By Lexy Capp
Every holiday season parents get bogged down by a tremendous amount of stress that often times can weigh down on us and have a negative impact on life at home with family and loved ones. It becomes more apparent every day that parents tend to forget what this time of year is truly about: peace and love, giving and sharing, togetherness, and opening ourselves up to happiness. The holiday season should be magical especially for young ones, who look forward to the season every year. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or a different holiday, it is important for all of us to build lifelong memories with our children and loved ones that we can look back on in the future. One way to create these positive lasting memories is by establishing tradition within the home and spreading the joy of the season to those around us. Maybe it’s playing a game, singing songs, baking cookies, hanging lights on the Christmas tree, lighting the menorah, seeing relatives you don’t see too often, or enjoying a certain meal. Parents and children need these memories to build character and grow as individuals. Furthermore, by upholding these strong values and traditions we keep spirits high at home and it gives us all something to look forward to every year with a smile on our face. While preparing for the holidays we all need to have a positive outlook and enjoy the process rather than perceive it as an obligation or burden. It’s time to get creative with your holiday planning and preparation, so that it will be a fun time for you and those around you. Another way of making the season more memorable is by instilling good values in your children. A wise person once said, “Ask your children two questions this holiday season. First: “What do you want to give to others?” Second: “What do you want for yourself?” The first fosters generosity of heart and an outward focus. The second can breed selfishness if not tempered by the first.” This holiday season remember to stay positive, spread the love, and maybe help someone that you wouldn’t normally help. For example, if you see a stranger on the streets, wish him or her “Happy Holidays.” A sentiment as simple as that can go a long way whether you think so or not. If you’re walking into a grocery store drop a few coins into the Salvation Army collection outside. It’s the little things that can go a long way in this world and can make the biggest difference whether you think so or not. Perhaps you can even volunteer your time to work for an admirable cause. The magnitude of the impact of these small deeds is truly epic, and will have a permanent impact on those around you. If you want to make a difference in the world then this holiday season you should do something beyond the norm and go the distance. Who knows? You may even surprise yourself.
Lexy Capp is the owner of Nannies & Housekeepers USA. Lexy also serves on the board of the Health Foundation at St. Rose Dominican Hospital and United Way – Women’s Leadership Council. Lexy is the mother of three sons knows, “At the end of the day there is nothing more important than family.”
It’s never easy for a toddler or older sibling to adjust to a new baby in the home. Here are seven suggestions to make the transition a little smoother.
1. Get a sitter for the other children on the day of the new baby’s homecoming if at all possible. This will give mom and dad time to adjust and settle in with the new baby.
2. When the siblings see the new baby for the first time, they will be very excited. They will want to touch it and handle the new child. Be sure that their hands are washed right away as should be the rule with all visitors in the home.
3. Have the siblings take turns at holding the new baby. Let them sit on a sofa beside of a grownup that can direct them on the proper way to hold a newborn. Explain to them about the fragile condition of the newborn to help them understand why the rules must be followed. These rules would include such as why the baby’s head must be supported at all times, why the baby’s back must be supported and why the baby’s head must be protected and the soft spot area also. Explain to the child or children how the bones must harden and strengthen and how the soft spot will close later on. Children will obey rules much easier if they understand the reason behind the rules.
4. Ask the siblings to assist with caring for the newborn baby. They can bring diapers, wipes, blankets and other items to assist in a changing. They will feel important to the newborn’s care and this will help them to feel needed. Explain to them why the pacifier should be washed every time that it hits the floor and they will understand much better about not sticking it right back in the newborn’s mouth.
5. Each parent should take a break from the newborn baby and spend one on one time with each sibling. They have missed their parent or parents during the hospital time and will need the extra attention. There are going to be a lot of changes in the home that has a new baby present. Try not to make a lot of rules all at once but only make ones that have to be followed right away when at all possible.
6. Tell the siblings stories of the day THEY were born and if there is another sibling, tell the smaller child about how the other sibling had to adapt to their own arrival. Have some of the photos of the siblings’ birth events on hand if possible and show those to visitors along with the photos of the new baby.
7. Try to follow your old schedule and routine with the siblings as much as possible and explain to them about any changes that must be made and why they are needed. Before long, the siblings will have adjusted to the new baby and the household will be back to normal without much chaos. Be patient and keep passing out the hugs and kisses to the siblings and they will be proud of the new baby and proud of themselves too.
Sleepy time gal,
Wake up and dance.
May pink and white lace
Adorn your every move.
Point your toe
In the right direction
Where a light shines
And a voice whispers.
Come and behold yourself.
A road awaits
Where you shine forever.
Poem by Joyce B. Carey. Mrs. Carey is a Las Vegas resident and Great Grandmother. The poem above was written 20 years ago for a granddaughter who is now 30 years old and lives in Los Angeles. Mrs. Carey’s poetry will be featured in ParentsGuide of Las Vegas on regular basis during the coming months.
People like choices. You may recall the Seinfeld episode where Kramer wants to make his pizza a certain way, but the owner of the restaurant, Poppy, insists he has to follow an exact recipe. Well at Mac Shack in the Southwest part of the Las Vegas Valley, you can make your pasta dish any way you want. Their menu says, “Ready. Set. Create.”
While the concept of picking your own ingredients and then having the chef cook it in front of you is not new, Mac Shack executes the model flawlessly, and has developed a niche catering to families generally and pasta lovers specifically. The “standard menu” at Mac Shack offers a choice of 15 pastas, nine sauces and at least 30 separate ingredients. There are literally hundreds of possible different combinations. There are so many choices that Marcello Mauro, one of the two partners behind the restaurant, thought that kids might be overwhelmed by all of the different options and “freeze up” when ordering. It turns out kids generally seem to be the ones who know exactly what combination they want. While the parents struggle more with the decision of how to combine the various food items.
And one can’t be blamed for taking a few extra moments to order. For example, you might opt for a traditional dish consisting of fettuccini for the pasta, alfredo for the sauce and chicken & broccoli for the ingredients. On the other hand, you could step out a little and go with rigatoni pasta, vodka sauce and sun dried tomatoes & porcini mushrooms.
When you first visit Mac Shack you will be impressed by the location, décor and layout. While you may think it is a large chain restaurant, it is actually a Las Vegas original. J Dapper, Marcello’s partner, is a keen real estate developer, and like Marcello grew up in Las Vegas. Together they have combined their years of restaurant and commercial real estate development experience to offer the city they love a family restaurant that both kids and adults are sure to enjoy together – if the parents can decide what they want to order.
To find out more about Mac Shack go to www.macaronishack.com.
MACARONI 101 Fun Facts about Pasta
Contrary to popular belief, Marco Polo did not discover pasta. The ancient Italians made pasta much like we do today. Some of the evidence suggesting Marco Polo didn’t “discover” pasta is found in the will of Ponzio Baestone, a Genoan soldier who requested “bariscella peina de macarone” – a small basket of macaroni. His will is dated 1279, 16 years before Marco Polo returned from China.Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States. It seems that he fell in love with a certain dish he sampled in Naples, while serving as the U.S. Ambassador to France. In fact, he promptly ordered crates of “macaroni,” along with a pasta-making machine, sent back to the States.
The Spanish explorer Cortez brought tomatoes back to Europe from Mexico in 1519. Even then, almost 200 years passed before spaghetti with tomato sauce made its way into Italian kitchens.