Q: I have a newborn daughter. I want to get out and walk in my neighborhood with my daughter, but every time she is in her stroller she cries- a lot. I can’t seem to even get down the driveway! I know the fresh air would be good for both of us, but she seems miserable. Any stroller happiness suggestion?
A: Staying cooped up in your home is not a good plan for neither you nor your daughter. You are absolutely correct, fresh air would benefit you both, not to mention a change of scenery! The best option for your daughter’s stroller happiness- leave the stroller behind!
All over the world women successfully take their new babies “out and about”, but in most cultures no stroller is involved- they wear their babies! Luckily “baby wearing” is becoming quite trendy globally, which means more parents are giving it a try!
There are many different baby wearing styles and techniques. You may have to try a few to find the one that is the most comfortable for you and your daughter, but it worth any effort. Keeping your new daughter close to you is not only comforting to her, but you may find the closeness comforting as well.
Save the stroller for when your daughter is older. Until then, strap your daughter close to your heart and take a deep breath of fresh air. It will be great for both of you, even if you only walk around the block!
Q: Our 10 year old son has just been diagnosed with Dyslexia. It wasn’t huge surprise- his father also has Dyslexia. Now that we have this information, we want to make sure our son has a better school experience than my husband did. Any suggestions?
A: There are many learning challenges that run in the family. Building on one generation’s experiences (positive or negative) helps the next generation have more successful experiences. In the case of your son, he will benefit from your husband’s less than stellar school experience.
Working towards a positive school experience, here are three suggestions for you to consider: …Continue reading
Set up an IEP or 504 Plan: Depending on where you live (and the full diagnosis), your son may qualify for either an IEP or a 504 Plan. Investigate these options by speaking with your son’s school. Do not be shy about asking for assistance. These programs were established to help children, like your son, who learn differently, have their needs effectively met.
Hire a Learning Tutor: Having a learning challenge does not mean your son is not intelligent (actually he is probably more intelligent than you know). It means he learns differently. A Learning Tutor can help your son (and maybe you) develop some strategies, techniques, and systems that make learning come more easily. Your son’s school may have a Learning Tutor on staff or at least the name of a quality one. Another option is to contact the School of Education at your local University. They may have grad students who are eager to gain practical experience.
Introduce your son to Percy Jackson: Percy is the main character in Rick Riordan’s fantastic series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. And guess what- Percy has ADHD and Dyslexia! He explains why he was “gifted” with these challenges and how they enable him to save the world. This book series is wonderful and Percy Jackson is a great model of how learning challenges might actually be useful and maybe even considered cool. Read the series together (the audiobookis great too), but avoid the movies based on the books, they do not even come close to the awesomeness of the books!
You are a wise parent to put things in place to help your son’s school experience be a positive one. Sadly, your husband knows first hand what he doesn’t want his son to experience.
Q: My sister’s family is a different religion than my family. (My sister converted when she married.) I want recognize my nieces and nephews during the holiday season, but don’t know what I should do. Should we give my sister’s children gifts to celebrate their religious holiday or ours?
A: It is wonderful and refreshing to see that you want to embrace differences! The world would be a better place if more people would do this!
Before you do anything I suggest that you make sure you are clear about how and what your sister’s family celebrates during this season. …Continue reading
A great place to start: the books A Faith Like Mine
and The Usborne Encyclopedia of World Religions
. You and your children may be surprised to learn that not all holidays involve gift giving!
Once you are clear on what and how your sister’s family’s religion celebrates then it is time for a conversation with your sister. Let her know you have done your research, you want to recognize her family through celebration, and ask if she would rather include you in their celebration or be included in yours. Either way is wonderful (and inclusive).
Celebrating and embracing differences can only lead to great things.
Happy Whichever Holiday you (and your sister) choose to celebrate!
Remember Gorp? I don’t even know why it was called Gorp- nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and bits of chocolate, eaten by the handful. It later morphed into being called Trail Mix, which is perhaps a better name.
One of my friends shared a recipe for a Trail Mix Granola Bar (although there are no oats in the recipe) from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain. I have been adapting and simplifying the recipe and have come up with a recipe variation that is a huge hit.
We call them Trail Mix Squares (or “those trail mix thingies”). Whatever you want to call them, these squares are healthy and so very delicious! You can vary the recipe to suit your individual requirements. Nut free home– just use seeds and seed butter. No interest in chocolate- just add a ¼ cup of honey to the recipe. As long as you stick to the ratios it is difficult to ruin a batch. …Continue reading
Trail Mix Squares
2 cups of nuts (Any! Raw or lightly roasted.)
½ cup of nut butter (unsweetened)
2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla
5 pitted dates finely chopped (you can soak them in water to soften, if needed)
1 cup of chopped dried fruit (Any!)
mini chocolate chips
Melt nut butter, oil, and vanilla over low heat just until blended.
Chop nuts to size desired (use Vitamix, blender, or chop by hand).
In large bowl, mix nut butter concoction, nuts, dates, and dried fruit.
Line 9×13 glass dish with parchment paper.
Using additional piece of parchment paper, press mix evenly into dish.
Sprinkle top with mini chocolate chips (optional) and press into mix.
Freeze mix for about two hours.
Remove from freezer and cut into squares (sometimes you have to left thaw a bit).
Keep them in the fridge as they get quite wobbly if left out, but don’t expect them to last very long!
Q: I have a newborn son. Due to medical reasons I am unable to nurse. I am trying to make the best of a situation that is beyond my control. When I am feeding my son I am completely focused on him and our bonding time together. He is thriving and I am feeling great, except when I am feeding my son with anyone else near us. People, mothers especially, feel the need to tell me that I should be nursing my baby and not giving him a bottle. Some women have even been quite harsh in their comments. I understand they cannot know about my medical condition or how badly I wanted to nurse my son, but I am crushed by their comments. What, if anything should I say to these confronting women?
A: You should be applauded for recognizing that the time you spend feeding your son is a special bonding time- regardless of the nourishment delivery technique. Focusing on your son during that time instead of multitasking is so important. It is exactly what you should be doing!
Such a pity that this special time has to be interrupted with unsolicited and unhelpful advice. Let’s give the intruding advisers the benefit of the doubt and hope that they care so much about your son that they want to make sure he has, what they think, are the best opportunities.
Now that we’ve given them the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure you have some choice words that you’d like to share in exchange for their unhelpful advice. …Continue reading
Your negative output will only cause everyone, even your son, stress. And don’t feel like you should have to share information about your medical condition- unless you want to. Simply saying “Yes, I agree” may surprise and silence your unwelcome advisers. If the advice continues it may be helpful to look towards one of my favorite Amy Tan quotes, “In this matter you need not concern yourself” (The Kitchen God’s Wife)
Take comfort in knowing that regardless of what others say, you are doing what is best for your son (and you). In that matter you must concern yourself!