Saturday, September 29, 2012

Don't Lead Your Man

Interesting how our hidden tendencies to lead, boss and command come out on the dance floor. 

I consider myself a wife who lets my husband be the man in the house and be the boss. But as we learn to dance together it is becoming apparent that I like to try to lead and rush my husband forward and hurry him along at MY pace. 

If your men think  you are a bit too domineering they ought to take you dancing. It is a fun way to led him lead and reexamine your positions at home and on the dance floor. 

There cannot be two leaders in a dance- the beauty of the dance is in submitting to the lead of your man and letting him guide you, swing you and twirl you across the floor. Could it not be the same in our lives? 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Good Pediatrician- Top 10

As a Mom of 3 little ones I have come to some conclusions about what separates an ideal pediatrician from a mediocre one. And as a Mom raising my kids in a foreign country I highly value a doctor I can trust. Here is my top 10 list in describing a good pediatrician.

  1. Has a Way with Kids.
    • Anyone can be a pediatrician- but not all pediatricians are good with kids. To me a kid's doctor MUST know how to understand a kid. Our doctor waits on the child to be ready for her touch him/her. Taking the time for the child to become accustomed to her and talking to the child and parent. If the child senses that this doctor is someone who cares about them and can feel that their parent trusts the doctor the child will also feel more at ease. 
  2. Respects the Parent's Fears, Opinions and Choices
    • Having read a lot about vaccines I was not willing to vaccinate according to the government plan. Our first pediatrician gave us a rather hard time about this and I am continually meeting up with doctors who just "don't get it" when it comes to understanding the parent's concerns on this matter. Thankfully the doctor we now have not only respects our opinion, but even supports it! A good doctor is worth searching around for. 
  3. Doesn't Act Like a Know it All
    • You know the feeling you get when you see a doctor is huffy, proud and impossible to talk to. A pediatrician MUST be approachable. Parents need someone they can talk to and ask questions to about their concerns for their child's health. A doctor who scares away questions by their attitude is not the doctor you are looking for. 
  4. Child over Schedule: 
    • A good doctor is willing to set aside the planned vaccine or procedure if they see the child isn't as healthy as they should be. The child's well being is more important than rushing it and a vaccine can wait a week, a month, even more so that the child can be 100% healthy.
  5. Follows Up: 
    • A good doctor in this country ( I don't know about in the US) is concerned enough about the child that they will call you at home to make sure the child is doing alright.
  6. Home Visits: 
    • Here in Latvia all doctors can be expected to pay home visits. If a child is too sick to go to school why should they be going to a public waiting room. I am so thankful for the willingness of doctors to pay home visits in Latvia.
  7. What's Best for the Child. 
    • A good pediatrician will try no matter what to get every child healthy, even if it means inconvenience to the parents. Staying home from kindergarten, hiring a babysitter, and helping kids skip the sick season is ok- if it means health for the child. Encouraging parents to skip vaccines, or wait for another day or see a specialist. A good pediatrician knows their stuff and does it well.
  8. Child Friendly Environment: 
    • The doctor's office, not just their waiting room should make a child feel welcome. Our doctor has toys in her office that make my kids happy to go there. There are cars, and other toys that make them look forward to entering her office. 
  9. Employs Good Nurses: 
    • A good doctor's entire reputation can be tainted by a poor nurse. A nurse should be just as child centered as the doctor so that the first impressions and the details which are taken care of by the nurse are not a torture to the child. A good nurse is positive and knows how to talk to the child to help set them at ease. 
  10. Attitude: 
    • The first time I met our current pediatrician I knew she was a special doctor- she was down to earth, easy to talk to and willing to consider both my child's feelings and mine. Since the day we started seeing her I have been happy and every time my child is sick I rejoice that we have such a great doctor who REALLY cares about my kids and will call me day after day to make sure they are on the mend. A good doctor shows it by who they are not just in the office but even during their off hours. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Walking on Air

Lately it seems so many fun, new things have been happening. Yesterday was no exception and I picked up our nanny in the morning and headed to Riga- the capital of LV.

One thing to note about our nanny is that she is no longer JUST our nanny- she will also in the next year  become my sister-in-law. I am so excited my brother chose the sweetest girl I could imagine- but so bummed to lose the best nanny anyone could ever hope to find. Congratulations you two!

I had plans for the later afternoon, but we had decided to go on her first search for a wedding dress. It was so much fun seeing her try on about 10 dresses and discover her style. I also realized it was the first time I have ever had the privilege of going wedding dress shopping with anyone- other than for my own dress. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and K-boy was such an angel and so patient. (He is 5 mos. old now and such a happy little man).

We had a lovely lunch at an Italian place and then I rushed off for my silk painting lesson. I paint nearly every day and by now painting is second nature to me. However, I have never had a lesson from a professional and am wanting to begin painting with dyes rather than paints. So I had scheduled a lesson with a professional silk artist. Besides we can always learn something new, right?

I so loved all the little tips I gleaned yesterday, some were so simple but things I just didn't know. Other things were totally new and I got to try my hand at batik style painting with wax on the silk. I went away from my class super excited and so eager to try new things and pass on the knowledge I already have from 6 years of silk painting already. I feel like I am now taking my painting to the next level and it was invigorating.

This week I learned how to dance the waltz and had a wonderful silk lesson and I am super excited. I realized I love learning new things.

I am also thrilled about how plans are coming together for my silk classes which I will be teaching while we are in the States. My schedule is starting to fill up and these beginner classes are going to be so much fun. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Meal Ideas

A good friend asked me what we eat our house and I thought I would share a list of our favorite meals. Of course I'm always trying new recipes, but these are meals that we eat monthly. If you are interested in recipes, just drop me a note and tell me which recipe you need.  I have divided them into divisions of the method of cooking- which is how I plan when I am in a hurry.

We typically eat a soup with sandwiches, or a main dish with salad. We try to include a salad or boiled vegetable every meal, but usually go more for salads. Our dessert list is too numerous to list- as that is my speciality around here.

  • salmon soup
  • chili
  • frikadele soup ( A Latvian soup with small meatballs)
  • beef soup
Oven Baked:
  • Honey glazed chicken
  • Lasagna
  • Chicken baked with potatoes
  • Fish and oven baked potatoes (these potatoes are our healthy version of fries)
  • Pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions
  • Pizza
  • Quiche
Stove Top: (Include a side of buckwheat, potatoes, noodles or rice).
  • Tacos
  • Sushi (boil rice)
  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Ginger chicken (Chinese style) with rice. 
  • Latvian pancakes (crepes) with fillings: cheese, ham and cheese, meat, etc. 
  • Cutlets
  • Karbonades (chicken or pork)
  • Greek Salad
  • Ceasar Style salad with grilled chicken
  • Cheese Salad
  • Carrot Salad
  • Beet Salad
  • Cabbage salad with oil 
  • Cole Slaw
  • Cheese salad

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sensory Play Mat

I just recently finished this play mat for our goddaughter. It was so much fun planning on the various blocks to get the differnt sensory experiences.

Friendly spider with bells on toes :)

Fuzzy hedgehog

Shapes & Touch (Feel and move the shapes through the sheer fabric)


Chickens &  feathers

Zippered Bag with shapes

 Felt kitty

Shimmery Fish

Monday, September 10, 2012

Too Many Cartoons ?

Our four year old loves to watch cartoons. We are very careful in what we show him and his sister, aged 2. We also only let them earn their cartoon privilege by either having taken a nap or having been quiet during nap time.

However, our four year old NEVER seems to have enough. He whines and fusses for more, or cries on the days when he was too noisy to earn his viewing.

We never intended to do so, but somehow it seems we have allowed an addiction to develop.

I was very happy to see the topic of cartoons addressed in the latest number of one of the top parenting magazines in Latvia, "Mans Mazais."

I am going to share with you the Recipe for Cartoon Watching as shared in the magazine, with my translation.

  1. Don't be afraid to control what your child watches. 
  2. 5 min. x the age of the child per day. Ex: A 3 year old can watch 15 min. a day, a 4 year old 20 min. a day. 
  3. Watch cartoons with your child. Ex: You don't have to watch long to see what the main idea is and whether this is a cartoon you approve of.
  4. Balance the real with the fantasy: Ex: After watching cartoons go out and play.
  5. If you see violence turn it off. 
  6. Don't create an addiction: Ex: In trying to be "good" parents we let our kids watch cartoons because they want to-but we are unintentionally creating a addiction by letting them watch too often or too much. 
So what is your opinion?

Which cartoons do you let your toddlers, ages 2-5 watch? 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pretty Little Liars

So the last weeks have brought some exciting news for my shop and scarves. One of my scarves is on its way to the stylist of Pretty Little Liars. Thanks to the Artisan Group for the opportunity of exposing my art to the world.

If she likes it it might just end up on their show one day.