share. The Brookshire's Blog

Family Matters: Happy Birthday to Me


Birthday CakeLast Thursday was my birthday.

Never being one for trying to hide my age, I’ll just go ahead and tell you that I turned 41.

Age is just a number, after all.

Truth be told, I love being 41 more than I loved being 21. I was too tired to remember 31; I had two kids under age 2 then.

Finally at 41, as opposed to 21, I love myself. It doesn’t matter that my thighs are a little heavier, the grays in my hair are a little more numerous or that my laugh lines are really wrinkles. I like me. It took a long time to get to that place. It hasn’t been an easy journey. I’m my own biggest critic. I feel guilty about pretty much everything, and I spend way too much time obsessing about how to control each nuance of my life. Now, at 41, I can look in the mirror and see a friend. I see someone who works really hard. I see a good mom (oh yeah, I make parenting mistakes all the time, but I have to give my children fodder for their future therapy, after all). I see a great friend and the decent person I try to be (yeah, I have also made mistakes there, but I can also say I’ve learned from them). I see someone who doesn’t try to stifle their intelligence but doesn’t lord it over anyone either. I see a person who has thrown all of herself into her children. I see a tireless (or is that tired??) volunteer. I see someone who can finally take a compliment (most of the time). I also see someone who values her own worth. I didn’t see any of that at 21. I saw fat, flab, insecurities and a person who did not love herself as much as she wanted others to love her.

I like being 41; it’s going to be a happy year.

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FAMILY MATTERS: PETS AND HALLOWEEN


Pet CostumeIt’s almost time for Halloween, and it’s tempting to dress your pet up like a cute devil, hot dog, fairy or goodness knows what else.

Now, I’m not in the dress-your-pet-up category (but then again, my dogs chewed leather collars off of each other, so a Halloween costume wouldn’t stand a chance), but I will admit I’ve seen a cute devil Chihuahua or firefighter Dalmatian a time or two.

If you do choose to trick-or-treat with your pet this Halloween, keep a few things in mind.

First, your pet might not be a good candidate for dress-up. They might be the nervous type or the chewing type.

If indeed they do channel their inner costume diva, be sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure the costume fits well and allows your pet to move around freely.
  • Avoid costumes with strings or small parts that can be chewed off and swallowed.
  • The costume should not restrict your pet’s vision, hearing or breathing in any way.
  • If you plan to take your pet trick-or-treating outside after dark, look for reflective safety stripes on the pet costume; add them yourself if the costume doesn’t come equipped with reflective stripes.
  • Always supervise your pet when he or she is wearing the costume so you can help your pet if there is a costume malfunction or the costume becomes hung up on anything.


FAMILY MATTERS: LEST WE NOT FORGET


Lest We Not ForgetI’m not sure how many of you have loved ones in nursing homes, but each time I go, it reminds me of the importance of not forgetting these special people. They are the ones who have been a part of our lives for so many years and helped us through our own life journeys. We must remember that even though someone is caring for them daily, we have a responsibility to be there for them. 

My stepmother has Alzheimer’s and is in the stage where she does not remember my name and a lot of days has no idea what is happening around her. Even with this, I visit at least twice a week and take her a banana milkshake (bananas are her favorite!), which she sips until the entire cup is empty. To see her smile when she sees me coming makes the visit worthwhile. Even though she does not “know me,” I am familiar and she remembers, I believe. This is a small gesture on my part, but I know she loves the sweet taste and that it brings her joy. Adding an ounce of happiness for her, at this stage in life, brings me even greater joy. 

We try to instill in our girls that even though our loved ones look different, act different and may not recognize us at times, they are a part of who we are and we WILL continue to love and care for them until the end. We are blessed to come in contact with so many others each time we visit, and I pray we are making an impact in their lives, also. There are so many people that are placed in homes and forgotten. It makes my heart ache. Colossians 3:12

Gratitude, patience, compassion, faithfulness….they don’t ask for much, only that we hold their hand, stroke their hair and be there. It may only be a banana milkshake, but it is so much more, for both of us. May this be a reminder to us all, lest we not forget those who have loved us for so long. Count your blessings daily, and give thanks for the time and opportunity you are given to be with them.   

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FAMILY MATTERS: APPLE PIE POPS


Apple Pie PopsWho can resist a hand-held treat? Apple Pie Pops are a perfect and fun way to introduce your kids to the joys of baking. Use Food Club Prepared Pie Crusts and Food Club Apple Pie Filling to cut out the more difficult steps so everyone can focus on having fun!

Apple Pie Pops 

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp Food Club All Purpose Flour for dusting work surface
1 box Food Club Refrigerated Pie Crusts
1 (21 oz) can Food Club Apple Pie Filling
1 egg white, beaten
3 Tbsp raw sugar

Directions:
CUT OUT PIE DOUGH
On a lightly floured surface, roll out refrigerated pie crust dough. Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or the top of a glass, cut out pie dough circles for pops.

 PLACE DOUGH & FILLING
Line the back of a cookie sheet with baking parchment paper. Place pie dough circles on sheet about 1 inch apart. Place lollipop stick and a half teaspoon of apple pie filling on top and gently cover with another pie dough circle.

MAKE INDENTS TO SEAL
With an extra lollipop stick or a fork, press gently into the edge of the dough, meshing the two dough layers together and sealing in the filling. 

 
BRUSH WITH EGG WASH
Bake at 425° F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with egg wash made from fork-beaten egg white and 1 teaspoon of water. Sprinkle with sugar. Enjoy!
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FAMILY MATTERS: GERMS


One of the things that always grossed me out about my toddlers was how they had to put their mouths on EVERYTHING, from restaurant tables to grocery shopping carts. Now, this is totally developmentally appropriate and a good sensory experience for your child. However, do you really want them licking door handles in the supermarket? Not me. Although, I will admit I had a kid who licked the diaper pail. You can’t keep their mouths off of everything, but I discovered one of my FAVORITE products for my toddlers was shopping cart seat covers. Made of fabric (so you can toss them in the “sanitize” cycle on your washing machine) shopping cart covers were a lifesaver when the boys wanted to taste EVERYTHING. Found everywhere from your local department store to online vendors, these are an inexpensive way to help combat germs in your toddler’s life.

TIP 13-36 months: Is it OK for your baby or toddler to watch TV? Experts disagree about this matter. If they are getting screen time, most experts DO agree to limit it to 10 minutes or less per day.



FAMILY MATTERS: FIRST WORDS


BabyFirst words often emerge between 8 and 12 months.

It was such a thrill to me to hear my boys’ first words. My older son’s first word was “light.” My younger son’s was “bird.” “Light” made sense to me because lights of any kind were his very favorite things. “Bird” was a bit more perplexing, but I went with it. Both boys said their first words before they babbled “mama” or “dada.” For the record, “D” sounds are easier to say, which is why many little ones say “dada” before “mama.”

TIP 7-12 months : Turn everything you do with your baby into play. They’ll integrate everyday tasks more quickly.



FAMILY MATTERS: BABY SERIES


BabyMy friend’s daughter, Sweet Baby, just turned six months old. Can I just say I can’t even fathom where the past six months have gone? It goes by so quickly, and babies develop in leaps and bounds at this point in their lives.

Sweet Baby surprised her mama this weekend by pulling up to standing at the coffee table in the living room.

Don’t be alarmed if your six month old is not pulling up to stand yet. The average age for pulling to standing is about 9 months. Sweet Baby is just proving to be precocious.

Another milestone a baby should hit around five months of age is hugging! What’s better than when your baby learns to wrap their chubby little arms around yours? Let baby hug you, a stuffed toy or a blanket. Some babies aren’t crazy about hugging. My older son certainly wasn’t, but if yours is a cuddler, then hug away.

Tip 0-6 months: When baby begins to be mobile, it’s time to baby proof. Take all breakable, sharp and heavy objects off of coffee tables and shelves. Make sure your cabinets have locks if they contain items that might be dangerous to baby.



Family Matters: Laundry


Doing the family’s laundry is probably my most time-consuming household task each week, so anything I can do to make it go more smoothly and get my clothes the cleanest is quite welcomed!

This week Brookshire’s is offering $5 off a laundry item so you better believe I’ll be going back several times to stock up.

One of my challenges is school uniforms. My older son wears khaki shorts and either a navy, white or gold polo shirt, easy enough on the uniform end. Keeping them clean and pressed is a different story! One thing that helps is washing them in a gentle detergent, like Purex, with a boost of OxiClean. I always wash in cold water and hang dry immediately when the cycle finishes. Line drying keeps me from having to iron as vigorously, extends the life of the uniforms and saves on electricity. Plus, if I don’t put them in the dryer, any stains I might have missed before washing won’t set with the dryer heat. Speaking of stains, when he gets some strawberry jelly from his lunch on his white shirt, a Clorox Bleach Pen is a lifesaver! When it’s one of his other shirts, a stain remover stick is handy. I wish I could get him to keep one in his backpack, but it’s probably not cool in middle school to whip out your stain stick in the cafeteria.

Do you get stuck with socks that don’t have a pair? I think we’re all victims of the disappearing sock  phenomenon! A small mesh laundry bag can help. Simply pop your socks in, zip, launder and dry! All of your socks stay together.

My work clothes take some TLC as well. I like to make them last as long as possible. Dryel dry cleaning kits for home use are wonderful! I can get dry-cleaned results right at home with a product easy to find right on the laundry aisle.

One last piece of advice: boys are not fond of lavender-scented dryer sheets. I found that out the hard way. Luckily, there are plenty of other fresh scents available to keep your clothes soft, smelling great and static free.

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FAMILY MATTERS: TREADING NEW TERRITORY


Recently my husband and twin daughters decided they wanted to go camping. This would not seem unusual except that we did not own a tent and had never been camping before. I am not sure what brought on the new adventure, but it was definitely just that. They ordered a tent and started making plans for what to take and what to do while at the lake. As they prepared, they pulled out their bicycles, fishing poles, chairs, etc. and made their pile of things to take. The trip to the grocery store to get their food came next. Three people would only be spending two nights, but it took a full-sized plastic tub to hold just their snacks. Their reason being that you never know what you might be hungry for and there is not a grocery store nearby. 

When Friday came, they were so excited to pack the truck and off they went. A few hours later I received a text with a photo of the tent set up and ready to go. They had their camp looking like home and had already gone for a bike ride. Another daughter and I went out that afternoon to join in the fishing. Within about an hour, we caught a handful of fish, and I had gotten hooked in the lip but not from my fishing pole! Why does it always happen to mom?

After fishing, they decided to cook their hot dogs and S’mores over the open fire (which if it had not been 98 degrees would have been fun!). By that time, I was ready to head back to the air conditioned house and my nice comfortable bed. They proceeded to watch scary movies after dark (I still don’t understand that decision) and talked until they fell asleep. When they returned home two days later, our girls talked non-stop about everything they did while they were gone and wanted to know when they could do it again. 

This trip was treading new territory, and even though I did not understand them wanting to sleep in a tent on the ground, it was such a wonderful experience. What memories they now have of a “first” camping trip with their dad, something they will always treasure! We are already planning another trip (in cooler weather, of course) with the whole family this time.   Count your blessings daily, and give thanks for the time you have to share with your family.  

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Family Matters: Pets


This is not a sad story, so keep reading.

My best friend got a call today from her elderly mother who gently broke the news that her longtime friend and companion, her dog of 16 years, had passed away.

My friend was devastated, as you can imagine one would be losing the sweet dog you’d had for so long.

About an hour later, her cellphone rang again. It was her mother calling back.

“He’s alive! He’s alive!,” she screamed into the phone.

However, she had not only called my friend, but she had also called a stranger. When she was trying to dial, she called the wrong number. In her excitement, she left a message on some unsuspecting person’s voicemail. “He’s not dead! He’s alive! He got up and got a drink of water” was the message that a flustered stranger received. The stranger, who immediately called back to check on the welfare of, well, the dog, ended up getting a good laugh, as did my friend, her mom and a bunch of other people.

Moral to this story: Check for respiration, dial carefully and always love on your pets every day!



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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