Sick enough to go to school

Are there some days when you roll out of bed and think “not today”?  There appears to be something wrong but you can’t quite put your finger on it.  You are not quite yourself, you lack that energy, that pep that you know can’t be supplemented with an energy drink.  It is possible that you could be coming down with something, the flu, a virus or a cold.  But whatever it is you have to make the decision – do you stay home, or do you go to work.

Now let’s say it’s your child who is exhibiting these symptoms, what do you do.  You are torn between sending them to school and keeping them home.  Well first you can be on the lookout for these obvious symptoms as recommended by WedMD.  These symptoms include fever over  (100 F), runny nose, sore throat, earache, cough, vomiting and diarrhea.  If this is going on you can rest assured school is not on the agenda, as a matter of fact, depending on the severity of the symptoms it might be wise to contact the Pediatrician.

Now know the difference between the real symptoms and the fake ones.  The ones you don’t have a diagnosis for (tears, stomach ache and sniffles) that at breakfast seem to come and go and sometimes disappear altogether but resume once you inquire how they are feeling.  Yes, those.

It is probably a good idea to give your child’s school a call to see what their policy on  students attending school while under the weather, so to speak.  We all realize that children should not miss instructional time if at all possible, but sending a child to school sick also comes with negative results.

Contamination is a major concern.  Those runny noses and coughs if serious enough may turn into something else and can very well spread (unintentionally of course), to another child.  But some parents just can’t afford to take off from work.  It’s not that they are inconsiderate of other children and their families, teachers, etc., it could be other stressful factors such as trying to find that last-minute babysitter.

One way to deal with this dilemma would be to try to have a plan B, or an alternative.


  • Be able to take time off if need be.  One thing about it, you must always be ready for an emergency especially with children.  It’s best to have days in the leave bank ready for use.
  • Having a back-up babysitter is a must.  It could be grandparents, aunt, uncle, someone who is responsible and reliable.
  • Once you notice the symptoms, try to monitor the situation carefully, you might be able to head off whatever is coming.

Sending your child to school sick does not make you a bad person, you are attempting to make a morally sound decision and there is nothing wrong with that.

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For all the money in the world

Having to pay for something that you desire is a basic way of life, but what if that something is not material things, but involves raising a child.  The cost of rearing a child in today’s society has increased dramatically.  We all know that having a family is one of the greatest things in the world, it gives you a sense of purpose, not to mention someone to love, honor and cherish, but it comes with a steep price tag.

According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) a report from 2015 on the amount of money spent on children by families reveals that the cost of rearing a child from birth to age 17 is $233,610.   For a child in a two child family with a married couple and a before tax income between $59,200 and $107,400 that averages out to be about 12 to 13,000 dollars a year, depending on the child’s age.  Housing accounts for the largest expense and miscellaneous includes things such as personal care- haircuts, dance lessons, entertainment, sports equipment, etc.


Those couples living in the urban Northeast part of the country with families (2 or more children), the cost of rearing a child was the highest, whereas if you resided in the urban Midwest and rural areas, the child rearing costs are the lowest.  That makes sense in that the overall cost of  living is said to be lower in these areas.   In case you were wondering about single parents, it turns out the cost is about the same as the married couple household.


Housing  – 29%

Although the numbers look staggering you really can’t put a price tag on the cost of raising a child.  This information is useful in many ways; for those that have a family you can compare to see where you are as far as spending or budgeting and those who are looking to start a family this can give you an idea of what’s in store for you. Oh I forgot to mention this doesn’t include the annual cost of college – for private $45,370 and  for public it is $20,000, the good news on that is that does account for room and board


Education/childcare makes up 16% of cost

This information also helps to set guidelines and regulations for the various agencies who have taken on the responsibility of providing care for children, such as foster care and other measures of support.  Whatever the cost may be, rest assured its money well spent.  Cost of raising a child calculator

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How cold is too cold?

There are times when trying to stay physically active during the winter months can take a lot of creativity, especially for school age children.  It is difficult to go outside and play when it is snowing, raining and/or freezing temperatures, which brings me to my post for today- what is considered to be too cold for children to go outside and play during recess at school?


A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with some of my colleagues who are also parents and whose child went outside for recess during frigid weather which they considered to be too cold.  It seems that most  states have policies in place on what the temperature should be for outdoor recess, in turn school districts follow those policies and set guidelines of their own.  wp-1483833760973.jpg

For instance in the state of New York unless it is snowing or there is ice on the ground, outdoor recess can take place even though it is less than 32 degrees outside as long as children are dressed properly.   Most guidelines are specific, for instance a school district in Connecticut the temperature must be 20 degrees or above with wind chill factor taken into consideration  recess is

In Illinois a school district policy states that it has to be 15 degrees or higher including wind chill, meaning if the weather is 22 degrees and the wind chill is 14 degrees then students stay in.  All the requirements have one thing is common they require the students to be dressed appropriately in coats, hats, scarves, boots and gloves.

Basically good judgement has to be used.   Schools are encouraged to provide at least 20 to 30 minutes a day of supervised recess outdoors if possible.  It should be moderate to vigorous activity, meaning they have to be moving around rather than standing still, allowing them little opportunity to feel the cold.


Going outside for recess is critical for children especially since childhood obesity poses as a threat to their overall health and wellbeing.  Research indicates there is a link between physical activity and academic performance.  With the cuts in funding, schools can no longer depend solely on physical education classes to provide opportunities for children to be physically active.

Here are some things parents can do, first check with your child ‘s school about their policy on outdoor recess.   Next on those low temperature days in addition to the hat and gloves make sure your child has that extra layer (hoodie, sweater, long-sleeve shirt) that they can wear underneath their coat, but can shed easily in the case they become too warm in class.


Make sure all medical conditions such as Asthma are on file with the nurse so appropriate accommodations can be made regarding the child.  Hopefully with this information you are better informed and prepared for when your child has to go outside for recess during cold weather.

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Words to live by

A new year often comes with an attempt to be made at something – whether it’s for the first time, (exercise program), or attempting to change the way we are doing things (eating a more healthier diet), or attempting to improve upon something that we are currently doing (more patient, etc.).

One thing that there needs to be an abundance of is motivation.  Just like adults need that extra push and inspiration, so do children sometimes.  As I head back to school I thought this would be a great way to start the New Year.

Words of encouragement no matter how simple can go a long way



Words of guidance can help in getting over the bumps in the road.



Words that build character help to produce responsible citizens.


And music soothes the soul.

HUNDRED WATERS – SHOW ME LOVE (SKRILLEX REMIX) ft. Chance The Rapper, Moses Sumney, Robin Hannibal from Liam Underwood on Vimeo.

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My holiday travels

In order to get to my destination to spend time with the family for the holidays I had to travel through three different airports.   Being from New York, I started out in LaGuardia Airport and I changed planes in Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International airport and reached my destination – Memphis International airport in what is normally a two and a half to three-hour flight to five and half to six hours.  I decided for my last post of 2016 to blog about my journey home and the airports I became acquainted with.

My journey started out with the ride to the airport in a Uber taxi, something I had never done before.  My first experience was a positive one, it was actually kind of cool because the driver was someone who I  kind of knew, so that made it a little easier for me.

The next leg of my journey was the  dreaded check-in/security screen, you know the part where you basically undress (partially anyway). I am standing there thinking maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to wear those new boots.  It took forever for me to get them off.

Now on to the next phase, satisfying my appetite.   The food court offers a variety of foods.  I had a  sandwich, fries and a drink and it came to almost twenty dollars and that wasn’t even a sit down restaurant, I can only imagine what it is like to travel with children especially young ones, you could spend a fortune in the airport before you get to your destination.

The wi-fi at this airport was free for 30 minutes, then after that you had to pay $4.95 an hour.

I thought this was a nice touch in adding to the holiday season –  free eggnog


I arrived in Atlanta safe, not looking forward to that two hour lay-over, but surprisingly the time flew by, before I knew it was time to board for Memphis.   One of the reasons was because Atlanta airport had a lot going on.

The wi-fi at this airport was free, no strings attached.

I really liked the live holiday music, it made the trip just that more enjoyable.

I had to catch the train to my terminal, it wasn’t too bad.

On my way to my terminal this caught my eye.

As I viewed this display I had a moment or two of reflection about how time changes things and as we move forward into 2017 we must do so in a positive way.

I had a wonderful time at home while visiting my family.  It also gave me an opportunity to spend time with my many nieces and nephews.

Growing up,  I used to love listening to the sound of the church bells every Sunday morning, ringing throughout the town, wp-1482719206251.jpgfor some reason it gave out a feeling of togetherness in the community.

On my return trip home I was able to get a little more acquainted with the Memphis airport, there was  free wi-fi.   It was a relatively quiet airport.

Graceland Mansion was home to the rock and roll icon – Elvis Presley and now serves as a museum.


On the trip back to New York there was a slight glitch in the schedule, instead of flying to Atlanta for my connection, I was rerouted thru Detroit Airport with a three-hour lay-over, but it was not as painful as I thought it would be.

There  was a nice selection of places to eat, free wi-fi

and  certainly much to see,

including a Tram to get you to your gate on time and a self-playing piano in the food court area.

But there was one thing that I notice is becoming more and more prominent in the airports, an area designated for Veterans who are traveling, a nice way to sort of pay a tribute or honor to them for their service.  wp-1482887761117.jpg


20161112_210902.jpgSo there you have it, six airports to get to my loved ones, but let me tell you it was
worth every penny, frustration and time and I can’t wait to do it again.   Happy 2017.

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16 toys that I would buy for Christmas

After much research and cross-checking sites I have attempted to put together a list of the most wanted toys for this holiday season.   Before you know it Christmas will be here, while some toys may already be temporarily out of stock, you don’t want to be crushed in the holiday rush.   But then again, most of you were smart and have already  completed or are close to completing your Christmas shopping.


COZMO -a robot that seems real life, a hot item.   For ages 8 and up.

Hatchimals toys – comes in various colors, magical creatures that live inside an egg.  Not for those under 3.   Ages 5 and up.

Furby connect a interactive toy that responds to touch.  For ages 6 and up.

Paw Patrol Zoomer Marshall Interactive Pup – an interactive puppy that walks, spins, and follow. for ages 3 and up.

Barbie Dream House – a dollhouse with all the amenities, doorbell, elevator and bathtub.    A popular item.

Shopkins Tall Mall play set – their very own mall to shop in.  –  5 and up.


Dream Works Troll Hug Time Puppy– this doll plays  songs and speaks 25 phrases. Ages 4 and up.

Num Noms Lip Gloss Cart kit – a toy cart that has everything needed to make their own lip gloss, popular item, a collector’s menu is included in the kit.  For ages 3 and up.

Fisher Price Little People Sit n Stand Skyway play set – this is a sought after item for the younger children starting at one and a half years old, ages 18 months to 5 years.

Selfie Mic – this combination of microphone and selfie stick makes it seem as if you have your own karaoke going, ages 8 and up.

Pokemon Z-Ring Interactive set the Z ring takes game play to a new level.   Ages 4 and up.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Talk to me Mickey Voice Response Turtle Figure– you can talk to the turtle, they recognize your question and respond.



Nerf and Strike Elite Terrascout Remote Control Drone Blaster –  Drones are now one of the hottest items for children and adults.   8 years and up.

Sky Viper v2400 HD streaming video drone with FPV Headset  – an action based performance toy that appeals to children as well as adults.  12 and up.

Speak Out Game – a mouthpiece challenge game that is said to be loads of fun.  Ages 16 years and up.

Razor Jetts Adjustable Skates- of all the toys these strap on skates seem to be the most intriguing.

I’m sure that whatever gift you choose to get, it will be the right one because it’s the thought that count, right?


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Don’t let it stress you

Having a happy holiday depends largely on how we manage the stressors that come with it.  Take a minute to think of all the things that can cause you to become overwhelmed, anxious, or just plain exhausted.  Be it shopping for gifts, dealing with holiday guests, or all the cooking and baking that has to be done, it just seems as if there is never enough time in the day to get it all accomplished.  Here are some holiday quotes that I hope can get you through this “season to be jolly”.


Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. – OPRAH WINFREY-

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree; the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.  – BURTON HILLS

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. – ANDY ROONEY-

If I could give you any gift, I’d give you Love and Laughter, A Peaceful Heart, A Special Dream and Joy Forever After. – UNKNOWN

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.  I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.  The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.  I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. – CHARLES DICKENS-.

I don’t think Christmas is necessarily about things.  It’s about being good to one another. – CARRIE FISHER-.

As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation and people to whom we are worth the same. -DONALD WESTLAKE-


The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.– TERRY MARSHALL-


To your enemy – forgiveness

To your opponent – tolerance

To a friend – your heart

To a customer – service

To all – charity

To a child – a good example

To yourself – respect


I think as you grow older, your Christmas list gets smaller and the things you really want for the holidays can’t be bought. SAYINGIMAGES.COM

This last one I really liked:

My Holiday= More sleeping, more eating, more getting online and staying up late. –

Do you have a favorite or special holiday quote?

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Your safety is my concern

The holiday season is upon us so we all know what that means – more hustle and bustle than usual.  There is the buying of the gifts, attending mixers, office parties, the kids holiday concerts, grocery shopping and of course, the decorations.  For me one word comes to mind – busy, and because it’s the busiest time of year it is important that we take extra precaution in keeping children safe.


Toy injuries was the leading cause of 185,000 visits to the emergency room in 2015 and caused 11 deaths  among children under age 15 according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Parents and caregivers should make note of the safety measures to ensure that toys that have been recalled for defects such as containing lead, and choking hazards are not used.

Take a moment to read that label, it will help in determining whether or not a particular toy is appropriate for the child.  This is important because some toys have pieces that a small child can put in their mouth such as a small wheel or a balloon or battery.

Decorating is probably one of the best things I like about the holidays, the decorations should be a thing of beauty and not one for disaster.  It doesn’t matter if you are buying your tree already decorated or you are getting a live one, make sure it is resistant to fire.  When you set it up make sure it’s not near a fireplace, heater or anything that has the capability to generate heat.


Lights can be oh so pretty, when they are plugged in be sure to check the sockets (there are no wires dangling),  they are out of reach of small children and they are turned off when you retire for the night.  If there are indeed small children around you don’t want to use decorations that break easily or the ones that have the sharp edges.


Chances are there are going to be many people coming and going in your household during the holidays, keep this in mind as you try to maintain your child’s routine, for we all know as adults our life doesn’t return to normalcy until after the holidays, that’s why its crucial we try and keep the children as balanced as possible.  When traveling in the car , ensure children are safely secured in a car seat, be extra careful in following all traffic rules, because unfortunately, there are some who may not, this time of year people are easily sidetracked, resulting in traffic mishaps.  When in stores or visiting others keep your child close to you and know exactly where they are at all times.  Keep these things in mind as you go about your holiday season and hopefully it will make for a happy one.

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Thanksgiving activities besides TV and football

20161119_132452.jpgWhether you are in need of a way to fill in some time or work off the desert, here are a couple of activities that you might find useful, especially for the kids.  I have found that it’s always good to try to move around right after that main course, because if you are anything like me you are feeling a little stuffed.

Outdoors– There are the usual fun runs such as the Turkey trot, it’s a good event because it is something that children and parents can do as well, or you may just want to get out to the park and stretch your legs.


Nature walk/hike – I’m more inclined to do this for an activity, taking a walk through the neighborhood let’s me connect to my community, there are usually others who are outside doing the same thing, working off a little energy.  This is also a good time for some bicycle, scooter and skateboard riding.

Ice skating is another option but I like to save that for perhaps that Saturday after Thanksgiving it helps to fill in that long weekend and its a good stress reliever to work in with the Black Friday shopping.  If you chose to stay around the house that’s fine too, depending on yard space you can do anything from a game of horse shoes (one of my favorites), to races, jumping rope, scavenger hunts basically any backyard game you can come up with and even though I said in my title no football go ahead and organize that game of backyard flag football.


Indoors – There are times during the holidays when the weather just doesn’t cooperate causing for one to have to improvise.  So if that happens to you or you just decide to hang inside and do something, that’s ok too.  I’m sure we all have experienced that rainy or for some, snowy Thanksgiving.


You can’t go wrong with arts and crafts, the kids love it, and it keeps them engaged, (Tip Junkie).   There are those age-old games such as Twister, Charades, Bingo and indoor Bowling (Women’s Day) that make for great entertainment and they can all be modified with a Thanksgiving theme.  I think that no matter what activity you chose to do, it’s going to be a blast because it’s all in the name of togetherness.


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Be Thankful

As we start our holiday season I came across a few things that I felt would allow us to reflect and give thanks for what we have.  We all know that it is a time for enjoyment, but it can also lead to stress.   Hopefully yours will be stress free!


Motivational Inspirational Coaching Movie from Yolanda Washington on Vimeo.

Nathan Love’s “NBC Peacock Thanksgiving” from Aardman Nathan Love on Vimeo.

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