasn't sending her enough food. I had filled her lunch bag! Well, I had to upsize. It is hilarious. And it weighs about 10 pounds. It comes home empty. Typically she is getting sent a thermos of milk (with milk ice cubes to keep it extra cold!), an cheese stick, and fruit (berries,etc) for her snack. A water bottle, an entree (yes I said that... typically pasta dish... or leftovers... or a smoked salmon sandwich... or a turkey hotdog), a cut up orange, and chocolate bear crackers (everyone has dessert!). It takes me 30 minutes to prepare and pack her lunch everyday. It is my least favorite parenting responsibility. I hate it! This is why I've conceded to let her buy on Mac & Cheese day. And on that day, when all I have to do is make her snack... I think "ah, this is why people let their kids buy lunch". I just wish they had healthier lunches. Thankfully, on that front, Kid isn't interested in most of them.

When she gets home from school she has another snack.

That girl keeps me in the kitchen.

Oh on the lunch front I'm obsessed with this mother's lunches. I would really like to be able to do something like that. But with Kid's intake requirements I'd be at it all morning.


#4 The Safety Vests. By now, the vest are deserving of their own post. But I would like to report that since wearing them, we have a MUCH easier time crossing the main road. Previously we had to wait & wait & wait until there was a sufficient break in traffic. Now everyone sees us. I can see every driver turn and notice us, whether we're waiting at the crosswalk or walking down the sidewalk, or along our street that has no sidewalks. This is key when you want to not get hit by a car... being noticed. It is very easy (as we all know) to be distracted (the number of people on their phones is insane) or in a zone and not notice what is going on outside of your car. Not anymore. And because of our visibility I have seen a significant increase in decent drivers that realize... oh... they want to cross the street. Not every car, mind you. But 2-3 out of 4 trips a car will stop AT THE CROSSWALK and let us cross. Which in turn gets the other cars to stop. This is huge. And it seems to be catching on. And SO completely worth any wardrobe angst. Also, on the way home from school, when I have Baby in her stroller, I attach my vest to her stroller hood (perfectly covers it) and that makes a great high visibility stroller (which is important since the stroller hits the road FIRST).

23 comments:

Torey said...

This post rocks! Thanks for all the awesome recommendations!

Glad your vests are working out! I'm happy you guys are safe walking!

Kelly said...

Milk ice cubes is such a great idea! I never thought of that. Jamie loves milk and has to take a note with him when he brings his lunch just so he can get in line to buy some (which I think is ridiculous, but that's a whole nother story). I think I will go buy him a thermos and try this. Thanks for the tip!!

Andrea said...

I need to look for this cereal we have had the worst last few days with my lil guy he has been so constipated and giving him a suppository was the only way to get him to go over the weekend. Both the kids have issues they must dring two cups of juice a day in order to be reg. even with being good eaters and taking fiber vitamins.

Rob said...

Have you seen "The Constant" yet? Episode 5 in Season 4 -- it is OUTSTANDING!! Season 4 picks up about halfway through.

wootini said...

I LOVE LOST.

So glad you and Mr. F are enjoying it. I was also a latecomer to the show (started watching in season 3) but I fell for it hard and fast, still can't believe it's over. Agree with Rob, "The Constant" is definitely one of my favorite episodes.

Glad the safety vests are working out so well - you rock, safety people!

wootini said...

Just curious what made you want to start watching LOST. (I was endlessly badgered by a coworker until I tried it and was instantly hooked.)

I will be very interested to see what you think of "The End".

Marie said...

Did you have to post that lunchbox site?? I am currently wasting my day obsessing about her lunches and how I should be doing that..I do the boring sandwich/yogurt/fruit combo just because for some reason I can never think of anything good to pack for lunch!

Jenny The Bold said...

Is there a reason you are limiting wheat in your diets? Should everyone limit wheat in their diets? Just thought I'd ask because I never heard of that before.

Mrs Furious said...

Rob & Wootini,
We're on to episode 5 TONIGHT! Now I'm even more excited than usual!!!

Last night it ended with Kate picking up her son and calling him Aaron. It actually gave me chills. We had to rewind and watch a couple times to be sure she said Aaron and not Eric or something.

I started watching season 1 when the girls and I went back to Asheville the last time. I had shut off our TV and the library had Season 1. Really limited dvd selection it just happened to be one of the few decent things they had so I figured I'd try it. I think I watched 8 episodes back to back one day! Mr F missed that season and started with 2 and has been able to catch on pretty easily.

Mrs Furious said...

Marie,
Tell me about it. I think I've seen every lunch she's made so far. I actually had scheduled to go to a Japanese food store this afternoon but ran out of time. I need those cute little sauce containers and picks!!!


Jenny the Bold,
Some people think that most people would benefit from wheat avoidance. I started several years ago and had been completely wheat free for a couple of years because it was recommended by my rheumatologist for my RA symptoms. It worked. I also have a lot of digestive issues and avoiding wheat clears them up. I don't have Celiac but I have several issues that seem like that. Now I do eat wheat, after a few years the complete wheat avoidance didn't seem to be having as big of an impact to justify the hardships, but I find that if I limit it even a little (just eliminating it from one meal) it seems to help a significant amount.
Hopefully that wasn't too confusing. Either way, at this point I try to be conscious of limiting it where I can. I try not to eat wheat for all three meals a day... which can easily happen.

Mrs Furious said...

Torey,
you are most welcome :)

and I am too. I hated to have to think of telling her she couldn't walk even though she wanted to. I'm really glad things have improved. Someone stopped for us on our way home!

Kelly,
the milk cubes make all the difference. I used to send the thermos (one of those character Thermos brand ones from Target, etc) and she said it wasn't still cold at lunch. Now it is. I put in three cubes.


Andrea,
I hope it helps. Kid had to take a laxative every day until she was 5 then she seemed to outgrow the severe constipation. Until then nothing I did diet wise was enough.

Joseph and Katy said...

I had to read your comment on LOST out loud to my husband! That has been our life this summer. We started the Pilot episode on July 4th and finished the final season (extras and all) over Labor Day weekend. COULD NOT GET ENOUGH of it! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOST! We've already re-started the series - and it makes so much more sense the second time through! It just gets better and better....enjoy!

wootini said...

Hope you are enjoying "The Constant"... makes me want to watch it again. :). Man I love that crazy show.

When you feel like losing hours to the Internet check out Doc (Jeff) Jensen's writing about the show on www.ew.com. Good times.

Rob said...

WE HAVE TO GO BACK!!!!

I really miss Lost. I am glad that you have found it.

G in Berlin said...

The ending of Lost destroyed all the previous years of enjoyment:(.

Mrs Furious said...

Joseph & Katy,
I'll have to watch it over again! I know having watched it back to back has created a strange intensity and dependency that is going to be hard to break when it ends!

G in Berlin,
Oh No! That's disappointing to hear.


wootini,
I'll check him out.

Rob,
me too :)

wootini said...

Oh G in Berlin, I must disagree. I loved "The End",

Deb said...

I might have to make soy milk cubes for my little girl's sippy cup. I like that idea. Thanks!

Naked's tangerine juice is TO DIE FOR. It's seasonal and always worth the wait.

We killed cable ages ago, and now we rely almost 100% on Netflix. Glad you guys found it (and LOST. Don't get me started on that show. So, so cool.)

Rob said...

G in Berlin -- I am sorry to hear that. I really enjoyed the end. I think Darlton did a great job with it!

Rob said...

Mrs. F - a warning about Jeff Jensen and EW. The articles are great and they have a "Totally Lost" video that was produced during seasons 5 and 6 that are really funny.

But be careful if you enjoy the unknown. It will be very easy to spoil surprises if you read the articles written during the last 2 seasons.

G in Berlin said...

It'll be interesting to see Mrs. F's take on the last season of Lost. However, I can wholeheartedly recommend Castle as a fun, interesting and intelligent series. As a biblioholic, it makes me happy at all times. My husband would say that True Blood and Burn Notice are his preferences and I'm also very fond of Fringe, which is real sf not what Lost morphed into.

Rob said...

I started watching Fringe on DVD this summer. I am enjoying it alot!!

Mrs Furious said...

Okay now I'm really interested to see what we think of the ending. I will let you all know the verdict.

And thanks for all the other series recommendation. I really enjoy the intensity of watching through one back to back like this.

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