Childproofing away from home

 

Childproofing When You Are Away From Home

childproofingSmall children are at risk for accidents especially at home since that is where they spend  the most time. There are all kinds of services and ways to go about making a child’s environment safe and providing a play area that is welcoming and worry free.

What about when you go away to a relative’s home or to a hotel, that safe environment is sometimes more challenging to acquire.

I just came across this video which is so helpful for those parents traveling during these summer months or actually anytime. Here is Childproofing 101!

Here’s to a safe summer for everyone including your littlest travelers who are curious and ready to explore everything that is new and different!

Here’s how to spot potential dangers when away from home and what to pack in your safety kit.

Source: Childproofing away from home | Video | BabyCenter

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Pics

 

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Pics

Mindful Parenting

The Fourth of July Weekend is upon us. So how about some outdoor play. The New York Times has this wonderful suggestion from its pages with a great reference to “Mindful Parenting” by my friend Kristin Race.

Why be intentional about this most relaxed of times? Summer goes by so fast. One minute, it’s June, and we have all the time in the world for ice cream, drive-in movies and bike rides. The next, it’s August, and too often, we’re left wondering where it went. We want to avoid regrets over missed opportunities. Every week, we’ll offer research-based suggestions for ways to set this season apart from the rest of the year.

“Kids who are used to more structured activities may not know how to create these things on their own,” said Kristen Race, a psychologist and the author of “Mindful Parenting.”

Source: The ‘Intentional Summer’ Challenge: Play an Outdoor Game – The New York Times

weekend summer fun

 

Questions about sunscreen for kids of all ages ….check out this link to help you decide what is best for your kiddos.

The skin is the largest organ of the body, proportionally larger in the smallest children, and protecting it properly needs our care and attention.
Source: Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Children’s Summer Skin Care – The New York Times

 

sleeping Colin

Getting enough sleep these days as parents? Probably not!

What are your baby’s sleep onset associations? Check out this post from the NYT and set yourself up for success when getting your baby to sleep on his own. Why not start this weekend?

Dr. Judith Owens, a pediatrician who is the director of sleep medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, told me that she would focus here on what she termed “sleep onset associations.” That is, on helping the children learn how to fall asleep independently at bedtime, which should then generalize to an ability to fall asleep when they wake in the night. So it’s lovely to use the song at bedtime as a going-to-bed routine, but it’s important that the actual moment of going to sleep should be after the bottle (and ideally, after brushing teeth after the bottle) and after the song.
Source: Ask Well: The Best Way to Put Babies to Sleep – The New York Times

Nothing like a three day weekend to mark the beginning of summer.

Make it a safe one!

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Summer is full of celebrations it seems, especially when the weather is warm.

We all find it a bit easier to be playful and somewhat carefree when the the sun shines and the days are longer.

So here are my picks for some weekend reads.

Enjoy!

Friends and family get together during the summer and our children are meeting all sorts of “relatives” that they may or may not know. Take a cue from them how affectionate they want to be to these “strangers”.

Weekend VisitsAs we head into the vacation season and into visits with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, there’s one awkward situation that will arise in many families that most parents will be unprepared to deal with: relatives who expect hugs and kisses from little ones — even when those little ones don’t want to show them affection. To spare a relative’s feelings, many of us will urge a small child to endure or even return this unwanted physical contact. But should we? What messages are we sending to our kids about their body boundaries when we do this?

Source: Why Your Child Should Never Be Forced to Hug a Relative | POPSUGAR Moms

Trying to teach your child coding and introducing them to STEM activities is easier than you think.

kids-activities-to-learn-computer-coding-without-computers

Computer coding is essentially a language that computer uses. When we think about helping kids learn computer coding, we automatically think we need a computer first. But in fact, there are many ways to learn computer coding without a computer, as many thinking and coding approach can be learned in many different activities off-screen. Today we share some off-screen activities that teach kids computer coding.

Source: 11 Kids Activities to Learn Coding without a Computer | iGameMom

Father’s Day is here and DIY gifts are great for the little ones to give to Dad. Here are some suggestions Cool Mom Picks.

diy-fathers-day-gifts-photo-gift-tags-bloomdesigns_zpsuxzfqyxd

24 wonderful DIY Father’s Day gifts, crafts + printables
Posted on June 17, 2016
DIY Father’s Day gifts are always so special, especially from the youngest kids. (Once we hit voting age or so, those handprint mugs just don’t really cut it in the same way, huh.) So for our next installment of our 2016 Father’s Day Gift

Source: 24 wonderful DIY Father’s Day gifts, crafts + printables

Mom 2.0 Again…Dana Point, California

Greetings from MOM 2.0!

A great place to be right now listening to the surf and watching the ebb and flow of the tide!

The sea is so relaxing and it has always been my happy place!

Mom 2.0 The Ritz Carlton, Dana Point CaliforniaI am one lucky grandmother to be here at Mom 2.0! This year it is here at the Ritz Carlton, Dana Point, California. The venue is spectacular and only adds to the excitement of being at this fabulous conference.

It was somewhat touch and go getting to Laguna from Chicago yesterday due to family responsibilities but it was wonderful to finally finally lay my head on on my pillow here at the hotel after a marathon day which began at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday in Chicago and ended at 11:30 p.m. here near Laguna Beach.

For the next couple of days I will be surrounded by some very interesting mothers grandmothers, dads and so many other wonderful people who will continue to inspire me.

Join me for Mom 2.0 here in California!

 

Parenting in Loop Weekend Picks

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Picks

Welcome to a warm Sunday here in Chicago.

Our daughter and her baby made it here without any delays last weekend and are enjoying themselves and so am I. How lucky we are to have our little grandson grinning at us in person rather than on FaceTime.

The Pockit Stroller was a huge success as a must with a baby, especially when you are traveling alone. He was also super on the plane which was a huge relief.

There were so many good reads on my feed this week! It was difficult to pick just three but here goes.

Do you have to give up “your creative self” when you become a parent? Or does the creativity get woven into the the new fabric of your life.

A portrait of the artist as a young mom.

 

Source: Is Parenthood the Enemy of Creative Work? — The Cut

weekend talks

An in-depth exploration of the menstrual cycle and the difference between training bras and sports bras at this age wasn’t part of my Master Parenting Plan.

Puberty Girl visits our home frequently these days. She’s 13 years old, and she wears a bra, smears deodorant under her arms and drags a razor across her legs. She gets her period, and frequently changes her pad or knots a sweatshirt around her waist to cover up an unsightly stain.

My 5-year old daughter created Puberty Girl. The juicy details of adolescence have also captured the attention of my 7-year-old, but she has yet to create an imaginary representation of her curiosity.

This weekend read is just so interesting as it deals with a topic that so many parents dread and have difficulty with as their children get older but how young is too young for this discussion?

Source: How a social worker ended up talking to her young daughters about puberty – The Washington Post

My wishes to you all for a somewhat relaxing Sunday…the weekend is almost over. It simply goes to fast for me!

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Pick

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Pick

Do you go away on a kid free break for long weekend and leave grandparents in charge with a list of everything they have to do while working as locum parentis? On a scale of 1-10 how do they usually score?

Personally, I never experienced problems when we left our kids with my mom so this type of tongue in cheek letter would not have been necessary but assuming my family was an exception as a grandparent myself now I never want too be the recipient of such a missive,

Let me know what you think?

Have a nice weekend! 

Spring is almost here ,

Weekend fun

Dear Granny, Grampy, Nana and Pop Pop:

Thank you sooo much for taking care of the kids next week so the husband and I can go away for the first time in years. I know I’m just supposed to be appreciative, so let me tell you a little something that I would appreciate.

I would appreciate coming back to the same kids we left behind. See, in the past when we’ve left them with you for just one evening, we came back and literally couldn’t tell where their buttholes were because both kids had turned into the most gigantic assholes I’ve ever seen. I know you think that taking care of your grandchildren is your chance to relive your glory days, but these are not your kids. These are our kids. And if they act more a-holey than usual when we return, then going on vacation has actually made life more stressful, which means I just paid a shitload of money for my life to get worse.

Source: 10 Things Grandparents Shouldn’t Do When Grandchildren Visit Scary Mommy

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

 

Hello Saturday!

I am glad you are here so we can catch up with each other in our family. We are lucky to have FaceTime to see those of us who are faraway and dear to us. This grandmother never imagined a handheld smart phone that could connect my love ones so easily.

My family growing up either lived in the same apartment building, or very distant like the Japan, Europe and the Philippines. The distant family I only saw once a year when they visited NY. We did not talk on the phone but we once connected with my brother on a HAM radio.

Now what does this Parenting in the Loop have to do with family and weekends. Well, how many parents and grandparents are going to be doing homework and projects with their kids and grandkids this today?

Does it make you feel good when you spend time with your kids and grandkids doing ‘their’ school work on the weekend.

A fascinating article points out there are better uses of time than homework in elementary school and I would definitely agree.

What would you do if your child did not have homework?  Would you be creative and do something fun with the family?

Would love to hear your ideas!

Happy Weekend!

 

Weekend homeworkWhat works better than traditional homework at the elementary level is simply reading at home. This can mean parents reading aloud to children as well as children reading. The key is to make sure it’s joyous. If a child doesn’t want to practice her reading skills after a long school day, let her listen instead. Any other projects that come home should be optional and occasional. If the assignment does not promote greater love of school and interest in learning, then it has no place in an elementary school-aged child’s day. Elementary school kids deserve a ban on homework. This can be achieved at the family, classroom or school level. Families can opt out, teachers can set a culture of no homework (or rare, optional homework), and schools can take time to read the research and rekindle joy in learning. Homework has no place in a young child’s life. With no academic benefit, there are simply better uses for after-school hours.

Source: Homework is wrecking our kids: The research is clear, let’s ban elementary homework – Salon.com

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend travel anyone

Weekend travel is so common and we are so blessed when we can enjoy a getaway from the day to day! So as we prepare for yet another travel adventure I cannot help but react to this event on an airplane.

This story just affected me to my core when I read it after it popped up on my personal Facebook page. Our family too, deals with anaphylactic food allergies and we travel and have traveled pretty much without any serious events especially any life threatening situations. That being said, I am so sad that there seems to be such a horrible lack of compassion for  adults and children, who have disabilities which to me can even be a food allergy as it does curtail one’s ability to enjoy certain activities due to environmental factors.

Empathy and compassion accompanied with knowledge and understanding from his fellow fliers would have perhaps not broken the spirit of 7 year-old little Giovanni, who was on a trip with his terminally ill father, a trip that was probably the last one they would ever take together. Can you even imagine how Giovanni felt when he heard a plane full of adults clapping as he left the flight that was supposed to take him home with his family and as he watched one of the attendants smirk at his mother as she told his mom, they should probably drive.

A seven year old little boy now has to remember that adults were happy to see him abandoned to the airport, stranded with his deathly ill dad and his mom at a time when he himself was covered in hives, scratching all over.

I cannot help but think how it could be that people are so inappropriately reactive and insensitive to another person’s problem. Maybe it was a ‘herd’ reaction but that really is not an excuse for being so out of touch with those in such proximity.

What if someone was having a heart attack. Would the ‘herd’ have responded in the same way?

What if it was you or a family member that needed medical attention just before take-off?

I hope that Giovanni’s physical recovery was uneventful and that emotionally he can put this ugly experience behind him as he enjoys his time with his Dad, who suffers from cancer. I also hope his Dad knows that his son probably will have other experiences during his life related to his allergies and that Giovanni will reflect back on this one as the event that helped him understand and have empathy for those that also have allergies and disabilities. Perhaps Giovanni was concerned even more about his sick Dad than himself as he departed his flight. Kids at seven can be very alarmed when adults around them are sick.

 

 

When 7-year-old Giovanni began to break out in hives shortly after boarding a plane in Bellingham, WA, with his parents, the family had no idea that their painful ordeal was just beginning. “He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over,” the boy’s mom, Christina Fabian, told THV11 News. “So we informed the flight attendant, who informed us that there’s dogs on every flight and just smirked . . . which minimized his experience for me.” The allergic reaction delayed takeoff, and eventually, the family was told that they’d have to deboard. “We understood,” Fabian said. “They helped us off the plane, but as we gathered our stuff the people toward the back of the plane clapped.”

Source: Passengers Applaud as Boy With Allergies Is Forced Off Plane | POPSUGAR Moms

So this weekend, I am going to try to be extra sensitive to those around me, even if they are strangers, even if they are delaying me or annoying me for whatever reason. I am as impatient as everyone else these days and I have my moments where I just don’t want to deal with life’s inconveniences.

Although I cannot change anyone, it is possible for me to at least improve my own efforts to express empathy and understanding one day, or even one weekend at a time.

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend

Spices of Life

 

I am really into decluttering. But I find it a totally frustrating experience at best. Devoting any of my precious hard earned time on any given Saturday or Sunday is definitely not something I relish.

Do you feel the same way?

OR…

Are you already super organized?

OR

Are you a weekend warrior and love projects like these?

I loved this post in the New York Times. Both of these women and their approaches appeal to me. So I am already stuck, when it comes to organizing my kitchen space.

 

Two Cooks, Two Kitchens, Two Organizing Plans

Do different cooks need different approaches to organizing the kitchen?Weekend Project

I wasn’t the only one who was feeling the need for a kitchen makeover. Margaux Laskey, my partner in the Kids Cook column, was having similar thoughts. Although we’re both working parents who love to cook, we’re in different places in our lives: She’s the mother of a baby and a preschooler, while my kids are older (9, 10, 11 and 14). Her kitchen is small, mine is the big country version. Did we also need different approaches to a kitchen clean-out?

On one hand I don’t think I could stand to have everything out of my cabinets and exposed so it would be hard for me to choose the first plan. On the other hand I like the outcome even if it took almost 10 days to achieve.

The second approach is more appealing because there seems to be a more immediate gratification in having one part of my kitchen organized even if it is just the spice cabinet.

Neither one of these is a weekend project for me.

Over the years I have tried decluttering and one of the things I simplified was my wardrobe. That was about 15 years ago and at this point it is in severe need of a revisit.

Our house has been the home at any given time for 4 generations of our family and we have only lived here for 20 or so years. There are many things that evoke memories of times and people gone by. It is not so easy to “dispose” of these memory charged things. It feels like I am actually throwing away my past even though I know that it not true.

I love the fact that I can take photos of the things before I give them away and those photos can be store readily stored on my computer literally forever. I know my mother would not want me to be a slave to saving her things unless it was something that brought me true joy when I wore it or looked at it. I have to keep this in mind.

I can truly tell you I will not be decluttering this weekend since I prefer to procrastinate.

What will you be doing?

 

Donna’s Day for Childhood Cancer

Donna’s Day for Childhood Cancer

Donna's Day

 The thing that my  instructor made sure we all understood as pediatric nursing students was this ONE fact…

 

Children are not little adults especially when they are sick.

We must treat them differently.

 

I have never forgotten this

 

It is why I support

St. Baldrick’s

and

Donna’s Day

 

St Baldrick’s raises money to fund research for Kids Cancer!

Research that is key to curing kids cancer.

Treatments for kids should be specialized for kids. Just imagine if this were the case,  30% more kids would survive.

That is a reason alone to search for specific treatments for kids. If it were a child of yours, you would want those treatments.
When a kid gets cancer, it may be in the white blood cells, in the nervous system, in the brain or bones, in the lymphatic system, muscles or kidneys.

It happens to be that, (ALL), Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer.

In the 1950s, almost all kids diagnosed with cancer died.

Because of research,

today about 90% of kids with the most common type of cancer will live. But for many other types, progress has been limited, and for some kids there is still little hope for a cure.

In the early 70’s as a student nurse, I took care of  Jeffrey, a little boy with ALL. He was hospitalized at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC.

Jeffrey received state of the art treatment for ALL in 1971, which was chemotherapy. Despite treatment at one of the finest pediatric centers Jeffrey died at age four,  leaving his dad, mom and younger sister brokenhearted.

Today,  I can’t help but think as I write this post, little Jeffrey would have survived with a long term remission or even a cure. I am hopeful that we can provide remissions and cures for other kids’ cancers. I would like to see no more kids die like sweet little Donna and Jeffrey.

donnas sweet face-1 Donna's Day

There are very specific differences between adult and kids cancer:

  • Adult cancers can be diagnosed early where kids cancers have already spread by the time diagnosis is made.
  • Some cancers never strike after the age of 5.
  • Other cancers occur most often in teenagers.
  • There are over a dozen types of childhood cancers and countless subtypes.

About 60% of all funding for drug development in adult cancers comes from pharmaceutical companies.

For kids? Almost none, because childhood cancer drugs are not profitable. 

Sad but true, it is about profits!

Donna’s Day 2016

In Chicago we’re having a St. Baldrick’s  Event to raise money to fund research in hopes that one day no child will have to fight cancer.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government.

 

You can be involved by donating, signing up to be a participant, fundraising, volunteering, and attending.

Join us on the event day to celebrate Donna’s spirit, meet Mary Tyler Mom and family, and gather with others who have been truly touched by their little girl’s story. We look forward to your participation this year.

Won’t you join us?

 A St. Baldrick’s Event

 

Donna's Day

 

 

Source: Donna’s Good Things at Candlelite Chicago | A St. Baldrick’s Event