Attachment and Loss …2013

"Roots of Attachment"Loss and Attachment…

Years ago, a very astute clinical social worker made this simple statement at one of my supervision sessions…”life is a series of attachments and losses” and it is important how we form attachments and how we deal with eventual losses.

The year 2013 has come to a close and along with it some life moments of attachment and loss.

Family attachments are really my most important and this year we welcomed my daughter’s fiancé into our family. We give him our love and support and wish the very best to them as a couple for a long, happy and healthy future.

Together as a family, we are stronger than the sum of the individuals. Helping and supporting each other to the best of our ability given distance and our own separate lives is something we try to never forget.

Attachment at work.

My granddaughter still continues to amaze me. I anxiously look forward to sharing her “firsts” during 2014.

I love looking through her eyes as she welcomes new experiences. It brings back memories of my own childhood as well as those of my own children’s experiences.

Friends are dear to me and during 2013 our family lost one of our nearest and dearest.

It is a loss that we are still grieving. It will be a year of “magical thinking” as we go through firsts without him. His family suffers most and this is so hard to witness. They are grieving the loss of the deepest attachment, a father and a husband.

The year 2013 has brought me into contact with many new “virtual friends” and social media has kept me in touch with many old attachments. I love blogging and FB for this reason. It allows me to share with those that live across the country on a daily basis…even if it is just a simple photo. I love seeing the mundane as well as the fantastic.

After all isn’t the mundane what it is mostly about as we age?

I feel like I have just rambled but after two weeks of holiday…at home with a five year old it is where my mind is at…we have all been nursing varying degrees of winter illnesses and a severe bout of “cabin fever”.

Today…it is 24F and perhaps we will venture outside…if only to prepare for subzero deep freeze and the snow that is promised for tonight.

Puke Fest, Photography, Play

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Puke Fest, I think all of us have experienced this but not to the extent of this mom. She has developed and shared a strategy for dealing with the flu in her family of six children.

Get some tips to be ready if “puke fest” comes to your home.

If you like taking photos of your family when they are not sick…this is a wonderful site that will take your photography to new level without even leaving your home. You will need a real camera…not just your phone. Have fun and enjoy the view.

 

Welcome! I am so excited that you are here and eager to learn more about photography! I want to share with you everything I have learned over the past couple of years and help you along your journey! Whether you just got your first DSLR or you have been shooting for years, we have something for everyone.

Play is one of the most important things our kids do that add positively to their growth and development. Here are six gifts that will encourage your child to direct their own play.

 

Learning to be a responsive play observer takes thoughtfulness, restraint and practice, but once we get this down, we’ll discover more delightful moments of joy, humor and surprise than we ever thought possible. And we need these daily parenting “bonuses” to balance the more difficult moments and break up the monotony. We’ll also get more guilt-free breaks from parenting because we’ve encouraged our children to hone their independent play skills in our presence (but that’s another post).

 

 

Foolproof Easter!

Collage #1

via “Nessas Family Kitchen” blog

Life is short.  Eat dessert first.-Jacques Torres 

This is going to be our Easter Dessert. It is from one of my favorite Irish Blogs- Nessas Family Kitchen.

So head on over to her blog and see her beautiful photos and recipes. The photo above is her Easter cake.

Lemon Frosted Easter Cake

I always find that cake is well suited to every occasion. This lemon frosted cake makes a perfect Easter treat, as yellow themed goods seem to fit nicely with an Easter theme. It’s basically a madeira cake which is smothered with a creamy lemon topping and filled with lemon curd; perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea anytime.

http://nessasfamilykitchen.blogspot.com

After dessert, here are my picks for the rest of Easter.

Easy is my motto for all holidays. Easy does not imply not made with love and delicious…it simply means that I can enjoy the holiday with my family. 

Cool Mom Picks

Some great suggestions from Cool Mom Picks for Easter Brunch!

Quick Brunch Recipes ….and by that I mean 30 minute ones, are always good even if you are not having anyone over for Easter…here are a few from Cool Mom.

Allrecipes

Allrecipes is my go to website for quick, easy and delicious favorites. Easter is a sweet spring holiday and these Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes are right up my alley if you know what I mean.

Although I love breakfast sometimes I prefer the European approach which is to indulge in something sweet with a really good cup of coffee!

 

 

Life… measured by the glass….

A more classical definition from the Mayo Clinic: “Optimism is the belief that good things will happen to you and that negative events are temporary setbacks to be overcome.”

A Richer Life by Seeing the Glass Half Full – NYTimes.com.

I am a glass full person…although I am fairly realistic about what I can actually accomplish in any given day. There is no end to the list of my things to do on my personal “bucket list

Having a successful blog is one of my to do’s. The question that looms in my head is, “How does one measure a blog’s success?”

Is it by numbers of readers, numbers of comments, quality of discussions or is by what the writer, in this case me, derives from publishing meaningful content on a regular basis.

There are many blogs that I admire and enjoy. The reason I read these blogs is because they are well written and I enjoy what the writers have to say. Some of these  blogs are “mom” blogs…they talk about family, parenting, they share personal stories and pictures…they are sort of autobiography crossed with a  personal diary. I find these blogs entertaining, heartwarming and sometimes heart wrenching.

Some other favorite blogs of mine are photographic ones…by talented amateur photographers…then there are the blogs that are educational.

I always need to be educated about something…social media, blogging, medicine, parenting, etc.

What are some of your favorite blogs…why do you read them and if you write one why do you do it?

Week in Review…Parenting in the Loop

Interesting reads of my week….enjoy.

I love taking pictures of all kinds of things…my favorite subjects are people especially babies. Babies are beautiful and photographing them with a telephoto lens can really capture some wonderful ‘shots’ without disturbing their moment. Here are some tips on photographing those tiny baby hands and feet….nothing cuter!

It’s an adorable way to share something precious and personal with your friends, family, and followers, especially if you haven’t published photos of your lil one’s face yet. Here are a few tips on getting a great shot of those tiny feet and hands to share on social media.

I don’t think I’m ready for finger pointing, and I’m starting to wonder — is sibling rivalry unavoidable? Are brothers destined to bicker with, resent, blame, ignore, irritate or annoy each other? Is fighting just part of the deal? Could it be that even having kids 12 years apart might not be enough to save us?

Remember the party hostess who warned me to not be sidelined by non-issues? Well she’s got to be feeling smug this week. You can’t listen to a newscast or read an item without an explosion of the Red versus Blue Mommy Wars.

“Dont Potty Train Your Baby”…What???

I’m a pediatric urologist, and here’s my response to the parents of Izabella Oniciuc, the famous potty-trained 6-month-old: I know you are excited about your precocious pooper, but watch your daughter closely, because she may be headed for trouble.

Potty training is and has always been a topic up for discussion…after potty training two girls of my own and helping with my granddaughter, I feel comfortable saying that each child is different.

My statement, that each child is different in and of itself, is not earth shattering, But if you deeply believe that every child is unique it is my opinion that potty training will viewed as more of a natural process without the pressure that some parents feel with all the well meaning advice that they read and hear.

I think that this particular article has a lot to say to parents about some of the ideas that are ‘floating’ around potty training.

“My son wasn’t trained until he was 3.5 and it just clicked. My daughter is 3 and is giving me a hard time, but I have a feeling it will be the same way. Rest assured, they will not be going off to school still wearing diapers, so I don’t push it. There are more important things in life to stress over.”

via Steve Hodges, M.D.: A Doctor Responds: Dont Potty Train Your Baby.

Temper Tantrum

NOTEWORTHY WEDNESDAY!

Temper Tantrums

Tantrums are not easy to deal with…even though you love your child and grandchild to the moon and back!

During a tantrum you might want to send them to the moon!

It sometimes can seem that they are possessed by something or someone when having a tantrum…but who or what has set this usually charming child into an uncontrollable rage?

We have experienced our share of tantrums in our house…and what I have learned as a grandmother I only wish that I knew as a mom of two children less than two years apart in age.

There is always one or two events that stand out in the family tantrum history…one was my own memory of tearing a newspaper to shreds when my working mother told me she had not brought me home anything from work that evening. I was not so much spoiled as I was unhappy that she forgotten about me. I was left alone until I calmed down and the paper was completely shredded.

With my own kids…the sentinel tantrum was one at the entrance to the Miami Zoo when my younger daughter did not want to go and see any animals. She was around 3 years old.  We were hoping to have a family outing on a very hot Miami day.

I recall trying the old standby…”bye, we are leaving…you can stay here if you want”. Is that wishful thinking on the part of parents during a horrible tantrum.

Of course, nothing worked until she was ready to put her anger aside after what seemed an eternity. We then visited a pond where the resident Koi made us all laugh as they fought over food that visitors were encouraged to throw into theirwater. It was the Koi version of ‘Hunger Games“.

Usually temper tantrums and anger in children is induced by stress. Young children do not know how to handle stress and do not have the verbal skills to explain why they are so upset.

Even if they try to tell a grown up …commonly it is about something that many times parents do not have patience to listen to nor attempt to understand.

I am no different. At least I wasn’t when my kids were young.

Anger in children often comes from stress. Yes. Stress is part of a child’s life as much as it is a part of an adult’s life. Teaching a child how to handle stress is one of the best things we as parents can do for our children. A healthy dose of stress actually builds resilience …and optimism. At the same time, parents must also be aware that anger is a sign of child anxieties. There are ways to address child anxieties.

via Anger in Children: Whats Normal and Whats Not!.

I am happy to report I am different with my granddaughter…thank you, Dr. Harvey Karp and your book, “Happiest Toddler on the Block

The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re faced with a child in the throes of a tantrum, no matter what the cause, is simple and crucial: Keep cool. Don’t complicate the problem with your own frustration. Kids can sense when parents are becoming frustrated. This can just make their frustration worse, and you may have an escalated tantrum on your hands. Instead, take deep breaths and try to think clearly. via Temper Tantrums.
Dr. Karp’s advice is simple and easy to follow. It is called the “fast food rule
Follow the Fast-Food Rule. This rule is simple: When your child is upset, you should take a lesson from the order-takers at a burger joint — always repeat back his “order” (what he wants) before you tell him your “price” (what you want). Toddlers who are in the middle of a meltdown are incapable of hearing our message (our reasons, reassurance, distraction or warning) until they’re sure we understand and respect their message. So when your tot is upset, before you mention your ideas, take a minute to sincerely describe what he’s doing and how you think he feels.

Janet Lansbury who writes her own blog has this to say to a mom regarding tantrums. In this particular situation there is a ‘new baby’ that a toddler is trying to accept.

Don’t feel responsible when your daughter doesn’t get her way and falls apart…. What she needs most of all (especially right now) are confident, stable, unruffled parents who project calm in the face of her storms (and the freedom you are giving her to have them).

Clarify the situation and make a plan. During more peaceful moments together, talk about life after new baby. Give her details about the changes that will occur, an imagined play-by-play of the day with the new baby.  Be honest and realistic.  Toddlers are way too perceptive to believe any whitewashing, and that won’t help her feel settled.  Tell her that although you will be very busy taking care of the baby and not be available for her all the time, you’ll make sure she always gets what she needs (through daddy, grandma, etc.). Tell her that you two will have some special time together each day and maybe once (or twice) a week a special outing that she picks.

Then, later, when you are busy with the baby and she’s upset you can say to her calmly and confidently, “I know you want me to do such-in-such with you now, but I can’t. I know it’s hard to wait, but we will have our time together in an hour (or whatever). I’m looking forward to it.”  She may have to keep testing that limit until she is certain you will hold your ground.

If you can make the outings work, I highly recommend them, even if you can only give her a choice between a walk down the street and a half-hour outing to the park. It’s not about what you do (or even the amount of time), just about being together. From my experience, those little one-on-one dates with your big girl will be very special, just the way dinner dates with a husband feel extra special once you’ve become parents.

Encourage her to process the feelings. Another thing to do in peaceful moments together is to check in with her about her feelings.  The goal is not to get her to label them, but to assure her that anything and everything she is feeling is normal, expected, perfectly all right.  You might put it this way, “When children have a baby brother or sister they have all kinds of feelings.

via Positive Parenting In The Tantrum Zone | Janet Lansbury.

What do you find helpful when dealing with a tantrum?

How often does your little one have a ‘meltdown’?

I would be interested in hearing your personal experiences.

Week in Review….Parenting in the Loop

Friday the 13th…are you superstitious?

Interesting reads of my week….enjoy.

Alicia Silverstone has defiantly defended her practice of re-feeding her 11-month-old baby son.

Ms Silverstone said she has no regrets about publicly portraying how she feeds Bear, her son with rock musician husband Chris Jarecki, even though many medical practitioners say it is unhygienic and can cause bacteria and viruses to be passed from mother to baby.

The Good Wife” of the Master’s Golf Tournament!  The dad dilemma over diapers and divots tournament…guess which of these won that match.

Interesting discussion about how sport celebs deal with parenthood and tournament schedules…their feelings on the subject of daddy dilemmas.

On March 28, Watson and his wife, Angie, announced that they had adopted a 1-month-old baby named Caleb. Suddenly, Watson found himself far, far more interested in being a new father than in returning to Augusta National. He told Angie that he wanted to come here later in the week, but she quickly shut that down. He said that she told him, “No, you need to come in here and practice like normal.”

How many habits can you say this about?

The habit of meditation is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever learned.Amazingly, it’s also one of the most simple habits to do — you can do it anywhere, any time, and it will always have immediate benefits.

Have a great weekend and if reading this in the U.S. don’t forget Monday is April 15th…taxes!

Are you a Blog Bully???

http://thefeministbreeder.com/judging-moms-may-be-good-for-your-traffic-but-its-bad-for-your-feminism/

Titles are everything in the blogosphere …it can make a major difference in whether your post gets a “click” or not.

I had to click on the above post…the title caught me and here is what I thought about what I read…

The post was about feminism and the judging of moms which is rampant in the mom blogger arena. The mom judging is sometimes beyond a discussion…it can be an assault which in my opinion is very unprofessional, in addition to being unpleasant to read. This type of post puts me on the defensive…even to the point of wanting to defend the person or persons being attacked. I literally have to stop reading and refocus at times to not take sides until after finishing a post.

In the end, The Feminist Breeder certainly shredded a fellow writer’s post to make her point…I am not sure that her harshness was absolutely necessary to create a discussion on the hot topic. Her points were valid but focusing primarily on one feminist blogger did nothing for me coming over to her viewpoint.

I do not see any of this going away soon…in general, it seems that readers and watchers like cat fighting, it is like blog bullying with no real reasons behind the assaults or criticisms.

Here is the link to the post in this discussion…http://thefeministbreeder.com/judging-moms-may-be-good-for-your-traffic-but-its-bad-for-your-feminism/

I would love to know what you think about blog bullying, assaults and attacks on bloggers by fellow bloggers.

Do you think assaults are necessary in some cases?

OR

Are critical evaluations enough to generate good discussion?

Week in Review….Parenting in the Loop

  • Highlights of the week…sharing some of the reads of the last few days.

Ainsley closed her eyes, as if to shut out the embarrassment. The ongoing quest to understand why her young body was turning into a woman’s was not one of Ainsley’s favorite pastimes. She preferred torturing her 6-year-old brother and playing school with the neighborhood kids. (Ainsley was always the teacher, and she was very strict.)

Tummy time” and “Back to Sleep” weren’t part of the playbook when Ginny Fountain gave birth a generation ago. This expectant grandma’s got a lot to learn about newborns, which is how Fountain, 64, wound up in a grandparenting class offered earlier this month at a hospital in Seattle.

But listening is a growing problem for young children to the extent that preschools are now finding it necessary to “teach” listening in some Pre-K programs. A parent recently left this comment on my post A Baby Ready For Kindergarten, College And Life: