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October 2009 Archives


Halloween Happy!

Posted by Patience on October 30, 2009 at 12:07 AM in Holidays
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We are only a day a way from candy goodwill friends! The day when dress-up and sweet collide making Halloween every kids' favorite holiday. I pulled out some Halloween pictures from over the years remembering the fun costumes we made. Shaggy and Scooby being one of my personal favorites. Don't the kids look thrilled?

The role call this year is:

1 Lego character guy
1 ninja (new costume but repeat performance)
1 frog (mid-week switch, she was going to be a princess)
1 undecided (we have no idea about Lyra's costume)

What should Lyra be? Someone on Twitter suggested Ken Burns , which is still in the running.

What are your kids dressing up as this year? Please tell us in the comments, all the last-minute-Marshas are still looking for ideas.


It's All About the Germs Over Here

Posted by Kristen on October 29, 2009 at 6:16 AM in Flu Season
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Forgive me if you have seen this Sid episode a million times like I have. However, since we have been tortured by The Germ for the last 48 hours, I must remind everyone to sneeze into their arm, for the love of God.

And while you are at it, get your finger out of your nose already.

On a brighter note, my pediatrician's office finally got the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines. Either which may have been more helpful for us last week but Yay! for everyone who hasn't gotten sick and can now get a shot.



Home Sweet Home

Posted by Jen on October 28, 2009 at 11:44 AM
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We're back from Tanzania at last with more stories to tell than we ever imagined. I asked Carter what the hardest thing about the trip was for him. Hands down? "The airplane." And the best? "The people."

That sums it up for me, too.

Stay tuned--I have more stories to upload (with pictures) about what happened in Tanzania and how this kind of adventure can be pivotal in child development.


Fear, Shots And The Doctor

Posted by Patience on October 27, 2009 at 10:28 AM in Connecting with kidsParenting tips
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in his arms

We arrived at our family doctor yesterday for a regular check-up only to find people and small children waiting outside the door. The office was so packed with sick kids, the receptionist asked me to wait in my car and she would call me when they were ready. Yowsers! I felt for all involved. The staff was patient but looked a little haggard, the parents had wrinkled brows and the kids just wanted to be held.

"It seems like winter came early this year." Our pediatrician said. With all this flu talk and sickness going around, it might be good to have a few things in our parenting back pocket for such a time.

Here are a few ideas for your trip to the doctor:

1. Keep kids busy. Put tiny journals and color pencils in your bag for the office visit wait. Bubbles, stickers and tiny plastic animals can distract a worried mind. Play thumb wars and twenty questions with older kids.

2. Turn off the TV. The news can be quite scary for kids, heck, for me too. H1N1 news is a hot topic but little ears can be spared from the latest statistic. Information can pour in even when kids don't appear to be listening.

3. Talk straight, but be positive. Let your kids know what is going to happen (depends on the age/personality about how much information), and then remind them of your presence and support.

4. Let your child have as much control as possible. Let your child ask their own questions to your care provider. Introduce them to all staff that will be caring for them. Tiny decisions like what color band-aid they want and what you should do/play after the experience can help when they are feeling so powerless.

Do you have any tips for helping kids deal with the doctor, shots or general anxiety about medical care? Let us know in the comments.

Check out Sid The Science Kid too! He has a new episode about getting shots. This is also an awesome guide to how to talk to your child about going to the doctor and dentist.


Just Another Picky Eater

Posted by Kristen on October 26, 2009 at 6:26 AM in picky eater
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"Maybe this one will be your good eater," she said as she watched him shove fistfuls of whatever his father would put in front of him on the tray. Occasionally he would lean down and eat something off the seat that had been leftover from breakfast if his father didn't get the food into his mouth fast enough.

I laughed. You see, my two other boys were fabulous eaters. I remember when Eat turned one and he ate two scrambled eggs for breakfast every single day for a year. Even the doctor was stunned. Now he would prefer to have a nice piece of bread or a tortilla with peanut butter and jelly.

Nate never liked vegetables but he would eat pretty much everything else until he turned two. What is it with the magic "two-year-old" mark in our house? Not that it matters today, since Mason is only seven months old. I think I'll just keep dishing up that cup of Irish oatmeal for breakfast every day and live in the moment.

So did you ever have the rise and fall of healthy food with yours? Please share. And don't forget to tweet to have your chance at winning that awesome Buddy costume. Today is the last day.


Tanzania, We Love You

Posted by Jen on October 24, 2009 at 7:00 AM
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This has been an amazing trip for us. We've met incredible people and the kids have had the experience of a lifetime. I hope they remember this for the rest of their lives. How could they not, right?

Two years ago I could not have imagined a trip like this would be possible. When a friend asked me what a dream-come-true would look like for me, I had to say it had something to do with taking my children to faraway lands for experiences that would change them forever. Since that time, my life has realigned to make this dream and many more possible. All because one friend asked.

What are you dreaming for for your kids?


Fall Family Activities on a Budget

Posted by Patience on October 23, 2009 at 8:18 AM in Family Activitiesfamily finances
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acorn family.jpg

We had our first fire of the season last week. The kids asked for hot chocolate and marshmallows. The leaves are doing that swirly thing in the air that makes me so happy and we have a daily discussion about Halloween costumes. Fall is in full swing.

Limited finances doesn't have to mean limited family connection. Here are a few low cost ideas for your crew:

1. Acorn Families- Gather acorns or any other round or oval shape things falling from your trees and create a family. We drew faces on ours with sharpies and then hot glued them to sticks we found. It was fun to see the kids different faces and shapes of the acorn variety.

2. Pick apples and pumpkins- Go on an off day to your local produce of picking choice at the end of this harvest season. There are still a few apples and tons of pumpkins. Pack a picnic lunch and take the long way home so you can soak in the beauty of the changing leaves.

3. Turn off the lights. Start a fire or light lots of candles and turn off your lamps for the night. Tell stories and drink apple cider. Make cookies earlier in the day to share. Play charades, twenty questions or even indoor hide and seek, your kids will love the play and will barely miss being unplugged for an evening.

4. Share a meal. Invite a family over for dinner. Pick a neighbor or your child's friend and share the cooking or have a potluck. Have a lego or polly pocket dinner, put a bowl of legos on the table just like the food. Every person can take a few pieces and make something in between bites. Take a picture of each person's creation at the end of the meal. Kids love when something fun ends up in an unexpected place.

5. Go on a moonwalk. Bundle everyone up on a weekend night and take an evening stroll to look at the moon and stars. A full moon is the best but not necessary. Learn about constellations and try to find them together. Buy one pack of glow in the dark star stickers and create your own sky in your kid's bedroom when you return. Moonwalks make for great memories.

Got any other favorite family connections? Please share in the comments.


Win Your Very Own Buddy the Dinosaur Costume

Posted by Kristen on October 22, 2009 at 10:42 AM
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buddy.JPGJust in time for Halloween, no less. Here's the picture of Nate wearing his. I was frantically finishing it off in time for this post. In the spirit of full disclosure, I don't have the mittens/hands done yet because I was really confused by the sewing on one side thing on the pattern. Not to say that it is complicated. I have just given birth to three children and the last time I had a decent coherent thought was sometime in 2004.

Also, I didn't do the feet because I am going to do something a little different from the pattern. I just haven't figured out what that is just yet. They have the cutest little dinosaur toes you have ever seen. The Henson pattern calls for feet with soles however. This will NEVER work for us because our Halloween involves hayrides in backs of trucks for trick-or-treating. It would take all of two seconds for Nate to put his foot right through that or for him to get any manner of the great outdoors poking his feet. I think I might make the felt feet with just the top sides and run elastic that can slip over shoes. I'll let you know.

Do you want to win the AWESOME ONE seen toward the end of this video? It's only been worn once! For your chance to win, all you have to do is tweet:

@hensonparents is giving away a Buddy costume of Dinosaur Train fame to one lucky tweeter on 10/26 at 3pm PST #buddysuit pls RT

Or there is still time to make your very own. Trust me. If I can do it, so can you...


Kids Are Kids Wherever I Go

Posted by Jen on October 21, 2009 at 7:00 AM
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It's always amazing to me how kids are kids wherever I go. Everyone likes to play ball. Everyone likes to dance and be silly. Everyone is ready for a new and exciting game.

This is the first time for many of the children at Shepherds Junior School to have any direct interaction with a child from the United States. I wonder what memories will stay with them when we leave. Will they feel like my kids are just like them? Or will they feel like their world is very much different?


The H1N1 Vaccine In Schools

Posted by Patience on October 20, 2009 at 7:23 AM in health
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We received information and permission forms in our children's backpacks about the H1N1 vaccine last week. I read them like every other concerned parent in America. Even after pouring over the information, I had one sticking point. I just could not imagine my child having something medical done to him/her without me being present.

I also wondered how exactly 400 children were going to get shots without it being a total emotional and a possibly traumatic event. We decided to wait to get ours at the doctor when we could be all together. If I am honest, I also wanted to see it distributed nationwide for a few more weeks.

The kids were relieved as I dropped them off at school yesterday to be spared from the shot for a while longer. All day I wondered how it was going, feeling for all involved in the process. The second the kids hopped in the car I asked them how it went. The carpool kids shrugged their shoulders and said it was fine, it barely hurt. My kids said only one child cried, it seemed pretty smooth. Kids are more resilient than we give them credit for sometimes.

Have you had the vaccine distributed in your area and school yet? Will you have your child vaccinated? Tell us in the comments.

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