All posts by rlosborn

I'm a SAHM of two little girls. I'm just as frazzled and overwhelmed as the next mother, so, "Don't Call Me Supermom"!

Healthier Worms and Dirt : A Fun Snack For Kids!

healthier worms and dirt

Today I’m sharing a healthier twist on a fond childhood memory!

healthier worms and dirt

I love treating my kids,¬†but I prefer healthier snacks that will provide extra nutrients to get them through their day! I’m not even sure they notice a difference, to be honest! And it makes me feel like a good mom. ūüôā

I have fond memories of eating “worms and dirt” as a kid. The best librarian ever made it for us once at story time – just one of the many reasons to love her! In case you’re not aware, worms and dirt is chocolate pudding layered with crunched up Oreo cookies and gummy worms lurking inside! I thought it was the best thing ever as a young child.

So a couple months ago, I set out to recreate this awesome memory for my kids. I was inspired by finding organic gummy worms at the grocery – on sale! The next step was waiting for the healthier brand of Oreos to go on sale. (Yep, I’m really cheap.) I buy the¬†Back to Nature brand¬†whenever I get a hankering for yummy cookies (like Chips Ahoy, Oreos, Thin Mints, etc.) with no high fructose syrup, artificial colors, preservatives, or flavorings.

Once all those stars had aligned, I went looking for a healthier chocolate pudding recipe. I won’t buy the boxed mixes (especially when homemade tastes SOOO much better!) I couldn’t find a recipe I liked, so I combined a couple. Here is my tweaked version of an “Eat to Live cookbook” recipe and a random pin I found (and since lost).

Healthier Worms and Dirt Avocado pudding
Ingredients necessary for worms and dirt (plus vanilla!)

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

  • 2 avocados
  • 3/4 – 1 cup chocolate almond milk or plain, unsweetened almond milk (add until you get the consistency you like)
  • 7-8¬†Tbs. cacao powder
  • 10+ dates (possibly more, depends on your sweet tooth – can also add honey or maple syrup at the end if you find it’s not sweet enough. It’s easier than adding more dates!)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

First, blend dates into a paste. This¬†is KEY¬†for getting a smooth pudding consistency (Unless you have a Vitamix, perhaps, or another high powered blender, which I don’t.). The dates will come together and ball up in a lump. Once that happens, you can¬†add all other ingredients. Add more almond milk if it’s too thick and¬†adjust amount of cacao and sweetener to taste. If it isn’t sweet enough, I recommend adding maple syrup or honey instead of more dates¬†for ease of blending it all in.

That’s it! You’ve got pudding!

  • Now crush some¬†cookies in a ziploc or chop them up in a food processor (I used about one row¬†out of 3 from the Back to Nature brand box of cookies.).

Grab a pretty glass or parfait dish for the pudding if you have one the kids can break (I have a glass mug set I got at a yard sale for 25 cents. 4 glasses for 25 cents! Totally breakable.).

  • Layer a couple scoops of pudding, then some smashed cookies. Add a couple Black Forest organic gummy worms. Repeat layers. Top with extra gummy worms and add a spoon!

Eating her healthier worms and dirt pudding!

My kids loved helping me make this special, healthier treat! And I loved eating it with them (sans gummy worms)!

Their favorite part was finding the hidden gummy worms…in fact, I probably could have skipped the whole pudding part and just thrown some worms on the table. Oh well. Someday they’ll appreciate me. ūüėČ

Thumbs up for healthier avocado pudding!
This is how they felt about their special snack! Thumbs up!

What’s a fond childhood snack memory you have? Anything you’d like to recreate as a healthier version for your kids? Let me know in the comments below!

 

An Anticlimactic Potty Story

An Anticlimactic Potty Story

The worst thing about taking toddlers out in public is¬†when they have to go¬†potty. Or trying to use the potty yourself while you yell, “Don’t touch that! Get your hands off the floor!”

Here’s one rousing story out¬†of our three public potty breaks today:

An Anticlimactic Potty Story

This afternoon, we were all at our limit during our last stop of the day. It was after 3pm, and we’d left the house at 9am. My Costco grocery list¬†was simple – butter, milk, strawberries. I asked my 5 year old to repeat it with me so I wouldn’t forget, “Butter, Milk, Strawberries, nothing else!”. Any more exertion and that baby boy in my belly might arrive 2.5 weeks early! It had been a long. day. Did I mention that?

We trekked across the Costco parking lot and I hoisted my 2.5 year old into the cart (but unfortunately sat her in a less than desirable spot, and had to remove her immediately). She insisted on sitting in the basket of the cart. My 5 year old pointed out the picture on the seat with¬†an “x” through a child sitting in the basket. I nodded, “Yeah, I know; you’re not supposed to sit in there, but she’s going to today.” I figured 37.5 week pregnant women are allowed to be bad mothers once in awhile.

With my belly heavy and aching, we soldiered through a multitude of sample carts, me loading the kids up with their own personal snack bar. My toddler had an impressive snack buffet laid out on top of my reusable bags in the cart in no time at all.

Tragedy struck briefly when she spilled all but two pieces of popcorn out of her caramel/cheese popcorn mix, but that was quickly remedied with another quick swipe at the popcorn sample cart. No apologies here.

We passed a dried pear man, who wanted to tell me all about the 11 pounds of pears that went into this one bag of dried pear slices. I nodded and raised my eyebrows, feigning absolute amazement, and pushed on. We were almost there! The land of milk and honey (or butter) was near!

But adversity¬†was on the horizon –¬†my toddler had begun to complain about needing to go potty. AGAIN.

I reminded her she’d JUST been to the potty at the last store – and she didn’t even go! She could wait two minutes (okay, 20 minutes, until we got home. But toddlers have a terrible sense of time, and it’s very easy to take advantage of their ignorance.).

I halted at the Dr. Praeger’s cart of veggie burgers, and maybe that was my biggest mistake. But I’d been so intrigued by these veggie burgers for so long; I had to try one. I chatted with the veggie burger lady for a moment, and it was then¬†my 2 year old began complaining in earnest.

Moving more quickly now, we sped to the end of the veggie burger aisle where, dangit, they had a gluten-free chicken nugget sample cart. This is not something my kids get but for very rare occasions. So, although I was tempted to speed on, I saw my 5 year old eyeing the samples¬†and I knew that wouldn’t fly. We stopped for a nugget. The sample lady had to tell me of all the salubrious¬†benefits of these wonderful nuggets (which I wasn’t impressed by).

Feeling ever-increasing unease¬†at my younger daughter’s persistence¬†that she had to go potty, I smiled and rushed away from the nugget cart.

We finally made it to the butter aisle whereupon our¬†predicament reached a peak. The toddler was now clutching her crotch, eyes wide with alarm, eyes teary. I thought, “Oh crap; I’ve misjudged the situation!”.

Desperately, I raked my eyes over the butter display. Where was the organic, unsalted butter?? I looked from the butter case, to my agonized daughter, back to the butter.¬†“Oh God, where is the butter!!!”, I cried to myself.

I gave up.

I implored my oldest to hurry and we raced back the way we’d come. The veggie burgers and pear slices were all a blur as we zoomed towards the front of the store. Yes, the butter is about as far away as you can get from the restrooms at our Costco.

We drew nearer and nearer to a sample cart we’d neglected to hit before and I sensed my curious 5 year old starting to lag. Then the sample lady said something to her or me, I don’t know which. In a frenzy, I barked, “Don’t stop; keep going!!!”, as if our lives depended on it.

At long last, we’d reached the Promised Land, the restrooms! What a gleaming, glorious site! I whisked my 2 year old out of the cart and into the very first open stall. In my haste, I’m not even sure I lined the seat with toilet paper before I sat her on it.

She delicately tinkled and she was done.

No impressive explosion of any sort.

I ran my extremely pregnant self through Costco for THAT?

It was so anticlimactic.

THIS, my friend, is why you should never give your child an entire carton of chocolate milk when you’re still two errands away from home. In fact, I suggest no liquids for 24 hours previous to your outing, just in case.

potty training

The moral of this story is:

You can never be too careful in matters of the heart poop and pee.

100% Plastic Free Bottles That Grow With Your Child!

100% Plastic Free Bottles That Grow With Your Child!

Plastic free bottles are hard to find. In fact, it’s¬†impossible! ¬†The bottle might be made of an alternative material, like glass, but what about the nipple and lid?¬†If you go to the trouble of buying plastic free bottles, don’t you want them to truly be 100% plastic free?¬†EVERY bottle on the market contains¬†plastic in some form – except for¬†THESE.

Transitional, plastic free bottles that grow with your child!

Why no plastic, you may ask? What’s so bad about that? They’re making BPA-free plastic nowadays!

The answer to that is, even though¬†“many bottle manufacturers offer BPA-free claims, mounting scientific studies show that BPS, its replacement, is linked to endocrine disruption and potentially just as toxic as BPA.source

Why take a chance?

NOT plastic free bottles!

Of course we all want the safest products¬†for our babies, so I was truly excited to find the Pura Stainless bottle company! They offer 100% plastic free bottles that TRANSITION with your child. Just switch out the lid on your bottle and it’s suddenly a sport cup. Or a snack cup! So many possibilities, plus a LIFETIME GUARANTEE.

The Pura Stainless company was kind enough to send me a selection of bottles and various nipples/spouts to try out with my kids and so far, we are in love!!

transitional #PuraBottles, 100% #plasticfree
We received 5 oz & 9 oz bottles, plus an 11 oz vacuum insulated bottle, various size nipples, a sipper spout and straw top. Every bottle arrived as pictured (with the silicone drinking piece of my choice). Bottles with nipples come with a silicone cover as well!

My girls have been asking for and drinking from the bottles every single day. The bottles wash up well, too Рno ugly water marks on the steel! I love the silicone sleeve that keeps your hand a comfy temperature, regardless whether your beverage is warm or cool. (The bottles also happen to come in my favorite color, but there are other choices, too!)

My only concern with these bottles when I first saw them was, How do I know how much milk my baby is getting if there’s no lines on the outside of the bottle?¬†I missed the part in the description that said volume gradations¬†are marked on the inside so you can see how much liquid baby is consuming. ūüôā

Pura’s¬†Natural Vent Nipple‚ĄĘ¬†was designed to mimic the variable flow rate of breast feeding¬†with an¬†elongated vent to reduce colic and spit-ups! You can tell which stage nipple you’re looking at by how many holes are in it – either 1, 2, or 3.

Easy to read volume markers inside #PuraBottles !
See how clear that is? No problem at all to read the volume level!

As a breastfeeding mom, I hated the thought of investing in bottles that I may only use a handful of times. Knowing I can use the same bottles for my kids and even myself just by switching to a sipper spout, straw, or sport top makes these totally worth the investment!

Enter to win one of your own plastic free bottles below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stainless steel, plastic free bottles

Disclaimer : I received these products for free in exchange for my honest opinion. And honestly, I couldn’t be more pleased!

Today’s Arduous Shopping Trip (Or, Why You Should Always Carry A Quarter In Your Purse)

My Aldi's Shopping Trip

Today’s shopping trip required a long venting text to a friend afterward…I¬†LOVE my local¬†Aldi’s, but this shopping trip in particular was a fairly trying¬†one.

My Aldi's Shopping Trip

Let me tell you the tale…

I was rushing to grab just a few items before I had to pick up my older daughter from dance class. I carried my 2.5 year old daughter above¬†my big pregnant belly to hurry the trip along. I set her in a shopping cart, and rummaged in my purse for a quarter to unlock it. Nothing. Just 3 pennies. Jealously, I look over at a happy elderly couple blessed with a 25 cent cart of their own before I hustle my daughter out of the cold and into the store. She immediately begins crying, “I’m tired of walking! I want a shopping cart!”. How do you explain to a 2 year old the process of renting a shopping cart and getting your quarter back for returning it to the corral when you’re done so the grocery store can cut costs? You don’t. So she cried throughout the entire store.

Aldi shopping trip

So I’m in Aldi’s discount grocery store, 36.5 weeks pregnant, in high heeled boots, with a crying toddler. I had neither a cart, nor reusable bags. I was there¬†to buy, among other items, a heavy bag of flour and cans of beans.

I tried to distract my daughter from her tears with a pack of napkins to carry, oh what fun! Alas, this lasted only 3 minutes before she began crying about having to carry those heavy napkins.

After finally locating the beans (having asked an employee for direction¬†who looked at me as if bean buying was a highly irregular occurrence…”Beans??”, she exclaimed! And I suddenly felt like a very odd, very gassy person.), I was lucky enough to find a box for my groceries!

This box happened to be on the lowest shelf, so I squatted down to unload my arm full of groceries. My daughter happily put her napkins in the box too. I slowwwly unsquatted my pregnant self back to a standing position. Hefting the box (with flour and beans and impulse buys) onto my hip, I turned to leave with a satisfied sigh.

Except then I saw the milk display case. Nearly empty, but with a $1.49 sign above it. “Wow!”, I thought! “I should buy some milk while I’m here! That’s a great price!”. Unfortunately, it just so happened that all the gallons of milk on the top shelves were gone. Only the very bottom row had any milk left in stock.

Not one to let slight annoyances get in the way of a good deal, I squatted down once again. And by some miracle, I was able to haul my body, my box of groceries, AND that gallon of milk back up off the floor. In my high heeled boots, without falling over!

At this point, I was definitely done “window shopping” and listening to my daughter whine, so we headed to the register. We walked right up to a deserted checkout with an employee ready and waiting for us! What luck!! The skies were clearing!

However, double checking my list as I threw items onto the belt, I realized I’d forgotten powdered sugar¬†– a definite must have to make my daughter a birthday cake this weekend! I felt bad, but I told the cashier I needed to run and grab it¬†as more customers¬†lined up behind me. The baking aisle was as close as it could be; it would only take a second.

But my daughter panicked, screaming, “Mommy, don’t leave me!!” as she began crying louder than before.

Feeling nearly defeated, I threw the sugar on the belt and whipped out my credit card. I was almost done; I just might be able to make it to the car without any more trauma or drama!

Except going out the door, we encountered a lady whose toddler decided to stop right smack in the middle of it, which stopped the lady short in front of us, which caused ME to smack my daughter upside the head with the gallon of milk and step on her shoe. Upon which another round of crying ensued.

But you know, it was all worth it. I came home and was able to proudly tell my hubby how I saved him a whole dollar* on my shopping trip AND we managed to survive!

Moral of the story: Pay it forward; next time, leave your quarter in the cart just in case a very pregnant mama with a very whiny toddler comes along quarter-less and bag-less. ūüôā

*I exaggerate, but all other details in story are completely unembellished.