Showing posts from July, 2014

Wednesday's Rant: Banning Noisy Kids or Adults on Cell Phones?

When you go to a movie, a restaurant, a concert, or any other event, would you rather listen to a crying baby or an adult making an all too loud cell phone call? Recently, a restaurant on the historic Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, California posted a sign which is causing a lot of tourists to grumble. The sign prohibits strollers, high chairs, booster chairs, and crying or noisy children. 
Now I know how annoying it can be when you are eating and a child sitting behind you is exhibiting how tired and/or frustrated he or she is. Even as a parent and grandparent, it can be difficult to ignore. However, in most of the cases that I have witnessed, the parents are making every attempt to calm the little one or they get up and walk him/her outside. That is responsible parenting. But Old Fisherman's Grotto is taking it even further. 
They are banning not only the child, but anything the child may need in order to eat a meal with his/her family. A highchair? Really? Or, a booster se…


What is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world? What brings in $12 billion a year to the dirty people behind it? The answer is child trafficking.  For the next 6 weeks, this blog will bring light to this dirty business, and hopefully raise the awareness to help us put a stop to it. Here are a few statistics from UNICEF and The Stop Child Trafficking Now Organization. The numbers are staggering.There are an estimated 1.2 million children who are victims of child traffickingWithin 48 hours of a child running away from home, one-third are lured or recruited into the world of pornography and prostitution.The average age of a sex trade victim is 12 years of ageWomen and girls make up 80 percent of the victims50 percent of all victims are minors300,000 children according to the US department of Justice are at risk each year for commercial sexual exploitation.600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, and 50 percent are children

Wednesday Rave: Bored Kids? Make a Volcano!

Summer is a time when kids relish the outdoors, but what are kids to do when it rains. Play video games? Watch TV? How about using their imaginations. Here is one project that might take the boredom out of the kids. (And it's educational too) Make a Volcano! What you need: a funnel with a large enough spout to hold a paper towel or toilet paper rollA sturdy platform for the volcano-can be 2 sheets of poster board, an old cutting board, or even a baking panPlaster of Paris gauzea bowl of waterwater colors and paint brush1 tbs. baking soda1/4 cup of vinegarred food coloring Directions:Cover your work area with newspapersGather all of your suppliesPut the funnel in the middle of the platformInsert the paper roll into the funnel spout (Make sure it goes all the way to the bottom and leave at least 1 inch sticking out at the top.)Soak the gauze in the bowl of water until they are softWrap the wet Plaster of Paris gauze around the funnel until it is completely covered.Let dry-usually o…

A Moment of Silence This Week the Children on Board MH17

Every day, thousands of children die of disease, hunger, infections, poverty, the lack of clean water, and as victims of violence. All of them are senseless deaths, and the majority of those deaths can be prevented if we would just all get along. But that is not the case as we saw this week when Malaysia Air Flight MH17 was shot out of the sky. 298 people were on board this flight when it was shot down over the Ukraine. We lost scholars, AIDS scientists, activists, vacationers, families, and eighty kids. Think of it EIGHTY children. Eighty. Infants to teenagers. Exuberantly buckling into their seats for their journey home or to a vacation destination. Not a care in the world. Probably laughing, reading, listening to music, or taking a quick nap. Some, more than likely, on their first flight, others, old hands at flying.
Then some idiot who has no care for human life fired a missile into the air and shattered all of their futures and ours. 
While it is true that in the world of childr…

WEDNESDAY RANT: Why would you leave a kid in the car?

Every summer we hear about child deaths in hot cars, yet the number of deaths is rising. So, why would you leave a kid in the car, or better yet, how could you forget your child in the car? The recent death of 22 month old Cooper from Georgia is inexplicable to me. Leaving any child in the car unattended is beyond comprehension. Yes, I know there are times when parents or caregivers are unbuckling car seats for multiple children, a child might have to wait until he/she gets unbuckled. I am not talking about that. I have had to do that myself. What I do not understand--and never will--is how a parent can leave a child in a car and totally forget about him/her.
So far this year, 14 children have died as a result of being left in a hot car. Last year it was 40 kids. According to the fact sheet put out by The Dept. of Earth and Climate Services at San Francisco State University, the deaths break down this way: 51 percent are actually forgotten29 percent are kids who get trapped after play…


I am not one to get involved in politics, and I understand this is a hot political issue right now, but I have to ask: Why would a parent send a child on a thousand to two thousand mile trip alone? From what I have read that is the question on the minds of millions of Americans. I have to admit that I asked myself the same thing. It's hard to imagine sending a small child on such a journey. Yet, children as young as six years of age are walking up to Border Agents, exhausted, alone, and begging for asylum. According to recent estimates, more than 50,000 kids have crossed the Mexican border since October 2013. They are mostly from Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. I wondered what their mothers were thinking, then I researched their countries.
The travel brochures for all three countries talk about pristine beaches, inspiring volcanoes, unique wildlife, friendly people, and breathtaking vistas. But what they don't talk about is the violenc…

Wednesday's Rantings and Ravings: Picture Books to Rave About

As a participant in Julie Hedlund's 12X12 challenge, I am not only writing picture book drafts, but I am anxiously reading new releases too. This week's "Rave" is for three books I found that made me laugh, and warmed my heart. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Under the Same Sun by Sharon Robinson is a heart warming account of family. Written about a reunion visit to Tanzania for the author's mother's eighty-fifth birthday, it takes the reader on a journey that celebrates the loving bond of a family even though they live thousands of miles from each other. As an added bonus, Robinson included a world map showing where Tanzania is located, pictures of a Tanzanian meal, and a small glossary of Swahili words used in the text.

Shoe Dog by Megan McDonald is a hilarious book about a dog who has    trouble resisting the urge to eat his human's new shoes. "Shoe Dog Liked    to chew. And chew, and chew."    Chewing is great for dogs, but for Shoe D…


There are numerous reasons why a child may not want to call, write or visit an incarcerated parent. Understanding why is the first step toward knowing how to help. It's impossible to identify all the reasons a child may refuse contact with a parent who is in jail. As discussed in earlier posts, the child may feel resentful and angry, and until those emotions are dealt with, he/she may not want contact. However, a child's resistance to speaking with a parent may go beyond anger and resentment. 
With over 6 million children abused or neglected in the U.S. each year resulting in an average of four deaths each and every day, it's understandable that an abused child may not want a relationship with his/her abuser. Communication is not the most important factor in these cases. Help for the child through counseling and intervention is. 
Besides abuse and neglect, the previous parent-child relationship must be considered. According to the latest statistics, three out of four peop…


If your kids are in day care, are they in danger? What if your day care provider smokes pot while the kids are there, or takes pain killers, or has a glass of wine or a couple of beers? Not at my day care, you say? But, are you sure? Last week a local news station caught day care workers smoking bongs while caring for children. The owners of the facility in Salem, Oregon readily admitted to smoking marijuana while children were nearby. They excused their behavior by stating that they had medical marijuana cards, and smoked during the day so they could "move around" and take care of the kids left at their center. That may not bother some of you who read this blog, but it makes me spitting mad!
I am not against a person in pain finding relief. However, I am against a person in pain finding relief while caring for a child. Smoking pot, taking opiates, or consuming alcohol may ease the pain, and it may help a person "move around", but it also slows the reaction time; …