After we got out the baby toys so BB could enjoy them, I quickly remembered that most of them take a lot of batteries and I needed to once again find the small screwdriver to open the compartment. I also quickly remembered that the tiny screws strip all the time and cause me to use words in front of the kids that are best suited for when they are more mature. SpeedOut is a stripped or damaged screw extractor that makes it possible for the baby’s toys to remain fully operational and beep annoyingly long into the night. You take the SpeedOut bit and put it in an ordinary drill then set to reverse to extract the stripped screw. If I was an infomercial I would say, Yes, folks it’s just that easy. I was thinking about how all the tiny toy screws do tend to strip and maybe they do that on purpose so that you can tell your kids the batteries can’t be changed and you will just have to play without the annoying beeps. Oops, best keep SpeedOut a secret.
The Food Safe Families Campaign offers the following tips on food safety so you can avoid giving the family an FBI (food borne illness).
Tip #1: If the lunch you’re packing contains perishable food items like cold cut meats, eggs and yogurt, make sure to pack it with freezer packs or keep it otherwise chilled. Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly in the “Danger Zone” — the temperatures between 40 and 140 °F (4.4 °C and 60 °C). So, perishable food transported without an ice source won’t stay safe long.
Tip #2: Frozen juice boxes can also be used as freezer packs. Freeze juice boxes overnight and use as freezer packs. By lunchtime, the juice should be thawed and ready to drink!
Tip #3: Pack lunches in an insulated, soft-sided lunch bag. Lunches with perishable food items can be unsafe to eat by lunchtime if packed in an old-fashioned brown paper bag.
Tip #4: If there is a refrigerator at school, tell your child to keep their lunch inside. But leave the lid of the lunchbox or bag open so that cold air can better circulate and keep the food cold.
Tip #5: After lunch, discard all leftover food, used food packaging, and paper bags. Do not reuse packaging because it could contaminate other food and cause food borne illness.
The Mommy and I had a discussion about putting up the huge gate again for BB. Our decision was that the gate really cut the living room in half and was pretty cumbersome. However, we may need to modify our plan and get a gate for just the stairs. Why? Because BB is what they call mission specific. When placed on the ground anywhere on the first floor he immediately and quickly races to the stairs and begins his ascent. The only exception to his quest lies in the brief distraction of being placed next to his toy kitchen or a pile of toys. Of course, after a short spell he remembers that his mission is to climb the stairs and he makes a bee line for the steps. And yes, after he climbs the first few he stops and looks back with a devils grin to suggest that he knows he is getting away with something. He is so consistent with his stair goal that I am trying to figure out a way to generate electricity like a hamster in a wheel, but so far have been unsuccessful in my power venture. And yes, we do stand behind him while he climbs to the top and then bring him back down to start the process over.
If you have ever typed a child’s health or medical question into google then you know what kind of Pandora’s Box that opens. Sometimes you just want to keep things simple and look at a quick reference like say a book. Doctors from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children have written a very user friendly guide, The A to Z of Children’s Health, that tracks from birth to age 10. Now I know what you’re thinking, we don’t need another kid’s medical book? Well, this one is Canadian (no it doesn’t just focus on hockey injuries) and is extremely user friendly. The over-sized book features big example pictures and follows the a to z format to handle one topic at a time. For instance, you can easily find information on everyday accidents and mishaps to more serious conditions like spina bifida and shingles. The guide also deals with non-physical matters like sibling rivalry and bullying. I can’t stress enough how user friendly the book is compared with other voluminous children’s health tomes, especially when you consider you usually don’t turn to these types of books when everything is okay, but when you are freaking out.
The YMCA’s free Early Learning Readiness Program for Informal Family, Friend and Neighbor Caregivers has created these tips to prepare your young ones for Kindergarten.
Kindergarten can be a wonderful and exciting experience. However, for many working parents, preparing young children for school can be daunting, especially considering that the average US child spends 33 hours each week being looked after by a grandparent, friend or parent.
That is why nearly 40 YMCAs across the country have launched the FREE Early Learning Readiness Program for Informal Family, Friend and Neighbor Caregivers to provide those who care for young children a stimulating, preschool-like experience through learning centers that foster development, improve school readiness, support the skills and confidence of caregivers, and make the transition to school easier for children.
Parents, please feel free to share these tips with your caregivers to ensure your child is ready for Kindergarten:
- Play games that encourage alphabet recognition – like alphabet go-fish, or play with the letter refrigerator magnets.
- Help your child with number recognition and count items throughout the day like crackers, grapes, or carrots out loud together.
- Help children recognize their colors and talk about the colors in their cookies, toys or clothes.
- Develop shape recognition and motor skills when you practice writing, drawing or cutting out (child-safe scissors please) shapes like rectangles, squares or stars.
- Talk about sounds that letters make and how they sound so they can begin to recognize words. Overemphasize the first sound in words to help your child hear the individual sounds.
- Practice writing and drawing with colored pencils, crayons or markers for improved motor skills.
- Read lots of stories and work up to longer books to develop good focus and attention skills.
- Give children the opportunity to interact with other children in diverse settings and groups such as preschool, church, social groups, or play dates.
- Teach children how to express their feelings if she/he doesn’t like something and role-play different situations she/he might expect.
- Teach children to write his/her name. You can make it fun with finger paint, sugar or salt in a pan, shaving cream or frosting.
Preparing children for kindergarten should be fun and not stressful. The Early Learning Readiness Program uses an innovative approach to provide informal caregivers with the tools and support to provide children in their care better learning and development experiences for low-income, new or immigrant families.
The Early Learning Readiness Program offers high-quality physical, emotional and cognitive experiences for kids. Caregivers and children attend bi-weekly meetings together at neighborhood locations such as local Ys, community centers, libraries, schools and places of worship.
For more information about enrolling in the Early Learning Readiness Program or general information about the Y’s commitment to families, click: ymca.net.
As Rob Stark would say (before the red wedding that is) winter is coming. Since the boys seem to have perma-colds and constantly dripping noses the season of hand sanitizer is upon us. Of course it seems like you have sanitizer around when you need it. That has changed with the HALO Sani-CuFFS wristbands which dispense clean goo right from your wrist. The bands feature different colored characters like Binky, Foxy and Panda. You take the included bulb, then fill the wristband (.5 oz) and hope the kid doesn’t squirt it on his brother. My point is that the wristband does make you look like a superhero, but with great power comes great responsibility in the form of being mature enough to keep from constantly squeezing out sanitizer. An interesting side note, the bands were developed by students and teachers in Queens. You can fill the applicator with any sanitizer you choose, but HALO makes an alcohol free version sold separately. However, I am still waiting for them to develop a way to keep the boy from wiping his nose on his sleeve.
The other day after successfully doing good listening and making good choices, LTD was granted permission to get an item from the toy closet. He selected a Wolverine action figure (that I had purchased from the Target clearance rack two years prior). While he was playing with said Wolverine figure he made an unprovoked announcement. “I don’t like wolverine cause he wears a tank top, I only like guys who wear long sleeves. But I only like wolverine cause he is a superhero.” On first blush it would appear that the boy has strong feelings about the way comic characters should dress, but as every BTCS reader knows, LTD is passionate about clothes. However, upon realizing that he was being critical of Logan he added that he did like him. I think it was good that he ended on a positive note as to not offend the X-Man, after all Wolverine is the best he is at what he does.
The California Poison Control System offers some useful tips for a safe & healthy Halloween.
- Many parents purchase glow-in-the-dark jewelry and glow sticks to keep their children visible while trick-or-treating in the dark. Children may break open these glow sticks and get the liquid on their hands and in their mouths. The liquid can be mildly irritating to the skin or eyes but is not likely to cause harm if a small amount is ingested.
- Tell children not to eat treats until they return home and all items have been inspected by an adult.
- Limit the amount of candy ingested at one time. Too much candy can cause stomach discomfort, and sugars and other sweeteners can act as laxatives when consumed in large amounts.
- If your child brings home a brand of candy that you are unfamiliar with, throw it away. Some imported candies have high levels of lead that can be harmful.
- Candy that is unwrapped should be discarded immediately.
- Fruit treats should be washed and cut open before being eaten.
- Homemade treats should be discarded unless you know and trust the individuals who prepared them.
- Little pieces of candy are potential choking hazards for small children.
- Torn, loose, or punctured wrapping may be a sign of tampering. If you suspect tampering, this should be reported to local police.
- Some Halloween makeup contains lead as do many regular cosmetics. Make sure you check Campaign for Safe Makeup for safe makeup to use on your children.
Among the annoyances taking place during BB’s bottle strike none have reached the level of destruction quite like his diaper treatment. Because I have to mix the breast milk in with his food (the sippy cup ain’t working either) he has been eating a lot more solids. What goes in most come out and he is just destroying his diapers. The poo is always voluminous, frequent and overflowing. Thankfully, most of the time he has been making in the morning when we are still at home so he is only wrecking his PJs, sheets and anything in his path. When he shoots the poo up his back and down his legs when we are in a store, the only thing you can do is pray. Oh and before I forget and I know you are wondering, the smell is just brutal. If things continue in this vain we will have to move into a barn because our current residence isn’t zoned for livestock.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding everyone to take a few simple precautions to keep Halloween safe and enjoyable.
“Just about everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “Costumes with billowing or long trailing fabric and candle decorations should be avoided to keep fun events from turning into tragedies.”
From 2006-2010, decorations were the first item ignited in an estimated average of 1,000 reported home structure fires per year, resulting in an average six civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries and $16 million in direct property damage.
From 2006-2010, U. S. fire departments responded to an estimated 11,640 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 126 deaths, 953 injuries, and $438 million in direct property damage.
NFPA provides safety tips to keep everyone safe this Halloween:
• When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If you are making your own costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
• Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
• Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
• It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far away from trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways, and yards.
• If you choose to use candle decorations, make sure to keep them well attended at all times.
• Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
• Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
• Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.