Once Upon A Mommy

The Ups, Downs and All Arounds of Raising a Family

Month: November 2016

Citric Acid – What’s In Your Food?

It’s been a couple months since I’ve been navigating the world of solids with Jack. While I try to make his food a majority of the time, I have come to rely on puree pouches when I’m out and about. My favorite product is Love Child Organics. I feel good about this product because it’s organic with a super clean list of ingredients. Whatever it says on the front is exactly what’s in the ingredient list on the back. For example, this pouch has apples, spinach, kiwi, broccoli, water, quinoa, acerola, and lemon juice concentrate.

Love Child Organics Super Blends Purees – Spinach, Broccoli, Kiwi & Apples – 4 oz – 6 pkWhile they claim there’s no added sugars, I know enough about the hidden name of sugars to know that lemon juice concentrate is probably sugar. I can get over that. At least it’s the last ingredient on the list rather than the top 3.

The other day I was pondering about the acerola fruit used instead of citric acid. I recall the vendor at the food convention (where I discovered the product) telling me why acerola was more superior to citric acid but I couldn’t remember the specifics. I decided to research citric acid and was horrified by what I found.

In the article, “What You Need To Know About Citric Acid,” I discovered that citric acid is no longer made from lemons, which I assumed it was. Whenever I’ve seen citric acid on an ingredient list, my logic figured it’s a safe bet because it’s a recognizable and familiar ingredient. Little did I know that food scientists have been creating citric acid from BLACK MOLD!!! Can you believe it?!?!

Here’s another article that talks about how citric acid is harming our body and even causing tooth decay: “Is Citric Acid Truly Safe.”

So do your best to watch out for this ingredient! It’s amazing what we don’t know about the food we’re consuming. It sure makes my stomach churn when I visualize black mold in my food. Who would have thought?

Focused Parenting – Disciplining Children

Power of FocusFocused Parenting – One of the Seven Powers in “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline” by Becky A. Bailey

I was initially prompted to start writing on the topic of focus in relation to parenting and discipline. However, once I started writing, one post evolved into four. Oops. I got carried away.

Focus is a massive topic for me that brings together tonnes of insight and knowledge over the past few years. As soon as I started writing, I was flooded with experiences and all the ways I could communicate this subject and hopefully add value to other peoples’ lives. Even after I’ve posted the previous three posts, I’m continuing to learn more about the power of focus.

The initial intention to start writing about this topic stemmed from a book I came across in my parenting class called, “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline” by Becky A. Bailey. In this book, she talks about the Seven Powers of Self Control. One of the seven powers is called The Power of Focus.

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation

Throughout the class, I came to realize that I can set my children up for success or failure based on what I choose to focus on. I’m the leader and how I pose my questions, commands or requests will determine which way they behave. Unbeknownst to me, I was setting up Ella to be disciplined unfairly when her actions were really a reflection of my poor focus and leadership rather than her misbehavior or failing to answer my question as I would have liked her to.

Through the power of focus, I am learning to phrase my communication around what I want instead of what I don’t want. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t throw food,” I would say, “Keep the food on the table.” I’m instructing my children based on the positive action that I want to see instead of highlighting the behaviour I’m trying to avoid.

What we focus on expands. You will get more of what you focus on. Compare it to driving: if you’re driving a car on the highway, you focus on where you are going rather than on the streetlights. However, if you fixated on the streetlights, I guarantee you’ll hit one.

A mom in my parent group shared an experience she had with her husband. Before he went grocery shopping, she told him that she didn’t like overripe bananas with brown spots. When he returned, he brought her back overripe bananas with brown spots. We all had a good laugh. But why did he do that? Because that’s what he heard and what stuck in his head. It happens all the time. We say, “Don’t forget to buy bread” and that’s what we exactly do…forget to buy the bread. Instead of saying, “Don’t forget ______” you could say, “Remember ______.” That way, the visual of what we do want remembered stays in the mind.

Let’s put this into practice. With your children, are you focusing on what you want or don’t want? When you are getting upset with them, ask yourself, “Do I want more of this in my life?” If the answer is no, then focus on telling your child what you want them to do instead and why.

This week, start noticing how you talk and think. What are you focusing on? What is one thing you can change in your language to help guide your children more towards what you do want? Most days, I catch myself slightly tweaking my language so I can get more of the behavior I do want. As a result, there is less need to get frustrated or correct misbehavior.

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If you’re interested in my other 3 posts that came out of this one, here they are:

Focused Thinking – Choosing the Positive

Power of Perception – Shifing Your Focus

Power of Focus – What You Focus On Expands



Image courtesy of Tanatat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Crazy Hour – Dinner Time

Dinner time, by far, is the most challenging time since having a second child. During the day isn’t as crazy because Ella is in school and I can at least take it easy. However, at dinner time, all things come colliding together into a crazy mess.

I came across this article from Dr Laura Markham, a leading expert in Attachment theory, called “Surviving Arsenic Hour.” I found a lot of her suggestions helpful reminders to keep me on the path of attachment and connection.

I particularly liked the second suggestion:

“Before you pick up your kids, sit in the car for five minutes by yourself.

Put on some soothing music. Breathe deeply. Notice the sensations in your body. Acknowledge how you’re feeling…Tell yourself what a good job you did all day. Think of one nice thing you can do for yourself this evening and promise yourself that present tonight. Acknowledge that after the kids go to sleep is your time, this next few hours is “kid time.” Then, get in touch with how much you love your kids and how much you want a nice connection with them. Once you’ve filled your own cup, you’ll find you have a lot more to offer your kids.”

I find this suggestion centers me and reminds me of what I value. I so often get caught up in the activities of the day and all the things I “think” I need to do. Making the priority to be present with my children helps me put aside my agenda and realigns me with what really matters.

Furthermore, I am encouraged to get in touch with how much I love my children. To be honest, I have been struggling with my attachment to Ella (I plan to share more about this later). But for now, creating the opportunity to mediate on my love for her allows me to be more present rather than distracted.

Lastly, this suggestion acknowledges the good things I have done today and honors the need to take care of myself after the kids are in bed. It is so true: when my bucket is full, I have more emotional capacity for my kids.

Here are some books by Dr. Laura Markham that I would love to read:

laura markham

laura markam



Homemade Cloth Wipes Solution

Clothes wipes can seriously add up in cost and negatively impact the environment. Furthermore, the ingredient list can be sketchy with chemicals that can irritate the skin, create organ toxicity, or link to cancer. Yikes!

I fall on the side of trying to be as environmentally responsible and chemical-free as possible while still trying not to spend too much money. For the first 6 months of Jack’s life, I have forced myself to be at peace with spending more money on diaper wipes and diapers that are more aligned with my values.

While I’m not sane enough to go back to cloth diapers yet, I have started to venture into making my own cloth wipes. I spent $6.99 on 54 wipes the other day and that pushed me over the edge into homemade land.

So far, I’ve negotiated with myself  to use cloth wipes at home and store bought wipes when I’m out. I’m trying to balance mental health and practicality. When I feel more emotionally stable, I’m sure I’ll feel up to using cloth wipes outside of the home. For now, I’m choosing to go easy on myself and do only what is manageable for me.

I’ve been using the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database to guide me towards the baby wipe products that have the least amount of chemical craziness. As of right now I’m using Naty by Nature Babycare Sensitive Wipes because they are available locally and have one of the lowest concerns towards their ingredient list.baby wipesHowever, I would like to ideally try the ATTITUDE Baby Natural baby wipes because they are the only wipes with the EWG stamp of approval. This means I need to buy them online, which I’m prepared to do. baby wipes

My plan of action is to use the ATTITUDE wipes when I’m on the go and my homemade cloth wipe solution at home. This is the recipe I started using from Zany Zebra Designs website:

Lavender ‘n’ Tea Tree

1/8 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon baby shampoo
4 drops tea tree oil
8 drops lavender oil
3 cups water

I’m making small batches so the solution doesn’t get musty. For the baby shampoo, I’m using Dr Bronner’s baby unscented pure castile liquid soap since it’s fair trade, organic and without all the crazy chemical stuff. Plus you can use it in many different ways from bathing to laundry and mopping floors.

baby shampoo

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