“Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.” — Carol Saline
Sisters Analiese and Maarea Ketcham sure know how to stick together — and be photogenic!
Mandy Ketcham, Yakima resident and mom of these two happy children, says she “caught both of them trying to roll down our little hill in our front yard,” until they concluded the trek by playing peek-aboo.
It’s a safe bet that the Ketcham sisters will continue to play and bond together for many years to come!
Send us your best!
Want your child to be featured on the next Gotcha! page? The deadline for the next issue is Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 by 11:59 p.m. Submit your original photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fathers, get ready to take your daughter for a night of dinner and dancing. Oh, and did we mention it will take place at a crystal palace? OK, not literally. But the theme is set for Kiwanis Club of Yakima Downtown’s annual Father-Daughter dance: “Winter Ball at the Crystal Palace.”
The dinner, dance and raffle kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 18. The cost is $70 per couple, and $15 for each additional daughter. The price includes dinner and an 8×10 portrait of dad and daughter.
The event takes place in the Modern Living Building at State Fair Park, 1301 S. Fair Ave., Yakima. Contact Steve Emhoff at 509-453-5566 to purchase tickets or get more information.
A new homeschool co-op has emerged in the area. Called HOPE (Homeschool Opportunity Positive Education of Yakima/Selah), the group is intended for parents and kids ages 3-18 to gather in a Christian environment.
Four classes will kick off the program: local choir, writing, curiosity science and arts and crafts.
The group meets the first Friday of each month from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The next dates are Dec. 6 and Jan. 3. HOPE meets in Selah Civic Center’s west room, 216 S. First St., Selah. Contact Lueta Bishop at 509-469-1013 or email email@example.com.
The Chalet Place Ice Rink is open for the season! The ice rink, which is actually made of sheets of synthetic plastic, is located near Starbucks and Inklings Bookshop. The ice rink has more than 50 pairs of skates that fit kids as small as 24 months all the way up to an adult size 13.
- Tue.-Fri.: 2-7 p.m. | Sat.-Sun.: 10-7 p.m.
- Admission w/ skate rental: $6/each
- Admission w/o skate rental: $5/each
- The surface can be rented for $60/hour
with advanced notice
- Skate sharpening: $5
Chalet Place Ice Rink
Corner of 56th and Summitview avenues
Improv-comedy mania for the whole family resumes! Manic Thunder Improv Comedy Troupe continues its family-friendly event, designed for all ages.
Be aware of the recent schedule change. Manic Matinee is now offered the first Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. The next dates are Dec. 1 and Jan. 5. The hour-long comedy performance includes lots of audience interaction and participation. The cost is $5 per person, and concessions are available.
Manic Matinee is located upstars in the media center/theatre at Glenwood Square, 5110 Tieton Drive, Yakima.
By Lisa Leitz/YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC
Relax? Before the holidays? Good luck with that if you’re a parent. It’s too cold for the kids to play outside, and the Christmas shopping and household to-do lists seem to stretch on forever. But we have a great idea for some relaxed holiday fun with the family this season: a road trip to Leavenworth. With a little advance planning, you can create new holiday traditions and carve out a little time to breathe … without spending a lot of money or time on the road.
Leavenworth is modeled after a Bavarian village, and it’s an internationally-recognized shopping destination that caters to visitors and families. The first three weekends in December, Leavenworth turns into a twinkling winter wonderland and hosts numerous holiday activities for families. Many Washington parents consider a visit to Leavenworth an essential part of their Christmas traditions.
Yakima parents with young children will appreciate the fact that the town is only an hour and 40 minutes away, and since the lighting ceremonies begin prior to the dinner hour, you can enjoy the festivities but still have your sugar plums tucked into their beds at a decent hour (even if you don’t spend the night).
Pick up a personalized family ornament to mark the occasion at Kris Kringle’s, and enjoy all kinds of snacks, brats, or even upscale Italian food at one of many local restaurants. Holiday events during the three weekends leading to Christmas are scheduled Friday through Sunday from approximately noon until the early evening hours. Enjoy sleigh rides, carolers, living Nativities, musicians, and actors strolling through the downtown shopping district. The lighting ceremonies start at 4:15 p.m. on Friday-Sunday.
The town is situated just blocks from hiking and snowshoeing trails, and skiing at Stevens Pass is close by. Bring sleds if there is snow forecast; snow sledding is allowed in the downtown park.
Check out leavenworth.org ?for a detailed schedule of events, and remember to pack warm clothes and a Thermos of hot cocoa. Oh, and leave those to-do lists at home.
By Juanita Farris
When I was pregnant with my first child, I loved the idea of starting a new tradition for him to grow up with. I kept seeing “Elf on the Shelf” ideas on Pinterest and it felt like the perfect fit.
If you’re not familiar with Elf on the Shelf, it’s a little elf doll that you adopt into your family. Elves act as scouts for Santa Claus during the holiday season to help with his naughty and nice lists. Your elf will watch and listen to your family during the day and then fly back to the North Pole at night to give a full report to Santa.
The next morning, the elf will be back at your house, probably getting into trouble. This is the best part for many parents. While your children sleep you are supposed to set up a scene for the kids to find. The first person awake may find the elf getting into the cookie jar or playing a board game with other toys.
Elves are available for adoption at Fiddlesticks, Hallmark, Target or elfontheshelf.com for about $30. The posable doll comes with a book and a keepsake box. After receiving your elf, you can register him or her online to receive a special adoption certificate and letter from Santa. Then, your holiday season really begins!
Welcome your elf back to your home every winter with a North Pole breakfast. Serve food that can be made the night before, such as crock pot egg casserole. Our elf’s favorite food is Frosted Cheerios to look like elf-sized donuts. After eating, you can read the elf’s book together and remind your family of the rules. I’m not clear if her family has more than one elf, or if she doesn’t know the possessive of elf. JG
Be on your best behavior to get on the nice list and protect the elf’s magic by never touching it. To keep things running smoothly, I would also make a schedule to set up the elf’s nighttime adventures. We usually do a new scene once a week, but if you’re really ambitious you could try for a new pose every night.
I hope you enjoy your Christmas and your new family member, as our family has.
Crock Pot Egg Casserole (Adapted from cdkitchen.com)
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•1/2 cup onions
•1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
•1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
or half and half
•1 bag frozen hash brown potatoes
•1 cup grated cheddar cheese
•1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
•1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
Saute onions and peppers in olive oil and set aside.
Slightly beat eggs with heavy cream or half and half. Add egg mixture, sauteed vegetables, hash browns, cheese, salt and pepper to crock pot.
Cook overnight on low, and this yummy breakfast will be ready for you in the morning!
Pinterest inspired this cute idea … making “donuts” for Santa’s elves on Christmas Eve! Just take regular Cheerios, dip them in a tiny bit of honey or frosting, then roll them in powdered sugar, brown sugar and finely-chopped cupcake sprinkles. Then place in a small earring box (we found this one at Michael’s), place next to your elf or the fireplace and watch them disappear!
TOPPENISH TOY TRAIN CHRISTMAS
See more than 40 running model trains at a “Toy Train Christmas” in Toppenish. Some are even made of Legos!
The fun kicks off on Sat., Nov. 30. The event continues each Saturday and Sunday from Dec. 7 through Dec. 22 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Take the train to the North Pole to see Santa Claus, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies with the kiddos.
Cost is $6 adults, $4 children. Photos with Santa are an extra fee. Northern Pacific Railway Museum, 10 S. Asotin Ave., Toppenish; 509-865-1911. nprymuseum.org
MT. RAINIER “SANTA EXPRESS”
Nov. 30 through Dec. 22, the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad transforms into the “Santa Express!” The “North Pole” is actually Elbe Depot (About 2 1/2 hours west of Yakima). Passengers on the Santa Express enjoy a 90 minute-2 hour ride aboard a steam train, with Santa on board, too! The folks at Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad say it’s important to make reservations early.
Trains depart at 10 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekends only.
Cost is $27 adults, with discounts for youth, senior, AAA and military. 54124 Mountain Highway East, Elbe; 360-492-5588. mrsr.com
The temperature is dropping, there’s a flurry of shopping, and many are bazaar and festival hopping. Christmastime is here! We’ve got the rundown of major events for you to enjoy!
Theatre & Performances
A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28-30, Dec. 5-7, and 2 p.m. matinees Nov. 30 and Dec. 14. $ 12-14. Cost: $16 general, $13 students and seniors. New location: Akin Center Theatre, 1610 S. 24th Ave., Yakima. Box office: 509-966-0951. warehousetheatrecompany.org
YAKIMA YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA WINTER CONCERT. 3 p.m. Dec. 1. Free. The Capitol Theatre, 19 S. 3rd St., Yakima. yyso.org
NOEL: THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS. 7 p.m. Dec. 1. Christmas music by the Yakima Symphony Chorus. Cost: $20-$30; includes dessert and reception. Seasons Performance Hall, 101 N. Naches Ave., Yakima; 509-453-1888.
CHRISTMAS POPS SPECTACULAR. 4 p.m. Dec. 8. Yakima Symphony Orchestra. Cost: $15-$61 per ticket. The Capitol Theatre, 19 S. 3rd St., Yakima. capitoltheatre.org
THE NUTCRACKER. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. The Eugene Ballet Company returns with this classic musical. Cost: $6-$41 per ticket. The Capitol Theatre, 19 S. Third St., Yakima. capitoltheatre.org
Events & Open Houses
CHRISTMAS TREES ON THE FARM. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 29-30, Dec. 6-7 & Dec. 13-14. The fun runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Look forward to getting a fresh-cut Christmas tree with the family. While you’re at it, you might get yourself and others handmade wreaths and garlands. Don’t forget to try the hot cocoa, cider and vanilla sugar doughnuts and experience the caroling hay ride. Bill’s Berry Farm, 3674 N. County Line Road in Grandview; 509-882-3200.
JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM. 5-8:30 p.m. Dec. 6-9. Take an interactive journey through the streets of a re-created ancient Bethlehem, complete with sets, actors and actresses and animals, Free. Yakima Seventh Day Adventist Church, 507 N. 36th Ave., Yakima; 509-452-2041. yakimasda.org/journey
ZILLAH’S OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS. Dec. 7. Music, treats, kids’ games and Santa. Downtown Zillah; 509-829-5151.
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE. Noon-3 p.m. Dec. 7. Free. Several performances are lined up in the Neon Garden: Yakima Youth Symphony at noon, Yakima Children’s Choir at 1 p.m. and the Melody Lane Singers at 2 p.m. The museum is at 2105 Tieton Drive, Yakima. Call 509-248-0747 or visit yakimavalleymuseum.org.
SELAH’S WHISPERS OF CHRISTMAS. Dec. 7. Free breakfast with a visit from Santa, followed by an evening visit. Selah Civic Center, 216 S. First St., Selah; 509-698-7305.
SANTA AND ME HOLIDAY TEA. 10 a.m.-noon and 2:30-4:30 p.m. Dec. 7. The ultimate tea party with Santa available for kids ages 4 and up. Includes appetizers, entertainment, a gift and a photo with Santa. Cost: $30 each. Cascade Garden, 5704 W. Washington Ave., Yakima. Part of Yakima Greenway’s Kiddin’ Around program: 509-453-8280.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA AND HOLIDAY BAZAAR. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 7. Unlimited pancakes and a photo shoot with Santa. Cost: $6 adult breakfast, $4 child breakfast. Victory Outreach, 315 N. Fifth Ave., Yakima; 509-307-5283.
YAKIMA HOLIDAY LIGHT PARADE. 6 p.m.
Dec. 8. Watch vehicles of all kinds — plus Santa — strung with lights and strolling along downtownYakima Avenue.
YAKIMA VALLEY COMMUNITY BAND CHRISTMAS CONCERT. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9. At West Valley High School Auditorium, 9800 Zier Rd., Yakima; 509-969-2817. yakimavalleycommunityband.org
LUMINARIA. 6-10 p.m. Dec. 13-14. More than 1,000 candles will light up the pathway of Yakima Area Arboretum. Also enjoy music, coffee, hot cider and treats. Free. Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Drive, Yakima; 509-248-7337. ahtrees.org
SANTA IS COMING TO BREAKFAST. 8:30-11 a.m. Dec. 14. Bring your camera for a photo with Santa, and enjoy a hearty menu that includes holiday pancakes, Mrs. Claus’ special eggs, elf sausage, Santa’s biscuits and gravy, frosty apple juice, snow-topped hot chocolate and coffee. A raffle is also available. Cost: $7 13 years and older, $4 for ages 3-12. Holy Family Church Gathering Hall, 5315 Tieton Drive, Yakima; 509-966-0830.
CHRISTMAS OF HOPE HOLIDAY BAZAAR. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 30. More than 45 vendors. Glenwood Square, 5110 Tieton Drive, Yakima. Contact Nora at 509-833-2739.
MIGHTY TIETON HOLIDAY CRAFT BAZAAR. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 30; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 1. The 8th annual event features handmade crafts, antique items and food. Come see the chandeliers, the annual tree lighting and Santa. Mighty Tieton Warehouse, 608 Wisconsin Ave., Tieton; 509-847-3034.
ANNUAL MERRY MAKINGS CRAFTS FAIR. 12-8 p.m. Dec. 6-8. Lighted Implement Parade and homemade and hand-crafted items. Mid Valley Mall, 2010 Yakima Valley Highway, Sunnyside; 509-528-5107.
WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH BAZAAR. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 7. Homemade items, baked goods, candy, Christmas swags. Lunch served 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., with homemade pie, soup and sandwiches. Wesley United Methodist Church, 14 N. 48th Ave., Yakima; 509-966-2370.
EAGLES F.O.E. & V.F.W. JOINT HOLIDAY BAZAAR. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7. Lunch is served at 11 a.m. Yakima Eagles, 307 W. Chestnut Ave., Yakima; 509-248-3564 (F.O.E.) or 509-985-7550.
AMERICAN LEGION AUXILERY #36. 11:30-1:30 p.m. Dec. 7. Christmas bazaar and luncheon with soup and salad bar. American Legion, 1120 N. 34th Ave., Yakima; 509-457-4510.
ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS FAIR. 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 8. Fair trade, local and international crafts. Wesley United Methodist Church, 14 N. 48th Ave., Yakima; 509-966-2370.
20TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BAZAAR. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 13. Yakama Nation Museum, 118 Spiel-yi Loop, Toppenish; 509-865-2800.
Want to give back this holiday season?
Donate new or gently used coats to KNDO’s “Coats for Kids” program. There are drop-off locations in Yakima and the Lower Valley. Click here for more information.
Or if you’d like to donate a new toy for a child, help out the Marine Corp.’s “Toys for Tots” program. Just go to toysfortots.org for a list of local drop-off locations.
By Dr. David Pommer
Congratulations! You’re surviving parenthood! Your baby or toddler is thriving. Your body has adapted to less sleep, high-pitched shrieks, and some previously unimaginable smells. If you are thinking about having another baby (or if you are hoping to be a first-time mom), what issues should one focus on before a pregnancy?
First, the obligatory disclaimer. I’ll address a handful of issues here, but there is much more that can be addressed and should be individualized for each person. Please see your friendly family physician or obstetrician for complete details.
Folic acid in a prenatal vitamin is key to be taking before you’re thinking of becoming pregnant. Why is it so important? It can decrease the risk of many birth defects, particularly neural tube defects like spina bifida. Specifically, taking 400 mcg per day may decrease the rate of those defects by a whopping 75 percent. But, you need to be on this before pregnancy, as those parts of the fetus are developing early in the first trimester. In general, over-the-counter prenatal vitamins now have this recommended 400 mcg amount of folic acid.
Next, how is your weight? A good objective snapshot is by using a BMI calculator (readily available on the internet). If you are underweight (less than 18.5), there is a higher risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight. If overweight (25 or greater), one can have a larger baby, diabetes, high blood pressure, and shoulder dystocia. As I counsel my pregnant patients later in a pregnancy, we don’t want to find out when pushing that we have a ten-pound baby. As hard as it is, try to optimize your weight prior to conception.
As your baby has been getting shots to be healthy, consider your own immunizations. I would recommend having TDaP and flu shots. If for some reason you didn’t have MMR and varicella shots as a child, those should be updated. And when you get an immunization, try to cry slightly less than your child.
Look closer at the quantity and quality of other things going into your body. Do you drink pop out of a travel container with two handles and wheels? That’s probably too much. Try to keep any caffeine intake to about one serving (or 200 mg) per day. If you smoke, or your significant other smokes, now would be a great time to quit. If you are on prescription medications, talk to your doctor about being on the lowest effective dose, or about if you need it at all. Look for harmful exposures in your workplace. Try to keep fish intake to no more than twice per week.
I would be negligent if I didn’t cover hair dyes. I’m often asked about safety of dying one’s hair during pregnancy, and I respond—we don’t really know. More recently from uptodate.com, these reviewers felt that dyes had very limited systemic absorption, and would be unlikely to cause adverse effects on baby.
Again, I wish those of you congratulations on successful parenthood, and more parenting to come. I suppose the toast can involve single-shot lattes while munching on folic acid tablets (bon appetit!). May there be adequate sleep and manageable amounts of shrieks and odd smells in your enlarging family.
•David Pommer, MD practices family medicine with obstetrics at Selah Family Medicine. He is married with three children.
By Savannah Trachell/YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC
Since my first child was born on March 12, my husband and I have developed a new family motto: You don’t know what you don’t know.
It pretty much sums up our parenting experience so far.
For the first six weeks, my son refused to take a bottle. We tried every nipple under the sun. We switched positions. Daddy tried it. I tried it. Grandma tried it. It just wasn’t happening.
Turns out my baby gourmet knew an imitation when he saw it: Even though we offered him pumped breast milk, he only wanted that from the real thing (me). He took a bottle like a pro when we started mixing ready-to-use formula in with the milk.
Huh. We didn’t know that was a possibility.
A few weeks after I returned to work, he went on bottle-strike again. Turns out, the hard water at our house was leaving a residue on the nipples he found distasteful. A good scrub and run through the sterilizer, and he was fine.
We didn’t know that was a possibility, either. There’s a lot you don’t know as a new parent.
After two months struggling through it on our own, I went for help. That’s when I discovered the Mom and Baby Group sponsored by Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. Led by Diane Corn and Courtney Roybal, the weekly meetings are a cross between support group and vent session for Valley moms. We gather each Monday from 10 to noon with our babies, swap stories and get help.
We celebrate what our baby learned in the past week. We celebrate our own victories as mothers (My personal victories: The return of non-maternity pants and claiming an hour to myself to pull weeds — hey, you take what you can get). Mostly though, we support each other.
Having trouble breastfeeding? The Mommies know what that’s like. Worried Dad’s not bonding with your baby? Thinking about starting food? Wondering if what comes out of your baby should be that color? Or that frequent? Or maybe you just need to know that it’s OK that some days all you want in the world is for that beautiful, wonderful creature you created to leave you alone for five minutes so you can get something done.
Yeah, we’ve all been there, too.
Each week I can’t wait for Monday to come so I can tell The Mommies what my son did, or ask them if they’re child ever ____. None of us have all the answers, but we have suggestions. And mostly, we have compassionate ears.
And you don’t know — that may be all you need.
• Mommy and Baby Group meets from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays at the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Community Education Center, 2506 W. Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima. There is no cost to attend or registration required. All moms and babies up to 1 year old are welcome. For more information, click here.
• Savannah Tranchell is a copy editor and food writer for the Yakima Herald-Republic. Her firstborn, Clark, was born March 12 and is learning to crawl by chasing the cat around the living room. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-577-7752.
Kids love cupcakes! Especially topped with cute sugary characters. So in the spirit of the holidays, we made these Frosty the Snowman cupcakes. They’re sure to be a hit at a party…but almost too cute to eat.
Marshmallow Snowman Cupcakes
- 1 box white cake mix +
required ingredients on box
- White cupcake liners
- White frosting
- Black frosting (small tube)
- Orange frosting (small tube)
- Sweetened coconut
- Large marshmallows
- Extra large marshmallows
- Hershey Kisses
- Pretzel sticks
Bake cupcakes according to directions on box. Let cool. To make snowmen, decorate the marshmallows prior to stacking.
For the body, use the extra large marshmallows. Stick a pretzel in either side for arms, and dab three dots of black frosting for the buttons. Repeat for desired number of cupcakes, and then set aside to let frosting dry.
For the head, use the large marshmallows. Dab with black frosting to make two eyes and a charcoal mouth. Break off a small portion of a pretzel stick and insert for the nose. Dab with orange frosting so that it looks like a carrot.
For the hat, break Oreos apart and use the cookie side without frosting. Adhere a Hershey Kiss to the top with the black frosting, and then adhere the hat to the head with the white frosting. Set aside to let frosting dry.
Frost the cupcakes with the white frosting, and then securely adhere the body of the snowman. Dab the top of the body with white frosting and then adhere the head to the body. Sprinkle the remaining base of the cupcake with coconut to create a snowy effect. Serve on a coconut covered platter and enjoy!
Each edition of Playdate magazine is on newsstands for about two months, and the October/November edition will be on newsstands for exactly 65 days. So here’s a list of 65 fun arts and crafts projects, kid-friendly recipes and easy activities that families can whip up in an afternoon or over a crisp fall weekend.
Sept. 21: National “Dog Week” is Sept. 19-25, so celebrate by making your dog homemade dog treats.
Sept. 22: Make quacky – ahem – whacky soap with a duck. Melt glycerin soap in microwave. (Look at the directions — one brand states to microwave on high for 40 seconds, with 10-second intervals. You can also use a double broiler.) Pour into disposable, rectangular plastic dish. Add a few drops of blue coloring and stir. Set squirt toy on top. Leave in cool, dry area to set (about 2-4 hours). Get sudsy!
Sept. 23: Bath time! Why not make your own bath salts? Combine 4 cups of fine sea salt, 1 ½ cups of Epsom salts, 1 cup of course sea salt and throw in some essential oils. Vanilla, jasmine and sandalwood are exotic oils, while lavender, sweet orange, fennel and rosemary are soothing. Birch, ginger and peppermint oils can help relieve pain. Great too for parents who need rejuvenation!
Sept. 24: Great for a ‘tween girls spa day or slumber party: Make a facial scrub. Combine 1 cup almonds, 1 cup oatmeal and ½ oz. lavender. Put ingredients in blender (Mom or Dad, not the kids!) and grind until smooth. Mix with water or milk to make a paste and scrub face lightly for one minute (avoid eyes!). Rinse and pat dry. Then gossip all day about boys!
Sept. 25: Keep that toddler busy with an exploring set. Gather six 8-ounce water bottles, removing labels. Fill each bottle with something for baby to discover. Some ideas: a mix of water and glitter; or go snow globe style with tiny toys, water, glitter and a few drops of food coloring and glycerin; jingle bells; fluffy pom poms or dried beans. Once you’ve filled them all, glue the lids on tight for safety.
Sept. 26: Sept. 25-Oct. 1 is national “Keep Kids Creative Week!” Let’s write a haiku. Haikus are three lines, remembering the 5-7-5 rule: the first line contains five syllables, the second line features seven syllables, and the last line has five syllables. Here is an example: Playdate magazine / Celebrates the coming fall / Enjoy the season! Send us your kids’ haikus!
Sept. 27: Jot down words and ideas to create a story. Big ideas are fun, but the details can be daunting. Try helping your child make a list or jot down ideas in some form. You can transform these notes into a story later on. Provide details of a scene and explain thoughts, actions, and emotions. Focus on sensory details — the five senses — unless your child wants to venture down the path of exploring what a sixth or seventh sense might look like! (Perfect for Halloween!)
Sept. 28: Help your little bards. Write or type your child’s ideas down as he or she tells them to you. This teamwork might reduce pressure on your child to “complete” a book or story project on his or her own. Emphasize working together. This teamwork aspect will still allow your child to have a primary role in the creative process.
Sept. 29: Create your child’s own book. This can be out of standard paper, colored construction paper or a combination of both. Sometimes having a homemade book in hand is encouraging enough to get someone motivated to write down the ideas and see (and hold!) his or her own book!
Sept. 30: Create a ’zine or chapbook. If construction paper isn’t your thing, you can mix up the materials. Try a chapbook, or even a “’zine,” and be as artsy/crafty as you and your child want to be! Encourage your child’s imagination, so he or she can include drawings, photos, cutouts, stickers and so on to combine with words, sentences or an overall story. Here are some instructions on how to make a chapbook: www.pw.org/content/diy_how_make_saddlestitched_chapbook
Oct. 1: Today, believe it or not, is “World Card Making Day.” Make your own “Mandala” greeting cards. Gather the following materials:
• Old CDs (outdated software is a great source)
• Markers, pens, colored pencils or crayons
• Rulers, protractors or French curves
• Strathmore 5 x 7 blank greeting cards with deckled finish (Or something similar. Available at local art and stationary stores).
1) Take a used CD and recycled paper.
2) Have the kids practice tracing a circle on recycled copy paper with pen or pencil.
3) Ask them to offer you a fraction. (This is great for helping teach time with analog clocks.)
Most will offer “1/2″ or “1/4.” Demonstrate drawing those portion on your example sheet.
4) Ask the same question. Demonstrate breaking the large pattern into smaller patterns.
5) Don’t get too technical, just show them how to create patterns with a couple of fractions.
(Most of them catch on pretty quickly and want to start the card right away.)
6) Have the children explain to you their “plan” or “direction” from the recycled paper.
7) Now offer them the Strathmore greeting card. The CD fits on one side with the deckel (a colored strip of green or red that looks ‘ripped’)
8) Have at it! Depending on their level and patience, the possibilities are infinite.
For older kids, have them research “Serenpinski’s Triangle” and fractal math for ideas.
Oct. 2: Have little actors in your house? Act out a story. Dress up, make it a play and perform!
Oct. 3: Did we say cake pops? Yes we did. Here’s an easy recipe for a delicious and fun dessert:
Ingredients & Recipe:
~ 1 box cake mix (and necessary ingredients to bake it)
~ 1 container frosting
~ 12 to 16 oz candy melts or chocolate wafers; they have chocolate and colored. For best results, don’t use chocolate chips; they don’t harden & won’t create a very good shell.
(Wafers & melts are available locally at Cake Decorator Shoppe or Michael’s.)
~ sprinkles or candies to decorate
~ package of sticks for pops and bags if wrapping individually (Available locally at Cake Decorator Shoppe or Michael’s.)
•Bake cake of choice. Let cool completely. Cut into four sections, rub two sections together so they crumble. •Crumble entire cake into bowl. Mix in container of frosting.
•Roll dough into 1-inch balls and chill for 15 minutes.
•Microwave chocolate wafers according to package directions (Melt slowly, 30 seconds at a time, otherwise chocolate will burn).
•Insert sticks halfway into balls of dough.
•Chill 15 more minutes.
•Dip into chocolate and add sprinkles.
•Chill a few more minutes so chocolate sets & enjoy!
Oct. 4: Have a wood-burning fireplace? Make a fire starter out of egg cartons, shredded paper, lint, wax. Take a small handful of shredded paper and put it in the egg carton, then take a pinch of lint and put it on top of the paper. Make it compact. Melt wax from candles in a double broiler, and then pour a tablespoon of wax in each cup. (If you notice it begins to seep through the carton, that’s good! It will bind together.) This is a quick, messy and fun craft!
Oct. 5: It’s Balloons Around the World Day. Send a message attached to a balloon — write something inspiring to whoever may find it!
Oct. 6: Throw a “Merry Unbirthday” party to celebrate Mad Hatter Day. Make a cake, bake cookies, play games, dress up or have a tea party. Act goofy!
Oct. 7: Turn that frown upside down … it’s World Smile Day. Go outside and smile at everyone! See what happens and record your findings!
Oct. 8: Sing…sing a song…sing out loud…sing out strong! Make instruments with empty glass bottles, using sticks to make drums sounds and using your lips to blow into them for tones. Fill one bottle ¾ of the way from the top, one half full, the other only ¼ full, and one empty. Compare sounds. Change it up. Make music!
Oct. 9: It’s Leif Erikson Day, so make a boat. Take a piece of bark, insert a leaf with a stem, and let it sail!
Oct. 10: I’m on a boat! This time, make believe for Columbus Day. Make a boat out of cardboard boxes, a sailor’s hat out of newspaper, and sail the ocean blue in your imagination!
Oct. 11: Recycle those stubby crayons, Mom and Dad.
Classic version: Gather broken crayons, removing paper labels. Put about four full crayons’ worth of pieces into each cup of a muffin tin. Put tin in a 375-degree oven for about 6-7 minutes, then let cool. New fun crayons!
Fun version: Swirl colors with a toothpick when they come out of the oven. Or melt crayons in small cupcake cups in the microwave, then pour into candy molds for fun shapes! (But be careful-HOT!)
Oct. 12: Betcha’ didn’t know it, but today is International Top Spinning Day. Show off by making your own spin top with a toothpick and any plastic bottle cap. Puncture a small hole in the cap so the toothpick can fit snugly inside. Decorate the cap as you like it, and let the spin begin! Visit this link to see a video!
Oct. 13: It’s an oldie but a goody: build a fort. Use boxes, blankets, chairs and pillows. Make popcorn and enjoy a movie through an opening in the blankets, or take your laptop with you inside the fort to watch a movie. Invite the dog in, too. Make your fort as big, creative and elaborate as you can, and send us pictures!
Oct. 14: Two greats come together: eggs and Dr. Seuss. To celebrate World Egg Day, make green eggs and ham and read the Dr. Seuss book!
Oct. 15: Sweetest Day. Outdo everyone else in the house by being the sweetest of them all. Do a kind act or give someone a compliment. Make sweets for your friends, neighbors and family!
Oct. 16: Nothing quite tops a Yakima apple, so to commemorate World Food Day, try this crunchy sweet Apple Crisp recipe, courtesy of the folks at Fresh Taste Meals.
Ingredients & Recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, gently fold together the following ingredients:
4 cups peeled sliced Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbs flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
•Spread apple mixture over the bottom of a large greased pan.
•In a medium bowl use your hands to combine the following ingredients:
1 1/2 cups oats
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups melted butter
•Crumble this mixture over the filling in the pan.
•Drizzle caramel sauce over the top of the crumb mixture.
•Bake in oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Apple mixture will bubble and topping will be golden brown.
Oct. 17: Make a princess or a party hat! Get a circle to trace – the diameter of the circle determines the height of the hat. Trace the circle onto a sheet of pretty craft paper or poster board that’s not too thick to bend. Draw a “pie piece” into it that’s about a ¼ of the circle. Cut out the circle without the pie piece. If you used craft paper, roll into a cone and adhere with glue or strong tape. If you used poster board, you can cut the same shape out of material and glue the material onto the poster board before you roll into a cone. Decorate with pom poms, glitter, ribbon, artificial flowers, old jewelry or whatever you have on hand. Look adorable!
Oct. 18: Make a wand. Take a dowel or stick, wrap a ribbon around it, and tie ribbon around the top to make streamers. (Wave wand and practice saying “Bippity-boppity-boo!”)
Oct. 19: Let’s go camping…at home! If you have a fire pit, make s’mores. If not, use the microwave or grill in aluminum foil on the barbecue. Make up spooky stories around the fireplace and enjoy the treats.
Oct. 20: Fall Tree Print. This one is messy, so kids love it! Add brown finger paint to a paper plate, then dip child’s hand and wrist, palm down, into the plate. Have them make a hand/wrist print onto a big piece of white paper. That’s your tree. Then have them dip their fingers into plates of green, yellow, or orange paint, and use their fingerprints to make multicolored fall leaves.
Oct. 21: Got a pillow case? Make a costume with it! Cut a hole in the top and on the sides. Glue on buttons and ribbons.
Oct. 22: Mix up a ghoulish Halloween punch. Mix lemonade, a blueberry drink mix, ice cubes and gummy worms. You should get a lovely green “slime” color, and the gummy worms can either hang off the edge of the bowl or just be in the punch!
Oct. 23: Make a pumpkin man, man!
Oct. 24: Enroll your kids in Monster Fighter training. See story by Courtney Crutcher on how.
Oct. 25: This one’s gross…and your kids will love it. Make a meat head!
1 full-sized plastic human skull
1.5 lbs. thin-sliced deli meat (your choice!)
Cream cheese, BBQ sauce, or cranberry sauce (see below)
2 hard-boiled egg yolks, round mini-mozzarella pieces, or cocktail onions
2 slices of pimento-stuffed green olive
Instructions: 1. Buy a plastic skull. Wash the skull with soap and water and allow to dry.
2. Spread a “base” over the skull. BBQ sauce and jellied cranberry sauce give the skull a bloody, gory look as your guests lift away the lunch meat. Cream cheese is not as fun, but probably tastes better with most meats. This is entirely your choice.
3. Evenly distribute your lunch meat over the prepared skull, leaving openings at the eyes and mouth. Smallish pieces of meat work better than larger ones, as they’re easier to manipulate and form. You may need to use toothpicks to get some of the meat to stay in place.
4. For eyes, place one hard boiled egg yolk or small mozzarella cheese ball in each eye socket. Top with a slice of pimento-stuffed green olive.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Oct. 26: Make your own magnets — they’re so attractive! Get it?
Mix up a basic salt dough. (Recipe below or use your own.) Roll out the dough, having kids use leaf-shaped cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Let them air dry (or bake, depending what type of recipe you use). Then just paint and glue magnets to the back. Perfect to hang school art on the fridge!
Salt Dough: In a big bowl, mix 1 cup salt and 2 cups flour together. Slowly add 1/2 cup of cold water and mix. Knead the dough on counter, adding a few more drops of water if needed, but don’t let it get gooey. Takes a day or so to dry.
Oct. 27: Make a regular ol’ red velvet cake into a VAMPIRE CAKE! Just color the frosting red too! (If you put raspberries in the middle, it’s kind of healthy.)
Oct. 28: Play the Gross Out/Guess What game to celebrate Frankenstein Friday. Place “mysterious” food items in paper bags and have kids guess which gross item it is. Grapes are good for eyeballs, cottage cheese for vampire vomit and spaghetti for zombie brains. UGH!
Oct. 29: Make a butterfly out of a regular empty coffee can. Wrap can in pretty craft paper; cut heart shaped “wings” from a different craft paper, taping to either side of the can; then tape strips of paper (or sticker strips) around the can; add eyes to the front and a smiley face. Put rocks, jelly beans or candy in the can, adding squiggly pipe cleaners for the antennae!
Oct. 30: Make a jack-o-lantern! Then send us photos!
Oct. 31: Mmm…caramel apples. Melt caramel (either caramel candies or make it from scratch) and dip apples (on a stick) in the caramel. Perfect since it’s National Caramel Apple Day (hey – and Halloween!). You can decorate them too. Or if you don’t have a lot of time, just dip slices of apples in melted caramel for a nice snack.
Nov. 1: Halloween may be over, but the fun doesn’t have to be … kids can dress up like a favorite super hero, doll or character and help mom and dad with chores!
Nov. 2: “Leaf” the candy in the house and get outside! After all those sweets, kids need some exercise. Rake up as many leaves then dive in the pile (you, too, Mom and Dad)! Breathe in the new November air!
Nov. 3: Grab some plain clay pots at a craft store and make simple hand-print decorations on the outside.
Nov. 4: Use tracing paper to trace all the different shapes and sizes of leaves in your own backyard or nearby park.
Nov. 5: Press fall leaves in a heavy book, wait until they’re dry, then make a colorful collage on construction paper.
Nov. 6: Head to a fabrics store to get materials for a “no sew” blanket, just in time for the chilly weather! These are easy to make, but you can find directions on our website!
No-Sew Fleece Blanket
Materials Needed: Fleece blanket, scissors, yardstick, ruler
1. Pick your fleece. You can pick a pattern for the front side and a matching fleece with a solid color for the back side, but any combination that you like will do. You will need 2 ½ feet of fleece material for each side of the blanket (this would make an adult 6 ft. blanket). OR: You will need 1 ½ ft. to 1 ¾ ft. of fleece material for each side of the blanket to make a kid-sized blanket.
2. Lay both pieces of the fleece, with the wrong sides facing each other, on a table, and cut off the rough edges. Cut both pieces of fabric at the same time to the same size. Make sure your edges line up together and handle the fleece gently, since it can stretch out of shape easily.
3. Cut a 4-inch square out of each corner of the fleece.
4. Go down each side of the fabric and make 1-inch cuts all along the borders. It may make it easier if you lay a yardstick across the side at the 4-inch so you know how far to make each cut. You may also use a ruler to mark off the one inch points where you cut. Make sure both sides of the fabric are laying together flat as you cut.
5. Once you have cut the 1-inch strips around all four sides, you are ready to tie the two pieces of fabric together. Taking the two strands together, raise them up and then bring them back through the circle, from the back to the front. Tie a firm, but not tight, knot. Once you have all of the strips tied, your project is done!
Nov. 7: Practice writing skills: start writing those letters to Santa Claus!
Nov. 8: Make a picture frame out of popsicle sticks. Take four popsicle sticks, glue them together to form a square, and color and decorate the sticks as you see fit. Glue a photo behind the frame, and glue a magnet on the back so you can hang on your refrigerator.
Nov. 9: Get that blood sugar up with this Yakima Apple Pie Snack Mix. Combine a couple of cups each of three different favorite cereals — we like Apple Cinnamon Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch — to a big bowl. Melt ¼ butter and add 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp apple pie spice to it. Pour over cereal and mix up. Then cook, stirring often, in microwave another 3-4 minutes. Spread on wax paper to cool, then add 2 cups dried apple slices, plus your choice of walnuts, white choc chips, sunflower seeds or raisins. Enjoy in the fall sunshine!
Nov. 10: Choreograph a dance. Perform for friends and family. Involve props, music and costumes.
Nov. 11: Veterans Day. Make a patriotic wand or flag. See direction on Oct. 18, and modify to use red, white and blue colors.
Nov. 12: Make your own Playdough. You’ll need:
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup salt
1 tablespoon alum
2 cups boiling water
5 tablespoon vegetable oil
Mix together the flour, salt and alum. Add boiling water, oil and coloring. Being careful of hot dough, kneed. Cool. Store in a plastic bag. Have fun!
Nov. 13: It’s International Tongue Twister Day. Read Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks. Or Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. No, stick to Fox in Socks.
Nov. 14: Craft a homework helper. Get an empty tin can, sanding the top edge for safety. Let kids cut out comic strips, toys from Sunday’s newspaper ads or tissue paper. Use Mod Podge to glue the paper on, adding a top layer to seal. If you want, add ribbon and tie a small favorite toy around the holder too. Now they have a great spot for pencils on their desks!
Nov. 15: …Or a chore money jar. Rinse out and dry an empty baby formula container. Decorate with fun papers and Mod Podge, similar to above. Cut a small slot in the top of the container to drop change through
Nov. 16: Help them organize their lockers, too, with a magnetic locker organizer. Use metal or plastic band-aid boxes, cover with craft paper and decorations (or just keep plain). Then add sheet magnets to cover the whole backside of the container. Just attach to the inside of locker.
Nov. 17: Another oldie but goodie…using any type of pretty paper, make paper snowflakes and put them in a bedroom window. Use lots of colors. You can find patterns on the Internet.
Nov. 18: It’s Mickey Mouse Day … make Mickey Mouse pancakes. Easy and delicious!
Nov. 19: Make your own Sidewalk Chalk. Coat the inside of an old ice cube tray with petroleum jelly. Mix up 1 cup plaster of paris and 1/2 cup of water in a disposable plastic container for about a minute. Quickly add a couple tablespoons of liquid tempera paint and mix. Scoop it into ice cube tray, and tap to make sure it packs in firm. Dry overnight before using.
Nov. 20: Go on a pinecone hunt! Get a few big ones for upcoming crafts. See what other cool things you can find (unusual leaves, colorful rocks, funny looking sticks, etc.).
Nov. 21: Make a pinecone bird feeder. Take a giant pine cone you found on the pinecone hunt on Nov. 20, and saturate it bird seed mixed with peanut butter. Take a string or ribbon and tie it around the top of the coated pinecone to hang on a tree branch, and watch the birds rejoice! (Just be sure to hang it high enough so it’s out of reach of the dog or the kids!)
Nov. 22: Make a pinecone turkey. After finding the pinecone of your choice, use either colored craft feathers, cut-out construction paper, or colorful pipe cleaners to create the tail feathers. For the turkey’s head, you have a few options: glue an acorn, add some googley eyes, cut out a piece of felt for the beak and gobbler (or use construction paper). There are plenty of other ways to decorate your turkey, so be as creative as you can!
Nov. 23: Make a clay turkey using your kids’ hands! Sculpey Clay works well, but use your own preference of baking or hardening clay. Squish the imprint of your child’s hand on a rolled-out piece of clay, and then use an Exacto knife and cut around the outside of the print. Cut out shapes for the turkey beak and gobbler and add to the thumb of the handprint. Bake clay according to what type of clay you have (follow directions with specific product you use). Let your kids paint the cooked product!
Nov. 24: Thanksgiving. Eat turkey! … and think about everything you’re grateful for. Practice your best gobbling imitation – without food in your mouth, of course!
Thank you to the many readers who contributed to this list: Jennifer Wolman, a stay-at-home mom and arts/crafts expert; Meagan Paullin, local mom and owner and creative director of Sunshine and Sippy Cups (sunshineandsippycups.com), Doug Johnson, director of Cave Moon Press and local teacher; Ryan Miller, Alex Mitchell, Kimberly Klepach and Yakima Herald-Republic staff members.
By Courtney Crutcher for Playdate magazine
I don’t have children. One day I will, but for the time being I have my amazing niece, Grace. Grace is the kind of niece that makes me question if my kids will ever compare … and her parents, my sister Megan and her husband Steve, are the type of people who make me wonder if I’ll measure up when I have little “nose pickers” of my own.
Steve is a Jack-of-all-trades. He can read a manual on how to build an engine and have it built within a week. He started his own wine label out of his garage 10 years ago and is now a successful business owner. And this is while working his normal full-time job. He’s a doer, a thinker, and an all around go-getter.
So, naturally, when Grace began having trouble sleeping due to monsters invading her closet, Steve came up with a plan.
A Monster Fighter plan.
Over the next few months, Grace learned the essentials of Monster Fighting. She had a manual listing the 10 different rules she would have to master in order to become a great Monster Fighter:
- Get lots of sleep!
- Try your best!
- You are always bigger than the monster!
- Have patience!
- You are always stronger than the monster!
- Always use first-time listening skills!
- Monsters are scared of you!
- Always speak with a happy heart!
- L, L, R, L (not the newest dance craze, but a special type of defense move)
- No matter what, ALWAYS be brave!
Of course, those rules also applied to her daily life as a growing young girl.
Each time Grace showed that she truly understood a rule, she would move on to the next. Some were easy; some were tough — such as having patience, and using first-time listening skills. But Grace took each of them just as seriously as she could.
With each rule learned she became more confident in her ability to fight those cruddy, stinky monsters. And funny thing: their visits to her closet became less frequent. But when they did come, boy was she ready.
After she had mastered all of the rules, Grace received her very own Monster Fighter Badge. It was bright and shiny and she was so proud of what she had accomplished.
She was so confident in her ability as a Monster Fighter that she began telling all of her friends in her kindergarten class. Her teacher even printed out the rules and posted them on the classroom wall so that all her friends could become Monster Fighters, too.
It was a craze that swept her class.
My amazing family is slowly showing me the ropes — I’ve got a major head start on parenting thanks to Steve and Megan. Now I’m off to fight the monsters, starting with Rule No. 1. It’s naptime.
By Robin Beckett
You might not believe that a restaurant can please both children and adults, but 2nd Street Grill in downtown Yakima manages to do that very thing. Take a gander inside during downtown Yakima’s monthly “First Fridays,” and you’ll see 2nd Street is a hotspot after hours (co-owner Pete Blue turns the bar into a dance floor at 10 p.m. and DJs himself). But well before that, when families are dining out, the place can be filled with kids of all ages.
When I go there during my lunch hour, I often enjoy the Chinese Chop salad ($11) … the chunks of teriyaki chicken are large, the Chow Mein noodles crispy, the cabbage and red peppers fresh and the sesame dressing just the right amount of sweet with sour. And in the spirit of Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes, it is big. It fills you up without making you wonder how you’re going to get out of the booth and to your car.
When my husband and I take our son to 2nd Street, inevitably to meet friends who also work downtown, I splurge on the Grill Burger ($10) or the English Pub Fish and Chips ($14). Both are delicious. If I’ve had a hard day, I add a half order of the Tuscan Nachos ($9), a crunchy combination of pasta chips, Italian sausage, tomatoes, mozzarella and provolone. …But only after a really bad day, I swear. Or if someone suggests it.
The kids menu is pretty typical, but it hits all the right spots with chicken strips, hamburger sliders and half a deli sandwich (all with fries) and chicken alfredo. Each item is $5. Kids can also get a mini root beer float for $3. The best part of the whole dinner is usually the fact that I get to sit an enjoy it, since the service is quite often fast and friendly, and the staff knows that kids get antsy, so juices and dinners need to come out lickety-split. During the short wait, however, kids get nice, new crayons (none of those short, stubby used ones!) and a menu to color. That can make the evening bliss. At least until bathtime.
2nd Street Grill • 28 N 2nd Street, Yakima
(509) 469-1486 • secondstreetgrill.com
By Dr. David Pommer for Playdate magazine
OK, I confess. I have not been a perfect role model about “screen time” with my patients and my family. But I think this is important to discuss as summer comes to a close and many of us retreat indoors.
What is screen time? The American Academy of Family Physicians defines this term as “watching television or DVDs, playing video or computer games and surfing the Internet.” A few years ago with patients, I would primarily ask about TV and video games, but now I need to inquire about cellphone screen time as well. As I will detail below, more screen time correlates with worse health.
Let’s take a quick self-assessment to see if this may be an issue with your family.
1) Do you use television as a baby sitter so you can get other things done at home?
2) Have you misplaced your library card months ago? … Or do you first check out the video section at your local library?
3) Do your children feel that happiness comes at Redbox?
4) Have you heard your child repeat a phrase in conversation that they likely heard from TV (for example, when I heard my son state “it’s fun for the whole family” when he wanted my wife and I to buy something, I knew he had been sitting too long in front of the boob tube).
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, keep reading.
According to a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study, the average child spends 7 1/2 hours per day in front of a screen. Another study broke this amount into about four or more hours of TV, videos and/or DVDs, more than one hour of computer time, and almost one hour of video games. Two out of three children ages 8-18 have a TV in their bedroom. And those kids who have a TV in their room watch almost 1½ hours more television per day than those who do not.
The consequences of this excessive screen time are more sobering.
The more time kids spend in front of a screen, the higher their risk of obesity. Obesity rates are lowest in children who have less than one hour of screen time per day, while they are highest in kids with greater than four hours per day. Screen time may also negatively affect body image and school performance and may correlate with increased violent behavior.
What is our remedy?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen time to no more than one to two hours of “quality programming” per day. If there is a TV in a child’s room, I would recommend removing it. Use parental controls on your computer so a child has a set limit before he or she is logged off. Establish a “token economy” where kids need to earn their 1-2 hours by chores or reading earlier in the day. Though your children will not thank you now, hopefully their brains and waistlines will thank you in years to come.
David Pommer, M.D., is a family physician at Selah Family Medicine. He is a graduate of Whitworth University and the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is married with three children.
By Jaime Carroll for Playdate magazine
There’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen us in the checkout line with our grocery sale ads in one hand and a fistful of coupons in the other.
With TLC’s new television show, Extreme Couponing, and with thousands of coupon blogs on the rise, the art of couponing is one of the hottest trends of the year.
It’s true you can save up to 90 percent on your groceries, but I promise you’ll be putting in a large amount of time trying to accomplish that savings. Since our lives are continually busy these days with work, school and children to care for, extreme couponing is not a realistic way to go for everyone.
However, there is a practical way to coupon, still saving 50 percent to 60 percent on your grocery bill — and spending just one to two hours per week doing it.
The key to maximizing coupons is to use them when an item goes on sale, then buy that item in bulk. You want to purchase items at their rock-bottom prices.
The first step — and one of the most important things you should do — is to create an inventory of items you frequently use in your household and start keeping track of the prices you pay for them. This is a slow process and one I’m still working on today, but it will show what your “stock up” prices actually are.
Next, you don’t need to print or clip every coupon. Only keep coupons you would actually use and only buy what you need. Just because you have a coupon, it doesn’t mean you need to use it. Instead of buying multiple newspapers, use a coupon-clipping service to get what you need or contact the manufacturer itself.
To save time, pick just a couple of stores to shop at and stick to them. That way you’re not running around town chasing down deals. Remember, there’s always another great deal around the corner. Be sure to plan your shopping trip ahead of time by creating a list or circling the items you want to purchase in the sales ad and have your coupons ready before you head out the door.
As a busy mom of three, it only takes me 45 minutes to clip and organize my coupons and about an hour to go through the ads and plan my shopping trip. But with such a large community of couponers here in Yakima, there are times when I don’t get the product I need.
This means I’ve had to find other frugal ways to save money, including homemade laundry detergent, fabric softener, diaper wipes and more! Frugal living can enable families to do more with less. It’s more than just coupon clipping; it’s a way a life.
To learn more tips and tricks on using coupons and saving money, visit me at frugalyakimamom.com!
July 28, 2011 by Robin Beckett
If the map does not load below, click this link to download the PDF.
April 22, 2010 by Robin Beckett
It’s been a few weeks since the Playdate Family Expo and I’ve finally had a chance to cross a few things off my nagging “to do” list, including sharing some of the photos from our fun day at the Yakima Convention Center. (Thanks to Erin Fahsholtz for the photos.)
THANKS so much to all our vendors and parents who brought your kids down to check out the action. This first-ever event was a huge success, with attendance estimated at 2,500. If you’d like to read more about it, click here to read the Yakima Herald-Republic’s article.
The photo that ran in the newspaper reminds me of one of my favorite moments of the day: A woman approached me to ask if there were any hand sanitizing stations for people to use after they’d held the snake. “I didn’t know there was a snake,” I said. Then she said: “Oh, yeah, there’s about an 8-foot python in the center of the room.” Good to know…
So, in addition to sanitizing stations, we’d love to hear any other thoughts and ideas you have about the Expo. Please take a minute to let us know what you liked, didn’t like, what could be done better and whether you’d come back next year. The 2nd Annual Playdate Family Expo will be March 12, 2011!
By Lisa Russell
Of course I was anxious about labor, but maybe not for the reasons you’d expect. Part of me just didn’t want the pregnancy to end.
This was my sixth child. Shortly into our marriage, my husband and I admitted to one another that we secretly wanted a big family, and each had our hearts set on six children. We’re lucky that we were in agreement over the matter, many other people wouldn’t have been open to it. Especially because, before marriage, we’d discussed having two or three.
I loved being pregnant, though. I loved the magic of it. (Think of it: another being living within you!) I loved the distorted shape of my body. I loved being reminded of it every time I couldn’t reach something or felt off balance. I loved bumping into things accidentally. I loved resting my hands on top of it. I loved how I simply “had” to get a new wardrobe all the time. I absolutely loved being pregnant.
Anticipating my sixth birth, though, was different than the others. My fifth delivery had been fast and furious, less than an hour long. In fact, Grace was born so rapidly that I caught her alone, in the shower. The entire family woke to her first cries, without even knowing I was in labor. I wasn’t sure myself until I got into the shower and didn’t feel inclined to get out.
Baby No. 6 was due Nov. 28 and my third child, Gabriella, would be turning 7 on Dec. 2. Throughout the pregnancy, I promised Gabriella the baby wouldn’t be born on her birthday. I mean, what are the odds, right?
As the date drew nearer, we sat Gabriella down for a serious discussion. I told her I expected the baby to come between Thanksgiving and her birthday, but I’d be very surprised if it came on the day she was born. I was hoping, I confided, that it would be born on Meagan’s birthday, Nov. 22. I felt like I’d earned an early delivery at this point.
We discussed that nature decides when flowers bloom, when rain falls and when babies are born. “If nature decides to bring the baby on your birthday, I hope you can realize how special that is, and not be upset about it,” I told Gabriella. I apologized for promising something I couldn’t control.
She said she understood, but still didn’t want to share her birthday. “Fine,” I said.
Looking forward to Evelyn’s birth brought a strange mixture of emotions: Eagerness to move on with the next phase in life. Sadness to never again feel life moving within me. Excitement about the prospect of having my body all to myself again. Curiosity about the adventures our family would pursue without infants or bellies to slow us down. Amusement that we ended up with six girls. And exhaustion, physically, from the stress of our family business and lugging around an 50 extra pounds.
But most of all, I wanted to savor the actual labor. I feared it would pass so quickly again, that my transition back to new-mom status would again be clouded by confusion without any time to mentally adjust and experience the transition.
So far, all of our girls had been born “late,” anywhere from three to seven days. Many natural birthing moms scorn the due date, secure in the knowledge that babies know when they’re supposed to be born, and that the doctor’s estimation is similar to a weather prediction. I, however, like schedules and appointments and while I’m not often on time for things, I do expect others to be (shameless, I know).
Waiting for a late baby tests my resolve. OK, it makes me crazy. OK, it brings out the crazy in me.
Starting a month or so before my due date, every night when I went to bed, I’d make sure the birthing necessities were ready and available. You never know when labor will begin. And the date could be wrong.
On top of the dresser, I had a baby scale borrowed from a doula friend and a stack of receiving blankets (ugly ones on top, because they may get stained). I had diapers, teeny socks, warm snugly beanies and a spare set of batteries for the camera.
After two weeks, they started to collect dust. I cycled everything back through the laundry, reassembled my setup and waited some more. When labor finally began, my carefully assembled supplies were all put away.
Night after night, I went to bed feeling defeated. “Maybe tonight?” my husband would say when I remarked that I couldn’t believe another day had passed without starting labor. I suspect natural labor really begins when your brain sends an “I give up” hormone to the belly. I’m sure it’s like an “abandon ship” siren: “She can’t hold out much longer, Captain.”
When Brandon came home from work about 2 a.m. Dec. 2, my heavy belly felt different, but I didn’t want to keep him awake. I was pretty well convinced that Dec. 2 would not be the day because, well, people just don’t have babies on the same day, seven years apart, do they?
By 4:30 a.m., though, he could hear me pacing, breathing and climbing in and out of bed repeatedly. At that time, I figured we had a few hours.
I changed positions a thousand times. I wasn’t comfortable standing, leaning forward on the sink or squatting by the tub. I used the belly-dancing motion that helped my shower baby pass through so easily only two years earlier, but it didn’t help.
I cursed, I panted, I cried. I tried to use the Bradley Method breathing that helped me through the first baby, and it helped when I remembered to use it.
Mostly, though, I lunged, leaned, squatted, cursed and cried some more. I did that over and over again for what seemed like an eternity. It was about two hours, really, and her head was nowhere in sight.
I was sure that “any minute now” she’d start to come down. I repositioned my body several times, seeking comfort, which always lasted only a second.
Finally, as I was coming up from a squat, the baby shifted position. I took a deep breath and in one enormously powerful explosive motion, she was born into my hands.
Usually, in birth, the baby descends slowly. Their heads help ensure a gentle stretching by alternately advancing and retreating, two steps forward and one step back. Not this baby, though.
Without even showing us a glimpse of her head, she was suddenly born, out to her elbows. If you can picture that, and I don’t recommend it, the elbows are really not a comfortable stopping position. In the next contraction, the rest of her body came through and we proceeded to welcome her into our family even though she made such an uncomfortable entrance.
I sat on a towel on the bathroom floor and caught my breath, nursed her and tried to memorize her features while awaiting the placenta.
My husband fetched things for me. Scissors, blankets, soft washcloth, diaper, beanie, my jammies. Once we were physically separated, I took a nice long shower while he introduced baby Evelyn to her older sisters.
Gabriella, of course, was the first sister to hold her.
After I had a bite to eat, baby and I retreated to bed. We stayed there together for about a week, with my older kids coming in and out to visit and play as much as they wanted. Everything we needed was right there.
To celebrate Gabriella’s birthday, Brandon took the girls to the movies while the baby and I stayed home and tried to rest. Later that night, we all ate birthday cake in bed.
I know a lot of attention is paid to a woman’s first baby, but sometimes we underestimate the emotional aspect of having a last baby. I find myself savoring each age and stage with Evelyn, knowing she’s my last.
|Interested in birthing at home?
Talk with your family doctor to make sure you understand the risks and benefits of home births. Here are some Central Washington midwives who specialize in home deliveries:
I’ve never regretted having unassisted home births. It’s been one of the most amazing and empowering things about motherhood.
Every birth is unique, no two stories are the same. When you’re a birth junkie, though, you start to notice certain patterns and can spot the beginning of a chain of events easily. When I was pregnant with my first, I vowed to avoid medical intervention and although she was born in the hospital, we skipped interventions and ended up drug-free.
My subsequent births were each different. Labors ranged from 45 minutes to 17 hours, and not in any particular order. “They” told me that it would be faster for each subsequent baby, but that wasn’t true. “They” told me I’d forget the feelings, but that wasn’t true either. I was obsessed with research and I’m still awed by the transformative nature of natural, empowered childbirth in a woman’s life.
Last December, Evelyn and Gabriella turned 2 and 9 years old. Sharing a birthday hasn’t been so bad. In fact, I daresay Gabriella thinks it’s kind of special.
Lisa Russell and her husband moved from Los Angeles to Yakima in 2002. Since then, they’ve doubled the size of their family. She blogs about their unconventional lifestyle with six daughters at www.lisarussell.org.