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Active Bodies Make For Active Minds Camp Counselor: The Perfect Job For Your Teen
Soothing The Stings, Bites, And Burns Of Summer 14 Ways To Enrich Summer Time Learning The More the Merrier
Volume 2, Issue 2
4 Active Bodies Make For Active Minds 6 The More The Merrier 8 Avoid The Vacation Sleep Slump 10 6 Simple, Low-Cost, Kid-Friendly Home Decorating Ideas 12 Camp Counselor: The Perfect Job For Your Teen 14 A Jam Anyone Can Get Into 16 Soothing The Stings, Bites, And Burns Of Summer 18 Eight Summer Dates For You And Your Mate 19 14 Ways To Enrich Summer Time Learning 22 Motherhood As An Antidote To Overconfidence
Cover photo courtesy of :
3 Editorâ€™s Note
0 Resource Directory 2 22 Daniela Ginta
2 l Summer 2014
Contributors: Kimberly Carlson Heather Lee Leap Malia Jacobson Rhonda Franz Gayla Grace Lara Krupicka Ashley Talmadge Pam Molnar Christa Melnyk Hines
Editor-in-Chief: Creative Director:
Kerri Milton Bev Tiel
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Okanagan Child is published four times per year by a couple of busy moms. Please note that this magazine is solely funded through the support of our advertisers and sponsors. Please support our advertisers! Opinions expressed in this publication may not necessarily reflect those of the Publishers. All contents copyrightedÂŠ. No part of this publication may be reprinted, quoted, copied or reproduced without the express written permission of the Publisher.
editorial note Spring has sprung and Summer is around the corner - lots of outdoor fun and games to Kerri look forward too! Bev and I are busy running our teenagers to and from work and the Editor little ones are busy with paper routes, friends and fun in the sun. As we look forward to summer we are ready to embrace new adventures and create unique and exciting memories together. One new change in our magazine is the addition of Daniela our new columnist...Daniela has some great mom stories and we can all look forward to seeing her in every edition! If you have something you want us to write about please feel free to drop us a line at email@example.com or catch up with us on Facebook. As always we are blessed with an amazing photographer...Carly has captured our feeling of the season to perfection....we always love to see what she has in store for us! This edition is packed full of fun summer ideas and ways to stay fit and play together as a family. As a matter of fact...it was so packed ...Bev gave me heck as she is our layout goddess.... summer is my favourite season and clearly the creativity was flowing! Whatever your plans are this summer...enjoy your time and stop and feel the breeze off one of our beautiful lakes....the season seems to rush by before we know it.....Kerri
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Active Bodies Make for Active Minds Keeping Boredom at Bay by Kimberly Carlson The moment my kids have been waiting for is here: summertime! They’ve been planning for this for months. Their conversation usually starts with “I can’t wait to sleep in!” and usually progresses into “I want to spend all day playing Minecraft!” Now, I confess, the sleeping in part? I’m all for it. The playing video games all day part? Not so much. As a single mom of two, I am fully aware of the two-part problem summer creates. First and foremost: they are suddenly home. A lot. And we all know that it won’t take long for “I’m boooooored” to start in. At some point during the summer, they will become sedentary, lazy creatures that will only come to the surface for food and whatever icy-cold beverage I allow in the house. Which brings us to the second problem: this sedentary lifestyle tends to turn these otherwise-brilliant children’s bodies and brains into deep-fried blobs. Mental Acuity We’ve all heard the recent statistics: according to the National Summer Learning Association, students who do not participate in enrichment and learning activities during the summer break can lose roughly 22 percent of the knowledge and skills they gained during the previous school year. Dr. Ashley Norris, Ph.D., assistant dean, college of education at the University of Phoenix, echoes what all educators have been saying for decades. “The first few months of school in the fall are catch-up months to get the kids back on track and up to speed.” Physical Fitness Coach James Cordova, P.E. teacher at Judge Memorial High School in Salt Lake City can always tell which students have been active all summer and which ones haven’t. “Those kids that have been active – burning calories and exploring the outdoors – those kids are ready to learn and start the school year out right.” 4 l Summer 2014
The Wrong Turn There has been a definite decline in children’s health over the past decade. And Coach James thinks he knows why. “From the moment the public school system started cutting out vital classes such as physical education due to a lack of funding, we’ve seen our kid just get bigger and more unhealthy.” George Starks, local creator of the Summer Fit series – a set of workbooks designed to keep children physically and mentally fit during the summer months – agrees with Coach James. “It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see the breakdown between physical activity and mental ability.”
Physical Health Aids Mental Health When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. According to Dr. Norris, endorphins do several positive things for our body. “When endorphins are released and fed into our frontal lobes – the part of your brain that houses critical thinking – our mental acuity increases, as does our positive sense of well-being.” In other words, the more active you are, the better your brain works. Coach James would agree. “Historically, the highly intelligent are usually highly active individuals. Our minds and bodies work so much better when they are active and active together.” www.okanaganchild.com
Parental Problem As much as we’d like to point the fingers elsewhere (schools, technology, etc), as parents we really need to own up to our share of the responsibility in this. Jay Jacobs, father and final four contestant on Biggest Loser (season 11), put it best: “As a father, I was the leader of the pack. My choices affected theirs. When I made poor lifestyle decisions, so did they.” Jacobs and his daughter participated together on the show, and since then have made a healthy lifestyle a family affair. Permanent Solutions Fortunately, it’s never too late to turn the tides. Both Jay Jacobs and George Starks are hoping that this summer will be the “season of change” in how families get healthy and stay active. Their hope is that with a little bit of practice, all families will refocus and get back on track for a healthier body and a healthier mind. Check out the Summer Fit series at www.summerfitlearning.com for more ideas. Tried and True Dr. Norris recommends “authentic activities” to get children going this summer. “Find out what your child’s interests are and turn them into authentic learning experiences.” If your child is into bugs, for example, send them out in the backyard or at the park with a digital camera and have them explore and take pictures of as many different bugs as possible. They will get a good hike out of the experience, and enjoy taking pictures. Once s/he is done, have your child hop on the internet and learn as much as possible about each bug. “It is experiential learning that all kids crave,” Dr. Norris advises. Food as Friend, not Foe Jay Jacobs emphasizes that above all else, it’s our honest approach to food that will have the most impact. “Everyone is afraid of exercise, yet food is the pathway to participating in helpful habits.” Take your children with you to the Farmers’ Markets—or better yet, have them help grow food in your own garden – and let them choose which veggies they will help you prepare for dinner. Not only is this a worthy investment into their own (self-sufficient) futures, but it will get them outside, get them in the kitchen and even www.okanaganchild.com
create bonding moments between yourself and your children. It will even present itself as a learning tool. “Have your children research the recipe they would like to try,” suggests Dr. Norris. “Give them the money and let them figure out from start to finish what they would like to make and how much it will cost to make it happen.” Technology as a Tool Amongst the experts there seems to be a bit of a debate going on right now about technology. Some would say that too much technology breeds sedentary children. George Starks recommends “unplugging at the table” during dinner and “using technology as a reward rather than a right.” While this sedentary fear is true to some extent, I would also venture a thought: technology isn’t going to go away any time soon. Rather than ban it entirely and see the withdrawals your children go through (dramatically and without cessation), try using it to your advantage. (continued on page 11)
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The More the Merrier:
Bring Your Child’s Friend on Your Next Camping Trip by Heather Lee Leap “Do we have to?” These were not the words I wanted to hear when planning our annual camping trip on the Santiam River in Oregon. We’d gone to the same campground for years with a group of friends and now my daughter stood before me with her arms limp and shoulders slumped. How could she not want to go? We hike, and every day we play in the river. We laugh, share meals and spend time with our friends. Suddenly I knew. Our oldest daughter is
older than all the other children in the group and was no longer content playing with her little sisters and their friends, no matter how inspiring the setting. If your ‘tweens have developed an aversion to the outdoors, start asking questions. They may agree that camping is fun, but think it will be boring without a pal. By the time kids reach this age their urge to be with peers has begun to nudge out their desire for family time. And can you blame them? My husband and I realized we enjoy our group camping trips more than those we spend on our own. 6 l Summer 2014
To reinvigorate your child’s enthusiasm for your next family adventure, consider inviting one of her friends. You might discover some surprising advantages. Offering to bring your child’s friend on the next hike or camping trip doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing family time. You will still be together as a family, but your child will have a peer to share it with. Hiking with a friend increases your child’s independence from you, and incorporates the buddy system. Having a buddy can mean the difference between your child storming ahead of the group with a scowl, and two pals scouting ahead, returning with enthusiastic descriptions of what lies beyond the next bend. Kids with a buddy are often willing to take on more responsibility and will jump into camp chores because they don’t want to look lazy or incompetent around their friends. Even better, teamwork becomes part of the fun. Our daughter has been known to burst into tears of frustration when asked to pitch in with camp chores. On our trip last summer, she and her friend quickly and efficiently erected their tent, hauled their own gear and did it all with confident smiles. During the planning stage, talk to the parents of the child you are inviting to discuss expectations and how rules will be enforced. Go over rules again upon arrival at your destination, and adjust them or add to them as the situation requires. www.okanaganchild.com
Decide how far and how long kids can wander in the campsite before checking in. Set clear safety rules for campfires and bodies of water. You can’t choose your kids’ friends for them, but you have the final say regarding which one you will invite. Let your child choose from a short list of kids you’re comfortable spending that much time with. Be honest with yourself as you make the decision. It is unlikely the child who drives you nuts during play-dates will suddenly be tolerable during your trip. Consider the dynamics between your child and the friend she wants to invite. Your weekend or longer adventure is not the time for your daughter to renegotiate her position in the clique. Dissuade her from inviting the popular girl who she wants to spend more time with. The goal is for everyone to have fun. Which of her friends will be a great pal for hiking, setting up the tent and toasting marshmallows?
A tent can be an awkward space for adults to share with children who are not family. Instead, set up a kids’ tent, the ultimate combination of sleepover and secret hideout. They can whisper late into the night by flashlight while parents retain their privacy. If your ‘tween’s enthusiasm for camping with mom and dad has begun to wane, or the mention of any family outing results in eye rolling, it might be time to make room for one more camper. You could get a cooperative, cheerful participant out of the deal – your own child. Heather Lee Leap is a freelance writer and mom. She looks forward to more camping trips and hikes with her husband, her children and friends of all ages.
When traveling with other peoples’ children always have parents’ contact information on hand and check in about health concerns. Get explicit, written instructions for any medications the child might require. Depending on the length of your trip or distance from home, collect health insurance information and ask for a note from the parents authorizing emergency medical care. When extending the invitation, be up front about any potential costs. Do you want the parents to contribute money for food? Are you planning a side trip to an attraction that charges a fee? What equipment do you expect the child to bring? www.okanaganchild.com
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Avoid the Vacation Sleep Slump Keep kids well-rested on the road, and have a happier trip by Malia Jacobson Anyone who’s ever toted a toddler through a busy airport knows that vacations wreak havoc on kids’ sleep patterns. The travel trauma begins before you even reach your destination, with overtired whining and airplane meltdowns. Upon arrival, unfamiliar surroundings, and possibly a new time zone, usher in skipped naps and bedtime drama. Add a chronic case of crankiness that follows you home, and you end up craving another getaway—sans kids.
If your travels are taking you east to an earlier time zone, help prepare your child for earlier mornings on the trip. A few days before departure, wake children up 30 minutes earlier than normal in the morning, and adjust naps and bedtimes accordingly, so that their day ends about 30 minutes earlier than normal. The next day, repeat the process, moving wake-up time up by another 30 minutes. When departure day arrives, he’ll be ready to rise and shine.
You don’t have to sacrifice sleep in the name of family fun on vacation.With a little know-how and advance preparation, your kids can stay wellrested on the road. Helping little ones get their required sleep keeps them happy and at their best for sightseeing, shopping, relative visits, and everything else on your vacation agenda. And you might actually get to enjoy the trip, too.
Before you leave: Time-zone tweak It’s worthwhile to adjust to the new time zone if you’ll be gone for more than a week, says W. Joseph Leuschke, M.D., of the East Alabama Medical Center Sleep Disorders Center. To do so, Danna Tauber, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Director of the Sleep Center at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, recommends beginning to the adjustment two to three days in advance. 8 l Summer 2014
Pre-trip, you can prepare for a westward travel destination, where your little one will be staying up and later than normal, by focusing on bedtime. Several days before you leave, push bedtime later by 30 minutes or so. Encourage them to snooze later in the a.m. by keeping their room dark and quiet in the morning (if your child still wakes at their normal hour in the morning, stay with it. Kids’ internal clocks can take a few days to respond to a schedule change). Repeat the process over the next several days, until they’re staying up an hour or two later than normal. En route: Stay on track Plan air travel during an infant’s sleep times, says Harvey Karp, M.D., creator of the best-selling www.okanaganchild.com
Happiest Baby on the Block books and DVDs. “The white noise created by the plane’s engines will probably soothe them to sleep, especially if they’ve just had a meal,” he says. He recommends feeding a baby during takeoff (the sucking motion will help normalize their ear pressure) and swaddling to help summon sleep. In some cases, you may not want an older baby or toddler to sleep on the plane. If your trip is on the shorter side and doesn’t fall during a normal sleep time, keeping him awake may make for an easier bedtime at your destination (particularly if your trip is taking you to an eastern time zone, where you’ll want him to fall asleep earlier than normal). On vacation: Smooth landing
keeping kids’ bedrooms cool, dark and free from distractions including televisions and computers. Hotel rooms are often bright; inexpensive flat sheets in dark colors can serve as portable, temporary window shades. Travel with a a small white-noise machine or a digital recording to block out unfamiliar, noisy surroundings. With a bit of advance preparation, you can help ensure a restful, enjoyable vacation for the entire clan. Bon voyage! Malia Jacobson is a nationally published sleep and health journalist and author of Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades.
Once you reach your destination, help your child adjust to a new time zone with a few schedule tweaks. The key to a smooth time-zone adjustment is to adjust a child’s entire routine, not just his sleep times, says Leuschke. “The things that drive our circadian rhythms are sunlight, activity, and feeding times. So if a child will be napping and going to bed earlier or later than normal, it’s important to also adjust their mealtimes as well.” Maintain the same sequence of events throughout the day, and a consistent amount of time between sleep times and meals; if your child usually eats lunch an hour before afternoon naptime at home, try to feed him lunch an hour before his adjusted naptime on vacation. Light helps to regulate the biological clock, and can help children adjust to a new time zone quickly (hint: this also applies after you return home). “It’s helpful to have children participate in outdoor activities during the day and get exposure to sunlight,” says Tauber. For time-zone adjustment, children should get sunlight exposure in the morning when traveling eastward and sunlight exposure in the afternoon when traveling westward, she notes. For easier sleep on vacation, don’t forget to prep kids’ sleep environment. Tauber recommends www.okanaganchild.com
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6 Simple, Low-Cost, Kid-Friendly Home Decorating Ideas by Rhonda Franz
Could your house use a little shape-up over the summer? A new season is the perfect time to freshen up the look without much fuss or finances. Take the daunting work out of the process, get creative, involve the kids, and embrace the variety of ways you can add personal touches to your home that are practical and decorative. 1. Frame your child’s art. Watercolor paintings, crayon drawings, and colored pencil sketches make terrific, personal artwork for any wall in your home. Use inexpensive photo frames from a craft store, or decorated scrapbook paper cut into a border and placed around the edge of the picture. For a custom look, provide your child only those colors that would match or accent the room where the picture will hang.
2. Hang a laundry line of crafts. Parents usually get stacks of papers at the end of the school year. Attach wire or twine to an open area near your kitchen or laundry, and clip papers to your laundry area or kitchen wall with clothespins. These can also be used to hold special craft projects and artwork. Add a colorful touch by using a glue gun to attach an unused crayon lengthwise on the front of each clothespin, or let your kids decorate with markers and stickers. 3. Use crates as bookshelves. Look for old, sturdy crates at garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets. If needed, sand well and paint with 10 l Summer 2014
a color to accent your child’s room. Set rectangleshaped crates on end to hold large books and toys, or on the long side for smaller items. Crates can be placed next to one another, or stacked to create a rugged, kid-friendly, and functional shelf. For more ideas and inspiration, check images online or head straight over to Pinterest. 4. Try maintenance-free photo display. Don’t let all that framing, nailing, centering, and hanging keep you from showing off the precious faces of your family. Use photo boards with ribbon to easily slide in photos and cards. Change out material as often as you like in a matter of minutes, or hand the children a new stack of photos and let them do the arranging. 5. Put vintage toys to good use. Old toys look great in both children’s rooms, baby nurseries, and family rooms. If you want the toys preserved, be sure to put them on a high bookshelf, or on a mounted display shelf out of the reach of little hands. 6. Use the stairs. Set books on end on the outside space of a few steps. For a refined look, choose hardback books with binder colors that go well with the surrounding walls, rooms, and banister color. Not only is this a nice touch, it allows for handy access to a particular book whether the reader is coming down the stairs or going up. Make the best of these decorating tips by switching out books each season and using children’s holiday-themed art and photos for fall/ Thanksgiving, Christmas & winter holidays, and spring. Rhonda Franz is a freelance writer from Arkansas, USA. She is not a professional decorator, but has used all these ideas in her own home, and likes what she sees. She lives with her husband, three boys, and an impressive collection of fine (children’s) art. www.okanaganchild.com
(continued from page 5) Technology and your Teen Recently my almost-teenage son came to me with the sigh that only a teenager can master and said “When are we going to do something FUN, mom?!” To which I replied, “As soon as you plan it!” He had heard rumor of some caves off the coast of Oregon that, at certain times of the year, are filled with sea lions and he wanted to see them. I have tasked him with finding out which time of year is best to go, how much gas we will need to get there, how much hotels will cost and where would be best. I’ve also asked his younger sister to get involved: I asked her to find out why certain times of year were better than others to see them. Then I asked both of them to find another active-activity we could do as a family while were there. They are excited to go this summer and have planned a full itinerary of hiking and swimming and boat rides. Technology and the Younger Crowd “Incorporate things you do every day with your child. Whether that’s walking the dog, figuring out the tip at a restaurant or calculating sales prices” says Dr. Norris. Jay Jacobs recommends handing your smart phone over to your children and asking them to “ask Siri how many calories are in the apple you’re about to eat” or find out just what a calorie is. Then figure out how many jumping jacks that would take to burn off those calories. Coach James has a more ... practical proposal: “Time and time again I hear from parents that it’s more difficult to get their kids to go outside when it gets too hot. They’d rather stay inside, plopped on the couch in front of a screen. My kids were never bothered by the heat – they would ride their bikes to and from their friends’ houses or to their baseball practice or even just to the park in the middle of August and 100+ degree weather. Know why? Because we have a rule in our house: don’t turn on the air conditioning unless it’s over 92 degrees. My kids would actually prefer to go outside and get some fresh air rather than stay cooped up in the hot, humid house.”
Healthy Habits Start simple: small changes that become routine will be accepted and even encouraged by your children. If they know to expect a walk after dinner every night they will start to look forward to it. They will love reconnecting with their parents (especially after a long, hard day of work) when the weather isn’t quite so hot, and their enthusiasm is contagious. “Incorporating healthier lifestyles into everyday activities will not only make your family healthier, but exercise makes you happier. Happier families live longer, smarter lives.” says George Starks. Final Thoughts Don’t wait for the inevitable “I’m bored” to appear before making these changes. Think about an activity your family would enjoy doing and do it. Check out our Staff Picks section under Family Favorites for free or low-cost ideas on where to get fit and have fun doing it. “Classroom learning is confined to the classroom.. Summertime is for learning ‘outside of the box’ of the classroom walls.” says Dr. Norris. Best of all? “It’s all about practice -- not perfection” reminds Jay Jacobs. My family will be practicing a lot this summer. With hikes and treasure hunts and a fit-family vacation planned (by my kids), there won’t be a whole lot of time for Minecraft. But let’s not get too crazy – I’m still going to enjoy the ‘sleeping in’ parts! Whole Experiences = Whole Child Give the kids the keys to their own success. Have them research and choose activities, or give them a list to choose from. Combine technology with learning and reward rather than as a babysitter or a way to pass the time. Kids will enjoy changes more (and embrace them sooner) if they see you doing it and loving it too. Combining activity with learning is crucial: the more fun the kids are having while they are active, the more endorphins they release, the more focused they become, the more they learn.
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The Perfect Job for Your Teen by Gayla Grace A camp counselor job has a lot to offer your teen other than just an income. Here are a few life skills your teen will acquire as a camp counselor or counselor-in-training:
Kids love to go to camp and experience new adventures, enjoy a break from everyday life, and make new friends. But as our kids get older, we want them to experience a summer job and the benefits that go along with earning an income. Why not consider the perfect blend of both: a camp counselor job?
1. Responsibility. A camp counselor is assigned a group of kids and asked to look after their needs and help manage their schedule. Responsibilities include ensuring they’re at activities on time, helping with needs as they arise such as minor first aid or sunscreen application, playing with kids at activities, and being a friend on a bad day or a homesick moment. Teens gain maturity as they help young campers with needs that arise.
Teens can begin working as camp counselors during their high school years and continue during college as summer jobs if they choose. Some camps offer the opportunity for younger teens to begin as counselors-in-training during their junior high years. Our 13-year-old son will be working as a JCT (junior counselor-in-training) for two weeks this summer at a camp close to home and can’t wait to get started.
2. Endurance. Camp schedules are packed with activities to allow the kids opportunity to experience as much fun as possible in a short amount of time. Camp counselors must keep up, even on days they feel tired or unmotivated. Counselor Jamie Newman says, “The schedule is exhausting--you have to learn how to endure long days and persevere through exhaustion.” 12 l Summer 2014
7. Self-Esteem. What a great feeling to know you’re investing in others. That’s the feeling a camp counselor experiences every day at camp. Whether it’s one week or ten weeks, camp counselors go home knowing they’ve made a difference in young children’s lives and that’s something to be proud of!
3. Selflessness. The teen years typically include spells of sour attitudes and selfish behaviors. A camp counselor role forces a teen to remove his self-indulgent attitude and replace it with empathy and understanding for others. It shows teens how to put others’ needs before their own, a valuable life skill that many teens never acquire.
If your teen needs a job that offers life skills with an income, consider a camp counselor position. Camps of all varieties fill their staff with teenagers that offer fun and camaraderie with young campers. Match the interests of your teen--sports, music, education, etc.--with an appropriate camp and watch your teen blossom. As camp counselors, our teens gain valuable experience that offers lifelong lessons and memories in the process. As a freelance journalist and mom to five kids, Gayla Grace loves sending her teens to camp as counselors.
4. Relationship skills. Camp counselors are thrown together with other counselors they don’t know, some whom they might not like. They’re forced to learn how to get along with others while working toward a common goal. Meaningful relationships are built as counselors work alongside one another day after day. 5. Overcome fears. Camp is all about new adventures, for campers and counselors both. Newman says, “We were constantly pushed outside our comfort zone. I had to encourage kids to be adventuresome and try new things, which meant I had to do that too. Sometimes I felt ridiculous but I had to let go of my pride.” Counselors gain self respect as they overcome their fears and push themselves outside their comfort levels. 6. Humility. Camp counselors learn how to work under someone else’s leadership and follow directions. Counselors must do what’s asked of them in taking care of kids and following a predetermined schedule. www.okanaganchild.com
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A Jam Anyone Can Get Into by Lara Krupicka With the trend in consuming products as close to the source as possible, and the continued rise in food costs, it’s no wonder that more people are turning to home canning and preserving. According to Brenda Schmidt, Brand Manager of Fresh Preserving at Jarden Home Brands (manufacturer of the popular Ball and Kerr canning products), sales in the industry grew 40% between 2008 and 2011. Making homemade jam may sound daunting, but anyone can do it using basic kitchen skills. And children can take part in the process too. Try these steps with your family to enjoy your own homemade jam (works for blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and boysenberries):
Buy or pick your fruit A visit to a pick-your-own farm brings you directly to the source. It also ensures the freshest produce for canning. Most farms are kid-friendly so everyone can take part in picking. Joy Cox, mom to three young children, says that some of the fun for her comes from watching her kids get excited about picking the fruit because they know it’s for jam. For those short on time or who live too far from berry farms, a quick trip to a nearby farmer’s market or the local supermarket also works. You’ll need about 2 ¼ to 4 ½ pounds of berries per batch of jam. 14 l Summer 2014
Reserve two to three hours Plan your jam making adventure for an uninterrupted block of time. For more fun, invite some friends to join you. Our family often holds jam-making sessions with friends to share the work and to pass along the skills to others. Set up your work area Clear your kitchen table or counter to make space for your supplies and for working. Make room on the stove for three pots (one for cooking the jam, one for heating jar lids and the third for the boiling canner). Gather your supplies One of the drawbacks to trying out home preserving has typically been the expense of investing in supplies. Hot water bath processing (recommended by the USDA) requires a large canning pot with a rack and accessories, which can cost up to $50. However, Jarden Home Brands offers an inexpensive starter kit, perfect for small canning projects such as this one, that includes a rack and lifter designed to fit a regular stockpot (for under $15). Prepare the fruit Rinse berries quickly under cool water in a colander. Drain briefly. Next, in a large bowl, mash the fruit, a small amount at a time using a potato masher. Children particularly enjoy this part of the process so assign them the role of smashing the berries. Prepare Containers Wash jars, rims, and lids in hot soapy water. To prevent jars from breaking, bring water in your canning pot to a low boil. Turn off heat. Then submerge clean jars for 10 minutes. www.okanaganchild.com
Cook jam Transfer mashed berries to the saucepot in quantity indicated in pectin instructions. Add pectin. Heat to boiling, then add sugar according to pectin manufacturer’s recommendations. Stir until dissolved and return to rolling boil. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Be careful to follow times exactly, as the jelling process requires precision. In our house, the kids like counting down the seconds and announcing when time is up. Skim off foam Once the jam has cooked, remove from heat and skim foam from surface of cooked jam with metal spoon and transfer to a separate bowl. Set aside. Jar the jam Pour water out of each heated jar just prior to using. Then, using the funnel and ladle, scoop jam into jars, leaving a ¼” gap between the top of the jar and the jam. Carefully wipe lip of the jar clean, then put on the lid and rim, closing fingertip tight.
Process in Hot Water Bath Place jars on raised rack in canning pot as soon as they are filled and capped. When rack is full, slowly lower rack with jars into heated water, until jars are submerged. Return to boiling and boil for 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Carefully remove jars from pot using jar lifter and set on wood cutting board, trivets, or thick towel to cool. Celebrate While you clean up, listen for the sound of jar lids popping as the seals set. Cheer with each pop. You did it! As Cox says, “knowing that I’m providing something for my family that they thoroughly enjoy brings me a feeling of great accomplishment”. Your jam is made. Spread it on bread. Enjoy! www.okanaganchild.com
6 Ways To Involve Your Kids in Making Jam Picking fruit, even small hands can help. Counting out jars, rims, and lids. Smashing the berries. Watching the timer during jam cooking. Handing rims to an adult as jars are filled. Eating the jam. (Schmidt suggests adding the lowsugar variety to yogurt or hot cereal to get more fruit in kids’ diets.) Supplies Needed 3 pint or 6 half-pint glass canning jars 1 two-piece cap for each jar (with a new lid matches the jar size - either wide-mouth or regular) sugar pectin (a thickening agent available in liquid or powder and found in the baking aisle of your local supermarket) potato masher for crushing the berries metal spoon rubber scraper large bowl 6- to 8-quart saucepot ladle lid wand (for removing lids from hot water. Tongs will also work) jar lifter wide mouth funnel large canning pot with rack (stockpot and rack insert)
Parenting journalist Lara Krupicka enjoys making jam every summer with her daughters after they go blueberry picking. ®
maternity + nursing + beyond
nd LooFkeael ul f i t u a e B
Looks We Love for Women, Moms-to-Be & Nursing Moms
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Soothing the Stings, Bites, and Burns by Ashley Talmadge of Summer Ahhh, summer! The joy of being in the great outdoors once again seems endless. Yet, the season brings an abundance of biting insects, ultraviolet sunrays, and rash-producing plants. When the exuberant squeals turn into screams of pain, most parents are well-versed in the standard treatment of these minor traumas: ice, OTC pain relievers, lotions, and antihistamines. But these may take up to 30 minutes to kick in. Luckily, there’s a treasure trove of quick-acting treatment options right in the kitchen, and these home remedies can be used alone or in conjunction with the standards for great results. Naturopathic doctor Michelle Rogers of Earth Friendly Medicine explains, “The main advantages include fewer side effects, supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself (which is essential for the maturing immune system), cost effectiveness, and decreased environmental impact.” Here are some household remedies for treating the unavoidable stings, bites, and burns of summer. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings. A bee stings once, but leaves its stinger behind. Remove the stinger as quickly as possible. More venom is dispensed the longer it is left in the skin. Wasps and hornets do not leave their stingers behind and may sting multiple times, so leave the area before starting treatment! Make a thick paste using water and one of the following ingredients: Baking soda Meat tenderizer (contains papain, which is said to break down proteins in the venom) Charcoal (the activated form is cleanest, but charcoal from a campfire can be used in a pinch) Honey (unpasteurized contains antibacterial agents) Dirt/mud Toothpaste (undiluted) Apply directly to the wound. Leave on for 20-30 minutes. Or try one of these plant-based items: Sliced onion Papaya (a natural source of the papain found in meat tenderizer) Plantain (a common backyard weed) ground into a poultice Leave on the wound for about 20 minutes. 16 l Summer 2014
Itchy bug bites. Many of the remedies used for stings (e.g. baking soda, charcoal, and onion) may also be used to treat the itchy bites of insects such as mosquitoes, horse flies and black flies. Additional remedies for itching include: Oatmeal bath Aloe cream (refrigerated for better itch relief) Green tea bag (dampened and refrigerated) Tea tree oil, witch hazel, or alcohol (including hand sanitizer) Basil, crushed (repels mosquitoes and contains anesthetic properties) Mouthwash with menthol (cools the bite site) Sunburn. A cool bath is often the best way to relieve sunburned skin. Many believe in the addition of oatmeal, baking soda, or vinegar as a soothing agent. After a soak, try one of these home remedies: Aloe (best straight from the plant, but pre-made lotions are helpful) Shaving cream Milk or yogurt Potatoes (pulverized to a liquid, dried on the skin, and showered off) Corn starch (dusted on non-blistered areas irritated by clothing straps or bands) Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac. It is essential to wash well with soap and water to remove any oily residue from the skin. After that, a cooling bath can work wonders. Previously mentioned bath additives like oatmeal and baking soda work well to relieve itching. You can also try Epsom salts, buttermilk, or mint tea as a soothing addition. After dabbing the rash dry, try applying one of the following to dry the outbreak and speed healing: Oatmeal, baking soda, or vinegar paste Water melon rind Cucumber slices Lemon slices Banana peel And nothing beats a bag of frozen veggies placed on the rash site for the ultimate cooling relief! www.okanaganchild.com
Emergency! When to Seek Medical Attention Rogers warns that “when it comes to stings, it is always essential to rule out anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) before turning to our home remedies.” Other severe medical conditions may also warrant treatment by a medical professional. Call 9-1-1 immediately when any of these symptoms are present: Skin reactions (hives, itching, flushing) in areas other than the sting site Swelling of the mouth, throat, and/or tongue Difficulty breathing Weak and rapid pulse Dizziness Nausea or vomiting History of dangerous reactions to stings (even if symptoms are not present) Other reasons to seek medical attention: Multiple stings—when a person (especially a child) has been stung more than 10 times. Mouth stings—swelling must be reduced quickly when a child is stung on the lips or inside the mouth, so the airway is not affected.
Mosquito bites that result in severe headache, neck stiffness, or disorientation may indicate West Nile Virus. Blistering sunburn covering a large portion of the body. High fever or extreme discomfort. Failure to begin healing after several days. How to Make an Oatmeal Bath—a great soother for itching burning skin. 1. Measure about a cup of unflavored oats per bathtub of water. Instant, quick-cooking, and old fashioned oats all work well. 2. Grind the oats to a fine powder, using a coffee grinder or food processor on the “high” setting. 3. Test your powder by adding a spoonful to a cup of warm water. It should make the water look “milky” and feel “silky.” If there’s a lot of sediment, you need to grind it more. 4. Pour the ground oatmeal into running tepid bath water, stirring as you go. 5. Be sure to help your child in and out of the bath, as it will be slippery.
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Eight Summer Dates for You and Your Mate There is something to be said about warmer weather and longer sunlight hours. It reminds us of the newness of young love and the excitement of growing closer as we spend more time together. When we became parents, many of us gave up our couple time so we could spend it with our children. Now, we stand at the sidelines watching them enjoy their summer, and somehow, ours passes us by. This year, be sure to set aside some grown up time and enjoy a few summer dates. Go on a bike ride – Nothing is more enjoyable in the summer than riding through town with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. Whether you are hitting the bike trails or traveling around the neighborhood, bike rides are an excellent summer date. Choose a destination and reward yourself with a stop for coffee or frozen yogurt. Add a basket to your bike and do a little shopping on the way home. Go to the fair – Check out your local county or state fair. Take time to wander through the livestock and admire the 4H exhibits. Ride the merry-go-round, let someone guess your weight or try to win a fish in the ping pong toss. Take in a concert or watch the demolition derby. A date night at the fair is not complete without eating food on a stick or sharing a deep fried delight. Have a picnic in the park – For a romantic date, load up your picnic basket with cheeses, fresh bread, seasonal fruit and a nice bottle of wine. Bring along a kite, Frisbee or a bottle of bubbles for some carefree fun. Look for a big, shady tree where you can kick off your shoes and layout a soft blanket. Take this opportunity to catch up with your mate while you can offer your undivided attention. Get on the water – Summer offers so many water activities! Rent a canoe and paddle around a placid lake. Take out a rowboat and see if you can catch any fish. If you are a more active couple, spend the day jet skiing, surfing or waterskiing together. But don’t limit yourself to casual fun. Get dressed up and reserve a table on a dinner cruise or try 18 l Summer 2014
by Pam Molnar
your luck at the riverboat casino. End the evening together relaxing in a hot tub under the stars. Go on a food tour – Food tours are offered in many cities across the country. Spend the day sampling food from different parts of your city and enjoy a guided walking tour with area history. If you are looking for a cheaper option, try sampling street vendor fare or small local restaurants in your area. Download free Eat St. app to find street vendors in your area. Stop at the Farmer’s Market – Summer farmer’s markets are bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables, colorful flowers and locally raised meats. Some markets have a space for local artisans to share their creations or offer services such as knife sharpening. Bring your own bags and spend the morning exploring the different vendor booths. Sample the best of what local farmers have to offer and stock up for the week. Get active – It’s been said that couples who play together, stay together. Try playing tennis, beach volleyball or golf. Hit the clubs for a night of dancing. If you want to stay closer to home, take an evening walk and see what the neighborhood is up to. Work together in the yard by planting a garden or building a fire pit. If you are looking for a little more heart pumping action, try an exercise class that you will both enjoy like Zumba, cardio kickboxing or spinning. Do something for each other – Most couples don’t like to do everything their mate enjoys, but at the same time, they want to spend time together. Why not take turns supporting each other in the activities you each like to do? One weekend hit the book fair and the next weekend check out the car show. Trying something beyond your range of “fun” may spark a new found interest for yourself. Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. She and her husband have been dating for the past 28 years. www.okanaganchild.com
14 Ways to Enrich Summer Time Learning by Christa Melnyk Hines Wondering how to help your child retain reading, writing and math skills she gained over the school year this summer? Weave learning into daily errands and interactive activities found in your own backyard. “Summer is a great opportunity for parents to participate and come up with projects on their own and learn what their kids are interested in,” says Dr. Ashley Norris, assistant dean, University of Phoenix College of Education. According to the National Summer Learning Association, students who don’t participate in any summer enrichment or educational activities lose about 22 percent of knowledge and skills gained during the school year. Teachers generally spend the first two months of school reviewing past material.
take pictures or make notes in a daily gardening notebook detailing the life cycle of the plant, any problems encountered and how she worked to solve those issues.
5. Cook together. Involve your child in meal planning and preparation. Depending on your child’s age, Jessica Velazquez, a healthy living director for the YMCA, suggests putting him in charge of a meal once a week. “I remember being in third grade and having one night a week where I was in charge of dinner,” she says. (continued on Page 21)
By helping your children make the connection between what they learn in school and how the material relates to the real world, they’ll retain more of their new skills and grow into more engaged, enthusiastic learners. 1. Calculate tips. Next time you and your family eat dinner out, help your child determine the tip when the bill arrives. 2. Grocery shop. Dictate your grocery list to your child and have him keep track of the list. As you shop, talk about prices, sales and healthy choices. 3. Visit the farmer’s market. Peruse seasonal produce native to the area. Ask about fruits and veggies you and your kids have never heard of before. Practice math skills by giving your child a list, a budget and some money to shop at the market. 4. Grow a garden. Your child can learn more about her environment by cultivating her own fruits and vegetables. No room in your yard? Grow a container garden together. Your child can www.okanaganchild.com
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Resource Directory This Issue Camp Owaissi www.campoac.com email@example.com 250.769.3676 Cedar Bridge School 730 Whitevale Rd, Lumby, BC firstname.lastname@example.org 250 547 9212 Croc Talk Zoo 4493A Stewart Rd E, Kelowna, BC www.croctalk.com 250.764.1616 Birthdays, Groups, Schools, Families grobag by oyaco www.facebook.com/oyacoproducts www.oyaco.com The world famous baby sleeping bag
Breastfeeding Clinics / Support Okanagan Breastfeeding Coalition 330 Ellis St., Penticton, BC www.okanaganbreastfeeding.org
Childcare Resource & Referral Kelowna Child Care Resource & Referral #4 - 1890 Ambrosi Rd. Kelowna, BC 250.762.3536 www.childcarechoices.ca Penticton Child Care Resource & Referral 330 Ellis St., Penticton, BC 250.492.2926 www.kelownachildcare.com Vernon Child Care Resource & Referral 3300- 37th Avenue, Vernon, BC 250.542.3121 email@example.com
Public Health Services/Nurses Kelowna Health Unit 1340 Ellis Street 250.868.7700 Penticton Health Unit 740 Carmi Avenue 250.770.3434 Rutland Health Unit 155 Gray Road 250.980.4825 Summerland Health Unit 12815 Atkinson Road 250.404.8050 West Kelowna Health Unit 160 – 2300 Carrington Road 250.980.5150 Vernon Health Unit 1440 – 14th Avenue 250.549.5700
hautemama www.hautemama.ca 1.866.615.3800 Maternity, nursing and beyond
Midwives and doulas Doula Services Association, BC 604.515.5588 www.bcdoulas.org
New & Green Baby Co. 1.888.373.5566 www.newandgreen.com
Midwives Asscoation of BC 604.736.5976 www.bcmidwives.com
Sicamous Health Unit #10 1133 Eaglepass Way Sicamous BC 250.836.4835
Photography & Portraits
Revelstoke Health Unit 1200 Newlands Rd Revelstoke BC 250.814.2244
Richmond Tourism 1.888.373.5566 www.richmondplayforfree.com Stay in Richmond Play for FREE in Metro Vancouver Royal Soccer Club www.royalsoccer.com 1.877.247.0777
Bobbi Sloan Photography www.bobbisloanphotography.com 250.689.2475 Carly Blake Photography firstname.lastname@example.org 250.469.2070
Salmon Arm Health Unit 851-16th Street NE Salmon Arm BC 250.833.4100
Pleasant Valley Health Centre 3800 Patten Drive Armstrong BC 250.546.4700
The Terry Fox Run Sunday September 14 www.terryfox.org 1.888.836.9786
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(continued from Page 19) “And yes, we often had cereal or mac ‘n’ cheese.” Following a recipe also helps your child practice fractions and reading. 6. Head to the mall. How much is 20 percent off? When bargain shopping with your child, teach her how to calculate the prices of marked down items. 7. Play travel agent. Thanks to the Internet, your child can easily research your family’s vacation or a hometown field trip. Give her a list of questions to answer about the location, cost and hours of a specific site she wants to visit. Continue the learning when you arrive at your destination. Catherine Elder says she and her 7-year-old like to observe and talk about the tides, climate and sea life on their annual beach vacation. 8. Tune in. If your child is passionate about music, attend local concert series in parks, which are often free. Encourage her to learn about the history of the music she’s interested in and read biographies of favorite musicians. 9. Explore nature. Apply what your child has learned in life science to your backyard. “We always talk about different birds, bugs, and how flowers and trees grow. (My daughter) actually teaches me some things that she’s learned in school. It makes her feel good to know she is helping me learn, too,” Elder says. Science museums and nature outreach centers also offer inexpensive classes and camps. 10. Go digital. Got a bug enthusiast? Have him grab the camera and go on a scavenger hunt for different species. When he’s done he can make a digital presentation of his discoveries. “Many elementary kids know how to use multi-media even more than parents. They find it fascinating and think it’s fun,” Norris says. 11. Nurture creativity. With increased emphasis on raising test scores, many schools no longer devote much class time for artistic development. But art education enhances creative thinking, motor skills and social and emotional development. Have a splatter paint party on canvas in your backyard. Water color www.okanaganchild.com
on textured paper. Make collages out of old magazines. Further explore the visual arts at pottery cafes and art museums. 12. Journal. Purchase an inexpensive journal or notebook that your child can personalize. Write a prompt or a question at the top of the page. Take turns writing messages and stories back and forth. 13. Read together. “Children often say they don’t like to read because they’ve only read things chosen for them by others,” says Helma Hawkins, director of Children’s Services at the Kansas City Public Library. Summer is the perfect time to help your child find books and magazines that match his interests. Read together or start an informal book club with your child and a few friends. Schedule an afternoon to discuss the selection over milk and cookies. 14. Practice time management. Assign a weekly project for your children with a deadline to help them practice time management skills. “Base it on their interest so it doesn’t feel like work,” Norris says. They can select and research a specific topic, create a digital slide show about what they learned and then present it to you or extended family. Click into your virtual backyard. The web features a host of educational sites and resources, including: - Create comic strips: www.pixton.com. - Nature projects: http://www.thedailygreen. com/environmental-news/latest/staycation-ideas47052003#slide-1 - Home science experiments: http://www.sciencebob.com/experiments/ -Writing prompts: http://www.writingpromptsforkids.net/ - Art project ideas: http://www.artprojectsforkids.org/ Freelance journalist, Christa Melnyk Hines, and her husband are the parents of two boys. She is the author of Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life.
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Motherhood as an antidote to by Daniela Ginta overconfidence It was 6am or so; the drapes were hiding even the smallest splinters of light that early morning threw in through window and it was the perfect time to think about it all. Motherhood. My youngest son, almost eight, was tucked in close under his blanket, his cheeks red and mouth slightly open. Last night he came down with a fever and a malaise that ‘will get better if I come in your bed.’ So he did. Once again, I witnessed the mysterious ‘mommy’s magic touch’ phenomenon. The night was a short one, peppered with requests for sips of water, another blanket because he had chills, no blanket because he was too hot, and my own built-in restlessness, a side effect of mothering you could say. But these moments of silence and stillness (save for small sleepy sounds and a small hand with round fingers brushing against my face tracing the contours of dreams I will never know about,) are the reminders of what mothering is about. It’s easy to feel gracious when children are happily playing together, politely addressing each other and no worries shadow the day. But the fluidity of life is more than that; there are ups and downs, and it is in how they challenge that they make us grow. It’s when the nights are short and days frazzled, and when you think you could not slip any lower because you’ve hit rock bottom, that you
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discover two things: that lower does exist, but so do resources that you never knew you had.
It’s when you know that little people with round eyes and cheery thoughts painted all over their rosy cheeks count on you for their next step, that there is no other way but to hold them close, and through holding them close you learn to let go. Trust is the cement that helps keep the walls strong, until they need to come down. It’s when you wish you could put the world back together in a better way, that you realize a simple yet astounding truth: that your world is put together the right way. The reason you know this is because you got a chance – or many – to step outside of yourself and take a look from afar, from where you were caring for your children. Mothering is an act of giving a lot of yourself away while building yourself up as you go. Because we do. Every tear we dry, ours and our children’s, takes us to a place of truth where being vulnerable is not an act of weakness, but of courage and acceptance of the human nature. www.okanaganchild.com
Since becoming a mother almost 12 years ago, I have learned that motherhood is the best antidote to overconfidence. And that gratefulness is a good place to start being one. I remember reading many a parenting book, feeling inadequate about my shortcomings, and I remember listening to mothers talk and thinking they do a better job. Inadequacy, the occasional, ungracious guest... Most of all, I remember those gloomy days when the skies hung too low and too grey, when mistakes were made and forgiveness became the greatest gift I exchanged with my sons, but when small voices peeped: ‘You are the best mom in the world.’ And it was in those moments when I felt undeserving of accolades that I realized the opposite: that I deserve them the most, because mothering is about courage to try again, courage to learn from your own mistakes and courage to grow alongside your children, knowing that you provide boundaries for them to feel safe in, and wings to take off flying when the time is right. Never about perfection.
Accepting those bedtime ‘You are the best mom in the world’ hugs means accepting yourself with all that you are, because someone so precious gives you a measure of your true worth. It means listening when children say ‘thank you’: for being there, for not giving up no matter what, and for teaching them that love is the ground you grow your roots in and the sky you grow your branches towards. And that you’ll figure out the rest when the time comes...
Daniela Ginta, MSc Freelance writer www.ThinkOfClouds.com about.me/DanielaGinta
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Summer 2014 Issue