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Boy and His Summer Slumber

25 Jul

We’re loving late nights and really late mornings this summer. Just ask Joey, who is dozing more than anyone in our family. It’s like he’s a teenager, waking only when I  open his window blinds and coax him into opening his oh-s0-tired eyes. But he’s not even on the edge of the teens, in fact, he has his 10-year-old check-up tomorrow, where we’ll learn that he’s more the size of 12 than 10 at his nearly 5 feet 3 inches and 108 pounds and that he’s not stopped growing since he was born. Not even one stalled moment. He was 10 pounds, 9 ounces at birth; 22 pounds at 6 months; 40 pounds at 3 years; and 80 pounds at 8. (Brother Danny is currently 62 pounds at 8 years old.)

The boy does everything big — he grows big, complains big, fishes big, and now, he sleeps big. Normal, I think. But we’ll be confirm with his doc in the morning. Just be be sure.

UPDATE: OK, so he’s more the size of 13 than 12, and the sleeping is just fine, as long as he doesn’t have trouble rising early if necessary (like on school days), which he doesn’t.

Barnacle Boy

24 Apr

He calls them his casts, but really, they are just layers of bandages applied by me to the feet of my poor boy who did battle this weekend with some barnacles at Devil’s Elbow Fishing Resort in St. Augustine, Florida. Danny should have been wearing shoes — how many times have we told you to wear shoes outside? — but he wasn’t, and now he’s learning one really big and painful lesson.

"Those barnacles got the best of me," said Danny after sustaining his injury.

There are cuts all over the bottoms of Danny’s feet, mostly clustered on his heels, the sides, and on a few toes. At first, the gashes were filled with dark muck, and expert advice said it was imperative that we brush it out, so we did (ouch!), after he soaked in a hydrogen peroxide and water solution. A little Motrin, antibiotic ointment, band-aids, and wraps fixed things up, and somehow, the injured guy managed to run around docks and bounce all over boats the day after. He’s not entirely out of the woods — we’ll keep treating the wounds, wrapping them up, and watching for signs of infection, but we suspect Danny will be just fine. Ready for flag football practice Tuesday evening? Maybe not. But soon — probably when the casts come off.

Giveaway – The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life

5 Jan


If you’re a fan of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” then you know Bethenny Frankel. She’s not only a reality TV girl, though — she’s also a celebrity natural food chef, columnist for Health magazine and best-selling author.

First came Bethenny’s book “Naturally Thin,” detailing 10 real-life rules for escaping a lifetime of dieting, and now she’s written “The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life.” This is where she shares fast, practical and economical healthy recipes, then teaches us how to live without them. How perfect for those of us — like moms of busy little boys — trying to live cleaner lives in less time!

Bethenny also dishes on how we can minimize the “cooking noise” in our lives. Keep reading for some inspirational nuggets — and for the scoop on how to win one of her books.

  • Do you hear yourself saying any of these things: I have no food in this house. I don’t have the slightest idea what to make for dinner. There is nothing to eat! I don’t know how to cook. That’s “cooking noise,” and you can stop it, and you can learn to feed yourself without stressing about it.
  • Food is one of the most powerful tools you have for building a healthy body and a calm mind. Food can make you strong or weak, energized or depleted, skinny or fat. You are what you eat — it’s true.
  • Being naturally thin is a practice — you will never be perfect (no one is), but you can choose a healthy path and keep plugging along on it.
  • Recipes are a bit like kindergarten. You learn some basics (how do Whole Grain Blueberry Pancakes, a Healthier Cobb Salad and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies sound?), then you gain the confidence to branch out on your own. When you know how to cook, you won’t need recipes anymore.

OK, I could go on, but then you wouldn’t need the book, and I really think you should get it. Or you could enter this giveaway for a chance to win a free copy. Details follow:

  • Leave a comment and share why you need this book!
  • Leave your comment no later than 5PM ET on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia, who are 18 and older.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing.
  • One winner will receive one copy of “The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life,” valued at $16.00.
  • Winners will be notified by email, so make sure to check next week to find out if you’ve won!

Want another chance to win? Same giveaway going on at my Breast Cancer blog. Click here and enter again!

How to Raise Better Boys (Girls, Too)

16 Dec

Crazy boys, with crazy cousins

Crazy boys, with crazy cousins

Two experts on the TODAY Show recently shared that most parents, when surveyed, say what they want most out of life is to raise healthy kids. And when 6,400 moms and dads were interviewed in one study, the following six practices emerged as key for raising better kids. Embrace each one, and your own offspring will be better behaved and less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

  1. Have dinner with your kids at least five times per week. This is what matters most, not your work, not the stuff you’re buying, but actually sitting down and paying attention to your children. It’s not the food that matters, it’s the connection and strength of the family that comes from dining as a group. If you just can’t make it happen because you’re working two jobs to make ends meet, gather at an off time and have a snack together.
  2. Take your kids to church or synagogue weekly. This will teach them that there’s something bigger out there, and they’ll learn a solid sense of respect.
  3. Check your kids’ homework nightly. Intellectual development is just as import as physical development. The more you monitor, the better.
  4. Demand the truth, and get it. Earn trust by becoming a hands-on and involved parent.
  5. Take kids on vacation for at least a week at at time once per year. Leave your Blackberry at home.
  6. Get your kids involved in team sports, but be careful. Research shows that some sports may increase incidences of drinking, smoking and violent behavior.

Boy Food

14 Sep

joey eating

Joey, 2002

My fabulous Facebook friends answered my plea for healthy lunch and snack ideas for picky kids. Well, kid, in my case — Danny is an adventurous eater. Joey is not. And the boy reports he’s “starving” every day after school, which tells me his growing body needs more.

Armed with a new list of yummy eats (see below), I’ve been to the grocery store, shelled out $110 on nutritious grub, stocked my fridge and shelves,  and now I eagerly await a thumbs-up or down when I pick up my choosey child today after class lets out. Fingers crossed he’s happy. Fully expecting he’s not.

  • Hummus/cream cheese tortilla roll-up with thinly-sliced cucumber, apple or deli meat.
  • Hummus with pita bread triangles.
  • Tuna or chicken salad in a pita pocket.
  • Hard-boiled eggs, either peeled or chopped into a lettuce salad.
  • Frozen yogurt tubes.
  • Grapes and cubes of cheese threaded on a small juice-box straw, like a skewer.
  • Mashed/seasoned cooked beans with spread on tortilla with cheese.
  • Black bean brownies.
  • Trail mix with nuts, sunflower seeds and some peanut M&Ms for a little sweetness.
  • Laptop Lunches has lots of great ideas, too.

Some of the other stuff I picked up:

  • Light, low-sugar yogurt.
  • Low-fat cottage cheese.
  • Sargento light string cheese.
  • 100-percent whole wheat wraps.
  • Shaved, smoked turkey breast.
  • Smart Taste pasta.
  • Black beans.
  • Carrots, celery, cucumber.
  • And we always have loads of fresh fruit.

Umm, Umm.

Snacks For Boys

1 Jul

Joey and I stopped at the grocery store after his baseball game tonight. He’s in love with Sonny’s BAR-B-Q ribs lately, and since we can’t afford to indulge in restaurant prices every night (which is what Joey would prefer), I told him I’d cook up a homemade batch tomorrow night in my new birthday crock pot. No such luck — no short ribs in stock (that’s what the meat guy said I needed). So I told Joey he could pick a treat instead. And I called Danny (he was at home with Dad) and asked him for his pick. As I checked out, with little-boy food in hand, it hit me: Danny is just like me, and Joey is just like John.

Give John something sweet, and he’ll probably demolish it. Give me something that resembles a cracker and comes in a box, and I’ll eat every last crumb.

Sitting before me at the kitchen counter is Danny, begging for his third bowl of Ritz crackers filled with fake cheese, and Joey, polishing off a big bowl of fudge swirl ice cream.

There’s a reason we don’t regularly keep snacks like these in our house — they’re just not nutritious, and we’d rather stock our kitchen with healthy grub. But when it comes down to it, it’s more likely that we shun the junk because we adults have no self-control. Will the crackers and ice cream sit untouched while little boys sleep tonight? I sure hope so.

Sick Boy

30 Jun


Sick boy with lollipop

Monday, June 29

Sick boy.
Sore throat.
Queasy tummy.
Weak legs.
Small fever.
Waiting to be seen by doctor.
Throat culture.
To bed early.

Tuesday, June 30

11 hours of sleep.
Still sick.
Throwing up.
Missing first day of fitness camp.
In mom and dad’s bed.
Watching TV.
Waiting to get better.