Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Books Recommendations

I read a lot. Lately I have read some parenting/education/child development/interesting books.

Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
This book examines a variety of topics such as self-control, gifted-education, early childhood curriculum, sleep, language development, praise, and lying through careful evaluation of current practices and research. For example, it talks about if saying things like 'good job' or 'you're really smart' is actually helping your child or not. I think every parent and educator should read this book. Well-written and easy to read.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein
This book discusses the intense girly-girl culture in the US including the evolution of it (e.g. Disney Princesses, American Girls, Bratz) and a mother's struggle to find the line in the sand for her daughter. It reads like a dialogue with yourself as you stand in the pink section of the toy store as you debate picking up that barbie doll for that young girl in your life. It is very interesting for both women and men to read and helps start evaluating your own thoughts and policies of parenting.

Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys
by James Stephen and David Thomas
I think I have mentioned this book before but I have to recommend it again. Anyone who interacts with male humans should read this book, especially those who are raising little men. This book helps expose the secrets of how boys work and what we can do to help them develop. It also helps you gain some perspective as a parent or teacher and prevent boys' actions from driving you crazy. Read This Book!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Baby Weight Update

So, I can't lie and say that I haven't hope to loose some of this baby weight quickly and effortlessly. I was pretty sure that my busy lifestyle and relatively good eating habits, not to mention breastfeeding a lot would do it. Well, not the case. In fact, I have gained weight. And it bothers me. It does. I would be ok without loosing anything, but adding numbers to the scale is not the goal.

It has been very frustrating actually. I have added three days per week of exercise (2 cardio and 1 strength) to my weekly routine. I am still taking it easy and listening to my body...which isn't ready for my usual workout load. I am literally doing something almost all day, so I am very active. I am eating well...lots of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and veggies. I have even limited my sweets (I didn't have any chocolate a couple days!).

But I think I just have to accept it and continue on. I cannot do anything crazy...or even moderately nutty. I have myself, kids, and life to take care of. So the focus this coming week is on good eating habits (which will be hard saying Tuesday is my birthday and Easter is on the weekend). And drink more water (which every nursing mother needs to).

Week 6 Weight: 138.5
Week 9 Weight: 143

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Mas Amigos...still a family favorite

I've written about Mas Amigos Restaurant in Champaign before but I feel the need to reaffirm my love for this place. There was a time when we were there once a week but we have held back a bit (alternating with Black Dog in Urbana for our lunch dates).

The food is great. My favorite item has to be the mole sauce. Our 5yo actually orders 1 chicken enchilada with mole sauce as his favorite dinner since the summer. It is just spicy enough and rich with that perfect hint of chocolate...perfect. The guacamole is fantastic which goes with the hot, fresh chips and salsa so well. My husband orders the exact same thing every time....steak burrito and chorizo taco combo with lots of the special green sauce. Our 14yo favors the fajitas...steak or veggie with corn tortillas. And the 7yo orders crispy chicken taco with cheese and just rice, no beans. I also enjoy the tamales.

The service is delightful. They know us well...laughing when I came in alone, 8mons pregnant and probably ate enough chips for a small family. It is fast and accurate. The prices are very reasonable...most items between $5-10.

So, go people!