This year I am attempting to pack snacks for Landon's school days that are similar to what his friends are having. Thus far, I pretty much check the calendar the night before or during our morning frenzy and throw something in his back. Today, I decided to get organized and put things together for the whole week. Yeah, am I totally amazing or what?! *note the sarcasm*
Anywhoo, maybe this will help others in our situation. I'm certain having the week planned out will make our week easier.
Yes, I realize this is all processed stuff. I do feel good knowing the ingredients and that said ingredients are minimal.
So, tell me, what types of snacks do you pack for your kids? Does their school provide them?
Today was Landon's first day of Pre-K. You may remember from last year, I was a hot mess when he had orientation and again when he started Preschool. This year, I have to say, it was much easier. He is at the same school and has the same teacher, which definitely lessens my anxiety. As a matter of fact, I don't have any anxiety this year. I know he will be well cared for, and they will respect his food restrictions. They know the drill.
It was a stress free morning. He popped right out of bed, got dressed and ate breakfast. As I was giving his vitamins, I also gave him a dose of Rescue Remedy, to help ensure we had an easy time getting ready. I prepared him last night, by telling him what we would need to do when he woke up. I had his outfit prepared so he could get dressed on his own. One funny thing, I had chosen a super cute button down shirt for him. He took one look at it and said, "I am NOT wearing that! It isn't even cute!" SO, plan B on the shirt, which still seemed to work out fine. What a Diva! :)
We took a shit-ton few photos this morning. As you can see, he was super excited about his first day!
"Please Mother, for the love of all things normal, let's just stop with the photos!"
Maybe we were both a tad bit excited!
Here we are, ready to hit the road!
He's arrived at school!
He even humored me and posed for several photo's in his classroom! What a kid!
Aaaannnnd....one last kiss for Mama!
He was a little bit clingy and wanted a lot of extra hugs and kisses.I was completely okay with that. Then, all of a sudden, he was ready and he walked over to his teacher. As I turned to leave, they were chatting away and I was all smiles. Proud. That's what I was in that moment. Once I got on the highway, the emotions hit me. I wasn't anxious like last year. I was simply feeling a tug at my heart because that kid of ours, he's growing up. Yes, I know, he's only four. This is justPre-K. I know some of you have children that are entering elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and some are even totally grown up! This is still where I am though. I truly enjoy this parenting thing, even though there are days I'm sure I'm doing every thing completely wrong. Today, I'm giving thanks for this life I'm been entrusted with and feeling absolutely grateful to have him in a school with people Scott and I trust. It's going to be a GREAT year!
You know, last week, it was VBS at our church. It was Landon's first year attending and he had an absolute blast! The mornings getting him ready to leave the house, those were the opposite of having a blast. They were challenging. Most of the mornings as we were getting ready, he resembled something like this.
Look how much fun he had once he warmed up though!
Today, this very morning. It was glorious. Truly. As I was getting ready for work, my sweet boy walked out of his room, still somewhat sleepy eyed, carrying his blanket and froggy. He was wearing a mis-matched set of Christmas jammies, because that's how we roll. Our cat, Louis, immediately ran to him and began rubbing his face on Landon's cheek. This is their morning routine. Often times, I hear Landon's bedroom door open, then shut right away. I know then, Louis has entered his room and they are having their snuggles. So, back to this morning. Landon was very happy and calm. He was doing his own thing while I finished getting ready for work. I heard him calling from the kitchen, "Mommy, don't you worry, I will get all of my vitamins ready today!" And he did. He pulled a chair up and proceeded to get everything down and organized, right down to the little cups I put his vitamins in. I know it may seem silly, but I was incredibly proud of him in that moment. He has always been good at taking what we give him. Today was different. This morning he took an active role in his health. He showed me he knows the importance of getting the proper nutrition and supplements in his body each day. That's HUGE! He's four.
We chatted as I prepared his breakfast. He decided he didn't want to be clothed, so there he stood in his birthday suit, talking about how many eggs he would like and then he insisted on cracking the eggs for me. What a helper! I finally coaxed him in to undies. He walked me out to the car, climbed in my lap and gave me hugs and kisses, as I sat in the drivers seat. This is our morning routine. He scurried back to the front porch, in nothing but his Flash undies, then turned with a smile and said, "I love you, Mommy. I'll be thinking about you and missing you all day." Then he ran back for one more hug.
These mornings. This morning. It's what fuels me. The innocence of my sweet boy, makes me stop to fully enjoy the moment. Happy Thursday, Friends. I hope you're all able to take a few minutes today to stop and breathe, enjoying all the blessings surrounding you.
We actually purchased an exact duplicate so we could switch it out for washings.
He loves his blanket.
It provides a sense of security and brings him comfort when he has to be brave.
It has helped him through many fevers and childhood Yuckies.
We have been working on keeping blanket in bed only, not dragging it all over the house. It's been challenging. Honestly, I don't care if he sleeps with it until he's grown, I just don't want him throwing it at the cat, leaving it on the kitchen floor, spilling cereal on it...you get what I'm saying.
Today, Landon was playing, then started to get grumpy. I figured he was hungry and offered him a snack. He decline and asked to get blanket out of his bed. I reminded him of what we are working on and told him he was welcome to go sit on his bed with blanket. What happened next was melt down city!
I tried to explain things, I attempted to reason with him. He cried and begged for blanket. I stood my ground, until, with huge tears streaming down his rosy cheeks, he said these words. "Mommy, I promise I will do anything you want, whatever you ask, if you will just let me snuggle with blanket."
My child was in a moment of true heartache. This wasn't manipulation, and trust me I did think about that. I've seen those behaviors before and this was different. I began to cry right along with him as I truly felt what he was feeling. I caved. We talked it through and decided today would be our last day with blanket out of bed. We will start fresh tomorrow.
Do your kids have a security item? What is it? How long did you allow them to have it?
He turned four. He's four. Four years old. Maybe if I type it enough times it will actually begin to register that my baby is four. FOUR. I decided to write a letter to him and am sharing it here. My Dearest Love Bug, You captured my heart from the moment my eyes caught a glimpse of you. I prayed for you before you were even created. My prayers were answered April 26th, 2010. You have shown me what true strength is. You have been through a lot in your time here, and you've weathered it with grace. I know you don't even know what that means yet, but one day you will. You will have a full understanding and when that time comes, I want you to know I always saw it in you. I have always believed in you. I am certain you will go on to teach this world things we never could have imagined. Your fortitude amazes me. You are such a cool kid! Here are some of the things you are in to right now:
Playing soccer with Daddy. You love to kick that ball and you're really good too! You have the strongest little legs. You are super excited about going to Soccer Camp this summer.
Snuggles with Mama and Daddy. Every weekend, we lay in our bed and have our "morning snuggles", per your request. I love it and cherish those moments with you.
Reading books. You don't care who is reading to you, as long as someone is.
Learning. You are constantly asking questions and want to know more about everything! You are wicked smart.
You want to know something I think is totally cool? You are ambidextrous. That means you're able to use both of your hands with equal skill. Wow!
Helping Mama in the kitchen. Anytime I am baking or cooking, you want to be there helping. You know how to measure dry ingredients and you really like to crack eggs.
Riding your bike. You are super fast!
Your favorite shows are Paw Patrol, Daniel Tigers Neighborhood, The Magic School Bus, Super Why and Bubble Guppies. Even though you enjoy watching these shows, you would rather play outside.
Arts and crafts are still one of your favorite activities. Specifically, you like to glue and cut papers to create cool things.
You think Tickle Time Outs are hysterical. You shout "TICKLE TIME OUT" then Mama tickles you like crazy. It's seriously fun for both of us!
Park dates, especially with Daddy.
Trash trucks. Real trucks and the toy kind.
You call me Mama, not Mommy, which I love.
You are incredibly strong willed! You want to do things your own way.
We went for your Well Kid check up today. You have grown so much! As a matter of fact, you've grown 4 whole inches just since December of last year! You're a little on the short side, (thank your Mommy for that one!) at 39" tall, which puts you in the 20th percentile. At your 3 year check up you were only in the 3rd percentile so you're definitely making progress! Your weight is totally normal for your stature. Let me tell you a little story about what you did while we were seeing Dr. H today. When she came in the room you were kicking the table with your feet. I asked you to stop and you smiled at me and kept kicking. Then, Dr. H told you that she couldn't hear Mommy so you really needed to stop kicking. You stopped immediately and got very embarrassed. You refused to talk and wanted to hold my hand. I love your sensitive nature and I hope it never changes. You are an incredible little being, with a kind, sweet spirit. You get your feelings hurt easily and are very sensitive to how others are feeling. I happen to think that's pretty special. When we are out in public, people are drawn to you. Every time we go somewhere, people approach you. You often get shy and don't want to talk. That's okay. You have impeccable manners. You are very good at saying please and thank you, which makes Mama and Daddy incredibly proud.
Your presence is truly a gift to all those you encounter. I feel honored every single day that I was chosen to be your Mama. Thank you for blessing Daddy and I. If I could choose anyone in the whole world to be my son, I would pick you every time. I adore every thing about you. I love you like no one else. You are special. You are unique. You are a gift.
All My Love,
Mama I cannot believe I have a four year old. Seriously. You can see how much he's grown and changed by clicking HERE. Now, please excuse me while I go play with this darling boy.
It's no secret to those who are close to me that I've been having a tough time lately. I can't quite put my finger on what the exact cause is. I'm not sure if I even need to know the cause at this point. Truly, I just want to feel better. I haven't been writing at all. I have lacked all motivation to do so. I threw this incredible birthday party a couple of weeks ago and haven't even posted about that yet. I promise I will. Soon. I know there is a lot going on energetically right now. Things are moving and shifting and all kinds of stuff is swirling around me. I feel it. I'm real. I'm a person with emotions. I get envious of others. I feel sad. I feel overwhelmed. I feel frustrated and angry. I feel contempt. I feel like sleeping for days. I get my feelings hurt. I feel like a complete failure at times. On the flip side, I feel happy. I am proud of the successes of others. I feel loved. I feel wanted. I feel joy. I feel content. I feel like I'm exactly where I'm meant to be, even if it isn't always enjoyable. I am grateful for my life. One thing I've realized in the last several months, is that the things I put in my body have a direct impact on how I feel emotionally and physically. I'm making positive changes and have already seen some improvements in my general well being. For me, this time it isn't about losing weight, it's about feeling better. Although I am typically a highly social person, I've found myself wanting time to myself a lot lately. I give all I've got at work and to my family when I get home in the evenings. Then, I'm ready to just be. This is a weird place for me, because I actually really enjoy people and crave human interaction. It's just that lately, I've craved time alone more. I feel like I'm on the cusp of something big. I am unsure what it is, but I feel like something is about to happen. Here's the thing, no matter how shitty I feel, or how much it feels like things aren't the way I would like them to be, there is ALWAYS joy. Even though the last 6 months or so have been weird and emotional, I've made a conscious effort every single day to find something to be thankful for. I choose to look for the joy on a daily basis. Some days it's much harder than others. Often times, I decide to be grateful for something as simple as having clean, purified water to drink, or a warm bed to sleep in. Other times, I'm thankful for the bigger things, like the opportunity to be with my child every single day, to mentor him as he advances in his journey. Or that I have a loving, supportive husband, who has loved me through all of this and more. It doesn't mean I always feel joyful, but I am at least making an effort. Days like yesterday, those are hard. I got to help Landon through a seemingly ridiculous fit over cereal. A fit that lasted well in to our drive to school. I went through the motions at work and put on my professional, happy face. I wasn't able to shake the feeling from the morning though. I tried and I definitely found joy, but the feeling of yuck was still there. Days like today, not so tough. It's a new day, the sun is shining, the birds are singing. I started my morning with snuggles from my darling boy, followed by his laughter and smiles. As I was pulling out of the drive way, he ran out and declared, "more kisses and hugs please!". Of course I obliged, he in his Batman undies and jammie top, me in my work clothes, pressed together in the drivers seat of my van, as he bounced to the music and grinned from ear to ear. In those few moments we exchanged a special kind of love. He energized my soul in a way that only a child can. I have no doubt I shared the kind of love for his soul like only a mother knows to provide. I'm choosing joy, even on the days I don't feel it.
It's Birthday Party Central at Landon's school this month! This week, they have a celebration every day. Sugar high will be in full effect! I'm considering sending a bottle of wine for his teachers, if they survive.
Navigating birthday celebrations when you have food intolerances can be tricky. However, with proper planning and preparation, you can still enjoy the festivities without compromising your health or the health of your family.
I made up a batch of gluten free cupcakes last month and popped the finished product in to the freezer. I made a very easy, 3 ingredient frosting at the same time. Now, when we have a party coming, I grab a cupcake, frost it and decorate it a day or so in advance.
Here's the cupcake I decorated today, since we have a birthday party this afternoon.
It's gluten free, food dye free and full of flavor! I try to keep these a surprise so Landon has something to look forward to each time. I decorate them differently, using things he likes that we have on hand. This time I used some really great non GMO marshmallows and raisin in the center.
These are the marshmallows we like.
I will warn you now, they are pricey. However, they are corn syrup and food dye free, which is important for us. We use them sparingly and keep them stored in a ziploc to keep them from drying out.
I have used his bunny snacks as a topper and also plan to use dried coconut and dried fruit to create a face on the cupcakes in the future.
Do you have any other ideas for me? If so, I would LOVE to hear from you!