Archive | October, 2009

Mama DOES have eyes in the back of her head!

26 Oct
Marion Crane Earrings from Clevergirl.Etsy.com

Marion Crane Earrings from Clevergirl.Etsy.com

Boo! Eye see you!

I love Halloween. But I love Halloween from behind the scenes.  I like the planning and creating and the troubleshooting.  For me, it is like a treasure hunt to warm me up for the upcoming holidays. I have to find just the right thing, I can plan all year for it, and I have to have a backup plan.

Eye Wide Open

Eye Wide Open

Les Yeux

Les Yeux

I do not like getting dressed up and people in masks and people who are barely recognizable freak me out. Seriously. I have trouble understanding spoken language unless I can see the person’s mouth and I have made an ass out of myself (there would be a costume!) more than once by enthusiastically approaching folks I think I know and then I realize oops- not them.  It is my hope, that these oopses become clear to me before I hug the person, kiss them on the cheek, or sassily pinch their behind (happened to me, ClubMed age 10. I thought the skinny blond was my mom. It wasn’t. It was a shocked dude. My mother thought it was hilarious. I didn’t tell her about the part where the person was a Mick Jagger-ly skinny dude.).

But I do enjoy indulging in some of the lower key camp of the holiday.

I have a pair of the eyeball hairpins for my own use (the ones offered are unworn) and it really reitterates the eyes in the back of my head thing with the kiddo (and appeals, I think, to his very visual learning style.

The earrings were inspired by the shower scene in Psycho, and the necklace is just a gorgeous, matte eye.

All of them are set in handmade, from scratch, sterling silver settings and are heirloom quality.

Which, of course, is as important as design and style when eyeing a signature piece.

If you order before 10/28 6am EST I’ll send orders that include treasures from my “Great Pumpkin” category in my Etsy shop via USPS Priority Mail (within the US) and I’ll refund your shipping charges once they ship. I am offering a $4.00 credit for international friends, though international orders will not arrive in time for the Great Pumpkin)…. Just mention “blog” in the notes to seller area and I’ll take care of the rest.  If you are in the US and need one of these shipped overnight via FedEx or UPS give me a holler and I’ll send you a quote.

Anyway, Happy Trick or Treating!  Now go shopping!

xo

Bek

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Keeping kids on The Safe Side

23 Oct

The Safe Side

Seven year old Somer Thompson was abducted, murdered, and thrown away with the trash this week.

There seems to be an endless barrage of tragic news about abducted and abused children. I don’t know if it is happening more frequently, multiple media saturation, or if now that I’m a parent my ears are tuned more toward news relating to kids. We try to regularly review our “stranger safety” plan and emergency plans with our kid, but the necessity of increasing the frequency and intensity of reviewing these plans and practicing our emergency plans is highlighted this week.

Somer’s mom told NBC’s The Today Show :

“It takes just a couple seconds to tell them you love them,” Thompson said. “Tell them you love them because you don’t know what’s going to happen. And just make them aware of stranger danger. I tried with Somer. I feel like I failed — obviously.”

Our little guy tends to be pretty black and white, so when we first discussed the concept of strangers, we found that people like his grandma’s friendly neighbors fell into that gray area and he would just totally freeze up and then freak out- not knowing how to handle the gray area. Because of our extra challenges in teaching our kid so he can actually use the information, I looked long and hard at what was on the market (and online) that could help us explain “stranger danger” to him effectively.

After a little research I found “The Safe Side” a program by John Walsh and Julie Clark (you know- the Baby Einstein lady). They do have a website, but the DVD really helps get the point across in a fun and friendly way, that even my kiddo could understand. It teaches what to do in certain situations and most importantly uses a simple “traffic light” system to help kids remember the rules.

We enjoyed the DVD and I highly recommend it to any parent (kids 9+ might find it cheesy or goofy, but it still brings the message home).
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Remember, try as we might, we can’t be everywhere all the time. Teaching kids safety doesn’t lock them up in an isolated tower, but rather opens up the world to them by giving them the tools to navigate it safely. I remember a time when kids roamed the neighborhood free and only showed up at dinnertime. We do not live in that world anymore and we, as parents, need to educate our kids in different and more intensive and extensive ways than our parents educated us.

Amazon carries the DVD for under $10 (Amazon purchases through this link send a tiny percentage back to us. Woohoo! Thanks in advance!).

TheSafeSide.com’s website also has downloads and printables for parents and kids.

The whole safety thing reminds me of the parable about teaching a man to fish and feeding him for a lifetime. You can isolate your kid and keep them safe (and miserable) by exclusion, or you can teach your child to be safe and you will help keep them safe for a lifetime. The murder of that innocent little girl and the interviews with her mom in the media underscore the importance of frequently reviewing safety information and making sure it is information that our kids can actively use. I am also reminded of all of the “don’t touch, tell an adult” rhetoric given to kids about firearms and matches and lighters and the hidden camera news reports showing the kids doing the opposite of what their parents told them. We need to make sure our kids understand and can actively use and recall safety tactics.

There is nothing neurotic about quizzing your kid before a family outing, visit at a friend’s house, or even using action figures to play out scenarios (we use Playmobil figures as they are pretty generic and equally sized- underscoring the concept that you don’t know who is good or bad or dangerous by appearance alone).

We don’t want to scare our kids, but we owe them, and ourselves, their safety. My son knows about Somer. Her mama sang, with others at a candlelight vigil, “You Are My Sunshine”. I cannot imagine what Somer went through, I cannot imagine what her mama is feeling. I cannot imagine a world without my sunshine.

A little girl named Somer died this week, at the hands of a bad/evil person. Her mother wanted people to know how beautiful and sweet she was and how she wanted to be friends with everyone. (from the NBC Today Show interview)

Let’s do whatever we can to keep kids from being a statistic and another tragic story on the evening news.

Hugs all around.
xo
Bek

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Autism & Testing 1-2-3…

21 Oct

Originally uploaded by CleverIndie

This is from our local Autism Speaks’ Facebook page:
***Please note that the Care Mobile will also be at the Autism Speaks SWFL Walk Now for Autism on November 7 at Estero Community Park*****

The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, in partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida, will offer free monthly autism spectrum disorder screening for toddlers 18 months to 36 months of age.

The first screening will be held Nov. 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, located in the Cape Coral Hospital parking lot. Additional screenings will be conducted monthly at different locations across Lee County.

It is estimated that one in every 150 children is diagnosed with some form of ASD, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

That’s why parents are encouraged to bring their toddlers to the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile for a free screening. Clinicians will use the M-CHAT, with Denver Developmental Screening Tool to assess the toddlers. The screening is not intended to make a definitive ASD diagnosis, but rather to determine whether your child may be at risk and needs further evaluation.

Medical consultants for the project stress that an early diagnosis can make a vast difference for toddlers and their families. They say early intensive behavioral intervention, or EIBI, can make an immense difference not just in the development of the child, but in their families as well.

The ASD screening is conducted by the Neurosciences Center at TCH, under the guidance of pediatric neurologist Jose Colon, MD, MPH, and pediatric psychiatrist Marianne Krouk, DO. The onsite screenings will be administered by an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, who has extensive training and experience in typical child development and developmental disorders.

A physician referral is not required. To schedule a screening, please call 239-985-3608.”

If you have any concerns, I’d make an appointment. For those who think that a pediatrician would have mentioned something during the annual checkup, I wouldn’t put all of my trust in that, though it is getting better. Remember, getting clarification and help for you and your child, is the best thing for your kid and their future, and the earlier, the better.

Just wanted to share….Hope this helps someone…
xo
Bek

Nirvana.

10 Oct

Forgot to share this with all of you…  Enjoy!

xo

B

One Day, No Hate.

5 Oct

“I saw a tweet from the brilliant and talented Jane Devin.  She is someone who makes me think and inspires me on a regular basis. She said, ” I wish we could have a one-day moratorium on angry speech. It’s so divisive, and it works against understanding.”  Within a few tweets, and some wonderful support, she launched a full blown effort.

And there it was. One Day, No Hate will be observed on Oct. 6th. On this day, we pledge to let go of all the angry speech and actually try to understand each other. On this day, we listen. On this day, we break down the barriers that separate us and respect our differences.

It is just one day. We all know that so much more is needed. But it is a wonderful start.  It is a needed start.”

Down To Earth Mama

Read Jane Devin’s writing on One Day, No Hate and then join us!  I hope this can be a productive and peaceful day!

I am thrilled about this, as I am becoming increasingly disturbed by the mudslinging and spreading of lies and hate, we are quickly going nowhere fast, in making this world a better place for everyone.  Hopefully, October 6th will open ears and minds.

Please share!

xo

Bek

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