Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

 

Weekend KindnessA Few Quotes of Kindness:

 

  • “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” (Mark Twain)
  • “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” (Aesop)
  • “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” (Scott Adams)
  • “Kind words and actions can seem so small, but their effects are truly endless.” (Author Unknown)

Source: NATIONAL RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS DAY – February 17 | National Day Calendar

Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day and I am returning to my blog after a long hiatus…self imposed.

Kindness is something that when we experience it makes us feel surprised and happy. In some ways, it may just make our day or even our weekend. Think about when you have had someone, friend or stranger go out of their way to do something nice for you. Try to capture that feeling. Now imagine passing that feeling on to someone else.

My wish is that we carry this kindness forward and try to do something kind no matter how small each and every day.

I hope that this weekend is a good one. Here in the Chicago area we are getting an early taste of Spring! Nature’s random act of kindness.

Another story I would like to share is one of kindness built into the job of a New York baker, who works at God’s Love We Deliver.

Wow! If we could only look at our work this way no matter what it is we do.

It is tempting to say Mr. Piekarski is the man who has baked a million cakes, but that figure is a fraction of the sweets he has baked and sent on their way. For almost 26 years, Mr. Piekarski has been the pastry chef for God’s Love We Deliver, a charity that prepares meals for people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves — 19 million meals so far.

 

Source: 9 Million Desserts, for Gabriel, Michael, Alessandra and More – The New York Times

Happy Weekend!

Weekend Pick “Red Sneakers For Oakley”

Weekend Pick “Red Sneakers for Oakley”

Weekend pick- Red Sneakers for Oakley

Would you wear your red sneakers this weekend?

It would help to honor the life of young Oakley Debbs, who died of anaphylaxis in November while on vacation with his family. Read about Oakley and his red sneakers at Redsneaker.org and follow Red Sneakers on Facebook and Instagram to support the nut allergy awareness initiative started by his parents.

The Restaurant Nut Allergy Awareness Initiative Join the restaurants nationwide who are bringing awareness to food allergies by marking items on their menus with the Red Sneakers for Oakley logo which is becoming the symbol for “Food Allergy Awareness”. We have provided the files below so that your menu designer can integrate the symbols into the menu. Also we ask that you place the logo which contains the statement this food may contain nuts somewhere on the menu so people understand what the Red Sneaker symbol is for.

Source: Red Sneakers For Oakley

My pick for this weekend focuses on food allergies. Since I read about Oakley’s death over the Thanksgiving holiday, I have been supporting his grieving family’s efforts in Food Allergy Awareness along with many others on social media.

It is so very important to understand all you can about food allergies and anaphylaxis that can tragically snuff out a life in a matter of minutes. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a food allergy reaction and having a plan of action is mandatory. Having an Epi-Pen and using it can be lifesaving!

Safely eating foods at home and at restaurants is not as simple as it should be. Anything that makes it easier and safer should be welcomed.

I love the Restaurant Nut Allergy Awareness Initiative that has been initiated by RedSneaker.org and I urge you to support it any way you are able.

You may just save a life.

My heart goes out to the Debbs family on the loss of their beloved Oakley. I would encourage you to wear #redsneakersforoakley this weekend!

 

Weekend Pick :Postpartum Depression and the Holiday Season

Postpartum Depression and the Holiday Season

Postpartum DepressionPregnancy left me with a body that felt as foreign as a French film. I had an angry C-section incision that was stubborn to heal, a stone of anxiety clanging around in my chest, and hips packed with extra weight like a fanny pack I couldn’t remove. Then postpartum depression settled in and nearly shattered me.

Source: Reel Love: How Films Helped Me Through Postpartum Depression – NYTimes.com

This is the final weekend before the Christmas and Hanukah holidays. For any mom experiencing postpartum depression this time of year can prove to be very difficult.

One of the things to remember is that if you are dealing with depression you are not alone and there is help for you.

One of my favorite supports is Postpartum Progress found on Facebook and online at http://www.postpartumprogress.com.

About Postpartum Progress
Warrior Mom Logo
Welcome!
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, click here and here.

Each mom is unique as is her baby and this is what I found most interesting about the post in the New York Times by the mom who found that movies helped her through her difficult time after having a baby.

If you are experiencing sad feelings at this time of year and you think you might be experiencing postpartum depression please do not hesitate to reach out and ask for help from your doctor or visit your nearest Emergency Department at your local hospital.  Also  consider a visit to the Postpartum Progress website where there are many moms who have shared their stories after childbirth. There you will find unconditional support and important information.

My sincere good wishes to all of you for a holiday full of peace.

 

Tips for Flying with Food Allergies

Food Allergies and Flying

food allergies

 

Tis the season when many families with be traveling with their kids and the hell associated with food allergies and travel.

There are some things you can do to ease the anxiety of this serious situation.

Flying is particularly problematic so I have included a link here from Allergic Living that compares airlines and their approaches to fliers who are allergic to certain foods like peanuts and tree nuts.

If you haven’t flown with your food-allergic child yet, hold on tight to these recommendations and know you’ll be okay! Book with the right airline. If you haven’t booked your  tickets yet, take a moment to review this comprehensive chart from Allergic Living magazine, which shares an in-depth report on the policies 11 major airlines have for working with food allergies. Follow the guidelines of your airline’s policy to get the most accommodation for your flight.

Source: Tips for Flying with Food Allergies

Safe travels everyone!

Food Allergies: Family Urges Food Allergy Education

Food Allergies: Family Urges Food Allergy Education

red-sneakers-for-oakley

#livlikeoaks

It has been a long week catching up after Thanksgiving and moving on to preparing for Christmas.

As many of you know we have a grandchild that has food allergies, specifically to peanuts and tree nuts. Along the way since her diagnosis we have made many friends who understand the severity of such an allergy but of course there are those times when misunderstanding of anaphylaxis can make all of us involved in the safety of our grandchild frustrated and angry.

I would like to share the story of Oakley Debbs, a young 11year old boy who died over his Thanksgiving celebration with his family after he accidentally ate a piece of a holiday gifted coffee cake at a relatives’ house. His is a story that his parents want all of us to remember by wearing red sneakers on December 10th. That is the day of his funeral and celebration of his short life as a twin of his sister Olivia.

Managing food allergies is no easy matter and it demands constant vigilance which includes carrying epi-pens at all times and closely reading and understanding food labels. Eating out can be a nightmare which adds a huge dimension to traveling.

I am concerned with managing a safe environment for children and education is obligatory. The learning curve can for food allergies can be steep and tedious but there are many support groups and great information available. I cannot emphasize consulting with a pediatric allergist if at all possible and making an action plan that is adhered to all the time.

oakley_a4c3d9d87c128f1111fbcf112c9a998b.today-inline-large-1 Food Allergies

Merrill Debbs is convinced that her son, Oakley, might still be alive if she’d known more about food allergies and how fatal reactions can come on slowly and insidiously. The boy, who had asthma and had tested positive for a mild peanut and tree nut allergy, died after consuming a piece of pound cake the day before Thanksgiving. Oakley thought it was safe to eat, but there was a walnut inside and he’d already swallowed it before realizing what happened.

Source: After 11-year-old boy’s sudden death, mom warns about nut allergies – TODAY.com

 

Red Sneakers Foundation – raising awareness of the danger of asthma & nut allergies, educational programs, research & public policy initiatives.

Source: Red Sneakers Foundation

 

As they prepare for a big memorial tribute to Oakley on Dec. 10, Merrill and Robert Debbs spoke to Allergic Living about their loss, their concerns about vital information they never got at the allergist’s office, and their resolve to raise anaphylaxis advocacy through their new Red Sneakers awareness campaign. (Red was Oakley’s favorite shoe color.) “Whatever we can do to help people protect children who have these food allergies – labeling, education to protect these children so it never happens again,” says Robert of the couple’s decision to start a campaign and website while still coming to grips with their son’s death. Both parents now think they were far more informed about asthma than they were about the management of food allergies and risks of anaphylaxis.

Source: After Son’s Nut Allergy Tragedy, Family Urges Food Allergy Education | Allergic Living

For more information and Food Allergy Education and Research (FARE) :https://www.foodallergy.org/#menu

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

It has been a long month and now Thanksgiving is only a few days away.

We have one weekend to prepare for the get together that could raise our blood pressure even more this year than all the others put together.

Because of this year’s presidential election, some of us have serious friend and family disagreements that could cause some unwanted Thanksgiving indigestion.

Here are some tips on how to “argue without rancor”.

Weekend heated discussionsAnd it’s clear that American Thanksgiving gatherings are sure to be interesting affairs this year, as families split between Trump and Clinton supporters try to sit down to dinner without maiming one another — if they show up at all. So this may be a good time to explore what psychologists and philosophers say are the most effective ways to argue. And by “argue” they do not mean “quarrel,” but communicate without rancor or faulty reasoning with someone who has an opposing viewpoint, with the hope of broadening one’s understanding of people and ideas. Here are a few suggestions:

Source: How to Argue Fairly and Without Rancor (Hello, Thanksgiving!) – The New York Times

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and a Thanksgiving full of gratitude.

Halloween Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Halloween Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Over the years, Halloween has changed in the way we celebrate with kids.

As a grandmother, I remember pretty much freedom circa 1950’s, when I went “Trick or Treating” with friends in our very large sprawling Yonkers, New York apartment complex still known as Glenwood Gardens. So much was different! Seven six story buildings were connected by a winding basement which became our Halloween parade route. All in all we fearlessly rang the bell of about 108 apartments and collected candy from almost everyone. Sometimes we would have to go back home to empty our stash so that we could go back out and collect more.

This weekend begins the Halloween celebrations so get ready to see costumed adults and children trick or treating at your door on Monday!

Here are my reading picks to keep the holiday a happy one for kids and parents!

Halloween is a time for fun and exciting costumes, trying to scare others as well as getting to go out trick-or-treating with your children, but as your children get older, around 4 years of age (from my personal experience) it is time to talk about dealing strangers. Here’s some tips for talking to your child about strangers and staying safe on Halloween.

Source: Dr Dina Kulik Talking to Your Kids About Strangers and Staying Safe on Halloween – Dr Dina Kulik

If you see a Teal Pumpkin this weekend it means that the treats given out will be okay for kids with food allergies. Halloween Weekend

Teal pumpkins have become the symbol of food allergy awareness at Halloween. When you see a teal pumpkin, it means that non-food treats are available for kids with food allergies or other dietary restrictions.

Source: Will You Keep It Teal for this Halloween

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

We will watching the World Series what about you?

Let them eat cake…and a Rainbow!

Let them eat cake…and a Rainbow!

Rainbow Cake

Grandchildren are truly a gift and I love them dearly.

My grandson is just a one year old and he already has a taste for some sophisticated foods thanks to his parents and their efforts to introduce him to a varied selection of fruits, vegetables and proteins.

For an eight year old, my granddaughter also has a sophisticated palate . She has been sampling various foods from early on but was found to have severe peanut and food allergies at age one so a great amount of vigilance has to be taken especially when we are eating in restaurants. Store bought baked goods are particularly problematic for her as cross contamination is clearly an issue of concern.

So this weekend when both of my dearest were together it was an appropriate time to celebrate with a Rainbow. I have been in love with this cake since I first saw it about 4 years ago and I actually put one together for my granddaughter’s 3rd birthday! It is a spectacular picture when you initially cut into it and view the vivid colors. It is a smile built into a confection.

One of the best and most fun parts is to let the kids “doodle” on the icing to make this cake a personal piece of artwork as well as a dessert…it becomes a vision to behold and the kids love the excitement of getting the first colorful piece on their plate. What a sense of accomplishment they have enjoying some of their own efforts.

Baking this beauty is a labor of love as it takes patience, pans of colored cake batter, tons of softened butter and egg whites galore. It seems to magically come together layer upon layer…as you remember the acronym Roy G Biv ….Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo Violet. Although the actual cake has 6 layers by combining the blue and indigo into one layer.

1st Birthday

 We celebrate our two grandchildren

and

the joy they bring to our loves…

the same joy we feel

when we see a RAINBOW across the sky

Rainbow Doodle Birthday Cake

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

 

Fall weekend

Fall is upon us as is the school schedule along with holiday celebrations like Halloween  are not far off. The weekend fills up fast with Fall activities like apple picking, pumpkin patch visits, football games and raking leaves.

Fall is my second favorite season only to Spring which brings more light back into my windows on the world. I love the seasonal changes but the darkness and gloom of the midwest winters sometimes take a toll on my energy level.

My Fall weekends are precious especially if they are sunny ones that are accompanied by the gold and reds of the trees telling their final stories before the slumber of winter.

Along around mid-September If you are like me your work schedule revs up and if you work from home the distractions are innumerable. Some of you are trying to do chores and run a business from your home with a baby or a toddler in tow. If that is the case then this post is definitely for you.

I am so excited about this piece! I’ve wanted for so long to find someone like Jamie Krenn to address these issues and questions for those of us who work at home, because no matter what type of parent you are- it is overwhelming to mix anything with caring for small children. We all need to know about what this wonderful, resourceful woman has to say about how to juggle the schedule of emotions within parenthood and work. Join Jamie Krenn at CoHatchery in Park Slope for a workshop this Friday, August 26th, from 4:30-6pm about working from home, more productively. Here’s a helpful Q&A, enjoy!

~Rebecca Conroy, Editor of A Child Grows in Brooklyn

Source: A Work-from-Home Workshop Not to be Missed! | A Child Grows in Brooklyn

Chicago may be rainy this weekend but that just might offer some time to change out summer clothes for the cozy layers that cooler weather requires or maybe even sink into the sofa with a good book.

Whatever you do enjoy your time with family and friends this weekend.

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Labor Day marks the end of summer and the start of school.

Lunch Box and Labor Day Weekend

I know here in the midwest many schools are already back and the mad rush for supplies has slowed down to a crawl but some of us are last minute shoppers and wait until our kids see what others are buying. This procrastination is sometimes hard but great if your kids want to be like the rest of the pack. It keeps you from running to exchange things and filling up an already busy weekend schedule.

My friend Julie Cole from Canada has some great suggestions on her blog page for school supplies and helpful items that will withstand the test of time throughout the school year. Julie is a mom of six so she has plenty of experience in the back to school shopping routine. She is one of my favorite moms to read especially on weekends when I have some extra time. Her blog posts are humorous, helpful and always a delightful break for me. I met Julie a few years ago at a conference of bloggers and every year I look forward to seeing her and catching a quick hello and hug from her.

I hope you enjoy her posts as much as I do. And catch her at Mabel’s Labels as well, there is a link on my side bar. It is no fun losing kids’ stuff. Also if you have kids with allergies there are labels for lunch boxes and bags that alert teachers and the lunchroom staff of you child’s allergies.

 

It’s that time again! Back to school, back to reality. Here are some great products to help all your days be smooth ones.  Let’s talk litterless lunches:

Source: Favourite Back-to-School Products From a Mama of Many :: YummyMummyClub.ca

Have a great Labor Day Weekend Everyone!