Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ah, Boys!

I have been reading a lot about boys. I have recommended some readings already but this article from yesterday's msnbc, does a nice job of summarizing current issues and research.

It is worth the read (then some follow ups with the books/articles mentioned).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Questions from the boys

So, we are expecting our fourth child. And our youngest two, especially our 5yo, have been extremely interested in the process. Each week when my babycenter.com email newsletter comes to tell us what is happening, Coop is right there anxiously waiting to find out what his new sibling is up to. He was especially excited to learn that the baby's body is learning how to pee.

Here are some questions that have come up lately.

*So, is there a wall or something in you so the baby doesn't go all over the place?
*When you belly bump with someone, does the baby like it?
*Why do some mommies have the baby like this (with a pushing movement down from his belly to his knees)?
*How big is the baby now?
*Why do we have to wait so long for her to come out?
*So, when the baby is three that means we can get a dog, right?
*How exactly did the baby get in there (my belly)?
*Does the baby eat what you eat?
*Why would the baby kick or punch you?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sweaty Sunday (late edition of Fitness Friday!)

Now that most kids are back into school, some parents find some extra time for themselves. This is a great time to add in or increase your fitness routine.

Here are some ways to add that time to your day:
1. Walk your kids to school and then take the long way back (or take walk after the kids head out for the day).

2. Find a park district or gym class. Try something new. Most facilities start a fall session and offer a Free Week or a Free Week-Trail.

3. Find some other moms or dads and take a weekly bike ride together or stroller walk. Plan for at least 30mins.

4. Check out some new fitness DVD's from the library and try them out while no one else is home to watch (and interrupt you).

5. Schedule some sessions with a personal trainer. They can help you start or refresh your workout and give you solid fitness goals that work within your schedule.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

School Days

School starts this week for many children and parents. Two of mine start tomorrow and one on Monday. Many parents find the first day of school sad or sweet, tears well up in their eyes and they struggle to let go of their child's hand so they can walk in the school alone.

I am not one of those parents. I love the first day of school for purely selfish reasons. I can't wait to have the kids out of the house and get some time to myself again. Its terrible but true. I am looking forward to my kids spending time with other people than myself, husband, and their siblings. My boys, in particular, need to spend time apart for each other before blood is shed. I can't wait to have my house stay a bit cleaner and less food need to be stocked up. I also love and need routine in my life and school days bring a delightful routine back into the house. So, I am ready for school to start..bring it on!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Car Seats

Car safety is so important and I am often floored when I see parents who either have no idea what is safe or legal for their child or choose to ignore safety measures all together.

Today, I saw a child less than 2 years old, not only not in a child car seat (there wasn't even one in the car) but sitting on the floor of the front seat as the car went into gear! Really, people?! (see below on how to report such an incident)

Most people know that infants must be in a car seat, most hospitals won't allow the baby to leave until one is present. But what after that? When I was a kid, I surely wasn't in a car seat long. A lot of people just don't know.

So, since I don't want my husband pulling your child out of a smashed up car....I want to share the laws and recommendations.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents, "Keep your child in a car safety seat for as long as possible. When your child is big enough, make sure the seat belts in your vehicle fit your child correctly. The shoulder belt should lie across the chest, not the neck or throat. The lap belt must be low and snug across the thighs, not the stomach. In addition, the child should be tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with her legs bent at the knees and feet hanging down. Seat belts are made for adults. If the seat belt does not fit your child correctly, she should stay in a booster seat until the adult seat belt fits. This is usually when the child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age."

General guidelines include:
Infants---In a rear-facing, infant car seat until the child is at least 1 year of age and 20lbs.
Toddlers--Can be in forward-facing convertible or other car seat with 5-point harness (most manufacturers recommend staying in a 5-point harness until the child is 40lbs).
School-age children--Can be in a booster-style seat until they are 80lbs, 4"9', and/or 8-12 years old. (my children have not moved into a booster seat until they are at least 40lbs, in elementary school, and can buckle themselves in and out---this is my personal preference).

In Illinois....the Child Passenger Protection Act states:
  • A child under eight years old must be secured in a child safety seat. However, if the vehicle is equipped with lap belts only in the back seat, a child weighing more than 40 pounds may be transported in the back seat wearing a lap belt only.
  • A child between the ages of 8 and 17 must be secured in a seat belt or child safety seat.
  • Children between the ages of 16 and 17 must wear seat belts when they are riding in vehicles driven by people under the age of 18.

Check out your local laws to make sure you are in compliance.

How to report an unstrained child: (put this number in your cell phone (along with a non-emergency police number))

The Children's Hospital of Illinois has designed a program that makes traveling safer for children. The Be A Buckle Buddy! toll-free hotline, 1-888-800-2642, allows the public to call anonymously when they notice an unrestrained child in a motor vehicle and leave a message, including where the incident was observed, date and license plate number of the vehicle involved. The vehicle owner receives follow-up information in the mail from the safety team regarding the dangers to unrestrained children and a list of resources. This public service is provided by the Children's Hospital of Illinois, The Tazewell County Sheriff's Department and Peoria Area Safe Kids.

Be a Buckle Buddy Hotline:

1-888-800-2642 Toll Free (Verizon Customers in Illinois may dial #333)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The News

My husband often makes fun of me when I say that I am watching 'the news' as E! News Live is on the tv. My 10pm routine used to be a nice rotation among our local news, CNN, The Daily Show, and E! (now E! News is on at 1030pm). I think I got a very good representation of what is happening in the world this way.

He also thinks it is funny that I read the entertainment section of msnbc.com first as well (this is not always true but often) and consider People Magazine a valid form of information.

Honestly, I keep up with world, US, and local news pretty well. I read online headlines and articles, and check out local and national news programs regularly (hi there, Anderson Cooper). But I also take time to know what is happening in the world of the rich and famous. I don't have to watch The Bachelorette to know what is going on and be able to chat on facebook about it. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we have made these people and stories important....so I try to stay up on things. So don't judge me.

Here is a clip from one of my favorite movies, So I Married An Axe Murderer. Charlie's Mom swears by her newspaper. Enjoy.