Gentle Monthly Reminders for Parents: October
We know life gets busy. Between work, play, kids, dinner, family and your forever buzzing-smart phone, it can be a challenge to remember some of the other stuff. Stuff like what vegetables are in season, when’s your last chance to snag a Halloween costume and what activity would be good to take the kids to this weekend.
It’s more nice-to-know stuff than need-to-know stuff, but when you’re running around trying to maintain a household, remember your child’s next pajama day, and trying to coordinate time off to be a field trip chaperone, sometimes a gentle reminder can be the difference between butternut squash soup for dinner and another run to Chick-Fil-A. Here are some of the #momminders we wanted to put on your radar for these last two weeks of October (because we’re parents, too, and we’re not sure where the first two weeks of October went already either):
You probably knew this one already, but October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You can answer these questions from Everyday Health.com to assess your knowledge of mammograms and other breast cancer detection methods (in your spare time? We know. But The American Cancer Society also encourages regular breast cancer screenings to find breast cancer early. So consider that, too.).
The U.S. Apple Association (yes, this is a real organization) has dubbed October National Apple Month as well. National Apple Month is the only national, generic apple promotion in the United States (who knew!). Truly though, October is a great month for apple picking across the U.S. A crisp fall afternoon can be a great time to take the kids to your local apple orchard for a pick-your-own apples adventure. From there, you can bring your harvest home and try your hand at crockpot applesauce with the kids, or some other equally delicious apple dish.
Lima Beans: The fun bean that all kids love make a great addition to succotash, a Southern favorite that can combine limas and corn with sweet bell peppers and okra (source). You can also add these beans to fall minestrone soups or sauté and add them into a salad.
Winter squash: Harvested in the fall and sweeter, denser and more firm in texture than summer squash or zucchini, winter squash come in a variety of colors and textures. They are all incredibly nutritious, supplying healthy amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, beta-carotene and other antioxidants that are known to be anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting. (source)
Brussels Sprouts: Really? Brussels sprouts? Those stinky, bitter balls of green mush? No! We’re not talking about those. We are now entering prime Brussels sprouts season, and we want you to sauté them until crispy and maybe even explore adding a little pancetta. Here’s a good recipe. Go for it! The kids will be begging for more.
At the beginning (and sometimes throughout) each new month, Netflix will add new movies and TV shows to its impressive entertainment library, while also retiring others. Here’s what you can expect on the night you Netflix:
Unfortunately, Back to the Future I, II, and III are all saying goodbye. We’re also losing the family favorite, The Big Green (1995). And The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) will be off by Oct. 27.
- Invest in a humidifier (it tends to get dry inside during the colder months, which can cause small inconveniences like nose bleeds with little ones). Humidity can make your home much more comfortable in the winter months to come and keep the air feeling warmer inside.
- Martha Stewart says it’s time to change the direction of those ceiling fans. “While the standard counterclockwise direction provides a pleasant breeze during warm months, you should run the fan clockwise in cold weather. This creates an upward draft, redistributing the warm air hovering near the ceiling throughout the room, thus heating your home more efficiently. Most fans have a switch on the base to adjust the rotation.” (source)
- If you have a lot of leaves in your yard, get the kids involved to rake them regularly to keep your lawn healthy and open to receive sunlight. You can make a big leaf pile and take turns jumping in it before shredding the leaves and adding them to your compost pile.
- If you have an indoor wood burning fire place, it might be time to start preparing your fire wood for the winter. Stacking wood can be a great chore opportunity to encourage younger children to wear gloves and help the family get ready for winter. Or, split and stack wood as a family and reward everyone after with hot apple cider.
- It’s time to finalize your plans for the family’s Halloween costumes. With only two weeks left in the month, you don’t want to wait until the last minute and then be faced with limited costume choices for yourself, or your brood.
- Go ahead and pick up any last-minute Halloween decorations and candy, while you’re out.
Oct. 14: Harry Potter is back in theaters! ALL EIGHT full-length Harry Potter movies are playing in theaters around the U.S. through Thursday, Oct. 20. The Potter films have been revived to generate interest in a new movie written by J.K. Rowling and inspired by her prior Potter saga: “Fantastic Creatures and Where to Find Them,” which opens nationwide on Nov. 18. (source)
Oct. 16: Apparently, we’ll get to see the Moon get huge and bright orange in the night sky, because a hunter’s moon and a supermoon are set to combine on the night of October 15 to 16 in the northern hemisphere. (source) Talk to your kids all about the “blood moon” to come and get them excited about space and science with an outdoor viewing.
Oct. 17: Boss Appreciation Day (we just didn’t want you to forget)
Oct. 28: National Chocolate Day (finally!): Celebrate all things chocolate. Treat yourself. (source)
Oct. 31: Halloween