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April 19, 2014

On Center Street

Blitz United Youth Academy Open Skills Training

01/27/14

Blitz United Youth Academy Open Skills Training

This will be short and sweet, but I just wanted to let you all know about a Wednesday night gem. If you're like me, paying introduction fees and committing to long-term extracurricular activities is a deal breaker. My kids have to love it before I'll drop a $60 intro fee for a 4-year-old anything. Enter, Blitz United's opens skills training night! It's every Wednesday, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. at Soccer City. It covers almost every age. My niece is 9, my nephew is 5 and my son is 4, and they're all split up according to skill level. The best part...it's $5/ kid and there's no commitment, or sign-up. You just show up with your kid and $5, steer them to the field and they're off for an hour of skills training with some pretty awesome instructors. Here...

Posted at 09:11 AM | Permalink | Comments

Tony Bennett Made Me Cry

01/23/14

Tony Bennett Made Me Cry

I didn't know I was going to cry all night. I just thought I was going to a lovely concert with my cute husband. I had no idea what I was in for.  Last Fall, my husband Marc had the opportunity to see one of his all time favorite artists. This wasn't just any artist; it was Tony Bennett. Not only did he get to see him perform from the best seats in the house, he was also given back stage passes to MEET Tony Bennett. Don't believe me? Yep, there he is, right there next to the legend himself. That's my cute husband, Marc on the left, Mr. Bennett, and our friend Clayton on the right.  At the time I didn't feel too terrible missing the concert. I was glad to let Marc go with his friend and experience something that was so important to him. I...

Posted at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

01/22/14

We’re Number 44! Let’s Give Our Policy-Makers an F

The Education Week Quality Counts report card on American public schools is out and Oklahoma ranks 44th in per-pupil spending. I had high hopes that Oklahoma’s embarrassing ranking would be a call to action by our lawmakers to increase school funding. What business, what family, what organization wants to come to a state that doesn’t fund its public schools? And what teacher would want to teach in Oklahoma? We also have a teacher shortage. Hmmm. Could there be a connection? Rather than stepping up and calling for decent school funding, we have two Oklahoma Legislators, Reps. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, and Tom Newell, R-Seminole, who want to funnel public school money to private schools by providing funds for poor children to go to private schools. Well,...

Posted at 09:50 AM | Permalink | Comments

Cake in a Cup

01/21/14

Cake in a Cup

Sometimes you want something sweet, but you don’t want too much, and you don’t want to go to too much trouble to make it. I have the answer – cake in a mug. It’s so easy. Easy as in you can make it in 5 minutes. There’s no baking involved and you won’t be tempted to over indulge in a large leftover cake because there are no leftovers. I made a chocolate cake in a cup last night and my husband and I split it. It was kind of like having a cupcake. Here’s the recipe: Spray the inside of a coffee mug with cooking spray. To the mug, add: 7 Tablespoons of cake mix. I used Betty Crocker Double Chocolate Fudge, but you can make any kind of cake you like – spice, white, German chocolate – anything. 6 Tablespoons of...

Posted at 10:58 AM | Permalink | Comments

Tulsa Youth Opera's Little Nemo in Slumberland

01/17/14

Tulsa Youth Opera's Little Nemo in Slumberland

Think opera's not your thing? Well, have you ever been to a youth opera? Did you know Tulsa has its own youth opera? I didn't until I got an email from my dad! My dad is so great about staying up on what's going on in the arts community in Tulsa, and often invites us to performances like The Nutcracker and many others. A couple of weeks ago, he sent me an email about Tulsa Youth Opera's performance of Little Nemo in Slumberland. He had put in the subject, "Wanna go? I'm buying." And, really, how can you say no to that? We got there as early as we could, but we still couldn't find seven seats next to each other, as the seats were general admission. The performance was in the John H. Williams theatre of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, the...

Posted at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

School Bullying by the Oklahoma State Department of Education

01/17/14

School Bullying by the Oklahoma State Department of Education

Bullying has a negative effect on the social environment of schools, creates a climate of fear among students, inhibits the ability to learn, and leads to other antisocial behavior. Other detrimental effects of bullying include impact on school safety, student engagement, and the overall school environment. Bullying is dangerous because if left unattended it can rapidly escalate into even more serious violence and abuse. Just as you have gateway drugs, bullying is gateway behavior. Too often it is the first step down the road to one of the tragic incidents of school violence we all have watched in horror on the evening news. This Web site is dedicated to preventing bullying behavior. I took the above verbiage straight from the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s...

Posted at 08:47 AM | Permalink | Comments

Introducing Tulsa County BirthNetwork

01/16/14

Introducing Tulsa County BirthNetwork

Where do you go when you find out you're pregnant and need information? Most of us start with our doctors and then start asking our friends for information. It can be difficult navigating the world of pregnancy and childbirth, even in the information heavy world we live in! As a childbirth professional myself, I know there are several pockets in Tulsa and surrounding areas of educators and professionals whose passion is to assist and educate women during their pregnancies. For the layperson, so to speak, it can be next to impossible to find what you need and want unless you know the right people. Until now! I would like to introduce you to Tulsa County BirthNetwork. Imagine a one stop shop where childbirth educators, physicians, midwives, doulas, prenatal yoga...

Posted at 08:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

Working Mom or Stay-at-Home Mom: It’s Personal

01/13/14

Working Mom or Stay-at-Home Mom: It’s Personal

Ashley Venable, a labor and delivery nurse at Saint Francis Hospital and mother of two boys, Keegan, 9, and Colton, 4, recently posted author Jennifer Barbin’s “13 Things You Should Never Say to a Working Mom” on her Facebook page. The list includes such comments as: “I saw your kid on the class trip today. She was crying – I think she missed you,” and “I don’t know how you do it. I’d feel too guilty.” In addition to Barbin’s “13 Things,” Ashley posted her own sentiments: “Each mother does what she has to for her family. I love my job and my kids. So if you are lucky enough to be at home with your babies—that’s amazing; or if you have to work, good for you. My boys know I love them and...

Posted at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments

01/13/14

Talking to Kids about Sex

Q: I have a 12-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son. It seems time to discuss sex. This isn’t my favorite subject to talk about. How do I start?   A: The best place to start this somewhat uncomfortable process is with whatever triggered your belief that a conversation needs to happen. Before the talk, think about all the reasons you feel uncomfortable. If one of them includes an expectation that you need to talk about all aspects of male and female sexuality in one discussion, please relax and let go of that notion. In fact, there are many elements and stages in our children’s lives where we can indirectly be involved in a talk about sex. I imagine that you have already had discussions about how boys and girls are similar and different. Younger children...

Posted at 11:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

5 Tips to Prepare Toddlers for a New Sibling

01/13/14

5 Tips to Prepare Toddlers for a New Sibling

It’s a new year! That means new experiences, new adventures and… a new baby? That’s right, my little family will be growing by two feet this summer. And while I’m over the moon with excitement, I’m also super nervous about telling my almost 3-year-old that there’s going to be a new baby in town. Our daughter has been the light of our lives since her first breath. Heck, since her first ultrasound really. She loves mommy and daddy time, snuggling with us in the mornings, reading stories together before bedtime. The idea of the culture shock she is about to experience gives me more than a little morning sickness. My mommy of multiples friends assure me that every parent feels this way about subsequent children. Will my other child resent me, and...

Posted at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments