Friday, February 29, 2008

Doing The Minimum

I hear people say, "Oh she is such a good mom" or "They are great parents". But what does this mean?

This is a complicated issue. I would think that how people define what a "good parent" is will differ depending on various factors. Such factors would include geographic location, community influences, belief system (some people adhere to a religion like Christianity others a philosophy like Confucianism), culture, philosophy and many others.

I would think that there are basic requirements, such as keeping the child healthy, sheltered, fed, given medical attention, affection and so on. But even then I think people have different standards as to what qualifies as "good" health, "decent" shelter, the amount of affection...and I think it varies the most when it comes to misconduct or unwanted behavior. What people consider is appropriate for correcting unacceptable conduct...punishment, not punishment, limits (high or too low), communication, scolding, grounding...time out...etc is the most scrutinized.

All these things are under the label of "Good Parent".

These points are just the start. It can go on or maybe it should start with how you or I were raised and our parents influence.

A Man's Last Message

This is the last lecture given by Randy Pausch.

It has...It will...well, you watch it and post how you could describe it. Like many others who have watched it, I am thinking.

See his last lecture

Friday, February 22, 2008

Car Accicidents and Safety

While doing some research for a hypothesis I have about side impact collisions statistics I found some great websites for accident information in general.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Wikipedia Car accidents

One of the sites Kids and Cars had rather sad statistics regarding vehicles backing up out of driveways and parking lots. The site explains that 70% of the accidents are caused by the child's own parents or someone they know. And 60% of the time the vehicle is a van, truck or SUV. The common age was about 1 year old.

I can't imagine.

So, what does this mean well...The site explained that 50 kids are hit every WEEK, of this 48% are hospitalized and 2 on average don't survive. Every week...

Have a comment? Post it !

My father has a comment but he doesn't know how to blog so here it is: He is a specialty vehicle driving instructor. He said that driving a large truck, van or SUV requires the same skills that a tractor trailer driver has. But most people are never trained or have the skills to accomplish such a task without injuring the people around them. All people should go to driving school like they require in many other countries. And that truck and SUV drivers should have to pass a special drive program for a special license. Well, that is what my dad said and he is a senior driving instructor for large vehicles, 45 years driving rigs and no accidents.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tantrums & Fussing

My mom and dad were both old school but in different ways. They both had a few modern ideas too. They are divorced so house rules were different in each house but...Some modern things they did were:

Mom would apologize if she over reacted to a small mishap on my part. She also asked me why I did the deed I did. Other then that it was old school. My dad insisted on family meetings. Usually most of the lecture was him speaking but it did show me that he thought of me as a thinking and intelligent person and I sat there even if it last 2-3 hours. In the end I always knew that both parents favored smart kids and that is why they took the time to speak to me and my siblings.

They respected my thoughts and I respect theirs. Had they not listen to me, I don't think I would of listen to them. They thought me listening got you further in life then not listening.

I read an interesting article on Clever Parents. It involved the benefits of listening and how it relates to tantrums and fussing. My parents always tell me and my siblings that we were good kids and did not cause problems or fussed. Maybe it is because they listened when we needed them.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Donations of Food

Food donations are an incredible gift. It is up there with providing shelter, medical care, running water and heat. Donations are a simple, caring act that can take as little as ten minutes or become a full time job.

I put together a care package that includes adult & baby foods. Our local food bank takes any kind of baby food even baby formula.

I found our food bank on the internet by typing in a search for "food donations" for my location. I found the Food Bank of Western NY.

A nation wide organization is America's Second Harvest. Their site has a Food Bank Locater. So, check it out and have fun helping people this winter.

Monday, February 4, 2008

First Birthday

I finally have decided on what I am going to do for baby's first birthday. I wanted it to over come some obstacles: Not overwhelm baby, big enough location for friends and family, entertain different aged kids and the big one... being environmentally friendly.

I choose the local zoo. They have a birthday package that cost roughly the same as had I threw a party at home. It is plenty big enough and have a special event where the zookeepers talk specifically on the animal theme of your choice. This will help connect the kids to the world around them. Learn a few fun facts and leave the pavement & big box world outside for a few hours. Sounds great.

I have also blended in some simple ways to be environmentally conscience. One, invitations will be made from recycled papers. Second, the invitation states "Feel free to use recycled gift bags, newspaper or other recycled sources to wrap gifts". Third, utensils will be non-disposable and limited to spoons for kids. Four, we are supporting the education of children. And last, I am giving out Endangered Species chocolate bars. They donate a portion of their proceeds to the the endangered species featured on the bar you buy. Animals include gorillas, tigers, pandas or and many more.

To keep it all healthy I will be serving homemade veggy pizza, yogurt-pineapple Popsicles, and birthday cupcakes made of carrot cake and frosted with zoo animal faces on top. Drinks are cold juice blended with carbonated water for that fuzzy fun. A great way to fill up after burning calories running around the zoo.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Organic on a Budget? Part 4

Well, we finished yet another week.

The total for two adults was $229. $40 of which was for a 3 liter container of extra virgin olive oil. Foodies love their fine oils. $25 was spend on baby.

Everything was organic except the the free-range chicken my partner loves.

I do believe that when looking at ones budget it is important to take into consideration medical bills. Healthier people are know for fewer illnesses: including colds.

I stuff my baby full of spinach, garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, raviolis, whole grain cereal, tomatoes, berries and the list goes on. It also includes a variety of ethnic foods whether Indian, Chinese, Italian or Mexican. We just make sure it is mush-able. That is my favorite part...watching baby sit at the table eating away trying to copy me. Even sticking chubby fingers in my plate to my dismay. But I can't complain.

I think the healthy food is paying off. The average kid can experience 6-9 colds their first year. We have 3 more months. If she makes it to her birthday free and clear that means ZERO colds for the first year. Considering how much she likes to "mouth" everything and one in sight, she is doing pretty well. And she is still building on her immune system by being exposed to the common everyday germs.

Birthday Parties

Birthdays can be big, small, exciting or intimate. They can be simple or elaborate...

I have read in the book What to Expect the First Year, Second Ed and on a few mom blogs including Clever Parents that young children have simple expectations when it comes to Birthday Parties. Many first birthdays are really a chance for friends and relatives to spend time with the guess of honor. That made sense to me.

My mom threw parties for me and my siblings using a theme printed on plates and cone hats. She made the food and cake. Kids came over for a few hours and it was fun. The table was always picture perfect. Though, there were no clowns or ribbons hanging from the ceiling, all the basics were there. Even the take home party favors of noise makers.

There was usually a separate picnic style party for the relatives.

Later as a young teen the parties became sleepovers or roller rink style.

So now, for a month I have pondered what do do about my kid's B-day... I figure that whatever I settle on this year will be the same pattern I take in consecutive years. A few other issues are... taking into consideration a rather large extended family, my small home, and my divorced parents.

Each party thrower will always have some things to think about if they want a party to go smooth. It may possibly be that they do not have a lot of time, a trouble maker relative, too many people expecting an invitation or any variety of issues.

Whatever the issue, find someone to talk to about it. You could possibly speak with a sibling, close friend, or even post the question on a blog. I was able to get two questions answered on Martha Stewart 's blog under Kids and Parties.

Good luck & have fun !