Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lunch Ideas

I was reading a friend's blog today and she had this post. What a great idea!

Clearly she put a lot of work into compiling this list, so I have to give her all the credit, I'm just borrowing it. I have a feeling I will be using it this year as Luca's playschool is from 9am-1pm so he will require a snack and lunch packed on school days.

Parents’ Ideas of Healthy Snacks:
• Fruits (apples, oranges, blueberries, kiwi, raspberries, strawberries, grapes)
• Vegetables (carrots, celery, mushrooms, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, alfalfa sprouts)
• Yogurt
• Granola
• Dried Fruit
• Popcorn
• Cheese
• Wheat Buds (Sobey’s)
• Homemade muffins, banana bread, Carrot Zucchini Cookies, snack bars
• Cereal
• Raisins
• Mixture of cereal/raisins/other dried fruit
• Crackers
• Applesauce
• Nutri-Grain Bars or Munchems
• Yogurt tubes

Parents’ Ideas of Healthy Lunches:
• Whole wheat sandwiches (egg, meat, jam, cheese, corned beef) (take a cookie cutter and cut out a shape or make a puzzle)
• Crackers, cheese, meat
• Noodles, pasta with sauce
• Wraps with cream cheese/jam/meat/cheese/spinach and cheese, cut into wheels
• Pizza
• Bagels with cream cheese/jam/honey/meat
• Soup/Stew in a thermos
• Vegetables
• Leftovers in thermos
• Meatballs with pineapple chunks
• Milk (white, chocolate, or strawberry)
• Homemade “Pizza Pops”—Dough (either homemade or Pillsbury) with ham and cheese/jam/hotdog/pepperoni stick folded inside or rolled, and then baked
• Cold pasta salads
• Grilled cheese sandwiches
• If you have more than one child in school, make one sandwich per kid, and then split the different sandwiches amongst your children—this way everyone gets a little variety
*Salad--lettuce, cucumber, carrots, croutons

Children’s Ideas of Healthy Snacks:
• Fruit (pineapple, banana, pear, apples, berries)
• Vegetables (grape tomatoes)
• Popcorn
• Cheese and crackers
• Fruit cups
• Banana bread/muffins
• Granola bar
• Raisins
• Yogurt
• Applesauce
• Cheese Strings

Children’s Ideas of Healthy Lunches:
• Sandwiches (on buns, bread, wraps, hot dog buns) (honey, jam, cheese, meat, veggie)
• Crackers, cheese
• Yogurt
• Fruit (watermelon, apples)
• Noodles in thermos
• Soup in thermos
• Cinnamon Toast

Thanks so much Momof4!!!

Sugar Me Softly

My friend Tianna has a body sugaring business. I've been seeing her for months and have always been happy with the results.
What is body sugaring, you ask?

It is similar to waxing in that it pulls the hair out at the roots, but it is gentler (in my opinion). There are many other benefits to it as well, but I'll let you read them on her Sugar Me Softly Website here.

Visit her website, then come back and tell me if you've ever been sugared. If you've been sugared and waxed before, did you notice a difference?

Do this and leave a comment. I will randomly choose from the comments on Monday, August 6 and the winner will get $10 off a treatment with Tianna!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Slowing Down

I know, I am the worst blogger. I promised more posts about MOPS convention and never got around to it. Sorry. I have so many other posts swimming around in my mind that I haven't gotten to either. Sorry.

My youngest son is sick with the flu. There is nothing like being forced to slow down and just be in the moment like cuddling a fevered, scared, lethargic little boy. Last night, after he had vomited and was scared by what his body was doing, I cleaned him up, gave him some Gravol for the nausea and some Motrin for the fever and just held him, his beloved blankie tucked up under his chin. We just snuggled in silence in the dark of his bedroom, him slowly relaxing and letting the Gravol soothe him and me thinking about how rare these times of cuddling are anymore.

There is no instinct like a mother's instinct. When my baby was sick, I dropped all thoughts of getting things accomplished to just be in the moment with him. When he tired of sitting on my knee and wanted to lay down in his bed, I sat on the floor beside him and rubbed his back until his soft snores gave me permission to leave. When he was up multiple times in the night crying from discomfort and fever, I forced my tired and weary body to get up and comfort him without wishing that I could get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time.

He woke this morning, still slightly fevered, but energetic and asking for breakfast. I cautiously gave him Cheerios, anticipating a mess to clean up when his stomach rejected food, but that didn't happen. He eagerly ate his breakfast then went off to play with his brother. I was cautiously optimistic that he was feeling better. I still am. So far, no more need for Motrin and he seems to be fine. He doesn't want to snuggle with his Mommy anymore.

We had plans for the day, but I'm actually glad to be forced to stay home and have a quiet day. To slow down. To tick things off my to-do list that never seems to shrink. To blog. ;)

I'm going to try to catch up on some of the goings-on in the lives of the Grahams for the past few week. I'm going to just make this a bullet point post, so skim if you'd like. It might be lengthy.

  • Luca starts preschool next week! Eek! Where has the time gone? He was registered in town but there are a few factors that I was uneasy about. It was tough that I wasn't able to muster up the excitement that Luca felt because of my worries. The opportunity for Luca to go to playschool in Carstairs (15 minutes away) came up and after Chris and I discussed the pros and cons, we easily decided to enroll him there. We went to have a look and Luca was thrilled. Tonight is his meet-the-teacher night and he is so excited. I'm now able to be excited with him and put my worries aside as they are no longer applicable.

  • I'm looking forward to spending 2 mornings a week alone with Levi. We haven't yet had the opportunity to have regular alone time so I'm really excited for it.

  • MOPS starts again next week! So excited!

  • I attended another birth last week and am continually amazed at the strength that women can pull out of the depths of their being to give birth. Each miracle that I am priveleged enough to witness is just that- a miracle. I lose myself in the moment each time a baby enters the world and I am there to be a part of it.

  • Chris's youngest brother got married on the 21 of August in Edmonton. It was a simple, elegant, intimate and gorgeous wedding. Everything about it reflected the personality of Tom and Lisa. No fuss, no big shows, just love and family. Beautiful. {Side note: Tom and/or Lisa- what the heck were you doing checking my blog while on your honeymoon in Paris?! I have a traffic feed, I know you were here!}

  • We haven't had the opportunity to get much camping in this summer. It just seemed that we always had something on the go, whether it was me being on call for births, Chris being on call or away for work, weddings, me going to Florida, or just plain, crappy weather. Hopefully next summer we will get more summer weather than we have had this year and will get more camping in.

  • We did spend an impromptu day in Banff as a family and it was wonderful. We are so blessed to live close enough to the beautiful Rocky Mountains that we can just wake up one morning and decide to make the drive into Canmore or Banff. We spent our spontaneous day trip hiking, sightseeing, eating, browsing and just enjoying time as a family of 4. All 4 of us love the breathtaking scenery, relaxed atmosphere and fun that Banff and/or Canmore provides.

A photo taken by Luca (above)

Monday, August 09, 2010


I'm back! My plane didn't crash AND I was calm, cool and collected on all 4 flights!

Orlando was awesome! Here are a few highlilghts of the trip. I will post more details as the week goes on.

  • The flights were wonderful. Ativan is my friend. I was so relaxed and just felt calm. It was a welcome change to the usual nauseating anxiety I feel waiting in the airport, waiting to take off, during take off and during any turbulence. All of our flights were on time and all of our luggage made our connections.

  • On the flight from Houston to Orlando I had a window seat and was able to have clear views of the gulf as we passed over. I could actually see oil on the water from the spill. Of course, hearing about it is one thing, but actually seeing the vast area that it affected was really sad. I was able to get a few pictures, so once I make them a little easier to see, I will add them.

  • I was really surprised at the dense greenery as we flew into Orlando. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it surprised me just how lush it was. And the number of swamps and ponds visible from the air too. I was really surprised at the lack of flowers there, too. The majority of landscaping is done with different shades and colors of large leafed plants. The pinks and burgundys are gorgeous and the size of the leaves is almost unbelievable. I guess thats what happens when the plants are given lots of sunlight, warm temperatures and humidity.

  • I love the humidity. My skin has never felt softer! I was able to forego my moisturizer while we were there! A very rare thing for my dry skin!

  • Disney was amazing. We only had a few hours, so really it was just a taste and made me so excited to go in January to Disneyland as a family!

  • Convention was great! It was like being at MOPS for 3 days straight! Picture a few thousand women, all there to learn how to make their home MOPS groups better and to learn to be a better mom. Because "Better moms make a better world". We were treated to some special musical guests, namely Mandisa from American Idol and Richie McDonald, formerly the lead singer of country band Lonestar. Both performances were amazing!

  • Absolutely beautiful song by Mandisa:

  • I love Lonestar and was thrilled when Richie McDonald sang some Lonestar favorites: Already there, Mr Mom, Front Porch Looking In as well as some from his new solo album. He sang us his Airline song. We were all in stitches. Listen here:

  • We were also treated to a concert by children's artists Go Fish. They are a trio of men that started out making music for adults until they realized that there was not a lot of options out there for kids music that didn't drive parents craay. They are a Christian band and do mostly Bible based songs. They really are fun to listen to! Apparently when they first played at MOPS convention 5 or 6 years ago, that was when their careers as children's recordning artists really took off. Since then they have discontinued all outside advertising as they have discovered that word of mouth by happy moms is all it takes! This is a fan favorite, I'm sure you can see why, given the audience!

  • The hotel was beautiful. My only complaint was that they didn't have much selection for restaurants and what they did have was pricey. The resort wasn't close to anything else, so we were pretty limited in where we could go. We did manage to make a $15 sandwich last for 2 lunches though!

  • I got some shopping in! It has been so long since I have shopped for myself guilt free. I did buy gifts for the boys and Chris but I also went with a few things in mind to find for myself. I came home with some new running shoes (specifically for running to help with my shin splints), a skirt, 2 dresses (one for Tom and Lisa's wedding), 6 dressy tops, and numerous items of dressy but inexpensive jewelry. I have made it a goal to put more effort on a daily basis into looking good. Its amazing how just dressing up a bit can change your attitude. I was also excited to buy some jewelry from a Fair trade booth that was at the Resource Fair at the convention.

  • I also brought back a few books from convention as well as a few things for the boys (books and a Veggie Tales DVD).
  • I went to some great sessions and will be blogging about them later in the week.

I'm going to stop now, but watch for photos, a post about my trip to Disney World and some more posts about my sessions at Convention!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


This time tomorrow I will be in the air, about half way between Calgary and Houston.

I'm actually not as nervous today as I have been. Excitement is starting to take over!

Once I land in Houston, we have an hour to get to our next flight to Orlando. Hopefully our luggage makes it too!

We will arrive in Orlando at 5pm Orlando time. The convention starts Thursday afternoon so we will have some free time until then. Friday is packed with conventions activities and then it wraps up on Saturday.

Saturday evening is when we are going to Disney World, to the Magic Kingdom. I'm so excited about that!

Sunday we head home through Chicago where we only have about half an hour to catch our connection. I'm nervous about that one and am not even sure I should count on our luggage making it!

We're scheduled to arrive home in Calgary at 8pm Sunday night.

Its going to be a whirlwind 5 days but I'm hoping to cram as much shopping, fun and knowledge into it as I can!