Real Talk: Screen Time Struggles

Let’s real talk. I’m a mom of two under three. It’s the dead of winter. I live in a
two bedroom Baltimore City row home. I have no yard. Not telling you this to
commiserate with me, although I’ll take any pity you sling my way. But simply
saying the screen time struggle is real. Every. Single. Day.

Sesame Street is boss in our house. But I try really hard to keep it at an hour a
day for my two-nager (see AAP recommendations below). When that hour is spent,
the creativity unravels. I’m here to share a few ideas I have up my sleeve to spark
some creativity and limit screen time use.

1. I bought a simple shoe organizer that hangs over the door (via
Amazon) that I keep all of our craft/ sensory play in. Because it brings
me JOY. #Kondo. In these compartments are things like play dough,
water beads, markers, glue, paint, kid safe scissors, paper, pom poms,
pipe cleaners, beads, wiki sticks, etc. We have a letter of the week and
focus on sorting and color/ shape identification mostly these days.

2. Also, busytoddler on Instagram is a wonderful resource with fantastic
ideas. The creator is a big proponent of sensory bins so there’s a
plethora of different bins to create that are easy and affordable.

3. I allow my daughter to help a lot in the kitchen. We prep lunch and
dinner together. She enjoys simple tasks such as shaking the
cinnamon on the sweet potatoes and tearing off the cilantro leaves for
the pizza topping (who likes that job anyway?). Word to the wise: This
will slow down the process quite a bit… so don’t expect that 15 minute
dinner Rachel Ray promised if your toddler is meddling in it. BUT… on
the bright side… I notice that she is much more willing to try
something new (think radish and mushrooms) when I am allowing
her to help.

4. Storyville. This is probably not new information but this place is such
a delight on a rainy, snowy day. Both locations (one in Rosedale, MD
and Woodlawn, MD) are bound to brighten any toddler’s mood.
Seeking to create an early literacy environment, this interactive real-
world play will have all of you wanting to return.

5. Check out Nature Centers near you. These are great outings in the
winter because it gets everyone exploring a little outside. Fresh air
and also interacting with nature. Even in the winter, things are
happening outdoors and its fun to get out there and learn about them
together.

AAP Recommendations:

• For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-
chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media
should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them
understand what they’e seeing.
• For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality
programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they
are seeing and apply it to the world around them.

5 Amazing Benefits of Placenta Tincture

Did you know that the healing properties of the placenta can be stretched even longer than the postpartum period? Tinctures are potent substances extracted from steeping some of the fresh or powdered placenta. This powerful solution can be used in any time trauma, emotional distress, through sleep deprivation; transitions back to work, or even as far out as menopause.

Other benefits of the tincture may include:

  • Balancing out and reducing chronic symptoms of PMS.
  • Easing anxiety and emotional distress post baby.
  • Because the tincture contains hormones, it can help relieve stress in times of difficulty for the entire family.
  • Please see a Homeopath or Naturopath doctor before using with baby or child for suggested dosage.
  • Tincture may even be used to decrease insomnia and sleep deprivation.

Tincture stores indefinitely so it may be used into menopause to reduce hot flashes and balance hormone fluctuations.

The suggested dosage may added to coffee, tea, water or juice two to three times a day during times of need. Because of its potency, it is not a remedy suited for ongoing daily use beyond times of need.

Placenta Print Art

placenta prints

The placenta is an amazing organ that gave your baby life for the 9 or so months that s/he lived inside of your body. Most often this organ is discarded as medical waste with a total disregard for it’s important work. Instead of tossing it, how can you honor the birth of your baby and maximize the use of the “tree of life?” Placenta art may be one of the last things that pop into your head, but there are a number of reasons why to consider having your baby’s placenta printed:

  • These unique works of art commemorate one of life’s most treasured moments.
  • It restores the ancient tradition of honoring and having gratitude toward the placenta’s purpose. For hundreds of years, some cultures have buried the placenta as a way to honor the life and connect the baby back to the earth.
  • It is a lasting depiction of the conduit between mother and baby and holds a memory of the pregnancy.
  • It can serve the purpose of nursery décor and also be a fantastic conversation piece.
  • It is a relatively easy and inexpensive add-on service to encapsulation or as a stand alone service.

These prints can be displayed on a wall or kept with baby’s other precious mementos. Whatever you choose to do with your prints, know that it is a lasting way to celebrate the birth of your baby.

Contact us to discuss whether placenta prints are right for you!

 

 

Using Elderberry to Boost Your Child’s Immunity

Having sick kids is nothing we look forward to come winter time. Snotty noses, unstoppable coughing, and grumpy attitudes. Not to mention the worrying a mama goes through about the illness. It’s truly a lose-lose situation. And then if mama gets sick, then the whole ship sinks.

This winter, I wanted to try to give my family the tools we needed to avoid those cold induced ear infections and the terrible flu virus that often plagues our communities. Because for me, staying quarantined the entire winter is not an option. We have to get out and moving, in public places even, where those big, bad, ugly germs are lurking.

The most potent tool in my arsenal right now is my Homemade Elderberry Syrup. I priced some already made syrups online and thought they were outrageously priced for such a small bottle. So, after reading the amazing benefits online, I knew I had to make it myself and cut back on some of the cost. Also, it makes you feel like a total mom boss when you can boil down berries and yield a substance to boosts your child’s immunity.

The first step is finding a quality, dried, organic elderberry online to use as your base of the syrup. The same rings true for honey. You will need a good local honey that contains the area’s pollen and seasonal allergens. This will also aid in cough suppression.
Organic Elderberry
Raw, Local Honey

Then you will boil a third of a cup of dried elderberries with three cups of water. Add a few shakes of cinnamon and clove and a tablespoon or so of fresh ginger and boil until the liquid decreases by half and looks more like a syrup. Wait for it to cool and then use a fine sieve to strain in a jar. Cool completely and add a cup of honey. TADA! You did it. Your very own elderberry to build that immunity in the whole family.

According to Dr. Google, the recommended dosage is a teaspoon for children and a tablespoon for adults daily during the week. Take the weekend off.
**Remember a child under 12 months of age should not consume honey.**

A Memorable (and cheap) Baltimore Winter

Winter days are frigid and short but children still seem to find the energy to
bounce off the wall. They don’t quite understand the beauty of a slow and relaxing
morning with a good book and big cup of coffee! Dreamy, right?
Ever wondered how to make the most of those blustery, winter months without
feeling those claustrophobic blues? This winter, let Baltimore (and the surrounding
area) surprise you with events and places to explore!

The Miracle of 34 th Street
If you don’t already know about Baltimore’s best kept Christmas secret, then
it truly is a best kept secret. Peruse the quirky neighborhood of Hampden while
sipping some of the Charmery’s hot cocoa. A crowd pleaser, for sure. Pop into Trovh
for some local gift ideas. Make your way to 34 th Street as the Christmas block truly
does shine for miles. The lights are on from November 29-January 1. It is free to the
public and makes for a great photo op.

Highlandtown’s Train Garden
Take a trip to Baltimore’s very own little neighborhood of Highlandtown this
holiday season. An impressive toy train set geared to awe any child. You will be
surprised at the attention to detail and Baltimore charm this little train garden
holds. The train runs from November 24- January 1 and is located at #41 Engine
House on Conkling Ave. Wrap up your event with dinner at the century-old Italian
kitchen and market, Di Pasquales. You will not be disappointed.
This is a free event but does accept and appreciate donations.

Holiday Festival of Trains
Got a train lover on your hands? Here’s another event promising to please.
While not in Baltimore city, this event claims to be the largest train display in the
area. Held in Ellicott City’s B&O Railroad museum, this set up includes a multilevel
Lego layout with interactive elements. This toy train is in operation November 28-
January 25 and costs $6-8 for admission.

12 Days of Science
The Maryland Science Center has incorporated activities this winter that go
far beyond checking the weather. Solstice-themed planetarium show, toy-making
workshops, “Christmas Bulb Drop Challenge” are bound to please all ages. Drop in
December 20-31 to have some interactive hands-on learning experiences. All extra,
holiday themed exhibits are free with paid admission.

It’s a Waterfront Life
This December, visit Baltimore’s very own Inner Harbor for an array of
festivities. Ice-skating (open until January 21), Christmas Village and photos with
Santa (both open until December 24) make every child excited for the upcoming holiday. Pop into Barnes and Noble for some hot chocolate and a cozy spot to read
and warm your toes. Events range in cost.

Baltimore Museum of Art
Free of charge and open all year round, this museum is an attraction worth
exploring. Browse colorful art and roam through rooms of talent. The sculpture
garden outside is interesting as well. Children will love to visualize, detect, and
discover through an artist’s eyes. Also, every Sunday from 2-5, the BMA hosts a craft
making event for children that is FREE. All materials provided. A family event that
guarantees to encourage a creative mind.

Protein in Pregnancy: What’s the big deal?

Have you ever wondered just how important your diet is for your growing baby in your belly? Have you ever allowed craving after craving to drive your food intake? Have you ever felt like your body only wanted to eat carbs, carbs and more carbs? If you have answered yes to one or all of these questions, this blog post is for you.

Throughout pregnancy, a protein rich diet can make all the difference in maternal and fetal health. It can reduce risk factors for pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes, and even improve your birth outcome. But how?!

When your baby is growing the fastest, during the second and third trimester, it is vital that your body intakes protein which contains amino acids. These acids are the building blocks for you and your baby. Most experts recommend consuming a minimum of 80 to 120 grams of protein per day while pregnant. It is also important to use salt to taste. Between 20-25% of your daily calories should come from protein. As explained in the chart below, albumin is made directly from the protein mom eats which in turn increases blood volume. When mom doesn’t get enough calories, the protein is burned up rather than being used to make albumin. This unfortunately drops blood volume. The result of high blood pressure is due to the kidneys producing an enzyme called renin which makes the blood vessels constrict. This down spiral of events often leads to early signs of pre-eclampsia and usually early induction of baby.

Adequate protein and salt for the pregnant mom are vital in an overall healthy pregnancy and an uncomplicated delivery. Best choices that include protein are as follows: meat and poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, dairy products, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, high protein grains, protein powder. If the mother will increase the amount of salt, protein, and calories that she eats, the blood volume will increase, and blood pressure will come down to a normal level. Sometimes, this could even mean eating an ounce or two of protein every hour. It is in fact possible to reverse pre-eclampsia risks with proper protein-rich nutrition. For more information on the link between nutrition and pre-eclampsia, see www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com.

protein in the maternal diet

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