March 26, 2014

What happens when fans go to far?

Posted by Becka 0 comments
*UPDATE* 3/27 Tiffany is falsely claiming that she received death threats from Beasties. Sadly only her cyber bully ways are showing through and we can all see right through her. Good luck Ms. Vogt. So sorry about the almost 1000 lost followers... 

I usually could care less what happens in most social media. But recently someone that is near and dear to my heart was attacked for no other reason than a personal vendetta against him. So here is my two cents on the issue! 

This was asked recently in an all out bashing article against the Beauty And The Beast Fandom, after Tiffany Vogt of TV Watchtower (@TVWatchtower on Twitter) wrote THIS article on The TV Addict recently. She calls her self a reporter but to me she looks like an unprofessional arrogant woman with 

This happened when the promoters for the show Star Crossed decided that Monday's, a usual day for Beauty And The Beast Fans to be on Twitter most of the day, could only be used for THEIR show. 

Not only did Tiffany decide this was their  night, she flat out bashed one of the actors of Beauty And The Beast by saying he  "encouraged these destructive Twitter trending campaigns and flamed the passions of the Beasties into waging war against STAR-CROSSED"   

Which he did nothing of the sort. In fact, he is the biggest advocate for peace between the "fandoms" on Twitter and elsewhere. 

Funny thing is, neither last season or before this, had the "Beasties" ever had an issue with trending during a hiatus. 

So this is what happens when people are given the power of journalism and use their personal vendetta's against other people in the entertainment industry. It is more like she got her shovel in the sandbox taken away and now she is pouting and whining. 

There are several quotes in this unprofessional article that make it apparent that she only has the well being of Star Crossed in mind and not the fact that "Beasties" are doing what the always do at the same time every week. She also arranged a Twitter Trending Campaign to over shadow the one Beauty And The Beast had already planned. 

Well, thank God and the Constitution for Freedom of Speech right? Makes it ok to call others out on their absurdity and tantrums. My 4 year old is more mature than this unprofessional journalist...and I use the term loosely. 

I just hope this does not make Star Crossed look bad and lose it's ratings before it even has a chance to thrive. How horrible would that be? 

And don't try to comment on the article...she will surely delete it. Plus, she gets paid for clicks. We don't want to encourage that behavior now, do we?

I wonder if she is also attacking other Monday night shows? 
Posted by Becka 0 comments
Like an increasing number of parents, I wanted to make the most of my infant's natural urge to communicate — capitalizing on a window of opportunity in which infant’s gesture long before they talk. Such gesturing is a natural part of any baby's development. Even without prompting, a baby offered food when he is not hungry might shake his head vigorously; a baby whose mother leaves the house might wave her hand.

By actively teaching their pre-verbal babies to express themselves with sign language, parents are taking such gesturing a step further. For example, babies could learn to ask for a book by placing their hands together (palm to palm) and then opening the hands while maintaining contact between the pinkie fingers or to ask for food by rubbing their tummies. (Some baby-signing programs recommend using only gestures from American Sign Language; others believe children should be allowed to create their own gestures.) Babies exposed to true ASL signs regularly from an early age can generally begin using them effectively by 6 or 9 months or younger — even before they can say them, much sooner than those that use mere gestures.

Advocates of ASL believe that its signs are easy for babies to learn and that it offers the additional benefit of being widely known and understood. You want your child to learn another language correctly, just as you want them to speak correctly. You would not teach your baby made up words for things, so why would you want to teach them made up signs? Look for programs that only use ASL, if you want your child to have the highest level of benefits.

Signing provides children with far more than just rudimentary communication skills. Signing can improve a baby's intellect, increase self-esteem and happiness, reduce fussiness and temper tantrums, improve problem-solving skills, and help toddlers get along better with each other. It also strengthens the bond between parent and child, as you are able to communicate effectively with your baby. Signing has also been proven to enhance early language and literacy skills, enabling children to speak sooner and develop larger vocabularies. Some even attribute significant increases in IQ to early signing.

Signing with children with special needs is also very beneficial. Since many children with special needs will have trouble speaking for quite some time, teaching them to sign will lessen the chances of tantrums and frustration (on both sides!). There have been many parents with special needs children, especially those with children with Downs Syndrome, Autism, and Apraxia, saying their child learned to sign and all of a sudden had a language explosion, much sooner than they would be expected to.

Research conclusively indicates that babies who sign tend to have a stronger command of verbal language and often begin speaking at an earlier age than babies who do not sign. Countless parents and caregivers have confirmed these findings with their personal experiences and observations. In addition, many Speech-Language professionals, pediatricians, and educators are supporting the use of signs to encourage early language development.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health and reported in 2000 endorsed the contention that signing yielded verbal benefits. "The study showed signing facilitates learning to talk," says Linda Acredolo, a professor emeritus of psychology at UC Davis and the report's coauthor. Until age 3, children who had been instructed in signing had an advantage over non-signing children in language development. “The study also found that signing offers an intellectual advantage," says Acredolo. At 8 years, children who were taught to sign were found to have IQs 12 points higher than their non-signing counterparts. The study's authors offer a variety of theories for this apparent benefit. They suggest that the observed IQ advantage associated with signing might be the result of "jump-starting" a baby's intellectual development. They also speculate that the social and emotional benefits of signing, such as higher self-confidence, can have long-term effects on IQ.

When looking for a sign class for your child, make sure to look for the following items:
-ASL background of the instructor(s)
-The program is American Sign Language based, and not mere gestures
-Past class participant satisfaction
-Instructor(s) education level
-Whether or not the instructor has had success with their own child(ren)

March 24, 2014

Discipline And The Love Languages

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The word discipline comes from a Greek word, which means ‘to train’. Discipline and punishment are not synonymous. Punishment is but one form of discipline and one that, if a child’s love tank is full, is seldom required. Discipline is a type of love and the more a child feels loved, the easier he is to train.
First, it’s important to understand that children love in a self-oriented fashion, meaning they know what they need to feel loved, but they don’t know, or necessarily care, what others need. They also test our love continuously with their behavior. To discipline a child with love, one needs to figure out what the child needs when he misbehaves as opposed to trying to correct the behavior. The latter often leads to thoughtless punishment.
A child who misbehaves has a need for something. Knowing his primary love language allows you to know how to address his need, whatever it may be. The first and most common cause of misbehavior is an empty love tank. The second is physical pain or discomfort of some kind, which could include hunger, thirst, tiredness, or feeling unwell.
If a child feels remorse for something he’s done, there’s no need to proceed any further, other than to discuss it and then forgive him. Punishing a child for something he already feels guilty about hinders his ability to develop a good conscience and produces anger and resentment.
Here are 5 methods that can be used to effectively discipline with love. Notice that two of these are positive methods of discipline, two are negative and one is neutral. Always use these methods in order and stop when the desired effect has occurred.
1. Make a Request. This sends 3 important, nonverbal messages to the child:
  • That you respect his feelings;
  • That you realize he has a brain and is able to form opinions; and
  • That you expect him to take responsibility for his own behavior.
2. Issue a command when making a request fails. Issuing commands are more effective when used infrequently and not as the main method of controlling behavior.
3. Gentle physical manipulation is especially effective with young children who often do things that are not necessarily wrong but not to your preference. For example, be careful not to confuse ‘negativism’ with defiance. When a 2-year-old says “No!” he is demonstrating a normal stage of development, where he begins to separate psychologically from his parents. If you make a request and he says “No”, move to a command. If he still says “No”, you might be inclined to punish him, but instead gently guide him to what you need him to do. If he resists, it’s defiance, so act accordingly. But, most often the child will just go along with your gentle physical manipulation. He was just practicing his independence.
4. Punishment is the most negative way of training a child, and the most difficult for the following reasons:
  • The punishment must fit the crime since children have such a strong sense of fairness;
  • The punishment has to be appropriate for each particular child;
  • Punishment is often administered inconsistently according to the punisher’s mood at the time. When you’re feeling good, you tend to be more lenient than when you’ve had a bad day; and
  • Punishment when used as a primary means of discipline provokes needless anger, and causes the child to develop passive-aggressive attitudes and behaviors.
If you have to punish the child, give her a conscious expression of love in her primary language before and after administering the punishment.
5. If the child shows no remorse for his behavior, the next step would beBehavior Modification. It utilizes three components:
  • Positive reinforcement (giving a reward for good behavior);
  • Negative reinforcement (taking something away); and
  • Punishment (ie. removing the child/isolation).
Behavior modification is best used only for recurring specific problems for which a child shows no remorse. Overuse causes a feeling of being unloved because behavior modification is completely based on conditions. This results in a ‘I have to give to get’ attitude and teaches the child how to manipulate authority figures.

In order to respect a child’s love language and discipline (train) with love, do not select their love language as a method of discipline. For instance, if you use condemning words with a child whose love language is words of affirmation, your words will communicate not only that you are displeased with the behavior, but also that you do not love the child. If the love language is quality time, do not use isolation as a form of punishment. If it’s physical touch, don’t withhold hugs or respond in a physically negative way. Imagine what a spanking would say to this child! Understanding the child’s primary love language allows you to discipline with love and makes any discipline one has to do far more effective.
Source: The Five Love Languages for Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. ISBN 1-881273-65-2.

March 23, 2014

Brain Growth and Development in Preschool

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A peek at the early stages of brain development and how early childhood education encourages brain growth, memory and language development in babies and young preschool children.
At birth, a baby's brain already has 100,000,000,000 cells.  This is about the same number of stars in the Milky Way.  Unlike the rest of a new baby's body, the brain is not complete at birth.  In order to start working, the cells need to communicate with each other.  As a baby starts to experience life, connections are made between cells - the more connections there are, the more the brain can do.
A baby's brain develops so fast that by age two a child who is developing normally has the same number of connection as an adult.  By age three, a child has TWICE as many brain connections as an adult.
Early milestones in brain growth.
4 months: The infant's brain responds to every sound produced in all the languages of the world.
8 to 9 months: Babies can form specific memories from their experiences, such as how to push a ball to make it roll.
10 months: Babies can now distinguish and even produce the sounds of their own language (such as "da-da") and no longer pay attention to the sounds of language that are foreign.
12 months: Babies whose parents say, for example, "Lookeee at the doggiee," will go to the appropriate picture of a dog in a picture book more often than those babies who are talked to in normal, flatter voices.
12 to 18 months: Babies can keep in memory something that has been hidden and find it again, even if it has been completely covered up.  They can also hold memory sequences of simple activities, such as winding up a Jack-in-the-box until the figure pops up.
24 months: Preschool children now have clear pictures in mind of people who are dear to them, and they get upset when separated from these people (even their peers).
30 months:  Preschool children can hold in mind a whole sequence of spatial maps and know where things are in their environment.
36 months:  A preschool child can now hold two different emotions in his mind at the same time, such as being sad that he spilled ice cream on his clothes but glad that he's at a birthday party.

How   Preschool   Education   Helps

Brain Development**

Morning Greeting
Whenever an adult speaks directly and personally to a preschool child, cascades of impulses go through the child's neurons (nerve cells), which are connected to one another by synapses.  The repetition of these kinds of positive early interactions actually helps the brain reinforce the existing connections and make new ones.
By a couple of months of age, babies can process the emotional contours of language (prosody), which means they tune in to the emotional variations in your voice. (In fact, toddlers can memorize nursery rhymes because rhymes have prosody!)  As the preschool teacher raises her voice an octave and draws out her vowels, the child's brain responds by sending even more chemical and electrical impulses across the synapses.
Story time
Early childhood teachers are careful to have small groups for story time so that preschool children are able to get involved and process information.  Young children need real interactions in order to learn.  As she reads, the teacher will use melodic voice tones to ensure children's involvement and learning.
Free play / Work time
During free play, preschool children interact with one another.  As they communicate, whether through beginning language or more sophisticated use of words, the neurons in their brains are making more connections, critical for reinforcing learning.
Further opportunities for communication lead to the repetition of impulses sent through the brain.  The more repetition that goes on, the more the brain grows sure in its understanding.  Repetition of language sounds is crucial to brain development.
Circle time
As the early childhood caregiver focuses her attention on each individual child in the large group activity, the child must think about the topic for the day.  The child's  brain will be active as he/she retrieves from  memory something special in her own personal history that she has learned. Each day children reap the benefits of preschool education.

March 19, 2014

Easter Shopping At Amazon.Com

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It's almost that time of the year again!! Easter, spring and lots of green instead of brown and white. Budding trees, birds and all things Springtime!

Everything you could possibly need can be found in one place on I have gotten candy, baskets, religious items and more in one amazing location.

Click the banner below and brows Amazon's amazing selection of Easter goodies!!

Come back and tell me what you got...I'm curious!

March 18, 2014

Something Fun Happens In The Morning At The Disney Store

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Evan and I decided to take a walk, do some shopping and have breakfast at Fashion Show Mall last week.

As we walked around a few minutes before the mall opened, we walked by the Disney Store. As we walked by, a Cast Member caught us and asked if Evan would like to help unlock the store before it opened.

Being a Disney fanatic and former Cast Member, I could not let this opportunity pass us up!!

First they welcomed TinkerBell into the store to turn the lights on...

Then Evan got to sprinkle Pixie Dust on the giant key that opens the store and help turn then key...

The store was now open as the ropes fell...

After the store was successfully unlocked and TinkerBell flew back to DisneyLand, Evan got his very own key to take home with him...

He enjoyed helping to open the store and get his own key. We even bought a pair of Jake and the Neverland Pirates sunglasses as a treat :)

This is why I LOVE Disney....there is always something Magical happening around every corner! 

March 17, 2014

Why are teachers expected to be parents?!

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Disclaimer: This post is about TYPICALLY developing children. 

I have been seeing people for years, as well as recently, saying that teachers need to do this, that, and the other thing, pertaining to manners, sharing, turn taking, social skills teaching, etc... Well, when did we stop holding parents accountable for what their children should do, manner wise?

I always lived by the saying "parents are the first teachers." To me, this means we, as parents, have an obligation to our children to prepare them to be a productive member of society. This means that, as soon as they are born, we have a job to teach them. No, I don't mean we need to teach our newborns how to read, I mean that we need to teach them about their world, what is acceptable, and how they need to act socially.

I do not believe it is a teachers job to teach any of these:

turn taking
behaving around other people
social interactions
listening to their teacher
including others in activities
self control
not to whine when they are told no
following simple directions
covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze
listen quietly when others are speaking...

These seem basic enough, but many kids go into school...and even go through school...never knowing what is and what is not socially acceptable!

When your child hits, has a tantrum, does not do as they are told, steals toys at a playgroup, refuses to share, speaks or tries to play a game out of turn, and so on, we can not, as parents, stand back and say "oh they will learn to do/not do that in school!" Our teachers are already swamped with academics and making sure our children are learning what they need to know to move on to the next grade...they don't need to take the job of teaching our children basic manners and social skills as well.

Of course, there are parents out there that will disagree with me...they are probably the ones that have a child with a horrible behavior problem, and blames it on a "condition," (even though that child shows no signs otherwise) instead of stepping up to the plate and actually being the parent.

I was once confronted by a parent in my preschool class, who's son was about to enter kindergarten. Now, we were a developmental preschool, the first and only I ever worked in (just does not go along with my beliefs). The mother was concerned that her son was not academically ready to enter kindergarten. Even as a new parent (my almost 11 year old was 13 months old at the time) I knew that it was MY job to teach my child all they needed to know before they entered the academic and social world outside our house. I asked the mother what SHE did with him at home (like teaching manners, academics, etc...). Her answer?! "Nothing, that is YOUR job, NOT mine!" I think I was so shocked, that I remember being speechless. Of course, as a teacher, I could not say what I REALLY wanted to...but you can bet that me and the other teacher in the room have A LOT to say to each other after she left!

Sorry to ramble...but seeing teachers say they are frustrated that they have to teach these things on top of academics is upsetting! A teachers job is hard enough!

March 15, 2014

50 Fun Books To Sign To!

Posted by Becka 2 comments
We all know the benefits of signing with your baby and how it can enhance verbal communication, but did you know that signing AND reading will enhance early reading skills!
Here is a list of books that are easy to hold while holding your baby and reading/signing to them!

50 Top Books for Easy Signing
1. Oh My, Oh My, Oh Dinosaurs- Sandra Boynton (opposites)
2. Going to Bed Book- Sandra Boynton (Bed Time)
3. Red Hat, Green Hat- Sandra Boynton (Colors/Clothes)
4. Curious George, Are You Curious- H.A. Rey (Emotions)
5. Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too?- Eric Carle (Animals)
6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear- Eric Carle/Bill Martin (Animals)
7. The Very Busy Spider- Eric Carle (Small Insects)
8. From Head to Toe- Eric Carle (Body Parts)
9. Going on a Bear Hunt- Helen Oxanbury (Bedtime)
10. Go Dog Go- P.D. Eastman (Board Book Best)
11. Five Little Monkey’s Jumping on the Bed- Eileen Christelow (Bedtime)
12. Lunch- Denise Fleming (Foods)
13. Very Hungry Caterpillar- Eric Carle (Foods)
14. The Very Lazy Ladybug- Isoben Finn/Jack Tickle (Animals)
15. I Love You Stinky Face- Lisa Court (My Family)
16. Grandparents are the Greatest because…-Adele Aron Greenspan (Family)
17. Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make my Day- Jamie Lee Curtis (Emotions)
18. Me and My Senses- Joan Sweeney (Emotions)
19. My Many Colored Days- Dr. Seuss (Colors, Animals and Feelings)
20. Good Morning- Summer Durantz (Clothing and Morning Activities)
21. Excuse Me! A Little Book of Manners- Karen Katz (Manners)
22. No Biting!- Karen Katz (Manners)
23. Trucks Whizz! Zoom! Rumble!- Patricia Hubbell (Transportation)
24. Winnie the Pooh’s A to Zzzz- Don Ferguson (Manual Alphabet)
25. Bear Wants More- Karma Wilson (Animals)
26. Good Night Moon- Margaret Wise Brown (Bedtime)
Sign2Me® Presenters’ Network - Lesson Plans © Copyright 2004 Northlight Communications, Inc. Page 69
27. Hug- Jez Alborough (Animals/Love/Family) Easy to Sign
28. My Name is Blue- Blues Clues (Starting to Read)
29. Baby Sign Language Basics- Monta Briant (Baby Sign Language)
30. I See My Mom…I See My Dad- Pierre Pratt (Family)
31. I Can Roar Like a Lion- Frauk Asch (Animal Signs)
32. Let’s Play-Leo Lionni (Play Time)
33. Nicky and Grandpa- Cathryn Falwell (Family)
34. PJ’s New Potty- Cathryn Falwell (Toilet Training)
35. Buzz Buzz Snap Snap- Rick Cowley (Animals)
36. Tumbling Leaves- Bill Graves (Weather)
37. More, More, More said the Baby- Vera B. Williams (Family)
38. Are You My Mother- Phillip D. Eastman (Relationship)
39. I Went Walking- Sue Williams (Relationships)
40. What Do You Do With A Grumpy Kangaroo- Jane Beek Moncure (Animals/Emotions)
41. Bear’s Busy Family- Stella Blackstone (Family)
42. Walking Through the Jungle- Julie Lacome (Animals)
43. Goodnight Gorilla- Peggy Rathman (Animals)
44. The Little Old Lady That Swallowed a Fly- Simms Taback (Animals)
45. Today is Monday- Eric Carle (Days of the Week)
46. Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms- Christine Kole MacLaeve (Family and Relations)
47. King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub- Audry Wood (Bathtime)
48. Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go To Sleep- Joyce Dunbar (Great Bedtime Story)
49. Wemberley Worried- Kevin Henkes (Emotions/Friends)
50. Miss Bindergarten Stays Home From Kindergarten- Joesph Slater (School and Days of the Week)

If you know of more, please comment!

March 13, 2014

Never Hung Over Product Review Coming!

Posted by Becka 0 comments

I recently go the opportunity to receive a 6 Pack of Never Hung Over. I will be testing it out 2 weeks from now, the weekend of March 28th-30th.

A little synapsis of what this product is all about:

I can not wait to try this product! This IS Vegas, and I am sure a lot of people would love to know if this will work the way it is marketed. This could be a very popular product!

This is why I tell my kids it is their body, their choice!

Posted by Becka 2 comments
So I was perusing Facebook, and I can across an article. It warns parents that they should never force their children to hug/kiss anyone, not even parents or grandparents, if they do not want to. I have always told my kids this, and even got berated by my in laws at one point, because I refused to force my child to hug them, when they did not want to. Sorry, but I want my kids to trust their own instincts, and know that it is their body, their rules. Thanks to this article, my feelings have been reinforced!

I agree with this quote:
one of the most important things we can teach our kids when it comes to their personal safety is to LISTEN to that inner barometer, their INSTINCT…a.k.a. “the uh-oh feeling”   

I also agree with this:
Because they may be getting an “uh-oh feeling”  that you’re unaware of.   Maybe earlier in the evening Uncle Johnny said or did something that felt “yucky” to your child which you’re oblivious to.   Later on, when it’s time to go home, you insist that your daughter kiss Uncle Johnny goodbye, demanding it when she flat out refuses.

The message your child gets: 
1) Don’t trust your own instincts.
2) You have to obey the grownups no matter what.
3) Mom/Dad will not believe you if you tell them about an uncomfortable feeling or touch because you haven’t got the right to speak up for yourself.

The message Uncle Johnny gets:

Jackpot!  Here’s a target — a child who’s been taught to be polite no matter what the circumstances.  Here’s a child who probably won’t  know how to resist an inappropriate touch or have the ability to tell anyone about it!   At the next gathering,  he decides he may be able to go a little further with his behavior because you’ve basically laid the ground work out for him already.  

So in essence, this article should tell parents to listen to their kids, and to take their cues! NEVER force your child to hug anyone if they do not feel like it, no matter WHO it is! The person will eventually get over it, and you could potentially save your child's life! 

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