Tuesday, July 3, 2018

When Choosing a Kindergarten, What Shall I do?


My daughter will turn 5 soon and that means choosing a school for kindergarten.  So of course people had told us to make sure and choose one when she was 3 so we could get on waiting-lists, lottery systems and have a highly confusing schematic for doing interviews, open houses and applications.   Anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, intimidated and a sense of “ I will ruin my child’s life if I don’t make the right choice” ?
Well, I was. Although I was given a few facts that had been shared with me to help narrow the search and save my sanity.  Here is the helpful list that I used:

1.  Decide if you want Public, Private or Charter.
2.  Decide if you want a religious or language school.
3.  Classic education, parent participation or another educational philosophy (Waldorf, Montessori, etc)
4.  Where they will go after kindergarten…”Does your school feed into an elementary school?”
5.  Driving distance from your home and work (because family time is important).
6.  School amenities:  Field trips, music, art, language or music lesson’s.  What is important to you?

By using these guidelines, we decided on a Christian private school K-8 for our daughter which is about 15 minutes from work. It offers more music, art and language as well as actively teaching moral kindness. We are hoping that this environment will help her grow into a lovely young lady.  Here is Zara doing some art time and playing Teacher.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Haircuts for Kids


It can be Shear Madness getting your children’s haircut and can bring about fear when they have to go through it for the first time or even repeated times.  So - what are the best tips for dealing with haircut issues?  Here are a list of tips that experienced moms have shared:

* Bring their lovie
* Practice at home
* Bribe them with snack or rewards
* Picking a child friendly salon or choose the salon you go to.
* Take your child to watch you get a hair cut
* Talk about the process matter of factly, “Everyone gets their hair cut.”
* If they are over 2 years old allow them to watch a short video while the process is occurring.
* Pick a time when they are well rested
* Give words of praise for a job well done.

I have taken my girls to Salon Xeno http://www.salonxeno.com and they get their hair done by Nemesis Nepomuceno. He also cuts my hair. My kids have watched me get my hair cut so they knew what to expect.  Zara was almost 3 years when she got her first hair cut and Allegra was 5 months.   Here are some hair cut pictures with my girls.  This last haircut Zara finally even got her hair washed and she loved it!






Thursday, May 17, 2018

Art For All Children


I have always loved art and have highly encouraged art in our house hold as well as crafts.  This article isn’t about crafts though, because crafts have a finished end product and art is the process itself one never really knows when it is quiet finished.  I recently went to a lecture on art were they shared the stages of art development and you will see them as follows.  I have also included art supplies list that was recommend to help with expanding your child’s learning and appreciation of art. 

Stages of Art in a Child’s Life

Stage 1 scribbling stage process and action 

1-2 years marks and scribbles gesture drawing random and free

2-3 years circular movement circles

Stage 2 symbolic stage things ideas feelings

3 years pilliwog figure circle with lines

3+ years add second circle arms and legs

4 years details body part and clothing

4-5 drawing or telling stories, work out problems, exaggerate sun symbol

5-6 years landscapes composition new symbols and elements

Stage 3 realistic stage

Represent real images

7-8 years desire to make things look real rigid details lots of often frustrating 

10-12 realism cartooning complexity details and genes we different 

Art Supply Recommendations

Bees wax can mold and not messy
Paint - think of sponges and brushes use different applicators 
Crayons better than markers due to increase strength have to push harder and pushing more textures 
Markers
Sand or snow can be a pallet 
Clay or play dough and demential.
Lots of un-interrupted Time



Here are Zara and Allegra busy at art as well as some art work.  Notice the stages they are in.





Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sensory Play

Sensory play is a modern buzz word that gets a lot of attention.  Busy mom’s know they want this but may not know why it is beneficial or how to implement it in their home.

Here are 5 reasons why sensory play is beneficial:


1.     Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways,       which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks that help them develop a more creative side.
2. Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction. These skills are so important because they lay the foundations of functional adulthood.
3. This type of play aids in developing and enhancing memory, which can make for better formal education concentration.
4. It is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child and stimulating their brain and redirecting it to a better place.
5. It helps children learn sensory attributes and science behind (hot, cold, sticky, dry).

Here are some blogs that give you sensory play ideas:

https://handsonaswegrow.com/sensory-activities-for-kids/

https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/kids-sensory-play-ideas/

https://www.parentingforbrain.com/sensory-activities-importance-sensory-play/


Here are my kids doing a sensory play activity. We used Corn starch with food coloring and water to make a sticky goo that was fun to manipulate with tools and hands.



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Holiday Traditions: How to choose your family tradition.




While at a parent meeting this past week, our teacher talked about how traditions are formed. My husband and I have spent lots of time talking about family traditions  in our family.  What do we want our family traditions to be?  How do we decide what Holiday traditions are important?  Do we have any weekly traditions?  Stay tuned for another blog about forming other yearly traditions.  Today I am going to talk about the Holiday’s and the most important things your kids are looking for this holiday season.

The Four Things Children Really Want for any holiday

* A relaxed and loving time with Family
* Realistic expectations about gifts
* An evenly paced holiday Season
* Reliable family traditions

After reading this list, I realized for my own family I want many of these same things and we had already implemented some of these; for example we go out of town for Christmas since we don’t have family locally and so we have started opening a few presents early for our kids so they can enjoy each item for several days before anything new is added.  We also as a family don’t do that many gifts for our kids since grandparents and aunts and uncles also want to give and we don’t need children overloaded.  I love Christmas and traditions and I have carefully selected the parties and events we will attend and have spread them out so there is no added stress this year.  Here are My Dr. Walker favorite Traditions:

* Nativity pageant – Love celebrating Jesus Gift
* Giving and donating to others – We choose different projects
* Nutcracker - My grandmother would take me every year and I still have my nutcracker from when I was little.
* Christmas carol singing – Love to sing, so do my girls
* Christmas cookie Decorating – Love Decorating even more than eating
* Rudolph Claymation – Love the Classic Films
* Wrapping Presents – Love to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie and wrap the gifts.
* Stocking gifts – We still do stockings and it is my favorite part of Christmas.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

So what do you do when mom get’s sick?

So what do you do when mom get’s sick?

I don’t get sick very often and usually I don’t ever get sick enough to be non-functional.  But this year I did get that sick, really sick and not able to get out of bed. I don’t have my mom or sisters and brothers that live locally. So - what does a working mom of two little girls do?  I am here to share my tips and tricks for how to prevent a meltdown so dad doesn’ t have to take gobs of time off when you crash.

1. Find a babysitter that has a flexible schedule. College students are usually a good choice, because they have classes at different times of the day so they have more time off which can give you relief.  Find them ahead of time and try them out for date nights so you already know them and trust them. Sometimes knowing 2 baby sitters is even better.  

2. Pre-sign up for Doordash  - have a few restaurant take out menu’s at home so that friends can help out and go pick up food for you.  Pre-highlight them with your favorite items to order so they don’t have to guess.

3. Amazon Prime Membership or Google Fresh. They can drop food and pantry items to your door so a working husband has food to cook for dinner and toilet paper without having to take time to go grocery shopping. These two sites can usually have a 30 day trial if you are not currently a member.

4. Make Friends. Friendship is good for the soul and they can also help you watch kids or make a food run and everyone needs a pick me up WITH the benefit of seeing a good friend.  This must be done before your illness since you can’t order a friend on Amazon.

5. Stock your medicine cabinet. I fill our medicine cabinet with homeopathic remedies as well as some, essential oils and herbal remedies.  One of my favorite homeopathic remedies for cold and flu is Belladona 30c.  

6. Get Rest. This requires no planning but when that babysitter does get there, don’t sit down to work at your computer or binge watch your show, go to bed and sleep.  Your body needs time to heal to function and fight off the infection so let it rest.  

7. See your Herbal Medicine Practitioner. Go see your acupuncturist or family practice chiropractor.  An adjustment can boost the immune system and acupuncture can help clear a stuffy head.  Not to mention the wonderful herbal biotics and anti-virals they have available to speed your healing.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Dad and the Doula


I often refer people to Doula’s especially when dad is scared or worried about going through labor.  But more importantly, I refer everyone to who is going to give birth to a doula.  They are women who support and walk you through the process, offer comfort and advice, hold your hand through the process and so much more.  The common objection to doula’s are they cost too much or dad’s feel the doula will replace them during the birth process.  When I am asked of the benefits of a doula, I say they are the coach with dad or partner being the quarterback in the game.  The great doula’s actually facilitate a closer bound between partners during the birthing process.  Here is one dad’s view about their doula experience, and he has graciously decide to share the man’s view on doula’s!


First Time Dad Says….

As a first-time dad, I would have been lost in the delivery room without our doula. My wife was clearly experiencing something very intense and at times scary, and despite birthing classes, I didn't know what to do. Her back was in pain: should I ice it, heat it, massage it, or stay the hell away? Luckily, our doula was there to do all of them at the right times and in the right doses. The 20 minutes of labor in which our doula ran out to her car to get something were definitely the scariest minutes in labor, because I didn't know what to do and I felt like my wife was looking to me to make it better. I imagined our birth experience without a doula when my wife would be looking at me the whole time and I wouldn't have had any lead to follow -- I'm so glad that wasn't our case!