Showing posts with label grandparenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grandparenting. Show all posts

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Oma and Opa Babysit

Mom and Dad Have Date Night at Dodger Stadium - Hockey and Kiss Concert

Oma and Opa get to spend time with Reef Indy

Nice sunny day to play outside
Nice sunny day to play outside

Reef Indy plays while Oma and Opa eat dinner
Reef Indy plays while Oma and Opa eat dinner

Reef Indy and Opa picks some fruit for tonight's dessert
Reef Indy and Opa picks some fruit for tonight's dessert

Big day for a big boy; all tuckered out
Big day for a big boy; all tuckered out

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Every Time A Child Is Born,
A Grandparent Is Born Too is an interactive website is devoted to fostering grandparent education, networking, research, and programs. is an interactive website is devoted to fostering grandparent education, networking, research, and programs. The site is structurally comprised of four main sections that deal with diverse and specialized aspects of grandparenting:

  1. Questions
  2. Discussion
  3. Activities
  4. Resources

The Sections:

Ask Dr. Kornhaber

Interactive Q & A section where you can ask Dr. Kornhaber a question.

News and Discussion

Latest news and information from individual, public and academic resources involving grandparenting issues.

Ideas and Activities

Ideas and suggestions for projects and programs that grandparents can do with their families and communities.


Broad section that containing educational articles relating to broad aspects of grandparenting as well as listing and describing collegial organizations in the field. It is also a forum for all family members to contribute their ideas and thoughts for all to ponder. 

This is a great resource for new Omas and Opas and was recognized as the best grandparent website of 2013 by GRAND Magazine.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Greatest Naps, Jammy Jams Vol 2
Review & Giveaway

Winner:   Donna K. 

Oma Loves U! - Jammy Jams Review & Giveaway

Oma received a digital download of this new Volume by Jammy Jams.  This collection of tunes, Volume 2, includes:

  1. Get Lucky (originally by Daft Punk)
  2. Wrecking Ball (originally by Miley Cyrus)
  3. Send Me An Angel (originally by Real Life)
  4. Groove is In The Heart (originally by Deee-Lite)
  5. Ready Or Not (originally by Fugees)
  6. Champagne Supernova (originally by Oasis)
  7. We Are Young (originally by Fun.)
  8. Hysteria (originally by Def Leppard)
  9. Drunken Lullabies (originally by Flogging Molly)
  10. I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston)

Product Description

Whether you are a classic hip-hop or alternative music fan or a connoisseur of rock, hair bands, or pop music, you and baby will enjoy this collection of lullaby renditions from a variety of musicians such as Daft Punk, Miley Cyrus, Fugees, Oasis, and Def Leppard. Expose your little one to multiple genres of music while effortlessly drifting off into dreamland.

About Jammy Jams:

Jammy Jams is a fun, modern twist on lullabies for parents who strive to create memories with their little ones while teaching them a thing or two about their own style. Soothing sounds of vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, piano, blocks and more performed and arranged by Tim Phillips and Jeff Bradford. Jammy Jams features lullaby renditions of songs originally by everyone from Jay-Z to Whitesnake, Eminem to David Bowie, Lady Gaga to The Beastie Boys!

You Can Follow Jammy Jams At These Social Networks:

Oma's Review:

To be honest, when Oma first listened to the songs, she wasn’t too impressed. However, after re-evaluating the goal of the album – I have to admit that the tunes left me feeling very relaxed and peaceful.

As a person who usually conducts her writing assignments with the television on as background noise - Greatest Naps, Jammy Jams Vol 2 has proven to be a creative substitute.

Oma cannot wait to introduce this music to Reef Indy!  This Oma (Grandmother) is interested in observing how the calming compositions affect her kleinzoon (Grandson).


“Oma Loves U!” is honored to giveaway a digital download to one lucky reader. This promotion is for a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the Jammy Jams album "Greatest Naps, Vol. 2: The Best of Jammy Jams." Contest winner will be e-mailed a download code for the album. (ARV $10.00)

Just enter on the form below. Only the first two entries are mandatory. The other entries are optional. Remember you must be in it to win it!

As a blogger, integrity is one of the most valuable commodities Oma possesses. Therefore, reviews will contain both positive and negative aspects as is appropriate. To put it in a simpler manner, this review is meant to help my readers (editorial) more than to help a brand (advertising).

However, it should be noted that Oma was given a free DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the Jammy Jams album "Greatest Naps, Vol. 2: The Best of Jammy Jams to listen to and review.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Reef Indy - Tummy Time

Reef Indy's says "I've got tummy time down! What's next?"

Reef Indy's First Vacation

Reef is almost three months old now and has worked hard at acclimating to his brand new world outside his mommy’s uterus (womb). After a successful Thanksgiving at Auntie Rose and Uncle Dave’s, which included a well-timed nap during Thanksgiving dinner, Reef Indy deserved a vacation. 

Reef Indy's first dirt bike experience.
Reef Indy's first dirt bike experience.

Mom and Dad took their baby to the desert for a campout (11/28/2013). Reef Indy enjoyed the new environment. Sleeping in a tent did not intimidate him in the least.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Love K1 Speed

Founded in 2003 in Carlsbad, California, K1 Speed now boost of being the premier karting company in America. Indoor karting has grown into a large industry over the last several years, not only within California, but across the nation. K1 Speed was one of the first companies to bring electric karts and indoor go kart tracks to Southern California, and they have witnessed an explosion in the market.

“The premise behind the creation of K1 Speed was to offer enthusiasts and amateurs alike an authentic and genuine racing experience in a safe, comfortable, accessible and perhaps most importantly, unique environment. Utilizing advanced European electric karts and indoor asphalt tracks, K1 Speed quickly developed a reputation as being fun and exciting, and our growth has been continuous since we first opened our doors. (from their website)”

Since Reef Indy’s cousin, Sofia surpassed the 48” height requirement, Uncle Moses decided it was time for her first trip to K-1 Speed. Sofia had driven a go-kart before; however, this would be the first time she took to the track with fellow racers!

As you can witness from the photos below Ms. Sofia loved her first visit to K1 Speed!

Just like real racing – K1 Speed’s first stop is registration.
Just like real racing – K1 Speed’s first stop is registration.

Six-Year-Old Sofia is proud to show off her K1 Speed’s Driver’s License.
Six-Year-Old Sofia is proud to show off her K1 Speed’s Driver’s License.

Opa and Sofia go over both the K1 Speed race flags and track rules.
Opa and Sofia go over both the K1 Speed race flags and track rules.

Opa and Sofia watch Uncle Moses in his first K1 Speed race of the day.
Opa and Sofia watch Uncle Moses in his first K1 Speed race of the day.

Sofia gears-up in preparation of her first K1 Speed race of the day.
Sofia gears-up in preparation of her first K1 Speed race of the day.

Sofia’s K1 Speed Kart gets foot extender.
Sofia’s K1 Speed Kart gets foot extender.

Uncle Moses and Sofia discuss her race stats as Opa observes.
Uncle Moses and Sofia discuss her race stats as Opa observes.

Sofia’s first spin out did not detour her racing enthusiasm.
Sofia’s first spin out did not detour her racing enthusiasm.

Sofia’s K1 Speed race experience helped her become more race ready.
Sofia’s K1 Speed race experience helped her become more race ready.

The end of a perfect K1 Speed experience!
The end of a perfect K1 Speed experience!
Sofia expressed an interest in K1 Speed's Junior league.   The Junior League is designed for children who are 4′ to 4’9″ in height. The five-month series is affordable, safe and accessible, and is intended to serve as an introduction to racing.

As a blogger, integrity is one of the most valuable commodities NASCAR Race Mom possesses. Therefore, reviews will contain both positive and negative aspects as is appropriate. To put it in a simpler manner, this review is meant to help my readers (editorial) more than to help a brand (advertising).

This review was done without compensation.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Reef Meets Aunties and Uncle

The Importance of Aunts and Uncles.

It's not easy being a kid in today's world. As youngsters grow up, they may be unwilling to turn to their parents as they navigate the minefield of adolescence, especially if they think Mom or Dad will react angrily if they reveal something upsetting. Aunts and Uncles can be adults who can bring stability, a new set of life experience and an abundance of love to a child's life. 

Luckily, Reef Indy has a big family filled with Aunts and Uncles who will nurture and spoil him!

Reef Indy meets Uncle Moses for the first time.
Reef Indy meets Uncle Moses for the first time.
Auntie Sitara and Reef Indy
Auntie Sitara and Reef Indy
Reef Indy with Auntie Sierra
Reef Indy with Auntie Sierra
Uncle Moses calms Baby Reef down before dinner.
Uncle Moses calms Baby Reef down before dinner.
Amanda cooked a delicious vegetarian meal for the family to enjoy.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chasing Fireflies
Yup I Am That Kind Of Oma!

Chasing Fireflies Package Arrives!
Chasing Fireflies Package Arrives!

Oma received her Chasing Fireflies ( order and was thrilled with the wonderful personalize Christmas goodies. Just as promised, the matching personalized P.J.’s and Santa Hats were cute as could be.

What Oma was not expecting, however, was how comfortable the “Personalized Christmas Candy PJ's” were! In fact, Oma is still wearing them while creating this post. 

Merry Christmas 2013 from Reef & Oma (
Merry Christmas 2013 from Reef & Oma

Reef Indy appeared to agree with his Oma in regards to the comfort of his new Christmas PJ’s and a new family tradition was created! The improvised photo shoot produced priceless keepsakes.

Reef Indy Waiting for Santa -
Reef Indy Waiting for Santa
Be sure to check out the Chasing Fireflies Website. Not only is their merchandise high quality; it was also packaged well and arrive in both a timely manner and in perfect condition! Reef and Oma were very happy with their new Personalized Christmas Candy PJ's and Santa Hats. 

Thank You to Chasing Fireflies for these wonderful Christmas outfits
Thank You to Chasing Fireflies for these wonderful Christmas outfits

As a blogger, integrity is one of the most valuable things Oma possesses. Therefore, reviews will contain both positive and negative aspects as is appropriate. To put it in a simpler manner, this review is meant to help my readers (editorial) more than to help a brand (advertising). However, it should be noted that Oma was given free product from Chasing Fireflies to use and review.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Reef Indy - Opa's Mini-Me

We have been trying to figure out if Reef Indy looks more like his mom or dad.

Anne Matthews, director of the graduate program in genetic counseling at Case Western University in Cleveland, likens the process of passing down facial traits to baking a cake.

And genes aren't the only ingredients. In the "oven" — a mother's womb — a wide variety of non-genetic environmental factors can have a potentially major effect on a fetus that scientists are still trying to understand.

However after looking at this old baby photo of Opa, my vote goes for him. What do you think; doesn’t Reef Indy look a lot like his Opa!?!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Expecting My Chasing Fireflies Order

Chasing Fireflies - 20% Off Site Wide

Just got back from a two-day work trip; when Oma checked her email, she was pretty excited to learn that her Chasing Fireflies order had been shipped! In fact, UPS My Choice boldly announced “Your shipment(s) is scheduled for delivery tomorrow.”

Chasing Fireflies “Call-Me-Santa” HatHow exciting. Oma ordered several items to help celebrate Grandson Reef’s First Christmas. Of course, Oma had to get Reef Indy his own personalized “Call-Me-Santa” hat. The fleecy hat is machine washable!

However, Oma is most excited about the matching personalized P.J.’s she ordered. It is fantastic that Chasing Fireflies carries sizes to accommodate the smallest (Reef is just nine weeks old) to a larger adult like Oma!  There were so many to choose from that Oma had a tough time deciding. However, the “Personalized Christmas Candy PJ's” finally won out.

Chasing Fireflies Personalized Christmas Candy PJ's
These sweet PJs feature a top with a candy cane appliqué and your child's name (maximum 10 characters). The pants are covered with candies. The PJs are cotton and machine washable.

You can order the child size here and the matching adult size here.

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day, as Oma awaits the arrival of the UPS Man. If you would like to participate in that delight; now is a great time.

Chasing Fireflies is having their first-ever “Friends & Family event!”  You can save 20% sitewide! Be sure to check out their website at .  Hurry because this offer ends on Monday, November 18, 2013.

Oma is sure that you will find more than one item it would be hard to live without!  

Oma will be posting photos of Reef Indy and our Chasing Fireflies treasures soon.

***As a blogger, honesty is one of the most valuable commodity Oma maintains. Oma Loves U! and it’s author are FTC compliant, believing in transparency, and integrity. Therefore, reviews will contain both positive and negative aspects as is appropriate. To put it in a simpler manner, this review is meant to help my readers (editorial) more than to help a brand (advertising).

However, it should be noted that Oma does accept and keep free products, from companies and organizations, for review and giveaway purposes.

Car Mechanic Invents Potential
Baby Saving Device

Oma finds this amazing.  Having had the honor of watching Reef's birth; Oma can see how this simple device could prove life-saving!  (On the humorous side - how did that baby get dressed inside the womb? No wonder the baby is having trouble being born!)

With Jorge Odón’s device, a plastic bag inflated around a baby’s head
is used to pull it out of the birth canal. (Diego Giudice for The New York Times)

The idea came to Jorge Odón as he slept. Somehow, he said, his unconscious made the leap from a YouTube video he had just seen on extracting a lost cork from a wine bottle to the realization that the same parlor trick could save a baby stuck in the birth canal.

It may seem counterintuitive to put a plastic bag over a baby's head to save its life, but that's exactly what Jorge Odon says his invention will do. The car mechanic from Argentina has created the Odon Device to help pull babies stuck in the birth canal to safety. The attendant using the device would simply slip the plastic bag and sleeve around the soon-to-be-newborn's head, inflate the bag, and pull until the baby pops out. Odon says he came up with the idea while watching a YouTube video about retrieving a cork that had fallen into a wine bottle.

Doctors are hailing the contraption (which will undergo further testing) as a potential lifesaver in poor countries and as a way to reduce c-sections. "This is very exciting," Dr. Mario Merialdi, the World Health Organization's chief coordinator for improving maternal and perinatal health, told the New York Times. "This critical moment of life is one in which there's been very little advancement for years."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Reef Indy's 2-Month Well-Baby Exam - Perfect.

Reef Indy brought his parents (Amanda & Zack) to the pedestrian’s office yesterday. It was time for the two-month well-baby check already.

Mommy's Little Tiger Sports Band-aids after Immunizations.
Mommy's Little Tiger Sports Band-aids after Immunizations.

Well-baby exams are an important way to monitor Baby Reef's growth and development. Regular checkups also provide an opportunity to develop a relationship with your baby's doctor.

The pedestrian will likely recommend the first well-baby exam within three to five days after birth or shortly after you're discharged from the hospital (Check – Done that) — and additional well-baby exams every two to four months for the first year.

Although there were a few tears during shot time, Reef Indy did really well. His pedestrian was also pleased with Reef’s growth progress. He weighs 13 pounds 9 ounces and is 24.25 inches long.

Beware of Christmas "Crammers"

Oma just received a phone call from a gentleman who identified himself as Aaron Lewis. I am not sure if he identified himself as an AT&T Representative. However, he did leave me with the impression that he represented my provider.

Aaron went on to explain that many businesses are cancelling their landlines and relying solely on cellular telephones. Therefore, he wanted to “help” our business by saving us over $18 per month on our plan.

I told him to send me the information via email or regular mail. He stated that he was in a call center and had no access to either.

Oma about 50 years ago trying to convince Sinterklaas that she has been a good girl.
Oma trying to convince Sinterklaas
that she has been a good girl.

Ding Ding Ding – Alarm Bells when off in Oma’s head. . . . .
Did Sinterklass (Santa) bring me Christmas Crammers?

“You do not work for AT&T do you?” Oma queried.

Aaron explained that he did not work for AT&T but could not help us with our account without their knowledge. Aaron works for "Integrated Services, Inc." When you go to their website you can read their description:

ISI is an innovative telecommunications company that consistently delivers the value consumers want and expect. More and more businesses are looking to ISI to provide them with reliable and affordable telecommunications service.

Unfortunately, when you google Integrated Services, Inc., you will discover that they garnished a bunch of complaints about being a scam!

Oma was a victim of a similar scam in the past. The friendly caller tricks you into approving their “plan” and then have AT&T charge you via a “third party” billing for a service you never really use.

“I do not authorized any changes in my plan,” Oma was adamant. However, it is a sure bet that Oma will be watching her AT&T bills for the next several months to make sure that helpful Aaron did not add any “third party” charges to my telephone bill!

While I am not saying that ISI is a scam; it is a shame that there are such unscrupulous companies out there willing to take advantage of un-expecting consumers. I suspect that us Omas and Opas (Grandparents) are especially susceptible to these deceitful operations.

Here is what happened to Oma in 2008: 

Sweepers Beware Phone Bill ‘Cramming’ Spikes Again

This month, I was paying bills and noticed that my phone bill had inched its way up to $155.55 per month. That was ridiculous. It use to be just over $100.00 per month. Therefore, I examined my bill closely. On page 4 of 5, the third party billing started.

Important - If you read:

This portion of your bill is provided as a service to the company identified above. Please review all charges appearing in this section. If you have any questions or concerns, call the telephone number shown above.

You are probably the victim of a scam!

CRAMMING is one byproduct of the deregulation of the telephone industry. To open the system to increased competition, local phone companies have to lease their phone lines to outside firms who want to sell competitive services. It’s perfectly legal for a third-party company to sell a home voice mail service to you, billed through your home phone bill.

But shady telecommunications companies are taking advantage of the fact that local phone companies have no stake in verifying that consumers agreed to pay for such services, so they “cram” charges on phone bills, hoping consumers won’t notice.

I was told that when I visited certain contest sites (they did not know which ones) I unknowingly signed up for these 'services.' I had five different services on my AT&T account from three different billing company. My December 2008 bill was charged $67.79 dollars for these scams!

When it started in July 2008, it was for one charge of $14.95. I am ashamed to report that I did not even notice. However, when my bill almost doubled in five month - I woke up.

One of the offenders on my bill was ILD Teleservices. The Federal Communications Commission said it received 457 cramming complaints against ILD Telecommunications between January and December of last year, including 170 in the last three months of the year. ILD Telecommunications is ILD Teleservices’ parent firm.

Fred Lloyd, vice president of strategic planning and corporate development for ILD, said his company is merely a go-between that arranges billing for third-party companies that want to provide residential or business telecommunications services. ILD helps companies like Liberty Online construct billing arrangements with home phone carries like Quest and Verizon. Lloyd admits there have been complaints from consumers who say they’ve being charged for services they never ordered, but said the blame should fall on the third-party firm, not his company. He added that ILD generates hundreds of thousands of bills each month, and complaints are a tiny fraction of their transactions.

“From time to time, we have some billing questions,” he said. “We always work with (customers) on a case by case basis.” Lloyd said he warns third-party companies when there are numerous complaints, and will cancel their billing services if the complaints don’t stop. He wouldn’t say how many companies have been censured, other than to say “There have been a handful I’ve had to kick off.”

Bottom Line - Sweepers Beware

Consumers are responsible for discovering cramming charges on their own; so that means the only safeguard against unwanted fees is detailed examination of the monthly phone bill. But consumers can decrease their chances of getting crammed by carefully reading sweepstakes entries or other junk mail solicitations before filling them out — often they are ruses that serve as permission to switch telephone providers or add services. It also helps to avoid speaking at
length with telemarketers.

But the single best defense is to call your local phone company and ask it to shut off “third-party billing.” That prevents companies from adding charges onto local phone bills.

Consumers who have been crammed should carefully save all paperwork and immediately call their local phone provider to dispute the charge. Next, call the provider listed on the bill, and don’t back down if the company claims you authorized the charge.

With the help of an extremely pleasant and knowledgeable AT&T supervisor, I was able to secure the promise of a complete refund of $238.85.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Will Reef Enjoy Skateboarding
Like Dad Zack?

Reef's Dad has been skateboarding for over twenty years.  Skateboarding provides flexibility, increases coordination and builds cardiovascular stamina! Oma wonders if Reef Indy Enjoy Skateboarding Like Dad Zack.
Daddy Zack and Baby Reef enjoy their day at the Skate Park.
Daddy Zack and Baby Reef
enjoy their day at the Skate Park.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October is SIDS Awareness Month

 Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Reef Indy - Place baby to sleep on his back at naptime and at night time.

Did you know that 80-90% of SIDS-related deaths are due to unsafe sleep practices?


    Reef Indy - Place baby to sleep on his back at naptime and at night time.
  • Place baby to sleep on his or her back at naptime and at night time.
  • Use a crib that meets current safety standards with a firm mattress that fits snuggly and is covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.
  • Remove all soft bedding and toys from your baby’s sleep area (this includes loose blankets, bumpers, pillows and positioners). The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests using a wearable blanket instead of loose blankets to keep your baby warm.
  • Offer a pacifier when putting baby to sleep. If breastfeeding, introduce pacifier after one month or after breastfeeding has been established.
  • Breastfeed, if possible, but when finished, put your baby back to sleep in his or her separate safe sleep area alongside your bed.


  • Never put your baby to sleep on any soft surface.
  • Never dress your baby too warmly for sleep; keep room temperature 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Never allow anyone to smoke around your baby or take your baby into a room or car where someone has recently smoked.

Nothing else should go in the crib with your baby
no blanket, pillow, bumper pads or toys. 


What SIDS Is and What SIDS Is Not


  • The major cause of death in infants from 1 month to 1 year of age, with most deaths occurring between 2 and 4 months
  • Sudden and silent - the infant was seemingly healthy
  • Currently, unpredictable and unpreventable
  • Determined only after an autopsy, an examination of the death scene, and a review of the clinical history
  • Designated as a diagnosis of exclusion
  • A recognized medical disorder listed in the International Classification of Diseases, ( 9th Revision)
  • An infant death that leaves unanswered questions, causing intense grief for parents and families.

SIDS Is Not:

  • Caused by vomiting and choking, or minor illnesses such as colds or infections
  • Caused by immunizations
  • Contagious
  • Child abuse
  • The cause of every unexpected infant death

Friday, October 18, 2013

All*You - Grocery Circular Roundup

If you like shopping for deals at the grocery store, but have limited time, this free computer app might prove both fun and helpful! (I tried it and enjoyed both its ease and productivity!)

What is Grocery Circular Roundup?

Saving on your groceries just got a whole lot easier! Grocery Circular Roundup lets you browse both coupons and your local grocery circulars online, or search for deals and coupons based on your weekly shopping list. We designed it with one thing in mind: to make saving on groceries quicker and easier.

How do you get started?

Start by entering your zip code and clicking “Update.” The first results to appear will be items on sale at stores near you, as well as coupons. You can sort the results by store, category (bread, meat, pasta, etc.) or both.

You can also search for deals on specific items and brands on your shopping list by clicking the "Search By Item" tab. Type your grocery list or individual items by type (cereal) or brand name (Cheerios) to see what's on sale near you. Hit return after each item. When you click “Find Savings,” you’ll see all the stores in your area with deals on the items you searched, followed by specific deals organized by category.

Click here to go to All*You Grocery Circular Roundup

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Education Is Very Important for Your Little Star (Part 3)

This is the last installment of the three part interview Oma conducted with the founder of Little Stars Academy of Temecula. This is a must read as Jessica’s advice is both prolific and profound!
See Part 1 here
See Part 2 here


Question Three of Three:

Oma: Is there any advice you have for a first time Oma and Opa? What can a grandparent do to prepare their grandkids for school?

Jessica: The advice that I would give to any parent or grandparent to help prepare a child for school is to NEVER EVER think that it is too early to start educating your child. As soon as a baby is born they are ready to learn and I have seen so many times that if you wait until they are 5 to try to teach them it is too late!!!

Talk to your child. What? Crazy you say but I actually had kids in my class who I could tell had never really been talked to by their parents. I talked to my son all the time as a baby. Did he answer me? Nope but it filled the hours when we were alone in the house together. J And guess what? When he started talking not only did his vocabulary grow on a daily basis but he spoke in complete sentences. This is so important. When you ask your child a question like “Would you like some milk?” Please expect an answer like “Yes mommy I would like some milk”. Just yes or a nod is not acceptable. Expect them to talk and they will learn to talk. Give them everything without having to speak and they won’t learn to speak. It is so simple.

As for baby talk…just don’t do it. When your child is learning to talk and says a word wrong, politely tell them the right way and move on. Don’t harp on it but don’t ignore it because you think it is cute. Bad habitats are hard to break! We all know this. My husband and I have been asking our son the same question every night since as soon as he could talk. We ask him, “What was your favorite part of the day?” I love the answers that come out of his mouth. Sometimes it is just as I would expect, Going to Disneyland or playing at the park and then sometimes it is what I would consider the most insignificant part of the day like going to the store and then there is the all-time favorite “Spending the day with you!”. You and the people who you allow the privilege of spending time with your child become their first teachers so choose wisely.

Read to your children! Read to them a lot. Make it part of your daily/nightly routine as soon as they are born and it will become a habitat that sticks. My bookcase of children’s books was full before my son was born because it is just that important. Children have to hear stories in order to learn how to read. It is just that simple. Maybe you say okay fine but what do I read? My first recommendation would be to read rhyming books. The ability to rhyme is a strong predictor for success as a reader because kids who can rhyme truly understand the way words work and that makes them good readers. My second recommendation for books to read to your child are books that you get enjoyment out of which means you need to read it before you buy it. Did you like it? Did you enjoy reading it? The more into the story you get, the better the child will like it. When your child is old enough to talk you need to ask them about the story and just talk about what happened. Just doing that is HUGE!

Give kids exposure to new experiences. You do not need money to do this. Visit the park, grocery store, museum, or anywhere really and set out to make it a learning experience. Comment on the birds you see or the color of the clouds. It really doesn’t matter what you are doing. Maybe getting the tires changed on the car, you could talk about how a car has four tires. Lets count them, 1, 2, 3, 4 then compare…a motorcycle only has 2. Exposure to letters, print, and numbers is important. If you are going to watch TV make it educational and watch it with them to a certain extent. TV can be great to put on while you are making dinner but you better know what that TV is saying to them. If you are hoping it is teaching them something then you need to at least follow up and say “So what was the letter of the day on Sesame Street today?”

These are things that grandparents and parents can do but you know what I love most about what grandparents can give to their grandkids is a stress free environment full of love. Life can get busy for parents when they have bills to pay, kids to take care of, houses to clean, jobs to maintain, and more and kids feel all of that. What I love most about when my son is with his grandparents is that he doesn’t have to feel any of that. They put everything aside for my little boy and just make him feel loved. They say Yes I will play with you now, read to you, or go on a walk with you. Spoil them….definitely but not with toys or gifts….with love and attention. Being with grandparents should feel safe like a home away from home. Grandparents need to share their stories and experiences with their grandkids so they learn their values as well as those of their parents. Kids learn life lessons through experiences and the more they have with quality people the better off they will be!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Free Christmas E-Book
But Hurry

A House Before Christmas
It is really never too early prepare for Christmas. Especially when there is an awesome opportunity for a FREE Kindle Christmas Book for your favorite toddler!

I downloaded and read, “A House Before Christmas” this morning. It is a short quick read – perfect for a rainy day activity with a curious child. Be forewarned however, this story mirrors some stark reality not usually in children’s stories.

However, that is one of the main reasons I found this story so refreshing! What an awesome introduction for youngsters into the all too adult reality of homelessness!

Correctly utilized, this book could be a meaningful tool to invite dialog, learning and understanding of homeless people, friendship, and kindness.

Book Description:
A House Before Christmas is a children's Christmas Story about Tommy Mouse and his 2 friends Mary Cricket and Purdy Mole. 2 days before Christmas Tommy has lost his home in the old farmhouse he loved. He was planning a Christmas Eve party for his two friends. Now he has to find another place to live, and before Christmas Eve! For ages 3 and up. Charming hand-drawn and hand-painted illustrations.

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I cannot wait to read this with Reef Indy.