Are you down with M.P.P? (a.k.a. Mommy Potty Poetry)

by Kim

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I’m sitting in pee again, look at me,

But I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a house of three…

Boys that is, though one of them should know better,

(Though I’m pretty sure he’s the one making it wetter)

As the only girl in a house my “potty” trips are always fun

Though sometimes they truly make me want to run…

Out of the house that is, so I can hide,

Screaming at the top of my lungs please, please stop this ride!

Because with their aim just a bit off and the seat ALWAYS up

I’m left sitting IN the bowl (smiling) and saying “YUP”…

“I’m the mother of boys, the only princess to use the ‘loo’,

I guess FOR NOW, I’ll just have to make do.”

TRAIN MOM CHAT WITH NUTRITIONIST, BARRIE WOLFE

by Sara

Fall has arrived, which means it’s time to see if those jeans from last year still fit!  We all know how much we dread those moments.  While we all strive to eat and be healthy, saying it and doing it are two totally different things.  Between the constant juggle, finding time to actually sit down and eat a meal is a challenge.  So how can healthy eating fit into our busy lives so that we can feel good, fit into our jeans, and be positive role-models for our kids?  We sat down with Barrie Wolfe, a registered dietitian for a TRAIN MOM CHAT (#TMC) all about carbs, calories and cravings.

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Barrie Wolfe MS RD

What are three easy tips every mom can do to help curb the calories?

1) Stop picking food off your kids plates. I have clients take a gallon plastic baggie and put the foods they are about to eat (example:pizza crust or leftover chips) and stick it in the baggie. At the end of the day it is an excellent visual to demonstrate the amount of unaccounted calories they normally would have consumed. That bag may contain a couple of hundred calories and if they stopped that habit, weight loss would result.

2) Sit down when you eat. Moms are always rushing and helping their family survive. It’s common to shove a handful of cereal in when serving the kids breakfast or shovel a spoonful of ice cream in before serving kids their special dessert. I train clients to sit down for a proper meal and slow down. This helps your body register it’s full and helps avoid grazing on extra calories.

3) Don’t drink your calories. Liquid calories won’t provide the fullness solid calories do so use them wisely. Syrup flavored coffees, juices, smoothies and yes alcohol must be limited. I have clients that lose significant amount of weight and all they changed is reducing their weekly alcohol allotment.

For a working mom, what are some good go-to snacks to help alleviate the 4pm cravings?
I always tell clients to have a snack between lunch and dinner. Otherwise you will experience a drop in blood sugar, feel hungry, tired, irritable and reach for the first food you can get your hands on which is often chips, pretzels or cookies which are pretty much void of nutritional value.  I tell moms to plan ahead and have a stash of filling protein and fiber rich foods in their office or pocketbook. My favorite snacks are good ole apple and peanut butter (or have small handful nuts instead of peanut butter), greek yogurt with some crunchy high fiber cereal mixed in, a cheese stick paired with a fruit, a fiber rich bar like GNU bar with a fruit or a few slices of turkey rolled up with some high fiber crackers. This way you have energy and stop obsessing about food.

What is the biggest lesson we as moms can teach our kids about eating healthy?
The best thing moms can do is set a good example for our kids in regards to eating healthy. If they see you eating a general healthy diet most of the time and see you eat only occasional treats they will learn to follow your lead. I also believe in teaching kids that “junk” foods like cookies and candy are not forbidden but should be enjoyed sometimes. I believe if kids grow up feeling certain foods are forbidden they will ultimately binge when confronted with them, for example at a friend’s house.  I like to teach my kids we can have these foods in the house and it’s “no big deal.”  I choose to reach for more healthy foods because they make my body feel better than the sugary/fatty foods. I also think if a parent is trying to lose weight it should be promoted in the house as “mom is trying to take better care of herself by eating healthy and exercising.” Avoid the word “diet” as it will send children the wrong message. We want to teach our kids that eating healthy is a way of life not a punishment or a short-term behavior.

What is the most important meal and why?
I feel everyone should be eating 3 meals daily and they are all important. However, deciding to eat breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day so it is the most important. Breakfast doesn’t have to be a big production of you don’t have time. It can be a fruit on the go and a greek yogurt consumed at your desk. Your body needs fuel to start the day and get your metabolism revved up. When you skip breakfast or any meal for that matter, you will end up ultimately overeating because you are literally hungry and psychologically permit yourself to eat more because you “saved” calories from a meal. This will always backfire and result in eating extra calories than if you ate a solid breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Fad diets, yay and nay?
In my practice I try to preach “eat right and the weight will follow.” Meaning focus on a healthy balanced meal plan that provides all good group groups but in portions that are right for someone’s energy needs. I am anti “diet” and generally against any program that encourages drastic changes to get rapid weight loss. It’s sets women ( and men) up for failure and psychological distress. When people hear “low carb” they don’t realize that carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, milk and yogurt. So I do not preach “low carb” but I usually bring down the amount of starch clients consume ( bread, rice, pasta, etc) as that is a carbohydrate people tend to overeat. The point of seeking guidance from a registered dietitian is to relearn how to eat well without the diet mentality. I try to help end the yo-yo to diet cycle so many smart successful women find themselves in.

Barrie is a registered dietitian with a private practice in Westchester, NY. Her specialty is helping teens and women develop a healthy relationship with food in order to achieve a healthy weight and body image.  Follow her on Facebook or visit her website at www.BarrieWolfeNutrition.com.

What did you do at school today? NOTHING

By Sara

As most of you know, Kim and I just sent our children off to Kindergarten. We said our good-bye’s to our little guys as they got on this big bus, taking them to this big school with all new kids…and they come home to tell us NOTHING.

They walk in the front door and we have so many things we are dying to know —  from what they did, how they felt, to who they sat next too at lunch, and if they found the bathroom, but getting answers out of our kids is no easy task.

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My daughter Olivia is no exception.  She came home from her first day at Kindergarten and I started in with my enthusiastic questioning, and all I got from my her was, “I don’t want to talk about it.”  Sound familiar?

WHAT? I have been sitting by the door for the last hour, anxiously awaiting for you to get off the bus and tell me everything, and this is what I get?  So I start begging for some answers. No luck.

Maybe she is hungry. So I bring out the snacks, hoping a little nutritional recharge will help get her talking. Keeping to the topic, I ask, “So, who did you sit next to at lunch today?” Her response, “I don’t know.”

Ok… So I sit and wait. Then I try another one, “Did you meet any new friends?” Her response, “no.”

After a few more failed attempts, I realized where this was going.  So I said, “I understand if you don’t want to talk, but do me ONE favor… give me a thumbs up if you loved school, a thumbs sideways if you thought it was just ok or a thumbs down if it was horrible.”

I got a Thumbs Up and a BIG smile.

So while I didn’t get many words, I got a sign that told me everything I needed to know.

Happy Back-to-School!

DO NOT DISTURB: Kindergartener in training

by Kim

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In just one (very short) week, this beautiful, little boy, my first-born will start Kindergarten; and though I can honestly say that I’m over the moon excited for him, I’m also filled with so many other emotions…worry, sadness, fear (just to name a few, because trust me I could go on & on!), and I’m trying to contain all of it without projecting my craziness onto him.

But as my husband pointed out to me the other day (and to ALL of my neighbors) it’s as if I have my son “in training” for the Olympics as opposed to the first day of Kindergarten; and of all the stupid things to stress over, I’ve most worried about him eating and his damn lunch box. It’s gotten to the point that over the past few weeks I’ve had him practicing, (yes, I said practicing); making him do things like:

  • open a cheese stick
  • put his straw in a juice box
  • unscrew/re-screw his water bottle
  • lift the tab off of a yogurt drink
  • open/close the container that goes inside the lunchbox

You don’t have to say it, I already know it’s crazy; but you see it’s not that I don’t doubt he can do it (or will eventually be able to do it), OR that there will be someone at school to help him, it’s just for the past 5-years, it’s been ME & only me; and knowing in the back of my head that once he mastered these things, he wouldn’t need me anymore.

Kindergarten is one of those big milestones in life; it signals a change; it’s the beginning of an end: when I have to start sharing this beautiful, little person (that I created ) with the rest of the world, and let the baby that I once knew grow up…and selfishly I’m not sure if I’m ready for that.

So for now, we’ll keep up the training for the “Lunchbox Olympics” — besides we’re knee-deep in the “juice box jungle” as I’ve intentionally purchased an assorted variety, all featuring different openings – don’t need him getting cocky just yet!

 

Try Planning a Parentmoon

By Sara

You get married… you go on a honeymoon.

You get pregnant…you go on a babymoon.

You have kids…and you go to Disney World.

Sigh!

Ask around. How many couples go away alone without their kids?  I promise you will get answers that sound a lot like this:

“The last time we went away was our honeymoon or before we had kids,”  or “Oh, wow, that sounds nice,” or  “We don’t go away without our kids.”

Why do our lives have to change so much just because we have kids?   Of course money is a huge factor and clearly the vacation funds are now going towards school and mortgage payments, but a parentmoon doesn’t have to be an African safari.  Maybe it is just a “staycation” where you go hiking,  spend a day at the spa, or a night out in the city or at a B&B.

Sometimes the best parentmoons are the ones that are basically planned for you, like destination weddings.  Next time you get invited to one, say YES.  It is a great excuse to go away somewhere you hadn’t planned, plus you get a fun party included (see below our destination wedding trip this summer to the Czech Republic).  Business trips can also make for great parentmoons.   My husband travels to Los Angeles a lot, so I sometimes will fly out there on a Thursday and spend the weekend with him.  Build a weekend around a business trip, and it will feel like a much needed break for the both of you.

We all know how super hard it is to carve out time to just be together, never mind planning a trip….but with a little effort, you can reconnect, laugh, talk and enjoy lots of wine TOGETHER!

parentmoon

 

 

 

The 6:05 it is!

By Michael Strouse
2dads1family.blogspot.com

The stress of commuting is hard to look at with a wide angle lens. Like parenting, it changes from moment to moment and requires a bit of internal counseling.

It’s with that in mind that I am pushing to send a set of emails before 5:00 on Friday afternoon. I know that if I leave right at 5, I can make the 5:45 train home. I want to start August with a nice night with the kids!

Despite my very best effort, though, I leave at 5:04.

But there’s a part of me that thinks I may still make the train!

That part of me is a ruthless time-centric ogre that will happily push my way onto subways and get annoyed with people holding hands on the sidewalk because I can’t get beyond them. (Find a park bench!) The commuting ogre growls as pedestrian traffic stops for yellow lights or points at a landmark and labels anyone who seems a little off course as having had one too many at happy hour. (Obviously! It’s Friday after all!) And the delay heading into the Journal Square station elicits an internal monologue on my hatred of PATH that would basically be one continuous bleep if ever broadcast. (Seriously, I could push the train faster than this!)

My nerves are frayed and my anger continues to swell. There’s no reasoning with my commuter voice. It’s the 5:45 or the world will end!

Or not…

There’s a 6:05.

Is 20 minutes more with the kids worth the stress? Yes- sort of…

Even though I’m home earlier, I know I can’t check that stress at the door and my push to make the 5:45 will color my whole night! That ogre will growl again when I step on a block or get splashed during bath time. He doesn’t like to chase kids on the lawn or dance to Frozen. He’s just as much of an impatient bully as he was when he decided that holding hands was inconsiderate.

And who wants an ogre as a parent?

So, the 6:05 it is! I may not be happy sitting here but I know my family and I won’t be miserable

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To read more posts by Michael, visit http://2dads1family.blogspot.com