…r ______ (point to your head)!” Once your child is confident with this new game, he/she will be able to fill in the blank knowing exactly what you are thinking. I love the idea that children can imagine a song in their head but most of all, I love the idea that the children can engage and connect with someone at a level with the absence of sound. Whether it’s in the car, cooking with the family, or tucking your precious one into bed, this is just…

…ormation. From reliable sources. Consider associated factors. Weigh carefully. Yes, I originally meant to teach them to consult the Harvard School of Public Health nutrition guidelines to help make good choices for a balanced diet. But as they prepare to head off on their own – with so many important decisions to be made every day – I’m hoping they’ll see the connection. 2. They learned to cook. Since my commitment to scratch cooking

…rent tastes, colors and shapes of lettuce. 5) Kale. I have grown kale from seed and from small plants bought at the garden store. They definitely prefer cool weather, so put these in the garden in early spring. Kale chips, baked in the oven until crispy are a fool-proof way to encourage your kids to eat this powerful superfood. In all the kids cooking classes I have taught, I have never met a child who didn’t LOVE kale chips! A little kale can pa…

It is no secret that babies get a kick out of seeing animals and hearing the unique sounds they make. This is probably why there are so many children’s books that incorporate animals; babies and toddlers are engaged by them easily!  One of the classics is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. In this video I’m capitalizing on the rhythm and cadence of this prose to introduce the signs for each animal and it…

I really love mornings. I love the newness of the day, the opportunity — the chance to get it all right, for once. And I love the coffee. But what I don’t love is when the really early alarm goes off — and by alarm I really mean just a tap, tap, tap on your arm in the dark from a toddler or a child — and I’m not ready. I don’t love feeling unprepared to meet the day that early. This kind of off-schedule pattern can really…

…in the typical fashion parents do – “Love Dad” – I felt melancholy. My son, my only son, the little guy who I professed to love more than life itself wanted mail and the best I could do was purchase a bunch of mass produced, impersonal greeting cards. I signed the cards “Love Dad” but I wrote a whole lot more in those cards. I made the cards as personal as possible. I professed my undying love and devotion, expressed my hopes and plans for his br…

…xt level. As parents, adults or educators we must be looking for the signs which make some teens more severe in their sense of hopelessness than others. When teens self-harm, start to isolate, stop wanting to go to school or hang out with friends are some of the first clues to intervene. The family is, of course, for the teen, not what makes them feel important or like they fit in but in the case of suicide if a teen knows 100% that they are love

My daughter has a big, powerful voice. My other daughter likes to do things better than everyone else. These are personality quirks that are often the source of conversations around our house. Conversations about trying harder to not upset others. Once I realized that these “issues” we were constantly addressing were really just interesting ways my child is being human, I was able to relax a little and find genuine gratitude for who they are…

…’re taking them away from it.  This of course applies to adopting older children and not infants. We have lots of money and can give lots of things to a child.  That alone isn’t a reason to adopt. Children don’t want your money. I can love any child placed in my home. I’m betting I can find a few that would make you change your mind.  Children have been put up for adoption for a reason.  They have been through trauma (some for years) and aren’t…

…ain staking process that he had gone through and how difficult making a wooden toilet paper holder really was.  Of course, I had no choice but to put Mike’s gift to use in my bathroom.  After all, I would not want to hurt his feelings.  But what surprised me was that as I used Mike’s gift day after day, I came to realize that his gift to me was not the wooden toilet paper holder. . . but it was his love for me, a true gift of the heart.  My newly…

We all have busy lives these days and sometimes cooking is just one more thing to get through in the day so the thought of bringing kids into the kitchen to “help” may not seem appealing on first glance.  Cooking with little ones tends to take a little longer and be a little messier so it’s not necessarily practical to have their “help” every day.  However when you aren’t in the middle of a hectic day I would…

Parents of food-allergic youngsters know that the most surefire way to safeguard their kids from trigger foods is to prepare all meals and snacks at home in a controlled environment. For this week’s series, I asked three top voices in the Twitter food allergy community, Kim Maes, Cybele Pascal and Robyn O’Brien — all parents of children with food allergies — for their favorite cooking tips, essential tools and strategies…

…ns Cook Time: 60 mins Cuisine: Indian Course: Soup Skill Level: Easy Lentils are much easier to prepare than other dried legumes. They do not need to be pre-soaked and they cook quickly. Cooking time depends on the age and variety, so check the package for cooking instructions. Be sure to test for doneness by tasting the lentils. They should be firm, but not crunchy. If you purchased bulk lentils without cooking instructions, you can follow the…

…pears and squash and soak prunes—then go crazy! Apples and squash. Pears and prunes. Apples and pears. You get the picture. * Don’t be afraid to use herbs and spices. They’re often what separate bland baby food from purees that even grownups love. Remember those puree combos from above? Now turn them into apples and squash with toasted curry powder; pears, prunes and cardamom; apples and pears with cinnamon and nutmeg. Now we’re cooking! * For k…

…t. I feel like I’m standing in the middle of the bridge most days. Waiting to cross. Waiting to know what the other side looks like. But mostly, dazed and confused about what the original side of the bridge even looked like. This is real life as a parent. We don’t get to cross ceremonial or physical bridges … nor do we get to see our babies cross them. Those sweet newborns come out as pink and wrinkly love bugs and before you kn…

…assion. So, why if older children come with all these issues would anyone want to adopt an older child? Because they also come with much joy and love (don’t expect them to love you at first) and laughter. At the end of a rough day, when I’m asking myself the question, what have I done, one of my boys will come up to me and say, “I’m so glad you’re my mom.” There’s my answer. Adopting an older child isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes tough ski…

…s going on inside are part of what lead to tantrums. Knowing some of this, I would take care in showing Amberly the feelings signs as it helped to identify them for her. What I didn’t expect was that these feelings signs would be equally important to my 10 month old. Our practice was for my husband and I to take turns each night putting one of the children to sleep. After getting pajamas on and brushing teeth, I would sign and say “I love you” to…

…t I can tell you a little about what made her a stellar mom, hoping that you might find in my words reflections of things that make you, too, a light that will endure through generations of loving memory. Her advocacy: She feared no one when it came to her children’s health and safety. Her advocacy helped us believe we were worth loving and fighting for. Her love of reading: She read to us often, took us to the library and bought us whate…

…d daughter, Theodora, who has CP, out of the wheelchair and take her to receive communion where I find God more often than in the sermon. Recognize Your Gifts and Abilities. Don’t tell me you don’t have a talent. Everyone does. Learn to use it and be proud of it. If you don’t know what yours is, ask the people who love you – they will tell you. Mark Twain said “We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess t…

…abusive behaviors he might have toward his son. If he beats your child, you don’t need to seem supportive of that — indeed, you may need to express disapproval and protectiveness. If your son’s father is an alcoholic who drinks heavily on the weekends he has your son, perhaps you should help your son to understand that you are working to make that situation safer for him, i.e., you may be working with the legal system, or else t…