What’s For Dinner?

I recently read a blog post about sitting down together as a family and eating dinner. It got me thinking about my own family growing up and how we always ate together. I assumed it was just a thing everyone did but it turns out that I am totally wrong.

When I was growing up, sitting at the table together for supper (dinner for you Americans) was mandatory. Every night my mum cooked and we all sat down together and ate whatever she made while talking about our day. After dinner, my brother and I took turns cleaning up. It was our routine. After school was a snack, then off to play outside or inside depending on the weather and time of year. Then dinner, a family devotional, dishes and then we would settle in to our evening. Sometimes it was homework, sometimes it was off to any number of different activities at church or school and sometimes it was just relaxing reading or watching tv together. Whatever it was–that was the routine my family had every single weekday. I am sure there were times I hated it, especially as teenager. But now as an adult with kids of my own I recognize how important it is and it surprises me that more people don’t make this a priority.

And before some of you get all defensive–yes I realize that for some people with crazy work schedules etc this can be difficult. But the reality is there are plenty of families who are having dinner in front of the tv or in separate rooms and so on.

What are the potential benefits of a family eating together as many nights of the week as possible?

Communication: I feel like we talk less and less these days in general. As a society it seems like we are spending more time staring at screens instead of each other. I know I am guilty of it. Having 30 mins or so a day where you sit down as a family with no other distractions seems more important now than ever. With all the crap going on in this world it seems like a great way to stay connected and have healthy and open communication with your kids about what is happening in their lives.

Healthy Relationship with food: Before I had kids I didn’t really realize the importance of this. When we sit at the table together our girls are watching us eat our fruits or veggies and learning the importance of it. Right now they both love fruits and veggies, I know that might not always be the way it is so while I can I want them to follow me when it comes to that. If they see me and Chris eating the healthy stuff as well as whatever else we are having they will learn about balance when it comes to food. We are constantly telling Audrey these days she needs to eat so she will grow to be big and strong.  More often than not we get her to eat by having her race us taking bites. It works for us. Although I am also realizing the importance of not forcing it.

I liked what THIS article had to say about it.  The last paragraph specifically.

— It is time to bring the “family” back to the dinner table. Sharing dinner together gives everyone a sense of identity. It can help ease day-to-day conflicts, as well as establish traditions and memories that can last a lifetime–

At 1 and 2 our kids are obviously still young but I am a firm believer in what we teach them now will only help as they continue to get older. Audrey–who will be 3 in August–is a little chatter box. I have tried to start having her tell Daddy about her day when we are eating dinner. I want her to feel included. As Lauren gets older we will do the same with her. My hope is that as they grow and life becomes busier that we will always find a way to make dinner time OUR time. Some may say it’s impossible but I don’t believe that. I grew up with it being a priority and I intend to give my kids the same experience.

All of that being said, I think there are things we can definitely be better at as a family and dinner time. For the month of July I want to commit to eating dinner with no phones and no tv. We have gotten better about not being on our phones but the tv is usually always on in the background.

How about you? What are you dinnertime traditions, rules etc? What can you do better or what do you want to change?
Advertisements

How Many Licks Does It Take?

One night a few years ago we were out walking our dog Belle. She was sniffing around in the grass and found something she just had to eat. Next thing we know she is looking at us in a panic with her mouth covered in poop. Soft smelly poop. She immediately knew the error of her ways and appeared just as disgusted as us as she tried to get it off her face. Dogs are gross, but at least she realized it and didn’t continue to try to eat it. Toddlers on the other hand…

The list of why toddlers are gross is in-depth and long. But lets just talk about licking things. Stop licking the dog, stop licking the couch, etc. A few weeks ago we were at a splash pad. Audrey was having the time of her life running in the water, screaming and splashing. She absolutely loves the splash pad and would probably spend the entire day there if she could. We were starting to wind things down, LoLo was done and just wanting to sit on the sidelines drinking her water. As Chris and I were focused on getting our stuff organized and LoLo changed, I turned around to find Audrey licking a huge vent on the wall. Repeatedly! Um EW!

Here’s the thing I want to know. I get it–kids are weird and curious and are going to lick things and eat random weird things. But, after that first lick why would you go back for more? Like I would have to assume it didn’t taste great, so why the need to lick it again and in this case two more times?! It just makes no sense to me. Toddlers are weird, gross and totally random. Don’t lick the dog, stop licking the couch, don’t lick the wall and on and on it goes. Just this morning LoLo was pulling hair off of the dog and putting it in her mouth. Like a monkey picks fleas and other things out of each others fur and eats it. It was gross! When we noticed and told her to stop she smiled and did it again. She thought it was funny. Again, EW!

I realize that licking a vent on a public building or pulling out and eating the dogs hair isn’t the grossest thing either of them will ever eat or do. I realize that there are many more times ahead of me where I will utter words that I never thought I would say in this life. Bring it on, show me what you got tiny humans!

The Great Stomach Virus of 2017!

Vomit!

I DO NOT do vomit!

Vomit makes me want to vomit!
Vomit makes me want to cry.
Vomit makes me want to die!

I HATE vomit!

-Dr Seuss (probably)

 

The smell is enough to send me over the edge and vomit myself. It’s also a terrible word, so I suppose it fits. Vomit reminds me of the time I worked as a night janitor at the University of Alberta. It was about 5 am and I was on my last set of bathrooms. I walked into a ladies room and the second the door opened and I was hit by that awful telling smell. I moved my shirt over my face and headed in to assess the situation. It was much, MUCH worse than I could have imagined. It was in a sink, up the sides, on the counter and splashed on the mirror. One look and I turned and made a quick exit. I thought about how to proceed. I knew there was no way I was going back in there. The bathroom itself was rather clean, so I made the decision to leave the vomit where it was and pretend it happened after I had already cleaned the bathroom. Yep! I did that and I have no regrets! Who knew this blog would be a place to confess my deepest darkest secrets…but there you have it. I left a sink full of vomit and pretended I had never seen or smelled it. But I did. And I’ll never be the same. But I digress, I really did have a reason for talking about vomit!

I knew the risks of vomit becoming a regular part of my life once I had kids. Sadly there is no hazard pay in parenting, although there probably should be. I had always hoped when the time came that my husband would be around to deal with it. My oldest will be 3 in August. She actually made it 2 years and 2 months before she ever threw up. Even then I would barely qualify it as such. We were in the car headed to the pumpkin patch and she was coughing after drinking an entire sippy cup of milk and we think she coughed a little too much and her milk came back out and all over her and her seat. It was pretty gross but not normal vomit gross.

 

Fast forward to May 1st 2017 and my vomit-free lifestyle ended. Ohhhh lordy did it ever. Lauren was sound asleep in her swing and Audrey in her bed. I was upstairs folding laundry enjoying my only hour or two of quiet for the day. My quiet ended with what sounded like a gagging noise coming through the baby monitor. At first glance everything seemed fine…until I noticed the glistening on Lauren’s chin and then it hit me.

 

Vomit!!

 

It was only 4 PM and I knew Chris wouldn’t be home for hours. I was alone. I made my way downstairs. It was so much worse than I could have imagined. She was covered. Her hair, face, arms, shirt, and legs were covered. It was everywhere! I stood there trying to come up with a battle plan, trying to figure out how I would get her out of the swing and out of her clothes without getting it all over me and the floor. She was looking at me with a look of confusion on her face and probably wondering why the heck I was just sitting there staring at her instead of helping her. First thing I did was run and grab something to tie around my face. I carefully tied a t-shirt around to tightly cover my nose. I then laid dish towels on the floor next to the swing. There I was…looking like a bandit armed with baby wipes. I carefully picked her up and placed her on the dish towels. I slowly removed her onesie and wiped her down from head to toe. Next, I carefully took the swing seat apart and immediately threw it in the washer with her clothes. We made it upstairs, put on the washing machine and threw her in the bath. For someone who had just threw up probably all of the liquid and food inside her, she seemed in a pretty good mood. In that moment I felt hopeful it was a one time occurrence, haha I am such a vomit rookie. Thirty minutes later she threw up again all over our bed, sheets, pillows, comforter and me. She threw up 2 more times that night and for the next 5 days I lived in fear. Fear of vomit, fear of having to clean it and fear of wondering who was next. We made it through until morning with no more episodes so we started to think that maybe we were in the clear. She went all day Tuesday without vomiting and through the night and into Wednesday.

That was great, but as the hours passed we realized more and more that she wasn’t peeing. We called her Dr’s office and they had us bring her in that evening. They weren’t overly concerned and sent us on our way telling us she should have a wet diaper by the end of the night. Well, she didn’t. So when she still hadn’t peed into Wednesday afternoon (and had thrown up 2 more times that day) they sent us to the hospital for some potential fluids. By this time, whatever horrid virus had invaded my baby it was now invading me. I didn’t vomit, we will just leave it at that. A little immodium and peppermint candies to curb my nausea and it was off to spend a lovely evening at the hospital.

 

We were all checked in, both kids given popsicles and Lauren given some Zofran for nausea. Both girls were having the time of their lives. When the doctor observed the fact that Lauren looked like she was ready to hold an all night rave in the hospitals atrium, he made the decision not to give her fluids. At the time I was super annoyed because that was the whole reason our pediatrician sent us there. Instead they brought her juice and wanted to see if we could get a wet diaper before we headed home. We settled in to watch a movie.

 

Everything was going so well.
Everyone was happy.

And then it happened.

 

Audrey was its next victim. She was sitting with Chris and all of the sudden she vomited all over the place. On a stool, the bed, the floor and the sink. IT. WAS. EVERYWHERE! She had no idea what was happening, she was visibly shaking and scared. I immediately grabbed Lauren and went to let them know at the nurses desk. This–of course–was my excuse to be in the hallway away from the horrid, horrid smell. Not my greatest mom moment, I will be the first to admit it. But once Chris and the nurse cleaned some of it up and gave us these peppermint scented air fresheners, it was much better. But man…my girl Audrey was in a bad way. For some inexplicable reason we had like two changes of clothes for her so we got her changed and laid down on the bed. Chris went to check her in so she could also get some Zofran. We asked if there was a family discount or a 2-for-1 special….ha! Doubtful. Audrey threw up 3(!) more times at the hospital, burned through ALL her changes of clothes, and ended up wearing OHSU-provided toddler pants home. Oh and that’s not to mention she puked twice in the car on the way! That night we all slept in our room, I figured if there was going to be any more vomit I wanted it all contained in one place! Haha! And even though Lauren didn’t end up with fluids we were so SO thankful we were the hospital when Audrey did all that vomiting, since there already was enough vomit in my house from Lauren.

Over the next few days my little sickies were pretty mellow and clearly not feeling well. We ended up having to reschedule Lauren’s first birthday party. But slowly and surely, my loud, spirit filled littles were back to themselves.

 

What a week, we all survived and I feel like maybe I am a little more prepared next time it happens because–let’s be honest–we all know there will be a bunch more next times!!

Let Me Introduce Myself

My name is Yvonne and I am a 39-year-old stay at home mom of 2 young daughters, Audrey who will be 3 in August, and Lauren who is 13 months. I’ve been married to my husband Chris for 12 years and in that time we have lived in Seattle, Boston and now back west in the Portland Metro area. We have a 14 year old black lab mix who is very much my first baby. To make myself a little more interesting, I should add that I am a full-blooded Scot born in Dumbarton, Scotland who grew up in Canada.

My days are currently filled with dirty diapers, breast-feeding, peepee in da potty, boogers, Paw Patrol, Sophia the First and saying things like “stop licking the dog” and “please stop throwing your food!” Keeping 2 tiny humans entertained and alive day in and day out is no easy feat–and not for the faint of heart–but I wouldn’t change it for anything. Like a lot of moms, life is all about balance. I have personally struggled with my weight most of my adult life. I feel like I am on a never-ending journey of trying to conquer that beast and finding a healthy balance for me, my husband and my kids.

My passions are simple: my family, wine, writing, the Zoo and sports. I think it’s safe to say that this blog will contain a lot of all of those things.

This is me, real and raw. I hope you will join me in this journey of health, kids, love and happiness!