It’s Summmmmmmerrrr…..

It has been TOO LONG.

This summer has been sweet, oh so sweet.

In June we took the kids on a road trip to Quantico, Virginia, and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to see some friends and family.  We were on the road for about ten days, just me, the hubs, and the kiddos.

I’ll be honest with you about this.  Taking a 24 hour road trip, in an 8 year old car with only semi-functional AC, (with two small kids) was actually….

Drum roll….

…one of the best vacations I have taken in my life.

I was telling a friend that, no joke, it actually felt like a second honeymoon with Oatmeal. 

No one was more surprised by this than me.  The week before we left I actually wondered if we would be on the brink of divorce after being confined to a small space with screaming, cranky children.  But honestly, the trip went off without a hitch.  Everyone was healthy and stayed well.  The kids slept overnight while we drove the longest stretches.  We left our house at 8pm and drove through the night, stopping to eat breakfast at Waffle House and brushing our teeth in a parking lot at 7am.  After 20 hours of traveling without stopping for more than a quick meal, we decided to stop and see Megan, Donny, and Dean in Winston Salem.  After a good night’s rest, we hit the road to Quantico to spend a weekend with Mike and Jen Fisher, and after that it was south bound to see our sisters on base at Lejeune.  This itinerary involved a winery, a day trip to Washington D.C., two beaches on the Atlantic, and twelve different kids for our kids to play with.

wilsons

beach

fishers

wholefamily

I don’t know who had more fun.  Us, or the kids.

It as an amazing trip, one that involved so much catching up and laughter with my hubby.  I tried to soak up every moment with him.  I was shocked at how EASY it is to parent two preschoolers when your husband is nearby 24/7.  Team work makes the dream work…

Other than that vacation, we have been at home living the normal life!  Both kids have been attending Infant Swim Rescue swimming lessons.  Poppyseed is now a little mermaid in the water and can swim from one length of the pool to the other, as well as down to the bottom to retrieve toys.  Middle has been a bit more of a challenge (I know this is shocking) though he is probably a better swimmer than most kids his age. He is so fearless that I still have to watch him like a hawk.  He can technically swim and float, but he doesn’t actually realize he possesses this skill and relies on us to grab him after jumping into the water.  I keep thinking that next year will be a totally different ball game!  Having two kids who can swim will be so (dare I say) relaxing compared to what it was like last summer when they were both mobile yet sank straight to the bottom.

I also take each kiddo to gymnastics, I try to make it to the gym 2-3 times a week, and Oatmeal has taken them to his parents’ place in Sealy countless times.  There is no shortage of fun, exercise, and free ranging this summer.

And we have plenty of down time at home, too.  Those are my favorite days….

pajamas

Johnny

It’s impossible to deny how much easier these nuggets are becoming as they age.  Certainly we trade old problems (not sleeping through the night) for new ones (fighting and pinching one another) but overall, having an almost 2 year old and a 4 year old is a walk in the park compared to where we were a few years back.  I know that as they age, they will only get easier…. which of course means we are contemplating rocking the boat and having another baby.  And I do just mean contemplating.  I’m not pregnant, but the thought of getting that way seems less and less daunting!

Repeat:  I am not pregnant.  We are not even trying.  Grandparents, don’t get excited yet.

Does anyone else get so sad and sentimental as their children grow?  Poppyseed has been killing me lately with her long hair, slender legs, and increasing maturity.  (Maturity is a bit of a stretch, but I mean the kid knows SO MUCH now!)  Her baby fat is literally melting away.  She is starting to really think about decisions and other people.  I see her problem solving and putting others first.  Now of course she is a typical four year old who wants what she wants, but to see these slivers of selflessness and wisdom, OH MY HEART.

It is equal parts encouraging and heart-wrenching.

Sometimes I crawl into her bed at night and run my hands up and down her legs, in total disbelief that she is becoming so tall.  I find myself imagining how she felt on my chest the night she was born.  I still remember the way she looked as she slept on my chest.  (I know that’s super sappy.  Sorry I’m not sorry.)  She is just so big, and I already worry that I have forgotten too much.

Today I had to take the kids in for a well check appointment at their pediatrician.  Poppyseed is over 85% for both height and weight.  I will jump onto a soap box really quick and discuss a conversation I had with her pediatrician.

Pause.  I am not one to darken the door of doctor’s offices very often, especially with my kids.  We basically only go if we have to get preschool paperwork signed, or someone can’t breathe.  I will say that I really trust and respect my children’s doctor.  She is kind and knowledgeable, she seems thorough, and her staff is friendly and fast.  She lets me call a lot of shots and doesn’t make me feel rushed when I have questions.

But now let me tell this story about a conversation today that rubbed this mom the WRONG WAY.  Our pediatrician always has a computer.  She plots everything and constantly has to check different boxes that show what we discuss and in what way she examines the kids.  (I almost feel horrible for doctors nowadays, having to do so many electronic things like this.  Gone are the days where they simply walk in, sit down, and have a dialogue with us.  Now they have to ask and click, ask and click.  But that is beside the point.)  Today she showed me how Poppyseed’s height and weight were plotting on a graph, which admittedly was pretty neat.  Then she clicked to the next screen, which was a graph of Poppyseed’s BMI.

“This is showing she’s at 91, and we want to see her at 85 or below.  One thing you could do would be to switch her from whole milk to skim milk, and feed her more fruits and vegetables.” 

I was completely respectful, nodding my head politely as she handed me a print out showing me the recommended food guidelines.  I said nothing disagreeable.  But friends, readers, hear me when I say this….

RIDICULOUS.  RIDICULOUS.  RIDICULOUS. 

It was ridiculous to me that my four year old’s BMI would ever come up in conversation.  She’s FOUR.  She’s getting slimmer and leaner every day, and it has nothing to do with her diet.  She is getting leaning out because she was a TODDLER, and now she is turning into a little girl.

Many of you readers know that I literally put my heart, soul, and paychecks into the food on our table.  I’ve fed my kids the same food that Oatmeal and I ate since they begin eating solids.  I’ll be the first to admit that we aren’t perfect, and while my kids eat veggies every day I know I could up our game in that department.  But honestly, if I had to pat myself on the back for any one attribute as a mother, I would say that I do a pretty darn good job at feeding my kids healthy, well sourced, nutrient dense food.

And I know she’s mine, but I truly feel confident that judging my kiddo’s health by her BMI and recommending I reduce her calories by removing good fat is CRAY CRAY.

Now, her pediatrician did bring this up quietly (so that Poppyseed couldn’t hear, thankfully) and I suppose even with a hint of kindness.  I have a feeling that if this doctor had not been wearing her white labcoat and had instead been in sandals at a coffee shop, she’d have said, “She’s FINE.  She’s perfect.  There is nothing to discuss regarding her weight and height, she is so normal and healthy.”  I suspect she has this computer program she is required to work with and she has to check the box (literally, she did check the box that she “counseled me”) with each category of our well check.

I just think it is sad that there is so much misinformation about what children should be eating.  So much misinformation that they SHOULD be eating processed, low fat snacks.  The whole milk vs skim milk argument is such a perfect example of common sense getting thrown to the wayside.  Milk is naturally produced in one form – as WHOLE milk.  Why anyone would think it is actually better to take that natural, whole product and process it (thus removing many of the qualities that make it so healthy) is beyond me.  Not to mention, giving a kid a carbohydrate-rich diet without plenty of fat can be devastating to growth.

There was also no mention whatsoever of good fats versus bad fats.  Clearly I am not feeling my kids any snacks with refined vegetable oils, trans fat, etc.  But as far as I am concerned, they can eat as much grassfed meat, fish, eggs, coconut oil, almond butter, nuts, avocados, and olive oil as they want.

A few facts still memorized from college…I was a nutrition major and loved learning about what kids needed to grow.

  1. “Essential” fatty acids must be eaten.  This means our bodies don’t just make it.
  2. A 4 year old’s brain is certainly not fully developed, at 5 years old it is roughly 90% developed.  So why do we switch them to “low fat” snacks at age 2 or 3?

This quote from this article is EXACTLY what I believe on this matter.

Pay little attention to the pervasive hype about low-fat diets. Children need fats in their diets to be healthy. Healthy fats supply nutrients that are essential for growth and are necessary for energy as well as the absorption and metabolism of some nutrients. Fats are vitally important to the brain, which is 70 percent fat. They are used for building the membranes around every cell in the body and also play a role in the formation of hormones. Cold-pressed olive and flaxseed oils, fish oils, seeds, nuts, eggs, avocados, grass-fed meats, and butter and whole, raw milk from grass-fed cows are good fat-containing foods.

When you limit your child’s fat intake, you may be depriving him or her of essential nutrients. Many low-fat diets are low in zinc and vitamin E. Zinc is essential to growth and proper functioning of the immune system, and vitamin E is an important antioxidant that can help protect against disease. Furthermore, when children are eating a low-fat diet, they typically eat more high sugar and starch carbohydrates, which can lead to blood sugar problems and decreased immunity.

I’ll spare you the rest of my feelings on the advice to give my FOUR YEAR OLD low fat foods and show you some adorable pictures instead.   Notice how I begin this photo montage with some examples of the horribly “fatty” green avocado smoothies my kids enjoy and a full length shot of my sweet girl.

smoothie

smoothie2Violet

skinny

elsa

All in all, this summer is so wonderful and I am truly wishing it would slow down!

 

 

 

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