Monday, February 28, 2011

Baby Food Guest Post: Vanessa Brown

I have some strong opinions on baby food and what I feed my kids. Most of the time I downplay them quite a bit and keep them on the down low because who likes an annoying know it all?! ;) BUT since Evonne asked me to share them, I guess I finally get to say what I honest to goodness feel about the world of Baby Food.

We are constantly hearing “statistics” on how we are raising the unhealthiest generation to date, how a scary number of THIS generation’s kids won’t outlive their parents. How the number of overweight and obese children is growing at a scary rate. Children are getting adult onset diabetes and dealing with quite scary “grown up” diseases at way too young of an age. Different studies link all these chemicals and preservatives in our food to some scary stuff. And at the same time for years and years beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables have been linked over and over to some pretty amazing GOOD side effects.

But it almost seems like these “stats” just roll off our backs and most of the time don’t have too much of an effect on us. I get quite a bit of slack, teasing, rolling of eyes (good natured and not so good natured) from family and friends that find what I feed my kids and babies.

I have to enter a disclaimer here that my kid’s don’t eat perfect. We like our Chick fil a play dates, making cookies and during this hard 3rd pregnancy there have been many days where I just can’t do more than something that takes very little effort.

But I try! It’s a high priority! And for very good reasons. I want to raise children into adults with a head start. A head start with a healthy body, inside AND out. A head start with a good relationship with food and knowing how to take care of yourself with food. A head start by sending them off with no huge health problems. A head start for them to know how to take care of themselves AND maybe their future families.
Guess where I 100% believe that starts?

Baby Food.

Why in the world do we start our babies on all of these wonderful fruits and vegetables and somehow it morphs into all of these 3+ year olds eating only Mac & Cheese, Chicken Nuggets or Pizza with a very very occasional carrot stick or apple slice once or twice a week? What happened to those sweet potatoes! Apricots! Squashes!?

I started making baby food because with my first we were dirt poor and I saw that I could make baby food (organic baby food even) for so crazy cheap and it didn’t have any extra weird stuff in it. But even with jarred baby food, how do somehow all of those fruits and vegetables fade away?

Processed white and sugary foods is something we are told from everyone to be careful with, why not just start them on whole grains and keep them on them? I don’t think my kid’s even tasted white bread until they were two or three and didn’t exclaim, “THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER HAD! No more whole grains for me and be sure to cut off all my crusts!”

It’s silly and it’s lazy. If I’m being completely honest to not keep them on all these wonderful fruits and vegetables that we start them off with when they are babies.

We all know how we are supposed to eat to have healthy bodies. If WE decide not to do it. fine. But when raising future adults? Wow such a huge responsibility has been put on our shoulders. We all know what we need to eat:

Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains. I don’t think any of us can argue about those three things.

Start your babies on them and keep them on them. When babies can have more solids don’t switch over to processed foods.

Here are some simple ideas to get you thinking of what could work in your family:

· Babies get a lot of yummy squash, sweet potatoes, yams, etc. as baby food. Grilled cheese is a favorite for kids, layer in some pureed or just smashed with your fork squash. If they have had it since they were babies and you start doing it in their solids, they aren’t going to be screaming bloody murder.
· Fruit & Vegetable Smoothies. Making smoothies is fun! If your kids are used to the taste of fruits and vegetables don’t stop. Make smoothies jam packed full of important dark greens and fruit high in vitamin C.
· Don’t dummy down your kids food, raise them on flavors, herbs and introducing them to different things.
· As a family eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains and when your baby can eat solids just simply smash them up, puree them up or cut them into chunks to give to your baby. The End. Really doesn’t have to be more complex than that.
Really nothing is going to seem different to them when you start them out on wonderful fruits, vegetables and whole grains as babies and just keep them on it through toddler years and early kid years.

Baby food is so important and to narrow it down even more when you start switching your baby to solids I think that is when you really have to be aware, make a conscious choice, put in the extra planning or work so you can give them a head start FOR LIFE.
And now I am off my soapbox…well Evonne did invite me to get on it, didn’t she? ;) In my next guest post I will tell the story of how my daughter packed her bags and asked me to take her to stay at her Grandma’s because I was such a meanie ;)

Thank you Vanessa...doesn't she inspire you to feed your babies better? I remember when she fed Van "Black Bean Brownies"...and she LOVED THEM! You will have to wait and see what Vin thought of her Iron Chef dish! =)

Baby Food Introduction.

I am really excited for this upcoming week of posts.

Every day will be a different perspective on feeding your baby.

When I started feeding Vin, and talking to other Mom's...I realized everyone does it different, and every Dr. says something different too!

The first people I thought would be perfect to post, thankfully said yes to helping me out.

I hope you find every opinion as fascinating as I do, and even if you don't will be respectful in the comments...I mean I do have the best readers friends in blog land. Give them as much love as you do to me.

Let the food fun begin.

If you don't read all week, at least come back Friday. It may or may not be hysterical video footage of a baby food Iron Chef competition, judged by Vin, of course!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

southern california.

this is where advice is wanted and needed?

we have been to Disneyland before.
we have been to Sea World before.

if you were planning a trip to southern california with my kids...where would you go?

our tentative plan is this...

Disneyland...of course!
Knott's Berry Farm
San Diego Zoo
Universal Studios Hollywood
Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari

is there anything that you think we need to skip or add?

help a girl out.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


sista is always trying to get my alice in wonderland to say my name. because it is oh so cute for her to either say eNON at the top of her lungs or Vonnie. =)
sista says "Alice, who is this?" pointing at my chest area.

alice says "BOOOOBIES!"

you are exactly right Alice...those are Vonnie's what is her name!!


Friday, February 25, 2011

for better or worse

Emily and I have been through a rebellious stage, depression, moves, a divorce, a pregnancy and delivery, job changes, and most recently her weight loss and my weight gain...and guess what? We did it all together.

I laugh now when I think of BFF's last day at The Dub. I was bawling like a baby telling her I would never see her again, just like all the other coworkers who had quit and promised to stay in touch. I should have believed her, because she has never let me down.Words are not adequate to describe how I feel about Emily. She has been the listening ear, the babysitter in a pinch, the 3rd wheel on dates with Paul and I, the shoulder to cry on, my pig out partner, and I couldn't ask for anything more. Lets not even mention all that she has done for Paul, and my children...honestly this post would never end.
I am so proud of what Emily has accomplished, and how much she has grown as a person. 71.4 pound weight loss, and a temple marriage...all in one year is mighty successful, if I do say so myself.

As I sat in the Seattle Temple waiting in the sealing room with mostly strangers to watch my Bestie marry her Man, TEARS...lots of them.We made it sister wife, my BFF, my Parry, and now my Woods! Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for making me a better person. Thank you for loving me, and thank you for being a woman of your word. Nathan is a lucky man.

Everyone needs a Parry-Woods in their life! I am glad I have one!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

something to talk about.

It seemed like every day while I was in Seattle something happened.
We drove 20 minutes to the YMCA to swim, I guess you need a driver's license to get in. A driver's license I left at the house.

We went to the casino really, really late one night...I dropped $50 in the parking we drove back home without doing a single thing.

We went to Pike's Place...I got pooped on by a random my hair. Gross out.

Vin had a BLOW OUT at the mall, and they had no changing table. My sista sat on the toilet holding Vin...while I tried to clean it all up.

We decided to be creative and make these...4 of them to be exact. We didn't even finish two of them, and worked for hours (at least 10 hours I remember) on it. Multiple burns, and lots of swear words were used in the making.

Paul tells me that I can't share my embarrassing story, he said I would for sure lose friends. ;) Just know it ranks above all these stories.

Today I feel lucky I survived, and I have lots of pictures of fun moments in between all of these somethings that happened.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

first hair cut.

Right before the trip we decided Vin needed a big boy hair cut to go along with his studly outfit for the wedding. I had heard lots of good things about Cookie Cutters, and I hoped it would live up to all the hype. I am here to tell does, it does, it does!
Worth. Every. Penny.

We were in and out within 15 minutes.

The hair dresser was awesome.
Vin loved his balloon, his turkey cookie cutter, the car they let him drive, and he looks soooo stinkin' cute.
I am hooked on Cookie Cutters for life!
AND no I didn't get paid for this, I just wanted to show off his new do.

Monday, February 21, 2011

we made it.

We are home.

I am glad that I went, but boy is it nice to be home.

Vin loves his own bed, I love my couch. (AND we love Daddy and Van too!)

We took 700+ pictures. I promise to not share them all on one post, I might not have readers if I do that.

I will share THE story of the trip, as long as Paul says I can. It is kinda embarrassing to be married to me... =)

Thank you for all of your nice comments on my crazy ol' bag post. Our flight home went much better. Vin made quick friends with all of the players on the Harlem Globetrotters, and they were over the top nice to make faces at him...and tell Vin how studly his hair is. I am now officially their number one fan!!

Okay, back to the loads of laundry that I have in my big bag, and the HUGE LOAD that Van has from changing 5 times a day...because that is what she does with her Daddy 'round.

See you tomorrow.
I leave you with one will be the start of many.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crazy Ol' Bag....

I am here.

Seattle is always.

I have one heck of a story about the flight.

It didn't go well.

I thought I was prepared, but I couldn't be prepared for that crazy ol' bag that sat in front of me.
Vin was doing just fine. He was giggling, eating, and flirting with the ladies that I sat in the middle of. I thought that things were going just fine.

The lady in front of me sat talking to her neighbors about her cats, pulling out every printed picture of said cats. She had her leopard print pillow, a gold ring for every finger, 30 bangle bracelets, and her bright red fake finger nails.

About 30 minutes in she rudely turns around and tells me that she doesn't appreciate Vin kicking her seat. I was in shock, and may have shed a tear or two...because I now had to restrain Vin...he screamed bloody murder for at least 30 straight minutes. I was sad for him, and sad that my little boy couldn't understand why I was holding on to him for dear life.

The sweet lady sitting next to me leaned over, and whispered in my ear... "you are a good Mom, and your son is precious." How thankful I was for her words. She might be the only reason I dare get on the flight to come home...

More stories to come, because I have a doozy of one from tonight...I am not sure I dare share. It is THAT good.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

a pet.

It wasn't really planned.

I saw Callee update that she had baby guinea pigs, I responded.

The next you thing you know...Van is getting her first pet.

I am proud of Van for working so hard so that she could pay for his food, water bottle, and bedding. We gave her chores, and she has done them diligently every day. She also got straight A's for the second term in school, and received money for every A. Oh, she lost another tooth. The tooth fairy got busy there for a couple of weekends. Needless to say Van has been racking up the sweet mula.
Van named him Kevin.
Paul named him Snoop.
I named him Dre.
So, I guess that makes his full name Kevin Snoop Dre Sell.

She is loving him endlessly, and wants to even sleep with him (weirdo)...and asked me this morning if he could get in the bath with her (bigger weido).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

grabbing my brown paper

Let me fill you in on a few details.

I can count on one hand how many nights Paul and I have spent away from each other. Three of those nights were when we had our children, Paul always decided he needed one last night of uninterrupted sleep before bringing the babies home.

Paul and I are partners in crime, and go everywhere together. If we spend even a morning away from each other, it feels weird. I guess that is what 12 something years of being together will do.

Here is the deal...BFF is getting married. She is practically my sister wife. If she didn't get married to Nathan, Paul said that he would take her in. Remember that BFF moved away, like far away? Well, she is getting married far away. Paul said that he would stay home and take care of Van...making sure she is getting to school, homework done, hair and teeth brushed, yada, yada, yada...BUT I had to take Vin with me.

I wouldn't miss this wedding in a million years...after all BFF took me to the hospital to birth Vin, and changed my diaper after he was born (was that TMI?). Well, I just had to say that BFF has done things for me that no BFF should ever have to do...and she did it with a smile. Seriously...oh em gee, she changed my diaper.

Okay, so moving on.

Did I mention that my Sista lives in the same state as my BFF? Well, she does. So, when the plans were first coming together I thought I should go for a few nights, and love on my Alice in Wonderland...and I guess see my sista (love ya sis) and my BIL too. The closer this has become, I am hyperventilating. Holy smokes, I have to spend HOW MANY NIGHTS AWAY FROM PAUL AND VAN!! Oh, and how did I let Paul convince me that I HAVE TO TAKE VIN ON A PLANE BY MYSELF...Vin is a crazy man (but has killer cute looks, right?). I must have been drugged to agree to this.

Wish me luck.

Any tips on how to keep Vin happy on our flight, without making everyone on the plane crazy?

I can't wait to see you, BFF... and this is gonna be amazing girl.

Monday, February 14, 2011

i love you and you and you.

I like sentimental gifts.

I like pratical gifts.

I like the kind of gift that I can eat. ;)

I don't mind flowers, but if I had to choose...I would never get flowers. I think flowers are the kind of gift you do occasionally.

If truth were told I can't remember the last time I gave Paul a Valentine's gift, and yet he continues to spoil me year after year. I have never been a good gift giver, and it makes it especially hard with Paul...because he has everything.

Valentine's is always one of those awkward holidays, I think. People complain when they don't have someone to love...apparently Valentine's for some people is only about having someone to love of the opposite sex. It can't be family, friends, and coworkers. ;) Other people are over-the-top annoying with all the ooey-gooey lovie dovey remarks. Which I guess makes me a complainer for other reasons.No matter if you have some hottie to love on, or just your dog.

Happy Valentine's Day from us.

Paul, Von, Sassy Savannah, and my Chunka-Chunka Burnin' Love...Dev.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

on the count down...

Vin turns ONE in a month. Are you as shocked as I was when I figured it out? Where did the year go? Where did my little baby go, and who replaced him with Mr. Independent?
The ideas have been brewing as to what to buy him for his first birthday. To be honest, I can't even tell you what I bought Van...maybe I didn't buy anything...because everyone else bought something. Vin got lots of presents from Santa just a couple of months ago, and he likes the DVD player, remotes, cell phones, and anything else he shouldn't touch A. LOT. MORE. So, what do I get him?
I thought about buying one of those wooden swing sets. Maybe it won't be something that he will pay with right now, but it will be a good investment for the many years in the future that it will go to good use. Plus...Van can use it.
My other ideas...
sit on scooter.
or I could just add to his ever growing collection of toys...that he doesn't play with.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

i'm a drop out.

I was a Sassy.

You have probably heard me discuss it before.

I had Vin. Things got busy. I got overwhelmed.

I dropped out.

What a sad story, I know.

Well, they are looking for a replacement.

I give you Utah's Next Top Sassy...

When I saw that Lindsey and Kimmie entered this video, I about died in laughter. Please vote for them, because they have to be my fill in.

Like the Sassy Scoop fan page.
Like the video.
The End.

Love you girls. Thanks for making me smile.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

so this is what it feels like.

Last week Paul was out to the movies, I was blog stalking (or something like that), and the kids were sleeping soundly...or so I thought. Van comes in my room bawling. I instantly thought that she had a nightmare, but what came out of her mouth was this "Mom, I don't think it's fair that you get to sleep with Daddy every night, I wanna sleep with him!" Van is crazy in love with her Daddy.About the same time last week, Vin decided to show a different side...his Momma boy side! Let me hear a group "aaah." I can't say that I am annoyed with this (yet). If I am in the room, he wants me. When I do my hair, he plays at my feet...and if I leave for a second he cries. When he sees me, he has his arms out waiting to be in mine. When I go in his room to pick him up for his nap...he beams. It feels good to be wanted, and loved. Since Van has obviously picked Paul...I guess we are even. I know that he won't always think I am the coolest thing on the planet, so I am soakin' this up for as long as possible.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Jackson Family.

Have you ever read one of Molly's blogs? She has her family blog, and she has A Good Grief. Do not go to her blog without a tissue. She is real, she is strong, and man I admire her. A.LOT. You might have seen this video about her story.

After you read all those links...then this benefit concert will mean a lot more. =) I would love to get some fun people to go with me. What do you think? Wanna go?


I got bored, and decided my "about me" needed an update. After all it didn't even mention Vin yet...and he is turning 1 next month!

While I was at it, I decided to update my "favorite links" button too! After discussing with my Sista what she liked on this blog, I changed up that section a bit. I went through some of my posts, and linked up what I thought were some of my favorites. It was harder to do than I thought.

Landon and I thought that we would try to narrow down the best posts by the number of comments they had on them. We quickly realized our system wasn't going to work, just because it had a lot of comments...didn't mean we were in love with those posts. So, I quickly got frustrated, and picked a bunch...and hoped they are links worth reading.

If you have been around Sell...Party of 4 for awhile, I wanna know what is your favorite post. Did I link it up already? What do you think is worth reading, and worth showing off to someone who might be new around these parts?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday Food

We had plans to have company over for the Super Bowl, then they called us to cancel with sick kids. It put a damper on things. Since we don't really care who is was making us look forward to the game a little more.
Yes, Paul was born in Wisconsin (and his parents live there), but that doesn't make us like the Packers! =) If the Packers were playing any other team besides the Steelers...we would be cheering them on. After all, we all know Ben Roethlisberger is a huge loser, we can't cheer for that guy.

Since the food is way more important to me than the game...duh...I wanna know what you will be eating.

Do you have traditional Super Bowl food?
Do you make chicken wings? If you do, will you teach me how?

Leave me your favorite recipe.
I think I want to mix things up at our house for the next sporting event.

Friday, February 4, 2011

pay it forward friday: yup, this week was sooo good.

Emily wrote a post about being a Mom...that I love. Besides I totally dig Emily, I loved what she said.

Vanessa talked about getting dumped on Facebook. We all know I got dumped by my brother (or maybe I didn't mention this before, so now you know) this one was especially funny to me.

Jothan did a special guest post on his Mom's blog. Such a sweet little man. Make his donation thermometer burst. =)

If you hadn't had a chance to enter my giveaway for Gnomeo and Juliet so...or not. I don't care, I will still be your friend.

I didn't do as good this week. Is there anything I should have read? Comment with the link!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

private bloggers

(van and my alice in wonderland...playing nicely)

We haven't discussed private poops for...well a rrreally long time. Like waaay back in 2008 was the last time I decided to call everyone out!
I was so naive back then. I now realize why people go private. Sometimes people who are cArazy read your blog, sometimes you get mean comments, and sometimes you don't want all your dark secrets out there for everyone to read.
I still wish that we could all play nicely in the sand box, but eh...who am I kidding...we live in this society.
Let me get to the point of this post....because I swear I had one.
Do you ever feel awkward asking someone for "an invite" to read their blog? Does it kinda feel like you are asking for a date...and you just might get rejected? Or is this just me?
Yes, I have issues with asking people to be my friend on Facebook too. Okay, so maybe this is just a problem I have. You could always comment and tell me I'm not alone...that would maybe make me feel a bit better.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gnomeo & Juliet...a day late, and a dollar short...but still a giveaway.

This giveaway was suppose to go live yesterday. Yesterday, and the day before...I gotz the flu. Like the flu that I thought might just kill me. I feel a wee bit better today...thanks for here is the giveaway.

Please tell you have heard about the new animated movie coming out...Gnomeo & Juliet?? If you haven't well, you are like Paul! I told him we were going to go and see it, and he seemed not so interested. Later he calls me while I was at work and said "Von, I just saw the trailor for Gnomeo & Juliet...that looks funny! I thought you were talking about going to a weird play or something!" Silly man.

Anyway, I get to go preview said movie...we are excited. I will have my full review after the movie comes out February 11th. =) Are you gonna check it out or what?? Here is the trailor...

So I am here to give you your Gnomeo & Juliet gear.One winner will be chosen here on my blog.

One will be chosen over here...on my fan page.

Double your chances, and enter here and there. =)

You will win a tshirt, note pad, and a beanie.