Safety Tips and Holiday Toys!


With the holidays fast approaching, it is time to pick out toys and children’s gifts.

Here are some safe gift giving tips for small children.

If you are buying for children of different ages, remember to heed the age warnings on the toy labels and protect younger kids from their sibling’s toys that could be potentially dangerous for them.

Button Battery Warning:

Swallowing coin size lithium batteries from electronic devices…

  • remote controls,
  • watches,
  • key fobs,
  • musical greeting cards
  • and flameless candles

can be potentially life threatening to children and sometimes they are easily accessible.

Toilet Paper Roll:

If a toy can fit through an empty toilet paper roll, it could block your child’s airway and choke your child.

Toy Purchases:

Even though it is a law that toys labeled for kids under 3 cannot pose a choking threat…there are parent responsibilities.

  • look for small, removable parts
  • parts that can break off.
  • look for recalls-
  • be particularly careful of hand-me down toys

Week in Review-Food for Thought…Saving Your Friend on the School Bus

Father Holding Daughter's Hand

Eating together as a family is recommended in many, many articles.

In some families, it is a sacred time, when they share food, and their thoughts with each other without the interruption of screens, phones, television or computers. Some families can manage dinner together several times a week others not so much.

With so many schedules competing for our time and that of our children, perhaps we need to assess how stressful it is for everyone to sit down and eat any meal together.

Maybe, we should re-evaluate how we spend time together and whether it has to be all together at a dinner table?

Perhaps, we can do other things together and use car rides  bike rides, or even walks to share precious moments with each other.

Julie Cole discusses her take on family dinner time…as a mom of six she has some suggestions, all of us might find helpful. Her expectations are realistic for her family.

What expectations are realistic for yours?

Parenting is a tough gig these days. There are a lot of studies and research directing us. While I think it’s important to consider the information that we are bombarded with, I like to integrate that with my experiences, some common sense, and the knowledge that I’m the one best fit to make the decisions for my family. The dinner table is not going to make or break my family. I’m quite capable of doing that all on my own, thank you. Check back with me in a few years though – if no one is using three syllable words, I may reconsider.

via The MabelhoodFeeding Time at the Zoo » The Mabelhood.


Another post this week from one of my favorite bloggers was inspired by Julie Cole’s article, it also deals with family dinner time and meaningful family time.

I have found that family dinners are difficult these days…my husband has a very long day and I am hungry way before he arrives home from work and so is my granddaughter.

When my own kids were young, we managed dinner together most evenings. It was hectic, but everyone looked forward to sitting down and eating a home cooked meal.

They may not have liked all the food that was served and there may have been many heated discussions along side the usual sibling issues but it was a family get together at the end of the day. I can say with certainty, It was definitely not  the Cosbys  but it was three generations sitting together talking or arguing about something or another.

Over the years, dinner time has morphed and now the weekend is when we enjoy calmer meals together, some at home and some out.

I have to admit when we eat out…it is much more relaxing for me and I actually enjoy what I am eating. This is not always the case when I am the one cooking, serving and cleaning up.

With age, I have learned that the dinner time togetherness can be forfeited for other meaningful moments of togetherness that are both relaxing and enjoyable.

For this reason, I love getting older and wiser and I love being able to read about how mom’s today like Annie and Julie have adapted togetherness time to include other enjoyable activities with their kids along with occasional dinners.


It’s not news – families that eat together regularly are better and the rest of us suck. Time Magazine reports that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide. They have a better chance of doing well in school, delaying having sex, eating their vegetables, learning big words and knowing which fork to use.



What would your child do if his school bus peer told him he just took a handful of pills and hoped he would die? Here is what Drew did…kids have to make decisions all the time and some of these decisions have far reaching consequences…how do we help them navigate their world?


Red-headed Drew Carlson of Woodland Middle School saved a life. He saved a family from the loss of a child. He listened to the hushed voice of his peer and he did not hesitate to call 911.

via 6th Grader Calls 911 Overdose From Bus | Elaine Pawlowski.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Car Seat Safety…


I am fanatic about children riding safely in cars.

It is an absolute necessity to have and properly use a car seat.

A child relies on us as the adults in his/her life to keep him/her safe…that is an awesome responsibility.

I was thrilled when I found the Car Seat Lady‘s site…she helps parents and caregivers fulfill their responsibility to their child regarding safety in cars.

Make sure you check out your child’s car seat and make your child as safe as you can when they are riding in your car…NO EXCUSES!

Wordless Wednesday…

Thanksgiving Parade- Turkey

Do any of you have a problem with Christmas coming before we actually celebrate Thanksgiving?

It used to be that Santa did not show up at Macy’s until after the Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC.

In fact, Santa is at the end of the Thanksgiving Parade rather than at the beginning for just this very reason…don’t you think?


Why can’t we enjoy the heck out of Thanksgiving before getting totally stressed about THE Holidays?

No presents, just come and eat your heart out and leave the shopping and stress til Black Friday…PLEASE!

Related posts:


Chicago Xmas State Street







Manage Kids’ Media Use

kids and computers

The American Academy of Pediatrics just made a new statement on kids and media. Here is a review of what they had to say.

Tips for Parents on Making a Family Media Use Plan:

Make a media use plan for your family.  

  • Write rules down,
  • Check quantity and quality of media, take a look at the location of your tvs, phones, and computers including tablets.
  • Location- no screens in kids bedrooms and have a “media curfew”. Have a control center where all electronics get plugged in a night.
  • Excessive media use has been associated with obesity, lack of sleepschool problemsaggression and other behavior issues. Entertainment screen time should be no longer than 2 hours a day.
  • No screen time for children under 2 years of age.
  • Co-viewing programs with your kids and discussing values , look for educational media choices.
  • The Internet can also be a place where kids can run into trouble, keep the computer in a public part of your home.

Discuss the Internet Rules:

  • Discuss “digital footprint” with your children. Let them know that where they go on the internet can be remembered…nothing they do online is a secret.

Discuss Social Media:

  • Become familiar with popular social media sites like FacebookTwitter and Instagram get your own accounts.
  • By “friending” your kids, you can monitor their online presence. Pre-teens should not have accounts on social media sites.
  • If you have young children, you can create accounts on sites that are designed specifically for kids their age.


  • Good “digital citizens”, discuss the serious consequences of online bullying.
  • If your child is the victim of cyberbullying, it is important to take action with the other parents and the school if appropriate.
  • Attend to children’s and teens’ mental health needs promptly if they are being bullied online, and consider separating them from the social media platforms where bullying occurs.
  • Sexting of any kind is not appropriate and remember the internet is NOT private.
  • Check out a sample “Media Time Family Pledge” for online media use.

How do you monitor your kids’ screen time?

Additional Information:

via Doctors’ Rx: Make a plan to manage kids’ media use.

NICU: Then & Now, Children & Intense Emotions


“Tree of Life”

NICU: Then & Now.

The March of Dimes Facebook page catches up with NICU babies in “Then and Now”. This past week, we celebrated National Prematurity Day…not too many years ago these fragile premature babies would not have survived. Here’s to all those that have made these miracle possible!

Helping children when they bite, hit and push – Genevieve Simperingham.

Biting and hitting can really pose a parenting challenge. There are so many reasons that a child resorts to this unpleasant behavior. For me, the most important way to manage behavior problems is through empathy. Empathy for your child and empathy for the victim of your child’s biting and hitting will guide your responses and help make them appropriate. Take a deep cleansing breath to retrieve your empathy and then respond quickly by removing your child from the situation and making sure the other child is okay. Show your child understanding with a sense of calmness, while he is acting this way… and then help him to express his anger and frustration in a more acceptable manner. Gradually, he will find other ways to express his frustrations and anger that do not involve lashing out and biting.

I Have a Daughter With Intense Emotions | Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids.

Keeping with the theme of children and their emotions…here is another post about how to “deal’ with children, who have intense feelings. It is a personal story, to which many of us can relate. Again, “empathy” plays a key role, I hope you visit this story…it is a sweet and endearing one.

Once again…have a wonderful weekend.


Weekend Review: Fallen Soldier’s Final Flight…Party Politics…Fall Back

Time change can wreak havoc with children’s sleep schedules. Sleepy Planet’s Jill and Jen have some suggestions to help navigate this challenge.

This weekend, it’s time to move clocks back one hour. This is the time change that we loved in college, but we hate as parents – especially if you’ve got young children who are already early risers. Whipping up breakfast at 4:30 a.m. is not exactly a solution. Armed with a game plan and a little patience, though, your child should adjust to the new time change after three or four days.



Party Politics is a right of passage…why should a child’s birthday create such crazy chaos? I have very strong feeling about the “birthday party dilemmas” and have done several posts about alternatives to huge celebrations with tons of presents and horribly  put together “goody” crappy bags.


Today begins November…we celebrate Veterans Day this month.

This is how a “fallen” soldier is welcomed home to Los Angeles. It is touching.

Water canon salute brings tears to passengers’ eyes, as tears of water run down the windowpanes.

A few minutes after touchdown, we did indeed have a water canon salute, which I’d previously only experienced on happy occasions like inaugural flights. This time, the water glistening on the windowpanes looked like tears.


via Flight turns unforgettable when passengers learn of fallen soldier – Yahoo Travel.