Puke Fest, Photography, Play


Puke Fest, I think all of us have experienced this but not to the extent of this mom. She has developed and shared a strategy for dealing with the flu in her family of six children.

Get some tips to be ready if “puke fest” comes to your home.

If you like taking photos of your family when they are not sick…this is a wonderful site that will take your photography to new level without even leaving your home. You will need a real camera…not just your phone. Have fun and enjoy the view.


Welcome! I am so excited that you are here and eager to learn more about photography! I want to share with you everything I have learned over the past couple of years and help you along your journey! Whether you just got your first DSLR or you have been shooting for years, we have something for everyone.

Play is one of the most important things our kids do that add positively to their growth and development. Here are six gifts that will encourage your child to direct their own play.


Learning to be a responsive play observer takes thoughtfulness, restraint and practice, but once we get this down, we’ll discover more delightful moments of joy, humor and surprise than we ever thought possible. And we need these daily parenting “bonuses” to balance the more difficult moments and break up the monotony. We’ll also get more guilt-free breaks from parenting because we’ve encouraged our children to hone their independent play skills in our presence (but that’s another post).



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!


What Do Your Kids Do During Summer Vacation?

ice cream cone


Instead, I’m choosing to teach them that breaks are a good thing. That they don’t need to wring their brain cells dry to be good students. That their hard work during the academic year deserves the reward of relaxation.


I’m teaching them that right now, they should experience fun and freedom and mischief and food and yes, a goodly amount of TV and video games. I’m teaching them that they are good enough, and I don’t expect perfection.


I’m teaching them that they’re still kids. And that’s really all they need to learn right now.

via I’m Not Teaching My Kids Anything This Summer | Summer Learning.


Truly…I could not say this better myself…as I stare out the windows at the water which beckons me to just go with the flow on any given day!

Summer vacation has always been a time that I valued with my kids and now I continue to value it with my grandchild.

My own Nana, God bless her, taught me that summer was for…

Days full of unscheduled activities as much as possible…

Summer was for days…

Full of ice cream cones, sandcastles, swimming and beaches along with…

Rainy days full of  painting, make-believe and cookie baking.

What better excuse to be a kid myself…

“Food Glorious Food”-Children in the Kitchen,Kid’s Snacks,The Obesity Challenge

IMG_4848I loved cooking since I can remember.

Admittedly,over the years my style has changed, given what we now know about foods, GMO’s, saturated fats and so much more.

What has not changed is my desire to involve my family in what I choose to serve them.

Now with a grandchild to consider, I am enjoying the time that I can include her in my cooking.

How do you include your family in the kitchen…is the kitchen the center of your home?

What have you done to get your children more involved in the kitchen?

via Home-Cooked Challenge: Kids in the Kitchen – NYTimes.com.


For me snacks are an absolute dilemma, I love to snack, but choose to munch protein bars when I am on the go…they give me the energy I need in between my breakfast, small lunch and dinner.

However, when it comes to children and grandchildren, I sometimes find myself at a loss and turn to graham crackers, fishy crackers, or cereal in a bag as a quick fix…along with some fresh fruit or carrots…yogurt is always a go to in our house as well.

I was particularly interested in this post at Toddler Approved…it is sponsored post. I was tempted to try the subscription that is offered at $7/month to have tasty snacks delivered to my door, but reconsidered this choice since then they do not allow for food allergies.

What do you do when it comes to snacks for your kids and grandkids?

Toddler Approved!: Trying New Snacks With Your Kids.


Some of my tips include…

1. Have kids go on a rainbow grocery shopping hunt with me and help them select a few foods for us to buy for snacks and meals. Choosing the snack themselves means the likelihood that they will eat it again is much higher.

2. Have kids make the snacks and create something fun. Last week we made an ant snack with carrots and apples and peanut butter. Even though my son hates carrots, he was more willing to try a bite because it looked cool. We also made the strawberry mice featured above at our VBC Summer Camp. The kids usually won’t try nuts or string cheese, but they totally did because it was silly to eat when it was a mouse.

3. Spy on other kids and see what they are eating. When I work at preschool or go to the park I love seeing what other moms bring their kids for snack. I always take mental notes (especially if my kids ask to try a taste of a friend’s snack and like something).

What are your tips?

via Toddler Approved!: Trying New Snacks With Your Kids.


This week “obesity” was defined as a disease…

As a nurse, I find this an interesting discussion and wonder what others are thinking.

Is this a good definition and will it help with this crisis?

Defining Obesity as a Disease May Do More Harm Than Good | TIME.com.

Kids and Asthma…Some interesting facts.

Little girls and an I-pad

Asthma is a scary experience particularly when one of your children has asthma. Sometimes new parents may not even recognize the symptoms, since many times the child will present with only a cough initially.

But if your child is having difficulty breathing or catching his breath you should contact your pediatrician or go to the emergency room as soon as possible…you may not actually hear your child wheezing but he may need emergency treatment.

Asthma is a chronic (long-term) inflammatory disease in which the airways become blocked or narrowed. This is usually temporary, but it causes shortness of breath, trouble breathing, and other symptoms. If asthma becomes severe, the person may need emergency treatment to restore normal breathing.

Colds and allergens are two of the most common triggers of asthma in kids. Children with who have asthma are usually evaluated after infancy.

If left untreated asthma in children can become very problematic especially when they have a cold…colds often go straight to their chests and they may experience wheezing and coughing particularly at night and the child may have difficulty sleeping because of it.

Although asthma can have multiple causes, it is not uncommon to see two or more causes present in one child. These kids can experience recurrent bouts with bronchitis, shortness of breath and wheezing, when exercising, weather can also factor into asthma as well as environmental causes.

Here are 7 Interesting Asthma Facts

  • If your young child is exposed to certain environmental factors, she may develop asthma.
  • Your child could have asthma even if he doesn’t wheeze.
  • A doctor might call your child’s symptoms “reactive airway disease” instead of asthma.
  • If your child had eczema as a baby, she is at higher risk for developing asthma later.
  • Asthma doesn’t need to limit your child’s activities.
  • Even if your child has only mild asthma, you shouldn’t let your guard down.
  • Your child’s treatment plan should be reevaluated every three to six months.

Asthma: 7 Surprising Things You Should Know.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America – Information About Asthma, Allergies, Food Allergies and More!.

Childhood Asthma | AAAAI.




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: http://thecarseatlady.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/coats/

What to Wear for the Holidays???

That’s right the holidays are fast approaching and this question begs to be answered,

“What should my baby or little girl wear?”

I have just the suggestion, one which will help dress your child or grandchild stylishly for a fraction of the price.

It is borrowing from Borrow Baby Couture!

Baby Graziella

 As featured on the Today Show, Borrow Baby is savvy shopping for your little ones,  especially when it comes to special outfits for special occasions.


Just look at what is available for a small percentage of the cost and there is no worry about cleaning afterwards.



Your choices are just a click away!

You can put your worries away as well, when you select from Borrow Baby Couture for your little girls special holiday dress or dresses!





Grandparent alert: You can gift this service to your grandchildren for special occasions …what a wonderful way to celebrate!

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

Dilemma: “Halloween and Kids with Food Allergies”

As Halloween excitement heightens so can the anxiety of a parent whose child has a food allergy.

Kids with food allergies can feel left out when it comes to parties and activities such as Trick or Treating. With some simple preparation, parents can ease their own anxiety as well as the anxiety of their kids. Who would not want to lessen their child’s anxiety?

Years ago, when my own children were small…we were concerned about candy containing  pins and razor blades. My husband missed our daughter’s first Halloween because he was ex-raying candy at the local hospital, making sure it had no foreign objects in it.

Now it is a combined worry…tainted candy and candy containing food allergens. For contemporary parents, life has become complicated beyond the lives of their own parents.

Here are a few tips for a safe Halloween for children with food allergies.

Teach your child about allergies and Halloween

Chances are very good, you have already talked to your child about his/her food allergy. It may be a good idea to reinforce this information before Halloween and talk about the plan in place to keep them safe from a reaction to any candy. It might be good to tell them, all kids’ candy should be inspected before eating…it is not just because they have allergies that makes inspection necessary. This could help them feel that they are not being singled out because of their allergies.

Sort candy and treats at home

Set up a special place to sort all candy…one by one inspect it carefully for ingredients.

Have emergency medications handy

Have your meds handy while Trick or Treating,  just in case…better to be safe than sorry.

Switch Witch

You might want to adopt the “Switch Witch” in your home. Children pick out a few pieces of candy and leave the rest out overnight for the “Switch Witch,”  who will take it and leave them a present. This gets rid of all unwanted candy and usually makes kids happy to see it go.






Teaching Your Kids to Fight …another look!

I recently wrote a post about teaching kids to fight…I was not referring to “roughhousing”.

But since writing that post…one of my readers sent me a link http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/6-benefits-of-roughhousing-for-kids/, which is very interesting information about “roughhousing” and its importance in a child’s growth and development.

I do not think that what I witnessed in the park was “roughhousing”, which is why I chose to intervene. I am also not convinced that if it was just “roughhousing” that the park was the proper venue, given all the younger children that were witnessing these two boys “fighting” and kicking each other.

Again….what do you think?

Do you encourage roughhousing?