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Family Matters: Teething


Teething BabySome babies are easy; some aren’t.

When it comes to teething, there’s no exception to that rule. Some little ones will have a hard time with it, and some won’t.

The range of normal teething is huge. There are babies born with teeth, and there are babies who don’t sprout that first pearly bud until closer to nine months to a year old. Either way is okay. Just know that the earlier they start teething, the earlier they might lose their first baby tooth.

  • So-called symptoms of teething include:
  • Increased drooling
  • Gum swelling and tenderness
  • General crankiness
  • Gnawing or biting
  • Refusing food
  • Sleep problems
  • They may or may not exhibit any of these symptoms.

Keeping a soft, cold compress in the freezer (dampen a clean washcloth and place in freezer) can help relieve some of the pain. If baby is very fussy, a small dose of over-the-counter ibuprofen might help.



Family Matters: Diaper Rashes


Baby with Diaper RashIt’s the middle of the night. You are startled awake from a deep sleep and pleasant dreams of more sleep by baby’s screech. Not just any screech, a blood-curdling scream. You rush into the nursery. Baby is fed. Baby isn’t overtired. You investigate. One peek inside baby’s diaper and you deduct the cause…diaper rash!

Diaper rash is a common form of inflamed skin that appears as a patchwork of bright red skin or bumps on your baby’s bottom. It can be caused by a wet or dirty diaper. However, I’m telling you, I could have changed my younger son’s diaper every 30 seconds, and he still would have had a diaper rash. Some babies have more sensitive skin than others.

Diaper rash also may develop after solid foods are added to baby’s diet, when breast-feeding mothers eat certain foods or when your baby is taking antibiotics. It’s a crap shoot. Pun intended.

There are many ways to treat diaper rash. First, you can try to prevent it. Change baby’s diaper as often as possible. Secondly, use a light coating of petroleum cream to form a protective barrier over baby’s bottom whenever you change the diaper. It doesn’t absorb, but it prevents urine and feces from touching the skin directly. Secondly, use an antibiotic cream to clear up a rash. Lastly, let baby go “bare bottomed” as much as possible, exposing his bum to direct air and helping to clear up the rash.



Family Matters: Quick & Easy Chicken Pot Pie


Quick & Easy Chicken Pot Pies

A family friend made Chicken Pot Pie one night for a get-together, and my family loved it. We, of course, then had to ask for the recipe, and we have been making it for a few years now. I did not eat Chicken Pot Pie, but after trying this recipe, I enjoy making it and eating it. This recipe makes two pot pies.

We often get in the habit of eating the “same old thing” because it is easier than trying to figure something else out, and we know the family likes it. Don’t be afraid to cook something new and different for your family to try. This recipe is packed with vegetables and chicken, and it is a quick and easy hot meal. Hope you enjoy this recipe and enjoy time at the table eating supper together. Count your blessings daily and remind your family to give thanks for a meal on the table each night.

Quick & Easy Chicken Pot Pies

Ingredients:
2 pkg deep dish pie crusts
2 large cans chunk white meat chicken breast
2 large cans Veg-All Mixed Vegetables
1 large can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk
McCormick Season All

Directions:
Mix the soup and vegetables (drained) in a large bowl. Add some seasoning for added flavor and then add the chicken (break apart as you put in bowl). Mix all together. Pour in an uncooked pie shell and then flip the second uncooked pie shell on top of the filled one. Pinch the edges together around the pie, and cut small slits in the top of the shell for air and a small hole in the middle of the top. It may look weird, but when it cooks, the shell will lay down. Place in oven and cook at 350° F for approximately 35 minutes and until golden-brown on top. Remove from oven and it is ready to serve. My kids like to add grated cheese on top before eating.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Family Matters: Italian Soda


Italian SodaBring your family back to the table for dinner, Italian style. September 22 is National Family Day, focusing on bringing families together, especially around the dinner table. This month, we are celebrating Italian style with Italian meals. Even if you just make a big pot of spaghetti and garlic bread, your kids will love helping you make these sweet cream sodas to top off your meal together. 

Mealtime is family time in Italy so let your child take part in the family’s Italian feast with this easy recipe for Chocolate Italian Cream Soda. Rich and creamy, this quick and simple soda serves as a refreshing drink or dessert that’s great with your family’s Italian favorites. Fill a glass three-quarters full of ice. Pour a half cup of club soda into the glass, followed by three tablespoons of chocolate syrup and two tablespoons of half-and-half; stir. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Buon Appetito!



Family Matters: Pets National Adoption Month


National Adoption MonthOctober is National Adopt a Dog Month, and my family recently hit the jackpot with a dog we adopted from the local SPCA.

Astro is a 2-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, Redblood, Coonhound mix. He’s 85 pounds, stands as tall as my kitchen counter and has the most soulful eyes I’ve ever seen on a dog. He’s sweet, loving, docile and friendly. However, he howls when he’s out in the yard, and my boys and I are inside without him. He’s quite social that way.

We have had dogs in the past, and this summer we were ready to adopt a new one.

We started by watching the SPCA website. There are always great rescue groups, no-kill shelters and pet havens in most communities.

We watched the pictures, looking at all the cute puppies and marveling at all the varieties of dogs and cats that came through the shelter.

We knew we didn’t want a puppy; I’m just not home enough during the day to train a little one.

When we saw Astro’s picture (his name at the SPCA was “Red”), we knew he was the ONE.

I filled out an application through the SPCA, and a lovely woman came to our house to do a home visit. She looked for things like making sure I had a fenced-in backyard with enough room for an 85-pound dog, and she gave me all kinds of great information about taking care of Astro, getting his flea prevention and heartworm medications, and explaining to me that an adopted dog from the SPCA would be neutered and microchipped. The adoption fee, which is nominal, included all these services, and we knew he was up-to-date with shots and a checkup.

The next day, Astro came home. He’d been in a foster home while he waited for his fur-ever family, and his foster mom brought him right to our house with a baggie of his favorite treats and a yellow bandana tied around his neck.

The following Saturday when the SPCA had an open-adoption event, we took Astro to visit all the people who’d had a hand in getting him into our home.

I can honestly say he’s the best dog I’ve ever had, and adopting him was the best decision we’d made in a long time!



Family Matters: Potty Training


Potty TrainingAs your toddler approaches the 36-month mark, they’re likely to start potty training.

The range for potty usage is huge. Girls often train earlier than boys, and don’t fret if your child is older than 36 months when he decides to say goodbye to the diaper.

Pampers offers diapers or Easy Ups in a variety of sizes and styles to best suit your growing child’s needs.

Easy Ups are a good option as your toddler begins to try to use the potty. Still absorbent like a diaper, Easy Ups feel like big kid underpants. Less bulky with an elasticized waistband so your little one can help pull them up or down, Easy Ups make your little one feel like a big kid.



Family Matters: Baby Wipes


Baby WipesWipes are a hot commodity with an older baby. Beyond diapering, wipes are a necessity as baby is learning to self-feed, crawl, walk, cruise, grab everything in sight, play outside and is on-the-go with you. Most parents learn quickly that it’s best to keep wipes at the changing table, in the car, in the diaper bag, in a purse, in the stroller, near the car seat and everywhere in between.

Tippy Toes Wipes by TopCare offer you an affordable way to keep your baby clean and fresh. Tippy Toes offers a wide assortment of wipes that are dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic and alcohol-free.



Family Matters: Formula or Breastfeeding?


Formula or Breastfeeding?The decision to breastfeed or bottle-feed is a very personal decision for most parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a baby nurses for 18 months to get vital nutrients and immunity from his mom, but there is a myriad of reasons why this might not happen.

Luckily, that’s where TopCare comes in. Tippy Toes Infant Formula by TopCare offers your baby a complete range of FDA-approved nutrients, vitamins and minerals essential to their growth and development during their first year or so. Brookshire’s parents can feel confident that their baby is getting exactly what he needs to flourish and prosper from Tippy Toes formula. Just like breast milk, it’s a good source of protein, essential fats, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamin A, potassium and all the other elements your baby needs for development. In powdered or pre-mixed form, Tippy Toes Infant Formula is a great choice for your baby.



Family Matters: Back to School


Back to SchoolIt’s inevitable that summer vacation draws to an end and a new school year begins. It’s also inevitable that I spend the last week of summer vacation wistfully thinking about the passage of time and what we accomplished – or didn’t – over summer break.

In the “win” column for this summer is the 100-Mile Challenge. We have a 1.2 mile loop in our neighborhood that I’d deemed safe enough for the boys to ride their bikes, or walk or jog around. They had to complete approximately 83 revolutions to finish 100 miles this summer. They did it!

Another win is the Summer Story book. In May, I wrote a paragraph in a spiral-bound notebook and handed it to my older son. He added a paragraph, continuing the story I’d started, and he passed it to the younger son who contributed his part. It came back to me and we continued that all summer, ending up with a hilarious short story penned in our own handwriting.

The Mystery Bag was another fun summer game. Every Wednesday, I left a project of sorts in a large gift bag on the kitchen table for the boys to find when they woke up. One week, it was an experiment on what happens when you put Ivory soap in the microwave. Another week, it was materials for each boy to construct their own board game. They loved to see what Wednesdays were going to hold.

Now in the “fail” category: I logged onto the middle school website two weeks before school began to print out the school supply list. Looking for the school supply list, I found a PDF file called “Summer Reading List.” Uh, we hadn’t DONE any summer reading, nor did I even know about it until right that minute. When I told my son he had to read two books – and summarize each chapter – before school began, the meltdown that ensued was of epic proportions. I’d like to report he finished two books. He didn’t. He didn’t even make it through the first one, although he read and journaled diligently every day. It just didn’t work out. Next year, I’ll know to look early.

All in all, it was a great summer and we’re all ready for the new school year. 



Family Matters: Walk the Talk


Treadmill

As a parent with children, we at times tell our kids how to act or what to do, and we later find ourselves not doing the same. Over the years, I have talked to my kids about overeating or eating healthy but not followed suit. Well, as I have gotten older, I have gained weight, and with my family history of heart problems and high blood pressure, that is not healthy. So, I went out and purchased a treadmill and starting walking every day.

I finally hit my tipping point a few months ago and realized that I needed to get in shape, not only for my own health but for my husband and four daughters. I want to be around to see my children have a family of their own (and some grandkids!). I now get up 30 minutes early every morning and walk one mile before work, and when I get home, I walk another mile. Two miles may not seem like a lot, but for someone who has not exercised in 20 years, it is a big deal. I started watching what I eat, and within two weeks, I can truly feel the difference and my family is proud of me. My goal is to increase my distance of course, but at least I have started in the right direction.

I say all this to tell you that as I have finally made the commitment to change my life for the better, I came home last week to find one of my children running on the treadmill. I was surprised and even more surprised to find out that the other three had been doing the same but none of them had mentioned it to me. Now, we take turns as a family working out on the treadmill. Not only am I now getting my money’s worth out of the machine, but my entire family is in the process of living a healthier life.

Remember: “walk the talk” in all that you do. This is so very important in our Christian lives especially. Let us all reflect Him daily in our actions and words, that His name may be glorified. Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you have with your family.

 



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