Friday, February 29, 2008

Alexa's Friday Five

Alexa posted a Friday Five and I thought I'd play along!

1: How many "icons" do you have on your desktop right now?

I just counted and there are 46!

This number varies quite a bit -- when I download a PDF, or modify pictures to post, they go on my desktop so I can find them quickly. Every few days, I will clean up my desktop and get rid of all the extra files.

2: Do you use a laptop or a regular computer to blog?

I have a MacBook.

3: What color is your computer?

It's white.

4: What size screen do you have?

13" (I think?) I also connect my laptop to a larger monitor (20" maybe?) pretty regularly.

5: How many computers are in your home now that you own - and are working?

Four -- in addition to my laptop, DH has a Mac desktop and a PC laptop. The boys have a PC desktop.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

taking care of God's creatures

A few days ago, this cat showed up on our patio. In years past, cats wouldn't stay long in our yard because our dog would chase them out. This was the first one I've seen since Julianna died last year, though -- and she seemed rather comfortable!

I first noticed her one evening when I was walking through the kitchen. She rubbed up against our patio door and then flopped onto her back, exposing her stomach fully. The next time I walked through she started pawing at the door.

I assumed she had a family and didn't expect to see her the next morning. She was still there, however, and N went outside to pet her. I'm allergic to cats, so I told him that he had to wash very well after petting her, and that we couldn't keep her. I was sure she'd find her way home, or to another patio!

Another day, and she was still here. The boys were getting attached. DH was asking what were we going to do? When everyone (but L) was gone, I scooped her into a towel and let her out our front door -- thinking she'd go elsewhere. 10 minutes later she was back on the patio!

In the evening, the boys started discussing her. C said "We need to take care of God's creatures, don't we?" N said "She needs a forever family!" DH asked if I thought she was a "sign from God?" (Just what the sign was is still unclear -- but he's closing in on his 6th week without a sale -- so I guess anything starts looking like it might be a sign!)

This morning, I began sending out emails asking if anyone wanted a very friendly stray cat, or if they knew of any no-kill shelters with room for cats. I made a few phone calls and wasn't able to find any openings at the local non-kill shelters I could find.

Suddenly, I thought of my sister. I was expecting voicemail since she was at work, but suprisingly she answered. I jokingly asked if she wanted a cat. She asked me why, and then told me she had recently been thinking about it. She came over after work, was loved up by the cat, and headed out to buy some supplies.

Gemini just left with her new forever family! N had really bonded with the cat and was very upset that she was leaving, but was slightly comforted by the fact that his aunt will be taking care of her. The only glitch might be if the cat has a microchip and needs to be returned to another family -- but we'll find out when my sister takes her to the vet in the next week.

We couldn't keep the cat because of my allergies, so I know we did the next best thing for her. I managed to follow through on C and N's thoughts -- now if only we could figure out if she WAS a sign?!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

yummy chocolate chip bars

I can tell that I'm feeling better these days, since I'm starting to bake again! One of our new favorites are these yummy chocolate chip cookie bars that I found in my King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion Cookbook.

They are delightfully thick, chewy and scrumptious!! As a bonus, the recipe calls for melted butter! That means DH can say "I would love some cookies" and I can have them in the oven in 15 minutes since I don't have to wait for the butter to soften.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional. I don't like nuts in my chocolate chip cookies, so I leave them out.)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan
2. In a large bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
3. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour mixture, then the chocolate chips and nuts. Spread the batter in prepared pan.
5. Bake the bars for 30 - 35 minutes, until top is shiny and golden. Don't overbake, or the bars will be dry.
6. Remove bars from oven and cool to room temperature before cutting.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Oh, my!! You know I love books ;) Someone suggested this site to me today and I think it is terrific! Check out Lookybook right now!

It is a virtual bookshelf with tons of picture books. Not just the cover and a few pages -- but the ENTIRE book is available for viewing and reading. If you register with the site, you can create your own bookshelf to save books you like.

Online books will never replace books I can hold and linger over, but this is a great way to find even more books to add to our personal library. In just a few minutes, I found 2 books that I want to buy for Lydia in the next few months.

I sent the link to a friend who is currently pregnant with her 2nd child. She's in a rough first trimester, so this could be a great way to entertain her toddler while she's relaxing. I plan on using it with my boys right now -- especially Nate who is a beginning reader. I know Colin will enjoy reading books online, and I don't have to worry about the content.

And, it'll be a resource for homeschooling as well! There's a book about the new food pyramid that will fit in perfectly for a nutrition unit. I won't have to worry about a library trip to use it, but instead we'll be able to view it online.

I'm done sharing now! I'm off to look at more picture books!

still waiting for healthy days!

I thought I was doing so well . . . but in the last couple days I've fallen ill. The boys are still congested, C & L are still wheezing, and I'm so ready for us all to be healthy again!!

I just hope DH manages to stay healthy. He was awarded a cruise at work and he flies off to Miami on Sunday. Last year I couldn't go because I was about 3 weeks too pregnant (the cruise lines don't let you cruise past a certain point.) This year, I have a breastfeeding child that I wasn't willing to wean -- plus I wasn't willing to leave all 3 kids for a week anyway! The cruise is for 2, so DH is going with one of his friends again this year.

I'm proud of him for doing the work necessary to earn the cruise, but I'm a little disappointed that I can't enjoy it as well. I wish they did something for families, or even allowed families to attend if we paid the difference.

Monday, February 25, 2008

girl scout cookies

We walked by a table of girl scouts selling cookies this weekend. We usually buy a few boxes, since I know it is a fundraiser and the money helps the troops out.

I was shocked, however, when I learned that they were $4 a box!! There aren't very many cookies in those boxes -- and even though it is a good cause, we didn't buy any this weekend.

I know we bought a few boxes last year, but I am pretty sure we paid $3/box. A quick search online shows me that every council sets the price - and they are selling from $2.50 to $4.00 a box this year.

How much are girl scout cookies selling for by you this year? I'm just curious! Also, what is your favorite cookie? I like the peanut butter patties best!

recent reads

The library came through with a few books that I've been waiting for in the last couple weeks.

I first read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini from my batch of books. I read Kite Runner when it was released and while I thought it was a good book, I wasn't bowled over by it as some reviewers were. His second book, however, drew me in and I found it very compelling. The main characters were women repressed and abused by Afghan society. I think I may have liked this book better because I could empathize and understand the characters in this book more than those in his first book. The descriptions were vivid and I really felt the plight of the women portrayed. It wasn't an uplifting book, but it was interesting and a worthwhile read. The strength that motherhood gave the women in this book was inspirational, and definitely understandable.

I also read John Grisham's novel Playing for Pizza. My husband enjoyed this book more than I did, but it was a pleasant and quick read. The premise of the book is that a down and out pro football player goes to Italy to play in an amateur league. In my opinion, too much time was spent on detailed football plays, and the story lacked development in many areas. I didn't really like the main character much because he was selfish and arrogant. He supposedly falls in love by the end of the book, but I never understood the female character at all. I have enjoyed Grisham's legal thrillers in the past, and think he should probably stick to those.

Finally, I read Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way of Love by Daniel Homan and Lonni Pratt. This book was written by a monk and a mother -- hospitality figures so strongly in both monasteries and family life. This is a book that I will purchase and add to our shelves -- which is a pretty high honor these days! (I try to read as much as possible through the library since dollars are so precious!) This book helps open readers to offering hospitality freely, without judgment, without worry. The goal is to make others feel welcome, wanted and comfortable. This isn't done by spending a lot of money, or creating elaborate meals -- but simply by having an open, caring and welcoming heart.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

what is she eating?

Someone asked me what L is eating these days, and I thought I'd post it here so I can remember in the future.

She is nursing 5-10 times a day.

She lets me feed her yogurt and some jarred fruits and vegetables. She much prefers to feed herself however!

She likes brown rice, shredded cheese, pancakes, waffles, peas, cubed pears, cut up bananas, sweet potato spears, mashed potatoes, small pasta, toast, Gerber puffs, cheerios, cubed cooked carrots . . . and whatever else I can cut up small enough for her to eat!

She needs help still drinking from a cup, and does not like the cups that are not open. I don't think she understands the sucking part required from the leak-proof style.

As sick as she's felt lately, her appetite hasn't really suffered.

standing alone!

Development hasn't stopped with illness! L was on the bed with us last night while we were watching a show and was on her knees and then pulling up while holding on to the headboard.

And, then, she was standing independently! It lasted just a few seconds, but I'm sure that she'll start standing for longer periods and her first steps are close at hand!

I keep teasing DH that she'll take her first steps while he's gone (he leaves for his cruise next Sunday.) She just may . . . but somehow I think she'll wait for Daddy to come home.

C took his first steps right before he turned 11 months old. DH wanted him to take his first steps in our own home (we had been renting) and we moved into our house when he was 10 months and a couple weeks. A week later, he took his first steps!

N waited until he was 13 months old to walk.

babies and fever

I have had quite a few hits from google searches on babies & fevers since I've posted about L being sick.

L is 9 months old, and this was the first time she had a fever. I admit that I usually diagnose a fever by touching my kids -- but when I do follow up with a thermometer, I'm pretty accurate. At her highest, L's fever was never above 103. Granted, that's pretty high and I was concerned!

I had the best success in keeping her fever down by alternating Tylenol and Motrin. I would give her a dose of Tylenol, then 3 hours later I would give her a dose of Motrin, then 3 hours later another dose of Tylenol. I did this for probably 12 hours and her fever did finally break after 3 days of having a fever almost constantly. I also took lukewarm baths with her and nursed her often.

Our most recent visit to the pediatrician was not for a fever, but for congestion and wheezing. She had a very audible wheeze when she was attempting to breathe, and she also had a pretty hard cough. I put some eucalyptus oil in a diffuser to help her congestion, and used the bulb syringe to try and give her some relief. The wheezing continued and she started to have a blue-ish ring around her lips. This was my clue to immediately take her into our pediatrician's office. Thankfully, they could fit me in right away -- otherwise I would have taken her to the ER. She had been wheezing audibly for a few hours before I took her in.

2 days later, she's still wheezing, but just slightly. She had a breathing treatment (nebulizer) with albuterol in the ped's office and I've been doing them at home every 4-6 hours since then. She absolutely *hates* the mask, so I've been nursing her and holding the mask near her chin during treatment. I have also been given the advice to do the treatment while she sleeps, but our nebulizer is very noisy and she is a very light sleeper. I'll stick with nursing her during the treatment.

Between her treatments, and my oldest also needing the nebulizer the last couple days because of his asthma -- I feel like I'm on an albuterol high! It feels yucky to me (heart racing mostly), but my son tells me he doesn't mind because he can BREATHE when he's done.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

still sick

I have at least a half dozen posts dancing around in my mind . . . but all is on hold as my youngest is still sick. While her fever did break last week, her congestion continued and got worse. Then, she started wheezing and coughing and today decided to turn a bit blue around the lips.

Off to the pediatrician we went (after frantically searching for my keys and calling DH in a panic). The wheeze was confirmed, and a breathing treatment administered. We already have a nebulizer at home thanks to C's asthma so I just needed a smaller mask and a new prescription of albuterol. Both her ears are infected, so a prescription for antibiotics was added. Oh, and ear drops for N as it looks like he is starting an ear infection as well, but we're going to wait on antibiotics since he isn't running a fever.

The pediatrician said L probably has RSV, so we need to watch her in case it becomes pneumonia. The other thought was that this might be her first asthmatic episode. Only time will tell.

I haven't had much sleep lately, and I'm dragging. We'll miss the family symphony concert this weekend and I'm very disappointed. Keeping L home and helping her get healthy again is of the most importance, though!

Both boys have the sniffles and I'm hoping they don't turn into anything more. C's asthma is under control right now and I'd like to keep it that way.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Review: Breakfast Breaks

When asked by Mom Central if I would like to try Breakfast Breaks, I said "Sure!" I like to have some convenience foods on hand for those times when life becomes too hectic, and was intrigued by these boxes of breakfast.

We received 2 boxes and I popped them into the pantry. Each box contains a bowl of cereal (we received Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch), a cereal bar and a box of apple juice. The box also contains a small plastic spoon, a wet wipe and a napkin. From the website, I see that some boxes contain graham crackers or raisins in lieu of the cereal bar. Personally, I would have preferred to receive raisins, as a bowl of cereal and a cereal bar seemed overload on cereal.

I envisioned using these boxes for the boys when we had an early morning errand, or when I had a long night with L. I was grateful to have them last week when N & L came down with the flu! C didn't get sick, and these boxes came in handy for him. He was able to open the box and enjoy a simple breakfast with minimal fuss. He wished the boxes held milk (he likes the taste of shelf-stable milk, so that seemed like a good addition to him), but it wasn't difficult to get milk from our refrigerator.

I have a friend currently going through a rough pregnancy, and I'm going to pick up a couple of these for her preschooler. I think they would also be a fun treat to bring to a family after a new baby is born. In the past, I usually bring the kids a pack of small cereal boxes, but this would be a fun item to bring new siblings!

These are definitely convenience foods, with a price to match ($2.50 - $3.00 a box). It is nice to have it packaged for those times when a quick breakfast (or snack) is needed and nobody has time to put something together. I will probably hide a couple in the pantry for those situations.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

The baby's fever broke early this morning and she's been fever-free all day! She's still clingy, but she's babbling and smiling again for the first time in days. N is also doing much better, and I think that by Saturday all will be well (unless C comes down with it by then . . . )

I made heart-shaped pancakes this morning and the boys were thrilled. For years, we've purchased pancake mix, but I don't know why. A couple months ago I started using a simple recipe and they are easy to mix together! If only I could figure out how to get them fluffier, I'd be set. Any tips? The recipe I use is flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, egg and buttermilk. I used dried buttermilk for the buttermilk since it keeps forever and I really like the taste. I wonder if increasing the baking powder would give the pancakes more rise?

My sister came through for me last night and picked up a couple candy hearts for the boys. DH was sent out of town yesterday and should be home sometime around midnight. The trip was unexpected (as most are for him), and with the kids sick, I didn't pick up any valentine candy.

I took a few minutes a couple days ago and found a bunch of valentine-themed worksheets for schooling today. It's wonderful all the resources available for free on the internet! I covered math, reading, writing, mazes, coloring sheets and word searches. The boys each wrote an acrostic poem for "love" that are just adorable.

And, then, I'm clearly a bit crazy because I made cutout heart cookies and frosted them. All while holding the baby on my hip, but passing her off to a brother while I shuffled pans in and out of the oven. The house smells yummy, though, and DH will be happy when he comes home to find fresh cookies!

It's time to snuggle down with L and get her to sleep for the night. Hopefully DH arrives home safely -- his car started overheating on the trip out yesterday and he's in the middle of nowhere. Last I spoke to him he was taking it easy and had a couple gallons of water in the car in case he overheated. There doesn't seem to be cell service where he is, as his phone is going straight to voicemail.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

my angel

I couldn't find any cupid wings, so I went for the angel wings instead. Isn't she precious?

She's suffering the most from this flu. Her fever just won't stay down for more than an hour or so. I've started alternating Tylenol and Motrin in hopes that she can have some relief. I know that fevers help rid the body of illness, but she is just SO miserable I can't let it go. If it was a low fever, I'd feel differently, but she'll go up to 102/103 between doses of medicine. She's sleeping on my lap at the moment, and I don't dare move to disturb her. Thankfully, N is not as sick (although he looks pretty pitiful as well.) Between Benadryl and Tylenol, his symptoms seem to be under control.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

the flu

N & L have the flu, as confirmed by the pediatrician's office this morning. N had a horrible night of coughing and aching and puking, while L has just been very feverish and congested for a couple days. I didn't really think it was the flu, since they had the vaccine earlier this season -- but the vaccine doesn't have all the possible strains in it, and apparently they picked up a different strain.

My poor boy is rarely sick, but when he does fall ill, he is horribly sick.

My baby is pretty pathetic as well.

I guess we're waiting for C to succumb, but I'm hoping somehow he escapes. As well as me and DH . . . the last thing DH needs is the flu as we can't possibly give up any potential sales right now. And, I need to be able to care for the children.

The pediatrician told me to expect him to feel poorly for 7-10 days, and not fully recovered for 14-21 days.

He will have to miss his Valentine party at his enrichment program tomorrow, which is a shame.

I need to go soothe my babies.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Review: Yoplait Kids

Thanks to Yoplait and Mom Central, we recently received a sample of Yoplait Kids Yogurt cups and bottles. Yogurt is a favorite snack around here, so we were happy to sample their flavors. We received a mixed pack of strawberry-banana and peach flavored cups as well as a pack of mixed berry flavored drinkable yogurt.

The boys liked all the flavors very much. The flavors are mild, but still flavorful. The size is perfect for a small snack, or as a snack with toast or pretzels. The drinkable yogurt is a very popular bedtime snack in our home. At 70-100 calories each, they fit into the kids' diets easily.

I have always liked the thickness of the Yoplait Kids yogurt. My boys are pretty good at feeding themselves these days -- but in those early toddler years, the thickness of the yogurt helped it stick on the spoon so they could feed it to themselves easier.

You can get a coupon for a free pack of Yoplait Kids yogurt by visiting If the window doesn't pop up when you enter the site, look for the "Free Coupon" button on the right side of your screen. The site also has all the nutritional information for their products, as well as information about other yogurt products Yoplait produces.

As I was writing this, both boys just ran in from playing outdoors and took the last 2 bottles of Yoplait Kids. As they ran back out the door, they called out that I needed to add it to our grocery list! I guess that's a pretty good recommendation!

Friday, February 08, 2008

valentine picture

I tried to get a picture to create valentines this year. Out of 110 shots (thank goodness for digital cameras!) this is the best one. (A lamp fell over - that's why they're all looking perfectly in that direction.)

Since C's first Valentine's Day, I always went to a certain portrait place that had the pictures done in an hour and had the best props (cupid wings, bows & arrows.) It was pricey, but I only went once a year, used coupons, and bought enough to send out a few cards and get a couple 8x10's. Unfortunately, that place went out of business. (Well, they're still in business, but there aren't any close to us anymore.)

In an effort to save money, I decided to try and take them myself this year. Hopefully it will take only 100 more shots to get the "one" I love!

reusable bags?

How many of you shop using reusable bags? I have been looking at these baggu bags for a couple months now on Amazon. The cost has held me back, because I would need 10 or so probably to fit a grocery order.

I then think that even if I started out with 3, that would be 3 less plastic bags that we'd be using when we go out. And, they would also be handy for shopping at other places.

The boys and I had a discussion today at Sprouts when they saw the big bin of recycled bags near the check out counter. In our home, we do use the plastic bags in our small trash cans and for diapers, but the quality of the plastic bags seems to deteriorate more and more! It's a rare day when at least half the bags don't have holes in them by the time they're emptied.

I do think that it is a simple thing to do and it will cut down on trash and even the production of plastic shopping bags. I have some canvas bags in the house already, and recently received a giveaway bag from Yoplait that I will keep in the car and start using for errands.

We've used canvas bags forever to carry library books. I also keep one hanging on a doorknob for mail and other things that need to be returned. I will start using them for shopping. It's a habit that I think we need to develop!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

In a nearby town, there are 2 bridges that go over a small lake. We often drive by the bridges on our way to the zoo and botanical gardens and other places, but never actually drove on the bridges. N has been fascinated by them for a while, and asked if we could drive on the bridges -- preferably at night when the lights were lit.

For a long time, we promised him that one day we would. But, it never seemed to happen. He was very patient, and would quietly remind us whenever we happened to drive by them that he would really like to see them up close.

A few nights ago, I talked to DH and we decided to take a drive. We didn't tell the boys where we were going -- just that it was someplace special.

Both boys were excited when they realized where we were, and N was thrilled to be driving across the bridges. We parked in a spot under the bridges and DH and the boys walked a bit by the edges of the lake and soaked in the atmosphere. L was asleep so I stayed in the van while they explored.

We then proceeded to drive back and forth over the bridges a half dozen times or so.

It was a very simple thing to do, but it was amazingly wonderful for N. He finally got to do something he had been hoping to do for a long time, and it felt great for DH & I as well since we got to help make it happen.

9m checkup

L had her 9 month checkup today. She weighed 16 lbs 4 oz and is 27" long. That puts her around 25% for weight and almost 50% for height. She gained 3 lbs 2 oz and 2" in 3 months, which is a pretty good gain for her! At 6 months, she had been hovering around the 10% percentile for both height & weight.

She had a finger prick for hemoglobin and her polio vaccine. She didn't cry at either, which surprised both the nurse and me. When I talked to my mom this afternoon, she said I never cried at shots either. My sister, on the other hand, would get hysterical.

Her length means we need to start looking for a new carseat -- one that can sit backwards (she'll be that way until she's over 20 lbs) but that is tall enough for her height.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Lent this year

C has decided to give up computer games for Lent this year. N has decided that he cannot give up anything this year because it would just be too hard. Since he's 5, I'm not going to push him. He has a long life ahead of him to make sacrifices, and I am not going to bully him into it, because I don't think he would learn anything from that. I recently read a line about how a mom wanted to "inspire, not require" and that resonated with me.

I know it's becoming common to add something on during Lent these days, as well as giving something up. One thing that we're adding on as a family is praying for others. We always pray for others during evening prayer, but we're working on a project to help us pray for others more regularly throughout the day. (I'll post pictures as soon as we're done.)

We will also listen to the daily readings each day. We don't make it to daily mass, and the timing just won't work for our family right now to take that on. I thought, however, that listening to the daily readings each day would be a good addition to our days.

I am giving up clutter. There are a few projects that I have had on my list since early in my pregnancy with L and I want to get them knocked off that list! Clutter is holding me back and preventing me from moving forward in some areas. Every day I will get rid of some of the clutter in our home!

I plan to use this site (Praying Lent 2008) during personal prayer time during Lent. I have used their resources in years past and have found them useful and thought-provoking at times.

My desire is to grow closer to God this Lent, and hopefully help draw my boys closer as well.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Here's a great list of ideas for Lent this year!

I'm still working out what we're going to do as a family this year, and what we're all doing individually. The boys don't quite understand the idea, and didn't like any of the ideas I suggested of things for them to give up. I'm torn between pushing them to give up something, or letting them choose not to give up anything since they are still so young. N suggested he would give up oranges and broccoli, but I nixed the idea of giving up healthy foods. (Although that WOULD be a sacrifice for him, since he loves oranges and broccoli. LOL)

I guess I'm especially torn about pushing them to give something up when I really don't know what I will give up this year. Some heavy thinking needs to happen in the next day around here!

spritual pilgrimage

In this month's Catholic Digest, I read an article about making a spiritual pilgrimage. The idea is that if you are unable to actually travel for a pilgrimage, you can do it spiritually from where you are.

With the Lourdes apparition celebrating 150 years this year, I thought a pilgrimage to Lourdes would be interesting. I used this site to calculate the distance, and found that it is 5,634 miles between my city and the city of Lourdes. I have decided to say one Hail Mary for each mile, and hope to complete my pilgrimage in a year. That means saying 14-16 Hail Mary's a day for the next year.

I think I'll take off on February 11 -- which is the memorial day for Our Lady of Lourdes. I'll also take time to read more about Bernadette and her sightings, the miracles attributed and the area.

If anyone would like to join me, please let me know!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Review: Froose Juice

Juice boxes are a treat in our household, and my kids are usually excited when they see a pack or two in our drink refrigerator. (Yes, we have a drink refrigerator, don't you? LOL! It's a small size refrigerator in our bedroom that we use for bottled water, soda and juice boxes.) When the boys eyed the boxes of Froose in the refrigerator they were definitely interested. Thanks to Mom Central, we were able to sample all three flavors: Cheerful Cherry, Playful Peach and Perfect Pear.

These organic juice boxes are unusual in that they are not just juice -- but are a combination of juice and whole grains. They are loaded with complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and each box contains 3g of fiber. The real question is whether or not kids will drink them!

My oldest, C, enjoyed the taste of all 3 flavors and eagerly drank them. He said they were almost like a smoothie. For this same reason, N did not care for them. He said he likes his juice to be "just wet." When I tried one, I realized that the juice does have a slight bit of texture to it, similar to a pulpy drink. They each tried one at room temperature, and again after the boxes were chilled. C preferred the cold juice, but said it was fine either way. N said it was better cold, but he still didn't like them much.

The boxes are 4 oz, which is a bit small for a drink for my boys, but it is a good size for juice. Each box has 80 calories. C usually followed the juice box with a glass of water, but would have drank more boxes at one time if I let him. I did throw 2 boxes in our diaper bag and C drank both when we were out and about. Like most juice boxes, they are shelf-stable and come with a straw attached.

These juice boxes were invented by a mom who was interested in providing healthy snacks for her toddler and preschooler. She developed Froose as an alternative to the empty calories of juice. Check out the website for more information about her and her story!

It looks like the juice boxes are only available for purchase on line right now. You can order them here. You can purchase a sampler pack of 12 boxes for $9 plus shipping, or a case of 40 for $30 plus shipping. I imagine as interest in these grows, it will be available at health food-type stores.

I don't know that I would order them online, but I would pick them up locally as a treat. The 3g of fiber is a big draw for me, as we struggle to get enough fiber into C on a regular basis. C has already asked when we would get more!

Unlived Life

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

The poem comes from the author, Dawna Markova, in her book I Will Not Die an Unlived Life

I think perhaps I should tattoo this on my arm so I will try to follow the sentiments expressed.

Friday, February 01, 2008

dental work

DH went in this morning for some emergency dental work, that he has put off for over a year (or longer.) Things are worse than expected, so he will be there a good portion of the day, and it will cost a pretty penny today (not to mention in the future to finish the work.) It also means that he had to turn down a call for today (after there were NO calls available yesterday.)

I'm saying a prayer to St. Appolonia today (pictured left) that it won't hurt too much and that he'll recover easily. My dental work last year was horrendous, and even though I know I need more, it'll have to wait.

ETA: His dental work went okay and he's headed home with 3 prescriptions to deal with infection and pain. I removed some of this post, as I decided it was just too much to have out on the internet, and worried that I wasn't being grateful for what we DO have.
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