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Family - Druid City Living, Tuscaloosa's premier community newspaper. - Druid City Living, Tuscaloosa's premier community newspaper. http://druidcityliving.com Fri, 20 Jul 2018 05:47:38 -0500 MYOB en-gb The Land of Oz: Fake News (The Good Old Days are Gone) http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2443-the-land-of-oz-fake-news-the-good-old-days-are-gone http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2443-the-land-of-oz-fake-news-the-good-old-days-are-gone The Land of Oz: Fake News (The Good Old Days are Gone)

Quick note: Before we get started, thank you for all the positive feedback on last month’s article regarding the importance of turn lanes being included on major highways. Discrimination in any form is bad and will not be tolerated, including bias toward turn lanes. #savetheturnlanes

Whenever I used to go visit Gertrude, she would always resort to telling me a story about the good ol’ days. I would resort to hiding my eye roll while being cognizant of the fact that hopefully, I too would one day grow older and would be one of those people who might tell a story about days gone by. 

I’m not as old as Gertrude was at the time, but go ahead and roll your eyes anyway. Here is my “good ol’ days” round-up. 

Do you remember: When cartoons only came on Saturday mornings? When there were only four channels (and maybe PBS if the antenna was pointed in the right direction) on TV? When MTV played music videos? When national news outlets actually reported the news?

Those days were good.  And those things are most certainly gone. Especially the last one, and that’s where the major news media started getting into trouble. 

Let’s frame it like this… Remember when you were a kid and you got in trouble, and you would tell your parents certain “truthful” details while strategically omitting other details that would get you into more trouble? It wasn’t necessarily lying. It just wasn’t necessarily telling the whole truth. 

That's essentially what our major news outlets do now (while tossing in an occasional outright lie). This is not a right wing/left wing, Republican or Democratic network issue. You can say that some are worse than others, which would be true. But rest assured, they are all guilty.  

It's a simple process: pluck a statement or event out of context that fits your agenda; report secondhand accounts that have not been verified and present them as fact; and present a news story that’s actually an opinion – without telling anyone it’s an opinion. 

Combine that with the social media explosion, where anyone with a computer can post something false, get it shared a thousand times, and make money off the ad revenue before anyone figures out that it's a lie, and you’ve got a society that doesn’t know who to trust. In turn, they don't trust anybody. 

And this is where we are. Remember when the news networks just reported the news without the slant and the opinion and commentary, allowing you as a person with a brain to get the information and then decide how you felt about it? Those were the good old days. Gertrude may have been right all along.

But tomorrow doesn’t have to be bad. It’s just that now, we are forced to verify the validity of everything in order to obtain the truth. 

I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.           

Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and a writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and their daughters, Savannah and Anica.     

 

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Family Thu, 19 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0500
CSP Spotlight: First Time Mom http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2438-csp-spotlight-first-time-mom http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2438-csp-spotlight-first-time-mom CSP Spotlight: First Time Mom

Lessons abound when a new baby arrives, whether they come in the form of unexpected good will or hard-earned victories.  Often times, new moms feel anxious and scared on not knowing what to do when the baby arrives. 

Here are eight books new moms should read to help make motherhood a little bit easier:

  1. The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
  2. Save Our Sleep: Helping Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Tizzie Hall
  3. Precious Little Sleep: The Complete Baby Sleep Guide for Modern Parents by Alexis Dubief
  4. Parenting From the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell
  5. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
  6. Experimenting with Babies by Shaun Gallagher
  7. Bringing up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
  8. Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year by Anne Lamott

Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc.’s Head Start/Early Head Start, Child Care Partnership, and Early Intervention programs engage families and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. Safe and healthy children are ready to learn and explore their world.

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contact@druidcitymedia.com (Super User) Family Mon, 16 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0500
The Mommy Chronicles: You’re Doing Great, Mom, Really http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2434-the-mommy-chronicles-you-re-doing-great-mom-really http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2434-the-mommy-chronicles-you-re-doing-great-mom-really Local mom Marie Watts Faile enjoys some outdoor time with her son, Wesley.

With the summer in full effect, I’ve started to get antsy. I’m a working mom, and while my schedule is the same as it always is, my now out-of-school son’s structure has dwindled. And by dwindled, I mean there is no structure

When I walk in my home, which, if we’re being honest, is always just a little messy, I see exactly how the day unfolded. There is my husband, music streaming from his computer as he works from home, the family Great Dane, Midnight, in hiding, likely covered in body paints from my five-year-old’s Nerf gun bullets (that fly surprisingly fast and land surprisingly hard), and food. Food tends to be in the weirdest places. While washing dishes one day, I went to move a cute blue beach pail off my kitchen counter and lo and behold… there was a strawberry glazed Krispy Kreme donut. With sprinkles. Just hanging out in the beach pail. On the kitchen counter. Oy vey!

So, when my Erin Condren planner is filled with my daily activities, but my son’s activities are essentially cut in half for the summer, what am I to do? Should I suffer severe mom guilt, because each and every moment of his day unfolds without my careful planning? Or, should I just go with the flow, donuts in beach pails and all?

A sweet mom friend of mine, Marie Watts Faile, has let go of the mom guilt.

“I had to let it go,” she said of her middle-school aged son’s lack of a schedule. “He is happiest when he has the time to just be lazy. This summer is the first on his own. I used to pay a babysitter to entertain him, and now I pay him a weekly allowance to keep up with chores. He is doing great with this and I am so happy to have less to do when I get home!”

For those of us with sweet little people who aren’t old enough to grow into that independence we are all looking forward to, here are a few tips for working moms:

  1. 1. Make a routine out of no routine. While I am a firm believer in children using their imaginations, dressing up and playing make believe (see below), I am also a firm believer in growth. While I know “organized” chaos may occur while I’m at work and the boys are at home, I make sure that my son and I visit the library each week and participate in the education-related activities that our time allows. I also make it a point to get with like-minded moms once or twice a week for casual play dates. 

 

  1. 2. Throw a little school work in the mix. At age five, my Little loves science. Typically, I buy study workbooks for the next age group ahead to keep up with the things he’s learned in school and the things I’d like him to learn next. For the summer months, I’ve taken the time to research quick and fun science experiments for us to perform during those rainy Saturdays, or an otherwise slow-paced Monday evening. 

 

  1. 3. Understand that it is okay if your child gets bored. Little girls may be different, but as my Little grows, I feel like he’s got the idea of boredom on lockdown. I’ve come home from work to find him jumping out from behind chairs and furniture in full Army gear from Halloween. He got bored, Dad is working, and he entertained himself. Kudos, kid! This is awesome and quite entertaining!

 

  1. 4. Don’t feel guilty. Your child has been in school for months, and deviating from routine is good for them. You know those days when you’re just super tired and feel the need to kick off your pumps and hit the sofa? Sometimes our kids need to do that too. You’re doing great, mom. Take a chill pill.

 

Marlena Rice is a busy mom and writer who lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Rod, and their son, Beaux William. Check out her blog at heartfullybuilt.com.  

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Family Thu, 12 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0500
CSP Spotlight: The Benefits of Breastfeeding http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2429-csp-spotlight-the-benefits-of-breastfeeding http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2429-csp-spotlight-the-benefits-of-breastfeeding CSP Spotlight: The Benefits of Breastfeeding

To breastfeed or use formula is one of the first decisions you'll make as a parent (but it definitely won't be your last). No matter which choice you decide to make, it's always worth exploring your options, and the purpose of today's post is to help you explore all the amazing benefits of breastfeeding specifically. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding gives newborns the ideal amount of proteins, vitamins, and antibodies that allow them to grow. Keep reading to see the seven top benefits of breastfeeding that every parent should know about. Some may even surprise you.

  1. It prevents illness - Breastfeeding doesn't just benefit a child's health while they are nursing—the effects carry on throughout their lives. A 2010 study found that breastfeeding prevents childhood health issues like ear infections, stomach viruses, diabetes, and leukemia.
  2. The baby weight comes off faster - Have you ever noticed that parents who carry and then breastfeed drop their baby weight much faster than those who don't? That's because when you're nursing, you're actually burning calories. "Breast milk contains 20 calories per ounce," says OB/GYN Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, a professor of pediatrics. "If you feed your baby 20 ounces a day, that's 400 calories you've swept out of your body."
  3. You'll learn to read baby's cues - Parents learn to read their little ones' cues in many ways, and one of them can be through breastfeeding. When you breastfeed, you have to rely on signs that your baby is getting enough food. This will foster interaction between parent and baby, providing a bond that you'll have way past infancy.
  4. It's convenient - When you're not pumping, breastfeeding can prove easier than other methods of feeding a new baby. Breast milk is ready to go from the source, without the need to mix or heat anything.
  5. It decreases your child's chances of obesity - Research has shown that nursing for any period of time lowers your child’s chances of adolescent or adult obesity by 15% to 30%.
  6. It fights postpartum depression - Postpartum depression affects a whopping one in seven new moms. The serious condition can leave new mothers mentally crippled and unable to care for their child. Research has shown, however, that carrying parents who breastfeed have a lower chance of getting PPD.
  7. It may make baby smarter - Although no official conclusions have been made, some believe that children who were breastfed have higher IQ scores when they grow up. The thought process is that there are fatty acids only found in breast milk that increase a child's brain function. Others think that the touch between parent and child stimulates the brain.

Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc.’s Head Start/Early Head Start, Child Care Partnership, and Early Intervention programs engage families and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. Safe and healthy children are ready to learn and explore their world.

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contact@druidcitymedia.com (Super User) Family Mon, 09 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0500
The Mommy Chronicles: The Great Birthday Camp Out Party, Part Two http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2415-the-mommy-chronicles-the-great-birthday-camp-out-party-part-two http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2415-the-mommy-chronicles-the-great-birthday-camp-out-party-part-two For our camping-themed birthday party, this cake, with its graham cracker and pretzel tents on top, marshmallows roasting over a “fire pit,” and nature-themed green icing and blue “streams,” was perfection.

So, the camping birthday party happened... and it was fabulous in the most boyish, "manly" way possible. Now that I’ve fully recovered, I’ve got some tips to share with you – five ways to have an amazing, camp-themed birthday party.  

1. Be ready to embrace camouflage (and DIY crafts).

I knew my outdoor venue was going to be hard to fill, being a huge pavilion, so DIY wood crafts and tents made from wood dowels and fabric from a local crafts store added décor that pulled the space together. I found some great camouflage tablecloths that served as a base for plates and napkins in shades of greens. Not only were they heavy-duty, but they were super authentic. In the invite, I also encouraged parents to let their little people wear something with camo.

2. Treat your child's friends with favors your child loves.

One of the sweet parents who brought her son to the party called me a "Pinterest Mom," and I secretly loved it. I never have the goal to impress, but I thrive on being creative and making things come to life. My Little’s birthday party was the perfect place to do this. I wanted to see his eyes light up, and for him to truly feel like we were camping. He was not disappointed! My son loves gummies and the occasional chocolate candy, so I created fun knapsacks to go along with hand-wrapped s'mores for favors.

3. Incorporate games that don’t require technology.

Camping should be simple, and your games should be as well. Grab some rope, tie a red bandana in the middle of it, and let the kids wear themselves out playing tug of war. We learned that the kids in attendance who were less outgoing enjoyed shooting bows and arrows at targets hanging on bales of decorative (and useful) hay. It allowed them to be active, and warm up to the others. Finally, since we chose an outdoor venue away from our home, we had the idea of hiding camp-related pictures around the venue for the kids to find during a treasure hunt.  

4. Pick a location you are comfortable with that will allow the children to have “free reign.”

No, it’s not good to let your children run wild, however, what do you do on a camping trip? You have adventures! You run around! You’re loud! You get dirty! Make sure you choose a location where you’re not worried about keeping the neighbors up late at night (if you’re having a camping slumber party) or getting chocolate all over your furniture. 

5. Choose food wisely.

Don’t go overboard. Grab a few colorful bowls for chips or popcorn, a tin cooler for drinks, and order a few pizzas. Don’t forget to create a cake that ties your theme together, reflecting the occasion the best way you can. Don’t forget to throw some hand sanitizer on the table for those busy, little hands!  

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Family Thu, 28 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0500
CSP Spotlight: Tips for Helping Your Child Transition from Home to School http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2410-csp-spotlight-tips-for-helping-your-child-transition-from-home-to-school http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2410-csp-spotlight-tips-for-helping-your-child-transition-from-home-to-school CSP Spotlight: Tips for Helping Your Child Transition from Home to School

Throughout childhood, children face changes at home and at school. These changes can be small and go unnoticed, or they can be life-changing. Beginning preschool or kindergarten is a transition that holds many changes for children. The importance of parents' involvement in their child’s transition from home to school cannot be stressed enough. With the support of a caring parent, this transition can be a positive experience for a child, giving him or her a sense of self-confidence and accomplishment.  Here are a few tips on helping your child make a successful transition from home to school:

  • Give your child opportunities to leave you and spend time fun times with other adults and children.
  • Talk about school in positive ways.
  • Give your child opportunities to play with items like scissors, crayons, pencils, markers, paint and paper.
  • Read books to your child and talk about the pictures and the story.
  • Encourage your child’s independence by letting him follow simple directions and by letting him do tasks on his own.
  • Take your child to visit the school. Playing on the playground, touring the building, and finding the bathrooms are helpful activities at this time.
  • Ask your child what she thinks school will be like. You may learn that your child understands what to expect, or you may find that she has unrealistic fears or misunderstandings. Listen and talk about school.
  • Visit the bus stop or walk the route to school.
  • Expect your child’s transition to be successful. Remember the adjustment will take time.
  • Your positive outlook can help your child; let him know you are confident in his ability to do well.

Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc.’s Head Start/Early Head Start, Child Care Partnership, and Early Intervention programs engage families and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. Safe and healthy children are ready to learn and explore their world.

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contact@druidcitymedia.com (Super User) Family Mon, 02 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0500
CSP Spotlight: Potty Training Awareness Month http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2409-csp-spotlight-potty-training-awareness-month http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2409-csp-spotlight-potty-training-awareness-month CSP Spotlight: Potty Training Awareness Month

June is Potty Training Awareness Month. When it’s time to ditch the diapers, we want to help you make it a smooth transition. Check out some potty training tips below:

  • Wait for signs: Your toddler has to be ready to start potty training. If not, you’re setting yourselves up for a world of frustration.  When your little one starts talking about it more, showing interest in the toilet or letting you know when they’ve just gone (or even better – just about to go), then you’re in the zone.  They’ll let you know when they’re ready to go.
  • Ignore timelines: You’ve seen them – all the potty training tips that promise the secret to potty training in one week, or one weekend, or even three days. Don’t try to measure up to any random timeline or unreasonable standard.  Prepare for the long haul.  Your toddler will get there, and you’ll be right there to help.
  • Watch, do and learn: Potty training for kids is full of new rituals they don’t understand yet: What’s the handle for? Why is there a roll of paper? You know by now that kids love to explore new things to the fullest. Help them out.  Sit with them.  Show them how it works.  The more comfortable they see you are, the more comfortable they’ll be, too.
  • Incentivize: Kids are very motivated with small rewards. When you celebrate successes right away, you’re showing positive reinforcement that encourages kids to repeat that behavior.  There are plenty of rewards to be won that don’t include sugar.  Think stickers, books or other inexpensive trinkets that are valuable to them.
  • Exaggerate praise: Small victories can be huge steps toward diaper-less days ahead. Go ahead and show them this is a big deal, because it is.  Heap on the extra hugs, the kisses and the congratulations.  They need to understand they’re accomplishing something.  If (when) they miss the mark, you need to stay positive about that, too.  You’ll get there together, and they need to see you’re excited.
  • Read all about it: Incorporate some potty training books into story time. You’ll find lots of good books out there that break it down.  Books about potty training also help your little one ask questions they might not otherwise think to ask.
  • Keep checking: Invest a concentrated amount of time where you visit the restroom together many, many times. When they have plenty of opportunities to keep trying, eventually they’re bound to see what it’s all about and take more steps in the right direction.
  • Real undies first: Kids like feeling dry bottoms. Wet bottoms are uncomfortable and lead to diaper rash. Try applying a barrier of diaper rash ointment or spray, then putting on some “big kid” underwear underneath a diaper. They’ll feel what it feels like to be wet, and understand that’s not a good feeling, but you’ll protect their skin as well as furniture and clothes.  Just be sure you check often and don’t let them stay wet for long.

Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc.’s Head Start/Early Head Start, Child Care Partnership, and Early Intervention programs engage families and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. Safe and healthy children are ready to learn and explore their world.

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contact@druidcitymedia.com (Super User) Family Mon, 25 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0500
CSP Spotlight: Talk, Read and Sing Together Every Day - Tips for Using Language at Home and in the Community http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2398-csp-spotlight-talk-read-and-sing-together-every-day-tips-for-using-language-at-home-and-in-the-community http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2398-csp-spotlight-talk-read-and-sing-together-every-day-tips-for-using-language-at-home-and-in-the-community CSP Spotlight: Talk, Read and Sing Together Every Day - Tips for Using Language at Home and in the Community

Here are eight things you can do every day to help your child learn your family’s language and become successful in school:

  1. Use your native language at home - The easiest, most important step is to use your home language every day. Many families worry that using their home language will confuse their children.  In fact, children can easily learn several languages at the same time.  They have an easier time learning English when they have a strong foundation in their first language.
  2. Tell stories and sing songs - Your family has a rich heritage to pass on to your children. Stories, chants, rhymes, poems, sayings, and songs from your childhood are an important part of their heritage.  Share these with your children and have fun!
  3. Tell stories and share books together - Read a book to your child every day—in whatever language you feel most comfortable—beginning at birth. And if you don’t feel comfortable reading words, you can point out the pictures in the book and talk with your child about them.
  4. Check out materials in your language from the library - Look for books, DVDs, and music in your language. If they don’t have what you want, ask the library staff to help you find what you need.
  5. Talk about your traditions and culture - Visit your child’s classroom or child care provider. Share your language and traditions, including family songs and games.  Encourage your child to retell family stories and share your heritage with their teacher, friends, and others.
  6. Look for activities in your community - Attend cultural festivals and concerts and meet other families who speak your home language. Join with other families and organize your own events!
  7. Continue using your home language as your children grow older - Sometimes children start to prefer English as they get older. Talk with your children about the benefits of speaking two languages.  Continue using your language, even if your children respond in English so you keep your lines of communication open.
  8. Don’t forget that YOU are key to maintaining your home language - Parents and other family members are the most important people in your children’s lives. What you value, your children will learn to value.  Help them learn that your family’s language and culture are something to be proud of and to treasure.  Remember the benefits of your home language and remain committed to continuing to use it, no matter your child’s age.

Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc.’s Head Start/Early Head Start, Child Care Partnership, and Early Intervention programs engage families and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. Safe and healthy children are ready to learn and explore their world.

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contact@druidcitymedia.com (Super User) Family Mon, 18 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0500
CSP Spotlight: Help Your Child Learn Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2394-csp-spotlight-help-your-child-learn-talk-read-and-sing-together-every-day http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2394-csp-spotlight-help-your-child-learn-talk-read-and-sing-together-every-day CSP Spotlight: Help Your Child Learn Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day

You can help your child’s language skills by talking, reading, and singing with him or her every day. It’s easy to do and can make a big difference in how your child learns and grows!  It’s never too early to start talking, reading, and singing with your baby. 

Here are a few tips on helping your child to learn:

  • Respond to your baby’s first smiles, gurgles, and coos — she’s talking to you and wants you to talk, too!
  • Hold and talk to your baby; smile and be cheerful while you do.
  • Read books to your baby every day. Praise him when he babbles and “reads” too.
  • When you read with your child, have her turn the pages. Take turns labeling pictures with your child.
  • Describe what your baby is looking at; for example, “red, round ball.”

Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc.’s Head Start/Early Head Start, Child Care Partnership, and Early Intervention programs engage families and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. Safe and healthy children are ready to learn and explore their world.

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contact@druidcitymedia.com (Super User) Family Mon, 11 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0500
DCH Safe Sitter Classes Prepare Young Teens to be Better Babysitters http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2391-dch-safe-sitter-classes-prepare-young-teens-to-be-better-babysitters http://druidcityliving.com/index.php/family/item/2391-dch-safe-sitter-classes-prepare-young-teens-to-be-better-babysitters DCH Safe Sitter Classes Prepare Young Teens to be Better Babysitters

For many of us, a babysitting gig was our first job. Training for the position is important, for the sitters and for the parents’ peace of mind. How can young people who want to land a great babysitting job get the necessary training they need?

The DCH Health System will help young teens be better babysitters through Safe Sitter classes offered this month.

A Safe Sitter class will be offered at DCH Regional Medical Center on Monday, June 25 and Tuesday, June 26. The classes will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Moody Room. Students will need to attend both days.

Safe Sitter, a medically accurate program taught by trained instructors, provides boys and girls 11 to 13 years old with special babysitting skills, including how to prevent accidents and how to handle emergencies when caring for younger children. During the course, students get hands-on practice in basic lifesaving techniques to help them be prepared in a crisis.

Participants must register in advance. Registration is limited to 12, and there is a $40 fee, to be paid by credit card only. Participants should bring a sack lunch for both days. Drinks will be provided.

 

To register for the classes, call (205) 333-4772.

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contact@druidcitymedia.com (Super User) Family Wed, 13 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0500