“Week in Review”….ParentingintheLoop

My choices for good worthwhile reads….
  • Tackling Distress Tantrums with Brain ResearchThe following article is an excerpt from the excellent book, The Science of Parenting: How todays brain research can help you raise happy, emotionally balanced children by Margot Sunderland

via peaceful parenting: Tackling Distress Tantrums with Brain Research.

  • I’m very much a “back in my day” type of mom in that I always tell kids what things were like during that time, so very long ago, before they were born. I tell them about life without the Internet, cellphones, and how I walked to school up a hill in a snowstorm backwards without shoes.

via 10 Things My Kids Think I Did in the Good Old Days | Kid Scoop.

  • A team of German scientists has just released the first ever video footage of a live birth with magnetic resonance imaging, MRI.

via Amazing Footage of Mom Giving Birth in an MRI Machine | Being Pregnant.

Have a wonderful summer weekend!

“A Woman for All Seasons”

Nora Ephron

“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.”

Nora Ephron, Heartburn

Nora Ephron was a woman, who spoke to many of us when we did not even realize it. I will always remember her from these words in the movie, “When Harry Met Sally”.

“I’ll have what she’s having”…

Beach Break….

For me, there is nothing that can quite beat a relaxing day at the beach… gentle breezes,  the voices of children at the shoreline, and the sounds of seagulls over head.


….and toys abandoned for a quick snack


…and “love letters in the sand”


…and carefully created sand formations…


and views of beautiful spinnakers…beckoning me to come aboard and sail…off into my imagination…

Where do you find renewal?

Where does your imagination take you when you are relaxing and daydreaming?

As a mom and now a grandmother who writes, I find these moments of renewal so important to maintain balance.

So this week, my blog will take a short break from its regular scheduled program

while “grandma” unwinds.



Essentials of a good education in today’s world…

I have been a fan of Leo Babauta for several years since my husband introduced his blog to me. He is very relaxing to read and he speaks to my inner soul much of the time.

Yesterday…while looking through some of my Facebook updates, I came upon this post of Leo’s that I missed on his feed.

Although, I have never been a fan of homeschooling, I can definitely appreciate Leo’s comments on how we are educating or not educating our children to meet the challenges of the world in which they will live.

I hope that you enjoy this piece from Leo…please read his bio…it is impressive.

Let me know what you think…I would love to hear your feelings about home schooling…would love to have tried homeschooling but do not think I have or ever had the patience to undertake such a challenge.

How then to prepare our kids for a world that is unpredictable, unknown? By teaching them to adapt, to deal with change, to be prepared for anything by not preparing them for anything specific.This requires an entirely different approach to child-rearing and education. It means leaving our old ideas at the door, and reinventing everything.

via 9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn, by Leo Babauta.

Week in Review….ParentingintheLoop!

Summer Solstice… NYC


Healthy Child Healthy World is one of my favorite sites for excellent information…this week has been a long one for me but I would love to share these wonderful articles that as so apropos for summer.

Have a great weekend!

See you all next week…hopefully!

  • The dog days of summer have arrived early at Chez Sorensen and my girls are practically living in the pool. I love that they’re spending oodles of time outdoors, but we’re going through copious amounts of sunscreen and my kids aren’t exactly fond of the laborious effort it takes to slather their bodies repeatedly throughout the day.

via 3 Sunscreen Safety Tips You Probably Don’t Know, But Definitely Should | Healthy Child Healthy World.

  • Dr. Harvey Karp is a legend at Healthy Child Healthy World. Dr. Karp is a founding board member and a driving force behind the work we do every day.

via Dr. Harvey Karp, America’s #1 Pediatrician, Makes a Housecall | Healthy Child Healthy World.

  • Vegetarian PestoFresh and flavorful! Check out this recipe for a versatile and vegetarian pesto that you can use all summer!

via Vegetarian Pesto | Healthy Child Healthy World.

Chicago Bean at Sunrise

Photos of “my two Cities”… via Flickr…


“Food for Thought”….Kids Food in a Pouch!

via Plum Organics on Pinterest

I have been wondering about these “pouches”of organic pureed foods for kids and how parents are using them. When I go to our village grocer or Whole Foods, I am always looking for healthy snacks for my grandchild and have seen these options near the jarred baby food. I even purchased a couple of varieties, but they were not a hit with my little one.

Now, after just reading this NYTimes article, I definitely have “more food for thought” about an organic version of convenience “foods”, that are essentially healthy but allow us to feed our kids on the run. Will these pouches actually help to do away with learning how to sit down and enjoy a meal the way it was meant to be enjoyed?

Sometimes, I feel that sitting down in a McDonalds now and then with a Kids Meal and a salad for myself is far better than pulling out something from my purse that might be healthier but does not permit any “down time”…to just sit, talk and connect.

Seriously…do any of you use these “pouches” to feed your children nourishment on the run?

Have you ever tasted any of them?

What do you think of this whole idea???

Excerpted from the NYTimes:

Watching her jump and eat, I was struck by several thoughts simultaneously. One, kids aren’t supposed to move and eat, are they? Two, if my children don’t sit at the table, how will they ever learn manners? Will they be cast out of polite society, like pirates or hoofed animals? And three, aren’t meals part of the glue that’s supposed to hold a family together? Are we in such a hurry to do things efficiently that we’re expediting the transition to the can-I-have-the-car-keys diaspora?…….

At last, I realized the source of my nagging discomfort. The pouch may help us negotiate the age-old battle of wills at the table, not to mention relieving me of my vaudeville act. But it also creates children in our own frenetic image: energetic, vitamin-fueled, moving frantically from one thing to the next.

I wonder if that’s a good thing.

via Food Pouches Let Little Ones Serve Themselves – NYTimes.com.

Are Your Kids “Waterproofed”?


Summer is officially here.

Swim Safety is so important at all times but especially in the summer months.

Drowning is the second most common cause of death from injuries among kids under the age of 14. Drowning can happen so fast — sometimes in less than 2 minutes after a persons head goes under the water. That leaves very little time for someone to help.

via Swimming.

My children were taught to swim to the side of the pool and tread water when they were barely walking because we lived in Florida at the time and pools were all around us.

Of course “waterproofing” a child is no guarantee that he or she will not get into trouble around a pool…and here is a true story.

One evening while living in South Florida, one of our friends came home from work to greet his family.  His five year old son, nonchalantly  said,

“Hi Daddy, Jimmy is at the bottom of the pool”…

Our friend went into panic mode…ran to their screened in pool area, dove into the water to bring his limp 3-year-old son to the surface and immediately give him CPR.

Fortunately, it was just in time…and his son responded to his resuscitation efforts. Luckily, dad was a physician and knew how to respond…but at that moment he was a panicked father too.

Not all stories of accidental drowning end with a successful resuscitation. Timing is everything.

Parks Department Offers Swimming Lessons for Second Graders – NYTimes.com.

More tips on swim safety: Swimming.

“Toast Tuesday”…Parenting in the Loop


This week I am toasting Lisa Sunbury…and her blog “Regarding Baby”

Lisa and Magda

She is gifted in the way she approaches parenting children and her understanding of RIE and the work of Magda Gerber.

See what you think for yourselves and let me know some of your thoughts.

About Regarding Baby:

The word Regard has several meanings; a protective interest, a feeling of respect and affection.One of my most important teachers, Magda Gerber, often talked about helping parents and caregivers to see babies with “New Eyes.” Since my area of expertise is infants and toddlers and I focus on helping parents learn to relax and slow down, do less, and to respect and respond to their baby’s needs through sensitive observation, Regarding Baby seemed to make perfect sense as a name.


RIE Certified child educator Lisa Sunbury & RIE founder Magda Gerber

About Lisa: I have dedicated my life to caring for, supporting, and advocating for infants, toddlers, and their parents. I have over twenty years experience working in the field of Early Childhood Education, in a variety of roles.

via About.

The Little Boy…that Stole My Heart!

Leukemia is the #1 cause of death by disease in children, and, although commonly thought of as a childhood disease, is diagnosed ten times more often in adults.

via Jim Gibbons 5K.

As you know, I live in Chicago (area) and every year at this time there is a race that benefits Leukemia research in honor of Jim Gibbons, a beloved ABC news reporter here in the city of “Big Shoulders”. He died of leukemia in the prime of his life.

This year, I was amazed when I listened to the race reports and learned that leukemia is still the # 1 cause of death by disease of children.

As the news reports echoed in the background…

a sudden a flood of memories came flowing through my head. I was a student nurse at NYU…it was my very first pediatric patient .

His name was Jeffrey, he was four years old, with a beautiful head of dark hair and the most captivating smile … he had AML…leukemia. The year was 1971 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC.

He had been in the hospital for quite awhile, his mother and father stayed with him most of the time.

as I remember…he had his own little room with his very own gum ball machine.

Weekly for a whole semester I took care of him, bone marrow tests, blood draws, chemotherapy and losing his precious hair. He wore a Yankees baseball hat when he went out for a walk through Central Park with his mother or grandmother.

Another student colleague of mine was also assigned to him. Between us we gave him as much love and attention as we could and we supported each other knowing that his prognosis was grave.

In class one morning, my friend Rosemary told me she had been working the night before, when Jeffrey died…

four years old, he had spent almost 1/4 of his life at Mt. Sinai Hospital and lost his battle with leukemia. It was my first blow with the death as a nurse.

I cried for his mother, father and little sister and I cried for myself…

we could not save this precious little boy from this horrible disease.

His mother sent me a gracious note…I cherished it for a long time, with it she sent along a key chain…

a remembrance of Jeff…he had unlocked a part of my heart as a young nursing student…

I still have that key chain and it has been constantly in use over many years and many moves. It hangs on a hook in my home with the key to my house, my heart and the memories of a little boy, who would be around 45 years old today …if we could have saved his precious life.

His mother had another little boy, I learned from my friend Rosemary…

I wonder how life turned out for them…I wonder if Jeff’s mother knew how much I loved her little boy with the bald head, the Yankees hat and the beautiful smile…who stole my heart so many years ago.

Dads…Happy Father’s Day!

Memories and Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a day that I remember all the dads in my life.

My own father, my maternal uncles, my beloved brother… then there are the father figures, a doctor and a therapist.

As a young child, my parents were divorced …so my father was absent most of the time except for weekend visits and phone calls.  At times we had fun and other times it was just mandatory time which had to spend outside of my own comfort zone. As I remember, my father and I did not laugh much…our visits were mostly hours spent at the Long Island home of my grandparents or on outings around and about New York City and Brooklyn. Sadly, we became more and more distant as both of us got older finally becoming  estranged toward the end of my dad’s life.

My maternal uncles were another story…they were full of laughs and practical jokes. Time spent with them was not mandatory…it was usually at dinner or some family affair. My uncle Harry was a career Army officer and divorced, my other uncle, Geroge was married and lived nearby with his wife and children. I remember them both as men I respected and wanted to be around as a kid.

My brother was older by twelve years…he loved me unconditionally…he was always there for me, even in his absence while serving in the Army when I was very young. I always felt his presence. We truly understood each other even though many miles separated us for years at a time. The very last visit we had with each other, he was waiting for a pacemaker/defibrillator to be inserted in his chest. He put his hand on mine and I felt something between us that words could not explain. I did not know at that moment, I would never see him awake and alert again. He died several months later after a cardiac arrest from which he never recovered.

As a young nurse…in the 70’s I worked for a doctor, who was not just any doctor. He was a mentor. Years later, I realized that he was also a father figure to me. He was there  whenever I was in need of career advice or just advice about life in general. Over time and miles we kept in touch only to lose contact in the last few years. Even a google search has left me without this “dad” as well.

My therapist…I believe everyone should be lucky enough to have a therapist as good as mine. We have parted ways as well as he has retired. At our last meeting, he asked me what my “transference” was in our sessions. Transference is a therapy term. Since I am also a therapist I knew immediately who he represented in my life….he too had become a father to me. He did give advice but most of all he listened and unconditionally accepted what I had to say…he helped me figure out my life as it was then. Retirement took him away from me soon after the death of my brother some 6+ years ago. It truly was a loss for which I was unprepared.

Today as I reminisce, I think of my husband, who is unequivocally the best person and dad that I know…I was lucky to meet him. Among my blessings are the last 35+ years with him by my side. We are “pulling on the same side of the rope”. We have become parents and grandparents together, we have shared the happiest of moments  of our lives together and some of our saddest moments as well. He is my best friend in every way.

My hope today is that my husband has a Happy Father’s Day and knows that he has made my life fuller than I could have ever hoped .

* Photo from Flickr Collective Commons.