Thursday, June 30, 2011

Perfect Day for the Park

Some days I long for a backyard and a space for my children to roam around and play for hours and then I remember the wonderful city I live in.  I can walk around for hours and never get bored, go to a new park everyday and lay out on a blanket in the middle of the park and get some sun.  Today was an amazing day and I am so very blessed to be where I am.
I love this boy.  He is a stinker but oh my goodness he is such a lover!

Amelia zonked out.

He told me "I want to tan with you mama" and I could not resist.

Alyvia wanted to take a picture of us all tanning.  

Jack and Alyvia climbing trees, or as they called it "their spaceship".

Monday, June 27, 2011

Are you My (Children's) Mother?

When Alyvia was a baby I followed whatever everyone else told me to do.  My parenting would change with who I was around because I was trying to please everyone else.  Not only did this exhaust me but it really confused Alyvia.  I also did things that I had always seen modeled before me and never thought that I would have an option to do differently or to question what it was that I was doing.

When we moved to Chicago I had no daily examples of being a mom, my sisters were not around me and I had no close friends that were parents so I had to become my own person.  This was something very new to me; all my life I followed my sisters and aspired to do everything they did (without questioning if it was right for me) and now I had to think on my own.  Jonathan will sometimes joke about me being a completely different person now then I was when we met and I just have to laugh because its true.  The more I begin to think for myself and ask God how he wants me to raise my family, the more passionate I become about raising my children.  I want to raise them the way God wants and the way I want, not how anybody else wants me to raise them.  What works for some may not work for our family.

I am going to pick up my baby when she cries, nurse her when she is hungry (yes, even if she was just fed 5 minutes ago) or if she just wants comfort, let my little ones snuggle in the bed when they are having a bad dream. I will carry Amelia in a carrier on my front/back for as long as it comfortable for us both. I will not force them to eat everything on their plate if they do not like it BUT I will make them try at least a few bites.  I will not pump my children full of artificial products, red dyes or unwanted pesticides BUT will not deny them when we are with guests or with company.  I will cloth diaper my babies.  I will vaccinate on a delayed schedule. I will stick up for them, even if this means I am that "crazy mom" at the park!

These are some of things that I am passionate about as a parent and some may not agree with it, but guess what?  At the end of the day they are my children, God gave them to me and I am trusting Him to show me how to raise them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crunchy Chocolate Granola Bars

We love granola bars around here and go through them like water!  I found a simple and easy recipe (from Kid's Time) and altered to our family's tastes.  Alyvia loved helping make these and more so enjoyed eating them!

Crunchy Chocolate Granola Bars

2 C whole oats (uncooked)
1/3 C ground flax seed
3/4 C organic brown sugar
1/2 C organic butter (1 stick)
1 ts pure vanilla extract
1 C organic chocolate chips
dash of baking soda

Preheat oven to 350
Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper

Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan stir in butter, brown sugar and vanilla and bring to a boil.
Let boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat.
Add dry ingredients to the sugar mix and stir until well mixed.
Cook in oven for 10 minutes.
Cut while warm and then let cool.

I found that the sugar may be a bit much and could probably be brought down to 1/2 or even less.  Next time I am going to add 1/2 C peanut butter.  This a great base.  For a more healthy snack, omit the chocolate chips and add chopped nuts and dried fruit.

These are great for breakfast or for a quick snack.  My little ones gobble them up!  The best part is I know what is going in them so I know what my kids are eating!