Friday, 2 August 2013
We met this afternoon at the trade show. Many thanks for the baby bottles to test out on little Josie! We tried both bottles tonight, and she did so well using the stage 1 slow flow nipple. You made my day much brighter and my daughter Kristy’s was pure delight as she watched Josie suck, control, and swallow! This was amazing and truly very exciting for us considering Josie’s past history.
In December Josie spent a week at Primary Children’s Medical here in Salt Lake City. She came to the hospital a very sick little baby but the best part was being able to bring her home. Her journey the past 7 months has been difficult in so many ways but with skilled medical care and a nasal feeding tube she has thrived. Ten days ago the feeding tube was taken out — exciting but also scary.
You have an excellent product! Thank you for sharing it with us — your kindness will help Josie catch-up because she loved her boob bottle!
Again, many grateful thanks for sharing!
Kristy, Josie, Kenzie, & Clayton Sevy – April, 2013
Thursday, 1 August 2013
Thursday, 1 August 2013
First of all, I believe birthday celebrations are important at every age. My concern is the over-stimulation that happens at most young children’s birthday parties. There are too many activities, too many sweets, extravagant goody bags and way too many kids. It seems that most parties are in the $500 price range. I remember one year spending $200 on a cake for my stepdaughter for her 6th birthday! What was I thinking??? Today, I long for simpler parties of pin-the-tail on the donkey and musical chairs.
I am planning the 5th birthday party for my son. If you have a child this age, you know that they are very opinionated about what they want to do for their birthday and whom they want to invite. My son wants laser tag. The reasons are many why he won’t have a laser tag party but try to explain this to an almost 5 year old. I decided to brainstorm about what he really loves these days…and one of the things he loves to do is boogie board. I got excited as we began the planning of a beach party with a boogie-boarding instructor and some water balloon games. My husband and I would cook hot dogs and hamburgers. The big fun will be no cake for dessert, but SMORES! Yum! Everything went into the trashcan when I mentioned it to my son. He did not like the idea. He decided he did not want a party and just wanted to go to dinner with the family and one to three friends. A simple family dinner sounds fun.
How do we reel in the birthday parties? What are some age appropriate ideas that are for the kids and not the parents? Here are a few guidelines to get you started:
- Time of the Day – Choose a time of the day where a meal will not be expected. The morning hour of 10am-12pm is a great time for young kids.
- Revamp the Goody Bag – It doesn’t have to be a bag of junk. How about a paperback book, a simple headband, or matchbox car?
- Guest List – Keep the guest list small. Your child probably has only a few close friends. If you feel the need to include the entire class at school, just bring in cupcakes or cookies and celebrate at school.
- Simple Décor – Many children consider the décor to be the paper plates, napkins, and balloons. Keep it simple. Remember the party is for them not for you.
- Location – Can you have the party at your home or a local park?
- Party Activities – You don’t need to hire a princess or a magician. You can play party games like a scavenger hunt, relay races or a beanbag toss. Or you can hire a local teenager to dress as a princess or paint faces.
The bottom line is that you need to keep it simple and remember that the party is for your child.
What are some fun birthday parties that you have planned for your child?
Can you guess what party game this is at our Scooby Doo themed party?
This is a photo from a pirate and princess party we had at home. We hired a high school girl to paint faces.
First Birthday for our youngest.
Thursday, 25 July 2013
When is it time to introduce your child to a two-wheeler bike?
Some parents are doing this as soon as their children start to walk! Yes, the newest way to build your child’s confidence and get them ready to ride a two-wheeler on their own is to get them on a balance bike – a bike without pedals.
The idea may sound a bit farfetched for some, but the idea is catching on FAST! It’s likely that you have seen these awesome little balance bikes in your neighborhood or at the park. Kids straddle the seat and power these bikes with their feet as they scoot along, totally in control. It is not surprising then, to see them learn quickly how to balance and gain confidence in themselves and the idea of riding their bike on their own.
Balance bikes have been popular in Europe for some time and are growing in popularity in the US because of their practical approach to teaching children how to ride bikes – one step at a time. Mastering balance comes first.
For some, learning to ride a bike can be a daunting task. The idea of learning to balance and pedal at the same time is difficult, even for some adults. Training wheels were introduced to buffer the challenge of learning two skills at once. While this sounds like a reasonable way to learn, the reality is that training wheels can be counter-productive and introduce a false sense of confidence. Children become dependent on these little wheels rather than mastering balance and coordination; essentials to successful bike riding. Taking the wheels off can lead to defeat and frustration for the child as well as headache and exasperation for parents.
Rather than introducing training wheels just to take them away, it makes sense to leave them out of the equation altogether. This makes it easier on parents too; less whining, skinned knees and bending over little bicycles.
Joovy thinks balance bikes are the coolest invention for kids and takes the hassle and headache out of teaching a child to ride a bike for mom and dad. This fun and alternative method makes sense to many modern parents who love that their kids learn faster and in a more positive, confidence-building manner. When kids learn on a balance bike, they are ready to try the two-wheeler having already mastered the balance part of the equation.
Check out the new Joovy Bicycoo balance bikes for kids 3 years and above. Kids start slowly by walking over their bike, and before long, they are zipping along at their own pace, full of confidence and independence.
This puts a smile on our face. Balance baby, balance!
Thursday, 25 July 2013
One of my favorite guilty pleasures this summer is watching the PBS series, Downton Abby, on my ipad. I can’t wait to get the kids into bed at night so I can settle in and watch what will happen next to the Crawleys and their ever-loyal servants. This brought to the front of my mind something that has bothered me for a long time…manners and formalities. I know that times are changing and have been for a long time. But I miss the everyday manners and formalities. I remember the days when you got dressed for church, to go on an airplane or to have dinner at a friend’s home. Gone are the times when you wouldn’t even think of addressing an adult without the proper title Mr. or Mrs. Please don’t even get me started on table manners…well how many of us sit down at the table these days and actually eat as a family?
I am a big offender myself in the clothing department. There are many times in the summer my kids will go days without wearing shoes and I am embarrassed to say that we went to church in gym clothes and bathing suits last week! In my head, I was thinking it was better to be there in that state then not at all.
So the question is how do we bring these manners and formalities back?
My mother gave me a book recently called, 365 Manners Kids Should Know by Sheryl Eberly. This is a great book because it gives one lesson a day. Ideally, you would start on January 1 but I feel you can pick the book up on any date and begin. According to this book,
A three-year-old should:
- Establish eye contact when speaking to another.
- Say Hello.
- Wash hands before and after a meal.
- Stay seated during the meal.
- Use utensils at the table.
- Say “please” and “thank you”
A ten-year-old should:
- Be able to hold a conversation with an adult.
- Use good table manners.
- Answer the telephone properly and take careful messages.
- Show self-control in public places.
- Take responsibility for keeping the bedroom neat.
- Know how to be on time.
As parents we have to hold hard and true to what we expect as far as manners from our children. We can make no exceptions. We should not allow ourselves to be influenced against our beliefs by society or friends. When I was growing up, I remember my mother saying, “I want you to be prepared to visit with the Queen of England or the President of the United States.” And I shall teach my children the same.
What manners are important to you and how do you teach your children?
Thursday, 25 July 2013
British TV star and current Britain’s Got Talent judge chooses red for her Joovy 360 jogger. While the hit show has wrapped for the season, Amanda and her family headed stateside for holidays.
We are delighted she’s a Joovy Mum and hope she’s enjoying her stay in sunny southern California!
Monday, 22 July 2013
A good friend of mine shared this story with me today and it hit home. I want to place it somewhere that I can read it regularly.
I hope you enjoy it.
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’
Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??
Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’
Some days I’m a crystal ball; ‘Where’s my other sock? Where’s my phone?, What’s for dinner?’
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, and she’s gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’ It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: ‘With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’
In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees.’
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was Almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.
No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he’d say, ‘You’re gonna love it there…’
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.
Monday, 22 July 2013
Friendship is a wonderful thing. From infancy through adulthood, our children will have many friends. Some will be friends forever and some will come in and out of our lives. All of these relationships are important.
Here are some key points to share with your child on how to be a good friend.
- Model good friend behavior – It’s the same old story…our children watch what we do. Be a good friend. Bring a sick friend dinner, help an elderly neighbor carry in groceries, bring a friend that needs some cheering up a flower. Random acts of kindness go a long way in friendship.
- Be Yourself – Be the best you that you can be. Do not change who you are to be like your friend. If your friend doesn’t like you how you are, they are not a friend.
- Invite friends to your house – As a parent, this is a great way to not only get to know your children’s friends but to help young children learn how to play together. It’s a good idea to speak with your child ahead of time and come up with some ideas of what to play. Also, sharing often becomes an issue with young children. I talk to my children about sharing and then ask them if there are any toys they do not want to share before the play date. If there are toys they don’t want to share, I hide them away during the play date.
- Help young children work through differences – Young children will have limited skills to work through problems. You need to teach them to remain calm. I tell my children to find an adult to help with the problem before it escalates to something physical like hitting or biting. This isn’t always possible. Do not be embarrassed if your child is the one that bites or hits. This will happen and has happened to many of us. Address it immediately with your child.
- Be Friendly - Always be friendly and say hello to people. Keep a smile on your face. It is amazing how a smile and a hello will just make people smile.
- Be Loyal – Be a true blue friend. Be there for your friend when they need you and do not gossip. If your friend tells you something in confidence, that is as far as it should go (unless your friend is in trouble and you need to tell an adult.)
- Be Positive – We all know it is much more fun to spend time with happy people then sad or angry people. Encourage your child to be happy and not sweat the small stuff.
I asked my children what it means to be a good friend and here is what they said,
My four year old says, “You don’t be mean.”
My seven year old says, “To play with them and be nice to them.”
My nine year old says, “By putting effort in and including everyone and being nice.”
How do you help your children be a good friend?
Friday, 19 July 2013
The topic of friendship has come up recently in my own group of friends. I was surprised at the different thoughts and values we put on friendship. Growing up I had a very few close friends and only one best friend. I can tell you exactly when we became best friends. We were in the fourth grade and my friend came to my house for a sleepover one night and didn’t leave for four days! This was the beginning of our “best friendship.” We had many laughs and secrets over the years that I will always hold close to my heart. To this day, we still connect via email but are on opposite sides of the US. Since my first best friend, I’ve had a few other women who I have considered a “best friend” over the years. For me, it was always only a very few best friends at a time. These are treasured relationships.
I believe that in recent years the term “best friend” has lost its true meaning. When you look best friend up in the dictionary there is no definition. It leads you to boon companion; which means an intimate or close friend. I feel there are many levels of friendship and they are all important. What concerns me is the overuse of the phrase best friend. We are living in a world now where we want everything to be fair and equal. We worry so much about hurting people’s feelings that we call everyone our best friend. I think this takes away from the true meaning of the phrase. I am not saying we shouldn’t have many friends. I believe in being a friend to all. Personally, I will hold dear the phrase “best friend” and will teach my children the same.
Friendships begin at birth. As parents, we join parent groups, or gym classes and the children of the parents we connect with become our children’s friends. As our children grow, they will slowly start to make decisions on which friends they want to spend time with based on common interests. My four-year old son, all of a sudden doesn’t want to play with girls. For years, many of his friends were girls. Recently, my seven-year old came to me and said that she really didn’t have anything in common with her best friend anymore. I was impressed with her observation. I did tell her the story of my first best friend. There is a significance about a first best friend. My first best friend and I have gone in different directions in life and have many different interests now and are separated by geography. That being said, I still consider her a very close friend. No matter the amount of time that passes, we can always pick up where we left off. I want my daughter to know that her best friend will be a friend for life regardless of their different interests. It is also very important to be able to appreciate the differences in each other.
Today and forever, it is my dear husband who is my best friend, my boon companion. I have a few very close friends I rely on constantly for support and many laughs and then many friends who I enjoy. But I will save the title “best friend” for my husband.
There are countless books out there on friendship. Please read to your child about friendship. Please teach your child the Golden Rule; treat others how you want to be treated. In the end, friendship is a very important part of our life from the beginning. Everyone needs friendships at all levels in their life. Later in life our friends become our sanity and our safe haven. Help your child learn how to build a solid friendship.
And please do not misuse or overuse the term “best friend” with your children.