Saturday, 31 May 2014

A Loopy Situation.

My son-in-law told me a story of a little adventure he had in the grocery store with his 3 year old daughter.  My sweeter than ever, grand-daughter. Anyone who has parented will be able to identify with his story and the rest of you will have no trouble using your imagination.

They went around the store and collected all their items and were in the
check-out when it happened. The guy ahead of them placed six Super sized boxes of Froot Loops on the counter.

Six. Super. Sized.

All my grand-daughter saw was rainbow colors!  Her favorite PINK!  Those cheerios were SPECIAL!  And she wanted them.  Oh, boy did she want them.  Up to this point she was content with her healthy Heritige O's, you know,  the brown ones.  

The plain, healthy brown ones.

  The non-rainbow colored ones.  

Well, I am sure her sweet, unbelievably patient daddy did the best he could as he guided her through the check-out and paid for his groceries and tried to calm her down.  

However, the tears were flowing.  They got into the car and the tears were flowing.  They got home and the tears were flowing.

Fruit Loops have sugar as the first ingredient.  In fact they are 41% sugar. Along with the preservatives and artificial flavors and artificial colors it isn't even a choice. At least it shouldn't be a choice.  

It's just plain bad for you and me and her.  

I am so proud of her daddy, for loving her enough to say no.  For loving her enough to provide her with healthy choices.  For loving her enough to gently help her learn and understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy food choices. Choices that will be foundational for her as she grows up and matures and eventually makes her own decisions about what food to eat.

Ingredients and Nutrition

Sugar is the first ingredient on the list in Kellogg's Froot Loops. Grains include whole-grain corn flour, wheat flour, which is not a whole grain, and whole-grain oat flour. Froot Loops contains oat fiber and soluble corn fiber. This cereal contains hydrogenated vegetable oil, a trans fat. It also contains natural fruit flavors and several dyes and artificial colors. It's fortified with vitamins and minerals and contains BHT, a chemical preservative. A 1-cup serving contains 110 calories, 1 g of fat, 25 g of carbohydrates, including 3 g of fiber and 12 g of sugar, and 1 g of protein.

Heritage O's

Whole oat flour*, whole wheat meal*, Kamut® Khorasan wheat flour*, evaporated cane juice*, spelt flour*, barley flour*, barley malt extract*, quinoa flour*, millet flour*, sea salt, honey*. *Organic. Contains wheat. Produced in a facility that uses peanuts, tree nuts, or soy

Just to be clear....this was not an advertisement for Nature's Path.  The point is to find a healthy choice.  And there are some good options out there.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Things you Do for Your Kids.

I found this little gem on Eric Carle's blog today.

He created it for Mother's Day.  Probably just whipped it up.  Because he can.

It reminded me of something special that happened for me this Mother's Day.

We were sitting in baseball bleachers waiting for the start of the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Conference final to begin.

I was nervous and dressed in many layers as it was cold there.  The previous evening it had snowed.  I didn't really mind so much that I was dressed for warmth and maybe not very, you know,  fashionable.  After all who would really care what I was wearing when I was all wrapped in my 
$6.99 Value Village wool blanket from Scotland?  Nine inning baseball games are known to last up to three hours, I reasoned, staying warm is the priority.

What I hadn't counted on was that the organisers of the tournament called all the Mother's forward.  We were to walk down and meet our son's who were lined up on the first base line with a rose. Like walk down in front of Everybody. Wow, that was really nice, really nice.  I was not embarrassed at all.  
Lie, total lie.

Oh well, here I go.  I thought I would just stride right over to him as fast as I could.  Just get this little show over quickly.

He says to me, "Nice boots Mom"  I said to him, "Hey, they are good for down to -40c, so hurry up and win already."  I think the kid next to him is thinking, "Yeah, nice boots."

He gave me the rose, I gave him a hug. 

The things you do for your kids.

I love watching him play.  Yes, I do.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Let's Get the Loose Parts Out!

I facilitated a two hour workshop on Loose Parts (in the classroom), this 
week-end.  I put a lot of work into the preparation of it, reading articles and blogs, thinking about my own experiences, talking to co-workers, writing it out and refining it and then practising my presentation.  I am very passionate about the use of loose parts in childcare environments, both inside and outside. 

 In the workshop we talked about what loose parts are, and where the theory originated.  We talked about the considerations of bringing loose parts into the classroom for different age groups.  We had great discussion that was intelligent, relevant and interesting.

And we played!

A felted play mat with animals.  Along side were baskets of corks, chestnuts, drift wood and stones.

Plexiglass, tins, unit blocks, tree blocks, cardboard, wooden chess pieces.

Cardboard flowers, buttons, coins,  and gems with small squares of card stock.

Grimm rainbow stacker, geometric shapes and mardi gras necklaces on a mirror.

I hope all the participants went home feeling inspired to provide children with loose parts in their classrooms.  Maybe loose parts that can be put in one small corner or in the play yard.  Just enough for educators to see that children will fall in love with this choice of materials as their imaginations come alive with possibilities, experiences, creativity and fabulous ideas!


"In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it."  - Simon Nicholson

Sorry Simon, that it's taken so long for us to "get" this.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

A Little Whimsy is a Lot of Wonderful.

I got to spend a few days, recently, with my beautiful daughter.  The one who still lives 24 hours drive away.   We would love if she and her husband could ever move closer and maybe one day it will happen.  It happened for her sister and it surely could happen for her. But for now I just enjoy the visit and savour the moments that I have with her.

From the time she was a wee little one, she has loved flowers. So we decided to plant some bedding plants. This was the perfect job for her and I to do. We had a lot of fun creating a fun and whimsical  garden.  I only have a little space and I love stuffing it full with colorful flowers!

Check out the little fairy swing.

We made space for the little gnome.  My grand-daughter and the neighbour children love to play with him.

I think this is the best little garden ever.  And I am pretty sure I say that every year!  I love spring!

Monday, 19 May 2014

It's Good to be Back

I have been on holidays this past two weeks.  We got to travel a little, visit family and friends, watch baseball, work on our rental property, rest, eat delicious food and more!

Our son had his Baseball Championships that spanned over a four day week-end.  There was some very exciting, high calibre baseball to watch.  We were very proud of our son and his team for a great effort.  Some might have been disappointed in their second place finish, but I thought that they played so well and did their best.  Our son is glad of the rest now a busy, busy season is over.

We drove to watch the Championships and then drove a different way home in order to do some work on our rental property.

What a lovely time of year with everything in bloom and the mountains green with new foliage.  We were thankful for warm and sunny days.

Our rental property is gorgeous at this time of year.  We spent time mowing lawns, and trimming back branches in the pathways.

I found it restful and therapeutic to be immersed in nature.

We made time to go to our favorite coffee shop and visit friends and family.

When we came home for the last bit of our time off, we enjoyed having all our children at home.  It doesn't happen very often, that we are all together so I savour the moments.

My mother and my hubby D enjoying a conversation.

My oldest daughter and her family.

My second daughter and her husband.  We are so thankful that they were able to travel to see us.

My happy and relaxed son.


Thank-you to all who take the time to read my little blog.  It is May and it is the First Birthday of "and the carrot came up".