Eating, sleeping, and toddlers. Ugh.

Nutrition and sleep.

We could have asked questions all night, but we had a mere two hours to grill the pediatrician who spoke at the Parent Education Night at my daughter’s preschool tonight. Hands shot up as soon as she asked for questions. I found myself nodding as other moms and dads asked about dealing with night wakings, how to establish bedtime routines, healthy meals, and getting kids to eat them. The doctor’s answers were quite helpful, but, to be honest, the highlight of the evening for me was the knowledge that other parents have the same issues I have. We’re new to the preschool, and it feels so good to finally have a community of parents around us.

We spent the bulk of the conversation on sleep. The doctor spoke about the importance of routine, which wasn’t new to any of us. But she pointed out that the purpose of the bedtime routine, in part, is to help the kids wind down from activity to sleep gradually. She recommended gradually dimming the lights as it gets closer to bedtime as a visual cue. The more senses involved the better, she said.

Then we turned the conversation to food. We segued in to the new topic by discussing how what we eat affects our energy level and the quality of our sleep. “Don’t eat too close to bedtime” is pretty common knowledge, but with kids who go to bed at 7:30 or 8pm, that can be more of a challenge. She cautioned us to watch the kids’ sugar intake and to make sure they get enough protein. If our kids are craving starches, which, lets face it, most kids do, they likely aren’t getting enough protein.

We ran out of time before we could get much further in the discussion, but I suspect that many of the parents in the audience would appreciate Feeding Baby Green by Alan Greene. I reviewed it for Library Journal some time ago, and, in addition to the information on eco-friendly food, it also had some very helpful tips for engaging toddlers and preschoolers with healthy food. If that goes well, Annabel Karmel’s The Healthy Baby Meal Planner: Mom-Tested, Child-Approved Recipes for Your Baby and Toddler would be a great next step. I’ve made a few of the recipes in this book with excellent results. And if it doesn’t work, there’s always Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food. I’ve yet to try any recipes from this one, but I have my eye on a recipe for sloppy joes that includes pureed squash. Sounds good to me!

Check out the list of parenting books on my wiki for more resources. The list isn’t comprehensive by any means. But it’s growing regularly as I read and review books.

*Amazon affiliate. I receive a percentage of the purchase price on any purchases made from links on this blog.

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Book Review: Red Sings From the Treetops

Colors come alive in ways you wouldn’t expect with the poetry of Joyce Sidman and the art of of Pamela Zagarenski in this magical picture book.  I must admit I love Joyce Sidman’s books and Zagarenki’s art is just the sort that I would love, so I was sure I was going to love this book even before I picked it up.

I loved the way this book pulled me into the details.  It reminded me to notice the things that I am often too busy to see.  It was a lovely invitation to see each season as something new to explore.  I can’t recommend it enough.

Red Sings From the Treetops by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
Houghton Mifflin (April 2009)
Audience: Anyone who loves poetry, but especially those in Kindergarten through second grade.

Reviewed from library copy

Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate. I receive a percentage of the purchase price on any purchases made from links on this blog.

Getting back to blogging

I learned my lesson.

I had been blogging at Propernoun.net since 2005 or so, and I loved it.  I’m not sure I ever had too many readers, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless.  Until this past year.  Life got really busy, and the blog began to feel like a chore rather than a fun hobby it had been for so long.  So when a technical glitch gave me the excuse I needed to put it on the back burner, I must admit I was relieved.

I kept telling myself I would fix it.  For months I would plan to sit down and reinstall, so I could get back to blogging.  Only when  I finally got around to it (nearly nine months later?), it was gone.  Years of blogging gone.

I could be mad about it, but I’ve decided to focus on the future.  I’m making things simpler, and focusing on what I used to love the most: just writing.  I’m also hoping to change things up a little bit.  The blogs I like to read the most are the ones that put things in context.  They bring the subject alive.  I don’t want to just post book reviews.  I want to get to the next level.

So, here goes!  Proper Noun Blog starting over!