Friday, September 7, 2012

7 quick takes in which I seek advice

Seven things I'd like you to advise me on.
--- 1 ---
My child does not like to eat vegetables. We have tried everything that you'd think of (blend it, put it in with other foods, disguise it, etc...). Anybody have a similar situation? What did you do? The pediatrician does not seem too concerned. But, it really bugs me. Lil' Aaron in the last month has become such a picky eater. Because of his age, and lack of consequences, I just don't know how to deal with it.
--- 2 ---
Speaking of, can someone tell me how to discipline a 16 month old? Thanks! Looking more for what you have done that actually works, vs. what books or experts would tell us to do! what have YOU done with your children/nieces/nephews/cousins/friends/babysitting kids?
--- 3 ---
Healthy Living starts in our household as of Saturday...what are your go to healthy dinners that do not take long to make and are not super expensive? I REALLY need help with this one, I am so not a creative cooker and cooking healthy for me means, 'bonless skinless chicken' which is fine...but some variety would be good. What are some recipes you use that are delicious and healthy?
--- 4 ---
Since you're thinking of healthy dinner options, how about snacks? After babies, I get very hungry, all.the.time. So, I need to do the whole, 'eat six times a day' thing. What are some small snacks I can eat during the day that are cheap, easy and delicious? Snacks that you have tried before so you know are good?
--- 5 ---
OM lowercase g, I HATE exercise. Like, hate it. The only thing that makes it tolerable to me is working out at a gym (a long time ago I lost 50 pounds with a gym membership), but alas, we cannot afford a gym. Also, I do not live in a place where I would feel comfortable walking/running outside, except in the afternoon, which is impossible with my two children. I do not want to do tapes, but is it going to come to that since I have two small children? If so, what are some FUN ones? None of this 'insanity' thing for me. I need fun. Or I get bored and hate it and quit. I know, I know, I am high maintenance. What are some fun things that you do for exercise?
--- 6 ---
What are some fun/family things you do with your friends/husbands/children? I am looking for things that are cheap to do with our family. What is your favorite thing to do that costs zero money with the people you love?
--- 7 ---
Finally, how do you like to pray these days? I am looking for some cool prayer ideas to incorporate into my life. Or, how about this, how do you pray with your husbands? Or, how about this...how do you pray with your friends? or your children that are super young? Lemme know what you do that works.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. As I sit in the closet pumping before school starts and the kids come into the classroom, I laugh at your blog. I too am asking similar questions. Try skinnytaste.com for recipe ideas. Love the santa fe crock pot chicken and Italian turkey meatballs in the crock pot. Delicious!! Your boys are precious! Sarah Lowen

  2. Karen and I are asking many of the exact same questions right now, so not really sure how good my advice will be, but here goes nothing:
    #1)All kids are different, but it seems like the vast majority do not like veggies, or are unwilling to try them for whatever reason. We have found some "superfoods" that provide pretty much all the nutrients they need and they will eat; these include blueberries, sweet potatoes, avocados and kidney beans, to name a few. We also give them a chewy daily vitamin that they enjoy (and coincidentely my wife sells thru a company called Arbonne... if you're interested let me know ;0) For our 3-year old, threatening not to give her dessert until she eats her vegetables generally works.
    #2)Disciplining a 16 month old can be very difficult because you're not really sure how much he/she understands (more than we probably think, for the record), and on top of that they're just so darn cute. Consistency is important with discipline, and I can tell you, from experience, that you must make sure that when you make threats to discipline, you're willing to follow thru, because toddlers will absolutely call your bluff. Also positive reenforcement is great, when possible. By 16-months kids generally respond well to praise.
    #5 &#6) Think you may be able to knock out two birds with one stone with this one. I remember from college that you loved the outdoors. Look on Craigs List for some baby carriers, and go hiking. Great workout (especially when you have a baby on your back) and a great way to spend a day with the family! - Scott Cruess

  3. Get a dog:
    1. Dog will eat anything.
    2. Dog will entertain Lil A
    3. If you are unhappy about the healthy meal that you've just prepared, see #1.
    4. Bisquit anyone?
    5. Dog walks are the best!
    6. Doggie dates.
    7. Itis not a coincendence that God spelled backwards is dog.

  4. #1- It is a phase. He will grow out of it. All my boys went through it for varying lengths of time. But, I am pretty strict, If they do not eat what I have made, they do not get other choices and NO special treats unless they consume some of their veggies, etc.

    #2- Time Outs - Worked with varying success with each child. My oldest got the concept at 7mo . . . my 4 year old still cannot figure out why he is getting so many!

    Health related ones- I am a health nut. Are you on Pinterest? I have SEVERAL boards with foods, 99% of it healty, so check there for some ideas. Check out "Clean Eating Magazine" webiste. Love their stuff too!

    Workouts- I also have several "workout at home with no weight circuit" exercises somewhere on Pinterest. Jillian Michale's 30 day shred is pretty good, may not be fun enough for you, but it is fairly inexpensive. Try looking for Zumba videos too.

    If you have any more specific questions about working out, email me . . . I can help you design a workout you can do at home too!

    #7- We have said the same prayers with our kids since they were infants. Very rountine, but good. They are finally older now that we can try things like the rosary, etc without me wanting to pull my hair out and needing to go to confession right after. Pete and I pray spontaneously together a lot. Sometimes we do Liturgy of the Hours too. An, during the day, I will put on an audio rosary . . . that way I can pray it and get work done at the same time. Not totally prayerful, but I am getting it in.

  5. Hi, Mary!

    Have you heard of the Meijer Select Italian brand of pasta? I think that's what it's called. It's I'm the world foods aisle, and comes in a black plastic bag package. They have a whole wheat pasta line that is delicious. I can't stand most whole wheat pasta, but this brand tastes almost the same as regular pasta. Whole wheat pasta is great because it fills you up faster than regular pasta so you don't have to eat as much, and it has a lot of nutrients! Be careful though- not all the pasta in the black bags is whole wheat, so make sure to check, and there's this Meijer brand of whole wheat pasta that comes in an orange box that is NASTY.

    As far as exercising, you should see if Lolo has apps for Android smart phones. Each app is cheap (less than $5), put the workout to your music and speeds up your music (without making it squeaky) to motivate you to go faster, and does a wide variety of movements to keep things fun. Let me know if you have questions!


    1. Awesome, btw, I just thought a second ago that I still need to make a new date with you. Any Tuesday/Wednesday in October?

  6. I'm never short on thoughts but you've gotten a ton of good advice already so I would just be repeating a lot of it.

    One thing that started the ball rolling on us completely changing our eating habits was doing one step at a time. The first thing I did many years back was take out anything hydrogenated from our diets. Our doctor said something about how bad they are for you (I had never thought twice about it) and it got the ball rolling. But one step at a time made it much more manageable in my head and on the budget. Taking out the hydrogenated stuff was a very good beginning which led to me being label reader and really trying to take the time to know what exactly what we were putting in. Now, I tend to go by the basic philosophy of eating the things God designed for us to eat as close as possible to how He made them. Simple but it works.

  7. 1. Add cheese or ranch. Or so I hear. My kids don't eat vegetables and they're 8 and (almost) 7. SUCKS. Take after their daddy, pickiest.eater.ever.
    2. Time outs. Set a timer, they stay there until it 'dings'. At first you will be chasing and putting him back more than sitting... but it works... eventually.
    3/4. http://www.hungrygirl.com
    6. We keep up with local free kids events. And have a membership at a museum in Charlotte. And play outside a lot. :)

  8. Mary,

    Keep a list of consequences on a sticky note in a high traffic area. When you are frazzled you can quick eye it and remember (when you were sane) the consequences you came up with. My go to was "if you do this (bad behavior), than you don't do/get that (the desired good)." For example, "if you throw a fit over ice cream, than you don't get to watch the Wiggles today (or fill in the blank)." Also, reward good behavior... "if you are a good boy and share than we will play outside at the park today."

    I do believe time outs are effective but as with all consequences when you over do them they eventually lose their effectiveness, i.e., time outs every hour, every day. Same with spanking... I spanked very, very rarely and I saved it for the most grievous offense... disrespecting me!

    Also, anticipation and expectations are a must. You must be pre-emptive about every little thing. I never, ever left a grocery store for a crazy, temper tantrum children because I never got out of the car without telling my kids (every time) what my expectations were of them. "you are to sit in your seat. do not ask me for anything. if you misbehave your consequence will be." The old saying,"give them an inch and they'll take a yard" really is so true. That first time you give in to a "but I want it," you are doomed the next time. If you have to, leave the store, and I would over giving in, make sure they know why. Your behavior expectations should begin to be very, very high right now. If you don't get a handle now... life will be even more miserable as he matures. And if you don't setup a system at home they won't be good anywhere else.

    My two cents anyways! Good luck!

  9. Ok. I have been meaning to read this and respond, because it's fun!

    1. Have you read Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook? Maybe that will help in the meantime while you try to convince him to eat his veggies! If you want me to, I can send you some recipes from it.
    2. I will be reading people's answers on #2. Ellen seems to be really advanced...in the defiance department. Great.
    3. I will send you our monthly rotation of meals :) If you want any of the recipes on the sheet, let me know!
    4. Frozen grapes, pickles, a small piece of chocolate...hey! How did that get in there? Um, kale chips (super inexpensive and easy to make), string cheese
    5. I like Buns of Steel...just a regular workout, but the 80s-ness of it makes it fun. Also, I like Long and Lean, The Firm and Mommy Baby Body Builders. I hear good things about Zumba...need to try it!
    6. Nature walks (pointing out cool discoveries), library, taking free-trial classes at all of the baby gyms and music centers ;), let little Aaron have the camera and do a photo shoot outside!, crafts crafts crafts!, drive to a random town and explore, free days at science centers
    7. We are teaching Ellen the prayers of the Rosary right now, just by repetition obviously. She can say "Amen!" so it's a start :) Right now, I am praying Novenas and just trying to read my Bible more. I like the website Praying in Color. As far as praying with Mike, we used to be really good at it, but we're slacking. I like to use the book The Power of a Praying Wife to pray for him though!

  10. I should add, all of the recipes on our meal plan include at least 2 veggies and/or fruits. They are all inexpensive, quick and easy. Also, they are all very healthy minus a couple, and even those can be made healthier...but we like to cheat here and there ;)