Archive | July 2014

A Red Washcloth…source unknown

red-wash-cloth-canstockphoto21107440Last week, my daughter sustained a burn on her hand from sticking it in the wheel of our wagon.  See my last blog post, The Plastic Bag Trick.  This event led to a conversation on the subject of first aid with my friend, Jen.  My friend offered this little tip, although she couldn’t remember the source.  We both absolutely remember that it was neither one of us.  And Jen doesn’t have a blog, so it’s not like I’m poaching her content or anything like that.

The unknown, yet savvy source suggested adding a few red washcloths to your towel collection.  Then, the next time one of your children has an injury with a little blood, it will blend with the red cloth.  A white washcloth with red blood on it can be jarring for a young child, so in this case that image is no more.  This tactic can also be employed with squeamish husbands and wives or other loved ones.

I thought the red washcloth was a pretty smart idea.  I wonder if it was the same person whose idea it was to make the last few tissues in the Kleenex box beige so that you’d know you were running out–ingenious.

Now, I know this is stating the obvious, because my readers are a bunch of smarty smart folks.  But here I go anyway and I will italicize for effect.

***The red washcloth is not a first aid device.  This post is in no way, shape or form medical advice or a substitute for medical advice.  Please take your injured children to the doctor.  This is just a mommy tip.

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Don’t worry, I’m disappointed in me too!


It is 49 minutes before day’s end as I sit here at my keyboard.  And I feel like I’ve let you down.  I am not sure I will publish this before day’s end.  I pride myself upon being “in the know.”  Being on the cutting edge. And absolutely in the loop–a real mover and a shaker.  Just in case you haven’t picked up on the sarcasm here, actual movers and shakers just move and shake, they don’t run around talking about it.

Anyhow.  I dropped the ball.  The past few days have been a bit chaotic, more than my typical life in a blender.  (and I’m  not a referring to a margarita blender –again, because that would actually be kind of cool).

I was driving home about 15 minutes ago, when I heard on the radio that today was National Lasagna Day.

Really??? I thought to myself.  First, I was stunned that National Lasagna Day would occur in the summer.  It just doesn’t seem to fit the picture in my head.  Sitting outside in shorts and flip flops on the patio your patio, enjoying the summer weather, sipping a cool refreshing drink in the summer heat and eating lasagna?  A respectable Italian lasagna would make a mockery of your average plastic summer plates.

I wonder, are all the other “National Whatever You Want to Honor Days” taken?  Am I missing something?  Is today the birthday of the inventor of Lasagna?  Then it would make sense to me.  Because I can’t wrap my head around the idea that all of the winter or fall days, when lasagna would really hit the spot, were already occupied by some other holiday.

And by the way, how does something get to be a National day?  Who do you go to to apply for such a thing?  I mean, I know where to go get a passport, but if I wanted to start National Peeps Week–don’t you dare act like you’re surprised–where would I submit the paperwork?

I digress.  My real point in running to my computer as soon as I got home was to say Never Again!   Next year, I will celebrate National Lasagna Day, and I will subject you to reading about it.  I can’t tell you whether it will be meat lasagna, vegetable lasagna or what I will have in store for you.  Let’s just say, I’m living in the moment.

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***Am I the only one who thinks it a little odd that there is a cherry tomato posing on top of my lasagna image with a leaf of basil laying next to it?

The Plastic Bag Trick


The other day, in an effort to stop the movement of her wagon, my daughter Giuliana stuck her hand inside its wheel and ended up with a decent sized burn on her left hand.  My husband and I have done our best to keep the wound wrapped and protected as directed by our pediatrician.  In the meantime, my daughter has continued playing and mixing it up with her brother Charlie like a trooper.

Last night, at bath time, Giuliana began to resist getting into the tub.    When we asked “Why,” she said that she didn’t want to get her hand wet.

I understood, or at least, thought I did.  I thought that maybe the water hurt her wound and told her that I had a plan.  We headed to the kitchen where I took out a plastic bag and asked for my daughter’s hand.  Giuliana approved of my methods, and confidently offered me her hand….her uninjured hand.

At this point, feeling like she’s been through enough, I let her be the boss.  I wrapped my daughter’s good hand in the bag, tied a knot.  Victoriously, she turned and marched to the bathtub looking like a surgeon holding up two sterile hands.  She climbed into the water.  One bath, two dry hands.

Oh well.

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Giraffes Can’t Dance…or can they?

giraffes can't dance

Yesterday I found my new favorite children’s book.  Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees is an adorable story about Gerald, the giraffe who can’t dance like the other animals in the wild.  Gerald’s inability to participate in the annual Jungle Dance makes him a bit of an outsider.  Think Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer–who wasn’t invited to play in any reindeer games.

With the help of a wise cricket, Gerald learns that he can dance, he simply needed to find the music that worked for him.  And when he does find his music, Gerald does back flips.  He even strikes a pose reminiscent of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.  No, really…it’s in the book.  And of course, in true storybook fashion, Gerald gains acceptance from the other animals.

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a wonderful board book for young children, and brings with it a message for all of us.  Find your music….and Dance!

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How can I get my child to put on sunscreen without a fight???

Elmo SunscreenSometimes it’s as if children know exactly what’s best for them, and plan their resistance accordingly.  If one of your struggles is getting your children to let you put sunscreen on, then here are a few tips that may make it easier for you!

First, do it yourself—make sure your children see you putting on sunscreen before heading out into the sun—at least 15 minutes for proper absorption. Remember the adage that children will learn more from our action than from our words? Well, it’s true. Before you get your kiddos nice and slippery with sunscreen, apply your own. Make it known that you are protecting yourself and lather away. If you are a person like me, who loathes the feeling of sunscreen—suck it up and take one for the team.

Make it routine, so that your children will develop the habit of applying sunscreen. It’s not just for special occasions like the beach or the pool–sunscreen is necessary when you’re taking a walk outside, running around in the yard or hitting the waves. The more consistently you build applying sunscreen into your routine, the more your children will become accustomed to protecting themselves.

In order to get the best application, it can help to apply before your children are in their bathing suits away from excess stimulation. As an adult, I would struggle to stand still and let someone slather lotion on me while my favorite shoe store was having an awesome shoe sale only yards away. Also, if you’re slopping on the lotion and you are standing in the sun, your skin is already unprotected.

Give the sunscreen a little help by dressing your children in clothing that helps guard them from the sun. Rash guard shirts, floppy hats and cover-ups can keep the sun from shining down on your little one’s tender skin. Create shade with umbrellas, tents and canopies. And limit the time your children spend out in the sun. Remember, it’s called sun burn because it’s a burn—and who wants that for their kids.

Make a game of it, sing a song, or count the body parts, whatever you need to do to distract a child irritated by the application process can help. Use a generous amount of sunscreen and rub it into the skin. This definitely not a situation where less is more—coat your children. Use a palm full of lotion to be safe. The Mayo Clinic suggests that an adult use the equivalent of a shot glass full of lotion to cover their full body.

If you have more than one child, let them put it on each other when possible, and you touch up the missed areas. It might be messy, but making the application process into something children actively participate in can decrease a child’s resistance.

Find stickers of your child’s favorite character and stick them onto the Sunscreen bottle or can. Increase the appeal by making it Elmo, Cars, Spiderman or Princess Sunscreen. Yes, it’s a little sneaky, but my kids are enthusiastic over toothpaste with their favorite character on the front—why not sunscreen, right?

Finally, remember these tips.

Babies 6 months and younger cannot use sunscreen—parents must keep them out of the sun for their protection.

Put sunscreen on every part of your body that may see the sun. Don’t forget your ears, lips, neck, face and the tops of your feet. If your hair is thinning, apply sunscreen to your scalp or opt for a hat.

Typically people get sunburned because they did not apply enough sun screen or did not reapply after a period of time in the sun.

Sunscreen is supposed to remain effective for three years. After three years or the expiration date on the product, toss the bottle. If you purchase a bottle without an expiration date, scribble the date on the side of the bottle yourself. If we all slather up one ounce per person each time we’re in the sun, a bottle of sunscreen shouldn’t last past three seasons anyway.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a water resistant sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher 15 minutes before you go outside so that your skin can absorb the lotion and at least every 2 hours to remain safe as well as immediately after you swim or sweat excessively. The AAD recommends buying a sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays.

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