Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day: History and Meaning

Well, it's that time again. Many Americans view Memorial Day as not much more than the start of the summer season. Most of us will be barbecuing, gathering with family and friends, maybe even doing some shopping. While enjoying the long weekend we hope you'll take a moment to remember the meaning of Memorial Day and perhaps even pass it on to someone. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Waterloo, N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966. Memorial Day is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
We cherish too, the Poppy red That grows on fields where valor led, It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies.
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it. To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps." We hope you'll have a wonderful, long weekend with family and friends and we also hope that while you're doing that you'll remember and appreciate those who have fallen for our country this Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting Rid of the Pacifier?

"How am I ever going to get rid of this pacifier?" I hear that question A LOT from parents who have babies under one year. Sure, some babies never take a liking Pacifier - Time to Go?to pacifiers, but there are just as many babies who can't get enough of that sucking action. You might worry that if you don't take away the pacifier soon, your baby will get even more attached and you'll find yourself with a 3, 4, or 5 year old still sucking on that pacifier. But you also can't imagine taking it away now... especially since your baby started sleeping through the night and you don't want to return to sleepless nights. Or you have that upcoming trip on an airplane and you know you will need it then. What's a mom to do? I was one of those moms... my first daughter was obsessed with her paci. OBSESSED. At around 1 year we limited her use of it to just her crib, her stroller and the car. And then we cut back to letting her have it just in her crib. But there was no way she was going to give it up on her own. The method we finally went with is "The Pacifier Fairy." You might have heard about it, but if not, read on to see what it's all about, and make sure to leave a comment sharing your story about the pacifier. The Pacifier FairyThe Pacifier Fairy - Will it Work for Me?
The ideal age for using The Paci Fairy method is between 2 and 2.5 years. Most babies cycle through phases where they are easier and open to change and where they are difficult and fight change. You will need to choose a time to do this when there is not other stress in baby's life (new sibling, new school, etc) AND when baby just seems to be having one of those good weeks. Read up on the method, get prepared to do it, and then be flexible with timing... if you choose a certain date but baby seems to be acting up about everything, be flexible and postpone it a week or a month or more.
The Pacifier Fairy - How Does It Work? The basic gist is that you tell your 2 year old about The Pacifier Fairy who comes at night to collect the big kid's pacifiers so she can give them to all the new babies in the world, and then leaves a present for the big kid. Like this so far? Then follow these step by step instructions for how to do it:
One or two times, casually mention the story of the Paci Fairy to your child. Explain about the fairy, but don't make it personal to your child or your child's paci. Just talk about the existence of the fairy, so that when the time comes for the fairy to visit he or she will be familiar with the idea. Do this between 1 and 4 weeks before you actually take the pacifier away.
You start the process 3 nights before you actually take the paci away, and you tell your toddler on each of these 3 nights what is going to happen. For example, on Sunday night you will explain that the Pacifier Fairy is coming in 3 days, on Wednesday night. Explain that they get to sleep with their paci tonight, tomorrow night and the next night, but on Wednesday night (or whatever day) the Pacifier Fairy is coming. Repeat how he or she will leave all his/her pacifiers for the fairy and the fairy will leave a toy.
Do the same thing for the second and third nights. For example, you will explain on Monday night how your toddler will get to sleep with his paci tonight and tomorrow night, but on Wednesday night the pacifier fairy is coming. You get the idea.
Happy Toddler - No Pacifier!On the third night, walk around the house with your child before bed collecting all the pacifiers together. Place them in a bag. Put the bag outside the front door. Follow your normal bedtime routine, give extra love and snuggles. Talk about how the Pacifier Fairy is coming tonight and will be leaving a toy.
In the morning, give your toddler lots of love and walk to the front door together. Open the door and discover the toy that the pacifier fairy left. (Note: don't forget to replace the pacifiers with a toy before your toddler wakes up! The pacifier fairy is actually not a real fairy. Also, make sure you don't put the old pacifiers somewhere where your toddler will find them!)
Congratulations! I hope you find that it was actually easier then you expected it to be. One final piece of advice is that it is really important for you to exhibit CONFIDENCE that your toddler will be okay without his/her pacifier. If you don't believe it yourself he/she will pick up on your anxiety and it will make it much harder for both of you. by Adrienne Shulman from - Help for New Moms Everywhere. is dedicated to providing help for new moms everywhere with practical advice on various topics from surviving pregnancy through the first 24 months with your new baby. Original article here. Reprinted with permission.

Monday, May 24, 2010

NEW! eeBoo Toys & Games

"A child will cherish every day that we get down on the floor to play."
For growing hands and growing minds eeBoo gifts and toys are made with fine design and inspired by art. They always have your child at heart! So get on the floor and play! Families need to every day :)

We are happy to present to you a wonderful collection of toys and games from eeBoo! They are proud that their toys and games are made from 90% recycled materials! Your family will enjoy their games that are fun for the whole family to play! They even have the classic party game Pin the Tail on the Donkey!

Game play allows children to practice following rules & instructions, taking turns, using small motor skills, problem solving, matching, memory, and social skills! Playing games is a great way for the whole family to have fun while building skills!

Shop eeBoo Toys & Games here

Featured eeBoo Game: I Never Forget a Face Matching Game $14.95

Award Winner! Oppenheim Toy Portfolio: Best Toy Award Gold Seal The smiling faces of 24 children from countries all over the world are fun and sometimes challenging to match in this memory game. The back cover shows each child and identifies their home country. An eeBoo Favorite and an award winner too! Not only is this game fun to play alone, it can be played with a sibling, friend, or parent as well. eeBoo's I Never Forget a Face Matching Game sharpens recognition skills, memory skills, and matching skills while using small motor skills. A great game to introduce game play, following rules, and taking turns. A wonderful special needs toy too as it emphasizes facial features.

Shop eeBoo Toys & Games here

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

NEW! Alex Toys Now Available at

View All Alex Toys
ALEX's mission is to provide children with quality creative products that foster personal expression and build self-esteem. The best children's activities provide lots of fun and they open a child's mind to new skills, new ideas and new worlds.
Alex Little HandsWe especially love ALEX's Little Hands Collection! Each product in their Little Hands Collection, from puzzles and lacing to art and crafts, is specifically designed for the physical, cognitive and practical needs of toddlers and preschoolers!
Little Hands Good Time CraftsFeatured Item: Good Time Crafts
Finally some easy fun for little hands that need a focus! Turn paper cups and plates into a crafty party in just a few minutes!
Good Time Crafts contains:
12 fun and easy projects: 4 party hats, 4 masks, and 4 monster cups.
Good Time CraftsIncludes oodles of stickers, precut shapes, buttons, feathers, tissue paper, glue stick and easy instructions.
Such a great craft set to keep handy for rainy days or when you just need a fun craft activity! With 12 included craft activities, you'll have plenty of ways to cure "I'm Bored!"
Good Time Crafts is part of ALEX's Little Hands Collection and is appropriate for children Ages 3 and up!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New! Educational Play Food Toys from Learning Resources

Fun, thoughtful, and engaging toys to stimulate a child's growth and development from Learning Resources! You'll love their collection of educational play food toys - all with something extra - ABC's, counting, shape matching or color matching! A wonderful selection of educational toys, some of which are appropriate for children as young as 2 years! Featured Item: Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register This is a Multi Award Winning Toy and the perfect addition to any pretend store - no batteries required! Features a working solar-powered calculator with big buttons for little hands! Also includes 30 actual-size pretend bills, 40 plastic coins, pretend credit card and Activity Guide. This wonderful cash register also makes a cha-ching sound when the drawer opens, just like a real register, adding fun to imaginative play and money math activities alike! Adds to pretend play activities such as playing "store." Introduces children to using a calculator and the basics of math, money, cash, and coins!
Buy Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register Here

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Long Winded Lecture or Short Questions: Which Works?

by Sharon Silver (reprinted with permission) Have you ever given a long-winded lecture after a timeout? Does it sound something like this, "We have rules for a reason. When I make a rule you're supposed to follow it-not ignore it, do you understand me? When I tell you not to take your sisters things I mean it! How would you feel if she took your favorite things?" We've all done it. I was always afraid that if I didn't have a long-winded lecture to make my point my children would never figure things out for themselves. That's just not true. Did you know that to a young child a long-winded lecture feels just like another timeout? Lectures can cause a child to say things like "I never do it again, promise!" in order to make the lecture stop. · Children do try to absorb what you're saying but "big talks" can be too much information all at once. Some children may begin to shut down or withdraw instead of listening to you when you lecture. Watch your child's body language. If his body stiffens, he rubs his eyes, hands or legs, or tries to give you a hug as you're lecturing, he's trying to tell you that he's reached his limit and needs the lecturing to stop. He's trying to tell you, in the best way he can, that he can't absorb your feelings and his feelings about what he did and the consequence all at once, it's just too much for him. · Wait a minute-I thought explaining something to my child was what I'm supposed to do? How she'll really learn what you want her to learn is to ask her what her thoughts are about what happened and then wait silently as she musters up the courage to talk to you about it. · How can I get her to share her thoughts? The words Safe, Kind and Honest have been used for a long time and have become popular again. At a time when your child isn't crying or in trouble explain the concept behind the words using examples to make sure she understands. Let her know these are the new rules in the family. After she understands all of that, use the words as part of a question instead of lecturing. Don't assume that because she's fully verbal she understands the concept behind the words and how her actions impact others. Ask her if what she did was safe? Allow her to think about it for 10-20 seconds without saying anything. Then ask if what she did was kind, and again wait silently. If needed ask her if she's being honest about what happened, and wait. The words safe, kind and honest serve as a reminder of what the family rulesare without you needing to lecture to get the point across. When the words/rules are used in question form they cause her to really think about them over and over again, which is also the best way for her to remember them too. Asking questions really can replace lecturing and timeout because they cause more learning to occur then just sitting in timeout. · Silence is golden for a reason and there's a warning. When you ask a question and then become silent for 10-20 seconds it does many things. The 1st thing it does is allow your child to think about what happened and how it impacted another. Her answer allows you to see how she views the situation so you can fill in any missing information. Silence after each question allows you to take a deep breath, release your anger and regain your calm. Warning: Use silence for just a few seconds; if she doesn't answer your question, help her out. Children don't like this because it makes them take responsibility for their actions. This only works if you're loving and empathetic while asking the questions. Slowly ask the questions to guide your child to his/her own aha moment versus feeding them all the answers thru your long-winded lectures. So next time, instead of giving long-winded lectures, try using the words Safe, Kind and Honest and then beSilent. It teaches your child more than you think. Sharon Silver is the founder of ProActive Parenting, a site helping parents Stop Reacting & Start Responding. She hosts Ask Me and Getting to the Heart of the Matter Join her on twitter @proactvparentng.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

NEW Wooden Toys from BOIKIDO

Introducing BOIKIDO Wooden Toys at Gummy Lump. Boikido is dedicated to creating originally designed hand made wooden toys for children between the ages of 1 to 4 years of age. The Boikido range of products is designed exclusively in France by a top team of designers. The products are all tested with mothers, babies and educational experts to ensure that the design and functionality are the best suited for the target groups. Shop Boikido Wooden Toys Shop ALL Wooden Toys Shop ALL Wooden Toddler Toys
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