Friday, July 25, 2014

July is Purposeful Parenting Month

In honor of Purposeful Parenting I wanted to share this family resource piece from Healthy Smiles on "why children's teeth are yellow', written by Dr. Mungo. 

What to Do When Your Child’s Pearly Whites Aren’t So White

Thirty white horses on a red hill. They tramp, then they stamp and then they stand still. What are they? The answer is teeth, of course. 
Before the ravages of coffee, red wine and acidic foods stain adult teeth, children’s teeth are as white as nature intended, creating the clever basis for this riddle that dentists like to tell.
Although we tend to think of healthy teeth as being pearly white, the true color varies from white to yellow to gray. This range of shades can be healthy and simply a reflection of the materials that make up your children’s teeth. The hard outer layer of teeth, called enamel, is translucent and shows the dentin underneath. If the dentin is dark or yellow, your children’s teeth could appear less than pearly white. Plus, permanent teeth always are shades darker than baby teeth, which sometimes are called “milk teeth” because of their bright hue.
However, yellow or stained teeth in children could be an indication of health issues that parents should address immediately. In fact, addressing your children’s overall dental health is just one of the many examples of how parents can participate in Purposeful Parenting Month in July, an annual observance created to encourage mothers and fathers to be active, engaged parents. 
Recognizing the warning signs of dental disease in children, such as yellowing teeth, takes action but also sets up children for a lifetime of healthy dental habits.  As one of the largest nonprofit oral health providers for children dedicated to improving the dental health of children, at Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County these are the most-common factors we see in children, plus some remedies we recommend to patients and their parents. All of these tips can be started during Purposeful Parenting Month so parents and kids can get into a daily routine that carries them into the school year.

Brush Away Poor Dental Hygiene

Kids have to be taught how to brush their teeth properly and supervised to ensure they don’t slack off, especially during the fun months of summer when the daily routines your family follows during the school year can be disrupted easily. Parents should be supervising their children’s brushing until the age of 8, to ensure no tooth is missed.  
To prevent a host of dental-related diseases as well as yellow teeth, children should brush at least twice a day for two minutes and floss daily. Even before an examination, you can see evidence of poor dental hygiene by the fuzzy film that covers children’s teeth, known as plaque. Beyond your at-home routine, children should have dental visits every six months starting at age one or when a child’s first tooth comes in. 
Parents can make brushing fun for kids by incorporating some of their favorite cartoon characters, entertainment and flavors into this healthy step. You’ll find musical toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes and toothbrushes designed with characters on them. Both musical toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes not only have fun characters on them, but their favorite song will play for two minutes to ensure their brushing, just like the dentist ordered. Let your child pick one every three to four months, the average lifespan of any toothbrush. Also, look for American Dental Association-approved toothpaste in kid-friendly flavors, such as bubblegum or cupcake. 

Eat for Dental Health

The foods you choose can affect your children’s general health and the health of their teeth and gums, too. Sugar-filled sodas, sports drinks or non-nutritious snacks could put kids at risk for tooth decay —the single most-common chronic childhood disease.  Preparing fun, yet healthy dinners with your children or bringing them along to the grocery story to pick their favorite tooth friendly snack, is one example of how parents can participate in Purposeful Parenting Month, too.
For good dental health, encourage kids to drink plenty of water and eat a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy foods. Although growing kids can be hungry in between meals, try to limit the number of snacks they eat. This can minimize the damaging effects of acids in foods, which can decay enamel and cause cavities.

Limit Fluoride Intake 
There is no doubt that fluoride, often added to toothpaste and tap water, can strengthen teeth and prevent cavities, especially in children. However, in excess, this chemical can yellow or stain teeth. We see this condition, referred to as dental fluorosis, usually in children younger than eight-years-old when permanent teeth are forming underneath the gums. Too much fluoride can stain the enamel, causing your child’s teeth to turn yellow.
To prevent dental fluorosis, the Centers for Disease Control doesn’t recommend using fluoride on children under the age of two. For kids between the ages of two and six, follow manufacturer’s directions when using toothpaste and be sure they spit out toothpaste after brushing and rinse well. 

Read Labels 
Some medications and vitamins will stain teeth. For example, the antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline will yellow teeth that are still forming. Even the iron in your child’s multivitamin can cause discoloration. These types of stains usually can be prevented if children step up their daily brushing-and-flossing routine, or removed during their twice-a-year dental exam and cleaning.
If you’re concerned about your child’s yellow teeth, the best action is to ask a dentist, who can rule out trauma, infection or disease and give tips kids can follow to ensure a healthy smile. Teaching them to be vigilant about their dental health at an early age is just one of the ways you can demonstrate purposeful parenting in action. 
Dr. Richard Mungo, a founding board member of Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County and a pediatric dentist in Huntington Beach, brings 28 years of experience to the oral health care field. He also serves as part-time faculty at USC School of Dentistry and a lecturer at UCLA School of Dentistry. Because of his position as a leading pediatric dentist who brings accessible oral health care services to underserved and special needs children in Orange County, the Regional Center of Orange County and other organizations have awarded him multiple honors.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Picnic Daily

You have a doctors appointment, a violin recital, need to get the car washed,  pick up, drop off, pick up, drop off kids at camp- friends house- mall- child care, laundry to do and the shirt you thought your son was going to wear happens to have chocolate on it from the candy bar he just ate, and you just found out he needs to wear something other than jeans so you need to go shopping as he lives in jeans and basketball shorts…...and the list goes on and on…….. and you have nothing, I mean NOTHING planned for dinner and the violin recital is ONE HOUR and you are just overwhelmed with having to do one more thing!

Then it happens, " THE LOOK", the look of I can't do one more thing! 

Never fear, Daily Grill is here!!!! They have a Picnic Bag menu available for those hectic mommy nights. Ok not just for that maybe a nice romantic lunch or dinner for two, or a just because picnic with loved ones or friends or just your simple picnic in the park…. or erm on the sidewalk prior to your son's violin recital!!!!

 This is the no fuss picnic bag, this is what a picnic is all about. All your yummies come in a insulated bag fully equipped with a tablecloth, plates, eating utensils, napkins and a bottle opener. 

If only they looked this happy when I cooked dinner!!!

 Everything you will need for your picnic needs is in the bag and packaged so beautifully as presentation is everything to the Daily Grill.

Four fabulous picnic choices to choose from. My boys wanted the chicken and I wanted the seared ahi so we got the classic chicken picnic bag. Which included;

Lettuce Wedge, Bacon, Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Tomatoes and Bleu Cheese Dressing

My son, the uncivilized teenager here in this moment only; ate his wedge salad like this! " What mom, its a picnic!" I have to admit this was really innovative. 

My middle son was all about the chicken, bbq sauce and orange slices

I literally had to fight my oldest for the seared ahi sashimi. It was simply delicious and even though there was enough for everyone I still felt bullied. Sadly he did not win. Everything was wonderful however if I had to pick my favorite it was the seared ahi sashimi

……It was a symphony for your tastebuds

Cheers to us!

Clean up was a breeze and we love our new bag too!

Just goes to show you can have your cake pie and eat it too, with the Daily Grill Picnic Bags.  Picnicking will never be the same. It takes the stress out of planning and packing. It was simple and easy, all you have to do is sit and enjoy gourmet food. What are you waiting for? 

This is the only picture I could get of the of a single slice of pie as the others were devoured by my monsters! Even this was a tough one to get as my toddler stuck his finger in the lime and ran it through the crust. Yeah you can see his cute little finger trails on the side leading back up to the whip cream. 

With our tummies full and happy it was an additional treat to hear this little man play his heart out! 

Picnic and a show!  

            Both my heart and stomach were very full and happy! What more could you ask for?

Which picnic bag would you pick and where would you picnic? 

Blackened Chicken, Black Beans, Avocado, Corn, Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers and Chipotle Aioli, wrapped in a Whole Wheat Tortilla
Seared Rare with Blackened Spices, Avocado, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cucumber and a Wasabi Aioli, wrapped in a Whole Wheat Tortilla
Both Served with
Lettuce Wedge, Bacon, Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Toma- toes and Bleu Cheese Dressing

with Balsamic Glaze
with Whipped Cream 

Lettuce Wedge, Bacon, Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Tomatoes and Bleu Cheese Dressing

with Balsamic Glaze

For more information check out The Daily Grill's website. Its the new way to picnic on an affordable budget.  Like I stated before, "It's truly a gourmet dining experience on a pauper's budget. " I had the pleasure of being asked to sample their happy hour menu last year and now their picnic bags. All thoughts and opinions are my own!!! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Despite what you might think;

Being a victim of drowning only takes seconds.

boys sitting beach
“Drowning does not look like it is portrayed in Hollywood. Drowning is silent, drowning victims are physically unable to call out for help. In 10 percent of childhood drowning’s, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening,” the CDC stated. They say you should never turn your back on the ocean, so why would you turn your back on any child that is near or in the water? If your child isn’t a strong swimmer, you need to be within arms reach of them at all times.
Last year in Orange County, there were 73 drowning’s and 37 were fatal. In 2012, there were 93 drowning’s and 53 were fatal—a record year in OC. Since the beginning of this year, OC has had 22 drowning’s and 9 have been fatal. Children are attracted to water, it’s that simple. You need to always keep your eyes on your kids and never put your guard down. Even if there is a lifeguard on duty or if you are just leaving for a “second” while your child is in the tub.
I was able to meet with Public Information Officer Captain Steve Concialdi to go over the importance of water safety. As some might recall, I shared a story last year of how my 18-month-old almost drowned, and it took just seconds. I was leaving the pool and I took his life jacket off. It was horrible and I am so thankful that my son is OK. You can read about that HERE. 
When meeting with Cpt. Concialdi, he went over the statistics and shared some of his recent calls regarding drowning’s. One of the many things that Cpt. Concialdi stressed was that if your child goes missing around a swimming pool or body of water, check that first. People also need to know their risks. For teens, adults and the elderly, never swim alone and always have a buddy. If you are swimming in the ocean, know about that particular beach and currents. Swim near a lifeguard and know how to swim out of a rip current. Never take your eyes off of your children and always be within arms reach around the water. Mixing alcohol with being in the water is a very dangerous situation; especially if there are children around. Also, Cpt. Concialdi stressed to have barriers around pools and spas.
boys jumping on beach
Some of the stories he shared can be found below:
  • CBS
  • KTLA
  • A 2-year-old and 10-month-old were in the tub, and the father left the room to take a phone call. The 10-month-old was in a bath seat and the 2-year-old put the stopper in the tub. The 10-month-old somehow tipped over in the bath seat and when the father came back, the baby was submerged under water. It was too late.
  • A grandmother was watching her 5-year-old and 9-month-old grandchildren. She went inside to make lunch and she asked the 5-year-old to watch the baby, however, the 9-month-old fell into the pool and the grandmother was too late to respond.
  • Another child was stuck under a raft in the local pool and started drowning with lifeguards on duty. The father was able to perform CPR, and the child was taken to CHOC for observation and was released after 24 hours.
  • In Yorba Linda, two children ages 6 and 4 were told they could go swimming as a treat after dinner. The 4-year-old just finished her series of swim lessons and felt really confident. The girls were instructed to go upstairs and get their suits on after dinner while the parents were washing the dishes. The 6-year-old came down stairs, but they didn’t know where the 4-year-old was. Her sister found her in the pool.
In my opinion, we need to get some organizations to speak up about drowning and get our councilmen and women on board as well. I also believe it should be made a felony if any child drowns in an adult’s care, but only if neglect is evident. Leaving your child unattended—even in a life jacket—to go in side for a moment is neglect, because it only takes a second. That should be the name of the campaign: “It Takes a Second.”
boy in life jacket at beach
Check out the story at Parenting OC as well 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

FODADA ~ Dad and Me Giveaway

How many times has your dad had your back? Let this Father's Day be your turn to not only have his back but put a snazzy shirt on it!

Simple, right?

 Fodada will recognize dads who sign the pledge by sending them a specially designed t-shirt from their collection.

All the kids need to do (with mom's help if needed) is download the form on the Fodada website and give it to their Dad on Father's Day. From there, both the child and father sign a pledge to spend three hours per MONTH together. It is mandatory that you be fun and silly… balancing spoons on your nose, or perhaps checking out a zoo, or just being on the move… whatever it is!

Fodada (kid speak for"for daddy") is a social enterprise, that exists to honor and celebrate the role of fathers. They reinvest approximately $1 of every $2 earned as a profit on Fodada apparel into programming to support education and awareness around the importance of fathers spending time with their children.

So what are you waiting for? Enter now at Fodada to get Dad his very own specially designed T-shirt! Are you going to have your child take the pledge with their dad? I know I am encouraging my boys to do it - and I'd love to hear if you did too!.

As an added incentive, I'm also going to be giving away ato one lucky reader a generous $50 credit to use at Fodada If you would like to enter all you have to do is answer one of these questions (or more if you are an overachiever. ha,ha)

1) What is the fondest memory you have with you father?

2) What is the most important thing your father has taught you?

3) What do you think is the most important thing a father can teach his child?

I will select one lucky winner by doing the 'Enny, meenie, miny, mo', method... Just kidding! Instead my son will pull a number out of a hat and if that number matches your number in the comment thread, you'll win. I will notify the winner on my Facebook page, HOPSCOTCH & JELLYBEANS on Father's Day. So check check on my fan page to see if you've won. If so, simply respond to post and I will email you the code to redeem your FREE $50  Fodada credit to their online store. You will have until Monday 5:00 pm PDT time to respond.

*This is a sponsored post. I was provided product from Fodada. All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Healthy Beginnings and Bright Futures

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to go to the Healthy Beginnings, Bright Futures Luncheon and Fundraiser hosted by MOMS Orange County. MOMS Orange County is a non-profit organization helping mothers and their families raise healthy babies by offering health coordination, education, resources and access to community services.
This event drew 220 participants; raised $25,000; and featured keynote speaker, Dr. Candice Taylor Lucas, who discussed the importance of early childhood obesity prevention. I also got to meet the “Mother of the Year” Andrea Lunel.
Before the luncheon, I had the privilege of meeting Pamela Pimentel, CEO of MOMS, and a registered nurse. MOMS mission is simple, and when speaking with Pamela, her passion for this cause is evident. Before now, I don’t think I’d ever met anyone who truly loved to get up and go to work. I guess if you are like Pamela—and you know that you actually make a difference in people’s lives—it gives you a little more pep in your step.
Adrianne Grant Healthy Beginnings Bright Futures Pamela Pimentel
I asked Pamela to tell me some more about the organization, and her first statement was that every baby deserves to be born healthy. There are risk factors for all women, and because of this, MOMS holds no financial regulations. They serve approximately 3,700 mothers and families annually. Here’s what members of MOMS can look forward to:
  • Prenatal home visits.
  • Classes for the whole family.
  • Support groups.
  • Learning about oneself; sharing your story and building relationships with others; and empowering motherhood, family and children.
When I spoke with Andrea, she said that she felt blessed by everything that MOMS had done for her, and she carries a deep gratitude for the services she received. What speaks to the strong bonds developed by this group is that Andrea is still in contact with the women she met at Mommy-n-Me Classes hosted by MOMS—two years later.
After listening to the luncheon’s speakers, I had an itch to get involved. The work that MOMS Orange County does to assist with healthy babies and empowering families is simply unbelievable, and getting involved is incredibly easy. For example, I was told that I could do something as simple as hosting a diaper drive within my community.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the children are our future. So lets be that village to ensure a bright future.

Check out the article from Parenting OC as well.

Monday, May 26, 2014

My favorite color swap - my package arrived

Remember when I said I was participating in the Favorite Color Swap? I am so excited with what I got from my Swap partner. My color was pink and her color was purple, how cute is that???? Our colors go together like peanut butter and Jelly….well if peanut butter was pink. You get the gist. 

These socks were my favorite besides pink being my favorite color, they had seahorses on them and they are my favorite sea creature. HOW DID YOU KNOW MaryCate?

MaryCate knew just about everything that I loved. Gum, lipstick, nail polish, hand sanitizer, flip flops, socks, candy, a cute water bottle and the kicker…..I just bought a wax warmer thing and what do I get in my box of surprises but some scented wax. IF that wasn't enough it was CUPCAKE scented. CUPCAKE, I love cupcakes!!! Thanks again for this lovely gift you know me all to well.

I had so much fun participating in The Favorite Color Swap.  I really enjoyed it, and I would participate again. The only thing I would do differently is request to have not only a minimum amount which was stated but a maximum so its fair to all bloggers participating. I also like that so I don't go overboard when selecting goodies for the box. Before you get to the checkout counter you have gone over the minimum of $20 and that is not including shipping.  I liked the idea of doing the swap and lets face it its always nice to get a package in the mail. Especially parents, when all we do is get stuff for the kids, so to get a package just for you is nice.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

"Love me, hold me, spoon me!" ~ Stonyfield

I had the opportunity to try Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt. I was a little reluctant as I am not a big fan of Greek yogurt in addition to being loyal to another brand.  I always tell my boys to be willing to try new things so I thought I would do the same myself. With 6 coupons in hand redeemable for 5.3 ounces of Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt I ventured out and got two of each flavor; Strawberry, Blueberry, and Vanilla. I know I am so adventurous, if you knew me you would know what a HUGE feat this was. I also received the Stonyfield cookbook which I was so excited to try it out, the only problem was….my toddler kept eating what I was trying to review.

 He downed three yogurts in 24 hours. He wanted one flavor each for breakfast, lunch and dinner. How could I be a MOMZILLA and say no?  Now if this was my other brand of yogurt it would have sat nicely in my fridge until I was ready to eat it. None of my kids would have touched it. For some reason my boys were enticed to try this yogurt.

I am not sure if they were impressed that it was organic, no toxic pesticides were used, no artificial hormones, No GMO, no antibiotics, or that fruit was on the bottom of their yogurt? Getting my kids to eat yogurt is like taking them to the dentist, they do the latter twice a year. Getting them to consume yogurt or take them to the dentist involves... kicking, screaming, and whining AND thats not even mentioning what the boys do!

I was able to hide one these babies in the back of the fridge, next to the tofu so I knew it would be safe. No one goes near the Tofu besides mommy! I also waited for all the boys to be at school before I tried this out. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I will be honest unless mixing greek yogurt into something; smoothie, dips, marinades etc. When you eat it, it has a unique taste to it. Don't let that stop you, get your tastebuds acclimated. Bite after bite I felt like such a super mom. I actually found a healthy snack my boys and I could agree on that was so healthy and safe for them, oh did I mention its full of protein and it tasted so creamy and delicious?

I also received the cookbook and I cant' wait to try some of the recipes. I was so excited when I went online and I found the conversion chart when substituting Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt. Recently I made the decision to go organic however being a single mom it means that I have to take baby steps or my budget will explode. Recently I went organic for all dairy products in our house. Eventually everything we eat will be organic. I was relived that Stonyfield was very wallet friendly in addition to being pallet pleasing.