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October 21, 2014

Editor's Blog

Toddlers and Screens and the Importance of Parents

10/13/14

Toddlers and Screens and the Importance of Parents

An article by Douglas Quenqua in Saturday’s New York Times poses the question “Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?”  Because screens are relatively new, there is limited research in this area, but the studies that have been done point to a difference. According to a 2013 study, the kids who were read to using traditional books had higher reading comprehension than the ones who were read to from e-books. The article points out that learning to read and learning language is a process better accomplished through human interaction than human-to-technology interaction. Another study on language learning with 9-month-old babies revealed that these babies learned more Mandarin Chinese with a human instructor than they did via a DVD, even...

Posted at 12:06 PM | Permalink | Comments

Pumpkin Decorating for Toddlers

10/07/14

Pumpkin Decorating for Toddlers

If you’d rather not scoop out the “guts” of a pumpkin and get out the knife to try to carve out a jack-o-lantern face, I have a great option for you that is easy and toddler-friendly. You can use this method on real pumpkins, or buy a craft pumpkin at a craft store. Craft pumpkin bonuses are that you can keep them, and they don’t deteriorate over time in the hot weather. The only supplies you actually need, besides the pumpkins, are painters’ tape and acrylic paint. Beyond that, you can use paintbrushes or foam brushes, stick-on spider webs and spiders, jewels or anything you can imagine. Take a stroll through a craft store, and you will probably get lots of inspiration. The idea, of course, is that any design you make with the...

Posted at 12:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

Miscarriages

10/02/14

Miscarriages

A miscarriage is often a silent and invisible grief. I can only speak for myself and my own experience, but I’ve had two very different experiences with miscarriages. Sadly, my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. I was almost 30 years old, my husband and I were ready to have children. The pregnancy was wanted and planned. I did everything “right.” I ate healthy foods, rested, took pre-natal vitamins, had outstanding prenatal care. Everything was going well. Until… I was well into my fourth month, and went to my regular OBGYN appointment. I lay down on the exam table, excited to hear the baby’s heartbeat. As she listened intently through the stethoscope, I could tell by my doctor’s face that something was wrong. She said she wanted to do...

Posted at 11:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

Pumpkin Makes a Great Ingredient in….Whatever

09/29/14

Pumpkin Makes a Great Ingredient in….Whatever

It’s almost October, which means I get the pumpkin puree out and make all kinds of pumpkin-y good things. I love October and, at least to me, nothing symbolizes the month better than the fat, orange gourd. It looks like a harvest moon (and it’s the school color of my favorite University in Oklahoma). It can be whipped into soups, breads, smoothies, pies, dips and donuts. What’s not to like? This morning, I made a smoothie with a banana, some non-fat Greek yogurt, vanilla Almond milk, some flax seed, some cinnamon and a couple of scoops of pumpkin puree. Oh, and a squirt of honey. So, in order to share the goodness, I made this recipe on my regular Tuesday morning segment on KTUL Channel 8’s “Good Morning Oklahoma.” Before going on the show, I made...

Posted at 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

Let Public School Parents Grade the OK State Leadership

09/18/14

Let Public School Parents Grade the OK State Leadership

Maybe parents of public school children should be able to grade State School Superintendent Janet Baressi, the OK State Board of Education, Gov. Fallin and the OK Legislature on their work not  on behalf of Oklahoma public schools. Most parents would probably give them an F. If you want to look at the school grades, go here http://afreportcards.ok.gov. Tulsa parent Amanda Mansheim summed up many parents’ frustrations when she wrote on TulsaKids Facebook Page in reference to the newly released A-F Report Card: Hoover elementary moms were tired of this. They were told last Thursday that Hoover elementary would lose a kindergarten teacher, a half-time special ed position and a half-time enrichment position because of budget issues. The lost position would also mean...

Posted at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

Apple Dumplings Taste Like Fall

09/17/14

Apple Dumplings Taste Like Fall

Most of my holidays revolve around food, so I’m celebrating National Apple Dumpling Day today with this super-simple recipe. It takes minutes to put together, just a few more minutes to cook, and you have a delicious dessert to share with your family. I made these last week, and they were a big hit. My husband re-heated them for breakfast. Be sure to spoon the juice from the dish over the tops of the dumplings when you serve them. They’re delicious with whipped cream or ice cream (what isn’t?).   Easy Apple Dumplings 2 large apples, peeled, cored, quartered 1 can Crescent Rolls 1/2 cup orange juice 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1 stick butter DO NOT PREHEAT OVEN Grease a 9 x 9 inch casserole dish. Wrap each apple wedge in...

Posted at 08:46 AM | Permalink | Comments

Happy Anniversary, AmeriCorps!

09/12/14

Happy Anniversary, AmeriCorps!

President Obama and former President Bill Clinton are swearing in hundreds of new AmeriCorps volunteers today to mark the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, a program created by Clinton in 1993. National volunteerism is actually older than the 20th anniversary being celebrated today. Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) was envisioned by former President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and founded by former President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 as a national service program to fight poverty in America. VISTA was incorporated into AmeriCorps in 1993. I have a soft spot in my heart for AmeriCorps because one of my daughters was an AmeriCorps VISTA in Austin, Texas. She worked for AVANCE, a non-profit that works with Hispanic moms with preschool children to promote literacy and school...

Posted at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Cake Is a Delicious Snack

09/03/14

Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Cake Is a Delicious Snack

At this time of year, you may have an abundance of zucchini, or you may just want another excuse to eat chocolate. Either way, this cake fits the bill. Zucchini may seem like a weird ingredient to put into cake, but it makes it very moist. It seems to be a hit with everyone who’s tasted it, so give it a try. Here’s the recipe: Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Cake Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch pan Ingredients ½ cup whole wheat flour ½ cup unbleached white flour (if you want to use all whole wheat, that’s fine, too) 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 ¼ tsp. baking powder dash of salt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted ½ cup brown sugar...

Posted at 04:15 PM | Permalink | Comments

I Hate to Say “I Told You So….”

08/29/14

I Hate to Say “I Told You So….”

Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver was yanked for not complying with the federal law.

Posted at 11:37 AM | Permalink | Comments

West Elm is Opening At Utica Square

08/27/14

West Elm is Opening At Utica Square

Many of you have been waiting for “our” West Elm to open in Tulsa ever since the paper went up on the windows of the former Pier One space at Utica Square, 21st & Utica. Well, the wait is over. West Elm officially opens on Thurs., Aug. 28 at 10 a.m., but you can get a sneak peek at the special Open House tonight from 6 – 8 p.m. During the presale, everything is 10 % off! If you haven’t been to a West Elm store, here’s the lowdown. I was already a West Elm fan, but I learned a lot on my personal store tour with Kendall Coleman, the store’s PR person from San Francisco. One thing that Kendall pointed out was that Tulsans are really proud of their community. Funny how most people pick up on that right away. West Elm likes to bring...

Posted at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments

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About This Blog

Our editor-in-chief, Betty started working for TulsaKids when her youngest child was 3 years old. That daughter will be starting graduate school in the fall. Her son is now 27 and her middle daughter is 24. TulsaKids and her children literally grew up together (and she lived to tell about it)! Betty is an avid runner, cook (loves to eat) and coffee snob. She is an award-winning writer and most recently was honored with a Great Plains Journalism Award as Best Blogger of 2013. Last year, she wrote and illustrated her first children’s book, “May Finds Her Way” (2013 The RoadRunner Press). Watch for her every Tuesday on KTUL Channel 8’s Good Morning Oklahoma and Thursdays on KTUL’s Good Day Tulsa.

She enjoys getting reader feedback on articles, blogs or with suggestions for the magazine. Email her at editor@tulsakids.com

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