Sunday, August 24, 2008

And the Winners Are...

In an effort to answer the question posed by my previous blog post, I began researching different books and resources to teach YOUNG children about "the birds and the bees" on an age-appropriate level. I read that, because of the nature of the subject, parents have the tendency to either 'skirt' the issue (ie - "We'll tell you when you're older") or give their children too much information too soon. The Mr. and I researched and read through several childrens books and came up with a definite winner and runner-up. Angel seems very happy with the books as well, and they have seemed to perfectly satisfy her budding curiosity, without overburdening her with the details. So, should you find yourselves in a similar predicament anytime soon, we highly recommend "Where Do Babies Come From" By Brad Wilcox, as well as "Where Do Babies Come From - A delightful first look at how life begins" by DK publishing.

I don't generally do book reviews on here, but if you're interested, here's a quick synopsis: The book by Brad Wilcox comes from an LDS perspective. The introduction for parents is something I personally feel EVERY parent should read - it emphasizes that it is PARENTS' responsibility to teach their children about this topic, and should never be left up to 'society at large' despite the discomfort of parents and children. He outlines 7 excellent steps/tips which I found very helpful. There is an illustrated 'story' for young children explaining parts of where babies come from, without the details, and then a question and answer section at the end for older children. Basically, it's a read for the entire family! The book by DK publishing is great for toddlers and preschoolers - gives a very simplistic view of how all types of babies are made, from plants to ducks to humans. A very good place to start.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mommy, How do you make a baby?

This question has been in the works for a long time coming.

When Angel first learned that my sister-in-law was pregnant (nearly 2 years ago, so Angel was just under 2 years old!!) she furrowed her brow and asked, "Mommy, Aunt Niesha didn't eat the baby, did she?" "No...." "How did it get in her tummy then?" "Heavenly Father put it there." That seemed to satisfy her under-2-year-old brain and I thought we were good.

Over the past few weeks, though, it has been coming up with increasing frequency, partially because she is 3 going on 15, partially because she is very excited about her new baby sister growing within my increasingly large belly.

Lately she has been very interested in how things (ie cars, trains, etc.) work and how EVERYTHING is made. This led to a discussion on man-made things, and how people cannot make living things ("But Heavenly Father is a person" she said, so we went into how He and Jesus are the only 'people' who can create life, etc....). We've also been reading books on animal lifestyles, which talk about how a mother lays eggs - "Where do the eggs come from?" - and the father fertilizes them - "What does fertilize mean?"

So today, completely out of the blue, she asks "Mommy, how do they make babies?" "Who" I ask, stalling. "Heavenly Father and mommies and daddies." "Uh..." I tried to repeat the same "Heavenly Father puts it in the mommy's tummy and it grows until it's ready to be born" explanation that worked so well before, but that didn't work this time. I've been trying to prepare for this question but I truly didn't expect her to be quite so curious at this early age. I finally answered that when a mommy and daddy love eachother, they get married and then, at the right time, they each put a special little part of their own body together and then Heavenly Father puts a spirit into it, and it all goes into the mommy's tummy to grow.

"How does the baby come out when it's big enough?" "The mommy pushes it, really hard." At least that answer worked for now.

So, I'd love to hear, how have you parents handled these situations? We want to be open and honest with our children - but not TOO open at too young of an age.


I need to read this book. I'm on the hunt for it, and when I find it, I'll read it and let you all know how it is. :)

"Adultitis is a silent epidemic that has been ignored for far too long. It's a disease that slowly erodes our inborn childlike spirit, killing our dreams, curiosity, faith, happiness, and hope. It stresses us out. It causes us to take ourselves too seriously. And in some extreme cases, it can cause smile amnesia."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Nap - or at least QUIET - time

If you've been a mother of young children, you know how important, even sacred, ALONE time is. I, for one, would probably go insane without even a short block of time during which I can do what I want to do without listening to one or more of the following: whining, nagging, pulling on my pantlegs, fighting, a big crash, or an extended period of silence after which I find one or both of my children involved in something I should have suspected (ie eating toothpaste, smearing lotion all over one another or creating somesort of artwork somewhere it shouldn't be). Things have been going fairly well over the past few months, at which point my two toddlers finally consolidated their napping schedule and gave me up to an hour of my own time each day. It's been HEAVENLY, especially since I'm pregnant and often need a nap myself. Unfortunately, however, my 3 year old has, over the past couple of weeks, given up naps. She's at the awkward stage where, if she does nap, she lies in bed awake until sometimes after I go to bed at night; but without a nap she gets cranky towards the end of the day and usually needs to go to bed early. I can't fault her for this - I've read that only 53% of 3 year olds and 27% of 4 year olds still nap - but what's a woman to do??? I've been trying to incorporate quiet time, a period of an hour during which she must 1) remain in her own bed and 2) keep quiet, but I am running out of books to keep her occupied. What sort of brilliant schemes have worked for you mothers out there?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Menu Plan Sunday

I am in need of some good summer recipes - by GOOD, I mean HEALTHY and CHILD FRIENDLY (my children aren't super picky but do turn their noses up at strong spices, etc.). By SUMMER, I mean main dishes which are good served cold. (I especially love cold soups as I just found that my kids will eat almost anything I serve in a bread bowl - last week we had creamy cucumber soup in bread bowls and they loved it!) So, any suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated!!!

Sunday - turkey meatballs, roasted potatoes, strawberry spinach salad
Monday - CALL NIGHT (Daddy doesn't come home) - kids choice
Tuesday - shrimp and sausage gumbo, grilled corn, watermelon
Wednesday - split pea soup in bread bowls, pacifica salad, canteloupe
Thursday - chicken cacciatore, steamed rice, cranberry salad,
Friday - grilled chicken, asparagus tortellini salad, baguette with dips, watermelon
Saturday - left overs

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

We're Back!

Well, I have officially survived a week as a single mother - although it doesn't really count because we were surrounded by family who were, in many ways, better at entertaining our kids than either of us has ever been! (Why, despite our best efforts, do our children always find us so dull?!

Oregon was wonderful - we spent a good portion of our week at Sunriver, a resort in Eastern Oregon, which was WONDERFULLY relaxing and enjoyable, from feeding the deer out our backyard

to surfing (at the fitness center)

to just lounging around in our awesome rental house. (Of course, Angel and Grins loved the park and swimming more than anything else!)

Then I enjoyed catching up with a High School friend I haven't seen in AGES,

seeing my cousin and his wife with their newest addition, and living it up at my dad's 50th birthday bash. Through it all, despite the crazy schedule, late nights and often lack of naps, my kids were incredibly pleasant and well-behaved; a wonderfully pleasant surprise. Overall, it was a nearly picture perfect vacation - the only thing lacking was the Mr. who was slaving away at a hospital some 800 miles away. So, though we had loads of fun, it is great to be back to Daddy, our own home, and our regular schedule and routine! The kids, though, are already asking "When are we going to Oregon again?"