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Saturday, February 19, 2011

$1.19 Country Crock at Smith's!

Smith's Deal Scenerio:

If you bought two country crocks, one using coupon  at 1.49 and the other at 1.89 and got the $1 voucher for the next shopping trip, the price for each country crock would be ($2.38 total/2) $1.19 each

The country crock is on the 10 items get $6 off promotion and also a catalina! Too sweet!

(Check out to find your own great deals!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Relaxation idea for Children

Sometimes children having a hard time getting to sleep or calming down can be the most challenging aspect of parenting (at least for me!).

One thing we have done with my son is turn relaxation into a game.

We start out in the living room. If it is night time, all the lights are off and he would sit on my lap in the lazy boy. I would use a very soft voice and say, "Can you hear what I hear?" and then he would say what he could hear. Fortunately for us, we live in a very noisy area. He would name the obvious things like a train or airplane or cars passing. I would then name something softer like the refrigerator. I would wait several minutes before asking him what else he could hear.

When we ran out of things to listen for in the living room, we would move to his bedroom. I would sit on the floor and he would lie in bed. I would say what I heard and wait for his reply.

This activity would take between 20-25 minutes and usually happened after we read books and our son would get out of bed to complain of being scared, hungry, thirsty, etc.

I have never tried this when our son was mad or noncompliant, however I assume it may work as a de-escalation technique for a child.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gluten Free Treat!

I love home made preserves! I miss my pb and j sandwichs.
I've decided to improvise! For right at 100 calories, you can score a delicious gluten free treat:
Rice Cakes ala Raspberry
This is the simpiliest recipe ever! Just take 1 tbs of raspberry preserves and one pre-made rice cake and coat the rice cake with the raspberries.
I like this because it is one step up from raspberry's on celery and two steps up from raspberrys on cardboard!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Things NOT to Say

There are several things that are discouraging that you should not say to someone with depression or anxiety. I have put them in categories:

Spiritual: "Let God carry the burden."  "Read your Bible more." "Serve others and you will feel better."
You get the gist, any idea that by reading more, praying more, or serving other people will make the depression go away is just not true. People who are expriencing depression will be more frustrated with you for not understanding what they are feeling. Many cannot muster the energy to brush their teeth, let alone pray, read, or serve others. Some may have tried doing these things, only to find they didn't help and so they are frustrated with themself about why these things may have worked for someone else but not for them.

Cognitive-Behavioral: "Act Opposite to your Emotion." "Fake it until you make it."
Statements along this realm are frustrating to hear because they implicate that you have a choice over how you are feeling. While there is some choice involved in an emotion caused from an event like sadness over a death, clinical depression is not an emotion or a choice. A person cannot choose to feel something they didn't choose to feel in the first place.

Worst-Story: Please don't give examples of "someone you know who is worst and you are doing so much better than them because you brushed your teeth today." Or not good also, "You don't have anything to be depressed about, you have a beautiful family, nice house, etc." (Indicating that you have a choice.)

Well-Intentioned Advice:
These usually start out as, "My sister had this problem and she did xy or z" and ends with a sales pitch for a specific diet, vitamin, water purifier, or exercise equipment. In my mind, if there is something that is powerful and effective, it would be a million dollar money maker and not some obscure thing that a friend, heard from a friend. Likely, someone who is depressed will interpret this as your way to push your own agenda and make a buck off of someone who is vulnerable. You can tell your story, just don't expect a depressed person to jump at it as they have either tried it and it didn't work or are unmotivated to try it because they feel helpless.

If you shouldn't say things that are explained above, what can you say???

1-Run it through your head first. If you wouldn't replace it with something like "cancer" or "high cholesterol", don't say it. ("If you just act like you don't have CANCER than you'll feel better." or "If you serve others, you're HIGH CHOLESTEROL will disappear.")

2-After it passes #1, determine if it is something that would be genuinely helpful. Something like, "what can I do to help you?" is a start. It's likely they won't want to be a burden on you so be proactive and do something that you observe needs to be done.

3-Something like "I hate that you're experiencing this" is also a good idea. Empathy is helpful, as long as it doesn't come across as pity.  Pity is frustrating and demeaning.

4-You can ask questions, if you ask first and have permission! You could say, "I notice you seem down, do you mind if I ask questions to better understand what you're going through." Some good questions are, "Is everyday bad or just some days." "How do you know the difference between a bad day and a really bad day." "Has anything been helpful in the past?"

5-If it's none of your business, keep it that way!

6-If it is your business, evaluate in your mind how severe you think they are and if you think they are a risk to themself or others, ASK them. Many times they will tell you. If they don't tell you, and you still think they are a risk, intervene with the advice of a trusted professional.

If you have other ideas about helpful things to say, or not to say, feel free to leave a comment!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Home Schooling Vs. Public School

I admit, I am not ready to let my 4 year old go to school. Some of my hesitation comes from a recent seminar I attended on teen mass murderers which definitely scared me  but I was having second thought s previous to that, too. 
My main hesitation for public school comes from my personal philosophy that school is more of a means of teaching obedience and sameness. My son would do fine, but not blossom. In organized classes, he is shy and is often overlooked (he easily missed snacks, extra art supplies, and singing time). With me, he loves to sing, loves art, and I hate that he was left out of activities.
I am really inspired by Money Saving Mom and her dedication to homeschooling, home organization, and working. However, homeschooling takes consistency, a schedule, and discipline (things I currently lack).
Unfortunately, Jeff and I neither agree or disagree about the subject. I think in the ideal world, I would be staying home, homeschooling, nursing until our baby is 3, and happy and content. The reality is that the lifestyle I just described would soon become very boring and unfulfilling for me (as I have tried it before and suffered much worse depression).  
If anyone has any insights that could sway us one way or the other, or a third option, that would be helpful!

I did check out Joy of Five J's blog. She has great articles on home schooling. Even after surfing her site for hours, I'm still not convinced one way or the other.