Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Little Teeth, Big Cavities

Wes had his very first dentist appointment last month. I was afraid Wes was going to give a level one melt down as soon as we walked in the door. Happily, I was proven wrong. We went with Children's Dental hoping that a dentist who specializes in kids would be a better fit. And we were right!
They have a great waiting area with a little old fashioned village, a flat screen tv playing disney movies, and 2 touch screen computers for playing games.
In addition to smaller, private rooms they have a large room filled with tables, each with a small tv for the kids to watch while they get worked on.
At one side of this room is another play area. It's got a couple more tv screens for video games, and...
A really cute school bus to play in.
One of the best parts is how the doctor handles his patients. He's great at putting kids at ease with his easy humor and silly jokes. He lets the kids be held by their parents so they feel more comfortable and secure.
Poor Wes had to get x-rays, but it was so great how easy it was to take them.
That's when we saw the tears came out.
But getting to choose a cool new Spiderman book and a balloon cheered him up!
So at the end of this appointment the dentist slammed us with the number of cavities Wes has. It was a large number. We did not take care of Wes's teeth like we should have. To be honest, mostly because I didn't think that it mattered much with baby teeth. Not a good attitude to have. In an effort to keep my fellow moms better informed than I was I found some great information to pass along!

Say good-bye to your toddler's toothless, gummy grin and say hello to his first dentist appointment.

Whether your toddler has a mouth filled with teeth or only a few poking through, it’s time to start thinking about keeping his adorable smile healthy. Sure, baby teeth don’t hang around forever (they generally start to fall out to make way for adult teeth by the time your child is six or seven), but it’s still important to keep those tiny teeth — and gums — in tip-top shape while they’re saving the spots for grownup teeth. How do you make sure those pearly whites stay pearly? First teach your toddler to brush his teeth (or tooth) at least twice a day (use nonfluoridated toothpaste until your toddler knows how to spit out the paste fully). Next, book his first dentist appointment — if you haven’t already.

But before you assume that getting your toddler into the dentist’s chair will involve either a tantrum or bribery, remember that your child doesn’t harbor any ill will toward his first dentist — yet. After all, he hasn’t had a close encounter with The Drill. For him, his first dentist appointment could be as much fun as a stop at the local amusement park (the chair goes up and down, back and forth!). So keep your own negative feelings in check (if you have any) and let your child enjoy his first dental visit with the same enthusiasm as a visit to Grandma’s (without the candy, of course).

Here’s what you need to know about your tot’s first dentist appointment:

When to go. Most experts recommend that you take your child to his first dentist appointment within about six months of his first tooth’s arrival, or by the time he turns one. If, however, your toddler’s teeth are obviously discolored — you’ll probably want to take him to the dentist sooner rather than later.

Whom to choose. When it comes to picking a first dentist, many people take their tot to Mom and Dad’s dentist — and this is often a good choice, particularly if your dentist has experience with young children. You may also want to consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist — someone who has additional training in caring for children’s oral health. Another bonus to choosing a pediatric dentist: He’ll be prepared to deal with any squirming or hollering in the dental chair, and he’ll have a waiting room filled with distractions such as kids books and toys.

What will happen. Expect the first dentist appointment to be short and informal — more of a meet and greet for your child and the dentist. Depending on your child’s age and comfort level, you may be asked to hold him while the dentist pokes around his mouth. Or you may be asked to hang back in the waiting room so your toddler can have some quality time to get to know the dentist and staff on his own.

As for the business of inspecting your tot’s teeth, the dentist will check for decay and take a look at your child’s gums, jaw, and bite. The dentist or the hygienist may clean your child’s teeth and apply a fluoride preparation (particularly if there is a stain or a high risk of cavities) or he or she may save that for the next visit. Chances are, the dentist will talk to you about good oral-hygiene habits — and give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about toddler teething, thumb sucking, tooth-friendly foods, or anything else that pertains to your toddler’s oral health. You may want to bring a list of your questions to the appointment so that you remember them when you’ve got the dentist’s attention.

How often to visit. Based on how your toddler’s teeth look, your dentist will let you know when to make the next visit. Most experts recommend that toddlers see the dentist about every six months — as long as there are no major problems. So don’t forget to schedule your child’s second appointment on your way out the door!

If you have any teeth tips please share! And if you're headed to the dentist good luck!

Monday, May 30, 2011

10 Tips for College Going Young Moms

As of tomorrow I will no longer be a college drop out! Although, since I haven't taken classes in over 6 years I will now be a stressed out, stretched thin college student with 2 small kids. I need all the help I can get to keep my sanity.
So here are some great tips for anyone in my same position!
1. Set a consistent time for yourself to study
Setting a regular study time for yourself is a great way to stay on task with your coursework and to make sure it gets done.

2. Explain what’s going on to your kids
Keep your kids in the loop of what’s going on – explain that you’re going to school, why you’re doing it, and what that means for the family.

3. Ask for help from friends and family
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and to accept assistance from your friends or family members. They want to see you succeed and will be happy to pitch in.

4. Arrange to study when the kids are asleep, at school, or with friends
Be proactive by arranging study times that will match up with nap time or play-dates.

Thank goodness my kids both take naps!

5. Communicate with your instructor about your situation
Get to know your instructor early on, and communicate openly throughout the course.

6. Create a workspace that is free of distractions
Your study center should be a focused place that is away from the kids where you can go for uninterrupted time.

It's too bad our desk is in the living room because there's no room anywhere else in our pint size place.

7. Check out resources on time management and balance
Look for resources on time management and stories from other moms who have managed it all.

8. Spend time relaxing
It’s just as important to spend some time relaxing as it is to be productive during your study sessions. Rejuvenation will keep you going.

9. Create special family times to spend with the kids
Set aside specific times for the kids away from all other work, so that the importance of family isn’t forgotten.

10. Be flexible
Learn to be flexible with your planning and schedules, as things simply won’t always go as planned.

Posted by Michael Moss

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bargain Basics

It's yard sale season once again and I love it! Hunting bargains early on Saturday morning is a time honored tradition in my family. We're all trained at an early age to spot those tiny pieces of cardboard taped to traffic light poles. But we can never have too many tips, so here is an article I looked up to give us all some good advice on maximizing our finding potential.

Garage, tag or estate sales might not be the preferred method for finding your special collectibles, but it can happen, especially if you don't collect high-end items.

Think of it as a treasure hunt that takes luck and being persistent since you'll likely be going to many garage sales before that "jewel" is found,

It can be time consuming to go to garage sales every weekend, but it's also a lot of fun. But it's even more fun when you bring a few treasures home.

Read Craig's Lists, Classifieds and Watch for Signs

Barbara Crews
Find out when sales are the most popular in your area. Read the newspapers and check online sites, such as the local Craig's List. Keep an eye out for moving and estate sales when folks are emptying out the closets and attic.

Look for newly posted signs at intersections for a quick stop even when not garage saling. If most sales are held on Fridays, a sale starting on a Wednesday may not be on most folks radar and just might yield a few treasures.

When you get ready to head out, highlight the relevant ads in the newspaper, print the Craig's List ads and figure out the best route for the most sales with the least driving.

Know the Best Locations

Older neighborhoods where folks are retired or are moving are my favorite haunts to find vintage kitchen stuff and fifties decor. These are also the sales where I've found old costume jewelry, postcards, vintage Christmas and figurines.

Ritzy neighborhoods, as a rule, are not necessarily good for collectible types of items in our corner of the world. These sales are usually good for items, such as clothing, newer accessories, and household items, items from remodeling and/or furniture.

Church Rummage and Neighborhood Sales

I've also made some great buys in neighborhood-wide sales. Lots of times people who wouldn't otherwise have a sale, will dig out a few things from their closets and stick them on a table. If I'm pressed for time or getting tired, I'll usually stay away from the sales that have loads of baby stuff on the driveway.

Church sales can also yield great finds. Prices are usually lower than private sales and if the congregation has older parishioners, you might just luck out and find a few antiques or older pieces. Vintage Christmas collectibles are some of the best buys I've made at church sales.

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Is usually the way it goes, but don't let that stop you from catching a sale late in the afternoon. I almost didn't stop late one afternoon, but decided to stop and found a $100. cookie jar (not quite perfect) for a dollar! According to the seller, it had been sitting there all day.

Anything Else for Sale?

Don't see what you're looking for? It doesn't hurt to ask if the seller has any "cookie jars" in the house that they would be willing to sell. They just might remember something they hadn't thought about putting in the sale and you could wind up with a new treasure. I stopped at a garage sale about a block away from our house, asked if they had any cookie jars. They went into the house, brought out a McCoy fruit basket and offered it for $5. SOLD!

Beware of Damage and Reproductions

It's usually dark in garages making it harder to see damaged pieces. Remember cracks or chipped glass, pottery cracks, missing toy parts, broken costume jewelry are all things to beware of. These are expensive to repair and it's usually not worth it.

Unlike buying online, at garage sales you can handle the piece and look for parts that might be re-glued (I've missed a few times) and do the sound test for cracked pottery or china.

With all the reproductions showing up online, beware at garage sales. Since there are no money-back guarantees, ask the seller where they got the piece or if it's a reproduction. They might not always tell the truth, but I like to believe people are truthful most of the time.

Know What It's Worth!

The more you go shopping, the better you'll be able to gauge what's a fair price and what's not. It takes experience and usually a handy resource book or two!

There will be sales with some nice pieces that also have nice prices. The seller apparently found a values book and used that as price setting guide, not taking into account how old the price guide book is, the condition of the items or the fact that their item isn't the same as the one in the guide.

That's when the serious garage saler has their own general price guides in the car. Go to the car and check out general prices ranges. You'll have an idea if the prices are reasonable, as well as giving yourself some room to negotiate if it's an item you're really interested in.

Negotiating or What's Your Best Price?

This is a personal thing and up to your personality or buying style. Most folks will never pay the price asked and like to negotiate everything, meanwhile others never try to get a better deal. If something is reasonably priced at a $1. or $2., I'm not going to try and counter with 50 cents. But if I'm buying two or three things, I'll try and get a price break.

If you do negotiate, remember don't be insulting with your offer. It's best to ask "can you do better on this" just like you would at an antique and collectibles show. Most sellers will do better on the price, especially if you're buying several items.

But I'll never negotiate at a church/charity sale, unless the price is way out of line. After all, it goes to a good cause.

Garage Sale Essentials

When you're setting out for a day of garage and estate sales, taking along a few things will make the day go a little easier.
  • Have a stash of small bills for quick paying and to make it easier for the sellers.
  • Take the highlighted classified ads and a local map
  • A bottle or two of water
  • Sanitizing wipes to use after those grimy sales where nothing has been washed.
  • Packing supplies, bubble wrap for fragile items
  • Note pad and pen
So this Saturday get your butt out there and hunt!

Friday, May 27, 2011

10 Best Foods To Eat

Do you ever find yourself at the grocery store staring at the shelves wondering which snacks to fill your shelves with? Well here is a list of the 10 best foods for you to eat.
1. BROCCOLI AND CARROTS: The whole family of dark green and deep red veggies are low in calories and loaded with vitamin A and the cancer preventing vitamin, beta carotene. They are also high in fiber.

2. POTATOES: An inexpensive supernutrient. A 5 oz. potato only has 100 calories and gives you a high percentage of vit. C, protein, iron, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin (which helps lower cholesterol), phosphorus and magnesium. Don't cook these jewels in fat or add sour cream or butter. A good addition is yogurt with dill, pepper or horseradish. Consider just putting your vegetables on top instead.

3. PASTA: It's non fattening, but watch the sauce! A good source of protein, vit's and minerals (even the white pasta's). Some sauces can be made very low in fat and calories. Even a spaghetti dinner with meat and tomatoes has less calories and two and one-half the nutrients of just the steak part of a steak dinner. Try using Turkey instead to reduce your meat fat by up to 40%.

4. FRESH FRUIT: A natural dessert loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals. The sugar in fruits is a complex carbohydrate which is much better for you than refined sugar additives. A fruit is better than a juice because it is more slowly absorbed and more substantiative.

5. POPCORN: When unbuttered and unsalted you get a lot of fiber and only 23 calories a cup. Great for snackers and ex-smokers who need to put something in their mouths!

6. OATS: The value of a Cadillac at the cost of a Ford. Oats are a rich source of protein and the stuff that makes it gummy (pectin) will help lower your cholesterol and normalize blood sugar. You can get a protein and calcium bonus by preparing it with skim milk rather than water. Instant oatmeal is not as good due to the extra salt and sugar.

7. YOGURT AND SKIM MILK: A good source of protein and calcium (which helps keep your bones strong). Yogurt is better for you than milk but it's more expensive also. Yogurt makes a good substitute for whipped cream or cream cheese in desserts and is unnoticeable. It's better to add fresh fruit to yogurt than buy it pre-flavored. Frozen yogurt does have less fat than ice cream but still has quite a bit of sugar.

8. FISH: Especially sardines and shellfish! All fish contain an oil to help lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots. Sardines are a good source of calcium when the bones are eaten. Shellfish are very low in calories and it's fat is one that protects you. Include mussels, oysters (not raw!), and shrimp regularly in your diet but don't add saturated fat in the preparation. Order your fish broiled, poached or grilled without butter and get your fatty, high-calorie sauce on the side.

9. BREADS AND WHOLE GRAINS: A staple with every meal. Whole grain breads have 18 more nutrients than white bread. Check your ingredients to make sure you are getting a whole grain such as oats or whole wheat and not just enriched white flour.

10. LENTILS: Such as dried peas and beans. A great source of protein and of cholesterol lowering pectin. They are a high source of fiber and the gas you get from them is a testimony to a healthy diet!

by Charles H. Booras, MD

Thursday, May 26, 2011

10 Worst Foods To Eat

So I've pretty much convinced myself that York Peppermint Patties are a healthy alternative to candy bars...Ok, I know I need to face the truth, so I looked it up. Here it is:

Experts have shown that up to 50% of all cancers are related to our diets. So, in some fashion we DO become what we eat. It is in our best interest to reduce our intake of refined sugar, fat and sodium while we increase our intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.

1. SODA POP: The epitome of nutritional bankruptcy. This includes all of the soft drinks, carbonated or not, sugar sweetened or artificially sweetened. If you're desperate for something sweet you're better off having fruit juice.

2. FRENCH FRIES: A wonderful, nutritious food acquires 200 calories of fat when fried. In a fast food restaurant you are probably getting the more dangerous and highly saturated animal fat also! Added salt --- UGH!

3. BACON. It's not really a meat. As many as 95% of the calories in bacon come from animal fat (the worst kind)! It's also high in salt and full of both nitrites and nitrates, which may cause cancer. Microwaved bacon seems drier but is just as high in fat.

4. GRANOLA BARS: Granola itself tends to be a high-fat, high-sugar cereal. It should be used more as a garnish by sprinkling a little on of it on unsweetened cereal. Many granola bars are simply high-calorie cookies! The latest version - the granola candy bars - are no better for you than a Milky Way or Snickers, and they cost more too! Take the time to carefully read the labels when shopping for your foods. Here's a way to calculate the percentage of your calories that come from fat. Each gram of fat has 9 calories. One Nature Valley Granola Bar, lower in fat than many others, has 120 calories and 6 grams of fat. Thus, 54 of it's 120 calories (ie: 45%) comes from fat. The national goal is to keep our fat intake down to 30% or less of daily calories. Athletes should strive for 20% or less. Learning to read your labels carefully can reveal many sources of hidden fat.

5. DOUGHNUTS: Worse than no breakfast at all! They are not only fried but also have the sugar and white flour we should be cutting back on. They put your blood sugar out of balance and they don't stay with you.

6. POTATO CHIPS: You might as well be eating butter. They contain a large amount of added fat as well as lots of salt.

7. FETTUCINI ALFREDO and PASTA SALADS: They are both drowning in a sea of oily fat. We order pasta's thinking they are healthy, then we destroy it's benefit by ordering it in fatty sauces. ( By the way, we do the same thing by adding high fat salad dressings to our salads!)

8. FAST FOOD SUPERBURGERS: Around 600 calories each with at least half of those as fat. The plain burgers are not that high in fat. It's the dressing, cheese and extra beef that adds up. Turkey meat is a great low fat substitute.

9. S'MORES CEREAL: More than half the calories are from sugar. It's like eating candy with milk on it!

10. CHEESE: It does have some redeeming features and using small amounts in recipes is OK. But it's not a good idea for those of you cutting back on red meat since it has the same amount of fat and cholesterol - and far more salt. The best cheeses are; Cottage, Feta, skim mozzarella and skim ricotta. Grated Parmesan goes a long way and the best hard cheese is Swiss. Avoid Havarti, Brie and cream cheese.

by Charles H. Booras, MD

Come back tomorrow to see the 10 BEST Foods to Eat!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grease 2, Be a Cool Rider!

One of my favorite 80's movies is Grease 2. That's right, I said Grease 2.
Everyone remembers Danny and Sandy's love story. Sadly a much smaller crowd remembers Michael and Stephanie.
Stephanie Zinone is the new head of the pink ladies. She's gorgeous, head strong, and not just a little rebellious. She has large dreams for her future (especially her future man), and she's starting to feel a little fenced in by her obligations to the T-birds. After spending the summer before Senior year going hot and heavy with the head of the T-Birds, Johnny Nogerelli, she's decided she's outgrown him. Now she's waiting to find someone a little 'cooler'.
PS-We love Michelle Pfieffer from One fine Day, What Lies Beneath, Batman Returns and the newest version of Hairspray
Johnny Nogerelli is this years head of the T-Birds. He's having a tough time letting go of Stephanie, but he's finding a distraction in another Pink Lady, Paulette He'd like people to believe he's tougher than he really is, and he does a pretty good job of it. That is until the rival tough guys, the 'Cycle Lords' show up.
Michael Carrington is a very smart transfer student from England who happens to be cousins with Sandy from Grease 1. On his first day he starts his obsession with Stephanie Zinone. Now while I find him very hot, with a sexy accent, all Stephanie sees is a slightly geeky tutor. When she shoots him down he becomes determined to be more like who she wants and change her mind.
PS- If you've ever seen Empire Records you'll know how awesome Rex Manning is.'Say no more, Mon Amour!'
The T-Birds
Johnny, Louis, Goose, and Davey
They're all girl crazy, class-cutting boys who are having the time of their lives at Rydell High!
The Pink Ladies
Stephanie, Paulette, Sharon, Rhonda, Delores, and Frenchy
This years Pink Ladies are hot, tough, and sassy. They don't plan on taking crap from anybody! Especially the T-Birds.
One of the only cast members that made it from Grease 1 to Grease 2 is Frenchy. If you'll remember she dropped out of Rydell High to pursue Beauty School, and now she's back to get her degree. She doesn't have the largest role, but it's great to have an original Pink Lady around.
I will admit that Grease 2 is much cheesier than it's predecessor, but I really like it. It makes me laugh. If you haven't seen it yet, give it a chance!

And until then here's a link to my favorite songs
Cool Rider
Who's that Guy


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