Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Food

I have been so busy lately with other things that I haven't had a chance to post to my blog. I miss it. I really enjoy keeping up with my blog. So I decided to post an article I have just finished about food issues, for a newsletter. I think I may have posted something similar to my blog before but hey, there is some new stuff in here too. First a picture of my boys.

Food is such a touchy issue for me. I was raised with food as punishment and reward. It was praise, it was comfort, it was so important in our family. My mom was a great cook, and I loved her food, I loved her for making such great food. I felt loved when she would cook food. But I knew I did not want to pass this on to my children. I wanted a life for them that did not revolve around food. I still have my food issues, I still carry that with me daily and have come to grips, so to speak, with this as part of who I am. So I had this I my mind, in my body, before I even met Jackson, my husband.

Once we had decided to marry and have children we talked about many parenting issues, talking about how we were parented, what we wanted for our children, why and how this should happen, what it would look like in our family.

We fully believed that each individual has the right to decide what is right for them. So we have never had restrictions on the boy’s food choices. They both come to the grocery store with me, or if I go alone I will ask them what they need. We do not have meal times, and never have. We have never distinguished between “junk” food and “real” food. I have never told them they had to clean their plate, try everything, or eat with the family. We really want the children to be making their own decisions listening to their own bodies, knowing what is right for them.

It has worked out beautifully. Following *my* intuition that told me to give them the freedom to follow their own intuition. Neither of my boys has issues wrapped up in food. They don’t look to food for comfort or escape. They eat when the need arises and continue until they are no longer hungry. They listen to their bodies about what to eat and have never eaten large amounts of sugar, “just because it was there”. They do like chocolate and sweets, don’t get me wrong, but do not have any feeling of limit. They do not eat the whole box of chocolates out of fear they will not get enough because they know we would work together to figure out a way to get more if they needed more. But they are just as likely to want to eat cheese, or a piece of fruit. They see foods as merely different choices, and look to what their body needs at the time.

My oldest is a vegetarian. He has had to deal with childhood migraines. We have done a lot of research on childhood migraines and have found that if he has protein in his diet consistently, the migraines are kept away. Harder when you are a vegetarian, but we have just put more time into finding protein sources that he enjoys, are portable and we can either make or buy locally. It has worked well for him and he is so in tune with his body that he will, for example, come to me and say “I feel like I need some protein mom, can you help me cut up some cheese” or something like that.

My oldest son also did some research on vitamins and was reading about Omega 3 fatty acids, on his own, at his own pace. He asked me about the topic and we did some research together, looking at fish oil and flax seed oil. He decided that he wanted to start taking flaxseed oil supplements, and has taken them daily, on his own. It is so great to see these things coming together for him.

My youngest is a meat eater and, a month of so ago, he came to me and said he really enjoys chicken and wished that we could search out a source for organic chicken so we would be able to have more at the house, like chicken breast, not just the organic frozen chicken fingers I can find at the grocery store. So he and I did some research and found some. He is really enjoying that, and helping me figure out ways to cook it, as I haven’t cooked chicken in about 14 years.

For us it has been a wonderful journey, and I trust that in my own way, on my own terms I will figure out all the pieces to my own puzzle with food. We have spent so much time with the boys in helping them listen to that inner voice, and figure out what is right for them, it is amazing to see their minds at work. And I trust this is something they will be able to pass onto their children, if they choose to have children. I know people say that if you let children eat candy, they will eat it all day and all night, we have not found that to be true. We have found that if we give our children a wide variety of foods, and help them listen to their bodies, they will choose exactly what is right for themselves. And feed their bodies what they need to grow, and thrive.

This is what has guided our whole parenting journey, a desire to help our children figure out what is right for them. Encourage them to listen to that inner voice.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My Goals, from Blog Talkers

From Blog Talker: What is your most important goal in life? Why? (Please elaborate) How do you propose to get there? (Or how did you accomplish it). What sort of sacrifices will (or did) you have to make in order to achieve this goal? Once you’ve accomplished this goal, how will this change your life?



What is my most important goal in life?

I used to be goal oriented, that is what was expected, so I had this grand goal for my life when I was like 13. Finish high school, onto college, become a nurse, work, have a family, get the kids through high school, then through college, then they can work, etc.

Now my life has changed so much, thanks to the boys, my goal now is to live each day to it's fullest. To live a joy filled life with my husband and children. Watch them grow, develop and become who they are supposed to be. Be available to answer questions, help them along their journey as they want and need help.

I do have smaller goals like growing organic fruits and vegetables. So my goal there would be to grow a big enough garden to have preserved food to take us through the winter. So the bulk of what we buy in the store is NOT fruits and vegetables. That supports my main goal of living a joy filled life.

I know the question was asked because the poster wanted to read these grand goals and how people have sacrificed or plan to sacrifice to get there. But my life is simple, my goal is happiness, the sacrifices are none. My goal won't change my life, my goal is my life.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's Like Riding a Bike

Well actually it is riding a bike. I find the interests of my boys so fascinating. I love seeing how their mind and bodies work. When they were like 4 and 6, I think, we bought them bikes with training wheels. We were so excited about this, it was a surprise Christmas present. Well they tried the bikes a couple of times and decided they just had no interest in riding a bike, end of story. We have never been parents that push our children into anything so we took the disinterest in bike riding as a couple hundred dollar lesson learned, LOL, never brought up the subject again really. They knew if they wanted bikes we would get them bikes, they were more than happy to give their bikes away when they outgrew them, or probably would have before if we knew anyone that needed a bike.

So Sunday Phillip saw Jackson and my bikes hanging up in the garage, and wanted to try to ride my bike. Mine being the smaller of the 4 we have. Still a bit big, but with Jackson holding on, he could ride. I saw this and thought to myself, the bike would be just the right size for our oldest, Dallen. Dallen was excited to try, he could sit on the seat and had both feet flat on the ground. I know this isn't ideal for riding a bike, but it was perfect for learning to ride a bike. It seemed like he could learn balance and steering and pedaling while feeling secure in knowing that he could catch himself with his feet.


OK so now on Monday I could still see that my bike was too big for Phillip so we went to Dick's Sporting Good Store last night and both boys bought a bike. When the seat is all the way down they can sit on the seat and have both feet on the ground, but will still have a little room to grow. Of course bike helmets as well. It took them each about an hour to learn to ride a bike. Sort of like reading, when the time was right it worked, it just clicked, no pressure. I know other parents might think it strange that a 13 year old didn't know how to ride a bike already, but hey, we are not conventional parents and are not your typical family, LOL. So now they both know how to ride, I was out there riding with them today. They are both excited about it, looking forward to biking on trails and totally into this as a family "thing".

What joy. What a life.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

It has been a busy last couple of weeks, and the next week looks equally as busy. I have spent some real connected moment with my boys but not as many as I would like. I am hoping things slow down soon and get back on track. But in those rushed moments I know I can always look at my boys and see the real joy in life as they play, have fun and truly live from moment to moment, enjoying each and every opportunity. So here are a few pictures from their precious lives.


And you know it seems like building forts indoors on a rainy day never goes out of style. I remember spending time with my brother as a child just building forts out of chairs, books and blankets. So cool to climb inside and just be in your own private world for a few minutes.