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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!

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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.

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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

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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!

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Already August and Back to School

August and Back to School…Already?

back to school

I don’t know about you all but my summer has flown by with many changes happening at a whirlwind pace in my home.

Change is never easy and some are much more emotionally draining than others. Because of the turmoil in which I found myself posts on this blog have been few and far between.

As most of you know I am very close to my granddaughter who is now 8 years old. I welcomed her into the world 8 years ago this month. She was the inspiration of Parenting in the Loop. She and I have a very special relationship for which I am ever grateful. What a breath of fresh air she is and it has been God’s blessing for me to be able to watch and share in her life. As my first grandchild, she introduced me to the joy of being a grandparent. Words do not measure up to the feelings of this stage of my life.

Last year, my younger daughter had a little boy. He will be one in a few short days and I have recently shared an extended visit with him which has been joyful.

The huge change that has taken place in the last week is that my older daughter and granddaughter have relocated to California and my younger daughter, grandson and husband have relocated to Chicago and are staying with us while they settle into their new home away from the Rhode Island that they love.

Sending my daughter and granddaughter off to California was an emotional rollercoaster  for me. She and I talked about moving and watched the Disney film “Inside Out” several times, which helped us share our happy and sad feelings in a very real way. My granddaughter surprised me with the ease that she was able to relate to the movie and express her own feelings concerning her move to California. She understood that she would be sad as would I but that we would have “The Invisible String” keeping us attached even though we would be a 4 hour plane flight away from each other.

When a child moves, changing schools is usually an anxiety producing experience. Leaving family is one thing but leaving friends and their school along with the familiar teachers and staff can really play havoc with a child’s adjustment to their new environment.

My granddaughter’s new school will be similar to the one she leaves behind. It is a small Catholic school with uniforms so fitting in with the fashion code will not be an enormous issue. But there will be back packs, lunch boxes and various sundries to choose which will help her individual personality showcase itself.

We love “Cool Mom Picks “Back to School Guide 2016 and rely on it for quality and consistently great choices for these “BTS” necessities. I am always amazed at the wonderful changes in lunch boxes that encourage parents and kids to pack some really healthy and interesting lunches and snacks.

I loved helping my daughter with lunch decisions and back to school choices for my granddaughter over the last couple of years. Because she has a nut allergy food choices are VERY important. We enjoyed Planet Lunchbox which kept everything fresh and reduced our carbon footprint. Momables from Laura Fuentes provided seemingly endless variety to my granddaughter’s lunch choices and rotation.

 

Back to SchoolWe’ve found 34 of the coolest lunch boxes and bags for kids — whether you love packing them every day or not.

Source: 34 of the coolest lunch boxes and bags | Back to School Guide 2016 | Cool Mom Picks

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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

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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!

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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!

 

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Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend water play

Imprinting, psychological definition:

A remarkable phenomenon that occurs in animals, and theoretically in humans, in the first hours of life. The newborn creature bonds to the type of animals it meets at birth and begins to pattern its behavior after them. In humans, this is often called bonding, and it usually refers to the relationship between the newborn and its parents.

It’s Sunday but I had to share this cute little video as my pick for this weekend

 A Little Girl and Her Duck

This little story has really made me smile and has warmed my heart. Seeing a duckling attach to a child and a young child attach to a duck speaks volumes about the importance of human attachment.

FEBRUARY 26, 2016, 6:56 PM|A 5-year-old in Maine has an inseparable bond with her duck. Not a toy duck — a real, live duck. She believes she is the duck’s mom, and vice versa. Steve Hartman went “On the Road” to meet this dynamic duck duo.
Source: Duck pals: A girl and her duck – Videos – CBS News

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Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Saturday mornings are usually busy ones, for that matter so are Sundays but they are are a welcome change from the weekdays because work is not part of the schedule.

How does you weekend look?

Do you give yourself a chance to relax?

It is so important for your over all well being that you do take time out.

What do you do to unwind from the busy week?

I used to like to shop when I had a free weekend day… browsing stores and checking out new fashion, make-up etc was a way for me to relax. That is really a luxury that I now do once in awhile during a free weekday. Most of my shopping is done online these days. I love my virtual friends whose sites curate fashion, tech, books, and must-haves of all sorts. I find they all help me save time when it comes to shopping and researching the best buys.

I am sure you know the saying “if it is too good to be true then it is not true”. That is what I think about when I read any advertisement. Babble has found some parenting items that although too good to be true are really truly great items. Check them out. Which one is your favorite? I like more than one!

bottle-top-adapator

But my point is, I am fully behind parenting products and technologies that improve our lives, help protect our children, or frankly, just give me a few minutes of peace and quiet. Which is why I’m really looking forward to incorporating a few of these too-good-to-be true parenting products into my motherhood game.

DNA tests for diets? A Keurig for formula? Car seat alerts to your phone? The future of parenting has arrived.

Source: 12 Parenting Products That Seem Too Good to Be True | Babble

This is an election year and it is a difficult one with the primaries coming up this week. I found this book fascinating and helpful at the same time. Is it time for Hillary or not and why not? Check out my sponsored book review of “Love Her Love Her Not The Hillary Paradox”.

weekend reading

How do you feel about the former First Lady’s bid for the Presidency? Do you want to know what other women think and feel about her candidacy?

If you do then Love Her, Love Her Not – The Hillary Paradox edited by Joanne Cronrath Bamberger is the book for you.

Source: Hillary…The Woman… The Mom…The President

To most of you it is no surprise that I love being a grandmother. I do not have a “secret life”. My priorities are fixed in this order God, Family, Work.

Do you have a secret life? How do you feel about ‘babysitting’ and childcare? I would love to hear from you.

The Secret Lives of Modern Grandmothers

Chicago is going to be warmish this weekend…40’s. I know…it is all relative. In LA that would be freezing but here we think and actually feel warm.

No matter what your weather, take time to enjoy the view!