Saint Patrick’s Day comes and goes every March 17th with millions of people celebrating by parading around in green clothing, sporting leprechaun hats, and four-leaf clovers. The pubs and bars are full of those partaking of the festivities and live, cultural musical celebrations. Does anyone really know what it all represents?
Saint Patrick himself dates back to the fourth century where the Saint was born into a Roman British family. Irish marauders invaded his home when he was just 16 years old and he was forced into slavery back in Ireland. During this time he had six years to think about who he was and what he believed. He decided to find God and follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and father who were both priests in the Christian church of the time. It is recorded that the Lord spoke to Patrick and helped him escape by boat to return home. Once safely home he also became a priest and decided to return to Ireland and convert the Irish Pagan people to Christianity.
His name goes down in history as a Priest who brought thousands to Christianity and spent his life in the service of the Irish people, freeing them from the oppressive Pagan religious leadership that was imposed on their lives. Saint Patrick’s death, March 17th, 461 AD, continues to represent a spectacular celebration in his honor. It is a public holiday in Ireland and a few provinces of Canada. However, it is the most widely celebrated holiday outside of its country of origin by all of those who have immigrated to foreign lands and taken the traditional with them.
Local St. Patrick’s Day Festivities are booming this year in big cities around Texas. Here are two events that are focused on family entertainment and have long-standing traditions with plenty of Gaelic heritage to go around.
Austin -St. Patrick’s Day Festival – Saturday, March 17th Pioneer Farms 12:00 to 7:00 pm
Family friendly at it’s finest this Irish festival is hosted by the Celtic Cultural Center and is a traditional way of participating in St. Patrick’s Day events. There will be a wide array of musical performances from traditional Irish dancers to authentic Irish music. With something for everyone, this party will be one you don’t want to miss. Food, games, displays, educational booths and so much more. Check out the official website for directions and details, http://www.stpatricksdayaustin.com/.
Houston St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Saturday, March 17th 12:00 pm
The 59th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade rolls downtown Houston this Saturday! Don’t miss this chance to gear up in your green and join the Irish celebration! Starting at the clocktower at Minute Maid Park, the parade will move westward through downtown. Lucky’s Pub is hosting an after party for the adults. For details and information check out this link http://hsppc.org/parade-info/.
San Antonio St. Patrick’s Day River Parade – Saturday, March 17 4:00-6:00 pm
Partying on the River Walk has never been better! This St. Patrick’s Day Parade features delightfully decorated floats that actually float along the famous San Antonio Riverwalk. A free event that everyone will truly enjoy, it features live music, Irish food, and entertainment for the whole family. Information about this parade can be found at https://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/events/st.-patricks-day-river-parade.
February fills the air with love. Valentine’s Day is a fun opportunity to give those we love that extra special attention to fill their hearts! As parents, it is our job to protect those loved ones from lice and other common sicknesses that are around this time of year. We thought of a few quick tips to help you spread the love this Valentine’s Day and prevent head lice while you’re at it!
Spreading the Love to Your Family
Make Personalized Valentine’s – Take a piece of cardstock or construction paper and artistically print or draw each person in your family’s name on their own paper. Now using color markers or pens have each member of the family write a loving note to one another. List their good qualities or things you appreciate about them. Now roll up the paper, attach their favorite candy with a ribbon and tie it off with a bow.
Fill Their Buckets – “Filling a Bucket” for someone is an analogy often used to demonstrate how they feel about themselves. If someone’s feeling unhelpful, unimportant or like they have little to offer to others it is as if their bucket is empty. They don’t feel needed and loved. Parents and family members can do a lot in “filling the buckets” of those in their family. Notice the good your family members do and then acknowledge it! Don’t miss an opportunity to give a compliment, praise a good deed or point out moments that make you feel proud of them. Go the extra mile and only focus on the positive. In other words, try not to “empty their bucket” with negativity. Leaving kind notes, text messages or just bite your tongue when you feel like placing blame or pointing out a flaw.
Family Time is Worth It – Schedule a day and time each week that is sacred family time. Treat this like an important appointment that cannot be missed or rescheduled. With this time create a pattern to go over weekly schedules, play games, watch family movies, address important topics and create fun, happy memories as a family.
Nix Screen Time at Meals – When it comes time for family dinner, unplug your devices and focus on what really matters. Talk to each other about the day. Listen to the highs and lows everyone experienced. Mealtime is a great time to interact as a family and be involved in each other’s lives.
Preventing Head Lice on Your Loved Ones
Spread Awareness – Make sure your children understand that head lice is a common problem in public schools, daycares, or any type of facilities and activities where children are together in a group. Talk to them about making sure to avoid head to head contact or sharing headwear and clothing as much as possible. If they are going somewhere overnight provide them with their own clean pillow, blankets, and towels. Throw their winter gear and backpacks into the dryer once a week for 20 minutes to kill any possible nits or lurking lice.
Take Time to Check for Lice – Routine head checks on your children are an important step in catching head lice at the early stages. Take a small comb and sift through their hair for traces of bites, rashes, irritations or nits at the base of the scalp. As you do this regularly you will begin to notice what is normal and become aware of any warning signs as they may arise. This is a great way to catch the problem early and eliminate it quickly before spreading to your whole household.
With a new year, comes a clean slate. A chance to start implementing things into our lives we wish we had done before. With that in mind, this is the perfect time to start thinking of ways to help your children learn healthy habits. Here are some traits to start and some things to stop in helping your kids stay healthy and happy in 2018.
Stopforcing children, threatening children or even bribing children to eat their fruits and vegetables. This is not a good long term approach to helping them learn to like it. When they are adults you will not be there to force feed them.
Start ensuring your children are learning to enjoy fruits and vegetables. Take a step back and rethink your approach to healthy eating. Use butter and flavorings on their dinner vegetables to help with the blandness. Set out a veggie tray with hummus and ranch for dipping when they arrive home famished from school every day. They want a dessert? Sure, why not!? Offer a fresh fruit platter with caramel dipping sauce or cool whip. This tip might be hard for you to swallow, but will sure make fresh fruits and veggies more enjoyable for your kids. They will learn to love them and enjoy them in a variety of ways.
Stop thinking your kids won’t catch lice.Believing only dirty people or poverty-stricken people catch lice is just an outright lie. Lice are non-discriminatory and survive off of people from all walks of life. In fact, everyone is likely to catch lice at least once in their lifetime. All social classes, ethnicities, genders and races are at risk. Especially now as super lice are creating more of a problem than ever.
Start talking to your children about ways to prevent lice. Explain that direct head to head contact is the most common way to catch lice. Followed by sharing head gear or clothing that has remnants of lice or nits, lice eggs, on them. Teach children to avoid sharing hair brushes, hair accessories or hair combs with other people. Help them understand that lice is a normal part of life and not something that makes people dirty or bad. Help your child know that it can happen to anyone and they should be aware to avoid it. Watch for signs and symptoms of lice in your child including: an itchy scalp, red and irritated scalp, or nits close to the scalp.
Stop pestering your child to wash their hands. The more you yell or bug them about something the less likely they are to do it and do it well. Washing hands is such an important step in staying healthy try to not make it a negative experience by being pushy or nagging. Startmaking sure they understand why we wash our hands with a fun experiment. One word – glitter! Take your child by the hand and get it slightly damp. Explain that germs are like glitter. They spread easily and stick to their hands. Sprinkle some glitter to represent all the activities they do throughout the day like petting the cat, touching the doorknob, or flushing a toilet. Show how if they touch their nose or face germs spread to their body and can potentially get inside through the eyes, nose or mouth to infect them. Now wash their hands with warm water and soap. Time it to see how long it takes. This is the correct amount of time they should use to wash their hands. Making it fun and explaining the concept will go a long way in ensuring kids are doing what we ask for the right reasons.
It’s 2017 and that means toys have come a long way since the Magic 8 Ball and Rubik’s Cube. With the technology that our children have to play with their toys are a whole new level of fun! We have searched high and low to find the best interactive toys for the children on your good list this holiday season.
Bring Home the Best for Boys
-furReal Roarin’ Tyler, the Playful Tiger. Hasbro has created a tiger that plays with your child by responding to touch, reacting to voice commands and even chases his own squeaky toy! This playful tiger is sure to win the devotion of your little one as they pet him and he purrs and closes his eyes. He loves to play rowdy as well with over 100 different sound and motion combinations, he actually responds to your child’s touch and movement.
-Lego Boost Code Builds. Legos that move! Building Legos has been a popular pastime for generations. Now with new technology children can build one of five different robot models and actually use code to make it dance, move, talk, sing and even tell jokes! Their very own robot is controlled by a downloadable app on any mobile device or tablet. Not only does this new level of Lego help your child grasp how to work with technology but it will get them excited about learning!
-VRSE Virtual Reality Sets. Technology in these reality sets brings the excitement of the big screen into your living room. Kids can strap on a reality set and suddenly they’ve entered a whole new world! With 360 degree panoramic views of movie scenes and settings from Batman or Jurassic World they can experience heart pounding excitement firsthand. Ever been chased by a T-Rex or battled alongside Batman? Now they can with this latest technology!
Top Tech Trends for Girls
-Game Smart Watch for Kids. Finding stylish, functional smart watches for kids has never been possible, until now. With touchscreens 1.5 inches in size these smart watches provide hours of up to date entertainment with built-in games and learning features. Designed for capturing photos as well there are several options that allow kids to change up the camera with special effects. They can use their very own smartwatch to set an alarm, keep track of time, play games and video special events.
-Luvabella Doll. This lovely, life-like baby doll interacts with the little girl in your life almost like a real baby! She can be fed, burped and changed to name just a few features. She comes with several extras like feeding materials and a change of clothes. The more you play with her, the more she learns. Teach her to make sounds, say words and respond to movements! She will quickly become the love of your little girl’s life.
-Hatchimals. When your child receives a hatchimal it will arrive in a sparkly, beautiful egg. As they tap the egg, listen for a response! Hold it up to their ear and listen for a new heartbeat! They help their egg hatch and care for the precious new friend once it has arrived. Their new hatchimal interacts with them and can sing songs, learn games and play for hours.
Every year, people of all ages get excited to lounge by the pool, attend barbecues, wear red, white and blue, eat way too much and play fun games with friends and family. Yep, Tuesday of next week is the Fourth of July and we are looking forward to it! Maybe you have fun traditions or maybe you’re looking for some new traditions for your family. Care.comwrote an article about 12 great activities for kids on the Fourth of July. Here are our 5 favorite ones.
1. Make A Fourth of July Wand
Sometimes kids are fearful of loud and bright fireworks. Or at least their afraid to hold a sparkler or get close to fireworks that others are lighting off. Making a patriotic wand can be their proud accessory to hold instead of fireworks. It’s simple and easy to make and can even be saved till next year. Or you can make it a tradition to make a new one each year.
2. Host A Fourth of July Bike Parade
This creative idea consists of gathering all the kids on the block and giving them decorations to decorate their bike anyway they like. After everyone’s bike is decorated, stage a parade down the street. Parents can sit outside and watch as their adorable kids proudly show off their decorated bikes. How cute is this idea? This makes them feel involved and special in the Fourth of July festivities.
3. Play Patriotic Games
Need some ideas for some fun, outdoor patriotic games? How about a relay race, tug-of-war, water balloon fight, coloring contest, pie-eating contest, scavenger hunt, or Fourth of July bingo? Maybe even a patriotic costume contest. Outdoor Fourth of July games are perfect for hot summer days. They keep the kids active and engaged. You could give out prizes for winners.
4. Bake Red, White and Blue Treats
What is the Fourth of July without the patriotic treats? Baking is something you can do with your children. Teach them the basics of cooking and have some fun together. Cookie decorating is a fun activity for the kids. Buy lots of red, white and blue frosting and make sure not to run out of sprinkles!
5. Teach About the Declaration of Independence
Do your kids know why we celebrate Independence Day? Do they even know that the Fourth of July is Independence Day? The Declaration of Independence is an important part of history and it is a fitting time to learn about it when we are celebrating the independence and birth of our nation. Teach your kids about what it is and who signed it. They will be ahead of the curve when they learn about it in school.
We hope that you enjoy at least one of these suggestions from care.com. If your child happens to contract head lice from on the kids on the block or from a cousin at Fourth of July party, give us a call right away and we’ll perform head checks on your family and treat whoever has it. We hope you and your family have an amazing fourth of July.