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Family Matters: Your Social Baby


Your Social BabyAt this age, babies can take a strong liking – or dislike – to other people. Until now, they honestly haven’t noticed much about who is around them. They know their parents and their siblings, but unless there is another caregiver in their lives day to day, they probably don’t know many other people.

Around this age, they will.

Your baby may be easy-going and completely unfazed if they are handed to a stranger, or your baby might scream like a wild man if he isn’t being held by Mom or Dad.

Introduce your baby to new people slowly. If it’s a social situation for you, don’t just hand your baby off. Let him get accustomed to the well-meaning friend who wants to hold your precious bundle before passing him off. Then, stay close by, so he sees you and knows this is a person who can be trusted. If he screams, take him back. There’s no point in forcing him into someone else’s arms if it’s not necessary.

If you’re introducing a new caregiver or occasional babysitter, introduce him before the first time that you need him cared for.

If the babysitter is coming to your home, have her come several times to meet baby, play with him and start to be included in his routine while you are still there. This will give baby a sense of security.

If you are bringing him somewhere else, bring him several times while you stay before having to leave him for the first time. You might see how he does if you leave for five minutes the first time then 10 minutes, and build up from there.

Different babies have different temperaments. Don’t be ruffled if your baby doesn’t like to be around others too much. Just introduce him slowly, like going to a playground and letting him sit on your lap. Or take him to a story hour or music class where he’s around others but doesn’t necessarily have to interact with them. Remember, your baby has his own little personality already, and it might be different from yours or from that of your other children!



Family Matters: Cough, Cold and Flu Season


Cough, Cold and Flu SeasonIt’s cold and flu season, which can be worrisome if you have an infant in the house.

The best way to treat your infant’s cold, cough or flu is to try to prevent it in the first place. That doesn’t mean you have to hibernate for the next six months, but there are a few things you can do to cut back on the spread of germs. First, wash YOUR hands frequently, since you are the one touching baby the most. Make sure other members of the household do, as well. Teach other children, and anyone who comes in contact with baby, to only touch him on the feet. Keep hands off of baby’s hands and face, where germs can be easily transferred. Keep baby away from anyone who is sick, and don’t feel badly about saying “no” if someone wants to hold him or touch him who has the sniffles or a cough themselves.

If your infant does get sick, make sure you have a bulb syringe on hand for easy nasal aspiration. It’s hard to breathe when your nose is clogged, and baby is the same way. Suck extra mucus from his nose, if necessary. A small dose of saline nasal spray can help loosen mucus as well.

Baby might need to sleep upright to help with the congestion of a cough or cold. You can purchase a firm foam wedge, which fits under their crib sheet, to help keep your baby elevated. It’s also fine to let them sleep in an infant chair (bouncy seat) a few nights, as long as they are safely strapped in. Do not let baby sleep in a nursing pillow or car seat.

If baby is extremely congested or coughing a lot, bring him into the bathroom while you run a hot shower. Let him breathe in the steam to loosen congestion and ease his lungs. Of course, don’t stay in too long or let baby get overheated. You can also use a cool mist humidifier in baby’s room, far away from where he sleeps.

If you think your baby needs medication, consult your physician.



Family Matters: Family Time Casserole


Family Time CasseroleSchool is underway, and the hustle and bustle of everyday living is crazy again, especially with two seniors this year! Let me tell you how nice it is to get home from working all day to find supper on the table and ready to eat. Below is a recipe that one of my daughters prepared after school: it was delicious. It did not take hours to prepare, and in our house, that is our kind of meal!

As days get busier and our kids get older, we still need to focus on family time each day – sitting down for supper is so important. Remember to take time to talk with your kids, hug them tight, and sit and eat together…it makes a difference. Remind them how important they are and how much you appreciate them helping at home. Count your blessings daily, and give thanks for time with your family!

Family Time Casserole

Ingredients:
3 bags Brookshire’s Boil-in-Bag Brown Rice
1 large can Brookshire’s Cream of Chicken Soup
3 large cans Brookshire’s Chunk White Chicken
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg Brookshire’s Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
1 box Brookshire’s Garlic Toast
Morton Nature’s Seasons Seasoning Blend

Directions:
Boil the bagged brown rice per instructions on the box. Put prepared rice in large bowl. Add cream of chicken soup and milk; mix together. Add in canned chicken and chopped broccoli. Mix really well so the chicken pieces break apart. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place mixture in large rectangle dish, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes (until bubbling around edges). Pull pan from oven. Add the shredded cheese over the top; return to oven to melt and crisp the cheese. Cook garlic bread in oven as directed on box. You can add a green salad for a little something extra.

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Family Matters: Football & French Dip Sandwiches


Football & French Dip SandwichesThe weather feels like it’s finally turning a little cooler, and just in time for football season. We no longer have a football player in the house, but with a college game or a professional game on almost every night of the week, my family will be tuned into football on the big screen for the next several months.

Nothing is more perfect than football season and snacking season. So, I try to bring some of that tailgating into the kitchen with chili, tortilla soup, meatballs or BBQ sliders. This year, I kicked off the season right with Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches. You can put this in the slow cooker early on a Sunday morning before church, and then return home to a yummy Noon kickoff!

This recipe scored big points with my family, and it was easy to eat while watching the game and having a little football family time.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:
2 to 3 lbs chuck roast
24 oz Brookshire’s Beef Flavored Broth
1 (10.5 oz) can French onion soup
6 to 8 sandwich-length French bread loaves or rolls, sliced open
1/2 lb provolone, Swiss or mozzarella cheese, sliced

Directions:
Cut roast into big chunks. Place meat, broth and onion soup in slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Once cooked, shred meat. Set oven to 400° F. Spoon meat into rolls; top with cheese. Melt cheese in hot oven for a few minutes. Serve with beef juice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 1341, Fat: 23 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 130 mg, Sodium: 2963 mg, Carbohydrates: 197 g, Fiber: 9 g, Protein: 88 g.

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Family Matters: Souper Meals


Souper MealsWhen I was little, one of my favorite meals was grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Truth be told, it’s still one of my favorites.

I must have passed that down to my sons because when we’re menu planning, one of them will often suggest grilled cheese and tomato soup.

One of the things that made having soup such a treat was that my mom let us add things to the soup. For example, I always wanted to add carrots to chicken noodle soup, so my mom taught me how to dice the pieces I wanted and add it to my can of soup.

With tomato soup, we added all kinds of things. Looking back, I probably wouldn’t make some of those choices today, but it sure sounded good at the time. We added croutons, Goldfish crackers, chunks of cheese (it was on the sandwich, so why not?), a tablespoon of heavy cream, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce and whatever we thought would make it taste great. As an adult, I’ve been known to add diced avocado to my tomato soup.

Soups are a great way to share a warm meal with your family, especially during colder weather. For me, soup is comfort food, and if you can get your kids to eat it by adding their own special touch, that’s all the better.



Family Matters: First Aid for Your Cat


First Aid for Your CatJust like with a child, it’s always best to be prepared in case of an emergency with your feline friend.

Cats can get into all sorts of trouble where first aid might be necessary.

They could get into a cat fight. If your cat is bleeding, approach him carefully to avoid getting hurt yourself. Apply pressure to the wound with a wad of gauze, tissue or a clean cloth. Hold pressure for 10 minutes. Keep your cat as calm and as still as possible during this time. You might lay the cat on its side and elevate the area where the cat is bleeding, if the cat will let you. For bleeding that won’t stop in 10 minutes, seek veterinary care. After the cut has stopped bleeding, clean with warm water and apply a topical ointment like Neosporin. Bandage with gauze, if necessary.

If your cat gets stung by a bee, it’s important to try to get the stinger out. Do so by running your fingernail along the bite, which should dislodge the stinger if it’s protruding from the skin. Apply ice or a cool compress to the sting site. A paste of baking soda and water may neutralize the sting. If it swells disproportionately, seek veterinary care immediately.

Your cat is usually pretty good at discerning what should and shouldn’t go into his mouth, but in case of accidental poisoning, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435. Staffed by a veterinary team, this line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

When your cat is vomiting excessively, remove all food and water. If no vomiting occurs for 6 hours, reintroduce water and a little food. If vomiting persists after 24 hours, contact your vet.



Family Matters: First Aid for Your Pup


First Aid for Your PupYou should have a first aid kit at home for your hound.

You never know what kind of mischief your pup will find!

The first aid kit should include:

  • Absorbent gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray
  • Blanket (a foil emergency blanket)
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Gauze rolls
  • Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting — do this only when directed by a veterinarian or a poison-control expert)
  • Ice pack
  • Non-latex, disposable gloves
  • Petroleum jelly (to lubricate the thermometer)
  • Rectal thermometer (your pet’s temperature should not rise above 103° F or fall below 100° F)
  • Scissors (with blunt ends)
  • Sterile, non-stick gauze pads for bandages
  • Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
  • Tweezers
  • A pillowcase to confine your pet for treatment
  • A pet carrier

In addition, make sure to post your veterinarian’s information, an emergency vet’s information and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline number, (888) 426-4435, somewhere that’s easily accessible.



Family Matters: Grooming Your Feathered Friend


Grooming Your Feathered FriendYour pet bird will preen with pride when you give him a good grooming.

Start by checking his beak. Bird beaks should wear evenly, and be sure your pet bird has something in his cage that he can use to peck at to help with his beak. If his beak is uneven, contact your vet who can help trim it evenly.

Then, move on to his nails. Overgrown nails can cause problems with your bird’s feet. Trim with human nail clippers or a pair of dog nail clippers. Only trim a small amount each time.

If your bird is allowed out of his cage, he’ll need his wings trimmed. Leave this to a professional the first time, but watch closely so you can do it yourself at home. Be careful not to cut any blood feathers, as treatment will require first aid.

Finish up by misting your bird. Your bird might really enjoy getting a little wet because that will encourage him to groom himself. Choose a frequency that does not stress your pet bird; some birds will tolerate a daily misting; others will only enjoy once a week. Using a spray bottle with room temperature water, lightly spray your bird all over. Then, let him groom himself. Be sure he is out of drafts when you do this.



Family Matters: Grooming Your Small Animal


Grooming Your Small AnimalLuckily for you, your small pet, like a gerbil or guinea pig, is a fastidious groomer by instinct, so there’s little for you to do.

Small animals don’t really need to be bathed unless there’s some sort of extenuating circumstances, but they can use a nail trim on occasion. Use small human nail clippers to trim the tips of your small animal’s nails. Don’t take too much off, as they need their nails for traction, digging and burrowing.

Check your small pets’ teeth for signs of even wear, and make sure they have something available in their cage to chew on. Ferrets actually require a daily brushing of teeth, so make sure you’re committed to doing that before taking one into your home.

Feel free to brush your small pet or clean his ears with small cotton swabs and a drop of baby oil.



Family Matters: Pacifiers


PacifiersAs the mom of a child who spent many, many years in speech therapy, I feel qualified to offer this tip: If your child can walk, limit pacifier use to bed only.

I see LOTS of toddlers walking around with pacifiers.

A pacifier is a great object for self-soothing, and many babies need to suck to relax themselves and soothe that instinct. However, a toddler should be replacing the pacifier with other self-soothing habits.

Walking around with a pacifier can inhibit speech, either because there is something in their mouth preventing them from speaking or because extended use of a pacifier can lock a child’s mouth into an unnatural position, making it more difficult for his tongue and mouth muscles to develop normally.

Pacifiers can also push against teeth, making them come in at an unnatural angle.

Some pediatricians recommend ridding baby of the pacifier all together by 18 months. I’ll readily admit that both of my boys used them until they were after 2, but only in bed, for naptimes and bedtimes after about 9 months. Also, our speech issues were not pacifier-related. Although, I talked to lots of moms in the speech language pathologists’ waiting room who did admit a pacifier contributed to their toddler’s speech issues.



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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