TGIF-Weekend Reading…

Weekend Reading:

Measles has reared its ugly head again and some parents are in an uproar over unvaccinated kids in school and public places who put children with compromised immune systems at risk. Some of these vulnerable children are on chemotherapy and cannot be immunized, they rely on “herd immunity” which is affected by anti-vaxers.

California is having some serious outbreaks which has brought this problem to the forefront again where it belongs until something is resolved.



In Orange County, the highest rates of unvaccinated schoolchildren are in affluent and mostly white communities, especially in coastal South County.

For the first time since 2007, the number of Orange County kindergartners up to date on their vaccines did not fall this school year – instead, it rose almost 2 percentage points to 90.4 percent.

Still, that figure is below the 95 percent level of immunization coverage that health officials say is needed to prevent a widespread outbreak.

Have you found your child’s passion?
building with blocksWhen you have a child with special needs, your mind tends to always center on the milestones you hope your child will achieve, and often forget that there are many things your child can already do, and often do very well. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in therapy and homework. Often, you only see the areas that need improvement, and don’t see (for lack of time or energy) the areas of talent or achievement. (Does this sound familiar?) When this happens, it is time to pause and breathe. And better yet, change your focus to take time to celebrate.


Do you take your child out of school for family vacations? This is another controversial topic this week. I did this with my own kids and they were fine but it really is a personal family and child issue. What do you think?

LEGO Water Tower Place


A recent article in the New York Times highlighted why taking your kids out of school for a family vacation can be beneficial for you, but a nightmare for teachers. Blogger Jessica Lahey, who is both a parent and teacher, says that while she’s taken her children out of school for events she deemed valuable enough to warrant a school absence, it’s also caused somewhat of a headache for those teachers who have to pre-plan packages of work for student absences. A few educators have even deemed it “illegal” and labeled such absences as truancy.

The subject seems like a hot debate. Some comments on the piece included:

Technically, it’s telling the truth. I am taking my kid out of school for what the state has deemed an “illegal absence.” That I talked to her teacher on meet the teacher night and emailed her about our upcoming trip doesn’t matter. Nor does the fact that said teacher is putting together a packet of homework to do on the trip.

It’s still “illegal.”

I don’t do anything illegal.


Another weekend is upon us and it is Super Bowl Sunday. Will you be watching? Have a great couple of days! Thanks for reading! Lorette


Measles Outbreak Continues



Are you and your family immunized against measles.

At last count, there were 78 cases in 11 states. Most of those cases originated at Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure theme park.

News Moms Need » Blog Archive » Measles 

What should you do?

If you are NOT vaccinated or your child is under12 months old:

  • Stay away from places where large numbers of people congregate.
  • If you are vaccinated you do not have to worry and it is safe to visit airports, shopping malls and tourist attractions.

The only way to protect yourself is vaccination. Women who are trying to get pregnant should check with their health care provider to see if they are immunized. Wait one month after the MMR vaccine before trying to get pregnant. If you are pregnant get the MMR after you give birth.

Last year, the U.S. had a record number of measles cases.

As many as one in 20 children with measles develop pneumonia. This is the most common cause of death from measles in young children, according to the CDC. Children under 5 and adults over 20 are at higher risk for getting complications from the measles virus, including hospitalization and death.


As a nurse, I am a pro-vaccine professional for many reasons. I simply believe in medical research and do not want herd immunity to disappear, which protects those children and people, who have diminished immune systems and cannot receive vaccines.


Storytelling through Photos

Stories and Photos

Rainbow Cake-Birthday Photos


Ever since I can remember, photographs have been a source of joy for me.

I am now a grandmother and every time, I come across a box of photos that are stored away, I know that there will a ton of vignettes running through my brain like an old movie reel from the 50’s.

As a young girl, a camera was never far away from my hand. Kodak Brownie cameras were very popular when I was a child and my father made sure that I had one. He was always taking snapshots in Black and White and we were always facing the sun which made us squint something fierce in those days. Flash was not used often by my dad, but my second Brownie camera had a flash attached to it that used bulbs that would explode into a melted hot mess after a flash photo. They were inconvenient and somewhat expensive.


Film was another story. You never knew whether your photo was a keeper until you developed it at the drugstore, it took a few days for that process. Kodak did most of the developing in those days, and it was up to them to decide whether to print a photo or not depending upon its quality. If it printed, you got charged, if not you received a negative to decide if in fact you still wanted to print it or not. Saving negatives became a chore, but you did it because if your wanted duplicates you needed the negative to get them.

With all of the rigmarole of photo taking came another rigmarole of storing and sharing photos. Albums were tedious, but kept us busy on a snowy weekend along with the corner stickers that held the photos in place and keeping the stories of the photos updated and chronological. I loved it when the clear page albums came along and then the ones that were archival quality made it possible to store photos without losing their quality.

A beautiful Anniversary dessert!

A beautiful Anniversary dessert!

The life of the family photographer was tedious but very rewarding and the stories that went along with the photos could keep me enveloped for hours at a time, in past vacations, family gatherings, and visits with relatives that were no longer around.  I relished and cherished these moments.

Along with the photographic times I have changed and absolutely love the fact that I can snap a photo anytime. It is as easy as breathing and as natural for me at this point in my life. A camera be it my phone or my DSLR is always at my side!

"From Our House to Your House!"

“From Our House to Your House!”

Thank goodness, I no longer have to go to the drugstore to develop my pictures. I download them to my computer and sometimes I make copies for my walls but most times not. I have CD’s full of photos along with digital cards, that I save as back ups and my photos are backed up to Carbonite to avoid a loss that would be tragic. Sometimes I feel that losing a picture is like losing a part of my history…it is something to grieve if you lose your precious photos.

Photos stir memories and memories are so important. Photos tell stories and stories are so important too.

Recently, Shutterfly contacted me to share this sad news about photos, memories and millennials.

Millennial Memories at Risk

Millennials are most at risk for losing memories, taking more photos than any other generation. Though millennials snap more than 100 photos each month on average, they’re unlikely to have looked at an old photo in the past month.


“Photos can be effective memory cues, but they only work if you revisit them. Shutterfly’s research shows that people are taking huge amounts of photos but our revisiting behavior isn’t scaling with our snapping behavior,” said Dr. Linda Henkel, a professor and cognitive psychologist at Fairfield University. “My earlier research showed that the act of taking photos actually makes us remember the moment less if we don’t take another glance at the picture. To truly keep a memory alive, revisiting the photo is as important as taking it.”

Both of these findings made me sick. I literally stopped and reread them to make sure I understood these findings correctly.

ice cream cone

If this information is true, it makes me sad that with all our technology and photo taking we are losing the ability to keep our memories alive if we don’t look at the photos we take after we snap them.

To keep our memories alive we must revisit our photos.

Does that mean, that we should not be always snapping but we should take a break and be present fully, without a camera?

I think so!

So there is a balance to maintain here.

I am still going to take pictures as it is something that I love. But each picture will have more importance to me. It will have a memory and a story.

That is my resolution for this year 2015…photo taking this year will be more discerning for me.

In that effort, I will need some help and I think I will turn to Shutterfly to help me with this goal.

“Storytelling and shared connections are part of Shutterfly’s DNA and giving consumers simple and intuitive ways to access, share, and celebrate their memories is the guiding principle in everything we do. Our goal is for the technology to make it easier to archive and share photos so that users can spend more time telling their stories.”



I am grateful to Shutterfly for bringing this information to my attention. I am committed to memory making and sharing as well as storytelling on my blog where I try to use my own photos whenever I can.

I have chosen a few of my favorite food photos that tell stories for me of Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, summer ice cream, and farm stand glory!

Please join me in the year of making memories and storytelling. You do not have to be a writer to tell a story when you have  great photos.

Thank you Shutterfly!

this post was not sponsored or compensated in any way

via Shutterfly Research Reveals Americans Are Taking More Photos but Failing to Share Memories (NASDAQ:SFLY).

Your pregnancy – 7 weeks

 Pregnancy at 7 Weeks

Pregnancy at 7 weeks

Your Baby is the Size of a Blueberry

Pregnancy this Week:

  • Your baby is still considered an embryo.
  • Hands and feet are emerging from developing arms and legs.
  • Your baby has doubled in size since last week and now measures half an inch long, about the size of a blueberry.


Physical Changes:

  • Your uterus has doubled in size in the past 5 weeks.
  • You may be experiencing morning sickness and eating may not be your favorite thing right now…this queasiness should subside around 14 weeks gestation.
  • You are learning where every restroom is because due to increasing blood volume and extra fluid being carried through your kidneys you have to pee more frequently.
  • As your uterus grows, it will put more pressure on your bladder and you will have to pee more often.

via Your pregnancy: 7 weeks | BabyCenter.

Quick Clicks from Baby Center

How your life’s changing:

  • mood swings due to hormonal changes
  • heightened emotions, good and bad/depressed or anxious
  • moodiness heightens at 6 to 10 weeks and eases in 2nd trimester
  • emotional turbulence returns in the third trimester

These last 7 weeks are just the beginning of what will be occurring in the next few months. Things are happening quickly in the 1st trimester of pregnancy and then a little more slowly in the second trimester when you will feel a little more comfortable in your new shoes.

TGIF-Weekend Reading….

Weekend Reading:

Weekend Sunrise

Weekend Sunrise

After a gloomy “warmish” in the 30’s week here in Chicago, I am ready for the weekend, along with a Friday night dinner with friends and a wishful but unlikely “rest filled” Saturday and Sunday and perhaps a sunrise like this one!

This essay from the back page of the Sunday Times Magazine is a nice read. I don’t know about you all, but I grew up in a large city that I hated, Yonkers, NY. Long ago, it was known as the “City of Gracious Living,” but to me, that never mattered. Thank goodness, it was right next to New York City, which was in my mind Yonkers’ only redeeming quality.


As we drove off, I was grateful for what Tujunga was for me: a hometown I wanted so desperately to leave, but that taught me to work for the ticket that would take me away.

“Free Range” parents, who allow their children freedom to walk to school at a young age are coming under fire not only on social media but also from local law enforcement and children’s protective services in some areas of the country.  Are you a “free range” or a “helicopter” parent?


Kids go to the park every day. But it’s not everyday the cops come calling because kids are spotted there, but that’s exactly what happened to the Meitiv family recently.


“We’re amazed this has become a national conversation because we’re just doing what our parents did or [what] was considered perfectly normal just one generation ago,” said Danielle Meitiv, who was investigated on two occasions by Child Protective Services (CPS) in Maryland after allowing her children, aged 6 and 10, to walk to and from school and the local playground alone.


As a nursing professional, who worked in labor and delivery, I am not a fan of home births. While I understand why moms would opt for this opportunity, I would not for just the reasons that appear in this mom’s story and post from Yummy Mummy Club.


Martin’s feelings are absolutely valid and an upsetting birth experience can have lasting effects on a mother and her family. But it’s wrong to scare women from wanting to go this route, because that decision is one which should come from research and discussion, not fear – one way or another. A certified, licensed midwife is a health care professional and they understand birthing risk. We can plan and hope for the best, but also be keenly aware (as I was throughout the labour) that it could easily go the other way, through no fault of our own. –

You probably notice that two topics above are from Yummy Mummy Club, which is one of my personal favorite sites. I follow YMC on Facebook and enjoy many of their posts. Go ahead and check them out!

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

Early Pregnancy – 6 Weeks

Early Pregnancy-6 Weeks

Pregnancy 6 weeks

Your baby is the size of a “lentil”.


Major developments during your 6th week of pregnancy:

  • Nose mouth and ears are beginning to take shape
  • There are dark spots where your baby’s eyes will be
  • Baby’s heart is beating 100-160 per minute,
  • Intestines are developing
  • New tissue that will become baby’s lungs is present
  • Baby’s pituitary gland is forming along with the rest of his brain, muscles and bones.
  • Baby is only 1/4 inch long

Quick Clicks:

Infections cannot always be avoided but there are ways to help limit your exposure.

  • Good hand washing
  • Not sharing glasses or utensils
  • Not cleaning cat litter
  • Gloves on when gardening
  • Staying away from anyone with a contagious disease
  • Avoiding food borne infections
  • Washing fruits and vegetable
  • Thoroughly cook meat, fish and eggs
  • Clean kitchen work surfaces

Personally you may feel emotionally labile, one day you are moody and maybe even sad the next day joy filled …this is somewhat normal. The emotional fluctuations are caused by hormones that are changing during pregnancy. You may also be thinking about how your life is changing along with your body and that can cause anyone to be emotional.

Spotting can be relatively common at this stage. Up to 25% of women experience this. It can be normal but it can also be a sign of a miscarriage. If you have any spotting or bleeding call your healthcare practitioner or go to the emergency room immediately.

By now, you are probably taking prenatal vitamins. Sometimes, they can be the cause of stomach upset. Many pregnant moms have this problem with their vitamins, including this writer, If this happens, check with your doctor or midwife. There are chewable vitamins that might work better for you during pregnancy.

Video-Fetal development weeks 1-9 


Early Pregnancy – 5 Weeks

Early Pregnancy- 5 Weeks

Pregnancy Week5Sesame_424x302

Your baby embryo is about the size of a sesame seed at 5 weeks and looks more like a tadpole.

But despite how tiny your baby is, there is rapid growth continuing to happen. The heart is taking shape and beginning to beat. Wow!

Fetal development video weeks 1 through 9 

Some  pregnancy related discomforts:

  • sore breasts (wear a sports bra for comfort even when sleeping)
  • fatigue
  • frequent urination
  • nausea

Things to do for healthy pregnancy:

  • do not drink alcohol
  • continue exercising or begin to exercise with your health practitioner’s approval
  • see how your partner can participate in the months ahead
  • talk to your family about health history that might affect your baby or your pregnancy.
  • make sure your home and job are environmentally safe places (cleaning products, lead, fumes)
  • quit smoking
  • make a prenatal appointment
  • start taking prenatal vitamins



TGIF-Weekend Reading….

Weekend Reading!

bicycle in snow...maybe not this weekend

My picks for weekend reading after another cold week here in Chicago. The weekend looks like we will get a January thaw, you just might want to get outside or read these posts?

Daphne Brogdon is a blogger, blogger who also does stand-up comedy. She now has a gig on the Food Network, Daphne Dishes. Here is post about some of my conversation with her this week.


Today, I had the pleasure of enjoying a conference call with her. She answered questions about how she combines both worlds of blogging and cooking and how she came to the place where she is now with her own show Daphne Dishes on the Food Network.

Friends are precious and good friends are few, at least that has been my experience. What happens when a friend’s spouse dies or their child dies? How does your friendship change?


Friends are mostly a source of joy for me but as I get older I am finding that the more joy a friend brings me the more difficult it is when a friendship changes or ends.

Ringing in a New Year after the death of a spouse…how does one move on when the beloved is still inside you? One woman’s perspective:


So many of the men I meet on Match — the ones who are widowers, not those who are divorced — are still mourning the love of their life. She, their late wife, the mother of their children and grandmother of their children’s children, laughed at his jokes, travelled the world with him, comforted and warmed his bed at night. Now she is gone, never to return. After a while he feels the pull of the body’s biology and the heart’s longing, as do we all. “She” is not coming back, one must move on, so who else might there be, out there, he wonders, in the world-at-large?

So how does one move on, when the love of your life is gone, be it your husband or wife or another soul mate with whom you shared a life for many years or for several decades? In truth, you don’t move on; the beloved is still inside you. You just make room in your life for a new relationship, internally and externally, grateful to have had what you had, and grateful as well for the opportunity to care romantically for another human being before you “shuffle off this mortal coil.”


Here’s to a wonderful, warm weekend! Warm is relative!

Signs of Pregnancy

Early signs of Pregnancy


You may have signs of being pregnant before you have even missed your period. Many women mistake these early signs for premenstrual since they are very similar.

  • At 5 weeks pregnant 50% of women had some symptoms of pregnancy.
  • At 6 weeks pregnant 70% of women had some by 6 weeks.
  • At 8 weeks pregnant 90% of women had some by 8 weeks.

The first sign of pregnancy is usually a missed period. The most common symptoms to follow are:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • fatigue,
  • frequent urination, and
  • breast tenderness and swelling.

These symptoms can be mild or severe.

Other signs of pregnancy that women reported by 8 weeks of pregnancy include:

  • Mild uterine cramping or discomfort (without bleeding)
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Nasal congestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Food cravings or aversions
  • Mood changes
  • Lightheadedness
  • Spider veins
  • Itchy palms
  • Increased skin pigmentation (on the face, linea alba, or breast areolas)
  • via Early pregnancy symptoms: What will I feel and when? | BabyCenter.


TGIF-Weekend Reading….

Weekend Reading!

My picks for weekend reading

After an arctic cold week here in Chicago, I am really glad to see Friday and the weekend roll around, with the sun shining outside my window as I write this post. I am not letting the sun fool me – it is only 7 degrees outside with a below zero windchill of minus 11 degrees! Yikes!

I am going to post a picture that you can use for some meditation or as just a reminder of a more comfortable summer day on the water-my personal happy place!


A Day at the Beach…Martha’s Vineyard


Seeking women over 50! Do you want to make a big change in 2015? Read this, it might help you with your resolution.


Dear Readers,

We’re seeking 15 women age 50 and older who plan to make a radical change in their lives in 2015. Whether your New Year’s resolution is to strike out on your own, reinvigorate your marriage, get healthy — through diet, exercise or something else — start a business, adopt a child, overcome a fear or learn a new skill in 2015, we want to hear from you. The aim is to create an inspiring initiative that reminds us it’s never too late to change your life, pursue your passion, or prioritize personal happiness and wellbeing over traditional definitions


How do kids organize and control their world. There is no gray for them, knowing this just might help you understand their behavior.


In fact, black-or-white thinking helps kids organize and control their world. As they put things into one of two categories – like or dislike, fun or boring – they make predictions about behaviors and situations. Being able to do this shows they can understand two very different ideas at the same time.


How are you going to find social connections as you get older? Do you respect the Virtual Village concept?


Then he ran across the idea of virtual retirement villages, whose members pay a yearly fee to gain access to resources and social connections that help them age in place. Sold on the concept, Mr. Cloud joined with some friends to start Capital City Village four years ago.

I hope you all have a warm and wonderful weekend!