Saturday, December 31, 2011

Better to Give Than Receive

Let me just warn you now to get your tissues.

This holiday season has been strange. For Marc and myself. Neither one of us ever felt like we really got into the Christmas spirit, and shopping for the kids definitely happened last minute. We never made gingerbread houses or decorated Christmas cookies, or celebrated any traditions to speak of. I did get the pre-lit tree up, but we never got around to decorating it. We did make a trip to see Santa, but this season was Holiday Spirit Fatigue at its worst!

When I though all hope was lost, we finally piled up into the car as a family and headed to the Christmas Eve service at church. Singing the hymns, and hearing the Christmas story read against a backdrop of gorgeous music began reminding me really of why we celebrate this holiday. Then we sang "O Holy Night." When we got to the part where you sing, "Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices..." the whole congregation rose to their feet, hands were raised, and tears were streaming down my face. Truly, what a divine night.

The lights came up and we began to gather our things to leave, when Aidan, my five year old, told me he needed to find the buckets. I asked him what he meant and he explained that when the buckets went by he didn't have enough time to get his money out of his pocket and that he wanted to give money...

Let's rewind a minute (get your tissues now). Besides the fact that all of the kiddos are really grabbing onto the whole doing chores for money thing, Poppa Tony gave each child $20 for Christmas when we went to visit Florida last week.


Now, I know for a fact that Aidan had spent all his chore money earlier on vacation, so what he had in his pocket was definitely Christmas gift money. I asked him if he knew what the buckets were for, and sure enough he'd paid attention. They had announced that the offering that evening would be given to a couple of different ministries, one being an organization that serves orphans. He said, "I want to give money to the boys and girls who don't have mommies and daddies."

We found someone and asked about how we could still give even though the buckets had been put away, and were directed to a drop box. I saw him unroll a ten, five, and three one dollar bills. I asked which one he wanted to give, to which he replied, "Well, I can only give one dollar, because I have to have enough to buy everyone presents tonight. We can still go to Walgreens tonight to buy everyone presents, right?" I assured him we would go (crossing my fingers they'd be open) after we opened presents at Mimi's. I then reached into my own wallet to give to the orphans to match my son's generous gift.

At this point in the evening Marc and I were truly pooped. In the last 36 hours, we'd spent over 20 in the car, arriving back in Tulsa from Florida at 4am, hosted a Christmas Eve gift exchange for my brother's family and my dad, and still had to have dinner and presents at my mom's before spending the greater part of the night wrapping all of our own presents to put under the tree before Christmas morning! I was making a committment here to patience.

After a great dinner and a lot of fun watching kids open presents with Mimi and Poppy, we headed home to get ready for bed so Santa could come. Aidan, Alec and I headed to Walgreens for our last outing. Aidan was so insistent on buying presents for each of his siblings, and for Marc. He put his $17 dollars and change into a gift bag and we got started. He had estimated in his mind that he could spend about $2 per person, so we were on a really tight budget, but he wasn't deterred or frustrated. He thought about each person individually and took his time looking for items that they would like. You'd think he would come away with nothing but packets of gum, but he didn't. Carter and Alec were easy, he found $2 packages of Gogo's Crazy Bones and some mini Lego men, then Corrinne was a little harder. He wanted to get her some lipgloss, but there were a lot of choices and he got overwhelmed. He asked me what her favorite color was and I told him it was green. "There's no green lipgloss, Mom!" Then he spotted some green sparkly fingernail polish for $1.87, snagged it and threw it in the bag.

After finding a Disney Princess toy camera for his baby half sister, Sage, we were onto Marc. At this point he had $9, which we knew for sure because as he shopped, Aidan was pulling out the exact amount of money into his hand so he'd know how much he'd spent and how much he had left. He was meticulous. I asked what he wanted to get Marc. He wanted to get him a neck massager, "Because he works so hard, Momma, and that would make his neck feel better," but that was $20, outside of his budget. Then he remembered seeing a display of items themed from the movie A Christmas Story, one of Marc's favorite movies.

"You remember that part in the movie where the little boy comes out in the bunny costume that he doesn't like?"

"Yes."

"Can we see if they have anything with that on it?"

"Yes."

Sure enough, there was a bobble head doll of Ralphie in his bunny costume. For $8.50. In the budget. We grabbed it, put it in our gift bag and headed to the counter. I promised Aidan I'd cover the change he'd need for tax and he was delighted with his finds.

I wish you could have seen his face the next morning as he handed out his gifts, one at a time, explaining to each person why he chose that gift. The looks on each child's face was so precious. Aidan really had chosen the perfect gifts. It didn't matter the price, they really were toys they wanted and appreciated. And Marc was blown away by his bobble head, so impressed he told me, "We have to wrap this up and make sure it stays with the Christmas decorations."

My sweet, sweet boy somehow got it, in spite of my failure to catch the bandwagon this holiday season.




Watching my son so excitedly hand out his presents to our family made this my most favorite Christmas memory ever. To heck with Christmas cookies and decorations!

It truly is better to give than to receive.

Love and Honey,
Missy

Friday, December 30, 2011

{my moment}

{my moment}
A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A weekly ritual inspired by Soulemama.






If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment!
Happy Weekend, Lovies!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

haiku wednesday

kid-free, hubby gone
mama fed up with projects
need friends, wine, ice cream

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Honey Bee Mama Sponsor - Guest Blogger Piper Nard CD(DONA) {Babywearing Doula}

Please welcome Honeybee Mama's first sponsor: Babywearing Doula!

Today's post comes from guest writer, friend and fellow doula, Piper Nard. She's sharing about a subject near and dear to my heart: babywearing. Enjoy!

I’m so excited to do a guest blog post! I’ve never been one before. Who am I? I’m Piper! I am known as the Babywearing Doula (BabywearingDoula.com). I am a certified birth doula (since 2007) and am also trained in babywearing! What is babywearing? Besides being a lifesaver, babywearing is simply using a soft carrier to carry your baby.

When I was pregnant with my first son Cale (9), I was given advice that I shouldn’t hold my baby too much because he’d become spoiled. I even heard that he would learn how to manipulate me early in his life by answering to his every cry. Every ounce of my being thought that all of this friendly “advice” was gibberish. My natural instinct was to keep him close to me so when I ended up with postpartum depression, that’s what I did. I kept him with me.

During my second pregnancy, I learned that the world of babywearing was so much larger than what I had found 3 years earlier. I started trying different carriers & researching online & found that it was more than just a helpful tool for keeping my baby close. That’s when my babywearing classes were born – August 2006.

There are so many benefits to wearing your baby. For the baby, he/she can hear your voice, smell your scent & hear your heartbeat. Their temps are more easily regulated along with their digestive systems. Babies learn to socialize earlier and research shows that their IQs are actually higher! YAY for smarter-than-I-know-they-already-are kids!

For the wearer, it allows you to get things done! It curbs sibling rivalry and increases your confidence as a parent.

There are 4 different types of soft carriers: ring sling, pouch, mei tai & wrap. Regardless of which carrier works best for you, it is very important that baby’s anatomy & development be taken into consideration. A child’s spine does not fully develop until age 12. Who knew right? So it is important for baby to be allowed to keep his/her spine curved and not flattened out by a carrier or other device that we are told we need as new parents. The other important piece of information to remember is that a baby’s ball & socket joint of their hips is cartilage and doesn’t fully harden until around 2 years of age. Because of this, we need to keep our child’s legs & hips in the proper formation which
is a spread squat or froggy position. This means baby’s bottom needs to be below their knees and their legs at a 45 degree angle. Keep this information in your mind when choosing a carrier. A good carrier should allow proper curvature of baby’s back & proper positioning of their hips & legs. It should also keep baby in a natural carry so that baby is safe & secure and can’t slip down and fold in on him/herself.


Babywearing has come a long way since it was known as the “hippy” thing to do. Carriers come in a wide variety of colors & patterns for wearer & they can become quite addictive also!

Piper teaches babywearing classes in the OKC Metro. More information about her doula services, classes, handmade and resale slings can be found at www.babywearingdoula.com.

Love and Honey,
Missy

{my moment}

{my moment}
A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A weekly ritual inspired by Soulemama.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment!

I don't know about you, but I'm still catching up from vacation and Christmas weekend.
Happy Tuesday Lovies!


Monday, December 26, 2011

I Just Want to Be a Good Mom

It's Monday. This particular Monday is the day after Christmas. All my kids are off to spend the second half of their holiday break with the other parents, my husband has left town for the week on business, and I'm left here. To work, to rest, to clean up the Christmas carnage, and (as it inevitably happens in the quiet that accompanies the lack of little ones) to think.

You know what I'm thinking about? I'm thinking I just want to be a good mom. A happy mom. A mom whose kids behave well and are happy, healthy and successful. I'm thinking about all the times in the last week where I lost my cool, barked out orders, and (in my mind) ruined an entire road trip and holiday for our kids.

Now, I know I didn't completely ruin Christmas or any other day for that matter, but surely I'm not the only mom who FEELS that way after getting frustrated with toddler throwing a temper tantrum or a teenager rolling her eyes at you! Can I get an amen?

In the same way that I'm tired of my pants not fitting right and I'm ready to embrace The South Beach Diet, I'm ready for a change in my parenting and discipline. There has to be a better way. I'm tired of feeling like the more I try to get my kids to do what they're supposed to do, the more they rebel. And the more they rebel, the harsher I become and the worse I feel for hurting their feelings and causing them to feel bad about themselves. Bottom line is this: when it comes to the harder issues, what I'm doing isn't working and no one is happy about it.

For the most part, our home is a happy one. Our kids aren't "bad" kids. They are happy children, get along well with each other and other children, and are successful in school and extracurricular activities. I don't think we're at the level that we need to call Supernanny, but there is definitely room for improvement. As the children grow, I know we will encounter more and more challenging issues (am I the only one who's terrified of adolescence?!), and I believe now is the time to get a handle on things so we're prepared.

So, I've picked up my copy of Parenting with Love and Logic. I had all but forgotten about it until I was looking for another book on my shelf and ran across it. My bookmark was on page 60. Apparently I never finished the journey! I went ahead and started from the beginning and let me tell you, this book is hitting all my hot buttons.

This book outlines several parenting styles which are ineffective, highlighting a lot of the things I find myself doing. I boss, I remind, I nag, I threaten, and say things like, "how many times do I have to tell you [fill in the blank]?" All of which are not helpful, for a variety of reasons.

I haven't yet finished the book, but there are a couple of things that really stand out to me. Parents who practice the Love and Logic techniques do not feel the need to control their children, rather, they allow the natural consequences of their child's actions to test the quality of those actions. They set firm and appropriate boundaries, and give children choices which prevent them from "breaking the rules" while also giving them opportunities to be naturally rewarded or challenged through those decisions.

Once I got into Chapter 4, it really started hitting close to home.
"Unfortunately, separating the kids' problems from our problems is not always as cut and dry as we would like. The line between the two often becomes blurred by parental indecision, guilt, insecurity, and our own childhood's authoritarianism. When our guilt or indecision moves us to step into our children's problems, we cater more to our own emotions than to the children's needs. Most kids want us to understand their feelings, not soothe our own emotional turmoil by offering them solutions." (p 61)
Apparently, when I force my kids to do things MY way (because it's the right way, and more importantly because I said so), I'm doing more for my own "need" to be a good parent than I am for the character of my children. Youch!

The title of Chapter 6 is "Gaining Control Through Choices." I never realized how many control issues I had when it comes to my kiddos!
"We don't feel like good parents unless we can run our kids around like little robots. It all boils down to control. We want to control our children. We want them to do what we want them to do, when we want them to do it. At times, our kids fight us with a passion. Before we know it, we're locked into a control struggle." (p 79)
Sound familiar? It does to me. I'm learning that the way I speak to my children has an enormous effect on not only their behavior but their self image. At the end of the day, what's more important? On one hand, your child makes a poor choice, but deals with the consequences and feels empowered and competent enough to make a better decision next time. On the other hand, you have a child who feels put down and demeaned by your bossing and nagging, but does what you say because you've made him feel so badly about himself.

I think I prefer the former, and I'm learning a lot about perspective. How freeing is it to realize that when my child misbehaves it doesn't mean I'm a bad parent? That's huge! All it means is that my KID made a bad choice, and HE is the one who is going to have to deal with it. The more we put that power in the hands of children, the stronger and more competent we allow them to become.

In essence, relinquishing control means more than regaining sanity. It means teaching kids to be responsible for their own actions.

I have quite a bit to read yet, but so far so good! Don't worry, I'll keep you posted and I'll issue a full book report when it's all said and done. For now, here's to responsible kids and NOT feeling like a bad mom!

Love and Honey,
Missy

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nutrition in Pregnancy Pt. 3

Happy Monday, Lovies! I'm writing today from sunny Florida where we are visiting family for the holidays. I hope you all are well and not too frazzled with shopping and feast preparing!

Today, for Mama Monday, I'm going to wrap up my series on nutrition in pregnancy. I've recently shared about the importance of adequate protein and water consumption, being discerning when it comes to sugars and carbohydrates, and today I'll discuss a few key vitamins that are essential in pregnancy.

While there are several important vitamins you should incorporate into your pregnancy diet, I'm going to focus on ones I think are particularly important or you may not be aware of. I'll also point out some power packed foods that will cross several vitamins off your list in one shot! I encourage you to look at The American Pregnancy Association's list of Essential Nutrients and Vitamins for Pregnancy for a comprehensive list.

1. Calcium. Calcium is among the highest in terms of milligrams required daily for pregnant women. Pregnant women should have 1000-1300 mg of calcium each day. Many women in the United States are at risk of developing Osteoporosis due to inadequate calcium intake, so it goes without saying that pregnant women should be even more diligent.

Calcium keeps bones and teeth healthy in mom and baby, and keeps nervous, muscular and circulatory systems healthy. If you do not monitor your calcium intake and make sure you get enough through foods and supplements, your growing baby will draw calcium from YOUR bones in order to grow well. Your bones and joints are important for every day movement and to support the growing weight of your belly!

Most people know they can get calcium from milk and dairy products, but you may not know that foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, and canned fish with bones are also excellent sources. Add spinach, broccoli, asparagus, kale and canned pink salmon to your grocery list!



2. Iron. Iron helps mom and babies muscles develop and also prevents anemia. Anemia occurs when you don't have enough red blood cells in your body which help carry oxygen throughout your body. Increasing your iron intake can also help prevent low birth weight and preterm labor which can be accompanied by birth defects and developmental delays in your baby.

You should receive around 27 mg of iron daily while pregnant. While protein sources such as red meat and pork are great sources of iron, you can also get it through dried beans, spinach, dried fruits and oatmeal.

3. Folic Acid. Folic acid (folate) is a B vitamin that helps support the developing placenta, the vital organ which supplies all nutrients traveling from you to your baby during pregnancy. Folic acid also contributes to the healthy development of the baby's neural tube, which later develops into the baby's brain and spinal cord. Incorporating adequate amounts (600 mcg) of folic acid into your diet helps to prevent spina bifida and many other birth defects.

Folic acid is most important before you become pregnant and in the first few weeks of your pregnancy, often when you don't even know you've conceived. The best way to make sure you are getting enough folic acid when you need it is to begin to incorporate foods rich in folate into your diet now. Though multivitamins and prenatal vitamins have this essential nutrient, it's always best to get it from the source. Oranges, orange juice, strawberries, green leafy vegetables, spinach, beets, broccoli, cauliflower and peas are all great sources of folic acid. You can also choose fortified cereals and pasta

4. Omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acid, particularly the long chain DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) helps support in the development of your growing baby's eyes and brain and is essential to the production of prostiglandins. Prostiglandins help regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and kidney functions. If you incorporate the recommended amount of folic acid (300 mg) into your pregnancy diet, you're doing one more thing to prevent neurological defects in your baby! Then, after pregnancy when you are breastfeeding, Omega-3s help substantially in milk production.

Your best sources for Omega-3 fatty acids are tuna, salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies. If you are concerned about mercury levels or other toxins in fish, consider adding a fish oil supplement to your daily routine. There are also prenatal vitamins which include DHA, but fish oil supplements and the fish listed earlier are the best and most reliable sources of this essential nutrient.

Power Packed foods!

Did you notice all the repeat foods in the four lists above? They were, for the record, dark green leafy vegetables, spinach, salmon, nuts, and many colors of fruits and veggies. So, my advice is to never leave the grocery store without a bag of fresh spinach in your cart, a different green leafy veggie for a new one each few days, one of the fish choices mentioned, a variety of nuts and fruits each week. Consider eating salads for lunch and substituting spinach for lettuce, and throwing spinach into sandwiches, omelets, and as many different recipes as you can. Find a granola recipe to make in bulk for snacking, and add a variety of nuts and dried fruit. That way, if you snack on it throughout the day, you'll easily reach your quota! Grab some frozen berries or smoothie mixes from the frozen foods section of the store, and make yourself a smoothie for breakfast or snack each day.

Remember, getting your vitamins and minerals from the source (i.e. through your diet) rather than through synthetic supplements is always best!

For more information about important vitamins and minerals for pregnancy, please look at the following websites:
Love and Honey (and healthy moms and babies!),
Missy

Friday, December 16, 2011

{my moment}

{my moment}
A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.


If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment!
Happy Weekend Lovies!


Holiday Spirit Fatigue

I've been a little slow getting on the holiday bandwagon this year, and I've had a hard time putting my finger on exactly why that is.

Maybe it's the decorations. I swear stores were decorating for Christmas in August this year. Does it get earlier every year?

Or was it the music? Whenever it was that 96.5 FM started playing all holiday music, I wasn't ready for it. I find myself instinctively skipping past it on my presets in the car.

Could it be ALL the available locations to "meet Santa" in town? Scuba Santa, mall Santa, Christmas Train Santa, and sooooo many more. Is there a Chick-Fil-A cow dressed as Santa or an Elvis Santa somewhere I can visit? Can I marry Santa? How obvious is the non-realness of the man here?

And what's all this talk of an Elf on a Shelf? Is this a real thing? Apparently so. I kept thinking it was just a legend that parents told their kids to try to elicit good behavior. No, this is a real thing that we do in our country. We not only lie to our kids about a fat and jolly superhero that magically squeezes down chimneys, we also invent miniature narcs to keep them in check and make up for our terrible parenting and discipline throughout the year!

Or it could have been my five year old asking me if we could do a better job with Christmas this year because he didn't feel like they got enough presents last year and Christmas wasn't very good.

I'm officially grossed out.

Then there are all the events. Luckily we are not a family in the upper echelon of society with a pile of elite holiday party invitations. If we were I just might start shooting off my own toes one by one while I power gulp spiked eggnog. I'm not talking about the kids' events either. No, I'm completely psyched about all of the school performances, class parties and holiday crafts coming home - those make the whole season worth it! What I'm disappointed about are all of the fantastic events going on around town that I keep missing.

I missed the Festival of Trees at Philbrook and the 2nd Saturday of December. Probably the MOST fun 2nd Saturday of the year. Missed the grand opening event of the holiday pop shops downtown. We have not been anywhere to see lights, and we certainly didn't make it out to Kiddie Park tonight in Bartlesville for their Christmas event (last opportunity to ride rides before next season). And we attended a holiday parade that was NOT up to par (even the littles were so bored they started playing hide and seek).

To top it all off, the last couple of weeks I've sort of gotten over all that positive body image stuff and have been low carbing it so there hasn't been the usual hustle and bustle in the kitchen to whip up holiday sweets. Boo.

But this week, after finally getting the tree up (though it's crooked and I can't figure out why...I'm telling you this holiday season has it in for me) and seeing how happy the kids were to see it, I realized I need to get my act together. And I realized what I was missing. The little things. The spark. The JOY and the reasons behind the holidays we celebrate.

I don't have to be annoyed about commercialism or money spent on unnecessary gifts because I don't have to participate in it. I've always had an internal struggle with how to address the Santa issue, and thus far have played along with the myth, but I refuse to use the story as a means to coerce my children into being nice rather than naughty. I'd much rather be consistent daily in my expectations of them so we can all celebrate when celebration calls!

I realized what I needed more than anything was just time with the kids and making Christmas into what we want it to be. So, last night we did!

We got started on Christmas cards for teachers, family and friends.


Admired Aidan's gingerbread house he made at school,


and Alec was inspired to make his own!


So we did our best with what we could find in the cabinets and Halloween candy baskets.



Aidan opted for a leftover cupcake from Papa's birthday party last weekend.


Alec kept getting distracted while building his gingerbread house.


Apparently you need something stronger than icing.


But we got a decent temporary fix,


and got to the decorating!


We got some sprinkles and a few more candies, but as predicted it fell again.


I don't think Alec was all that disappointed and started to realize his main goal in building the house was really to eat it!


Then I decided Mommy needed some crafts.


A couple of sweet boys decided to join me. *smiles*

I love to watch Alec cut.


We adore glitter glue. It makes glitter totally possible without a gigantic mess!



Alec had a different idea of "making presents" than I did. He kept finding things in the house he wanted to wrap up with construction paper to give as gifts. Here's the gift he wrapped for his cousin "Little George!"


And here's the sweet front of the card Aidan made for his cousin Gabby. Can you tell they're excited to visit their newest cousins in Florida next week?!


Welcome to our Winter Wonderland!


I think I'm officially over my Holiday Spirit fatigue.

I'm going to stop looking at Holiday Happening calendars and getting stressed out about all the things I'm [not] missing out on, because I have all the Holiday activities and spirit I need right in my own home!

Love and Honey,
Missy

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

haiku wednesday

haiku wednesday

so much for all that feeling
this week = low carbing.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mama Monday - Nutrition in Pregnancy Pt. 2

Happy Monday, Lovies! I hope yours is off to a good start. Mine is full of list making and crossing things off. Our Christmas shopping season is in serious crunch time, compounded by kids' activities, Christmas parties and performances, not to mention home and work that needs to be juggled as well. Cheers to being a work-at-home-mom!

Last Mama Monday, I began a discussion about nutrition in pregnancy covering protein and water, two essential nutrients. This week, I'm going to discuss sugar and carbohydrates.

1. Sugar. Let's just get the hard one over with, shall we? If you don't yet know that sugar is NOT your best friend, allow me to let you in on a little secret: Sugar is NOT your best friend! I know, I love it, you love it, we all love our sweets, and I've been known to make a hobby out of making cookies myself. I'm not saying you can't enjoy the occasional endulgence, but if you're not careful about your sugar intake during pregnancy (and really throuhout your life), some serious health risks can ensue.

Some foods are naturally high in sugar content, such as starchy vegetables, fruits and juices, which are fine and should be included in your pregnancy diet, and we'll get into that more when we discuss carbohydrates. The bad ones we're talking about are refined sugars found in desserts (which consequently are usually also high in fat and bad carbs) and sodas.

There are a few different reasons to limit refined sugars during pregnancy. First off, consider that food is to fuel your body and provide nutrients and energy. During pregnancy, food fuels your unborn baby as well as yourself. Desserts and cookies don't generally provide many nutrients and won't do anything to help your baby. What they will do is add unwanted calories to your diet, and trick your mind and body into thinking you're full when you haven't really given your body what it needs. You only need about 300 extra calories a day to compensate for the needs of your growing child, so don't waste those calories on foods that don't benefit you in any way!

Also, there are some serious health risks to be considered during pregnancy. High blood sugar can lead to gestational diabetes, putting you into a high risk category of pregnancy which can lead to a cascade of medical interventions. While most women will not continue to be diabetic postnatally, once a woman has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, her odds are higher for contracting it in the future. A diet high in sugar can also cause macrosomia (large babies), thus increasing one's odds for cesarean delivery.

Another very serious medical condition to be aware of is preeclampsia (formally referred to as toxemia). This condition affects all the organs of the body and is characterized by high blood pressure, edema (swelling), excessive weight gain and protein in your urine. A diagnosis of preeclampsia may mean your baby will need to be delivered early, and in severe cases can lead to seizures, kidney, or liver problems. While the direct cause of preeclampsia is still unknown, we do know that close and careful attention to a nutritious diet during pregnancy can greatly reduce your odds of developing the life threatening condition. Reducing your sugar intake lowers blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight gain, thus lowering your overall health risk.

If you just must have sweetener in your coffee or tea, consider natural options like stevia or learn to drink them unsweetened. When it comes to sugary sodas, just make a decision now to cut them out of your diet or only enjoy them once in a while. Along with sugar, they're loaded with sodium, add empty calories, and rob your (and your baby's) body of hydration and essential nutrients. Opt for fruit if you'd like a dessert, and stock up on sugar free puddings, jell-o, and cookies. I love Paula Deen's magical peanut butter cookies (which also up your protein intake) or my healthy no-bake cookies! Try my sugar-free pumpkin cake or angelberry cupcakes.

nutrition in pregnancy, tulsa doula, childbirth education, pregnancy


2. Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, like sugar, come in two forms: simple (bad) and complex (good). Bad carbs are treated like sugar in your body, adding unwanted calories and contributing to other health risks. Good carbs add energy, fiber, vitamins, minerals and all kinds of good things for your you and your baby!

Many women are concerned with gaining too much weight during pregnancy and may consider eliminating carbs in their pregnancy diet to curb unwanted pounds. Please don't do this! Remember how important protein in pregnancy is? If you eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, your body will turn to PROTEIN to burn for energy. Since protein is the number one thing your body needs to build a healthy baby, you can seriously harm your baby and risk your own health if you do not include plenty of good carbs in your diet!!

Usually we think of carbohydrates as they're found in breads and baked goods, i.e. bread, crackers, pasta, rice, etc. What you may not realize is that there are lots of carbohydrates in fruits and vegetables, which are, of course, GOOD carbs! Check here for a list of all those starchy, carb rich veggies that will help fill both your need for carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals. Beans, in particular, are a great source of carbohydrates, as well as protein and fiber. And even though they're white and considered by most to be a "bad carb," potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber.

In addition to loading up on fruits and veggies, you need to incorporate whole grains into your diet as well. This means whole wheat breads, pastas, and brown rice. Be careful when choosing breads and make sure they say "100% Whole Grain," and list unbleached whole wheat flour as one of the first ingredients. Some baked goods may use words like multi grain in their title, but are still filled with sugar and food coloring to make them darker in color. Whole grains add needed fiber and B vitamins to your diet.

To ensure you get the vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates essential during pregnancy, make sure you include all of the following in each meal and snack you consume throughout the day: a serving of protein, a serving of whole grains, and a serving of fruit and or veggies. Don't worry so much about the sugar and things you're not supposed to eat; instead focus on fueling yourself and your growing baby with all the things you need. That way you won't have room for all the junk!

Love and Honey,
Missy

Marc's Birthday

December 13th is Marc's birthday. I realized some time last week that since his birthday falls on a Tuesday this year, we were going to have to celebrate on a different day since we never have all the kids with us on a Tuesday. Since it was a school night, we couldn't do a big elaborate party, but we could squeeze in the essentials.

This also meant some multitasking, and the kids making birthday cards during gymnastics (well, Corrinne worked on it before and after her class...).


They each worked very hard on their cards and they're adorable!


Our stash. The kids insisted on a pinata. Carter the paleontologist insisted on a T-Rex, and my gift conveniently got wrapped in what I had on hand: Toy Story gift bag!


Thanks to Sweet Sherry Pies, we had the best German chocolate cake ever! It's Marc's favorite. She even "birthday'd it up" with sprinkles!


Marc wanted pizza (we are psyched to have a Papa Johns right by our house now). All veggie for him and me, and cheese for the kiddos.


The kids each presented their cards.





Even grown-ups have to blow out their candles.



And one last card presentation. Aidan didn't want his given until the cake was served.


The daddy piece of cake went to the birthday boy, of course!


On to the main event of the evening, whacking the pinata!




Attention: we have breakage.


The kids scramble like hungry little bugs for candy!


Then Marc decided it was only right to redistribute the wealth.


Then, the highlight of the evening (in my opinion) was the T-Rex health center, wherein Doctors Corrinne and Carter bound up the brave dinosaur's war wounds.


You could hear Carter saying, "beep, beep, beep!" imitating the heart rate monitor a patient would be on in the emergency room. Hilarious. He also kept saying, "don't worry little buddy, it's going to be okay!"


Happy birthday, Honey. We love you!
 

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