Monthly Archives: December 2010

One Mom’s Wishes For 2011

We are wishing everyone the most joyous fun ringing in the new year. May you gather your friends and family close and celebrate (and reflect) the close of another year. While it may not have fulfilled all our wishes, we are still here and ready to ring in the next one. Maybe in 2011 you will reach some of those “leftover” goals and meet some new ones. Whatever you want, 2011 is a blank slate.

Here are some of my wishes and goals for 2011:

  1. Employment. Or a paycheck at least. Some of you may be aware that I was downsized over 2 years ago. Unemployment kept us afloat and life was pretty darn good for those 2 years. Now, unemployment has come to an end and leaves me wondering what exactly 2011 will hold. I’m hoping to find something where I can work in the evenings and still be home with my daughter during the day. I have cherished (mostly!) the time I’ve been home with her and losing that would make me very sad. I’m not too proud…WalMart, Target, here I come!
  2. Yell Less. I think I did quite well during the 1 week no yelling challenge. I did pretty good the 2nd week as well. Maybe even part of the 3rd week too. And then, I don’t know when it all went down hill but the yelling/loud voice is back. And I don’t like it. I don’t like what it says about me as a person/mom and what effect it is having on my family.
  3. Lose Weight. I know, everyone says that when January 1 rolls around. But it’s been something on my mind for over a year now. I want to be a good example for my daughter. I want her to eat right and be active, and how can I expect her to be those things if I am not? I don’t want to be a walking example of do as I say and not as I do. When I met my husband, I was about 80 pounds thinner. I looked DAMN good. I felt EVEN BETTER than DAMN good!! Now, I avoid mirrors. HATE having my picture taken (do I really look like that? EEK!) My daughter is going to look back on the first 3 years of her life in pictures and wonder if she had a mom. I live in a lake community where bathing suits are essentially your daily uniform. I like to sit in the lake and “hide” in the water (okay, and it’s cooling too on 100 degree days). Oh, and did I mention I do marketing/pr for a health and fitness company on the side? Lord, I feel like a sham artist doing this. I mean, when it comes to marketing, I know my poop and I know I can help her. But it just feels “wrong” somehow.

That’s it. I’m going to start with three. They are a pretty big three in my eyes. You know, if in 12 months I can say I accomplished each of those 3 things, then I’ll be pretty freaking proud!

What do you want 2011 to look like?? I hope you spend a few minutes figuring it out and writing it down. Best of luck and many blessing in the new year! Slante!


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Top 5 Healthy Habits For Kids

We’ve all come to learn as grown-ups (apparently nobody did this when we were kids??) that it’s best to sneeze or cough into your elbow or arm. Much better than sneezing on your hand and then touching a million things or shaking a hand. ICK!

The lovely folks at What To Expect website (yes, the same as the series of books) have offered 5 great things we should be doing to stay healthy. Hopefully they’ll all become good healthy habits for 2011!

Taken from

There are good habits and bad habits, but these five healthy ones are keepers!

You do all you can think of to prevent your child from coming down with a cold or an upset tummy — from feeding her balanced meals to scrubbing the floors she plays on. But that’s only half the battle: She has to learn how to keep herself healthy. And there’s plenty of lessons to teach her: Start by explaining that germs are responsible for the yucky feeling she gets when she’s sick. Then instruct her on healthy habits. You’ll have to demonstrate these hygiene lessons over and over, but pretty soon she’ll be able to grasp them — and follow through on them (at least most of the time!). So what are the most important lessons to start with? The top-five healthy habits for children are:

HEALTHY HABIT #1: Give Hands a Good Scrub
Hand washing tops the list of healthy habits children should learn for one simple reason: Doing it often — and doing it right — can reduce the number of colds, flu, and other infections children get by 50 percent! That’s a lot of sore throats, runny noses, and just-plain-ickiness a child can avoid simply by stepping up to the sink, especially at key times: before eating or heading to the playroom with a friend (this will keep germs on shared toys to a minimum), after coming in from playing outside, and after sneezing, coughing, petting an animal, or using the potty.

What’s more, even a baby can start to pick up on this all-important healthy habit — by watching as you wipe off her hands (do it frequently; according to some research, crawling babies handle and mouth the random stuff they find lying around more than 80 times per hour); and then, when she’s old enough to follow simple directions, by mastering these hand-washing how-tos:

  1. Use warm water and soap.
  2. Make lots and lots of suds; bubbles trap germs.
  3. Scrub for at least 20 seconds — about the time it takes to sing the ABC song or “Happy Birthday” twice through (at normal — not breakneck! — speed).
  4. Rub fronts and backs of hands, and between every little finger: Friction is as important as soap and water for getting little mitts clean.
  5. Rinse thoroughly, so that every single germ goes down the drain.
  6. Dry hands on a clean towel.

HEALTHY HABIT #2: Do the “Sleeve Sneeze”
What’s next on the list of healthy habits for children? When your kid feels an “achoo” coming on and there’s no tissue in sight, show him how to let loose into the inside of his elbow, rather than into his hand or the air. This way germs won’t wind up on his fingers — 80 percent of germs are transferred through touch — or spewed out into the air. This healthy habit applies to coughs as well — and to you too, so be a good role model whenever you sneeze sans tissues.

HEALTHY HABIT #3: Toss That Tissue!
Once your child has mastered the fine art of nose-blowing, get her into the habit of disposing of dirty tissues right away, rather than leaving them lying around on a table or the floor: Some bacteria and viruses can live for two hours or more outside the body, so getting rid of tissues is another healthy habit for children to learn. Make sure there’s a trash can in every room your child spends time in or teach her to flush yucky tissues down the toilet.

HEALTHY HABIT #4: Don’t Share
Certain items can harbor germs and other icky things, so your child will have to learn that some things are not meant to be shared. Explain to your child that while it’s nice to let pals play with toys, there are things he should keep to himself — namely combs, brushes, and hats (sharing these items is the number-one way lice spread from kid to kid); toothbrushes; cups, forks, and drinking straws; whistles, horns, and other objects you put your mouth on (good luck with that one!); and, of course, tissues.

HEALTHY HABIT #5: Flush and Flee
Now for some potty talk: While it’s tempting for a child (particularly a toddler who’s in the middle of toilet training) to want to watch the precious products of her efforts swirl away, it’s not such a great idea to encourage her to do this. With every flush, droplets of water containing minute particles of whatever was just deposited (yes, that means pee, poop, or vomit) spew into the air. Not only could this geyser of germs land directly on your kid, it could settle on nearby surfaces. So if you want your children to pick up this particular healthy habit, show them how to put down the lid (carefully, of course — a mashed finger isn’t any more fun than a tummy ache that can result from the type of bacteria lurking in the toilet.).

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Kids Can Make New Year’s Resolutions Too! 21 Healthy Ideas

Turns out, even pre-schoolers can make (or, in most cases, be told!) New Year’s resolutions too! And ones they might actually stick too. I’m planning to whip out our chore chart in 2011, and many of the suggested resolutions are on here.

The suggestions covered in this article from are for preschoolers to 13 years an up. It’s a good list of suggestions for the older kids and a good list to help you in guiding your younger ones.

The following New Year tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Taken from


  • I will clean up my toys and put them where they belong.
  • I will brush my teeth twice a day, and wash my hands after going to the bathroom and beforeeating.
  • I won’t tease dogs or other pets – even friendly ones. I will avoid being bittenby keeping my fingers and face away from their mouths.

Kids, 5- to 12-years-old

  • I will drink 2% milk and water three times each day, and limit soda and fruit drinks to once each day.
  • I will apply sunscreen before I go outdoors on bright sunny days. I will try to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I’m playing sports.
  • I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!
  • I will always wear a helmet when bicycling.
  • I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I’ll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.
  • I’ll be nice to other kids. I’ll be friendly to kids who need friends – like someone who is shy, or is new to my school.
  • I’ll never give out personal information such as my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet. Also, I’ll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without my parent’s permission.

Kids, 13-years-old and up

  • I will eat at least one fruit and one vegetable every day, and I will limit the amount of soda I drink to one glass daily.
  • I will take care of my body through physical activity and nutrition.
  • I will choose non-violent television shows and video games, and I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities.
  • I will help out in my community – through volunteering, working with community groups or by joining a group that helps people in need.
  • When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find constructive ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or discussing my problem with a parent or friend.
  • When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust.
  • When I notice my friends are struggling or engaging in risky behaviors, I will talk with a trusted adult and attempt to find a way that I can help them.
  • I will be careful about whom I choose to date, and always treat the other person with respect and without coercion or violence. I will expect the same good behavior in return.
  • I will resist peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol.
  • I agree not to use a cell phone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.


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Talk To Your Kids So They’ll Really Listen

We all say it “my kid seems to have selective hearing”, and feel like that mostly only applies when we are talking to them. Is there a way to talk to your kids so that they really hear you? The fine folks at seem to have some recommendations on how to make this a reality. Now, if there was a way to curb the eye rolling…

Taken from

A major part of bringing up kids is learning how to talk with and to your children. The way you talk to your child teaches them how to talk to others. Here are some simple but really effective talking tips to try out with your kids:
Connect before you direct

Before giving your child directions, squat down to your child’s eye level and engage your child in eye-to-eye contact to get their full attention. This helps them know you are talking directly at them and helps to focus their attention on what you are telling them to do: “Nic, I need your eyes to look at me.” “Sophie, I need your ears to switch on so you can really hear me.”

Be aware of your body language and your tone of voice so your child knows you mean what you say – be clear – be firm – be calm and be specific.

Address your child clearly by using their name

This makes sure your child knows that you are actually talking to them and gets rid of any misunderstanding. Often children are really engrossed in what they are doing so using their name grabs their attention quickly and easily. So start your request with your child’s name, “Charlie, will you please…”

Stay brief

Use the simple but effective one-sentence rule and put your main point in the opening sentence. The longer you ramble, the more likely your child is to become parent-deaf! Too much talking is a very common mistake parents make when talking to their kids about an issue. It gives your child the feeling that you’re not quite sure what it is you want to say. If they can keep you talking they can often get you sidetracked. Also it cuts to the chase and stops the whole situation turning into just a nagging session which is far more positive.

Stay simple

Use short sentences with one-syllable words. Listen to how kids communicate with each other and take note. When your child shows that glazed, disinterested look, you are no longer being understood or listened to. So take the hint!

A really simple way to check they have heard you is to ask them to repeat the request back to you if they can’t, it’s too long or too complicated or they weren’t really listening to you!

Click HERE to continue reading article.

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Do Vapor Rubs Really Work?

I grew up using Vick’s Vapor Rub. I think my mom even had something she put in a vaporizer in the room that spewed it into the air.

Now that I have a child, I’ve used the infant specific vapor rub on her when she’s stuffy. I also had the little mister that sits on a dresser. If you asked me, it seemed to help her sleep more comfortably through the night.

When I saw this article from KidsDr. on Twitter, I knew I had to read it and share. You can check out more great articles by clicking on

Vapor Rubs: Do They Really Work?

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

There was a great article recently published in the online journal of Pediatrics.  I had to read it as it was titled, “Vapor Rub, Petrolatum, or No Treatment for Nocturnal Cough”.  Having been a fan of both Vick’s Vapor Rub and Mentholatum since I was a child, I knew it was a MUST read article.

You can ask all of my family members, once we hit cough and cold season, the “vapor rub” jar goes next to my bed to help me during my frequent colds (see previous posts!).  I have such fond memories of being with my grandmother, Gaga, who at the first sign of a cold,  would rub Vicks all over my chest, which was then occluded by a warm damp CLEAN dishtowel, then followed by my flannel nightgown.  She would lovingly tuck me into bed, and shut the door and the whole room smelled like camphor, and menthol.   To me it was wonderful, my brother hated it!!

As I grew older, my mother would hear me sniffle or blow my nose and down the hall she would come with the trusty Vick’s jar for self-application.

Once I became a mother, in the family tradition, I too would rub a little Vick’s on my children’s chest, with no basis on medical fact, only what Gaga did. Funny thing, we all seemed to get better.

Two of my own children grew to despise the tradition, while one still asks for Vick’s or Mentholatum when he gets a cold.  There are old jars all over the house. I even bought several of the “plug ins” to use during cold season, which are the new fangled way to get that wonderful VR aroma into the room. They make a great stocking stuffer!

So, with that history, what could be better than a study out of Penn State University that looked at the use of vapor rub (VR) to improve cold symptoms and nighttime cough.  With the recent FDA guidelines which limit the use of OTC cough and cold products in young children, many parents are at a loss as to what to do to help their child’s cold symptoms.

The investigators looked at 138 children between the ages of 2 – 11 years. They were randomized to receive vapor rub (VR), petrolatum alone or no therapy.  Parents were then asked to grade their child’s symptoms and sleep on Day 1 when none of the children received therapy, and then again on Day 2 when they were randomized to therapy.  The VR group scored best in improving cough, congestion and overall sleep for the children (and therefore their parents). This is the first evidence based therapeutic trial that I am aware of, for a remedy that is over a century old.

As noted in the article, there were some irritant effects seen in the VR group with complaints of a stinging sensation to eyes, nose and or skin (I can hear my own children saying “it’s stingy”).

Most of these complaints were transient in nature.  Despite older concerns about camphor when it was used as an oil that could cause possible toxicity if swallowed, skin exposure alone really has little systemic effect.   The FDA has approved camphor as an effective anti-cough preparation (anti-tusssive), but has limited concentrations to 11%. The concentration in VR is 4.8%.

So, if parent’s are trying to improve nighttime cough and sleep disturbance in their children over the age of 2, there is a study to show it is time to go back to vapor rub preparations.  The mechanism for improved sleep is not really known, but whether it improves cold symptoms directly or through the aromatic effects, a better night’s sleep is good for everyone!!!  Could there be coupons to follow?

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Have A Holly Jolly

Momsense would like to send warm holiday wishes to everyone. We hope your holidays, no matter how your celebrate, are surrounded by those you love, filled with lots of laughter and, most importantly, peace!

We are so honored that you chose to spend some of your free time with us. We hope to continue provide useful information and to improve upon what we do here to make it even better for you.

Have a holly jolly Christmas.

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Living With A Fussy Eater

We have on in our house. A fussy eater. And truth be told, I really don’t want to live with one. What happened to the 1-year-old who ate WAAAAAAY more than this 3-year-old does? Last night she wouldn’t eat carrots (always ate them) and I offered broccoli instead (bad move, I know, but I wanted a veggie in her) which got a “yes”. Then, 2 seconds after it is put in front of her, I hear “I don’t like broccoli.” Ugh.

And don’t even get me started on trying something new. Not going to happen. I probably do make too big a deal about it. I’m trying not to. I’m hoping this article will help us, an you!

Taken from

How to Live with a Fussy Eater

If food fights with your child are common, take comfort in a new study that suggests fussy eaters aren’t simply trying to get a rise out of their parents.

By Emily Main
Maintain control at the dinner table, and don’t blame yourself if your child won’t eat healthy foods. 

Downplay the drama: Making a big deal about fussy eating just feeds the habit. 

So what is the appropriate reaction for moms with fussy eaters or overindulgers? Here are a few tips:

• Maintain control at the dinner table.“Mothers should take control and attempt to encourage their children to try new foods and eat healthily, rather than giving in to their demands,” says Webber.

• Limit the drama. When parents label their kids “picky” or “fussy,” the children pick up on that, says Sarah Krieger, MPH, registered dietician with the American Dietetic Association. “Then it becomes a license to not try new foods,” she says. If you’re the parent of a fussy eater, serve food in a very matter-of-fact way, she says. “Have no emotion on your face.” If the child refuses it, just take it away and try serving it again in a few days. Don’t beg and plead with them to try it, she adds.

• Feed children when they’re hungry. “The number one tip I tell parents is to make sure your kids are hungry when serving a meal, snack, or whenever you want them to eat nutritious foods,” Krieger says. “It seems like common sense, but it’s amazing what kids will try when they’re hungry.” It also helps teach children that it’s OK to be hungry so they’re less likely to eat constantly, or when they’re bored.

By the same token, she says, watch your child’s liquid intake. “Anything that offers calories without a lot of nutrition (like lemonades) can fill up tummies,” she says. Keep children from drinking any kind of caloric beverage two hours before a meal. If necessary, make the kitchen off limits during certain times of the day so children won’t fill up on either drinks or snacks before meals.

• Plan after-dinner activities. Boredom is a powerful motivator for overeaters, says Krieger. “If you notice that a child wants to eat an hour after dinner, when it isn’t physically possible that they’re hungry, it can be more of a cry out for something to do,” she says. So instead of arguing with your child about the fact that she just ate, take her outside for a walk, or have some other activity lined up as a distraction.

• Make dinners a family affair. “Encourage children to help make their lunch or dinner,” Krieger says. “Kids are more likely to try and eat more fruits and vegetables when they make them themselves.” And planning meals together also helps teach kids about portion control. When you do sit down at the table, make it a pleasant experience, she says. Don’t fight over how much a child is or isn’t eating, because then “It turns into a power struggle, and it’s not worth it.” Most important, be a good role model. Parents who eat healthy foods will set good examples for their children.

Continue reading by clicking HERE.

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