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American Girl Got It Wrong

diets kids puberty Apr 12, 2021

My daughter cuddled up to my side peering over my shoulder at the drawings of the “inside” boy parts. When I started rattling off names like seminal vesicle and vas deferans, I could sense that it was time to lighten up before the “big reveal”. 

We had embarked on our homeschool version of the birds and the bees since official school lessons start next week. I switched over to the American Girl classic “The Care and Keeping of Us” so we could talk about deodorant and bras instead of male anatomy. 

It’s been a couple of years since I looked at this book, but I have to say, American Girl got it wrong. Their language around weight and food isn’t ok. Let’s break it down with some direct quotes from the book (unfortunately this is just a small sampling of the MANY erroneous statements). 

 "We've been getting that chicken takeout a lot. Can we think of something else that's healthy, but would be a change? How about...

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"I think you've had enough"

I don't know about you, but the Spring sun has me feeling extra hopeful and wanting to spend more time outside. Our family loves to play pick-up soccer games so last weekend we headed to one of the local schools to kick the ball around. 

While the match was heating up on the field, our one year old was wanting to explore off the field. As she tottered around on the sidelines I overheard another family talking. 

A grandma who was (I assume) with her daughter and two granddaughters were in our daughter's wander zone. All four ladies enjoying the warm breeze with smiles on their faces. I noticed the youngest girl was off to the side enjoying a snack while her mom and sister kicked a soccer ball around. 

Suddenly, grandma turned to this sweet girl who was quietly enjoying her snack and half shouted, "What are you doing over there? I think you've had enough! Come back over here and sit with me." 

This little girl's body posture literally sank. She...

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"I look fat in that picture"


Sand squished through my toes and the sun warmed my body as my daughter, son and I watched a lizard slip through the boardwalk slats. The waves crashed ahead of us and the sun was dipping in the West while pink and blue were slowly seeping through the clouds.

Last week our family safely escaped for a week at the beach. There were a handful of other families where we stayed. One evening, a family with a mom and dad along with their two sons and a daughter (plus the daughter’s boyfriend) asked me to take a family photo.

“Of course! I know how hard it is to get a family picture on vacation!” I said thinking back to how many times I’ve spent surveying the crowd to see who might a) not run off with my phone and b) not crop off someone's head.

With our one year old on my hip and three year old by my feet, I snapped a few pictures of the crew. I handed the phone back and asked them to check and make sure they liked it.

The mom took one glance at...

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Power Play

At 2:29pm my passenger doors swing open and three kids hustle inside landing with relief in their seats. 

“How was school today?” I ask. 

I usually get silence or a one word answer which is understandable after a full day of wearing masks and following social distancing rules. 

I usually have better luck with asking for a thumbs up, middle or down rating.

After a few minutes in the car, I know I’ll get an answer from my son if I ask what he did at recess.
 
A smile always creeps onto his face as he begins to tell me the day’s tale of an “epic” football game, fishy fishy (think sharks and minnows), four square or a soccer match. He lights up with excitement telling me all the details. 

Do you remember what it feels like to play at recess?

I remember hours of monkey bar swings (I used to hook my knees around the bar and flip off), kick ball, swinging so high on the swings that I could jump off and land on my feet, wind...
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An Old, Familiar Friend

dieting Mar 08, 2021

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!”

When my incoming text messages sound like pinball machine bells, I don’t have to look to see who it is. 

I know it’s my college girlfriends.

For over two decades we’ve seen each other through break ups, marriage, babies, death, moves and new jobs. 

There’s nothing like seeing (someday) or talking to them and knowing that we can pick up wherever we left off no matter how much time has passed. I’m so grateful for my forever friends. 

This week, many of us are looking back at a year in isolation and can’t wait to see our friends again (hopefully) very soon. 

This made me think of how there's one familiar friend that I recommend you leave in your dark, Covid past. 

Your dieting bestie. 

I’ll admit this bestie is unique. She’s familiar (hard to remember your life without her), she’s fun for a while (hello weight loss in the beginning of all day cottage cheese and...

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Dynamic Duo Don't

cleanse detox diets Mar 01, 2021

I walked into my daughter's room to say goodnight and stopped dead in my tracks at her doorway. 

"Hey! What are you doing?" I asked casually. 

"What do you mean?" she asked confused. 

"Ummmm, you have a bright neon pink fuzzy belt woven into your hair." 

"Oh, that! That's just my bathrobe belt and I'm using it to curl my hair. My friend at dance told me alllll about it." she said excitedly. 

Wow, I thought. SO creative. This must be how all the famous duos are born. Some clever people put two seemingly unrelated items together and make magic. 

Peanut butter and jelly. French fries and Ketchup. Pancakes and syrup. Salt and caramel. Spice and lattes. Hot waffles and ice cream.

You know what two things don't go together, but the gurus are trying to get you to buy? 

Intuitive Fasting. 

Enter Gwyneth Paltrow and her new obsession she's co-promoting with a doctor. Promoter of the vagina egg, vaginal steams and radical detoxes, she's...

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I couldn't say no

I had 5 pairs of eyes staring me down waiting for an answer. (The 6th pair of eyes luckily doesn't know how to do this....yet.)

They'd spent the better part of six months begging me. 

The object of their desire was everywhere we went. On every corner, every road, and in every park. 

We'll do everything! You won't have to do anything! This will be the best thing EVER! 

Fine. Fine. Fine. 

We'll go on the waitlist for a puppy. 

<<Insert squeals of joy and happy dancing>>

Let's be real, they were trying to convince the lady with six kids. The one who adores babies and cuddles. They didn't have to work too hard. 

Our pandemic puppy will likely arrive this summer or fall. Her name is already picked out. Her best friends are already waiting for her. 

This rmade me think of a book we just finished about man's best friend written by Katherine Applegate called, The One and Only Bob. It's the second book of a must read series even...

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My Nana's famous sauce

food as fuel food is love Feb 15, 2021


Empty Cento cans lined my countertop while the smell of onion and fresh basil floated through the air. My mom was patiently explaining her mom's recipe to me while our girl's helped measure ingredients. I loved that we had three generations working together to try  replicating my Nana's famous sauce. I could almost taste the perfection as we watched the little bubbles of red popping in the huge silver pot. 

I love that my mom was teaching me the recipe, but I wish that I would've taken the time to have my own Nana show me her secrets. I'm embarrassed to say I was too busy thinking that food should be fuel and that this particular combo of carbs and fat didn't quite fit with my "health" standards. 

I now know, that it's ridiculous to think of food as fuel alone. 
Food is SO. MUCH. MORE. 
Food is love. 
Food is connection to our family and our memories. 
Food is life. 
Food is medicine. 
Food is culture. 

Today's...

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Roses are red, are you feeling blue?

Red, pink, purple and white hearts were scattered over our table. The kids and I were crafting away to make some special Valentine's for local seniors. One of the other kids popped in and asked why we were making cards. 

I said that "Seniors are often lonely, especially this year with COVID social distancing and mask wearing measures". 

"Well, Great Granny loves the senior place where she lives!" pipped my daughter. 

"I know, but a lot of people are feeling lonely, so this will help bring some cheer". 

Without hesitation, our six year old said, "yeah, well I'm lonely and you're sitting right next to me, mom!!" 

Just about a year into this pandemic, I think many of us are just feeling....BLUE. Even if we have family around us, the pandemic fatigue is real and nobody is immune. 

With Valentine's Day this weekend, you might not be feeling the love for yourself or anybody else and that's ok. 

I've talked before about why self love isn't enough before,...

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Whoops, they did it again.

I grabbed my Franklin Covey organizer, colored pens, cup of tea and journal to sit by the fire on New Year's Day. Comfy clothes, a little Cold Play and lots of quiet time to think about and plan the year ahead.

That was like 100 years ago, or at least it feels that way. 

I have yet to sit down and have quiet time to plan out my year. Good thing that I don't feel the pressure I used to in having "health", "clean eating" or "weight maintenance/loss" at the top of my goals list. 

What tops my list these days is making sure everyone is fed, diapers are changed, kids are dropped off at school drop, kids get to their sports, homeschooling and homework. I barely have time to even read the daily news. Probably not a bad thing considering the ambush of glum news from 2020. The only way I manage the news is with my daily NYT summary and TheSkimm

I was reading my Skimm last week and had an extra 30 seconds to read all the way to the bottom where they have...

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