Posts tagged family-friendly

FREE Books. Racine Littles.

girlbooksIt’s the gift that speaks volumes for our community’s future! Just Add Kids’campaign to help build young readers via the United Way of Racine County’s Imagination Library initiative.

Imagination Library was created in 1996 by famed country-singer Dolly Parton to foster a love of reading. All participating children receive free, age-appropriate books though the mail each month, from birth to age five.

In 2009, United Way launched the Imagination Library initiative in western Racine County. It was a perfect fit for United Way’s early childhood priority focused on the healthy development of children and school readiness.

Your support of Just Add Kids’ crowdfunding campaign will help Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library expand to serve young children throughout ALL of Racine County. More than 36,000 FREE books have been distributed since the program began in 2009 and we want to distribute even more!

I am so passionate about being able to help facilitate providing books for kids right here in our city. Your financial support is being requested to join me and the United Way of Racine County in making a difference in the lives of children in the birth to age 5 bracket.

What a GREAT opportunity to give. Click here to donate!
$5, $25…whatever your heart feels is good. Thank you!

Join in on the celebration with the Imagination Library’s Expansion Event! Come to Regency Mall’s East Court on Saturday from 10am – 2pm. First 500 children enrolled  will receive a literacy kit and a FREE book in the mail each month until they turn five!

Imagination Library Expansion Event Flyer (2)

Just Add Kids Paula FB profile.jpg

Cheers, 
Paula Herrmann, Founder
Just Add Kids

 

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It’s the Gift That Speaks Volumes

Dolly-Parton-library-logoIt’s the gift that speaks volumes for our community’s future!  Just Add Kids’ campaign to help build young readers via the United Way of Racine County’s Imagination Library initiative.

Imagination Library was created in 1996 by famed country-singer Dolly Parton to foster a love of reading. All participating children receive free, age-appropriate books though the mail each month, from birth to age five.

In 2009, United Way launched the Imagination Library initiative in western Racine County. It was a perfect fit for United Way’s early childhood priority focused on the healthy development of children and school readiness.

Your support of Just Add Kids’ crowdfunding campaign will help Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library expand to serve young children throughout ALL of Racine County. More than 36,000 FREE books have been distributed since the program began in 2009 and we want to distribute even more!

I am so passionate about being able to help facilitate providing books for kids right here in our city. Your financial support is being requested to join me and the United Way of Racine County in making a difference in the lives of children in the birth to age 5 bracket.

What a GREAT opportunity to give. Click here to donate!

Just Add Kids Paula FB profile.jpg

Thank you, 
Paula Herrmann, Founder
Just Add Kids

 

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Clean Play. Screen Play. Let’s Play…

JAK Chat blog by Amanda DeSonia 6.18.2015 (2)Slay the Summer Chores
and Set Down the Screens!
by guest mom blogger from Racine,
Amanda DeSonia

We could talk all day about the things we are slacking on or failing at as Mothers.

Let’s not.

We have made it just 6 days into Summer Vacation and already I am watching my kids slip away into screen oblivion. It’s not always their fault, really. Sometimes I just ENJOY the solitude and quiet that comes with kids who enter the vegetative state of passive ipad and Netflix watching. There. I said it.

JAK Chat blog by Amanda DeSonia 6.18.2015 pic 2Then comes the challenge of chores. I’m pretty sure I was helping more around the house at my daughters’ ages. I almost would bet money on it because I remember many years of eye-rolling and sighing when I was given chores. I also went through a phase where I called myself “Manderella” because I felt like the over-worked, unappreciated daughter. I didn’t have any ugly step-sisters, just one biological one who was awesome at avoiding chores by playing the diarrhea card.

This week I stained and glued and laminated and labeled. Traditional chore charts have never worked for us and I know I needed something obvious, flexible, and creative. I think I saved the labels. I am happy to share them if anyone wants them!

So finally, this is our new system, and it’s just as much for me as it is for them. I need the visual reminder to have them help just as much as they do.

DeSonias Do Daily

1. Do get  yourself ready for the day! Eat, dressed, hair, teeth!

2. Do Chores: (Each child has 4 laminated chores that are age appropriate. I pick 3, they can choose 1. These go up every morning and change based on what needs doing.)

2. Do Stay Well-Rounded.  (Each child must pick one from each category: Mental/Physical/Social activity per day to engage in. These are just ideas, I hope it will inspire them to come up with their own activities.)

JAK Chat blog by Amanda DeSonia 6.18.2015 pic 3

3. Do put your finished chores and Well Rounded Work Cards  in the galvanized envelope on the wall.

4. Do ask for technology but only after you have completed your Chores and your Well Rounded Work. You are allotted 1 hour of screen time. You can divide your time up between TV and iPad if you choose.

Following through with this program will take commitment from me. We are SO lucky to have an amazing Montessori Teacher/Family Support Professional (She’s way more than a sitter or a nanny) who will help us stay on track this summer. Long after the shiny new appeal of the lamination has worn off I hope I have a better handle on how to run a home with more help from my kids.

Here is where I will ask you fellow Moms for advice. I really want my kids to learn that being part of a family means work. Everyone has to pitch in so we can ALL “Clean Less and Live More!  I also want my kids to learn how to manage some of their own money. My idea is to add extra chores on to their clips and offer an allowance based on those “extra” and voluntary chores. These would be above and beyond and not mandatory. How would you suggest I do this? Pay a set amount per chore? Any other ideas from the field on chores, no allowance or allowance, and what has worked for you and your family? Please comment and share!

*All of my kids have their own Norwex Kids products (Enviro/Window/Dusting Mitt) to use so they can clean the healthy, fast, and safe way we believe in! They know how to use it, care for it and to hang it up after their are done using it!

About our guest blogger:

Amanda DeSonia pic for blogAmanda DeSonia lives in Racine with her husband and three children, Maren, 10, Violet, 7 and Henry 4. Former stay at home Mom turned direct sales/party plan expert, she uses her passion for healthy and eco friendly living to educate families on the benefits of living a low-toxic lifestyle. Amanda can be found spending her free time exploring Milwaukee restaurants and loves all things social media, NPR, writing and reading, wine and travel.

Additionally, if you are looking for some guidance on AGE-APPROPRIATE CHORES FOR KIDS. JAK grabbed this off of a friend’s Facebook page (with permission, of course!). Thank you, Lindsey Knapp, another JAK Chat mom blogger/contributor.

Age-appropriate chores

 

 

 

 

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Destination ==> FUN!

Let’s Head INDOORSkid in a ballpit
Play Place Destination Guide
Compiled by Just Add Kids Founder, Paula Herrmann

‘Tis the season for wacky weather! We can be in the midst of a polar vortex deep freeze, knee deep or so in a winter wonderland of snow, muckin’ around in slush and brown mud, or heck we might see dead dry grass and pavement. Who knows?

One thing remains constant….KIDS GOTTA PLAY, and sometimes momma just has to get away.  There are a number of indoor activity centers for families with kids of all ages.  Read more….

America’s Action Territory – (Kenosha) A wide choice of indoor and outdoor attractions, games and food selections. Indoor options are: arcade, bumper cars, BallOCity, laser tag, and The Heist.

Monkey Joe’s – (Kenosha and Waukesha) Children’s party and play destinations with 9 giant inflatable jumps and slides perfect for children 12 and younger includes the Mini Monkey Zone area for children ages 3 and younger.

Chasing Tales for Kids  -(Oak Creek)  An indoor playground that offers both recreational and educational experiences for young children. Available for free play, birthday party hosting, story time, and special events.

Lotza Fun Room – (Muskego) Exciting play experience for children ages 5 and under.  We offer a clean and safe playroom with a variety of different toys and activities for children to enjoy.

Bounce Realm – (Greenfield) Indoor Party and Play Center for children 12 and under. Inflatable party place, playground,  arcade and movie theater.

Family Tree Haus -(Franklin) Indoor playground for children up to 10 years old.

FunTimez! – (Franklin) Party and Play Center which features massive, themed inflatable slides, obstacle courses and bounce houses kids love, interactive games, toddler activities and more. A family destination for people of all ages, recently added rock climbing, adventure jumper, and laser tag!

Bounce Milwaukee – (Milwaukee) Inflatable sports arena, laser tag, rock climbing, obstacle courses and much more!

The Big Backyard, LLC – (New Berlin) An indoor playground and birthday party center that provides a fun, clean, and safe place for children ages 0-8 to play, celebrate special events, and learn through our enrichment opportunities.

Helium Trampoline Park – (New Berlin) Features 140 trampolines with Open Jump All Day Everyday!

Kids In Motion – (New Berlin) Open Play area for toddlers/preschoolers, laser tag for ages 5 and older, arts and crafts, and cafeteria.

StoneFire Pizza Company – (New Berlin) A state of the art arcade area with touchscreen arcades, classic pinball, and old standbys like skee-ball; bumper cars, mini-bowling, multi-level BallOCity, Frog Hopper ride, candy store, buffet & sports bar!

Sky Zone Milwaukee – (Waukesha) Indoor trampoline park offering active fun for all ages.

The list probably doesn’t end here. Gymnastic centers will be added shortly.
If you own a business, or know of other indoor play destinations, let JAK know! contact@justaddkidsonline.net

 

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4 That Matter

A Read/Want/Wear/Need ChristmasJAK Chat Blog Amanda DeSonia
by guest mom blogger from Racine, Amanda DeSonia

A few years ago I decided to try to take back Christmas.

That makes me sound like a total martyr. Honesty, I really struggle with the holidays. Struggle as in I bounce between moments of glee and peaceful nostalgia to fits of rage and moments of paralyzing anxiety….. Merry Christmas?

I think most women and mothers go into the holiday season with ridiculous amounts of enthusiasm and equal parts unrealistic expectations for what we might accomplish. Perfect presents picked and wrapped? Check! 24 individually wrapped Advent gifts? Yay!  Trek to the local tree farm and pick and cut the perfect tree and trim it with the exact amount of Martha Stewart recommended LED lights based on the height of the tree? Done!  (I did research that once.) Bake cookies, buy matching Christmas outfits for the kids, holiday photos, pre-Pinterest inspired handmade gifts, Christmas cards….. I’m getting an ulcer just trying to remember all the things I used to do.  Read more…

4 years ago, after realizing we hadn’t even planned out any sort of budget, and subsequently realizing that living on one income perhaps that may have been something smart to do, I started to pause and wonder, WHY am I doing all of this stuff that I am really, honestly, hating? I tried to remember exactly what gifts we had given our girls for Christmas the year before. I couldn’t even name one thing. All of the stress of shopping and none of it was even…. memorable. The packaging, the waste… from an environmental standpoint Christmas Day always made me feel serious Mother Earth guilt.

4 years ago on December 27th I was due with my 3rd baby. There is nothing like a baby due at Christmas to give a woman the Trump Card to throw down. I played that card hard that year and it was the best forced traditional change ever granted to me and my family. I sat down (and barely got up) and made a list of the things I wanted to do that holiday season, the things I had to do, and the stuff that I was supposed to do. All the supposed to stuff I just blessed and released. I had read about a Mom who was feeling like her children were turning into greedy, ungrateful Christmas monsters and shared her plans for a Read, Want, Wear, Need gift plan.

So I decided that year, I too, would give my kids a Read, Want, Wear, Need Christmas.

Each of my kids got 4 gifts, and has on every Christmas since.

Something to read.

Something they want.

Something to wear.

Something they need.

They get one gift from Santa, and a stocking with little things as well. Others have asked if my kids feel short changed by this. Is it boring? I asked my girls this last year and they said, “What? You aren’t stopping that, are you? We love it! Don’t quit doing it!” So no, it’s safe to say they enjoy it!

That change alone freed me from so much holiday stress. I cannot over-buy or emotionally shop. I’m forced to pick carefully, then stop shopping and do other things. The priority list now includes more fun things that I don’t dread doing, like see the Nutcracker, snow-shoe, hot glue stuff to stuff and make ugly crafts, watch our favorite Christmas movies. Do I still get stressy? Of course. Do I still have waves of Non Christmas Card Sending Guilt as I open up cute Shutterfly cards I ADORE getting from my family and friends. Sure. Do I envy the women who really do have the skills to Do Christmas and do it well and enjoy doing it? Honestly, yes. Does it bother me enough to go back to the old ways? No. I hope any of you who are entering this season feeling like it’s time for new traditions, will find some peace in knowing that we don’t have an Elf on the Shelf, I don’t want one, and if you give me one, I will use him as a door stop. May you do more of the things you love, and less of the things you don’t!

About our guest blogger:

Amanda DeSonia pic for blogAmanda DeSonia lives in Racine with her husband and three children, Maren, 10, Violet, 7 and Henry 3. Former stay at home Mom turned direct sales/party plan expert, she uses her passion for healthy and eco friendly living to educate families on the benefits of living a low-toxic lifestyle. Amanda can be found spending her free time exploring Milwaukee restaurants and loves all things social media, NPR, writing and reading, wine and travel.

 

 

 

 

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Nothin’ to Sneeze At!

Is Your Child Too Sick for School?
WFH_All Saints 2Cstk_Co (2)

Sponsored by Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare All Saints

It’s 7:00 am and your child complains of not feeling well. What do you do? Send him to school or keep him home?

 

There are three main factors when deciding whether a child can attend school.

  1. Is he well enough to take part in the daily activities?
  2. Will he require extra attention from teachers or staff?
  3. Will he spread his illness to others?

Read more…

“Children can attend school with the sniffles as long as they feel all right otherwise. But keep your child at home if he or she is feeling too sick to play or learn,” says Muhammad Ahmad, MD, Family Medicine.

Asian Boy Fever pic Wheaton Franciscan All Saints 10.1014 blog

Also keep him home if his breathing is rapid or labored, has a fever higher than 100˚F, is vomiting repeatedly, or you may feel he has something highly contagious (ex. pink eye, strep throat, and some rashes). In these cases, keep him at home until you are able to get him checked by his doctor.

 

Another common complaint is an upset stomach, which can be caused by outside stresses or a virus or bacteria. “The pain probably isn’t caused by something too serious if your child is able to play or do other activities. But keep your child home from school if the stomach pain is accompanied by recurrent vomiting or diarrhea,” says Dr. Ahmad. Call your child’s doctor if the pain or vomiting is severe or does not go away after a couple of days.

 

Ahmad, Muhammad pic for Wheaton Franciscan blog 10.2014“When it comes to temperature, a reading below 100˚F is generally not cause for concern,” adds Dr. Ahmad. “A fever above 100˚F, especially when combined with a sore throat, a rash, or other symptoms, could mean a more serious illness. Keep him at home and make an appointment to visit his doctor.”

 

Dr. Ahmad is accepting new patients of all ages. To make an appointment, call his 3807 Spring Street office at (262) 687-8173.

 

 

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Hey YOU & Yours…

The Only Thing to Prevent You from Getting the Flu is YOU!
WFH_All Saints 2Cstk_Co (2)

Sponsored by Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare All Saints

Fall is in the air, which means the runny noses, coughs, and fevers of the flu season aren’t far behind.

“Now is the perfect time for everyone to get the flu vaccine,” says Katarzyna “Kate” Zorns, MD, Family Medicine. “The flu affects everyone. Even the healthiest person can get sick.” To keep the flu from spreading, everyone six months and older should receive a flu vaccine. Read more…

 

“It is especially important that certain groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing complications,” says Dr. Zorns.

Wheaton AA Mom Sick Child (2)

People highly recommended for flu vaccine:

  • Those who are 50 years and older.
  • Children (six months and older) and teenagers.
  • Those who live in or work in nursing homes, hospitals, and other facilities that house those with chronic diseases.
  • Adults and children with chronic pulmonary and cardiovascular disorders such as asthma.
  • Adults and children who have chronic metabolic disease, renal dysfunction, and sickle cell disease.
  • Those who will be pregnant during flu season.

 

Some people should not be vaccinated for the flu before talking with their health care provider. These are reasons to talk your doctor:

  • You have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  • You have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past.
  • You developed Guillain-Barré syndrome within 6 weeks of a previous flu vaccine.

 

Afraid of needles? Don’t worry. Vaccinations are available in 1 of 2 ways.

  • With a flu shot, given with a needle. This form of the vaccine contains killed virus and is approved for all people older than 6 months. The injections are relatively painless and are given very quickly so the discomfort is minimal.
  • With a nasal spray vaccine. This form contains live, weakened flu viruses that cannot cause the flu. This form is approved for healthy, non-pregnant people ages 2 to 49 years.

Wheaton Flu Shot Child (2)

 

It’s also prime time for pneumonia to rear its ugly head.

 

“Pneumonia can be a serious, potentially fatal condition, particularly in the very young and in older adults, but it can be prevented with a vaccine,” says Dr. Zorns. “Bacterial pneumonia can develop after a case of the flu, when your immune system is weak from fighting the flu virus.”

 

Experts recommend the pneumococcal vaccine for people age 65 and older, as well as those at high risk for serious problems. The CDC recommends that people ages 65 and older have a second dose of the pneumococcal vaccine if it has been five years since the first dose and if they were younger than age 65 when they received it.

 

Wheaton Ross Zorns, Kate 8-5-13br (2)Your physician has a supply of flu and pneumonia vaccines available at his or her office. Just call to schedule a quick and easy appointment.

 

Dr. Zorns is accepting patients of all ages at her new office located at 4328 Old Green Bay Road in Mount Pleasant. You can make an appointment with Dr. Zorns through our Online Appointment Request or call her office at (262) 687-7606.

Wheaton Healthstrip Flu Clinics-page-0 (2)

 

 (Please click on image above to pop open and read about upcoming Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – All Saints Flu Vaccine Clinics.)

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