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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.

How many times have you heard your parents say that? How many times have you said that to your children? What does it really mean anyway? On Saturday my two boys Travis 14 & Nyim 9 were playing around and the phone rang, Nyim answered and it was a friend of Travis’, Instead of getting on the phone and telling the child he was busy or was not in the mood to talk, he told my 9-year-old to tell the boy on the phone that he was not home. I overheard it and got annoyed that Travis asked his brother to lie for him (as trivial as it sounds). Travis understood and said he would not do it again. Okay Mommy…Job well done. Well not so fast! My 9-year-old then turns to me and says…”Mommy you make Travis lie for you all the time” GASP!! I do know such thing….”uh huh sometimes when Auntie Jackie calls you tell Travis to say you are sleeping , when Grandma calls you say tell her you are at the store when you are really still sleeping…When people knock on the door sometimes you say “you are the baby sitter” OKAY “enough already”. Quick I need a way out!! Does the do as I say not as I do (get out of a situation free card) come into play here? I told both of my boys that lying is no good ANY lie is no good. I also told them that I will no longer ask them to lie for me and lying in any regard in no good. shouldn’t what I say be the same as what I do? Shouldn’t I practice what I preach? Or should it be do I as I say not as I do…because I brought you into this world and I can take you out? Being a Mommy is hard work!!

I have a new “Leslie Likes” product! Clear2Go water bottles are my new favorite thing in the office. We were sent a couple of bottles to try out and I do like them. They are easy to carry around, feature a pop top and can be refilled pretty much anywhere. They work by having a filter attached to the top of the bottle. When you tip the bottle to drink the water runs through the filter and comes out clean. No more chlorine taste from the tap for me. Hooray! It also filters out about 99% of bacteria present in a lot of water. They also hold 24 ounces of water which I can drink pretty quickly.

The bottles are $15.99 each and the filters can be bought in a two pack for $12.99. Each filter cleans 100 gallons of water. A bargain as far as I am concerned. The way my family and I drink water, it is a good buy all the way around. You can find the bottles for sale here or here.

A Texas 4 year old boy nicknamed “tater tot” has been at the center on controversy for a few months now, for what you say? What could he have possibly done? Well he has shoulder length hair that’s what he did! “They kicked me out that place,” Taylor said. “I miss my friends.” Taylor’s father, Delton Pugh feelings on the matter is “It appears the school district “is more concerned about his hair than his education,” . “I don’t think it’s right to hold a child down and force him to do something … when it’s not hurting him or affecting his education.” Pugh, a tattoo artist, said he used to shave his own head but that his son “made me pinky promise I would let my hair grow long with him.” Taylor has been put on in school suspension where he sits in the library with a Teachers aide, and is not allowed to play with friends during recess. I find it a bit much, however rules are rules…But aren’t some rules meant to be broken? I guess not as far as the school district. According to the district dress code, boys’ hair must be kept out of the eyes and cannot extend below the bottom of earlobes or over the collar of a dress shirt. Fads in hairstyles “designed to attract attention to the individual or to disrupt the orderly conduct of the classroom or campus is not permitted,” the policy states.

This below was on the list as well for all children:

Hair is to be clean and well-groomed. Unusual coloring or excessive hairstyles that may include “tails,” “designs,” “puffs,” etc. are prohibited.

So does that mean a girls can’t wear pony “tails”? Or those cute little “puffs” that African American little girls have in their naturally tight curly hair? Or if you take your daughter to one of the hair wrapping places and they get “designs” with the thread? You mean that’s is not allowed either? WOW. Thoughts anyone?

Uh, okay. I am sort of on the fence about this…on one hand I feel when I first heard about this I immediately rushed to judgement and said, “OMG,  these people are unfit parents.” But then, I think about parents who dread lock their children’s hair, or shave their heads when they are young as a part of religion and so many other things. Is it abuse? Should parents be allowed to make these types of decisions for their under aged children? Not to mentioned the health concerns that may be associated with doing this type of thing. What are will the ramifications be to the children? Comments any one?

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.

DOGS

“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.

CATS

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

Fish are not social and are easy to care for.

BIRDS

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.

RATS

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.

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