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!

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Now that many schools are back in session it is time for kids with allergies to begin another challenging year in some cases as they try to avoid exposure to their food allergens.

Here is a great piece in Spokin that I thought would be handy for those parents of kids with food allergies.

Only one weekend post for this week while I am enjoying a back to school adventure in Los Angeles.

weekend readMANAGING THE LUNCHROOM   My daughters have multiple allergies which make managing all things lunchtime essential.

1. Label your child’s lunchbox with their allergies. Big + Bold

 

2. Review your lunchroom or cafeteria menu ahead of time and make alternative plans for high-risk days. When our lunchroom serves fish sticks, we ask our school to allow for our fish allergic daughter to eat lunch in a separate area.

 

3. Make arrangements for having the lunch area wiped down including the tables, both the top and underneath, and chairs each day to avoid cross contact. My daughter has a sesame allergy, so we need to be careful in the event a child wipes hummus on or under the table. Depending on the school, I ask the person who is closest in proximity to my daughter to execute this task.

Source: Maggie’s lunchroom guide

Enjoy one of the few summer weekends left.

Weekend Picks from ParentingintheLoop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Here are my favorites for this week. I cannot believe that in two weeks it will be

Labor Day Weekend. Where did the summer go?weekend picks

I Am “The Good Wife” circa 1955 in Spirit | Today’s Grandmum

What a fascinating funny article that first appeared in 1955 when I was a child! Was this really what was expected of women in those days? Here is what I remember as a little girl from that era.

The Best Way to Put Baby to Sleep

If you want a restful night’s sleep and you have a baby you might find this helpful. Everyone’s baby is different but there are some things that can definitely help a baby to self soothe and actually become a good sleeper. A rested baby will help make your weekend more restful.

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. It may be that the baby who wakes and cannot soothe himself is actually falling asleep with the aid of the bottle and the song, and then finds himself without those props in the middle of the night. “What they want to do is clearly demarcate the soothing intervention on the part of the parents, the song and the bottle from the actual act of falling asleep,” Dr. Owens said. That probably means moving the routines a little earlier, so that after the song is done, the babies get to fall asleep by themselves. And that, in turn, probably means some difficult nights. You can separate the twins for this transition period if you want, or keep them together; whatever you think would make it easier. Co-sleeping — unless it’s something you believe in and want to practice over the long term — may just leave you with another sleep problem to solve down the line. But you want to get through this to a new equilibrium where you can all enjoy the song and the bedtime ritual. “Learning to self-soothe in regard to sleep is a real developmental skill,” Dr. Owens said. “It can be taught, and it’s an important milestone in self-regulation.” Do you have a health question? Submit your question to Ask Well.

Source: Ask Well: The Best Way to Put Babies to Sleep – The New York Times

Should you salt your child’s food?

A really good question since your child will be eating salt in various foods for a very long time. How young can a child start eating table salt on his food? Admittedly, I do not add salt to anything I make for my almost year old grandson and although the veggies, meats and starches taste very good unsalted they just might have a bit more of an enticing flavor with some added salt. I was happy to see this post in the NYT which helped me with my dilemma.

Is it safe to add salt to a 5-year-old’s food? Reader Question • 175 votes A Yes, in moderation. High salt intake is linked with an increased risk of high blood pressure, and the American Heart Association and other groups recommend that children limit sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams a day (a teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 milligrams of sodium). But kids typically get far more than that, usually from restaurant fare and processed foods, which account for 77 percent of the sodium in Americans’ diets. “

Source: Should You Salt a Child’s Food? – The New York Times

Have a good weekend everyone and enjoy some moments of gratitude.

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

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 Picks

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Picks

My daughter is traveling with her 7 month old son this week and although the Safety 1st Step and Go stroller she uses all the time is wonderful she wants to travel lighter. So I was on a mission to find her the smallest stroller with a good price point for my budget! Thanks to my favorite baby gear go to person Jamie Grayson aka “The Baby Guy NYC” I was able to locate the Pockit Stroller.

weekend at Gearapalooza with The Baby Guy NYC

The Baby Guy NYC

Once I found out the stroller on The Baby Guy NYC, my second problem was shipping it over night. Thank you Pish Posh Baby for making it so easy to get the exact stroller delivered overnight to my daughter for her travel this weekend.

The process of finding an awesome stroller that is right for your family is often times accompanied with feelings of overwhelm. We often hear parents complain and ask:

Source: How You Can Pick Out an Awesome Stroller for Your Family – The PishPoshBaby Blog

Organization is the buzz word these days and moms look at other moms and do the inevitable comparisons.  This post came through my feed and I thought it was a great one to share.

Mom-Finds-Out-Her-Baby-Named-After-Ex-Girlfriend

 

We all have a mom in our lives whose level of “togetherness” we secretly (or not so secretly) envy. She shows up at school drop-off looking like she was dressed by a stylist and had time for a blowout, has no problem chairing a fundraiser on a whim, and has a successful day job, too. There are two truths that this mom would love for you to know: #1 No one has it all together, even her, and #2 She’s got a few tricks up her sleeve. While we can’t tell you the last thing that caused her to melt down or lose her cool, we do know a few reasons that there seem to be more hours in her day than everyone else’s. Here’s the scoop on how to channel your most organized self:

 

Source: Things Organized Moms Do | POPSUGAR Moms

What is better than a weekend birthday party?

I am a big fan of Beverly Cleary books and in celebration of her 100th birthday I am featuring this post! Happy Birthday dear Beverly!

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On April 12, Beverly Cleary will be eating a slice of carrot cake in honor of her 100th birthday. While the talented author might not be going all out for the occasion, anyone can celebrate by picking up one of her beloved books that have the power to

Source: Most Popular Beverly Cleary Books For Kids | POPSUGAR Moms

Here’s to a nice weekend everyone!

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.