Thursday, April 29, 2010

Finacial Friday: Nestle's quote

Financial Friday is coming out on Thursday because it is important. (I boycott Nestle and encourage others to boycott as well. This is a simple overview of why Nestle is unethical). I stumbled upon an article today and it is not directly about breastfeeding, but it really is:

CNN reports controversy surrounding KFC's pink bucket campaign. Fried chicken is high in fat, hence an ironic connection to breast cancer cure and prevention. I agree--it is ironic and fast food/fried chicken is not conducive for a healthy body weight. Research shows that having a healthy body weight lowers cancer risk.

What I find interesting is what Nestle says about marketing and public health. Here is Nestle talking about the issue:

"Nestle tells CNN, "The goals of food companies, alas, are not the same as the goals of public health. Food companies are businesses that must sell expanding numbers of products. While it seems possible that their goals and those of public health could overlap, they rarely do. Buckets for the Cure gets money for whatever it does. KFC sells more buckets. Sounds good, if you don't think about it too much."

Take that quote and apply it to Nestle's marketing of formula -- sounds good if you don't think about it too much. They (Nestle) don't have the same goals of public heath, which is clearly for mothers to breastfeed.

For more information on those who raise awareness of Nestle's improprieties, visit some sites:

Boycott Nestle

PhD in Parenting

Baby Milk Action

SAHM Triumph: Surface areas

I babysat today and no, I do not mean my own children. Other kids spent the day with me, almost the same ages as my babies. It was a long day and not because anyone misbehaved (just a little) but because I had four kids three years or younger in my house.

When I watch other kids, I try my hardest to keep everything together. I go into "60's mode" and pretend that my husband will get bent out of shape if he arrives home to a messy house. This in turn causes the house to be cleaner than if he came home on a regular day. I rotate the laundry and dishwasher all day. I sweep the floor. Toys are in toy boxes. Trash is in the trashcan. Shoes are in the closet. I can't do this every day. I am exhausted as I type this. I didn't "play hard" with my kids. I spoke to them and we interacted, but I maybe read one book. I was just too busy, which is why I always put housework behind educating my children.

Most importantly, the counters are clean. Clearing off counters (and the kitchen table, island and living room side tables and my desk) is hard. I don't like it. I want to put stuff away, but what if I forget where I put something? What if I throw something away and I need it later? I'm not a hoarder or really even a pack-rat. It is easier to procrastinate with mail, coupons, receipts, cards, and invitations than to organize them. Not today, though. My surface areas are clean, unlike most days and that is my SAHM Triumph of the day.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sesame Street Breastfeeding Clip

I wonder why this Sesame Street clip is not played on television anymore. I remember seeing it before and it made me very happy. I hope it makes you happy too.

(Thanks to Kelly Mom for finding it).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wonder Why Wednesday

I wonder why left to my own devices, I will invent the worst, the unhealthiest snacks. I try so diligently to eat well. And then I find myself in the kitchen making waffles with chocolate chips sandwiched between them. (That tastes exactly like a warm chocolate chip cookie, by the way).

I wonder what inspires me to mix sour cream and cream cheese together and see what I can put them in. I wonder if other people do this. If I stop and think about it, I don't even like dairy.

I wonder why I will do so well for so long (with treats built in) and then I'm just like, I need to make a cake. I don't need a cake! Who needs a cake? Cake has no redeeming nutritional value. And I know that.

I wonder why I know what is good and then I do what is bad. I bet that is a common theme in our culture. I wonder why.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Educational Theory of the Week: Comprehension

I always seek different ways of explaining all this educational lingo. Browsing through different sites for more on Benjamin Bloom to continue Bloom's Taxonomy, I found this explanation for this educational theory

Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain, from the simple recall or recognition of facts, as the lowest level, through increasingly more complex and abstract mental levels, to the highest order which is classified as evaluation. 

("Cognitive domain" by the way, just means classifications of ways to think and reason).

After covering knowledge last week, we are moving on with comprehension.  After you have basic knowledge, the next level is comprehension, which means to understand. (Do you see how understanding something is more difficult than just knowing something? That's why comprehension is harder than knowledge. So easy-just educational lingo mixed in).

To activate the comprehension section, a few questions you could ask are:

What happened after ___ happened in the story? (describe) 
Tell me what happened in the story we just read. (review)
Which color is peach and not pink? (identify)
Where was the ___ that we saw at the museum? (locate)

Other terms that include the comprehension level include: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate.

Application, to Za

Za is a one year old and so we don't do much talking through ideas together. We do, however, work on comprehension. She has a favorite book, and it is about body parts. We read the book frequently and even though we don't review it as is typical of reviewing books, we do discuss the ideas. Throughout the day, we recall/review or work on her comprehension of the ideas in the book. We talk about the face and all its parts, which is locating and recognizing. Dad and I ask lots of questions about where is and what is (as we point).


Comprehension is part of all of our lives, in that we must remember what we read and see. Some ideas are easier to comprehend than others, primarily because we enjoy those ideas. How can you incorporate comprehension into your child's every day life?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

SAHM Triumph: Balancing

Just a bit ago, I was struggling with this SAHM balancing act. Today could have been a good day, or it could be that I am accomplished with this whole gig. I marked everything off my to-do-list today and I have energy to spare.

The kids and I got up this morning, ate, and went to the grocery store. Ty loves those little carts at Kroger's and darn it, he is just so cute pushing it. Of course, he put chocolate pudding in his cart and batteries for his Winnie the Pooh car (he even bought the right size) which was $10 I didn't anticipate on spending. He stayed occupied the entire trip though and I consider it a success, $10 or not.

We came home, unloaded the car, ate lunch, played, and napped. I made a cake and taught night classes while dada and papa watched the kids. I came home and went on a run. Then I wrote a few pages on an article I have due this Sunday.

Accomplished? Tired? Proud? Yes. It makes me confident that I can juggle this crazy SAHM world. Maybe I won't write anymore "SAHM struggles" blogs. Probably not but I will be thrilled with more days like today.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Educational Theory of the Week: Knowledge

I am still partying with the Ultimate Blog Party of 2010. I luckily (it was all luck--I had no plan) got in line at just the right time and my blog is #12 on the list. As I write this, there are over 1500 family blogs on the list of party guests. This is fun and I am meeting so many people. Here is the button again, as I am still partying. You can join if you like.

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

And now, back to Bloom's Taxonomy. The first section is knowledge. This is the base for all other learning. Knowledge is acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition. When activating this part of the learning process according to Bloom's Taxonomy, you can ask questions like:

What is this (object, picture, event)?
Can you name/list (steps, characters)?
Who said...?
When did ___ happen?
We just did ___. What will we do next?

True and false questions are also knowledge based. When you are asking for knowledge to be recalled (normally facts, not opinions) you are using the knowledge base of Bloom's Taxonomy.

Application to real life kids, namely, Ty

The hubby and I did this consistently with Ty last summer for two areas: when he was identifying colors and noticing the differences between vehicles.

1. Colors can be tough for little kids. (Think how pink and red, blue and green can be tough to differentiate). Teaching them colors is basic knowledge. We did lots of repeating and asking about different instances. We didn't just do colors with colored pencils and sidewalk chalk; we did it everywhere. The carpet, furniture, walls, toys, outfits--if it had a color, we identified it.

Once, anything that moved was a "car." We really pushed to differentiate between cars, vans, motorcycles, boats, trucks, etc. Again, we worked to explain the different parts and sections that separate vehicle types from each other. That one has a two wheels, it is a motorcycle.


How do you use knowledge with your kids? Do you go back to knowledge type questions for review? Do you use such questions less and less as your children get older, or is it the other way around?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Hello, new readers! (For readers who don't know what I am doing, I did not finally lose it. I am participating in a blog party and you should too). :)
Ultimate Blog Party 2010
My name is Lauralee Moss. I've had a busy year and am so glad I recorded it on my blog. Here is background: After I graduated from SIUC in 2001, I moved to Peoria, IL to begin teaching high school English. I soon fell in love and was married. Two years later, my handsome son Ty was born followed by baby girl Za two years after that. Seven years after moving for a great job, I threw in the towel as I could no longer balance my teaching career, mothering, a house, and a husband. I miss my old job, and so my blog was born.

I write about education and my children and how I see connections in my everyday life with them. I am so blessed and happy to be home with them, but I will always be a teacher at heart. In my blog, I journal all my thoughts and reflections about teaching my children.

I so look forward to meeting everyone as the blog party continues!

(If I had to choose a prize, I really like (1) Target and the (2) bumper stickers! I also love amazon, so the (3) gift certificates from there would be great too. If that won't work, 104, 102, and 91 look awesome too! I am a lover of all things chocolate and coffee and I have a three year old son. Anything that touches on that is perfect).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

SAHM Struggle: Organization

Organization with kids is a "haha" rub my tummy joke. Even though I consider myself put-together and organized, my house is not. This is a huge struggle for me mentally because I like organization so much. I am paid to write about organization. I did my master's research project on organization. (I'll spare you the link to that one). I guest blog about organization. I organize my pictures and my bills; my scrapbooking supplies and my laundry. This ongoing organization struggle with my kids, though, needs some analysis.

Their attention spans are short and I understand that. They want to read a book, oh eat Cheerios, and oh look! outside!! So getting them to clean up is the relatively difficult part. Keeping them picked up. All of this would tie back to....

Toys. They have a thousand toys and that probably isn't an exaggeration. Ty may have 200 cars. Za is only one but her doll collection is extensive. Why? (analyze, analyze) Both sets of grandparents are divorced. They have many aunts and uncles. We live in a close neighborhood and my kids get presents from our neighbors for both Christmas and birthdays. We are fortunate to have so many caring and loving people love our kids. I must do something about the toys though, regardless of the sentimentality.

We can't play in the playroom and we look for puzzle pieces more often than we put them together. That, of course, goes back to the short attention span because once we find all of Mr. Potato Head, we need to move on. It is very cyclical.

I can donate some of them or put some away. I could build shelves (or talk my hubby into doing so, right?) My current SAHM struggle is the mass of toys we have and the disorganization it causes. This will turn into a triumph, I am sure. Any advice, on how to do so?

SAHM Struggle: Dumb People

Like Rush Limbaugh. I now rank him with Bill Maher.

Bashing breastfeeding (when they are really bashing babies who desire optimal nutrition) is cheap. It really isn't worth discussing. Who knew these two men would have something in common? They mock mothers who try to breastfeed. Very, very funny.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wonder Why Wednesday

One of my loyal blog readers and friends sent me the popular breastfeeding story of the week. I sing the praises of breastfeeding and acknowledge that while it has difficulties, breastfeeding pays off. I don't shake my fingers at moms who don't breastfeed because, well, I'm not perfect and (to throw in another cliche) the deck is pretty stacked against breastfeeding moms. That is why I was so excited to read the story over and over about the money saving side of breastfeeding. So often, people will throw themselves into a cause if money can be saved.

I've pondered that research these last few days and even looked for a few more ideas about feeding our children healthily. All ideas point one way: feed our kids better and they will be smarter and healthier and parents and the nation will save money on health care costs and on buying food (apples are cheaper than processed apple pies). So why doesn't America just buck up and do it? I wonder how we got this way? Was it just one advancement on top of another? One way to make our life easier, but in the process, really making it harder? I wonder why we eat the way we do. When did it become acceptable for us to eat like every day was Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

SAHM Triumph: The Cutting Board is in the Dishwasher

When I once ran around like a crazy and stayed up all night grading papers and went to work before my kids were awake, I would long to use my kitchen supplies. I had a big wedding and received very nice kitchen gadgets. I used them when it was just the hubby for dinner dates. Now that I continually have two more eaters and know the importance of making food and not dumping some processed junk on a plate, I want to develop positive eating habits for my kids.

As a SAHM, I take my job seriously and that includes food preparation. (Not that I didn't take my mommy job seriously before, but now that I have one less job and am on a budget, I really do have more time to worry about food). Last night I chopped onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and carrots for dinner. Did my kids eat it all? Nope. Did my husband eat it all? Nope. I did, however, serve them vegetables that I chopped myself, on two cutting boards. I presented a healthy meal to them and hopefully, some day, they will eat it all because they are accustomed to healthy dinners.

Does this seem silly? Maybe. Am I happy and proud? Yep, and that is why my SAHM Triumph of the week is that I have two cutting boards in my dishwasher right at this very second.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Educational Theory of the Week: Bloom's Taxonomy

A new month, and a new educational theory in practice. As I suggested last week (or maybe more than a week ago), we'll look at Bloom's Taxonomy and how it relates to our children's everyday learning.

When I went to graduate school a couple of years ago, my professors taught me that a new Bloom's Taxonomy was around. I dislike change and even though I gave it a good shot, never warmed up to the new one. I will be using the old one.

The basic gist of Bloom's Taxonomy is that skills and tasks can be categorized. When you ask your children certain questions, those questions can be put in a certain category (see the list below). The order increases in difficulty.

1. Knowledge
2. Comprehension
3. Application
4. Analysis
5. Synthesis
6. Evaluation

Why is this useful? It is the first idea that is taught in educational classes. It is the root of most ideas in education, and for good reason. If teachers or parents only ask questions from the 'comprehension' tier, children won't be pressed to look deeper into subjects and ideas. I plan to take the next 6 weeks to explain these more, but here is a basic idea of how this works:

Example scenario: Ty tying his shoes (which he loves to practice).
1. Knowledge: Ty knows what shoes are and that they need tied.
2. Comprehension: Ty describes what he's doing with the laces and starts to get them ready (lines them up) to tie.
3. Application: Ty makes an 'X' (he is applying a letter to the situation of tying shoes) and sticks one lace through the 'X.'
4. Analysis: Ty knows he has to break apart the steps. He tries to go onto the next step, looping. (He isn't there yet).
5. Synthesis: Ty tries to create a new way to tie his shoes. He knows that circles are involved and so he makes circles out of the laces and smashes them together.
6. Evaluation: Ty evaluates the situation. He cannot get his fingers to work correctly (the whole "fine motor skills" gig) and gets frustrated or calmly asks for help.

There is an overview! We'll break down Bloom's Taxonomy and talk about different questions to ask our kids. Have a great week!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Frustrating Friday, aka-Financial Friday

Today is supposed to be 'Financial Friday' and I had a theme of Cheerios. I even took pictures for my post. I cannot get the cord to connect and open the camera, so that idea was shot. I could still talk about finances, but hey, I'm frustrated and since I like alliteration so much, we'll switch to one of my lists and discuss my frustrations.

1. Augie, the doggie. Wants to go outside. All the time. And he runs away. Why can't I have a dog that goes out and pees? The beagle puts his nose to the ground and runs. Every time I take the dog out, the kids want to go, which involves lots: shoes, jackets, the leash, everything.

2. I fell off the Weight Watchers Wagon. I host a bridal shower April 24th and I better hop back on. I was doing so well and then I thought, brownies, hmmm, just one. Yeah, just one pan.

3. I need to grocery shop. Not small grocery shop, but the "I don't have bread and I don't even have flour to make bread if I had to" type grocery shopping trip. I took the kids grocery shopping about 5 minutes ago and when I pulled into the store, I turned behind and they were both asleep. Good for naps, bad for stomachs. (We're back home, they are asleep, and I am blogging, obviously).

4. I need a nap too. I am so tired, but this house is trashed and I have assignments to write. I don't know which to do.

5. I need to call the gym and pay my fee (sigh). I have to go exercise. I have done pretty well around the house with my DVDs and walks. These last 10 pounds, every time I think they are going away, they zoom right back to my hips.

Anyway, my sentences all begin with "I need." Frustrating, especially because when I look at all those "I need"s I start to feel guilty. It's the mommy-cycle of doing so much and then needing something for yourself and your kids and not getting it done. I will though. I always do. :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's Day

So busy! So pretty! What a wonderful week with my kiddies. They have played hard-outside! It is wonderful. Not so much for my writing, but for everything else.

In honor of April Fool's Day, I am posting my favorite April Fool's joke, ever. It was for 2009's day and is by Dr. Jay Gordon. It was controversial and satirical, which is also great. Here it is:

Press Release


American Academy of Pediatrics—For Immediate Release

Dr. David T. Tayloe, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics which represents 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists has announced that it is severing all ties with the infant formula industry.

"This method of feeding substitution has harmed millions of children both in America and throughout the world and we pediatricians can no longer continue our relationship with the manufacturers of infant formula." said Dr. Tayloe, who assumed the post of AAP President in October of 2008.

"Our alliance with the pharmaceutical industry is unethical. Our accepting millions of dollars and continuing to allow these business people to influence our policies while sponsoring our
speakers, conferences and conventions is an ongoing embarrassment and we will end this ethical problem right now."

"Further, I would like to apologize for our past mistakes involving the breastfeeding advertisement campaign and allowing the maker of Similac infant formula to print its corporate logo on the cover of a special edition of the academy's book on breastfeeding."

"Again, I can cannot express enough regret and can assure you that the AAP will immediately seek compliance with the WHO Code and will promote the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative."

David T. Tayloe, MD, President of the American Academy of
Pediatrics April 1, 2009

And of course... I feel breastfeeding is beyond important, especially since breastfeeding surrounds my blog's theme of *education.* Here is another idea from Dr. Gordon which emphasizes why breastfeeding is so important:

"According to the AAP’s own Breastfeeding Section, at least one thousand new scientific and medical papers on topics related to breast and bottle feeding have been published in just the past four years. Taken as a whole, this mounting body of research reveals dramatically different health outcomes for populations of breast and formula-fed babies, even when controlling for socioeconomic and other factors."