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Has this ever happened to you? Recently, I was babysitting my niece when all of sudden she turned and stared behind the couch. I asked her what was wrong and her response made the hair on my arms stand up, “I see rabbit, Aunt Bridget!” Excuse me? What? I turned in fear expecting to see a homicidal rabbit standing behind me, but there was in fact, nothing. Phew!
When I asked my brother and sister-in-law when they got home in laments terms, “What is up with the rabbit thing?” They said that she just started saying it when they moved in to their new house. Asking around it seems that my niece simply has an imaginary friend. Does your child have one? Share your experiences (creepy or not)! In the meantime, check out this article from our own Dr. Schwartz on his insight on imaginary friends.
All parents of children with disabilities worry about the day when they will no longer be able to care for them. While many parents have figured out ways to make life more comfortable for a child with disabilities while they are around, thinking about a time when they can no longer be personally responsible for their child’s well-being can be stressful.
Many parents believe that they can continue to care for their child with special needs by leaving money to a relative. This seems like a good idea because a relative knows the child personally and parents think they can trust them to care for their children. However, relatives are not legally bound to spend the money left to them on the child. In addition to this, the money can be taken from the appointed relative by a number of different parties, including creditors. Also, the money may be lost in a divorce settlement.
Many parents also make the mistake of leaving money to one of their children who does not have a disability, expecting this child to care for the one with special needs. However, this may be a bad idea because it also does not legally bind the child to use this money to care for the sibling with the disability. Also, doing so can pose undue stress on the sibling. If he or she already has to deal with the pain of losing parents, it may be too difficult for the sibling to deal with the added responsibility of caring for a child with special needs.
Rather than entrusting money directly to a relative or sibling, parents should consider forming a Special Needs Trust. Doing so will ensure that the child will be well taken care of and that the money devoted to this cause will not be taken by any other source and must be used for the purpose for which it was intended. Establishing a Special Needs Trust for a child with a disability is the best way to ensure the quality of his or her care in the future.
For me, the holiday season is a special time that includes good food, fun, family and friends. Like many, however, I am challenged each year with finding the balance between joy and happiness and guilt and stress. As the founder of Time Savor Gourmet I help people just like you to make good food, fast and easy no matter how busy you are or how well you can cook. As a result, I came up with some holiday survival strategies to help you eat well, entertain with less stress and not pack on the pounds, all while having a great time! My next few blog posts will cover strategies for Entertaining, Cooking, Stress-Less Party Noshing and some general behavioral tips to help you get through the holidays with ease.
Tried and true, classic recipes that are low in fat and full in flavor are a tradition in my household. At the start of the holiday season, I make sure to have my pantry & fridge armed with the items I’m going to need to whip up some of my favorite snacks when unexpected (or expected!) company arrives. (I’ve listed a few of my favorites in the Holiday Appetizer 911 section on my website.) By having good ingredients on hand and stocking your pantry, fridge and freezer with some basics (and NOT fat laden frozen appetizers!!!) you’ll be prepared and never caught off guard.
I have a habit of slouching. It’s not good and I don’t endorse it. I always try to remember to stand tall, with my shoulders back, because if I don’t I hear my mom’s voice in my head, “Don’t slouch over!” It’s such a knee jerk reaction. I think that this habit is hard to break, but just as my mom knew it should be taught when children are younger. A recent article in the Washington Post agrees and also says to make learning about having good posture fun. The article has great tips for parents and kids on how to maintain a strong core. Soon no one will have to hear “stop slouching!” anymore.
Finding a helpful parenting website is like finding the decoder ring prize in a Cracker Jack box. (I couldn’t think of a better analogy.) But really, I love when I find new websites, especially ones I think our readers have yet to discover! Mother Nature Network is a site that is all about the “green living” lifestyle. The site is neatly organized with different categories like food, home, and family that are filled with blogs and articles. The information is concise and easy to follow. I hope you give it a look. If you like it, let us know!
Check out this new information just released today:
“Eating lots of vegetables and fruits during pregnancy may lower the chance of having a baby with certain allergies, hint study findings from Japan.
Greater intake of green and yellow vegetables, citrus fruit, and veggies and fruits high in beta carotene (generally those colored red and orange) may lessen the risk of having a baby with eczema (itchy, dry, red patched skin), Dr. Yoshihiro Miyake at Fukuoka University and colleagues found.
Foods high in vitamin E, found in some green vegetables, similarly may lessen the risk of having a wheezy infant, they report in the journal Allergy.”
Read more of the article here. We all know how important eating healthy is for your growing baby, but this new study raises some good points. What was your eating like when you were pregnant? If you are newly pregnant would you pay more attention to the study? Share your opinion!
What do you do when you are picking up your child from dance class, basketball practice, tutoring, etc. and they are begging you to stop at a fast food place, but you want to give them nutritious and delicious food? You may be feeling tired at the end of the long day and be tempted to stop yourself… try to stay strong because we may have a new solution for the dinner rush madness and teaches your child about proper nutrition as well.
Recently, we have discovered a free online community, ZisBoomBah, that provides a variety of useful tools for parents to help them manage their busy lives. ZisBoomBah created PickChow!, an online tool solving the dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?” This system gets kids excited about figuring out what’s for dinner! Once the dinner is created, the kids can save and share it through email with their parents. Kids can print the menu, create the table setting, and if parents allow, kids can participate in making the meal! Parents will receive an email letting them know that their child planned dinner – parents can approve or save for later and send supportive notes back to their child expressing their excitement about a healthy meal.
The best part is it teaches children about nutrition and how to properly balance their meals. Involving your children in the dinner making process will not only make your life easy, it will also teach them life long lessons about their health and it’s fun! Check out the website and let us know if you try it. Also be sure to share any recipes or tips you may have on getting children to eat healthier to share with other parents. Bon Appétit.
I always wondered how to pick a pet. Right now my husband and I have two cats, and we didn’t pick either of them. One was given to me by an employee who couldn’t keep it in her apartment and the second was found on the street and brought to our door.
What do the experts say? Veterinarian Paul Johnson drew a picture for me of what people see when they look at a group of puppies.
“People see three types of dogs when they look at a group of puppies,” says Dr. Johnson. “The number one group runs to the front, jumps up and licks your face. You think ‘Oh, this puppy loves me.’”
“The second group hangs out in the middle. They are not sure if your visit is a good or bad thing. And that third group hides in the back. They are the scared group. And you think that maybe the poor puppy in the back, who is scared, could work out.”
Who should you pick? Dr. Johnson says that the number one group that is coming to you is telling you that he will be the boss. He is the dominant personality and will want to be upfront all the time.
The dogs in the third group, those in the back of the pack, will turn out to be fearful. Every time he is in a new situation he may bite out of fear. His behavior becomes unpredictable. According to Dr. Johnson, toddlers in particular are most likely to be bitten. They are on eye level with the puppy, and they are not trained to understand signals the dog sends, like when his ears flap back. The toddler doesn’t understand when they should back off from the dog.
Families should pick those dogs in the middle who have a healthy skepticism of a new environment. This is the type of dog who checks out the scene before he comes to you.
Dogs you have to walk and feed at regular time. But in general we think cats are easier to care for. After all a cat is self-reliant. And we can be gone for 48 hrs and they won’t mind. But we forget that different from dogs, cat can invade in our environment. Cats will climb on that Christmas tree you have in the living room.
SMALL CAGED PETS
Hamster, guinea pig or gerbils. The smaller the pet less likely it is to be cuddly. You may consider getting a rabbit which can become part of the family. With small caged animals the plastic balls in the cage work well for exercise and you don’t have to walk them. They do have shorter lifespan 3-5 years, so there is no long time commitment.
Fish are not social and are easy to care for.
Many birds are bright and social, but they can be messy. If you buy a bird be sure to place the cage in active part of home. Birds are social and they want to be part of the family, and they want to be included in the family activities.
Dr. Johnson told me that when he visited child care centers, many times he would bring a rat to show the kids. They kids loved them. It was the teachers who stood there in horror. Rates can be great pets and they can be social. They just have a bad reputation.
Many thanks to Dr. Paul Johnson, veterinarian with the Animal Health Center in Middletown for sharing his expertise.