Car seats and kids’ safety…

Buckle up…but remember these guidelines!

There is nothing more important than car seat safety and this information is so relevant in the winter months especially.

Please visit Car Seat Lady for answers to questions regarding car seats and your kids or grandkids.

Car Seat Lady .com

Keeping kids WARM & SAFE in their car seats is not as simple as you might think. Winter coats & snowsuits are UNsafe as they create extra bulk that leaves the straps too loose in a crash – causing the child to come to a jolting stop (or in some cases to be ejected from their car seat).
Do the “magic coat trick” – dress your child in 3 thin, tight layers (for about 50 degree weather), buckle the child & get the straps snug, have the child hold out their arms and put the coat on BACKWARDS (over the straps). Now the child is safer AND more comfortable (when the car warms up, the child can pull the coat off to prevent overheating).
This and lots of other great tips are on this graphic we created with CafeMom – so please share with friends!
Also see here for more coat tricks:

Family Dinner Time…important to children!


I have always loved dinner time thanks to my own grandmother. She always made it special and it was almost always delicious.

While raising my own family…we tried to have a sit down dinner at least 4 to 5 times every week…it was a time to get together and share food and stories. My own mother lived with us so we were lucky to have three generations at the table most nights.

Now that I am a grandmother, I still feel the importance of sharing meals together. Sometimes, my husband and I go out to share a meal and talk about whatever “empty nesters” talk about and sometimes we enjoy a dinner or lunch with our family.

What is it that you do? How is your mealtime? Has it morphed through time?

I would love to hear from you.

Food…Glorious Food…


Last week I had a few moments to sit down and relax around lunch time, which is when “The Chew” airs in Chicago.

Now I love Mario Batali, but not so much the others on the show. Whenever Mario speaks or cooks anything and I have The Chew on in the background, I usually stop what I am doing and watch him create something fantastic without regard to calories.

On this particular day, the chefs were discussing the shelf life of food in their refrigerators…now this is always an item of discussion in our house as refrigerated foods tend to disappear for days and then make an appearance again only to be thrown away.

Generally, my rule of thumb about refrigerated food has always been…if it has green on it or anything fuzzy…definitely throw it away. Look at the labels as well and make your choices as to whether to eat or not.

I was totally taken back when that was more or less the consensus on “The Chew“. Many items can indeed be eaten as leftovers longer than we actually think they can…we are so ready to throw food items away. Maybe we are just not a “leftover” kind of society.

Later in the same week I came across an article about food expiration dates…something right up my alley after watching the sniff and fuzzy tests on The Chew.

I am sharing this with all of you to get your take on when foods should be tossed…and when are foods actually tossed in your house?

It is literally a “bone of contention” in my house. What about in yours?


We’ve all had our moments of incredulity regarding expiration dates. We sniff open milk cartons, swishing around their contents in search of any strange scents or inconsistencies. When none can be found, some of us declare the milk (or wine, or butter, or eggs — the list goes on) fine to consume. And it usually is. But this haphazard method of determining how safe our food products are to eat could have dangerous side effects, or, at the very least, the occasional upset stomach.

via Expiration Dates For 23 Types Of Food.

Weekend reading….




Look, I know this is a difficult vaccine for people on many, many levels. Even those who completely believe in the science of vaccination sometimes hesitate when asked to immunize their pure and innocent angel against a disease that is so strongly related to sexual activity. I get that. But the fact is that children do grow up. And they do have sex. And as a mother if I know that vaccinating my children when they are still my little babies will give them the best chance at avoiding cancer when they are adults, then I will.


If you ever wondered how a vaccine is actually developed for use, this infographic from the CDC explains it all.

A picture says so much more to me when reading info like this…




Now, a new study suggests both Chua and her critics have a point. It’s not that Western parents or Eastern parents have all the answers, this research suggests, but that the culture of families matters a great deal in how kids will perceive their parents’ motivational style.

Moms can be #LouderThanGuns


Ever since the Newtown tragedy, I have been reading about gun control and the arguments that have ensued.

Today, I am joining a group of moms, who are #LouderthanGuns because after becoming a blogger as a grandmother, I really believe that the power behind moms is a phenomenon that is underrated.

We can make a huge difference in whether or not some type of gun control gets passed in the near future and I believe that in our own way, we must join this cause if gun control is going to happen in a timely manner.

Moms have to be #LouderThanGuns if we are to effect any type of gun control in the wake of this horrendous tragedy.

No one should have to suffer the loss of a family member to gun violence.

After Sandy Hook, I wrote a post...Coping with life and death… about my feelings and reactions to this horrible event.

As a mother, grandmother, nurse and social worker, I have helped many people in different stages of grief and at times, I have grieved along with them. The loss of a child is one of the saddest losses of all…no child should pre-decease their parent.

My heart goes out to the families in Newtown. We must not forget these innocent angels so please consider joining #LouderthanGuns and work towards gun control.

Toast Tuesday…

Yesterday, I was introduced to another blog that could become another of my favorites!


Pasta Night

I love food and enjoy cooking.

These days easy and healthy recipes are a must in our house.

Pasta Carbonara

So, I am introducing all of you to  mom a la mode. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do.


We’re big fans of keeping at least one day a week meatless in the mom a la mode household.  And even bigger fans of a

family-friendly, one-pot meal.  So when my friend and fellow blogger, Triple Threat Mommy asked me to do a guest post on her blog, I knew I wanted to share this … Continue reading »

via mom a la mode.

Weekend Reading….


Winter Freeze!

Here are a few of my favorite reads for this week…I hope you have a relaxing weekend! Enjoy…

He’s feeling his independence. Don’t let it rattle you in the least. In fact, welcome his differing opinion and acknowledge it.

One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child safe when riding in a vehicle. Each year thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe. But with so many different car seats on the market, it’s no wonder many parents find this overwhelming.
“Don’t worry, she’ll catch up.”

I heard that sentence from so many parents around Anna’s second birthday. We were worried about her speech; she was talking all the time but we could barely understand her while kids her age and younger spoke clearly. “Don’t worry she’ll catch up,” people would say. I said the same thing to myself. I figured it would just happen. Her speech was like an out-of-focus photograph. Sooner or later, I thought, it would snap into focus.



Miscarriage…coping with the “unspeakable”


Miscarriage, like early pregnancy, is still a largely private affair. Unlike births and deaths, it has no rituals to mark it. Even close friends can feel at a loss with no script to follow. Co-workers rarely hear of false starts. One’s life moves on as if it never happened.

via Finding Hope After Miscarriage –


In recent weeks, I have been reading quite a bit about miscarriage on blogs. There seems to be a common thread throughout the stories…unresolved grief.

In my early years as an OB-GYN nurse, circa late 1970’s, I remember seeing young women, who had or were experiencing a miscarriage…what I do not remember is how they grieved their unspeakable loss…maybe because such losses were just that “unspeakable”.

It bothers me that so many years later, miscarriage is still in many cases an “unspeakable” loss.

In the 70’s, I was working at NYU (Langone) Medical Center…the OB-GYN physicians were some of the finest in their field and the loss of a pregnancy was taken seriously but generally the emotional toll on the woman was not always acknowledged or treated.

During those years, it was common for women to stay overnight in the hospital after a miscarriage…it was left up to the nurses and the woman as to whether or not she would remain on the obstetrical floor or be moved to the gynecology floor to recover from her loss.

Surprisingly, I remember that many women actually chose to stay on the obstetrical floor to recover…they wanted to “face” their loss and talk to the staff about what they had just experienced, while others chose to leave the obstetrical unit to grieve their loss in a more private way. Ultimately, it was always up to the woman to make this very personal choice.

Early pregnancy losses are fraught with emotions and questions. Understandably, no answer really relieves the grief nor in some cases the guilt that sometimes accompanies miscarriage.

These days many pregnant women find out about their pregnancy in its very early and most precarious stage. I find this to be somewhat of a mixed blessing…on the one hand, once there is a positive pregnancy test, a woman can take better care of herself getting more rest and eating well, in addition to avoiding certain foods and alcohol, she can also check in with her doctor or begin planning her prenatal care.

On the other hand, this early detection of a pregnancy is a very vulnerable time for miscarriage, a complication that many times cannot even be clearly diagnosed in the very early stages of gestation…even with all the high definition ultrasounds and blood work that is available.

So it seems, along with early detection comes a time of uncertainty and vigilance to make sure the pregnancy gets established in the uterus without complications.

What does “without complication” mean to the newly pregnant woman?

Usually, without complication, “simply” means, that during the first two to three months of pregnancy the mom-to-be remains free from severe morning sickness, cramping, pain and or bleeding.

A very common couple question is whether or not to announce an early detection pregnancy to family and friends…what if there is a miscarriage…does the woman want to deal with telling those same friends and family her “story” if something unforeseen happens? These are all dilemmas that a woman may experience during early pregnancy.

Early pregnancy should be a happy time and for most women it is, but sadly as we know, for others this is not the case.

It seems to me, as I look back on my many years in women’s health, that early detection pregnancy is definitely something that brings with it a mixed bag of feelings, happiness in some cases, and a period of worrisome vigilance in other cases depending on a woman’s previous experience.

Pregnancy loss is accompanied by a cascade of emotions enhanced by a woman’s hormone changes. Dealing with loss and grief is always personal and each one of us grieves in our own way. For some, a miscarriage is a very private loss and only shared with close few, while for others it is a time to recover and grieve by sharing with family and friends and deriving a sense of support from them.

… there is not a typical response to loss as there is no typical loss. Our grief is as individual as our lives.

The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. Our hope is that with these stages comes the knowledge of grief ‘s terrain, making us better equipped to cope with life and loss.

via The Five Stages of Grief – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross & David Kessler | ~ Because Love Never Dies


Some women find that sharing their sadness helps and are surprised by the support that is just within their reach when they are able to tell their story…sharing one’s sadness is not easy but many find that it is just the therapy they need… again this is such a personal choice.

I was nervous about writing about miscarriage, but once it was out there, I felt nothing but support. It made me wonder why we hesitate to share this kind of hurt. It is personal, and it does seem strange to tell the whole world that I’m grieving. But the world is full of hurt. What’s wonderful is that so many people are willing to share a bit of mine – even the smallest bit – and enough people doing that really does make me feel better. I didn’t anticipate that writing about miscarriage here would be so therapeutic. The writing itself is actually sort of painful, in a good way I guess, but sharing the experience has been healing.

via Recovery | Science of Mom.

coping with the emotions of miscarriage, friends, family and shared personal stories.


It would be remiss of me not to include the “dad” in the grieving process…he can be very emotional as well while trying to be supportive of his partner. Charlie Capen wrote a beautiful post about his feelings.

But she had been right. She had been pregnant. Our doctor’s office, a place we had been so excited to visit, to witness a beating heart, to learn the sex of our baby and confirm life, was now an unfair place that just kept taking from us, over and over.

It’s been four months since that late night in Texas. It took me a while to write about it, and even now I am riddled with guilt for experiencing grief over a theoretical baby that mightn’t have existed at all. I’m asking myself why I’m posting this. How do you end a post a like this? Why even write a post like this?

So, I can let it go. Now.

Charlie Capen: IOUD.


I have been moved by the honesty of the feelings expressed in the above posts.

Miscarriage is such a sad experience for a mother and dad to be. There is no prescribed way to mourn the loss of what was to be. Yet many, who experience such a loss feel compelled to quickly move on, sometimes without healing physically and emotionally themselves.

Attachment, loss and grieving are part of all of our lives…these are the words I remember best when I was grieving, “Be good to yourself“. These are the words I would say to anyone who has experienced a miscarriage.

Flu or Cold??? or just sick?

This is “flu” season and you can become very sick …it is epidemic in some cities. Even if you have had a flu shot you can come down with Influenza symptoms that were not covered by the “flu vaccine”.

Here in Chicago, some of the hospitals are having to turn people away from their emergency rooms and send them on to another hospital for care due to so many cases of flu.

CVS Minute Clinics can offer you the flu shot if you have not already had one…it is not too late!

CVS Minute Clinics are in many states throughout the country.

Here in Chicagoland, they are clinically affiliated with Advocate Healthcare and are staffed with nurse practitioners and or physician assistants…there may be a Minute Clinic that is convenient to you.

You do not need an appointment and your insurance may cover your visit…if you do not have insurance Minute Clinics accept several forms of payment including credit cards.

If you find yourself in need of vaccinations, a physical, wellness screen or treatment for common family illnesses, you might consider CVS Minute Clinic…if there is one available near you. Their website can also give you information and perhaps answer any questions you might have before you visit a Minute Clinic.


MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who provide treatment for common family illnesses and injuries, administer vaccinations, conduct physicals and wellness screenings, and offer monitoring for chronic conditions.

Our practitioners can:

  • Diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses such as strep throat, bladder infections, pink eye and infections of the ears, nose and throat
  • Provide common vaccinations for flu, pneumonia, pertussis, and hepatitis, among others
  • Treat minor wounds, abrasions, joint sprains and skin conditions such as poison ivy, ringworm and acne
  • Provide a wide range of wellness services, including sports and camp physicals, smoking cessation and TB testing
  • Offer routine lab tests, instant results and education for those with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or asthma

Most services are available for those age 18 months and older, but ages for specific services may vary. To see services available and age restrictions in Massachusetts, click here.

Please check the individual service, and read the following “what to know” sections before your visit.






usually present



fairly common



moderate to severe

onset of symptoms

appear gradually

can appear within 3-6 hours


hacking, productive cough

dry, unproductive cough




stuffy nose



runny nose



sore throat



general aches/pain


common, often severe

chest discomfort


often severe




I was not compensated in any way for this post…all opinions are my own.
Of course, if you are seriously injured or ill you would want to call 911 or visit your nearest Emergency Room.

A New Year … Bring it…

Welcome 2013…the last few weeks of 2012 have been hectic ones, complicated by the flu, which stopped at our house and has lingered right into the New Year!

Our holidays were wonderful, although we had to make a few schedule adjustments due to “influenza”. For our sake and the sake of our friends we stayed home most of the time  not attending a favorite Christmas Eve family party.

For many years, we have been welcomed at the home of dear friends on Christmas Eve. When we first began to attend the festivities, our own children were teenagers…we all enjoyed the little kids that surrounded us and their excitement poured out to every adult when Santa and Mrs. Santa arrived.

Over the past 16 + years, we have only missed one or two Christmas Eves with the family that adopted us long ago, here in Chicagoland. Sadly, this year was one of those years.

We are now grandparents and our friends are now grandparents and great grand parents…so it was with sorrow that we decided to stay home to keep the “flu” confined to ourselves.

I had even planned ahead and contacted “Borrow Baby Couture” for a special little girl’s dress for the Christmas Eve meeting with Santa.

I was so excited when the Chloe dress arrived and I quickly opened the box when I realized it was from “Borrow Baby“.

Borrow Baby Couture

The dress was gorgeous, spectacular and sparkly …just what I wanted…even prettier than the picture on the “Borrow Baby Couture” web page. Truly fit for a “little princess”.

Chloe Dress from Borrow Baby Couture

But, Christmas Eve arrived and our family was literally down for the count and the beautiful dress remained in the beautiful box. Christmas Day, we all stayed close to home enjoying the holiday spirit among ourselves and a few other close family members, who were brave enough to come into our home.

So, I have packed the pretty princess dress in its box, already to ship back to “Borrow Baby Couture”.

Borrow Baby Couture

Easy return to “Borrow Baby Couture”

Admittedly, I am disappointed that the sparkly dress never made it far from its box…but Borrow Baby is still tops on my list when it comes to baby couture.

The convenience is unbeatable and the selection of dresses from infant to 4 years old is exquisite.

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I have received the Borrow Baby Couture services as a gift for writing about my experience.