Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Perfectly Made

What if I could choose which of my traits my children inherited and which ones I don't want them to inherit? That would be amazing!!!! I was thinking about this the other day when we went over to a friend's house, and Sophia didn't want to get down and play for a few minutes and instead tried to hide her face against me. I thought to myself, "oh no! She is becoming shy like her mama!"  NOOOOO! Honestly, my shyness is one of my least favorite things about myself. I was the little girl who dropped out of EVERY activity I ever joined and made my mom walk me to my class on the first day of school even up through my freshman year of high school. Yep, true story. As an adult, I hate my child self for not being outgoing. I feel like I missed out on experiencing more activities in school and building stronger friendships. Now that I am an adult, I always worry that people think I am snobby, when in fact I am just REALLY shy and definitely not a social butterfly. I don't want my children to be shy. I want Sophia to be willing to try new activities and make lots of friends. I want her to be confident and social and experience everything that life has to offer her.

I most definitely do not want my children to inherit my ability to let everything stress me out. I am really good at turning a small problem into a huge catastrophe. Its a good thing I have a wonderful husband to calm me down and keep me grounded.  I definitely hope Sophia grows up to be laid back like her daddy and not uptight like her mama.  It amazes me sometimes just how laid back James can be when we are having a crazy day. I can't help but say to him, "why aren't you freaking out right now?!!!!" I hate to think of myself as uptight, but unfortunately, when it comes to things I care about, I am VERY uptight and opinionated. Darn it!

The quality that I hope my children inherit from their dad is not only his calm demeanor, but especially his ability to see the best in every situation. James is very much a glass half full sort of guy and I am grateful. No matter what we are dealing with in life, he always knows how to remain positive. I love this about him 

Ok so then what do I want my children to inherit from me? I love my ability to be genuine. I am very much a "what you see is what you get" sort of person which isn't always a good thing. If I am having a bad day, its obvious in the way I carry myself. I wear my heart on my sleeve because I don't know how else to wear it. I am very real. I don't consider myself flaky or fake whatsoever. I don't feel above anyone or better than anyone. I try to stay very candid and honest in my interpretation of things. I hope that my children will grow up to understand the importance of being yourself. Though I am shy and I  completely suck at meeting new people, I don't try and change this about myself because I know that I am perfectly made in God's eyes and he wants me to be me. I hope and pray that my children will learn from me the importance of being true to yourself and genuine. Whether my children are shy or outgoing or uptight or laid back, I hope they know that the Lord has made them perfectly and our God doesn't make mistakes!

I think I was in preschool in this photo. I was super duper shy in preschool to everyone except my boyfriend Michael :) Yep, I had a boyfriend when I was four. I love the look on my sister's face. She is probably saying," I can't believe you got a boyfriend before me, that's not fair!" Its probably because I like to wear awesome sparkly dresses from the 80s....

Since we are taking a walk down memory lane, here is an elementary picture of James! Isn't this hilarious! Nice necklace James :) Love you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Juicy Juice Juice

A lot of people have asked me why I don't give my daughter juice. I wanted to post this to explain my thoughts on the topic. After having Sophia, I made the decision to keep my kids away from juice for as long as possible. This does not mean that I will never allow my children to have juice, it simply means that I will try to hold off on introducing it, and once Sophia does discover it, I will limit her intake of it. Whenever I tell people that my daughter doesn't drink juice, they typically look at me in horror
(not an exaggeration) as though I told them my daughter isn't allowed to play with toys. "Oh my gosh, your poor deprived daughter!" "If she doesn't drink juice, then what does she drink?" "But juice is so healthy, she needs vitamins". blah blah blah. For years we have been told that after introduction of solids, we should add diluted juice to our child's sippy cup while weaning them off breast milk. No one has ever questioned this because people just assume that whatever your pediatrician tells you, must be what you are "supposed" to do for your kids.

Let me present you with two statistics about juice: Juice is the NUMBER ONE leading cause of dental caries in young children and the NUMBER THREE leading cause of childhood obesity. The problem with juice is that if you introduce it very early in life then your child becomes accustomed to it and they will not want to drink boring, plain water.   I have chosen to wait until my kids are old enough to take an interest in juice, and at that point we will discuss the importance of drinking mostly water and just a small amount of juice. For right now, my daughter drinks only water and a small amount of almond milk and she doesn't think that she is missing out on anything.

Is juice bad? No juice is not bad. 100% juice is healthy in moderation and provides a small amount of vitamin C. The "bad" thing about juice, is letting your kids drink it all day long and not teaching them the importance of whole fruits. The lack of fiber in the juice provides for a higher sugar spike and higher glycemic load.

Does juice count as a serving of fruit? that depends on who you ask. I personally do not count juice as a fruit, I count it as discretionary calories.   Unlike whole fruit, juice lacks fiber which contributes to feelings of fullness and satisfaction after eating. Although juice has Vitamin C, it is a miniscule amount. You see, vitamin C is a highly liable nutrient, which means it is very sensitive to its environment. When a carton of juice is packaged, it may provide 30% vitamin C for a 8oz glass, but after that juice sits on a shelf for a few weeks, the Vitamin C literally dissappears! That means most juice you drink, can have as little as 1% of your daily needs!!!! Shocking, but true.

To sum everything up, choosing to not give your kids juice is not cruel. Kids do not "need" juice. If you choose to give your kids juice at a young age, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Every parent has to make their own decisions based on their child. Make sure you choose 100% juice and preferably organic so that your young ones are not drinking pesticides. I would also encourage you to monitor the amount of juice. If you are not careful, your kids could be consuming hundreds of grams of sugar each day just in their juice! Yikes!
For those of you who have been convinced that juice is an essential part of your child's diet, I hope this post will at least make you think a little bit:)