Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop | Family

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Halloween Weekend in the Neighborhood

It is almost Halloween!

This weekend will be busy with all the ghosts and goblins traveling around our neighborhood tomorrow.

Added to the festivities, I must not forget to adjust my clocks at the end of the night on Saturday so that the extra hour does not catch up with me not realizing it till I get to church at the wrong time on Sunday.

With daylight savings coming to and end there are sometimes problems with sleep patterns for our littlest family members. They only have their inner clocks to alert them. The canine members of our family can also be a little problematic since they also run on their internal clock and feeding schedule. I have learned the hard way that one hour to them is an eternity.

Here are my pics for reading this weekend if you have time!

 

Consistency is key in whichever approach you take. We always manage to get through this time of year unharmed! Remember my two favourite words. Persistence and consistency! You got this – candy overload and all.

Source: Daylight Saving Time + Halloween = Sleep Sh*tshow :: YummyMummyClub.ca

Getting settled down in the evening and going to bed has it problems at times. Consistency can be rewarded for parents who set a bedtime and a bedtime ritual early on with their little ones. These days that is much easier said than done.

Meditation is something I love introducing to children at a young age. It can help them quiet and self soothe at times when this seems impossible to do. For parents it also provides the same soothing feeling when the inevitable stress sh–  hits the fan!

Meditation for children and parents is a great way to relax before bed, and is one of the most commonly suggested methods for helping children sleep better.

 

Source: Meditation for Children and Parents – Bring Back Bedtime

As pretty as Fall is we all know that winter winds are just around the corner.

For me the shorter days with sunset so early in the evening makes me wish to ‘hit the hay’ earlier with a good book. It also makes me wish for a nice cozy fire and warm pot of stew on the stove in the late afternoon.

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What are some of your favorite Fall foods that give you comfort as we head into winter weather?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Celebrate the small stuff!

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop | Family

Happy Halloween-What to Do With all the Candy

Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween in the Neighborhood

The Switch Witch

I wish the “Switch Witch” had been around when my kids were little.

As Halloween approaches there is always the dilemma of what to do with all the candy. Well, here is what I am going to do this year with my granddaughter’s haul complete with a “fairy witch’s tale”.

The ‘Switch Witch’ is a nice way to “get rid” of the “Hallowe’en Haul”.

Here is how it works:

  • Your child picks some candy to eat on Hallowe’en night.
  • He then lays out the rest for the Switch Witch before he goes to bed.
  • The Switch Witch makes rounds takes the candy and leave a surprise!
  • What a great way to deal with the Halloween dilemma!

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Any suggestions as to what the “Switch Witch” should do with the candy?

halloween 2015

 

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop | Family

Baby’s Immunization Schedule

Baby’s Immunization Schedule…What You Should Know

Baby Monster Bottom!

 

I am reminded by my daughter that today is my grandson’s first vaccinations at his well baby 2 month pediatrician visit.

My daughter is nervous for him and wants to make sure that he and she are well prepared for this experience. She has read information about the vaccines and has made an informed decision to go ahead with the recommended immunization schedule.

We are a family of medical professionals so based on our best understanding of scientific evidence we embrace vaccinations for our family. There are many diseases out there that are scary and deadly and it is up to parents to decide whether to protect their child or not.

​The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discusses everything you need to know about your baby’s first immunizations.

Source: Your Babys First Vaccines: What You Need to Know (VIS) – HealthyChildren.org

At his 2-month appointment, you can expect your infant to receive anywhere from three to five needle sticks (depending on whether combination vaccines are used) and a liquid vaccine that together will guard against seven separate diseases. (If he was given a dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine during his 1-month visit, however, he’ll have one less injection.) “It’s important to get vaccines on schedule to give your baby the best protection,” says Rebecca Pellett Madan, M.D., a pediatric-infectious-disease specialist at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, in New York City.

Source: – Parents.com

Providing Baby Comfort during immunization shots

  • Hold him in your lap
  • Let him suck on a pacifier or drink a bottle
  • A toy for distraction sometimes helps also
  • Once the shots are done give him lots of TLC
  • Your pediatrician may recommend a dose of acetaminophen for pain relief

Immunization Schedule a walk thru

Two months is a milestone for baby in many ways. With his immunization schedule in progress he will be protected from some of the most deadliest of diseases that we have not witnessed in a very long time like pertussis and polio to mention just two.

I know for some of you vaccinations are a controversial topic. I am not going to argue with your decisions even though I may disagree with those who choose to forgo immunizations.

I will be sending my daughter and grandson hugs across the miles today as my grandson begins his immunization schedule.

 

 

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop | Family

Breastfeeding…Is it Best for All?

Is Breastfeeding always best?

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Breastfeeding is a hot topic among moms and also one which can usually ignite a “mommy war” of words and guilt. Breast may in fact be best from scientific evidence which I am not here to argue or interpret.

What I know as a mom, grandma, former mother-baby nurse is this.

If a mom wants to breast feed she deserves plenty of support because breast feeding is not always as easy as it looks. In fact, it can be downright frustrating and difficult for new moms who are dealing with a myriad of changes in their lives.

Non-judgemental support is essential. If you had a positive experience breastfeeding, I am so happy for you but don’t impose your positive experience on another mom. Why? Because each mother/baby dyad is unique.

Early in my nursing career I took a LaMaze Certification with Elizabeth Bing, She was a guru of ‘LaMaze’ in NYC. Oddly to me, she was not a nurse, she was a physical therapist if I remember correctly. So in reality, she had not much experience with hands on labor and delivery and neither did many of her certification seeking students. For many students the only experience they had was their own successful ‘LaMaze’ childbirth.

At that time I had no children but I had assisted many laboring women and I had attended many deliveries. Some were great ‘LaMaze’ deliveries and others were not so much, these were the women that had epidurals, and or pain medication.

Back in the day, how a mom delivered was very judgmental, at least in NYC. Women who were taught LaMaze by Elizabeth Bing were very sad and disappointed if they gave in to medication or epidural. They were frequently devastated if they had a c-section. I felt it was my nursing responsibility to help each mom accept her childbirth experience and accept her healthy baby.

Because of my experiences prior to having my own children, I think it was easier for me to accept the facts surrounding my own childbirth stories. They were not ‘natural’, in fact one was an emergency c-section. To this day, I am grateful for a healthy child. I was simply in the right hospital at the right time. I did not choose to breastfeed for some personal and some medical reasons. With what I knew at the time this was the right choice for me and my children.

I hear so many comments about breast feeding nazi nurses that it makes me sad. A new mom should not be made to think that a nurse is pushing or demanding that she breast feed her baby. A gently approach to a new mom is so much more meaningful after just giving birth. So many times women feel that they are not in control once they step into labor and delivery and postpartum. This is ludicrous. These moms are going home with their babies. So lets quit the judgment at the Labor and Delivery door.

Here are two posts that really inspired me today.

There are truths in both writings.

Try to read them and not get judgmental.

It is kind of a test of two viewpoints.

Make up your own mind without anger and without pushing your beliefs on other moms.

Whether you breastfeed or formula feed, there’s one mantra that’s repeated over and over again: breast is best. You whisper it to yourself in the dark as the pain of those first latches washes over you, you repeat it to newly pregnant friends, and — if you use formula — you insert it into conversations as a buffer to ward off judgment from strangers. “I know breast is best,” you utter mechanically, “but these are the myriad excuses why it wasn’t right for me.

In a recent Op-Ed in the New York Times, Courtney Jung discusses new evidence that shows we’ve vastly overstated the benefits of breastfeeding, and it’s having a detrimental effect on moms. Like most new moms, Jung was bombarded with information about breastfeeding as soon as she went public with her pregnancy. Well-meaning friends offered advice and strangers inquired as to how she’d feed her baby. Her birthing class even refused to do lessons on formula feeding because it’s “against hospital regulations.”

 

Source: Increasing Evidence Proves Breast Isn’t Always ‘Best’ Scary Mommy

 

McKenna went on to say that Jung’s conclusion was wrong.”[Jung] is just plain wrong especially in light of new epigenetic studies that show in both human and nonhuman primates that breast milk significantly alters the human microbiome, setting in place, potentially, a lifetime trajectory of protections (or without it, vulnerabilities) to a variety of diseases and health in general. Moreover, how can we ignore that formula feeding is a risk factor for SIDS?”[Breast-feeding] is especially important for African-American infants whose mothers breast-feed at significantly lower rate than do whites contributing to the enormous survival disparity of black babies compared to white babies.”

 

Source: Are We Becoming Overzealous About Breast-Feeding? : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR

 

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop | Family

Weekend from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Reading from Parenting in the Loop

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Welcome to the weekend. If you are like many, this is the time to catch up on some zzz’s, right? Well perhaps not, especially if you are a new parent. Sleep is something we all need to function but many of us simple do not get enough of it for so many different reasons and excuses.

So it really is no surprise that baby sleep habits are such a topic of discussion. If your baby does not sleep chances are you do not either. You then join the ranks of the sleep deprived and depraved.

Co-sleeping is something many families practice and enjoy. There are guidelines if you co-sleep with your baby in order to keep your infant safe and sound.

If you’re one of the 22 percent of BabyCenter moms who share a bed with their baby, you can reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS by following a few basic guidelines Find out more about sleeping in a family bed.

And even though your baby can’t yet safely sleep under that gorgeous quilt you received as a baby gift, you can still get plenty of use out of it. Hang it on the nursery wall, drape it over the back of your rocking chair, or let your baby spend tummy time on it during the day.

Five things you didn’t know about newborn sleep

I simple cannot say enough about safe sleep for your baby. It truly is about balance…the three S’s: Sleep, Safety and Sanity.

 

There is no doubt that having a new baby changes everything about sleep. Between fussing, feeding, diapering, and soothing, it is broken into fragments, and the sum of all of those pieces doesn’t usually feel like enough. There’s also your baby’s safety to consider. Nobody likes to think about SIDS, but it is the most common cause of death in babies beyond the newborn period (1), and we want to do everything we can to prevent it. If we could, we might sit awake and watch our babies breathe all night, but of course, we need to sleep, too.

Source: Should Your Baby Sleep in Your Room? For How Long? Balancing Sleep, Safety, and Sanity | Science of Mom

A weekend is a time when you can look at the world from your own perspective at least for a few moments of the day.

I found this a particularly interesting discussion about where your focus is at different time periods in your life.

Are you a planner? That is, you know step by step what is coming next in the scheme of your life.

Or are you vulnerable and daring, facing the horizon head on and open to the vagaries of the dailies?

Personally, I am more of a head up person myself although at times my head is physically down so as not to stumble and fall into my horizon…it is one of the passages of aging.

Which one are you?

When your head is down, focusing on a step-by-step or gig-by-gig plan, two things happen:The world can’t connect to you fully. Your eyes are down. You are unable to see the big picture, random opportunities, or how you are connected to your world right now, in this moment.Your identity feels like it is at the whim of each step or gig because that is where you are putting all your focus. The current job defines you.

When your head is up, focusing on that magnet of a horizon, the opposite occurs:The world sees you fully. It is a vulnerable and daring posture to stand fully present in this moment. You are available. You are open.You have the consistency of that horizon. You will probably take and release multiple identities along the way (student, teacher, director, actor, parent…) but the horizon is your constant.

 

When other opportunities pan out or spark beyond your imagination, your spot on the horizon keeps you from loosing all perspective. Take a ballet class, learn how to spot, and you’ll be well on your way.

 

When you claim your horizon, you are crafting a calling, a beacon, a rallying cry to explore.Be inspired by your horizon.

 

Be a little scared. Be daring.What’s your horizon? How are you stepping towards it today?

 

Source: You Don’t Need a Five- or Ten-Year Plan. You Need A Horizon. | HowlRound

Weekend sunset bristol

At sunset on Sunday, will you wonder where the weekend went?

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop | Family

Postpartum 8 Weeks

Postpartum 8 Weeks and Baby at 8 Weeks

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It hardly seems possible that my new little grandson is almost 8 weeks old…I am sure his mom and dad can believe it since parenthood definitely takes its toll in the early weeks of adjustment especially with respect to sleep deprivation.

Fortunately their little guy has become quite the good sleeper. Surprisingly, he did his major long sleep during the night at about 6 weeks old. I remember the first time my own child slept through the night I jumped out of bed early in the morning to see if she was okay and breathed a sigh of relief to see her just arousing from a full night’s sleep. It was a milestone to celebrate!

A baby at 8 weeks is just coming into his own and starting to have longer periods of wakefulness. It is wonderful to play music and have soft conversations with him while he is feeding, having his diaper changed, getting a bath or just hanging out in mom or dad’s arms. Sooner than later he will give you a great big toothless smile that will just melt your heart.

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Postpartum is not without its long days and sometimes even longer nights for both parents. Times can get tough when parents have not had time for themselves or each other since delivery. Visitors are great but even that can get nerve wracking when home now takes on the look of scene from a Mr. Mom movie.

Moms can get overwhelmed and what is commonly known as the “baby blues” can turn into postpartum depression for some moms after a few weeks at home with a newborn. There are many reasons this happens at a time when a woman feels that she should in fact be happy that she has a normal healthy baby.

It can be a really scary time for mom when she feels overwhelmed and sad. Many times a mom won’t want to admit that she is not enjoying her baby. The guilt can be paralyzing and embarrassing .

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of PPD

Postpartum depression can begin any time during the first two months after you give birth. Symptoms may include:

 

  • Irritability or hypersensitivity
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Crying or tearfulness
  • Anger
  • Negative feelings such as sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, or guilt
  • Loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy
  • Difficulty sleeping (especially returning to sleep)
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Changes in appetite or eating habits
  • Headaches, stomachaches, muscle or backaches
  • Some women with PPD believe they can’t adequately care for their baby or may harm their baby.

Access Hollywood recently aired a segment about postpartum depression. Brooke Shields, Gwyneth Paltrow both suffered PPD and just a few days ago Hayden Panettiere  announced she was taking a medical leave for PPD treatment.

When Brooke Shields spoke about her PPD it was a diagnosis that many women never spoke about. They suffered in silence and were many times embarrassed by a mental health diagnosis. After all they just had a baby.

The operating word here is JUST. Having a baby, although normal is a huge undertaking both physically and emotionally. It is by no means JUST having a baby.

I am amazed and encouraged seeing mom’s mental health discussed so openly in the media and online. It is a different world than it was when I had my own children over 30+ years ago. There is no room for shame. Shame destroys lives

Postpartum Progress is another place where moms can find an enormous amount of information and support following childbirth. Katherine Stone founded her blog and has helped so many women share their experiences and in turn help themselves and other women.

This blog is a program of the national nonprofit Postpartum Progress®. We raise awareness, fight stigma and provide peer support and programming to women with maternal mental illness. To learn more about our nonprofit’s mission and all the ways we help moms and would love to help you, click here and here.

Yes having a baby is a wonderful life changing milestone. As always moms need to take care of themselves before they can take care of others including their children.

Remember to put on your oxygen mask first and then put on your child’s…you are no good to anyone without your own oxygen.

Suggested reading:Postpartum Medication Saved my Life

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop | Family

Parenting inthe Loop’s Weekend

Parenting in the Loop’s Weekend Reading

Fall Weekend

At this point we are in the thick of the Fall Season and the trees are peaking in their color. What better time to head to New England

This weekend we will spend sometime with our new little grandson. I cannot wait to see him smiling, something that he has learned to do since we last saw each other. My heart is bursting to see his toothless grin!

Here are my picks for the many good reads to enjoy this weekend if you have time.

Should we be giving our little girls the message that they should excuse bully boys when they tease them or call them names among other things? Should we tell our girls that this is what boys do when they “like you”? What a mixed message!

As they get older they should never accept hurtful behavior from anyone. Does this not set them up for being abused physically and emotionally?

 

“I bet he likes you.”That’s often the message when a boy teases a girl, snatches her lunch or calls her names. “He likes you. He just doesn’t know how to show it.” (It’s said of girls who do the same to boys, too, although less often.) It’s such an easy thing to say, meant to make the victim feel a little better, and sometimes it’s even true.

Last week, I attended a social work seminar about violence. It was alarming to see all the statistics about violence in homes among people of all different backgrounds. Violence does not pick and choose its victims it knows no barriers.

We must commit to breaking the cycle of violence. It is a truly complicated  and serious social problem. Abusive relationships is one place to begin.

The following post discusses abuse which can be physical or emotional. These are typical questions to ask yourself or others about abusive relationships. Sometimes a person does not even realize they are a victim of abuse.

Are you in an abusive relationship?

Ask yourself:

 

Does my partner always put me down and make me feel bad about myself?
Has my partner caused harm or pain to my body?
Does my partner threaten me, the baby, my other children or himself?
Does my partner blame me for his actions? Does he tell me it’s my own fault he hit me?
Is my partner becoming more violent as time goes on?
Has my partner promised never to hurt me again, but still does?
What can you do?

Help is available.

Call the national domestic violence hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or (800) 787-3224 TTY or 9-1-1.

 

If you have kids of a certain age and they play Minecraft, you might want to read this post on Motherlode at the New York Times. I personally was kind of shocked at how the “villagers” in this App are killed off without thought because they are seemingly expendable. What does this teach a child or anyone else playing this game?

It is an interesting perspective that is taken in this post and certainly created more questions than answers for me.

 

Don’t take this the wrong way, but I can’t figure out what you are. You appear to be human in that you have the basic human architecture (head, torso, legs, arms) and are capable of trading goods. At the same time, you all have identical blank-faced stares and extremely limited skill sets. The literacy rate in the villages, while impossible to confirm, seems exceptionally low, and I seriously doubt any of you will be able to read this letter. But I need your help.

 

Fall Weekend

I hope you all have a wonderful Fall Weekend …please take some time for yourself and enjoy the moment!

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop | Family

ParentingintheLoop’s Weekend

Weekend Reading:

A Fall weekend can be so busy for many of us. If you get a chance read one, two or all of the articles below.

Painted in Waterlogue: Weekend Pumpkins

Postpartum Depression

When you have a baby the last thing anyone wants to talk about is depression. But in the room alongside your beautiful, perfect baby can be the elephant, postpartum depression. There are so many reasons this can occur and moms have little control over if and when postpartum depression rears its ugly head.

Thank goodness for women, who now talk openly about their experiences with PPD. Even celebrities, such as Brooke Shields and now Hayden Panettiere have suffered and spoken about PPD in order to help other women realize they are not alone in this journey.

Let’s keep the discussion going and for anyone who needs support or information please visit Postpartum Progress. Please also be aware of anyone who may be suffering right in front of your eyes.

 

Women are so hard on themselves: we set incredibly high standards for ourselves and then beat ourselves up if life doesn’t turn out that way. While the official figures show 10 to 15% of all women will suffer from postpartum depression, that percentage only represents those who have reported suffering. Imagine what the real figure might be.According to Postpartum Progress, more women will suffer from postpartum depression and related illnesses this year than the combined number of new cases for men and women of tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy.

Source: Hayden Panettiere Opens Up About Her Struggle with Postpartum Depression

No Judgment Just Understanding

Recently, I joined the Sisterhood of Motherhood campaign from Similac. I am proud to have been part of an effort to end the mommy wars and encourage moms to STOP judging each other.

Today, I read this story about a mom who did just that. She did not judge, she simply pitched in to help a mom who was traveling on a flight with a screaming baby. Thank-you to Nyfesha Miller for being a “sister” to another mom.

Maybe this weekend you can do something simple when you see a mom struggling. Even just holding a door open can help.

When Nyfesha Miller noticed a stressed-out mama and her crying baby on her flight, she could have done what many usually do: roll her eyes, let out a sigh, and continue flipping through SkyMall. But instead, Miller decided to help — and she’s now being praised by thousands for her actions.

 

Source: Stranger Comes to Mom’s Rescue on Flight, Restores Our Faith in Humanity | Babble

Pregnancy can be an emotional time in a mom-to-be life, it is expected with all the hormonal changes that go hand in hand as a baby develops in utero. These emotions don’t always disappear after the baby is born. Postpartum is also time of huge emotional changes as well. These emotions can flip a mom into postpartum depression but for many women they find themselves crying over things that in the past were no big deal.

This post comes from a mom who labels herself as a postpartum crier.

 

I didn’t always buy into the clichés about women being emotional roller coasters due to pregnancy or postpartum hormones. After all, I was still myself during my pregnancies, albeit with a shorter temper and a fuzzier memory. Really, I thought the stereotype was one more way for people to joke about a woman’s mental state without exploring the real reason for her hurt feelings or emotional outburst. A pregnant woman’s PMS, if you will.But after my second child was born, I couldn’t deny that I had become what I previously thought was merely a sitcom-created mothering myth: a postpartum crier.

 

Source: 26 Reasons I’ve Cried Since Having a Baby Scary Mommy

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A Weekend is a great time to catch up on so many things. At times we flood ourselves with so many “to dos” that we lose touch with ourselves and those closest to us.

I hope you catch up with your family on this Fall Weekend. Spend a little time together, being grateful for the small things in your life.

See you next week!

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