Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday's Tidbit: Crawling

When I was in college I remember reading an interesting study done somewhere about teenagers that had problems with math.  They had found out that many of those students who were struggling with math had never crawled as a baby.  They had skipped that step in development and had gone straight to walking.  They taught these teenagers to crawl, did crawling exercises in class, and their math skills improved significantly.   I don't remember the details of the study, but the idea obviously stuck with me and I became VERY excited as each of my children began to crawl.   (Especially my little girl because of all her special therapy that began when she was only 6 weeks old.  Another post for another day.)

Now, I'm not going to say that all non-crawlers will struggle with math.  Neither will I say that all who struggle with math weren't crawlers as a baby (I crawled and am  not good at math at all...I won't mention how many times I repeated math classes.)  But I will say that crawling is a very important part of development.  And Math isn't the only area it seems to affect.  There are many studies that show how it affects the brain development (coordination, memory, etc.), and there are many theories out there including the possiblity that it's a factor in ADHD.

So, basically, don't push walking when your baby is enjoying crawling-this is an important time for your baby's brain to be getting a work-out, but if your baby skips crawling, maybe when he/she is an older child you can think of fun crawling games later in life to get them moving on their hands and knees. 

* And here's a good article if you'd be interested in learning a little more: medcentral.org

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday's MOMent

Today I went to change T's diaper & quickly discovered that it was not a pretty one. As I was wrapping it up, I decided to wrap it tightly so that none of the poop would spill out as I went to throw it away. Bad idea...it only squeezed the poop out of the diaper all over my hand. I held the diaper with my soiled right hand as I tried to catch any extra spillage with my left hand. It continued to drip into my hand as I ran downstairs only to find that I had a child lock on my doorknob to the garage that my kids would not be able to assist me with. I asked my other son to help open the cupboard under the kitchen sink so that I could get an old grocery sack to put the diaper in, but of course it was childlocked & he couldn't open it. I was trying to pry the door open with my toes when my piano student knocked on the door. Crap. Of course J couldn't open the door for her because it had a cover on the doorknob as well. I ended up throwing the diaper in my kitchen garbage can (which I should have thought of in the first place), washed the filth off of my hands & proceeded on with my day as if nothing had even happened.

~Jackie, mother of 4

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday's Food: Vegetable Pizza

That's right...a vegetable pizza.  You can hide all kind of nutrients in this sneaky pizza.  The smaller you chop the vegetables the less recognizable they are. :)

Vegetable Pizza

1 8-oz pkg refrigerated crescent rolls
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp mayonnaise
1 garlic clove finely minced
1 tsp. dill seed (or dill weed)
black pepper
1/4 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 C. Assorted Fresh Vegetables of your choice (broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, tomato, green onion, mushrooms, carrot, zucchini, squash, etc.)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Unroll crescent dough; seperate into 8 triangles.  On a large pizza pan, arrange triangles in a circle with points in the center and wide ends toward the outside.  By pinching seams together and rolling flat, make a 12-inch circle.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool completely. 

2.  In a medium size bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic and dill weed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over top of crust.

3.  To prepare vegetables, slice, dice, or coarsely chop each vegetable.  (Remember, the smaller the pieces the less likely they'll recognize it.)

4.  Sprinkle vegetables over top of pizza.  Grate cheese evenly over top of vegetables.  Place plastic wrap over top of pizza and push vegetables into cream cheese mixture, (this helps them not fall off as it's being eaten).  Remove plastic wrap.  Cut into squares and serve.  Keep refrigerated.

*Variation: Ranch Cream Cheese mixture.  Mix 1 1/2 tsp. mayonnaise with about 1/2 envelope of dry ranch dressing until smooth, then mix with 8 oz. cream cheese.   

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday's Word: Measuring a Happy Successful Day

I remember several years ago learning an interesting fact:
Men and Women measure success differently. 

Generally speaking, a woman has a "TO DO" list and the more things she crosses off during the day the more successful she feels.  (Have you ever written something down AFTER you did it just to cross it off simply because that swipe of the pen feels so wonderful?  Or is it just me?)  For a man, he can spend 10 hours doing one thing but feel incredibly successful because of the time he spent doing it.  If I spent 10 straight hours organizing that forgotten closet in the back of the house I would be kind of happy (if I'd finished it) ...but then feel upset I didn't also get the dishes done, Cheerios swept off the floor, letters written to Aunt Sue, Uncle Bob, and a thank you note or gift of cookies delivered to that sweet 17-year old girl who volunteered to babysit my kids...oh yeah, and dinner...I didn't get anything ready to eat and dinner-time was an hour ago! 

As in all things, it's important to remember differences are simply that--differences.  Understanding can bring more peace in relationships.... for example: Honey-Do lists from wives can take on a new light...the list is from the wife and the husband is proud of getting one thing done while the wife is still looking at the rest of the list that hasn't been crossed off.  It can also bring peace to ones self in understanding that success can be measured in multiple ways...and maybe "cleaning" shouldn't be a single item to cross off.  Instead try writing: clean toilet, clean sink, clean out fridge, clean top shelf of fridge, vacuum carpet upstairs, dust family room bookshelves, go through one box in forgotten closet in back of house,  ...yeah, that's more like it! 

I may take some fire for this, but hopefully I won't and you can just understand the basics here without a big gender war occurring, but it also makes sense why we think and feel differently about success.  A man has generally been the provider for his family.  Throughout ages he has worked at the same job long day after long day.  But can come home feeling accomplished since he's provided for his family.  A woman has generally been the one to take care of the home, and children.  There are a million "smaller" tasks to accomplish in a day from making meals, to changing diapers.  So, there are reasons.  I'll even say Divine reasons, why we measure daily success differently.  This also makes more sense as to why a man who is out of work often times feels a bit depressed, even if he's finished the Honey Do list.  And it also brings more understanding why so many working mothers feel so overwhelmed and under-accomplished after a full day of work as her list of things 'to do' seems to grow and multiply each day and she feels that she'll never make it.   And, as in all things, I think we can each learn a little from each other to balance ourselves out a bit. 

As we understand and remember that men and women measure success differently, and that it has purpose, maybe, just maybe, we can be kinder to ourselves, those around us, and can learn to manage our differences in healthy happier ways.   And have a bit more peace....we all need that don't we?