You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2010.

I’m not one to believe all the emails I receive about scams going around, but over the weekend I was party to one of them that is currently out there. I was at a hotel when I received a call saying that the hotel’s system crashed and they needed to re-register me. I told them I would come down to the front desk and take care of it. They told me it would be easier to do this over the phone. They asked for my name, address, and credit card that I paid with. Stupid me gave my name and address, but told them I paid cash, with this “CLICK” they hung up. They were fishing for information. I felt really stupid even entertaining the caller. I was also upset that I gave my address, because now they knew I was not home. Lesson learned! Just a word of caution to all.

Now I know when they are babies before they start walking there’s no real need for shoes – except that we moms think it’s just so cute (admit it you know it’s true).  But now my almost 20 months old toddler has been walking, running, climbing, jumping, for almost a year, and well shoes are kind of needed to protect those cute little feet, but my thing is how much am I willing to spend on shoes that he will in essence be wearing for about 5 minutes in the scheme of things? They just grow too fast! Let’s see in July he had plenty of room in his size 6s, now he just fits them!

And we can’t forget the other side of the 5 minute shoes … trying to get him to wear them for more than 5 minutes! He’s very into doing things himself right now, trying to get dressed, trying to put on his own diaper (over the wet/dirty diaper), and of course trying to put his and everyone else’s shoes on – which means he just ‘needs’ to take off his shoes (and socks for some reason) to try to put them back on. Hmm wonder if I could duct tape the shoes on him? *kidding*

I remember the cliques that were formed by the girls  when I was in elementary school. Luckily, the worst thing they did was kick me out of their “Spice Girl” group. Overnight my dreams of becoming the next “Ginger Spice” were crushed.  But, girls can be ruthless with their teasing and it can be hard for children to confront their bullies. This article gives parents some tips on how to deal with a bully situation. Whether your child is the bully’s target, is the bully, or you know of a friend’s child who is being bullied, this article is a must read before the school year begins.

Meet Kristin. She had her friends over at her house past her curfew, so as punishment, her dad took out an ad in the paper with her photo for 30 hours of free babysitting. Is this way too extreme? Or, do you feel this was a creative way for her parents to teach Kristin a lesson? I think as a teen, the public attention is really the bigger punishment, at least it would be for me. How did your parents punish you when you broke the rules? What methods of punishment do you use with your child or teen?

Can you believe it’s almost Labor Day? This summer has flown by and soon it’s back to school. Sometimes this can mean back to school jitters and apprehension about summer vacation ending. Well, it turns out that walking to school could ease some of these worries according to a new study. I remember when I was a child and I saw that yellow bus looming in the background, I felt those nerves and I liked school. What do you think? Is there truth to this study?

photo credit: American Camp Association

Beating the “End of Camp” Blues

Camp is an action-packed adventure. Each day brings new and exciting opportunities for growth and accomplishment. At the same time, strong bonds of friendship and community are developing. It truly is a life-changing experience. And when the embers of the last campfire have cooled, and campers make their way home, often children experience a mild case of the “end of camp blues.”

The blues are not uncommon — causing some children to be tired, moody, quieter than usual, or even irritable or grumpy. The American Camp Association (ACA) recommends the following tips for families to help ease the transition from camp to home:

  • Help them relax and adjust to the slower pace of non-camp life. Suggest they take a warm shower and get plenty of rest. Plan to have an “old favorite” for dinner.
  • Encourage reconnecting with friends from home. Volunteer to set up play dates and get-togethers to help re-establish a sense of belonging with friends they haven’t seen in a long time.
  • Allow your child to write, email, or call camp friends. Many camps encourage campers to exchange e-mail and IM addresses with one another. Parents should make sure to oversee their child’s online activities, and make sure that all camp policies are being followed.
  • Be open and available to talk about camp. Allow your children to reflect on their friends, their favorite moment at camp, and what they miss most about camp. Sharing experiences and feelings will help them feel connected to you, and will make the transition easier.
  • Organize a small “reunion.” Getting together with local camp friends can help reassure your child that though his or her friends are out of sight, they are not out of mind!

If your child gets the blues, remember that they miss camp because they had fun — and they enjoyed taking healthy risks in a safe and nurturing environment. And, it is normal for them to miss their camp family the same way they missed their home family at camp. By being supportive and understanding, families can ease the sadness and help campers adjust to life at home. And, families can help campers remember that next summer is not that far away.

Does this scenario sound familiar? “Hey honey can you clean up your room later?” “What?” “I said, can you clean up your room later?” “Huh?!” According to a new study it turns out your teen may not be answering you out of rudeness, but because they may not hear you properly. An alarming statistic of one in five teens in the US have lost a little bit of hearing, and the problem has increased substantially in recent years.  Experts are urging teenagers to turn down the volume on their digital music players, suggesting loud music through earbuds may be to blame. I know that I am guilty of cranking up the music too loud at the gym myself. If  you or your teen use earbud headphones make sure the volume is at half and not up fully.

How many of you have heard of the Shandelee Music Festival in Livingston Manor? Well if you dig classical, even a little – here it is at its best. You missed Misha Keylin,violinist and Cullan Bryant on piano – Saturday, August 14 – who brought the most divine music to a packed crowd at the Sunset Concert Pavillion, that I challenge you to beat. Thursday, August 19 at 8pm and Saturday, August 21 at 3pm – go for a real treat. The International Young Artists of Shandelee’s Award Winning Young Soloist Pianists. Call for reservations – they can be dear.

On Sunday, August 29, Ukulele player and songwriter Aaron Lee will roll into the MINT Lounge and Tapas in the Rondout at 1 West Strand, Kingston to perform a concert to benefit Healthy Kingston for Kids Project, which is a partnership led by Cornell Cooperative Extension Ulster County (CCEUC).

Lee is promoting community building with the Ukulele by Bicycle Tour. Lee is riding his bicycle across the Northeast and carrying everything that he needs. Lee will be performing a series of concerts in communities at various venues along the way to promote the causes of living simply and sustainably, acting locally, and the energy of bringing a group of people together to support a common cause.

 The concert is FREE, but donations will be accepted. Donations will directly support the GIS Community Mapping project of the Healthy Kingston for Kids initiative.  The GIS Community Mapping Team consists of volunteers with GPS units and “computer techies” who are mapping the walkability and bikeability of Kingston.  The maps will be used to identify priority transportation projects that will improve the environment for child pedestrians and bicyclists.  The Mapping Team is in need of laptops for a mobile GIS lab that will share the maps with the community!

  This family fun event is guaranteed to make you laugh and leave you with a song in your head and a smile on your face!

 For more information  contact Kristen Wilson, project director at Cornell Cooperative Extension Ulster County, at 845-340-3990 or

A note from the folks at the Peace Bell Foundation about the upcoming event on the new Walkway Bridge in Poughkeespie on Sept. 18:

Greetings from The Doug and Martha Martin Peace Bell Foundation to all the Hudson Valley parents tuning in today. You are invited to join the first annual Promenade For Peace on the new Walkway Bridge in Poughkeepsie/Highland, NY Sept 18 at 8:30 am. This event is being sponsored by The Doug & Martha Martin (Peace Bell Foundation) along with The Southern Dutchess Rotary, Pax Christi of the Hudson Valley and the St. Mary’s Men’s Fellowship, Fishkill. This community celebration for peace on Sat. Sept. 18th will Ring-In International Peace Day which is always Celebrated Sept 21st of each year. Join us on this Promenade for Peace, building bridges of understanding, love and  compassion, showing the world we are a community who cares. 
Peace & Blessings!

Most Sincerely,

Doug and Martha Martin (Sturomski)

“bRinging ideals of Freedom and Peace
through the Sight, Sound and Symbol of the Bell.”

About Me!

This blog is where we comment on the issues and topics Hudson Valley parents deal with every day. We invite you to join us! Please leave us your comments.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 59 other followers