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Feb 2 / Jamie

Surprising Facts

We eat at fast food restaurants.

We are busy, working parents with two young kids.  Sometimes we go through the drive-thru.  It is infrequent (once/twice a month) and we have rules, for example we try to only order fish or whole cuts of chicken if we order meat at all.  We avoid foods that have been ground due to concerns about contamination.  Same thing goes for restaurants in general, although, again, we are not completely dogmatic about this.  Sometimes we make alternative choices based on what would be easier, faster, most polite, whatever.  The key is moving towards and ideal even if it’s never reached (nor expected to be reachable).

We really like sweets and allow our kids to eat candy and drink soda.

GASP!  To be honest, most of the sweets we eat are things we make ourselves.  If you come to our house, you are likely to find anything from homemade root beer to homemade twinkies to homemade candy.  Several nights ago we made a chocolate cookie cake with a ganache frosting for Mike’s birthday.  I made a batch of dark chocolate covered cherries that I am hoarding in the back of the fridge and not allowing anyone else to eat.  We limit soda to special occasions; birthdays, parties, eating out, and don’t drink soda with caffeine (we usually stick to root beer or ginger ale).  We feel pretty strongly that life is for enjoying and we really enjoy yummy foods.  Our kids get plenty of veggies and other healthy stuff, so the occasional desert won’t hurt them or us.  Plus, when you are living and working on a farm, you can use the calories.  Finally, from years of personal experience (Jamie has only ever had child-related jobs; camp counselor, baby-sitter, nanny, etc.) the kids who have the biggest problems with sugar and sweets are the ones who are never allowed to have them.  Children who are allowed to have snacks and learn to moderate themselves tend to grow up with the healthiest food attitudes.  In our house, it is common to have to throw out the last cookie or piece of cake because it has gone stale.  We have a huge candy cupboard that the kids can both access. They never try to sneak candy because they don’t need to.  In fact, this next year, I think I may just make a bag of uneaten candy that I set aside and we use to decorate our holiday ginger bread houses.

We watch tv and so do our kids.  We also play Wii.

In moderation and without commercials.  We have a Netflix subscription, so we get disks in the mail and watch movies and shows online.  We go to the library once a week and the kids each pick out a movie.  We use a program on our computer that is like Tivo and we set up a weekly schedule to tape the shows that we and the kids like.  I take out the commercials from the kids shows (FYI, a half-hour show is really only 22 minutes).  For our shows, we just fast forward.  We feel that by not being tied down to watching at certain times, we have tons of flexibility and probably watch far less tv.  We have a few kids shows and a few grown-up shows we watch and maybe once a week watch a movie as a family.  We limit the amount the kids watch, some days it is none, and some days (bad weather, sick, really tired, etc.) we watch a lot.  Sometimes I feel like the kids watch too much, but that is life.  If we had a communal living situation and people around to play with and interact with at all times, I am sure they would watch almost none.  As it is, all four of us tend to be people who are very concentrated and focused and intense with whatever we are doing (working, playing, visiting with friends, cooking, etc.) and then want to just zone out for a while.  Plus, there are some really great shows and movies and we feel that our lives are more enriched having watched them.  As for the Wii, it is also something we set limits on.  Mostly Mike and Jackson play together (Lego Star Wars), but we are starting to play as a family now that Charlotte is older (Big Brain Academy).  Like with the sweets and soda, we feel that having our children get exposure to it and learning to set some limits for themselves is the best way to proceed.  Jackson will spend half an hour on the Wii and then go play his legos for an hour or more.  He is learning self-modulation which we feel is very good.

We love technology and pop culture and politics.

We have  and iPhone and iPods and keep up with the latest scandals on a myriad of websites (actually, that’s mostly Jamie).  We don’t wish to be living at another time or place.  We are happy with our modern lives and consider ourselves to be techno-pioneers.

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  1. 1
    Rueben Dewar / Apr 16 2012

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