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
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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!

Benefits of Grandparents Babysitting

Benefits of Grandparents As Babysitters

Babysitting benefits are no surprise to me as a grandmother. Grateful is the word I use to describe how I feel when I am with my grandchildren whether babysitting or just visiting. They are the light in my life and I am proud to admit that.

It amazes me when I hear grandmothers say…”I have my own life”…and I don’t want to be a babysitter almost as if babysitting their own grandchildren is demeaning and takes away from “their own life”.

My grandchildren are a unique part of this stage of my life and I am both happy and proud to grandparent. It has been a blessing to see our family grow to include another generation.

GrandparentsWhen you’re a grandma, there aren’t many things better than spending time with your grandchildren. And, according to research, babysitting your grandchildren doesn’t just add joy to your life — it can also help keep you sharp as a tack in your golden years.

This blog’s name reflects the fact that parenting is indeed a “loop” handed down from generation to generation in a family.  Grandparents are a significant part of that “loop”. Sharing among generations to me is one of the important parts of being a family.

Now, a study has shown an added benefit to “babysitting”…you can actually stay more mentally sharp in these “Golden Years”. Grandchildren for me put the “gold” in these years.

So bring me the grandkids ..I cherish my time with them!

Source: Grandmothers and Dementia – Benefits of Grandparents Babysitting

Tips for Helping Kids Make Their Own Lunch

Tips for Helping Kids Make their Own Lunch

 

kids lunch

School has started or will start very soon and so will school lunches.

Yikes! As a mom my school lunches were not all that interesting nor were they all that healthy, I have to admit at this stage of my life as a grandmother. But for the past two years I have watched my daughter make lunch for her daughter, who is now in 3rd grade and it was such a vastly different food experience than in my days of kids’ lunches.

I began to research information on interesting lunches that were both healthy and tasty. Sometimes the healthy part was hidden and could not even be tasted except by very discerning tastebuds. Along with my daughter we came up with some beautiful combinations that my granddaughter both enjoyed and requested again and again.

We loved Planet Lunchbox to help keep lunches fresh and cool or warm. They can be decorated and personalized with magnetic designs purchased along with the lunchbox itself. There is also a great carrying case that has a pocket for a cooling pack which worked very well for my granddaughter throughout her school year. Kids’ lunch bags seem to self destruct after one year but this one will easily make it through three years will minimal care, along with the stainless lunch box itself. Since it is a pricey combination this is a good thing to know before you make a purchase.

Kids can also learn to fill up these lunch boxes pretty easily themselves with some assistance and suggestions from their parents or grandparents or even from their friends who might already be making their own lunches. My granddaughter has a nut allergy so her choices are dictated by how foods are made and packaged. Many times cookies and baked goods have to be homemade. Convenience foods are usually not appropriate for many nut allergic kids so that makes food choices very important for my granddaughter. Both she are her mother are vigilant about label reading even if it is something they buy all the time. You never know when processing or ingredients will change in your favorite go to snack or food staple

When it comes to kids making their own lunches there are a few tips we found helpful. I wish I had known some of these things when I was much younger and sending my daughters off to school with their lunch bags.

Being Positive

We found this key to success when kids are making their own lunches. If you practice some indifference when it comes to perfection especially related to how the finished product looks, your child will feel so much better as he or she attempts to make a sandwich that looks like one that you made. Remember that being positive will be rewarded in the end.

Take kids to the grocery store to help pick out foods for lunch.

This is so important. If they are in charge of their choices it makes them more vested in the process. It probably helps to make a small list of possible food selections prior to actually getting to the store to avoid chaos in the aisles.

Kids can choose their own foods

Create a designated area for food prep and storage of lunch friendly items

If you have room it would be extremely helpful to have an area where your children can do their preparation and where foods are readily accessible when needed. This will cut down time and hopefully create less mess. Again, letting your children help with setting up a prep area will help them become part of the kitchen team.

Get Creative

One of my favorite kids’ friendly cookbooks is from Momables by Laura Fuentes. She has a wonderful website and three books that are our favorites for family recipes that are easy, healthy and great for snacks and meals.

kids lunch

There are many months of lunches ahead…don’t get discouraged if your children slack off once in awhile. Revisit and tweak the process with them to keep them from getting bored. They are no different than we are when it comes to forming a habit. It takes time and patience with yourself and with them.

Happy Lunches Everyone!