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???


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?


Are critical evaluations enough to generate good discussion?

Town Mouse and Country Mouse…Which one are you?


Recently, one of my tweets, was from a mom of three  who announced that NYC where she lives was in a way calmer than visiting her hometown in Northern California with her three young kids.

Now there were probably more reasons for this statement than I realized but I tried to understand what she meant through my own eyes and my own life experience as a mom and now a grandmother.

I grew up in a city of 300,000 just outside of NYC…sometimes it felt like just an extension of Manhattan and the Bronx… trains, buses, trolleys, subways, we walked to the grocery store or had groceries delivered…we walked to school and church…we walked and played in parks, visited a museum within walking distance of our apartment which also, to our delight, had a planetarium.  Although we had a car…we only had to use it to actually leave the city to visit relatives in the country.

We were apartment dwellers…2 bedrooms with a view of the Hudson River and the Palisade Mountains…we shared bedrooms and had a postage stamp of a kitchen out of which came all our meals…never take-out… there was one tiny bathroom, a living room and dinette.

Life was simple…clutter was a minimum…saving stuff was impossible…closets were shared so we had what we needed but not too much more. Food was bought every day…storage was limited.

After 30 years in New York with a four year college stay in Washington, D.C.…I moved with husband and my own family to the “country”. I had never ever lived in a house…what was a washing machine that was not coin-operated…where was the garbage chute? More importantly, where or where was the handyman when I needed one if not on the other end of the phone or an elevator ride away? Life was SO different…

Life in the suburbs or country with kids entails a myriad of stuff, more than a stroller…which in the city sometimes doubled as a laundry and grocery cart. Now we had cars…with car seats and loads of trunk space to fill with groceries and loads of kitchen space to store all the extras bought at the bountiful super giant food store….we had Walmart and now Costco…oh… but now after many years in the burbs our house now resembles Costco as we have filled every crevice, closet and corner with large sizes of everything.

Yes, I mean everything we could possibly need… only not to be able to find it when we do finally need it.

When our kids were young they slept in our bedroom many nights…I guess it was kind of like co-sleeping, back in the day. They usually made their way to the floor of our room with their pillows and blankets due to bad dreams or thunder storms. We could have saved a lot of money if we had only known that a two bedroom apartment was all we really needed back then.

Of course in the burbs it was impossible to walk anywhere…we drove our girls to school and everywhere else…no public transportation for them even if it was available…not even a school bus. After all no one else walked anywhere.

I think you can get the picture…country mice with a home filled with stuff, who forgot how to walk anywhere, bikes, scooters, and their own cars to drive to school when they got old enough. Suburban spoiled…

Often, I longed for a more simple life…less space to lose stuff … windows that had a cityscape view…people walking, horns honking, public transportation, cabs, little restaurants around the corner, small grocers where I would not be tempted to buy things I did not need and where nothing was so huge I could not carry it home.

For my kids…I longed for them to be able to walk to places like museums, stores, even to school if possible. As young children I would have enjoyed the city parks with them… I longed for Central Park… which was my idea of country in the middle of one of the best cities in the world.

Now, I long for a much smaller park like the one off of Lake Shore Drive a short walk from Water Tower in Chicago and the Oak St. Beach. I long to share my city life love with my granddaughter.

In my own way, I understand what my Twitter mom was tweeting…when she essentially said her NY city life was more calm than her week in the suburbs with her kids.

This City Mouse will hopefully return to city dwelling sooner than later…a little  lot older and wiser than she was when she was last an urbanite with much less stuff than she had as a suburbanite.

In the meantime…these stories come to mind.

via The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

In the original tale, a proud town mouse visits a friend or relation in the country. The country mouse offers the city mouse a meal of simple country foods, at which the visitor scoffs and invites the country mouse back to the city for a taste of the “fine life”. But their rich city meal is interrupted by a couple of dogs which force the mice to abandon their feast and scurry to safety. After this, the country mouse decides to return home, preferring security to plenty or, as the 13th-century preacher Odo of Cheriton phrased it, “Id rather gnaw a bean than be gnawed by continual fear”.[2]

Beatrix Potter retold the story in The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse (1918). In this she inverted the order of the visits, with the country mouse going to the city first, being frightened by a cat and disliking the food. Returning the visit later, the town mouse is frightened of the rain, the lawnmower and the danger of being stepped on by cows. The story concludes with the reflection that tastes differ. A segment from the tale was incorporated into the children’s ballet film The Tales of Beatrix Potter, danced by the Royal Ballet with choreography by Frederick Ashton (1971). The ballet was subsequently performed onstage in 1992 and 2007.

Are you a country or city mouse?

If you have children, where do you want to live and raise them?  Why?

“Hunger Games”…more than a good movie!

The Hunger Games…I have not read the book …I have not seen the movie.

But I have read an excellent review on a website that seems to be a good find if you want to know how to keep pace with your children and their exposure to technology and media.

What parents need to know…Parents need to know that although the bestselling Hunger Games books are enormously popular with tweens, theres a clear distinction between reading about violence and seeing it portrayed on screen. Developmentally, the 10- to 12-year-olds whove read the book may find the movies visceral, sometimes bloody teen-on-teen violence upsetting — especially the brutal scene that opens the Games, in which several teens are slaughtered by their fellow contestants. Even young teens need to be mature enough to deal with the 20+ deaths in The Hunger Games; characters are viciously dispatched with various weapons — including spears, arrows, and swords — as well as by having their necks broken, their skulls cracked, and their bodies ravaged by carnivorous and poisonous creatures.

Discussion suggestions for parents and kids:

  • Families can talk about how the Hunger Games’ “last man standing” premise (minus the actual killing, of course) compares to current reality shows. Which shows pit people against each other? Why is it so much fun to watch the alliances and the voting off and the cattiness of these programs? How far do you think shows like this could go?
  • Use the movie’s depiction of Panem — particularly the relationship between the Capitol and the 12 districts — to discuss how much kids understand about totalitarian governments and dictatorships. What does President Snow mean when he says he doesn’t root for “underdogs”? Or that too much hope is a dangerous thing?

via The Hunger Games – Movie Review.

Related sites:


Toddlers …”Stay in Bed…PLEASE!

In our home, once upon a bedtime used to mean a simple, pleasant and relatively easy routine  until “bad dreams” became one our little one’s nighttime fears.

Fortunately, the ‘bad dreams’ have all but disappeared with the help of a magic wand and consistent reassurance whenever our toddler is awakened crying and frightened.

Now bedtime has become its own nightmare…procrastination has taken over our once relaxing routine. Our little granddaughter is a master at asking for sips of water, multiple stories, hugs and kisses to name only a few of her requests when the word ‘bedtime’ is spoken.

Before we get totally weary, we have decided to deal with this issue now and without delay.

We are about to pursue some tips from the Sleep Lady. Even though, I also work in the field of child sleep teaching, I admit that I must remain open to suggestions when dealing with issues within my own family.

First off, we will all sit down with our granddaughter to discuss the “new” routine making sure that she knows we will always be nearby….(which is actually a return to our pre-nightmare routine)…however, we will not be rocking her to sleep or reading numerous books…there will be one sip of water…good night hugs, kisses and  tuck in.

These days, naps after morning pre-school are inconsistent, so 8-8:30 pm seems to be an appropriate bedtime  in order to get the recommended ten to eleven hours of sleep for a 3  1/2 year old. She also has  one hour quiet time every afternoon.

Goal: in bed, asleep between 8-8:30 pm.

The Bedtime Routine:

  • go to the toilet
  • bath
  • brush teeth
  • read a story
  • rock for two minutes
  • get into bed
  • sip of water
  • hugs, kisses and tuck in
  • leave the room
  • gate up/door open
  • How does bedtime work for your preschooler?
  • Are you consistent with your child’s bedtime routine?


  • Does a grandparent or other caregiver not follow the routine… are they more easily diverted by your child’s prize winning procrastination abilities?

I have to say that I am the grandparent who, at times  gives in, and Papa can be sometimes equally as bad as I am.

At this time, we are committed to a firmer routine so that all of us can sleep better.

It is the least we can do…

Sleep is just too important.

Related Reading:

Helping Your Toddler Go to Sleep and Stay in Bed | SleepLady.

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:


Relaxing is something that I have had to learn to do over the years as parent. It isn’t easy for me to stop and smell the roses.

It has taken me forever to find something that relaxes and takes my attention away from all of the things that need to get done at any given moment in time.

Actually, it is not one thing that I have found…it is several things…the beach, a view of the water, yoga, knitting, breathing are a few of my favorite things.

It is hard to find a favorite thing while I am in my own home in suburban Chicago….I do not have a water view…but I do have my breath, a yoga mat and knitting needles filled with unfinished sweaters, scarves and hats. It is finding the discipline to get off the treadmill of life and relax a bit.

How many of you have this same situation?…

What do you do to carve out a few minutes of peace and quiet?

What are some of the relaxing things you enjoy?

Do you have a favorite picture that you imagine when you want to go somewhere to relax?

"Martha's Vineyard"

Vogue …Mother and 7 Year-Old Daughter Diet…Healthy or Sick?


As a professional advocate for children, I am saddened and appalled by the obesity epidemic in children.

The younger generation actually may not live as long as their parents…this is sickening…because we have the knowledge. But our social programs, our big businesses that make their money selling non-nutritional foods, and our own will power detours us onto the road to OBESITY.

Last week, Vogue published an article written by a mom who chronicled her 7 year old daughter’s 16 pound weight loss.

The response to the Vogue mom’s efforts were fast and furious severely criticizing her approach to her daughter’s weight.

While I agree that some of the situations that this mom describes are not ideal, it seems that she had her daughter’s best interest at heart.

As parents, we all know that at times dealing with our kids, no matter what their age, can actually bring out the worst in us.

We do and say things that we regret. I cannot imagine putting a 7 year old little girl on a diet without some bad behavior on both parts…mom and daughter.

What has been your experience with your own “bad” behaviors when dealing with your child’s behavior?

My response to this mother-daughter weight loss story is this…it seems to be an honest story…the outcome for the child was good in that she did lose weight and is probably physically more healthy.

HOWEVER...I can also say that some of the ways mom dealt with her 7 year old daughter’s diet may produce lasting emotional effects on her and they may not be healthy ones. Only time will tell…

It is said that children are ‘resilient’ and bounce back from adversity…many times, they do but not without scars.

I would also say, thank-you to this mom for sharing her very personal experience with her daughter so that other moms might learn from her  story.

Finally, “Mom …you hopefully did the best you could and your daughter is now healthier for it. Hopefully no long term harm done!”

The following are some of the responses to the Vogue article:

The stats on childhood obesity are sobering: 1 in 3 U.S. kids weighs too much. In the April issue of Vogue, we learn about one of them. Her name is Bea, and it’s pretty hard not to imagine her growing up to really, really hate her mother.

via Vogue Essay By a Mom Who Put Her 7-Year-Old Daughter on a Diet Garners Outrage | Healthland | TIME.com.

Helping a child who weighs too much now, but still needs to keep growing, is a challenge that there’s more than one way to meet, and there is obviously more than one difference between these two children and families. Yet I’m struck by this one: the Reids suggest that it’s possible to shift to healthier habits together, and support each other through the moments when it just doesn’t feel like a single Oreo will do. Ms. Weiss seems to argue that sometimes, a parent has to force her child to do what she knows is best, and that children are not always going to willingly go along with the program.Can a parent’s demands create long-term change in a child, or does a successful healthy relationship with food have to come from within at any age?

via Putting a 7-Year-Old on a Diet – NYTimes.com.

I called Dr. Dolgoff, the founder of “Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right,” the Weight Watchers-style program that Bea based her diet upon, to hear what she thought of the piece. She said that while Weiss “clearly loved and wanted the best for her daughter,” she “wasnt thrilled” by the article, especially since it somewhat misleadingly portrayed her program, which focuses on empowering children, stresses that parents refrain from embarrassing their kids in public, and allows kids a number of indulgences to enjoy with friends. “The program has to be run by the child,” she said, “and the truth is that making a child feel bad only causes problems. Its not going to help with weight loss, and its definitely not going to help the child emotionally.”

via Mom Puts 7-Year-Old on a Diet in the Worst Vogue Article Ever.

For Bea, the achievement is bittersweet. When I ask her if she likes how she looks now, if she’s proud of what she’s accomplished, she says yes…Even so, the person she used to be still weighs on her. Tears of pain fill her eyes as she reflects on her year-long journey. “That’s still me,” she says of her former self. “I’m not a different person just because I lost sixteen pounds.” I protest that, indeed, she is different. At this moment, that fat girl is a thing of the past. A tear rolls down her beautiful cheek, past the glued-in feather. “Just because it’s in the past,” she says, “doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”

via Good Parent’s Are Not Afraid To Put Their Overweight Children On A Diet « Beyond Black & White.

Sleep “training” or “teaching”…is it good for baby or you?

Recommended Reading

For most families, sleep training will result in a baby that has a new and important skill: the ability to sleep on his own. The whole family will get more sleep, and that comes with numerous benefits. In fact, recognizing that the current sleep situation is not working and making changes to improve it could reduce a child’s long-term exposure to stress and cortisol.

  • I am very interested in sleep both for baby and parents. Good sleep is healthy for both. In my opinion, it makes for a happy baby and happier parents.
  • There is some scientific evidence about sleep training and stress available but if you are like me I rarely read scientific studies…I usually skip to the discussion.
  • “Science of Mom” explains scientific studies in her posts in a language that I understand. I like that, it is right up my alley.
  • Below is a link to her post on stress, learning to sleep and helping baby to cope.
  • My recommended reading for today.

Helping Babies Cope With Stress and Learn to Sleep | Science of Mom.

Ignorance is NOT Bliss When it comes to Your Health…

It has been years  decades actually since I became a mom.

As a nurse, it seems that I was overwhelmingly  aware of various symptoms for which I should contact my doctor during pregnancy and in general.

Admittedly, it is nice having a medical background but it has some disadvantages, like  knowing just a little too much and thinking the worst when a symptom appears…so it is ALWAYS better to check with your medical professional.

If you develop any one of the symptoms like the ones in the list below, a visit to the doctor would be advised.

But do your homework before you arrive for your doctor’s appointment so that you can get the most out of it and come away with an understanding of your symptoms and a plan to diagnose and relieve them.

A doctor’s visit is an anxious event and for me it is no different.

I have had my share of medical issues for which the ultimate diagnosis and plan resulted in open-heart surgery and a Mitral Valve repair.

When it comes to medical appointments I go prepared with questions and I come away with answers and a written plan with the help of a pad and pencil.

Here is a list of health symptoms that no one should ignore especially moms, (we tend to care for everyone but ourselves).

These are a few symptoms that could be easy to correct or they could actually indicate that you might need some serious interventions.

In general, a young, healthy mom will probably need more sleep, some vitamins, diet adjustments and exercise. But in some cases if you have diabetes or thyroid problems, more treatment will be indicated.

Have a look at this link and don’t have a panic attack if you have any of the symptoms…don’t look up all info on Google…just make an appointment with your physician.

If you don’t have a doctor…now is the time to get one.

9 Health Symptoms Moms Shouldnt Ignore – Parenting.com.