Foolproof Easter!

Collage #1

via “Nessas Family Kitchen” blog

Life is short.  Eat dessert first.-Jacques Torres 

This is going to be our Easter Dessert. It is from one of my favorite Irish Blogs- Nessas Family Kitchen.

So head on over to her blog and see her beautiful photos and recipes. The photo above is her Easter cake.

Lemon Frosted Easter Cake

I always find that cake is well suited to every occasion. This lemon frosted cake makes a perfect Easter treat, as yellow themed goods seem to fit nicely with an Easter theme. It’s basically a madeira cake which is smothered with a creamy lemon topping and filled with lemon curd; perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea anytime.

After dessert, here are my picks for the rest of Easter.

Easy is my motto for all holidays. Easy does not imply not made with love and delicious…it simply means that I can enjoy the holiday with my family. 

Cool Mom Picks

Some great suggestions from Cool Mom Picks for Easter Brunch!

Quick Brunch Recipes ….and by that I mean 30 minute ones, are always good even if you are not having anyone over for Easter…here are a few from Cool Mom.


Allrecipes is my go to website for quick, easy and delicious favorites. Easter is a sweet spring holiday and these Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes are right up my alley if you know what I mean.

Although I love breakfast sometimes I prefer the European approach which is to indulge in something sweet with a really good cup of coffee!



The Upside of Post Partum Depression!

face of depression

Is there an upside to postpartum depression?

I am not so sure, but perhaps it was the case for Susan Benjamin Feingold, a psychologist who, herself, experienced postpartum depression over 20 years ago.

For those experiencing this sometimes devastating disorder it could be an opportunity for a  “new beginning” if the mom gets the appropriate help.

Twenty years ago, as we know, this disorder was not taken very seriously and was mostly known as the “baby blues” and was mostly left untreated. It was felt that “baby blues” was hormonal and self limiting. So when the postpartum period was over in about six weeks after delivery the baby blues would go away with it.

We now know, postpartum depression is more complicated and serious than the “baby blues”.

Personally, I like Ms. Feingold’s approach. As a clinical psychologist, “she encourages women to view postpartum depression as they would any other difficult time in life that would provide an opportunity for personal growth and transformation.”

Stigma is still attached to mental conditions and postpartum depression is not immune to this stigmatizing. After all, what is wrong with a mom who cannot find joy and happiness in her newborn?

Hopelessness can follow the delivery of a baby for various reasons and whether or not it is stimulated by a change in hormones does not diminish the seriousness of postpartum depression.

With the proper professional help moms suffering from this disorder can actually have a very good outcome. They can make changes and perhaps as they put the pieces of their life back together they will have learned that they are stronger and better for the experience.

The medical journal JAMA  Psychiatry reports that, 1 in 7 women suffers from PPD.

The largest study to date shows that as many as 1 in every 7 women suffers postpartum depression. And the study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, finds that among women followed for a year after delivery, some 22 percent had been depressed.

The study also recommends that all pregnant women and new mothers be screened for depression.

via Postpartum Depression Affects 1 In 7 Mothers : Shots – Health News : NPR.

According to Feingold, PPD symptoms fall into four areas or clusters.

  • depression cluster- overall lack of joy, loss of appetite, desire to sleep all the time, feeling of hopelessness 
  • anxiety cluster- insomnia, racing thoughts, worry, tension headaches
  • panic disorder-panic attacks, which mimic a heart attack
  • associated obsessive thoughts such as hurting the baby- feeling that something is going to happen to their baby

Feingold also mentions in her new book that women who successfully work through their postpartum depression sometimes then begin to work on other pre-existing symptoms and improve the overall quality of their lives as women and mothers.

It sounds like Feingold’s approach to postpartum depression and its treatment could be just the answer for many of the moms who suffer from this disorder. It could be the “new beginning” leading to the “happy ending”.

Feingold has written a new book, “Happy Endings, New Beginnings: Navigating Postpartum Disorders,” that offers advice, including when to seek medical help. But it also encourages women to view postpartum depression as they would any other difficult times in their lives that would give them an opportunity for personal growth and transformation.

via Book looks at upside of postpartum depression –


Smiling Little Girl


When to Feed Your Baby Solids


Did you feed your baby solid food way too early?

True confession ….I did.

When my first child was born, my aunt, ( who knew everything), insisted that I feed my infant some rice cereal so that she would sleep through the night. She insisted my baby was hungry all the time. While that may have been true, I knew better. But never the less I succumbed to the stupor of being a new mom and tried feeding my newborn a few spoonfuls of cereal to encourage a longer night’s sleep. Aren’t all new moms sleep deprived?

Even though I was formula feeding, my husband did not do the middle of the night feedings since he had to get up for work the next morning so I was desperate when it came to some long stretches of sleep and I thought perhaps my aunt was right.

Well, needless to say my dear aunt was not correct and my efforts to feed a “newborn” were frustrating, time consuming and fruitless when it came to lengthening my baby’s sleep time. Mind you, she was a good sleeper by all measurements, I simply wanted to rush her to sleep through the night. After a few days of attempting solids, I gave up and went back to nothing but formula for the next 6 months. She slept through the night when she was ready at 8 weeks of age.

So now, when I read that moms are still trying to feed solids, mostly cereal, to their infants at a very early age…

I do not judge.

From the statistics, this practice is done by moms that are still influenced by their moms and grand moms. It is an erroneous practice handed down from generation to generation and it probably will not soon end because simply, moms and grand moms are more influential in some cultures than baby’s pediatrician.

After all would your mom steer you wrong?

Feeding Baby


While many pediatricians are sympathetic to the difficulties parents face feeding their child nothing but breast milk or formula for six months, they say little good can come from feeding solid food to a child before he or she is physically ready.

“When a baby is ready to start eating food, he will put his hands in his mouth, and you will see him actually making chewing motions,” said Dr. T J Gold, a pediatrician with Tribeca Pediatrics in Brooklyn. “At 2, 3 months, they can’t even hold their heads up well, and they can’t sit,” making it difficult, if not dangerous, to put solid food in their mouths.

They also have yet to develop the proper gut bacteria that allow them to process solid food safely, potentially leading to gastroenteritis and diarrhea, Dr. Gold said. The early introduction of solid foods has also been linked to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, eczema and celiac disease.


Related Posts:

Baby Nutrition Important New Facts


Baby Hip Health, Baby Carriers, – The Perfect Parent- Ireland Forever…Weekend Reading

Summer Sailing

Summer Sailing

Did you ever wonder how to be the perfect parent?… it is not possible as this mom writes with humor. I am sure you will be able to relate to some of her “5 Easy Steps” no matter how young or old your kids are.


How To Be a Perfect Parent in 5 Easy Steps… or Probably Never

I don’t dole out much parenting advice as a rule, largely because I have an almost 18-month-old and spend most of my days feeling like a complete and utter fraud and failure.



I love seeing so many babies being “worn” by their parents in carriers. Closeness is very important to infants and young children. However, babies should be worn properly, just as they should be positioned in their car seats properly.

Because infants are still developing their hips are and knees are at risk for damage in front facing baby carriers…

Education Statement: The IHDI recommends healthy hip positioning for all babies to encourage normal hip development. Within the womb, a baby spends a long time tucked in the fetal position, in which both hips and knees are bent or flexed.


St. Patrick’s Day is over but I love Ireland and was thrilled to find a list of some great Irish blogs.

Some days, I long for the warmth of a peat fire accompanied by a cup of Irish tea and a delicious scone with cream and jam along with good conversation. My husband and I have visited Ireland several times, it is like going home for me where as the Irish say…”there are no strangers just friends you have not met yet.”

Get a slice of Irish life through these amazing personal blogs.

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I’ve been searching for the best Irish blog. I want to know what life is like in Ireland, the secret ingredient in Irish recipes, and the best kid-friendly places to visit. What better way than to find out first hand?

Have a great weekend…thanks for reading.

Does your child have these Non-respiratory signs of worsening asthma?

Lazy summer days...Those of us, who have asthmatic children usually want to know all there is to know about preventing an impending attack or dealing with an asthma attack.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recently published a list of non-respiratory symptoms that may signal an impending asthma attack in your child.

In a small study, these were the reported non-respiratory symptoms that parents reported prior to an asthma attack in their child.

  • paleness,
  • irritability,
  • anxiety,
  • tension,
  • tiredness, and
  • sleeping problems.

Overall, upper respiratory symptoms as a group were not increased in the days prior to uncontrolled asthma.

One specific upper respiratory symptom that was significantly increased was an itchy throat.

via Non-respiratory signs of worsening asthma in children.

What do you know about Kids and Depression?


One of today’s headlines included news that depressed kids are at risk for heart disease later in life. As a healthcare professional this is not really new to me but the fact that a study found this correlation is meaningful.


The findings suggest that the consequences of childhood depression reach beyond the emotional realm and can lead to long-term physical health problems. This makes early intervention — both to treat the depression and to encourage healthy habits, possibly preventing future heart problems — even more important.

An estimated 2 percent of school-aged children, those between 6 and 12 years old, appear to have a major depression at any given time. That widely cited statistic comes from a study published in 2000 in American Family Physician, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

“I think the clinical implication of this finding is that if we know a child is experiencing depression, we can pay special, close attention to cardiovascular risk factors and try to deal with those things as early as possible,” Carney said in an interview, “and then be able to prevent the onset of heart disease over time.”

via Depressed Kids Risk Heart Disease Later – Heart Health Center – Everyday Health.

This is an important finding for the future health of our children and of course it is important for their current health.

If your child exhibits signs and symptoms of depression it is crucial that you are able to recognize them and then speak to your physician about what you are seeing.

No one wants to think that their own child or grandchild could actually be “depressed” at a young age but they can. Closing your eyes to it will not make depression go away it might even make it worse.

Signs and symptoms of depression in children include:

Irritability or anger.

Continuous feelings of sadness and hopelessness.

Social withdrawal.

Increased sensitivity to rejection.

Changes in appetite — either increased or decreased.

Changes in sleep — sleeplessness or excessive sleep.

Vocal outbursts or crying.

Difficulty concentrating.

Fatigue and low energy.

Physical complaints (such as stomachaches, headaches) that don’t respond to treatment.

Reduced ability to function during events and activities at home or with friends, in school, extracurricular activities, and in other hobbies or interests.

Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.

Impaired thinking or concentration.

Thoughts of death or suicide

via Depression in Children: Symptoms and Common Types of Child Depression.

Although I have read that depression is not common in children younger than 12 years of age, as a clinician I have seen some very troubling depressive behavior in younger children.

Depression is treatable, but only if you seek help for it.

So, if you have questions about yourself or your child please check with your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room.

Troubling Toddler Behavior, Kids Snacks, Pizza Nite…Weekend Reading

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Toddler behavior can be very challenging. I love Janet Lansbury’s take on what to do and how to deal with this developmental stage. Although following her advice may not be easy to follow,
it certainly sounds worth it in the long term.

What do you think…how do you deal with problem toddler behavior?

We’re big. They’re tiny. They’re just learning our rules and expectations for appropriate behavior. They have a developmental need to express their will, and they have very little (if any) impulse control. With these complicated, powerful dynamics in play, why would we take our toddler’s hitting, biting, resistance or refusal to cooperate personally?

Kids all need snacks and it is sometimes hard to pick nutritious ones in this on-the-go environment we live in.

Yogurt is a wonderful, tasty choice for snacks and lunch box treats…I freeze the yogurt squeezes and they are perfect at lunchtime after thawing.

What are some of your secrets snacks for your kids and grandkids?

How to Manage On-The-Go Snacking for Kids

Posted by Elizabeth • March 14th, 2013

Saying that Jill Castle, MS, RD, LDN knows a thing or two about childhood nutrition would be quite the understatement. Jill is a pediatric nutrition expert, and in her 20 years of knowledge and experience with kids, she’s tackled everything from helping families with picky eaters to designing specialized diets for medical problems. Add on the fact that she’s also a mother of 4, it’s safe to say she knows healthy eating, knows kids, and she DEFINITELY knows what it’s like to be busy.

Okay, its Friday and pizza is another family favorite. Why not make your own with this easy and tasty recipe from Mom a la Mode. I’ll be over at 6 !

I thought you might like the recipe so you can also enjoy this pizza physically, in the comfort of your own home.  What’s a better supper on a Friday than fresh, homemade pizza…and maybe a glass (or two!) of Chianti??

Kathryn and Loulou Inspirations!


Is it possible to add anything to the discussion around work and motherhood without being bullied by other moms? My guess is no, but I’d like to share my story anyway. I love being a working mom, but I didn’t always.

via Kathryn Tucker: The Helping Foundation.

I had the pleasure of meeting and hearing Kathryn Tucker speak at a conference last year.  I am a mom and now a grandmother and I can relate to Kathryn’s story about being a working mother. While my children were very young in the 80’s I did stay at home but after that I worked at least part-time as a nurse. I had the responsibility of helping to open a Mother-Baby Maternity unit in a suburban Chicago hospital. It was both challenging and rewarding.

I was not bulllied for my choice to work but I was left out of SAHM networks because I worked. When I needed help I could not ask any one to actually assist me because I felt they resented me for working and imposing upon them. I believe it was indirect bullying.

While I had co-worker friends, I was losing my mom network neighborhood friends. It was a no win situation most of the time.

Thankfully, I had my mother who had also been a working mom and was my “best friend”. She helped me out at home but since she did not drive that was a major problem especially living in suburbia.

My husband is a physician so I actually did not have to work. I think that was also another reason my mom “friends” did not want to help me out in a pinch.

Early in my nursing career while working in NYC so many people helped me…I was able to get my Masters degree because I worked for a physician that would reschedule his office hours to accommodate my class schedule. I never forgot all the kindnesses that were extended to me by my friends…I felt so fortunate. So when I became a mom, I wanted to continue to work and share what I had learned. I taught nursing and tried to impart the skills and knowledge that was shared with me.

Now as a grandmother, I am still trying to share what I know as a mom, maternal child nurse and clinical social worker. I do it through blogging. It is sometimes painfully lonely in the blogoshpere especially as a grandmother…most bloggers are young enough to be my children…I am not sure they want to know what their moms have to say much less read my blog.

I can relate to what Kathryn when she writes….

I spent a lot of time in my quiet apartment thinking about what it means to connect with other human beings. Almost every night, I would put my kids to bed and then go online, just staring at Facebook, waiting for something to happen. Very little happened, but I would still sit there, hoping. I would nose around the Internet, follow names I recognized on Twitter, Google old friends, then go back to Facebook ten minutes later to see if I had missed anything. I hadn’t. I was trying and trying to wring something meaningful and sweet out of the Internet, but never with much luck.

I spend a lot to time by myself…none of my friends write, much less blog and they are not social media savvy…nor do they care to understand my fascination with social media and the impact it is having and will continue to have on today’s world.

Someone recently said to me that she does not like reading about young moms because it makes her feel old and consequently depressed….I find it quite the opposite.

So, I will continue to blog and hope that I have some type of impact on my readers…I will continue to read about women and moms like Kathyrn and admire what they are doing in today’s complicated world as they try to balance their lives as working women and mothers.

I will also be charmed and moved by Kathryn’s daughter LouLou, the next generation…isn’t that the whole point of being a mom and grandmother…to inspire these young little girls and boys to not necessarily follow in our footsteps but to create their own footprints.

Thank you Kathryn for sharing …you inspire me!


Can food allergies be prevented?

Kids eating Lunch

This morning while watching the news, I heard a very sad story of a young adult who died from an allergic reaction to eating a cookie that was cooked in peanut oil…

Allergies can be deadly!

Children with allergies to foods especially peanuts and tree nuts are more common than ever before, so we need to be conscious of kids and adults around us who might have these allergies.

Some schools are dealing with this issue head on but others are not. Apparently, there is no standard among schools when it comes to food allergies. This is dangerous to say the least.

Anaphylactic reactions take no prisoners they take lives and they do it fast unless there is immediate action and an EPI-pen available.


Surprisingly only eight foods are responsible for most food allergies….hard to believe…right?

These foods are:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Tree Nuts
  • Wheat

When you have a food allergy your immune system reacts to a certain protein that is found in that food….you can have a reaction to even a tiny amount of the food.

Of particular concern these days is food allergies in children, even very young toddlers.

Many questions about food allergies are now being answered but there are still so many more questions from parents, that do not have any answers yet.

  • New guidelines by The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:
  • Introducing infants at around 4-6 months of age to the common allergenic foods such as wheat, dairy, eggs, peanut products, and fish  could potentially prevent the development of food allergies in susceptible children. This can be done after infant is introduced to foods such as rice cereal, fruits and veggie
  • The longer an infant is exclusively breastfed, the less risk for development of other allergic diseases such as asthma and eczema.
  • No need for maternal diet restrictions while pregnant or nursing unless  recommended by a doctor for known maternal medical illness/allergy or evidence of allergy in infant.
  • Consultation with an allergist for infants with strong family history of food allergies to determine best/safest way to introduce allergenic foods.
  • More interventional studies are needed (and are under way) before making these suggestions a routine recommendation for all infants.

via Can food allergies be prevented? | Confessions of a Dr. Mom.

It seems like progress is being made concerning the prevention of allergies but what about the children who are already at risk.

In my opinion, there should be a standard policy in all schools for dealing with a potentially deadly allergic reaction to food or even bee stings. Waiting for 911 responders is not enough…precious moments make be lost leading to a child’s death rather than survival!

Do you know whether your school has policies in place to protect children with allergies to foods? or bee stings?

Food Allergies | AAAAI.

Related posts:

Allergies and Kids

Halloween and Kids with Food Allergies