Archive for September 2008
Here are a few facts I found from Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Did you know that . . .
12,400 children will be diagnosed with cancer this year
Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under 15
2,300 children will die from cancer this year
Incidence of cancer among children in the United States is rising about 1% each year, (however, survivorship is rising !)
1 in every 330 Americans develops cancer before the age of 20
Why am I posting this now? I, for one, have been so blessed with two healthy little girls. But it breaks my heart to see the agony that children and their families endure throughout their cancer struggle. And one story in particular really moved me.
Little Sophie Quayle was diagnosed with DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma), an inoperable brain tumor, in February of 2007. She passed away October 6, 2007, just a few months after her 4th birthday. Sophie’s story is unfortunately like so many others, yet something about this little girl made me think of her constantly (and I still do). Perhaps it’s because I know her family — I went to school with her aunt and her mom, perhaps it’s because she reminds me of my older daughter in looks — the big blue eyes, the cute chubby cheeks, or perhaps it’s because Sophie was indeed such a special, insightful and bright little girl. Her mom kept a blog throughout the ordeal and her strength, her determination to fight the cancer, and now her focus on raising awareness for DIPG is remarkable.
For more information on Sophie’s story and the foundation her family has begun, please see www.smilesforsophieforever.org. If you can find it in your budget in this struggling economy to help out in any way, I know it would be much appreciated. Donations are accepted through the website, or you can purchase items like headbands, bracelets, T-shirts, car magnets or puzzles to benefit Sophie’s foundation. I myself am selling Barefoot Books, and anyone purchasing from me should enter the event code EV74 at checkout (because 7/4 was Sophie’s birthday!) to have a portion of the sales donated to Smiles for Sophie Forever. (Note: if you purchase Barefoot Books before the end of the month, receive FREE SHIPPING!).
Thank you for your support!
This offer only comes around a few times a year, and it’s here again!! From Saturday, September 27 – Tuesday, September 30 there is FREE SHIPPING on Barefoot Books when you order through my website!
Stock up on some early Christmas gifts, or on some appropriate Halloween titles:
Barefoot Book of Monsters! $19.99
|Experience the thrill of meeting monsters from all over the world!|
|Read Alone: Ages 6-10
Read Together: Ages 4-8
9.25 x 11.25 inches
Giants, Ghosts And Goblins – Story CDs $21.99
|New re-release hardcover with double story CDs!|
|Read Alone: Ages 6-10
Read Together: Ages 4-8
8.75 x 10.75 inches
If you’re looking for product recommendations, I’m happy to provide them!! Leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you with my favorite books for the age range you need.
It’s Wednesday, which means another edition of Works For Me Wednesday from Rocks in My Dryer.
Today’s post will help you working nursing moms, or anyone who needs to use their breast pump without the comforts of privacy — a locked door, a private room, someone’s home, etc.
I work part-time in pharmaceutical sales, so I have no physical office space, unless you count my car, strewn with pens, empty water bottles, hair ties that my daughter likes to remove when she’s in her carseat, crumpled gas receipts, and plenty of baby toys and pacifiers.
So what to do when nature calls? It’s lunchtime for Baby Girl, and I’m stuck in a parking lot? Simple! Pump in your car!!
And no, I’m not of the variety that hides in the backseat, hoping not to be seen behind tinted windows. There’s a very simple solution that will leave you sitting right in the driver’s seat, pumping away, unbeknownst to passersby.
- Tip 1: Be sure to actually park your car. I know this sounds obvious, but I know of a girl who used to pump (one side at a time) while she was driving down the expressway!! No joke. Crazy, but true.
- Tip 2: While I have pumped in a busy parking lot at Panera Bread, it’s usually a bit more comfortable to find a large parking lot and park a little ways away from other cars, just to ensure total discretion. Don’t go TOO far away to a remote spot, because that could be creepy if some stranger walked by. I like a little bit of safety in numbers.
- Tip 3: I usually wear a suit to work, so I already have a jacket on. Sometimes I’ll wear a nursing tank underneath if I know I need to pump in my car – just for simplicity’s sake. Take your jacket off and loosely put it on backwards — so the arms are in the opposite holes and the back of the jacket is covering your chest and stomach. (If you’re not in a suit, just bring along a light jacket in the car with you to cover yourself. Works just as well!)
- You can now easily pump, and since you’re covered by the jacket, it’s very discreet and simple!
- You might need to peek once or twice to be sure you’ve got everything positioned properly, but I swear, it’s just about foolproof.
- Additional tips: be sure you have either a car charger, a batter pack, and/or extra batteries, the cooler to store the milk, and all the necessary accoutrements BEFORE you turn on the machine! Nothiing worse than finding out you forgot the bottles on the counter at home! AND, stash a little burp cloth in your pump to cover your lap — I’ve too often gotten a drop of milk on a fresh-from-the-dry-cleaner skirt!
OK, now some of you might use a nursing cover instead of a jacket — that’s would work just as fine. But since I never used a nursing cover, and the ones I see are usually of some garish fabric, it would seem to call more attention to myself. The jacket?? Genius — as it looks like something I’d be wearing anyway. And no one has gotten close enough to my car to even wonder what I’m doing. (Versus the time I had to pump in the bathroom at a wedding recently, and some young girls said in the next stalls, “What is THAT noise?” Of course, I answered wearily, “A breast pump,” while they nervously laughed.)
So THAT, my friends, is a tip that works for me. I’m almost ready to hang up that pump and the nursing tanks, though — my 10 1/2-month-old is beginning to wean herself during the day. I’m just waiting long enough so I can switch right to whole milk. Good thing — I’m ready to wear my jackets the way they were intended, and spend my lunch hour in a restaurant instead of my car!
For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, check out this site!
Two posts in one day! So prolific, I know. I wish I were as motivated to clean my house and organize my office.
I’m a newcomer to Poetry Friday. In fact, I just stumbled upon it last night in my tour of the blogosphere. But each Friday a different blogger hosts this carnival and people post poems, especially ones geared toward or about children. For more info on Poetry Friday, click here. And here’s the schedule for future dates.
Right up my alley! And you, my dear readers, get another plug for Barefoot Books. Today’s poem is from the Barefoot Book Someone I Like, subtitled Poems About People. Compiled by Judith Nicholls and illustrated by Giovanni Manna, this book includes poems from such accomplished authors like Langston Hughes, among many others.
Best Friend, by Judith Nicholls
of chocolate left . . .
she gives me half.
When thunder growls like an angry bear
and I shiver and shake
beneath my chair . . .
she won’t laugh.
When I’m grumpy or cross
or spotty or sad,
when I whine or boss . . .
When things aren’t fair
and I hurt inside,
when I just want to hide . . .
We started preschool this month. I say “we” because I feel like I’m back in school all over again, which for me is a good thing, since I was one of those weird kids who cried when I was sick because I had to miss school. Strange, I know.
Now Little Miss M here is my oldest (she turns 3 next month), and she’s extremely bright, talkative and inquisitive. That is, until she’s in a crowd. Painfully shy and timid, she will cling to my leg and completely ignore all well-intentioned strangers (or even family members) who try to get her to speak. Usually they’re too loud, too brash, too in-your-face for Miss M, and I just want to tell these people to step back. Calm down. Give her some space. She takes a LONG time to warm up to new people and situations, and she’s very cautious. Don’t take it personally. So . . . that being said, I really wanted her to start preschool to get used to other kids in a group setting. She does well one-on-one, but oftentimes in a group will be found playing by herself in a corner.
We’ve been talking about preschool for about 7 months now. That might sound crazy — it sounds crazy to ME, even! But I know her, and she needs a lot of time to talk about new situations and what’s going to happen when she gets there. And if I had anything to do with it, she would be READY!
And it finally arrived. The first day of school. All alone! Only 2 1/2 hours, but it was a big deal. She talked about it all morning at breakfast, was excited to drop off Baby Sister at my mom’s and say “Bye, Grandma – I’m going to school!” She was so proud of her new purple backpack (even the preschool size looks so big on her!). And she found her picture on the wall outside the class. Very cool.
Until the teacher opened the door, welcomed the boys and girls, and ushered them into the classroom.
Miss M’s feet were planted, and her hand immediately reached to mine. The tears began, slowly. She didn’t want me to leave, yet she had specifically given me instructions that I could go to the post office and Target while she was in school. (She later changed her mind, because Target is her store!) Thankfully, the teacher scooped her up and brought her inside with diversionary tactics. I waited with other parents and peeked through the doors. I was the only one with a crier. In fact, the other kids I saw were happy to leave behind the comfort of mom and venture into a new fun world filled with kids and toys. But not my girl.
However, she wasn’t hysterical. She was sitting on the teacher’s lap and crying quietly. So I left. Nothing I could do. And in fact, I was pretty pleased that we got through the goodbye with only tears and not screams and tear-choked sobs. No — more than pleased. I was relieved!
Driving away from school, I was thrilled. I have friends who cry when their children start school. On the other hand, I have friends who can’t wait to get their rugrats out from under them! But I was neither extreme. I was SO looking forward to Miss M starting school, and SO thrilled that she was there! (And later, I found out the crying was short-lived. Extra bonus!). Not because I wanted more time to myself, or alone time with Baby Sister. But because I know she’s venturing into a new place where she will learn, grow, explore, imagine, and dream. There is so much for her to experience and she will (hopefully) relish it all. I’m happy for her to start school because I’m so excited for her and all the fun she’ll have and the friends she’ll make.
It may be a slow start — and I know we’re only talking preschool here, people. But it’s the first step to her independence, to growing into her own person, to her future. And her future? Well, to paraphrase the one-hit wonder Timbuk3: it’s so bright, she’s gotta wear shades.