“Thank You”


Yo Gabba Gabba Live

“Thank you”.

How many times a day do you actually say ,”Thank you”?

Who do you routinely say , “Thank you” to?

Teaching a child to say “Thank you” is something all of us have done at one time or another…it is usually coupled with learning to also say, “Please”

In fact, as I write this I am reminded of a singalong on Yo Gabba Gabba, the sole purpose of which was to impress on a young one the importance of these words and of being polite.

During any given day there are so many opportunities to say, “Thank you”. I try to take advantage of them. Saying, “Thank you”, helps to validate the other person and it helps me to focus on what that person has done for me. no matter how small or mundane.

It always irritates me if I hold a door open for anyone and they do not acknowledge me with a simple, Thank you”. In fact, I usually snarl at them and say a big “THANK YOU” out loud so that they can hear me as they walk on by ignoring my gesture. I sometimes wish that I could let the door slam on them. Just telling the truth and saying that these moments really piss me off! (I try not to do this in front of a child)

I spend a fair amount of time with my grandchild and am trying to teach her the basics of politeness. Reminding her to say, “Please” and “Thank you” is a daily constant. But these reminders are basically meaningless if I don’t use the words appropriately so that she can mimic me.

Really, we always hear ourselves when little ones are playing in their make believe world. How often do we hear them say, “Thank you”.

How often do these little ones say, “Thank you” without being prompted?

In the link below, Caitlin Kelly writes about, “Thank you” and happens to make an observation about President Obama and his sometimes apparent lack of gratitude. Whether true or not it is not flattering to be perceived as ungrateful no matter how “big” or “small” you are.

(I am not making a political statement here just an observation from another writer. So please do not focus on this as a political statement. It is used just to make a point.)

What do you think about how we teach our children and grandchildren politeness? When do you tell them to say the words, “Thank you”?

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it and I would love to hear from all of you.

Saying “Thank you” « Broadside.

Yo Gabba Gabba

What’s for Lunch?

School Lunch Dilemma

School is fast approaching and that means school lunches will be back in the kitchen routine. Hmmmm!

I have been reading about healthy ideas for kids lunches and recently had a discussion concerning family food ideas with a dietician colleague. She has the same issues with kids lunches…how do you make the interesting and tasty?

So much time goes into meal planning at my house and always has. Good healthy meals have forever been a priority of mine. It was handed down to me by my own grandmother. She made a delicious dinner every night. My mother was a single mom and worked full-time. Since my grandmother lived with us she took over cooking. Most nights, we all would have dinner together. It was an important time for us to catch up with each other and one that I looked forward to.

This fall, I am going to help prepare daily lunches for pre-school…the challenge begins and I am up to it! I think…

Creativity in lunch preparation has long gone from my food prep repertoire . Personally, I take my own lunch to work…it suits me…although it is far from creative… it is usually healthy.

Recently, on my trips to Whole Foods, I find myself looking at Bento boxes and flipping through Parents Magazine for hints as to how to be creative. I want to fix something healthy and interesting….food that a four-year old will enjoy at lunch time.

Our school is a nut free environment, which is of concern to our family, because our little preschooler has a nut allergy. As you probably know, nut allergies can be life threatening. So along with lunch goes the EpiPen, which is kept at school in case of a severe reaction.

I have decided to try the Bento Box…mainly to keep things interesting and organized for our little one and ourselves. The small containers will allow for a few little snack type foods like veggies, dips and grapes (cut in half) to avoid choking, another concern of mine as a pediatric nurse.

Kids have very small “windpipes 

they can easily be occluded by

a food as tiny as a grape, nut

or a chunk of hot dog.

The larger containers will be great for a sandwich, salad or something like a shish-ka-bob without the stick.

I am also purchasing a lunch bag to carry the bento box… that will make it easier to put some “blue ice” inside, keeping food cool and protected from bacteria growth.

A soup thermos also caught my eye…so, we have that as well. It allows us to change-up the menu and include some favorite soups with noodles and some veggies.

So far the food thing is coming together…now for the drinks. Milk really turns me off…no matter what, milk gets warm and there is nothing more distasteful! Water is really perfect with a squirt of juice or even a little mint. Our little one likes juice so a 50-50 juice-sparkling water is a nice variation. One suggestion from Parents Magazine suggests freezing the juice overnight so that it is slushy by lunchtime…great idea.

Parents Magazine, September 2012 issue has some wonderful top chef choices for the lunch box routine. None of them are too difficult…I give this particular article two thumbs up.

What are some of your suggestions for the lunch box dilemma every morning?

Note: I am a grandmother, whose daughter lets me get involved in the food/lunch dilemma because I really enjoy it… we do all of it together and fortunately we have the same dietary concerns for children. It is my pleasure to share with you as we navigate this together.

Related links:

Upgrade Your Lunch Box: Tips For Packing A Creative Lunch – Parenthood.com.



Hi everyone,

I have been absent this week because I went back to work as a renal social worker…just for the week.

Covering vacations is always a challenge but it also gives me a chance to help out and work together with a great group of colleagues.

Dialysis patients are a very special group. One of their major needs is to have someone just listen to them. Listening is really an art and to be honest I enjoy it and I am good at it.

Someone, who has a chronic illness,I have learned, feels like they are carrying around a 50 pound suitcase all the time.

Kidney failure demands a lifestyle change… three times a week a person in kidney failure must sit in a chair connected to machine for 3 – 4 hours while their blood goes through a machine to be cleansed of all impurities that their kidneys used to remove without them even thinking about it.

Now, without dialysis they will die.

I am always amazed at how different people handle this type of a diagnosis. Initially, there is a period of disbelief that their kidneys have failed…there is also a period of accepting the fact that dialysis will be necessary for the rest of their lives or until they have a transplant.

This news is usually devastating for the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients and their families.

Kidney failure knows no age boundaries.

I have seen a young woman in acute renal failure due to taking massive doses of ibuprofen prior to her realizing she was pregnant.   Her kidneys completely shut down …fortunately her kidney function slowly returned and she delivered a healthy baby.

We have children on dialysis too. For various reasons, kidney failure also affects babies and until they can receive a transplanted kidney they have to have dialysis treatments as well.

After this week…I am experiencing “compassion fatigue”.

When I returned to the dialysis center…some of the people with whom I had a relationship were dead…a few of them were old and their bodies weary from illness but a few were young, one was a mother of a teenager.

My heart ached for them and their families. The chairs where they sat have new dialysis patients sitting in them as the cycle of life goes on in the dialysis center.

On the upside…one of my patients, whose transplanted kidney failed, received a new kidney. He is a young dad, whose wife died a couple of years ago from complications of kidney failure.

I love my work…and am happy to help, but this Friday I am grateful to come home to my family and grandchild.

I look forward to this weekend and am thankful to get back to my regularly scheduled programming





“Week in Review” from Parenting in the Loop

A Day at the Beach…Martha’s Vineyard

Here are my Friday suggestions.

Motherload has an amusing post especially for me because I spend a fair amount of time in Rhode Island and am also amazed at all the Native American historical names of rivers and towns. One Massachusetts town always brings about a funny banter between me and my husband when we see its road sign…guess which one it is?

On the brink of my eighth year of marriage I’ve discovered the key component of successful matrimony: that both parties find stupid, ongoing jokes hi-larious.This is what it is like in my marriage.

There are things that are so horrendously obtuse–absurd things that we’ve joked about for years—that we still laugh wine out of our noses about. Yes, it’s the spewing of wine from our nasal cavities–a sort of pinot noir neti pot cleansing—that keeps our love alive.

This is a meeting that I would love to have attended this year…a very large group of bloggers from many diverse areas…mostly women….along with a ton of wonderful sponsors. Ah…maybe next year!

BlogHer’s 8th Annual Conference is headed back to New York City in 2012. Thousands of bloggers will come together to connect, learn and inspire. Join us!

On Thursday, August 2, President Barack Obama addressed the BlogHer ’12 conference live, via video. Watch this clip now, and come back soon for the entire address!

A very thought provoking topic…the development and health of our children and grandchildren related to stress. This is a topic all of us can relate to our own lives but what about the next generation…What can we teach them?

 The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the healthy development of the next generation. Extensive research on the biology of stress now shows that healthy development can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body (especially the brain), with damaging effects on learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan.

Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

Bloomberg on Breastfeeding.

Rant on the Politics of Breastfeeding:

Another breastfeeding issue…Mayor Bloomberg of NYC has initiated a program in his City which is supposed to promote healthy breast feeding.

Do we really need politicians to get on this “bandwagon”….Are not mothers, moms enough to decide on their own, how they want to feed their baby?

Women who stop breastfeeding do so because they are miserable and so are their infants…it is not because they did not want to breastfeed to begin with…it is because they were not initially successful or after trying and trying with good support systems they still were not successful and their babies were not getting nourished nor sleeping.

Any mother knows this can lead to a vicious cycle of crying and sleep deprivation on the part of the newborn and the mom. It is horrible when it happens ….Where is Mayor Bloomberg after mom goes home from the hospital?

I am all for breastfeeding and am aware of all the benefits of it…but I am not in favor of a Mayor getting involved in a choice that is personal and has nothing to do with him.

Politicians should stick to kissing babies on the campaign trail and stay out of the feeding frenzy.

Kara Spak: N.Y. Mayor Bloomberg is wrong on breast-feeding – Chicago Sun-Times.

Moments of Solitude


Solitude at Sunrise

Summer reading seems to be a luxury these days…time just seems to get away from me .

So I have taken to downloading my favorite summer book on my Kindle i-phone app. This allows me to read almost anywhere.

It is not ideal but it has been working for me so far…

When I catch a free moment waiting in an airport or in a doctor’s office I can flip to Gift from the Sea and enjoy a few pages. It is usually enough to calm my pace.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared my love of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s timeless book with all of you.  I am wondering if anyone has taken my recommendation and picked up a copy of this wonderful memoir?

Just this past week, I found myself searching the beach for the shells from her pages. Shells for me are little treasures of the sand…you never know what you are going to find.

My walks provided me with some needed solitude and shells to remember those moments. I now have a welk, a sunrise and a moon shell.

Anne uses the welk as a metaphor to explain solitiude. Solitude is something we all seem to need but cannot quite get enough of.

If  you are like me…solitude does not come easy . Actually solitude has a way of making me feel lonely rather than at peace with myself…

Peacefulness with oneself is not necessarily a natural feeling. It takes quite a long time for me to enjoy being by myself.  In fact, I don’t really enjoy being anywhere alone. I am truly a “city mouse” and when I am in a city walking and people watching I am most happy. Essentially, I am alone, surrounded by strangers.

I am somewhat jealous of Anne Lindbergh’s contentment at the beach alone…she says that it does take her time to wind down and settle in…maybe I have just have never taken the time out to settle in to a state of solitude.

For some reason, I don’t feel safe when I am alone on a beach, on a street or even in an elevator. For me there is safety in numbers.

I feel safe with my husband, family and friends.

To some extent, I can feel alone when I am with people and that is where I find some of my moments of solitude.

Where do you find your moments of solitude? What is your solitude like?

I would love to hear what provides moments of solitude for you!