Kidzspeech, LLC

An awesome resource – Dr. Cara answers all your questions about plastics, artificial sweeteners, bug spray, toothpaste, cosmetic safety…. A great reference all in one place.  Check it out!

http://www.momlogic.com/my_momlogic/dr_cara/

This is a link to a fabulous site that makes eyeglasses specifically designed for children with Down’s Syndrome.  The glasses were designed by a mom of a child with Down’s Syndrome (go figure!)

Specs For Us

What to do with all this free time I now have?  Oh I know!  I’ll be domestic for once!  I have the sheets in the washer, dishwasher is running, mail is sorted.  Now what?  Cornbread! (cornbread??? seriously?) Yep.  I have all the ingredients and am sooo excited.  Wait – I need a cast iron skillet. Oh dear.  Found one in garage that Husband was going to use for camping.  But it needs to be seasoned (huh?) OK – Googled that and seems pretty easy.

OK – now for the corn bread.  Darn – who cracks eggs over the garbage can and ends up dropping the egg stuff into the garbage? (what is the inside of the egg called?)  Me of course!  Arghhhh!  This cooking thing is for the birds, or Italian husbands like mine.

Just checked on it – smells good, looks good!  Here’s the recipe: (for those that don’t know me, I really try to avoid processed foods if I can help it.  Which would be a lot easier if I knew how to cook.) OK, now what goes with corn bread??

Corn Bread Recipe:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cornmeal

2-3 Tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

1/4 cup cooking oil or melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

2. Add the 1 Tablespoon butter to a 10″ cast-iron skilled, 9 x 1 1/2 inch round baking pan, or 8x8x2 inch square baking pan. Place in the preheated oven about 3 minutes, or until butter melts. Remove pan from oven; swirl butter inpan to coat bottom and sides of pan.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine eggs, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Pour batter into hot skillet or pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Serve warm; drizzle with honey if desired.

This recipe comes to me from Better Homes and Gardens Anyone Can Cook recipe book. (except, obviously, me)

I just wanted to take this post a bit further. The same strategies can be so helpful as your kids get older and have to start making more difficult decisions on the spot (e.g. the preteen and teenage years). During your discussions with your child, come up with specific “answers” to those situations your child will most likely come across. Some examples:
1. When teenager is in a car with a friend who is driving way too fast, it can be uncomfortable. It’s so helpful for a teenager to have something prepared that they are comfortable saying, such as “Hey Bozo, slow down! Are you trying to freak me out?”
2. Said teenager finds herself at a party and is offered a drink: “Oh no, not for me. I don’t drink”.

When children have already practiced these responses, it can be so much easier to communicate them. When you have your discussions with your child on behavior and expectations, don’t forget to help your child figure out exactly how to respond and communicate in sticky situations.

I now entered the ranks of parents of school-aged kids – Anna is now a kindergartner.  Here’s a cliche – where did the time go?  Of course, I bawled when the bus drove her away – not a pretty cry, but an awful, lump-in-your-throat kind of sobbing.  Nora was a bit confused: “Mommy, what are you doing”?

The house is quiet without her.  Wait, that didn’t last long. I still have Nora at home! She’s loud enough for all of us!  Today Nora and I used paper punches to make Anna a card for her lunchbox tomorrow – a nice, spending-time-with-my-daughter activity.

Oh no – now I see her outside by the swingset swinging a baton to the ring/trapeze attachment  - pretending it’s a pinata I suppose.  Oops – now she looped the baton through the rings and is trying to hang from it…. and now she’s on her butt. Mother of the year here.

Anyway, hope everyone is also having some great back-to-school memories of their own!

“No Mommy No!! Noooooooo!” Sound familiar??? Young children often communicate very emotionally, which can really get on our nerves. But I’ve learned that very early on, even before age 2, you can help your child use his language to communicate what he is feeling. I’ve really found this so helpful in reducing the emotional outbursts (I said reduce, not eliminate!). Kids can respond very favorably when they are given the words to say what they are feeling.  They appear to be almost grateful, like “Oh, thanks! I was wondering how to say that!”  Here are some examples:

  • “Ohhh! You want a cookie! ‘Tell me ‘cookie please!’”
  • “If you want a turn, ask ‘Can I have a turn now?”
  • “Uhuh, we don’t take toys. If you want it, say ‘can I see your toy please?’ And you have to wait for her to give it to you”
  • “If you want to stay, you can tell me ‘Can I please stay?’”

These are just a few examples. But learning to use language (i.e. pragmatic language), is such an important part of our children’s development. Very often we as parents expect our children to behave a certain way, and we are shocked when they don’t. But children can’t do what they haven’t been taught.  We can’t expect our children to know how to ask for a toy if we’ve never told them how.  When a child is able to appropriately communicate, frustration decreases, parents are happier, and the child feels good about themselves. Sounds good to me!

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