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December 18, 2014

Editor's Blog

Spare the Rod, Raise a Sweet Child

12/10/14

Spare the Rod, Raise a Sweet Child

I always love seeing my kids when they come home for the holidays. My two oldest kids weren’t able to come home for Thanksgiving this year, but my youngest daughter and her boyfriend made it, which was all the more special because Thanksgiving was her 23rd birthday. As we were catching up on life, talking about her first semester of graduate school and the stresses of adult life -- working, going to school, teaching and just figuring out where she sees herself fitting into the world -- she shared an interesting story. She and her boyfriend work at the same restaurant as servers, and she said one day the employees were all sitting around a table talking about their childhoods. My daughter said that she was the only one in the group that wasn’t spanked (I believe her...

Posted at 09:39 AM | Permalink | Comments

Could Your Child Get a Disease from Day Care?

11/18/14

Could Your Child Get a Disease from Day Care?

The University of Michigan Division of General Pediatrics conducted a national survey about parents’ views of daycare policies and vaccines. The sample of American parents of children ages 0-5 indicated that most parents think that daycare providers should know and review the immunization status of the children in their care, and should require that the immunizations be up-to-date. Here are some interesting statistics from the survey: Three-quarters of parents think daycare providers should check vaccination records every year. Two-thirds of parents think they should be informed of the number of children at the daycare center who are not up-to date on vaccines. 41% of parents support a policy to exclude under-vaccinated kids from daycare until they become up-to-date....

Posted at 12:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

Treats Don’t Have to Be Sweet

10/22/14

Treats Don’t Have to Be Sweet

Here are some fun little treats for your little monsters that will fill them up before they venture out to fill up on candy. These are easy. Really. I know you don’t have time to spend hours making party food or Halloween-themed dinner sandwiches. I made the Jack-o-Lantern hot sandwiches pictured here in minutes. All it takes is a cookie cutter and three ingredients (well, four, if you count the egg wash that you put on top). I got a set of three Halloween cookie cutters on sale at Williams-Sonoma for a little over $5. I now have a jack-o-lantern, a bat and a cool skeleton. I like these cookie cutters because they are made so you can push out the dough so it doesn’t get stuck. Here’s the lowdown on the non-sweet jack-o-lantern treats. INGREDIENTS:...

Posted at 07:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

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

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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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