Do you sometimes have to remind yourself to be kind to your family? I do, and it’s embarrassing to admit. I wish it didn’t happen and hope I’m not the only one who admits to guilt here.
Stress, grudges, hurt feelings… whatever. You know how we often can hold onto all of the wrongs we feel were done to us, refusing to let them go. Even if we had a bad day at work, we bring it home. And we take it out on the people around us — our spouse, kids, etc.
So lets remind ourselves of our blessings. That we’re lucky to have each and every person around us and that all deserve respect and kindness.
After all, when it’s respect and kindness we’re dishing out, we may just get a little back in return!
It’s no breaking news that a Mediterranean diet is probably one of the most healthy ways you can eat.
My husband and I are trying to focus on this food philosophy, and I’m hoping we can get the kids eating more like Europeans. Even though American junk food is exported worldwide, the Europeans, for the most part, have been able to maintain their healthy food habits.
My hat’s off to them.
Despite the fact that I edit a women’s health magazine, I am overweight. Yes, I need to exercise more. But I also need to eat more carefully and focus on what my body really needs for nourishment rather than just what looks good to me.
Hopefully I can find foods, particularly snacks, that do both.
So I’m looking to expand my loose Mediterranean diet into something more authentic. To pretend — when it comes to food — that I don’t live here in the American land of junk food.
I’ll let you know how it goes!
I thought I was a fairly decent grocery shopper. Over the last few years I’ve cut way back on the junk so many of us buy out of convenience.
And when I cook dinner, I generally use fresh ingredients and minimal processed items. But the other day a family member who shall remain nameless pointed out to me the high sugar content of a few of the item’s I’ve bought because I thought they were healthy.
This included light yogurt that varied from 6 to 12 grams of sugar per six-ounce container to crunchy granola bars at 12 grams. When you consider that the American Heart Association recommends no more than 20 grams per day for women and 36 grams per day for men, that’s a large percentage of sugar for such small packages.
What to do? I buy bananas, which is about the only fruit that generally gets eaten in my house. Apples sit in the fridge (unless I bring them in my lunch to work). Grapes and strawberries sometimes get eaten (of course I try to buy them only in season), but only if I wash them and put them out. Blueberries are one of my favorites and I buy lots of them in season, but of course that’s for a very short time during the year. Other fruits, including various citruses, rot and get thrown out before anybody eats them. It sort of reminds me of the episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” where Raymond’s parents get signed up for the fruit-of-the-month club as a gift and then ask what they’re supposed to do with all that fruit.
Lunch meats and cheeses, even freshly sliced from the supermarket deli, are processed and not necessarily so great for us. So what are we supposed to keep in our homes for our families to eat for meals other than dinner? I feel pressure to buy healthy items but am no longer sure what they are.
And I’m tired of family members complaining there’s nothing to eat because I haven’t bought any junky snack items. Or complaining that all we have in the house is junk.
My kids have now entered the world of the “pocket” call.
Used to be when I picked up an incoming call and heard static and muffled voices, it was my husband, whose phone — unbeknownst to him — was dialing me up all on its own, almost always while being jostled around in his pants pocket during his walk from the train to his office or vice versa.
A couple of times I’ve gotten similar calls from K, probably when her phone is either crammed into her jeans pocket or stuffed into a backpack or cheer duffle. The other day we got one for the first time from G. It was obvious the phone was in his pocket and he was walking on something snow-covered that was crunching beneath him (he attends college in major snow belt territory).
But just to be safe, of course, I waited a few minutes and rang him up. No surprise, he was under no duress or state of emergency and did not call home intentionally.
But at least it gave me an excuse for a quick chat!
Don’t you love it when you see your kids grow?
And I’m not talking height. I’m referring to watching them become adults. When they set goals, work for something and are on the cusp of realizing their dreams.
It’s an exciting week on this front for me, as G begins his student teaching. He’s been working toward this for the past couple of years and, I think, is well prepared. He’s definitely happy with his placement — half the semester in a second-grade class, the other half with fourth-graders.
It suits him. He thoroughly enjoys teaching and working with kids. He’s been doing it for a while, having spent numerous summers as a hockey camp counselor and the past two summers at a wonderful nature education camp.
I remember my first job out of college as an eager newspaper reporter. How exciting it was to be working, doing something I had trained for and wanted to do.
I hope he’s starting to feel that excitement — and the excitement of his adult life beginning. What a bright future ahead!
Germ avoidance has begun.
How do you keep colds/flu from spreading like wildfire in your house?
The boys were sidelined recently for several days with a terrible cold. Now K has been hit with what I think might be the flu — horrible congestion, cough, can’t breathe, achy and running a fever.
I don’t want to get it! And I don’t want to quarantine her to her room, but it’s hard to keep those bad germs from spreading everywhere. So tonight, when I get home from work, I’ll do a quick sanitizing wipe-down of things like the TV remote, the fridge door and handle, kitchen drawer-pulls, faucet handles — those places and things touched by everyone in the house.
Then I’ll do everything I can to help K feel better. Even though she’s 18, she can still use a little mothering now and then.
When the kids were little, seems I caught their colds much more often. Lap and snuggle time, which they need a lot of when they’re sick, puts us in the danger zone of catching whatever they’ve got.
Our family is generally pretty healthy. But now that the kids are grown, self-sufficient and I don’t have to stay home from work when they’re sick, it helps me avoid catching the occasional bug they bring home.
So tonight, it will be early to bed. A good night’s sleep will keep me from getting run down and give that immune system a fighting chance.
You should do the same.
To rinse or not to rinse, that’s the question in our house.
I’m talking about the dishes, of course, which would go straight from the kitchen table into the dishwasher if most of my family members had their way.
“You don’t have to wash the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher,” my kids will say — with some sarcasm, I might add. But I usually get my way, prompting a more thorough rinse (including use of the dish brush and a little soap) before the pan or plate or glass or piece of silverware makes its way into the dishwasher.
But I’m not always around when the dirty dishes are loaded or the clean ones put back into the cupboards. And it’s an unpleasant surprise when I pull out a mug for my morning coffee and find chocolate residue from the hot chocolate last sipped from that cup that, for some unexplained reason, the dishwasher does not remove. (Same residue easily comes off with a quick pre-dishwasher scrub and a little soap.)
Similar scenarios happen with other food not rinsed that ends up baked on the “clean” dishes.
Is this a problem in your house? Am I a horrible nagging mother when I show said dishes or glasses as proof of my point and the need for some pre-dishwasher cleaning? Will I ever win this battle?
Of course I will, since it’s only a matter of a time until I’ll be doing almost all of the dishes myself after all of the kids have moved out!
I am now officially the mother of three adults — at least on paper.
The baby of the family turned 18 this week and when she goes off to college in the fall, the home dynamic will shift.
Of course, add her departure to our middle child graduating from college in the spring (and likely not moving back home), and the shift is even bigger. I know I have to get used to it. So why am I dreading it?
Our family has been in a transition stage for a while, which has given me a reprieve from the empty nest. For the past seven years, one or both boys have been at college and home only on breaks. Our oldest — now a college grad with a great degree from a great school and a great job — did move back home after graduation and still lives with us, at least for now. (For all of you wondering why he’s still under our roof, his job is close by and doing so enabled him to pay off his college debt — in two years, I might add! Now he’s working on building a savings so he can either A, move out; or B, go to graduate school.)
I know we raise children so that they can grow up and go out on their own and help make the world a better place. Time to let go.
I just don’t want to.