Saturday, July 30, 2011
Yesterday's news was horrifying about a little girl dying after being locked in a box overnight for eating a popcicle from the freezer. Her guardian(s) are alleged to be the culprits in this oh-so-sad scenario. When I hear things like this it makes me physically ill. As I watch the world news about babies being abandoned en route in Somalia as their parent(s) walk to escape the famine my heart breaks for those innocent and helpless little ones. The idea of being cruel and abusive to your baby or toddler most likely would never occur to you, and yet it happens. The thought of leaving your newborn or child of any age on the side of a road to die would be something I pray you cannot fathom. And yet these things are happening, and I ask myself again and again what is it going to take to protect the children of the world. Human trafficking, child abuse of all kinds, abandonment, child predators, lack of food and clean water, no health care, and the list of problems in the world goes on and on. One person cannot do everything, but one person can do something. If all the "one persons" decide to do something then perhaps we can end some, if not all of the problems that make life so difficult and at times downright horrible for the precious children of the world. Ask yourself, what can you do? Even with children of our own, we still can reach out to help others. As we experience the present economic crisis in the USA, we probably all know someone who is struggling to care for their child or children. Look around for opportunities to make a difference, and if you see or know of a child suffering abuse of any kind don't stand by and do nothing. Silence is consensus, and little ones have no voices. Will you hear their cries? Will I? I certainly hope so.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Even though the temperatures continue to soar into triple digits all over the country, I console myself with the thought that soon Fall will return. It is my favorite season with leaves changing colors, a crispness in the air, and sweater weather. For me, Fall signals new beginnings more than January 1 does. Perhaps it is because growing up it meant a new school year, new shoes, new clothes, new books, and new school supplies. Even though toddlers are not yet in elementary school they can still look the part in new Fall fashions. Here is the first of our new looks for Fall: A 100% cotton red tartan plaid dress with white pique pilgrim collar has puffed sleeves and a full sash which ties in a bow at the back of the waistline. There are five buttons at the back neckline for ease in dressing. The dress is available in Size Toddler 2. So whether your little girl is going to pre-school, Sunday School, out for dinner, or any other event she will be the epitome of adorable in this little dress. It is available on our website at www.malcolmfortots.com and our ETSY shop at www.malcolmfortots.etsy.com
Monday, July 25, 2011
With the soaring temperatures and high humidity all over the country this summer, it is important to remember how quickly little ones can become dehydrated. Obviously, staying indoors in air conditioned comfort is the best and safest place for children under five years old. That, however, is not always possible; and not every family has air conditioning and/or can afford to use it because of high utility costs. So remember to offer your little ones water often, and be sure to use sunscreen to protect their skin if you do take them outside. To be sure their fluid intake is sufficient pay attention to how often their diapers are wet or they are using the potty. As moms you are very much needed so be certain you also take proper care of yourself. Stay out of the heat if you can, and be sure you are drinking enough water to remain hydrated. My doctor says if urine is pale in color that is a good sign you are drinking sufficient amounts of water, but when the color darkens you need to drink more water. Take care, keep cool, and look forward to Fall.
Posted by Marian at 11:32:00 AM
Friday, July 22, 2011
With the heart-wrenching news about the famine in Somalia come pictures of babies and children starving to death. With the news of terror and deaths happening in Norway, the land of the Nobel Peace Prizes, come photos I never thought I would see. There is no where left in this world to move to in order to keep our children safe, and there is so much anger and lust for power corrupting our leaders and other world leaders that it is time we Mothers said, "Enough!" and meant it! I encourage all parents to pay close attention to every election which affects you and your family. You must do your own research and increase your own knowledge of all the candidates vying for positions as city councilmen, mayors, assemblymen, senators, congressmen and ultimately president/vice president. With the wide-spread, never-ending stream of media coverage and the anonymity of the Internet, you must do your own research because it is no longer possible to believe what you read or hear regardless of the source. Facts are no longer being checked, and journalism has become a bad joke. Personal bias colors every publication and news broadcast, lying and deception have become the norm, and getting your decision-making information from a neighbor or relative is unwise since you have no idea where they obtained the information, whether or not they understand it, or if they are passing it on correctly and fully. If we as mothers do not take a stand right now and stop the chaos, corruption, crime and other huge problems that we are facing, we are dooming our children to a life that won't be worth living. Do we let our children behave badly? Should we allow them to behave badly? Of course, the answer to both of those questions should be "Certainly not!" Then, why oh why are we allowing our country, our states, our cities and towns to be run by grown-ups both men and women who behave badly and who are serving their own personal agendas rather than serving the people who elected them to their respective offices. I am sick to death of the in-fighting, lying, slandering, and distasteful performance of our elected officials all over the country. I am also sick and tired of people masquerading as journalists who do not report the facts so we can form our own conclusions but rather fill the airwaves with bias, untruth, and rudeness in talking over their guests. It is no wonder that children today are accused of having no manners because they are not seeing professional, well-mannered, intelligent, articulate adults speaking and behaving with integrity. They are instead witnessing a nation of adults acting like buffoons, schools that are turning out adults with appalling ignorance, adults lacking respect for anything or anyone! We must start a grassroots effort in our homes, on our streets, in our neighborhoods, in our communities, in our states and in our country to rein in politicians (both men and women), to demand truth in all media, to insist on professionalism and good manners for anyone who holds public office and represents us, and to work to eliminate the hate and vulgarity that fills the Internet because of the cowardice of people and the cloak of anonymity it provides. We are becoming a nation of pigs. Is that why we had children? Do we really want them to grow up behaving like pigs or living in a world run by pigs? I for one do not, and I cannot believe that most mothers want that for their children. Remember that we are the examples our children will emulate, and it is our responsibility to ensure that they have an opportunity to grow up in a peaceful, wholesome environment with lots of positive role models. Then perhaps we will be able to stop wasting so much time fighting and suing over every insignificant thing and spend time insuring that NO children starve to death anywhere in the world. We need to get our priorities in the right order. Your comments both positive and negative are welcome.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Patience is not always a virtue! There, I've said it. I am not referring to having patience with children, the elderly, friends, and family which is de rigeur. I am referring to having patience with people who waste our time by having no respect for it. For example, it seems to me that we spend more and more time waiting for people whom WE are paying to serve us (or we are paying the insurance premiums or the taxes which pay them). We are their clients, their patients, their customers; and yet they behave as if our time is not as valuable as their time. I am talking about doctors and dentists whose schedules are so overbooked that appointment times mean nothing. We make appointments, we arrive on time, and then we wait..........and we wait..........and we wait. If we kept them waiting they would just tell us we missed our appointment (and they would charge us for it because we didn't cancel it). I am also talking about service technicians, tradespeople, and anyone we ask to come to our homes to provide their service or to repair whatever is broken. We usually are told a day they will come, and if we are lucky perhaps they will give us a four-hour window of time during which we might expect to see them. For many people, four hours means one-half of a normal work day which in some cases can mean paychecks being docked accordingly in order to stay home and wait and wait and wait. They surely would not wait for us if we were late getting home to let them in sometime during that "window" of time. They would leave and feel justified in charging for a service call. In many cases, we are charged for their driving time to get to our homes in addition to a service call fee plus the time, labor and parts fees. I am writing this today because I am sick and tired of being kept waiting and being charged for it. Being on time is part of good customer service, and it is arrogant on the part of business people and professionals who habitually keep patients and clients waiting. Everyone can have an emergency occasionally but not daily. Keeping people waiting is disrespectful of them, their time, and their patronage. I used to have a personal rule that I would wait no longer than 15 minutes for anyone with whom I had made a specific appointment. I also would not wait longer than 15 minutes for anyone who made an appointment to meet with me because to do so meant that everyone else for the rest of the day would be kept waiting by me. In today's world my personal rules would mean not getting the health or dental care needed because waiting is required it seems. Bringing up children to be punctual and to be respectful of other people's time is a good thing. There, of course, can and will be times of exception due to circumstances beyond their control but the operative word is exception. Do the world a favor and instill good habits in your children, and if you are a person who keeps others waiting please turn over a new leaf and keep appointments on time. In these tight economic times business people and professionals should value their paying customers more than ever, and not wasting their time is the best way to show that appreciation. All comments are welcome whether you agree or disagree.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Knitting is one of my favorite things to do, and knitting for babies and toddlers is absolutely the best. I learned to knit garments from the bottom up, knitting multiple pieces and then sewing them into a complete garment. I decided to try knitting a tiny sweater from the top down to have fewer seams. This cute little cardigan sweater is made of soft white 100% acrylic yarn and has four tiny bunny buttons from Italy down the front. Babies spit up often so for easy care this sweater is machine washable in warm water on gentle cycle and can be tumble dried on low, delicate cycle. It sells for $45 and will be listed later today on both our website www.malcolmfortots.com and in our ETSY shop www.malcolmfortots.etsy.com
Friday, July 15, 2011
As soon as a baby cuts his/her first tooth it is not too early to think about dental hygiene. I know a couple who immediately purchased an infant toothbrush and faithfully twice a day gently brushed their son's tooth and then subsequent teeth. As long as the baby was growing and getting new teeth, they never failed to perform this ritual (he would be lying on the sofa with his head on mom or dad's lap so he was comfortable. Although not always overjoyed about being there he learned to remain still and allow them to finish and never had a problem with his baby teeth despite milk, sippy cups, juice, or treats. When his permanent teeth began arriving the ritual continued, but mom and dad had also before this time started teaching him to brush his teeth himself (with supervision to be sure properly completed and length of time for brushing was sufficient). They also taught him about flossing and made sure he had annual visits to the dentist resulting in great check-ups. Their baby is now almost six feet tall, is 15 years old AND has NEVER had a cavity. Think of the discomfort they saved their child and the money they saved themselves since no costly dental work has ever been needed. Some people think they don't have time for this type of care or training especially with multiple children, but take the time to instill good habits that will ensure your children have healthy teeth and gums. You are giving them a gift which will last their lifetime!
Monday, July 11, 2011
What You Need To Know About Children’s Asthma This post appeared via Facebook from an insurance company headed by a young man I have known since he was in high school. Good information in the article which I thought was worthy of passing on to others.
Posted by Marian at 8:38:00 PM
Even though we think we will never forget each cute, sweet, adorable, hilarious, clever, intelligent thing our babies say or do.........the truth is over time we do forget. I encourage all of you to write down even a brief description of what your little one says or does soon after it happens. In years to come you will want to recall all of them, but without a record precious moments will be lost. Whether you write with pen on paper, write in a journal, type notes in a computer file, or tuck a scrap of paper in a baby book for later..........just do it. You will be glad later on that you have captured poignant, fun, charming and joyful memories. I was recently reminded of an incident that occurred shortly after moving into our new home when our son was not quite two years old. He shocked me by bringing two same-age little neighbor boys into my bathroom, flinging back the shower curtain and saying, "That's my mom!" No lasting harm was done to any of them from my high-pitched shriek or from the view that I know of, but from that day on the bathroom door was locked when I was in it. Preventive measures were needed in case he had any inclination to do it again (there were 27 little kids on our street so lots of playmates for him and too many opportunities for more surprises for me). If you don't write things down and then another child is born and another, you will be unable to remember everything or even attribute it to the right child. Write, write, write! Who knows, you might even have enough material for a published book someday, and when the babies are grown up with children of their own they will enjoy looking back and comparing their antics to those of another generation.
Friday, July 8, 2011
For a number of weeks now I have been reading books, blogs, Tweets, and Facebook posts about business. In addition, I have been sitting in on webinars which are providing lots of good information. So many knowledgeable speakers on so many pertinent topics, but I have to admit I am suffering information overload. ETSY webinars, some great Laura Roeder webinars, and a Business Momentum series of presentations by 20 different speakers have given me much to think about, much to filter through to determine what applies to my business, and many great ideas that I would LOVE to try. I think I may be getting analysis paralysis so I am going to take a step back and try to digest all of it before making any decisions. The common threads running through almost all of them are: Have clarity of your vision; Believe it is possible and that you can do it; Focus; Have five things per day to do that take you closer to achieving your business goals and work on them first before doing busy work (emails, social media,etc.). I am a person who can get caught up in minutiae so that really applies to me. My advice to solopreneurs is to listen and learn but don't delay so long that you never get your business off the ground. I am psyched up to try some new approaches in my business, and I'll let you know how they work for us.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
This morning in church the processional hymn was America The Beautiful. As the music swelled and the full congregation sang the words, I found myself getting tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Not only was I acutely aware of how much I have enjoyed growing up in America but also how drastically different things are today than they were when I brought my own children into the world. I thought of the thousands of men and women in the Armed Forces who bravely volunteer to protect those of us at home. They protect all of us even those who do not support them or their mission. I know of a young man who just went on his third tour of duty leaving behind his wife and four children for a year. The two older children are in middle school and high school, and they long for their father to come home and be with them. Telephone calls, emails, and SKYPE video calls help to ease their anguish about his safety and are certainly better than no contact at all. Yet it is hard being their ages and on a daily basis needing and wanting to tell their father about what is happening in their lives, to ask for his advice, to spend time with him, to get a reassuring hug from him and not being able to do any of these things. The two younger children are adorable little girls who are 5 and 3 years old. They adore their Daddy and can break your heart as they see him and hear him via SKYPE and plead with him to come home because they miss him. They cry and sob and don't understand why he went away and why he doesn't come home because they know he loves them. I cannot even imagine being a father trying to be strong and not allowing such heart-wrenching conversations with children to affect your ability to do the dangerous job you so selflessly volunteered to do. I cannot even imagine being his young wife trying to keep home and family going while having to deal with her own stress, loneliness and worry about her husband's safety. Think of what they all are missing in terms of their lives together. That scenario is repeated in thousands of families all across the nation. How can any of us not be grateful for the sacrifices entire families are making for those of us who are safe at home? How can we not be glad to live in this country that has allowed us incredible freedom, safety and opportunity? It is true that at the present time we are in the midst of political unrest with an ever-widening rift between the parties. However, we might all want to take a lesson from the young men and women risking their lives for us. They are all for one and one for all, trying to face their daily challenges, bravely taking life-threatening risks, and being loyal to each other and to America. They are not bickering, name calling, slandering, mud-slinging or behaving in self-serving ways. That would be our elected officials doing those things. I am convinced that if every elected official would decide to conduct himself/herself with integrity, maturity, professionalism, and determination to serve the public which they were elected to do that the problems we face would indeed be resolved. Except for earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, and tornadoes ALL of our problems are manmade. If we caused them then we can surely solve them, and we don't have to risk our lives daily to do so as our young men and women in the military are doing. As we celebrate with our backyard BBQ's, beach parties, and fireworks displays let us stop and remember exactly what it is we are celebrating and the supreme price that brave men and women paid and continue to pay so that we can be free.
Posted by Marian at 12:37:00 PM