Thursday, September 30, 2010

ScreamFree- taking care of yourself

This will be the last post of quotes from this book, though I've only posted about half of the notes that I typed up.

This section reminded me of a quote from the scriptures (found both in the Book of Mormon and Bible; D&C 81:5 and Hebrews 12:12) which reads, "succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees." This would mean that you'd need to be on higher ground, already having helped or taken care of yourself, in order to then 'lift up' and help others.


And here are the quotes:
“...taking care of others necessarily means neglecting ourselves.....Other cultures have a very different take on self-care. The Hebrew Bible and, later, the Christian New Testament, seem to take self-love for granted. One of the great commandments in those scriptures is to 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' Our culture would be in serious trouble if we put this into practice with our Western way of 'loving' ourselves. Think about it. What would it really look like to love your kids as little as you love yourself? Instead of packing a healthy food-pyramid lunch with a loving note tucked inside, you'd shove a half-eaten doughnut and a Thermos of stale coffee in their bookbags. What would it look like if you talked to your kids the way you talk to yourself after making a mistake? Most of us would berate them over and over, calling them names and finding it incredulous that they made the same mistake yet again.” pg. 189-190

“Think of how this approach might radically change your relationships with your kids. You seek your own validation from within yourself so that regardless of how your children feel, behave, talk, or think, you are okay and are still committed to them. Think of the power in saying with all your actions “I can take care of me so that you don't have to. I don't need you to appreciate me or validate me in order for me to still take care for you and of all of my responsibilities to you.'

“Loving yourself first is the only true way to be ScreamFree, because it is the only way to seek your own calm first. It is the only way to truly benefit your kids without burdening them with the need to benefit you. It is not their job- nor is it anyone else's- to meet your emotional and physical needs. As an adult, one who is responsible to so many others you love, it is up to you to pursue your own emotional fulfillment. This doesn't mean you don't ever need other people, not by a long shot. But it does mean that your life and your health are up to you. The sooner you embrace that truth and embrace the calling to love yourself first, the sooner you can truly serve all those around you, especially your kids.” pg.194-195

"I want you to think of it this way: What has to last is what has to come first. Your health. A broken body makes it extremely difficult to provide for and protect your children. Your health is not an 'extra' in your life, it is your first responsibility.” pg. 199-201

ScreamFree-discipline

“The more our children are exposed to the small consequences of their small infractions, the less they will have to commit large infractions and experience large consequences. The sooner we can expose our children to the universal law of sowing and reaping (at whatever age they happen to be right now), the less they will need to have the larger consequences teach them as they get older.” pg. 158

“Choose only those consequences that you are willing to enforce....What you do is not nearly as important as how and why you do it. What is your motivation for spanking? Look down deep, focus on yourself, and honestly answer the question. Why do you want to spank your child? If you say you do not want to but you believe it is needed, then you are not acting with integrity.

ScreamFree parents never do anything they don't want to do. You are an adult, and you make every choice. If you spank without wanting to, then you need to focus on yourself some more. Why would you choose a consequence for your child if you did not want to choose it? Because he needed it? For what? Behavior modification? To calm him down? To show him who's boss? In order for any enforced consequence to have its desired effect, it needs to come from the solid, principled decision of its enforcer. If you're wish-washy about spanking, that will get communicated very clearly. And here's what you'll communicate: I am at my wits' end here, and I do not know what else to do but resort to the most base-level power I have over you, my physical size and strength. (and I'd like to add that you're also teaching your kids that it's okay to hit)

As you've learned throughout this book, what that really communicates is that your anxiety is driving the boat. And if anxiety is driving the boat, then you are not really in charge. A relationship can only take so many anxiety-driven interactions before becoming an anxiety-driven relationship.

So which consequences do you actually, authentically, want to enforce? I want to put my kids in timeout because it teaches them the type of pause that I'm trying to practice myself. Timeout also creates the space we need from each other. I want to take privileges and material possessions away from my kids because that teaches them to value such gifts. And sometimes, the consequence I want to enforce is simply telling them, with clear honesty, how their actions or words have hurt me.” pg. 175-176

“Consistent enforcement of consequences is the single most effective application of authority in the parent-child relationship- but only if you can think through your decisions calmly before you make them. By doing so, you greatly increase the chances that those decisions will be sensible, realistic, and helpful in facilitating everyone's growth." pg. 177

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ScreamFree Parenting


Some time ago, I read a friends blog who requested suggestions for good parenting books. Three books were mentioned multiple times: Parenting with Love and Logic, The Power of Positive Parenting, and ScreamFree Parenting.

I have read a lot of parenting and child development books partly because I enjoy them and they apply in our life, and because I majored in Marriage, Family and Human Development, and this was the kind of material we read (along with lots of books on marriage). I had already read the first two of the books I've just listed and decided to check out the third from our library. As a side note, once I had the book in my hands at the library, I was suddenly very self conscious of the title. I didn't want anyone to make any quick ill judgments on my character, so I held the book under my arm, against my body as I checked it out. :)

After reading this book, I have to say I agree with those who recommended it. It was very good. And the title is a little misleading because it's not necessarily for 'screamers', rather the author says we all have our own type of 'screaming' we do when we're feeling a lot of anxiety.

ScreamFree was different from many parenting books in that it doesn't tell you specific things to do in different areas of parenting. For example, there's no chapter about how to potty train your child, how to teach them to take care of money or do chores etc. Instead, the author focuses on principles of parenting. The phrase that was repeated most often was, "calm yourself down and grow yourself up." I typed up a lot of notes from this book that I want to post in here. But because I took so many, I'll break them up and do it over a few posts. Here are a couple quotes for today.

“...no one, not even your kids, can make you feel anything, think anything, or do anything. Period. Your children cannot push you over the edge, press your magic buttons, or bring you to the brink. They are simply not that powerful. Your emotional responses are up to you. You always have a choice....When we scream at our kids, when we get emotionally reactive, we communicate one single message: CALM ME DOWN! No matter what words are actually coming out of our mouths, no matter how long our tirade is, no matter how old our children are, when we scream, the message is always the same: CALM ME DOWN! Whenever we react to our children's behavior by screaming, we are actually begging them to help us calm our anxiety.” pg. 27 and 31

“No pain, no gain....First, let us reaffirm what you already know about being a parent: It's probably the most challenging thing you've ever done. Let us also reaffirm, however, what you hope about being a parent: It can be among the most rewarding experiences you've ever imagined...Parenting is painful at times, and you already know it's really difficult. But what you might not know is that parenting is supposed to be that way. Why? Parenting is a growth process, that's why. And nothing has ever grown without feeling some sort of growing pains."pg. 39


“...the entire goal of parenting is to launch our children into the world as self-directed adults. We want them to be capable of asserting their desires, making their own choices,and taking responsibility for their actions. We want them to be able to stand up for themselves and choose for themselves what they will and will not do. We just don't like it when they practice demonstrating that will on us....our goal is not to stifle our children's expressions of will, desire and emotion. Our goal is to help steer those expressions along the most productive paths. ” pg. 105


And, here's a cute quote I thought I should implement in my home:

“My mother's menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.” Buddy Hackett, comedian

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The truth about chicken nuggets

I found this on my friend April's blog and thought it was interesting enough to share. It's pretty gross. We don't eat fast food or store bought chicken nuggets on a regular basis, but even then, this is still gross and makes me want to cut it out forever. I have a home made recipe that we all like pretty well, but I want to give this one a try too.

Dinner Diva
Chicken Nuggets

By Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to get my nutritional feathers ruffled. I’ve seen a lot of things that have made me crazy over the years and you’ve heard me harp on them—from “healthy” whole wheat donuts to artificial sweeteners, Olestra and acrylimide. I’ve sang the siren’s song about good nutrition and what I believe too, to be common sense nutrition. Why would we drink something, in the name of quenching our thirst, that looks like toilet bowl cleaner or antifreeze?

Anyway, today I stop singing and start sounding the alarm. We absolutely must stop the madness that is fast food. We absolutely must stop the madness and the obesity and the rise in degenerative diseases. We are raising an unhealthy generation because we feed this junk to our kids! PLEASE STOP!

I know there are attempts at some fast food places to do better. As Oprah says, “When you know better, you do better.” Well, today you are going to know better about chicken nuggets, because today, I am going to tell you all I know about them.

First, McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets contain 38 ingredients. Yes, THIRTY EIGHT ingredients! Some of those ingredients are things you wouldn’t give to your DOG. Some of those things, you could use to start a fire—well, almost. Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a derivative of petroleum that is sprayed on the nugget or in the box that holds the nugget to keep it fresh. TBHQ is also a derivative of butane, also known as lighter fluid. It is furthermore a suspected carcinogen—cancer-causing agent.

The batter is set in shortening (hydrogenated oils) and in turn, it is cooked in partially hydrogenated oils at the restaurant. Some of the additives in there are antifoaming agents, emulsifiers, leavening agents, preservatives, fillers and binders. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? Something you’d want to feed your kids?

The nuggets themselves contain 53% chicken. You wanna know what that 53% chicken is? I promise you it isn’t nice white chicken breasts! If you find those nuggets spongy and watery it’s because the chicken meat and skin is ground into a slurry, binders and fillers are added, plus lots of water, then formed into neat little nuggets.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ILL. Why do we manufacture stuff like this and then call it food? Where’s the value in it?

Please, for the children’s sake and for your own health’s sake, let’s stop this craziness with the food. It’s time to get back to basics and only eat food that is 100% identifiable. If you don’t know exactly what went into what you’re eating, you’re making a mistake. Our bodies do not need to contend with more pollution than what is already in our environment.

Here’s a quick and easy alternative to chicken nuggets:

Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers
Serves 4

1 pound chicken tenders
1/4 cup honey, warmed
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup corn flakes, crushed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, mix mustard and honey together. In another bowl, place the crushed corn flakes.

In assembly line fashion, dip the chicken tender in the mustard mixture, then roll in the corn flakes and place on the cooked sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, or when cooked through.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jane is 6 months old



Jane is 6 months old! Man, how the time flies when you're having fun. We sure love our little Jane, also known as "Janey" or "Jane, Jane" or "Pumpkin". She is so sweet and lovable. We give her smiling face lots of kisses all day long. The kids still enjoy holding her, though Jane doesn't always love to be held by them. When we say any of those names mentioned above, she'll look at you and give you the biggest smile. Here are some other things about Jane at 6 months:

~She's sitting!

~We've added rice cereal to her solid food assortment which also includes pureed zucchini and squash.

~She's still an awesome sleeper. I really couldn't have asked for anything better. I know I've mentioned her amazing sleeping habits several times before, but it's because I'm continuously grateful. It's so much easier to be a good, active mom when you've had a good nights sleep.

~She's slobbering like crazy, and I think she's in the process of cutting a bottom front tooth.

~And she enjoys being near all of her siblings and watching them in action.
*P.S. I'll post her stats after her doctors appointment which is scheduled later on in the week

Friday, September 24, 2010

Top three movies

Here are the top three movies I've seen this year. That doesn't necessarily mean they came out this year, but that I saw them for the first time in the past year.

1. Emma- the new BBC version starring Romola Garai. Loved it! It's 2 discs and 4 hours long and just wonderful! I love Jane Austen's stories. I like this one better than the Gwyenth Paltrow version. If you can't get a hold of this movie, you can watch it on youtube. That's how I first watched it. But, you have to watch it in parts. Once you're on You Tube, you'd need to search Emma 2009 episode 1 part 1. There are 4 episodes and 6 parts to each episode. I know that seems ridiculous, but it's SO worth it. Or you could just buy it off Amazon.com :).

2. When in Rome- a romantic comedy starring Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars). I don't watch very many PG-13 movies but I checked this one on screenit.com before hand and it seemed to be pretty clean, and it was. I thought this movie was hilarious and so cute. My mom thinks I like it so much because she thinks I relate well to Kristen Bell's character. I don't know if that's true or not(though I do seem to find myself in embarrassing situations fairly often, and many times I do get food stuck in my front teeth), but I do know that I laughed all throughout the movie and I loved the love story. I saw this movie 4 times in a couple of months, watching it with different family and friends. You can find it on Red Box. I would like to own it.

3. The Young Victoria- I guess you could call this one a historical romance. I love that it's based on true foundation and I think the love story is sweet. You should be able to find this one at a Red Box.

What can I say, I'm a complete sucker for entertaining, clean romances in both books and movies.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Heating element


Can you tell what I'm trying to show in this picture besides an oven that's in desperate need of a good cleaning? A few weeks ago I turned on the oven to preheat while I mixed up a batch of zucchini bread. Charlie was sitting at the table and came over near where I was standing at the counter and said, "Mommy, the oven is on fire. There are two fires!" I looked over and sure enough, there were two small fires inside the oven. I quickly shut it off. When I opened the oven door, I noticed that the heating element had begun to melt away. Thank goodness Charlie was in the kitchen with me and noticed the fires before it got out of hand.

Our oven is old and apparently when they get old, things like this happen. Luckily, we were able to replace just the heating element and not the entire oven.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lemon-Poppy Seed Poundcake


We made this dessert and ate it as our Family Home Evening treat this week. It was yummy. I found the dessert in the book, The Kind Diet. They use maple sugar and maple syrup as the sweeteners. I changed a couple of things in the recipe since I'm not vegan and will eat things like eggs and butter.

As a side note, I've been doing more of my own recipe modifications when it comes to sugars. Instead of using a cup of sugar, I'll use a teaspoon of stevia or 2/3 c agave. I use agave in more baked goods like my breads and things. I've substituted stevia for the maple sugar in my granola recipe which will make it a lot less expensive and is still really yummy.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Poundcake
serves 8-10

1 c whole wheat flour
1 c flour
1/3 c maple sugar
2 tsp egg replacer (I used two eggs)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt
½ c soy, rice or nut milk (I used regular milk)
¼ c fresh lemon juice
½ c safflower oil (I used ½ c butter)
½ c maple syrup
1 tsp lemon extract
2 Tbsp poppy seeds

Lemon maple glaze: (we made this lemon glaze. I think next time around I'll use a little less lemon juice).
½ c maple syrup
½ c lemon juice
2 tsp kuzu, diluted in a little bit of cold water

Berry glaze:
1 bag frozen berries, thawed
Maple syrup to taste
vanilla to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil the pans (you can use 3 mini loaf pans, a muffin tin, or 4 mini bundt pans).

Combine the flours, sugar, egg replacer, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the milk with the lemon juice and set aside for a few minutes; it will look curdled. Whisk in the oil, syrup, and lemon extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir just until combines. Fold in the poppy seeds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans, and bake for 15-25 minutes (mini loafs and muffins take about 15-18min; loaf and bundt pans take 20-25 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake completely in the pans on a baking rack.

If using the lemon maple glaze, combine the syrup and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the diluted kuzu, and continue stirring until the glaze comes to a boil. Simmer for 1 minutes. Drizzle over the cake and serve.

If using the berry glaze, whiz the berries in a blender with the syrup and vanilla to taste. Drizzle over the cake and serve.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Taquitos



This recipe came from the book, Deceptively Delicious. In the book they're called, "tortilla cigars". I didn't like that name, and since they look like taquitos, I thought we'd change their name. Basically a cheese and chicken quesadilla, rolled up on half a whole wheat tortilla. Yellow squash and carrots are the hidden purees. I had just pureed some squash this weekend that I got from our local garden share(I love garden shares. Brilliant!). And I had some frozen carrot puree from a few months back. My kids LOVED these. Elisabeth and Charles each ate several and during dinner they kept saying things like, "good job mom!", "these are so good!" "this is my new favorite dinner." and "we should make these every day!" Hearing things like that is rare and so rewarding. I don't know why I didn't think to try these earlier since I know they love tacos and burritos(which reminds me: "taco, burrito, what's comin' outta your speedo, you've got trouble, whew! You're blowin' bubbles, whew!" Anyone know what I'm quoting from? Scott, you can't guess. You're all going to think I'm crazy, but it just popped into my mind and I couldn't help myself). Here's the recipe with a couple slight modifications:

Taquitos

1 c shredded, cooked chicken

½ c grated cheddar cheese

½ c yellow squash puree

½ c carrot puree

4 oz cream cheese

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp salt

6 burrito size whole-wheat tortillas

optional: I substitute 1 c cooked black beans for the chicken

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the chicken, cheese, squash and carrot purees, cream cheese, garlic powder and salt. Cut the tortillas in half(pizza cutter makes things easy). Place one half on the work surface with the straight edge facing you. Spread about 2 Tbsp of the filling along that edge from one side to the other. Starting at the edge, roll the tortilla into a taquito shape, completely enclosing the filling. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Stuff and roll the rest of the tortillas the same way. Bake until the tortillas begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Evening with friends

Last weekend we had my friend Lindsay(who is also our amazing photographer) and her family over for dinner. We love spending time with their little family, probably because we're in such similar circumstances: we both graduated from BYU, we've been married for about the same amount of time, we're about the same age and we both have 4 little kids, the last two of which are about a month apart.
Elisabeth, Emerson and Owen
Annabelle and Elizabeth dressed up in princess dresses for most of the night.

We scooted Jane and Amelia next to each other for a picture, but Jane kept putting her hand on Amelia's face, so we had to separate them :).



Eating smores
Scott and Matt made the smores for everyone.
Matt and Lindsay

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2010 Family Photos

Did you notice the new pictures on our home page? I love them! It's that time of year again and we had another great family photo shoot with my dear friend Lindsay. Thanks Lindsay for all your hard work and time!





I would like to title this one, Arms Full of Love :), or Full of something at least. 'Love' may not have been the first word to come to mind had you seen us at Walmart today with these 4. Probably something more like 'crazies' or 'monkeys' or 'loud, unruly children'. But, you get my drift.



















Thursday, September 16, 2010

Armor of God



Elisabeth cut out a picture in the Friend magazine of a boy all dressed up in cardboard armor. On his shield was written (in crayon) CTR or Choose the Right. I knew the kids would love to have some CTR shields of their own so for Family Home Evening this week, we made our Armor of God. We didn't make all of the armor as it was a little time consuming, just shields and swords. We read from D&C 27, verses 15-18 about, "putting on the whole armor that ye may be able to withstand the evil day....taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked...and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you...and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dragon Slayer

Our girls have at least 8 different dress-ups between them. Char has one cape that fits and one of those plastic red fire hats the fire departments give away for free. It's being held together in several spots with tape. That's it. That's all he's got. Not even one, all pieced together, costume. And the girls want to play dress up all the time and many times argue that he can't play unless he's dressed up as something.

While at Costco this weekend, I noticed they had several boy costumes out and I found the perfect one for Charlie. I brought it home, he tried it on and has worn it(or at least a part of it) every day since. We call him the 'defender of the princesses'-as we have three of them- and the 'dragon slayer', since he's not allowed to kill people, only dragons. This prevents him from hitting his sisters....though I'm sure one day he'll just ask them to pretend to be dragons and then we'll have to think of something else.