Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Witch & Ladybug at the Library

The girls wore costumes to the library last week just because they wanted to! All the other children seemed to wish they were in costume, too. Maybe the girls will be little trend setters. Emma Rose didn't want her picture taken, but I caught enough of her in this one to record them together! They were so cute!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.2

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jacob Cline Monarda

This is the first bloom of one of my new flowers. The plant is suppose to attract hummingbirds!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.2

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yellow Pear Tomatoes!

It's so hard to wait for them to get ripe! Once they do ripen, they may not make it in the house.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.1

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Peas and Bugs

Last night we had the first veggies out of the garden: peas. They were delicious! I steamed them with a sprig of the lemon thyme from the garden and felt totally gourmet. John & Emma Rose liked them, too. Anabelle tried a pea but spit it out! I was very glad she at least tried it. Maybe by the end of the growing season she'll change her mind.

Yesterday, I also found squash bugs and their hatchlings on my squash plants. GRRR! I was able to capture all of them and destroy all the hatchlings and eggs. I found another batch of eggs this morning, so the war is officially on. Sadly, they won last year, so I'm hoping that I will win this year!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gummy Candy: Dye Free

In March, we discovered that Anabelle has a bad reaction to dyes. At first, I just thought it was only red dye, but after removing all dye from her diet and then letting her have half of a cookie with green sprinkles, we quickly realized that all dyes should be off limits. There was a negative change in her behavior about 20 minutes after she ingested the cookie.

I first realized what was happening when we ran out of milk. Both Emma Rose and Anabelle love pink milk, aka Nesquick strawberry milk. I think they became enamored with it because Lola, from the Disney series Charlie and Lola, has pink milk on every episode. I would only give them just enough to make the milk change from white to the lightest pink, and they were very happy with it. One week, John was out of town, and I ran out of milk, so neither of the girls had pink milk for a week.

We had been struggling with Anabelle's behavior at preschool. It seemed that everyday, she would do something that she knew she shouldn't. One day, she would push a child for sitting in her spot and the next day, she would suddenly take off running from walking in the line. I would often leave preschool in tears because I couldn't understand why she was misbehaving. We would talk about, she would be very upset because of her bad choices (and getting in trouble). I tried everything to encourage good behavior, including bribes and various punishments. Nothing worked until the week we ran out of milk.
I didn't see it at first. That first week without pink milk, she didn't have any behavior issues. The next week, we went to San Jose without pink milk, and she didn't have any significant behavior issues. Then, the next week we had pink milk again. The preschool behavior issues started up again. In the words of Gru: "Light Bulb!" After that week, I began taking all red dye out of her diet. It wasn't too difficult as we normally don't buy a tremendous amount of candy, and I make a lot of our food from scratch. It was during that time that I realized pink milk is made mostly of red dye; it's the third ingredient listed. I also began to log all the food she ate along with her behavior. This confirmed what I thought. We have now removed all dye from her diet.

It's certainly not a panacea that ends all bad behavior. She is a three year old! John, who was a skeptic at first, is now a believer. We can see a big change, and her teachers saw it, too. She had nearly perfect behavior in preschool since omitting the dyes with only 3 exceptions in 3 months. Her dance teacher told me one day that she was one of the best behaved girls in the class. (I almost fell in the floor!! Let's just say that wasn't always the case in dance class.) She is also so much more affectionate and tolerant. Her patience has increased, and she's able to focus longer on specific tasks. From now on, she will be dye free.

It's a little sad when other children are eating the brightly colored candy, and Anabelle asks, "Mommy, does it have red dye?" I can tell that she would love to have a piece, but she knows what red dye does to her. In Anabelle's own words, "Red dye makes me a little crazy."

Today, I made gummy candy for her. It's not as sweet as the gummy candy from the store, but she seems to like it. I'll work on it to make it a little better. I think boiling down the juice to make it more concentrated will be a huge help with the flavor. My next experiment is going to be Lollipops!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8