Monthly Archives: March 2015

Easter Eggs

Posted by Colleen

Easter is just around the corner!  Are you ready for having fun coloring eggs with your children?  This was a fun time of year when my children were growing up.  But we used the typical food coloring egg kits back then.  I am so happy that there are products now that are safer to use.  I came across an advertisement in a store’s flyer, where I sometimes shop, this is a natural egg coloring kit called Glob Colors. I was intrigued so I went to the Glob Colors website which I’m posting. This is what they have posted regarding the egg coloring kit.

100% pure and natural Easter egg dyes made from herbs and plants.

No artificial dyes or chemicals.

FDA approved colors: cabbage, annatto and radish.

Makes a rainbow of color combinations!

CONTAINS: 3 colors (yellow, purple, and blue), 3 bamboo brushes

Includes enough color for 1-2 dozen eggs.

CREATIVE TIPS INCLUDED
Glob’s Natural Easter Egg Kit includes leaf print and other Easter egg decorating instructions.

Sustainably packaging with PCW (post consumer waste) paper, printed with vegetable inks.

Ingredients: pure annatto, radish and cabbage extracts

For ages 4+. Non-toxic and CPSIA compliant.

http://globiton.com/

One good thing about coloring all those eggs after your children hunt for them is eating the eggs!  Egg salad on whole grain crackers, deviled eggs, eggs chopped up in tuna or sliced and put in your green salad are all good choices for healthy eating.  Eggs are a great protein and can be enjoyed in many ways.

Have a Happy Easter!

Preparation is Required

Posted by Linda

Not that I did this kind of planning and discussing, but in retrospect I realize how important it is to establish a system for clear communication between parents before the baby is born. Parenting is a very personal issue and people often have definite opinions. In order to avoid conflict between parents during this beautiful, yet stressful time, learning how to really listen and to communicate is ever so helpful. Often, when we are listening, or act like we are listening, we really aren’t. We are thinking about what we want to say back, our mind is wandering while we are politely nodding our heads in agreement, or because of anger or some other reason, we totally block out what the other person is saying. Listening in this manner will not help you to be a happy and successful parent or have a happy and contented relationship.

Let’s take sleeping arrangements, for example. This is a decision that is best discussed before the baby is born. Remember that after the birth of the baby, both parents are very busy and exhausted and that is not necessarily the time that is conducive to having a rational and reasonable discussion. Choose the time and place where you are both relaxed and have not just finished another heated discussion. Each parent will then have the opportunity to talk while the other listens. For now, let’s focus on the listener. Since it is the speaker’s turn to have his say, the listener during this time will mostly be quiet. You will have your turn as speaker, so don’t worry. Your main job is to listen and to let the speaker know that he or she is being heard. Feeling heard by your partner gives you the feeling that you are loved. To do that, after the speaker has made one or two points at the most, the listener then summarizes what has been said. Then the listener may ask, is that what you said, followed by is there anything else that you want to add? If the speaker is satisfied that he has been heard, then he will come up with a proposed plan of action. It is not enough to talk, but in order to prevent further conflict from occurring, a workable plan must be developed.

Learning to talk and listen well is a process. I made the mistake of thinking that if I did the best that I could and learned how to speak and listen effectively, then my partner or my children would also. Nope, it takes both people being on the same page and having the willingness to want to resolve issues.

What are some of your communication struggles and successes?

SPECIFICS FOR KITCHEN ORGANIZATION!

Posted by Caroline

1) Choose specific working areas: breakfast area, juicing area, cooking area

2) Keep tools, pots and pans by the same working area together. Think in groups!

3) When you sort tools in area: keep one of a kind, eliminate big and heavy pots & dishes and not used over 1 year!

4) Keep dividers and containers in drawers, shelves and pantries

5) Label food items in pantry and fridge or freezer with dates

Which area is a problem for you? When you e-mail me I will answer it in one of my blogs: caroline.vogt@comcast.net

Nursing and the Need to Suck

Posted by Linda

Did you know that suckling at the breast is a powerful way to soothe the baby? It is also a biological need, as is eating. Suckling or sucking is characterized by rapid repeated sucks distinguished by little swallowing. Swallowing is a great way to tell whether the baby is getting milk or not when you are nursing. I always listen for that noise because like myself, many mothers wonder from time to time, if the baby is getting enough milk.

Dr. Weissbluth, in his book “Healthy Sleep, Happy Child” states that removing the baby from the breast while he is sucking is unnatural and unhealthy. Some women remove the baby from the breast while he is sucking before he falls asleep, in the belief that in doing so they will prevent sleeping problems from developing. Of course, this behavior is untrue. Some women hold the baby’s lips together to stop their baby from sucking. Remember sucking is part of the baby’s natural development. Others might wake the baby up after he has fallen asleep on the breast while sucking. According to research, there is no evidence that any of these actions lead to the prevention of sleep problems.

Mothers who take the baby off the breast after they think that the child has had enough time to eat, maybe ten minutes or so, may not have educated themselves about the nursing or feeding process. It takes time. Each baby differs in the amount they want to nurse, but generally it takes about a half an hour of nursing followed by maybe two hours of not eating and then the process begins again. Breast milk is digested about every two hours and then the baby is hungry again. Breastfeeding requires time and patience and the recognition that this period after birth, especially the first six weeks, is time to bond with your child and well as take care of his or her physical needs. As the poem goes cleaning and sweeping can wait til tomorrow, for babies soon grow we learn to our sorrow. This time is precious. Finally if you are concerned about developing sleep habits and think that topping the tank so to speak, will help the baby sleep longer, remember, it is the brain that controls sleep, not the tummy.

Tech Gadgets for 2015

Posted by Colleen

I’m not a big fan of tech gadgets but I do like products that will help and improve people’s lives. These 2015 technologies can help improve one’s life.

Two of the tech products are high tech earphones.  The AfterShokz AS500 Bluez2 ($100) and the Panasonic BTGS10 ($200) use the principle of bone conduction using tiny speakers that sit just ahead of your ear, sending vibrations through our cheekbones and by passing the sensitive eardrum completely.  Wireless Bluetooth connectivity is easy to set up and the phones are said to be effective for people with conductive hearing loss.

Another tech product is the Vitality’s GlowCap ($80) which has a twist-off cap that blinks and chirps when it’s time for a medication dosage, while a separate plug-in wall unit glows and emits escalating alerts for two hours.  Then it dispatches emails and phone calls, including “buddy reminders” to family members or caregivers.  Press the button beneath the cap to arrange for a refill.

The GreatCall Touch3 ($150) is a Samsung smart phone running a simplified roster of apps.  The home screen includes only texts, phone and photos, as well as a suite of health and safety apps.  With the GoPlan phone service ($25 per month) users can connect with emergency responders and receive medication alerts.

People with landlines might appreciate the Amplicom PowerTel 785 ($250) which has big buttons and equally out size volume capacity. A separate wristband unit vibrates when a call arrives, and lets you answer without picking up the phone.

Two wearable fitness trackers Jawbone’s UP24 band ($130) and the Polar Loop activity tracker ($110) have movement sensors that monitor how fitfully you’re sleeping and the corresponding apps display how much deep and light sleep your getting.  The UP24 triples as an enlightened alarm clock and once it learns your sleep patterns, the clock will gently awaken you by vibrating when you’re in your lightest sleep period.

The GPS Smartsole ($299) is a shoe insole with a built-in GPS tracking chip that works with a variety of smart phones, computers and tablets.  Anyone wearing one can be instantly mapped anywhere in the world on the Smartsole’s online tracking portal.  This shoe is designed for those prone to wandering, dementia sufferers, curious kids, and people who fear kidnapping.  The sole is descreet looking , waterproof and comfortable as a regular insole.  The battery, which can last up to five days, is easily recharged like you would recharge a cell phone.

Liftware ($295) is for people with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s or other conditions where people have involuntary tremors making eating difficult.  Liftware is a self-stabliizing device that connects to a spoon or fork attachment.  Sensors in the base detect shaking and compensate with motor driven counter movements that dampen vibrations by 75 percent.  Liftware recharges on a base, like an electric toothbrush.  The buzzing handle isn’t loud enough to disturb diners in a restaurant but the mesmerizing motion – stabilized wobble might draw a few curious looks.  The device comes with a travel bag.

I randomly selected three of the above mentioned products to find some reviews since the article had come out in the Dec/Jan. 2015 AARP.  Matt Peckham  of Time.com reviewed the Bluez2 in May 2014 and said, “it does do what it claims if your looking for a hands free interface for speech-based audio”.  NBC29.com for the GPS Smartsole in article titled JABA Piloting New Tracking Tech for Forgetful Seniors article stated, “JABA employees say this new device is better than other technology they’ve seen in the past”.  And on Amazon.com Liftware anti-tremor stabilizer device had five star ratings.

If you know someone that uses any of the above products please post your comments here for others to review.

Is My Baby Ready for Sleep?

Posted by Linda

It isn’t necessary to wait till your baby is crying or sobbing or very irritable to recognize that your child is ready for sleep. During the first six weeks especially, when there are a lot of adjustments that the baby is making to ready himself for life outside the womb, there is a lot of crying which seems to continue even after you have tried everything that you can. Don’t despair, it does get better. It takes awhile to get to know your child and to recognize whether he or she is crying because he is tired, or wet, or hungry. I remember being so exhausted in those days, but by three months, everything seems to smooth out. There was less crying and more sleeping and finally, i could get a little more rest myself. I also admit to being nervous with my newborn and being overwhelmed with the idea that we were totally responsible for this little child who was completely dependent on us.

The first signs that your baby is getting reading for sleep is that you notice that his activity decreases. He might yawn. His body even seems quieter. His motions are slower and his eyelids begin to droop. This point is optimal for either putting him down for a nap or lying down with him for sleep. If you wait until he is rubbing his eyes or is irritable or cranky and is fussing, your baby has entered the overtired zone and getting your baby to sleep becomes more difficult.

I read the books about how to soothe my child and my belief was to start with the easiest and least exhausting technique. I found it to be the best way for me especially when I was really tired myself. Here are some ideas. Keeping the baby close is very important. After all, according to researchers, babies don’t recognize that they are not a part of you till they are nine months old. If that was not enough, I tried swaddling, nursing or feeding, rocking, walking, a warm bath, massaging, singing or playing music, or taking a walk outside. The most important thing that I learned is to be calm myself, for babies pick up on parent’s energy. However, I found that it is easier said than done when your baby has cried for awhile. Sometimes, I thought that the crying would never stop. I learned that the calmer that I was and not frantically running through the list of what to do next, the better it was for my baby and for myself.

Next, I will be writing about the length and duration of a baby’s sleep. What are some tips that you might pass on to others when calming the baby?

The Vital Connection Between Sleep and Health

Posted by Linda

We all know that sleep is a vital necessity, but are we aware that as new parents, we can do a lot to teach our children how to have a good night’s rest. Every pregnant mom and dad would benefit greatly by reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. Dr. Weissbluth says that by three or four months of age, babies can begin to learn how to have the sleep that they need in order to improve cognitive functioning and be a more contented child, as well as a healthier one. Before that time, babies are controlled by their biological development which allows them to fall asleep and stay asleep. Don’t forget, however, that your child is experiencing a lot of adjustments and throughout this period may cry quite a bit, depending on his or her temperament.

Looking back at when my children were infants, I hesitated to set an early bedtime, which Dr. Weissbluth advises, because I thought that my child would not fall asleep and end up crying. So I forced myself to stay awake long past my own state of exhaustion till my baby finally nodded off. That, of course did not happen till ten, or eleven or even later in the night and many hours of soothing. If I would have read this book, I would have been less exhausted and less prone to illness, and my child would be the same.

Next time, I will write more about the benefits of having a good night sleep, techniques for soothing your child and the importance of parents respecting their babies’ need for sleep.

What is your experience with sleep and your infant? I would love to hear.