A Radio City Rockette Newbie

I have visited New York City countless times and even lived there for about five months for a summer internship. It’s easy to rack up the visits when you have two sisters that move there by the time you are 10 years old.

Given all of my visits, I’ve done my fair share of activities – the top of the Empire State Building, walks through Central Park, Broadway shows, golf at Chelsea Pier, games at Yankee Stadium – the list goes on and on. However, there was one thing that remained on my NYC bucket list, and that was to see the Radio City Rockettes.

A few weeks ago my dream came true and I found myself inside Radio City Music Hall (thanks Mom)! The entire experience was like no other. It all started with a preshow drink with my mom and big sis, Lindsay, at Del Frisco’s. My sister considers this move a preshow staple each time she sees it. An hour later I found myself stepping into the grand lobby with two story Christmas trees and decorations to my left and right. We soon made our way to our seats and the show started right then. Cue the orchestra, dim the lights, and here comes Santa Clause.

Each act throughout the show was a show stopper. There were shopping scenes, toys that came to life, a tour through NYC, fireworks, snowfall, and the conclusion gave you a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas (tears might have been shed). If you sat near me you would often see my jaw dropped, eyes sparkling, or constantly poking my mom who sat next to me saying, “WOW!” I’ve been to many Broadway shows and musicals, and I can honestly say that nothing has compared to the experience I felt while inside this grand music hall.

We exited out of the gold doors and onto 6th Ave, when I felt as if I should be skipping down the street and singing Christmas carols. It was like I was ten again and believing in all things Santa.

If you haven’t seen the show… go! It’s great entertainment for all ages. Take it from the toddlers to the grandparents that were seen in the audience at the show I went to. If you can’t make it to Radio City, pull up your Netflix app. Believe it or not, you can watch the Christmas Spectacular right at home! You won’t have the live fireworks or snowfall (unless your are seriously invested), but you can appreciate the story just the same.

I’ll leave you with a photo I took of my favorite act in the show. The synchronicity of these girls was INSANE!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Choking Hazards for Kids

In a recent article published by Lucie’s List, they talk about the most common choking hazards amongst children. Now that you are up to date with the CPR procedures from our last blog (read here), we wanted to highlight some of the items to look out for in the case you need to perform CPR.

Choking is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children, especially those aged three years or younger. More than 60% of childhood deaths due to choking occur in the first year of life.

Of 17,500 incidences of non-fatal choking here are the items kids most often choke on:

Food: 41%
Candy and gum: 19%
Other non-foods: 17%
Coins: 13%
Unknown: 10%

In the breakdown of these categories, here are some specific items to pay special caution to:

1. Balloons (other) – latex balloons were associated with 29% of deaths overall, making it the most dangerous hazard for kids. TIP: Use the Mylar balloons instead (the shiny foil ones).
2. Hot dogs (food) – about 17% of choking deaths are form hot dogs alone. TIP: Cut hot dogs length-wise before serving.
3. Grapes, carrots, and bananas (food) – the pediatrician of the article writer said that bananas are the number one choking hazard based on his personal experience. TIP: Never give your child a whole item; cut them into halves or quarters.
4. Water bottle tops (other) – bottle tops are everywhere and often ignored. TIP: Make sure the tops are always tightly sealed and/or out of the reach of children.
5. Coins – these aren’t high on the “deadly stuff” list, but coins are around everywhere especially on the ground (a kid’s favorite place to be). Pennies and nickels are the highest risk. TIP: Shiny coins often attract kids. To be safe, don’t let them play with them. Plus, they are dirty and germ-infested. Yuck!

For additional items to look out for, read the full article here.

How to Perform CPR

Are you needing a quick refresher on compressions only CPR? Well, it just so has it that the refresher you are looking for is below.

If your child does choke, you should know how to perform CPR. To become certified in CPR, contact the Red Cross or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. The next best thing is to print out the Red Cross CPR/AED guide (download it here). It’s super easy to follow in a panic and we suggest you keep it somewhere in or near your kitchen.

Newborn/Infant
Perform CPR if the child is not breathing, has no pulse and has lost consciousness.

1. First do back blows

- If a baby is conscious but can’t cough, cry, or breathe and you believe something is trapped in their airway, carefully position them face up on one forearm, cradling the back of their head with that hand.
- Place the other hand and forearm on their front. The baby is now sandwiched between your forearms.
- Use your thumb and fingers to hold the jaw and turn them over so that they’re facedown along the other forearm. Lower your arm onto your thigh so that the baby’s head is lower than their chest.
- Using the heel of your hand, deliver five firm and distinct back blows between the baby’s shoulder blades to try to dislodge the object. Maintain support of the head and neck by firmly holding their jaw between your thumb and forefinger.
- Next, place your free hand (the one that had been delivering the back blows) on the back of the baby’s head, with your arm along the spine. Carefully turn the baby over while keeping your other hand and forearm on the front.

2. Then do chest thrusts

- Use your thumb and fingers to hold the jaw while sandwiching the baby between your forearms to support their head and neck. Lower your arm that is supporting their back onto your opposite thigh, still keeping the baby’s head lower than the rest of their body.
- Place the pads of two or three fingers in the center of the baby’s chest, just below an imaginary line running between the nipples. To do a chest thrust, push straight down on the chest about 1 1/2 inches. Then allow the chest to come back to its normal position.
- Do five chest thrusts. Keep your fingers in contact with the baby’s breastbone. The chest thrusts should be smooth, not jerky. Repeat back blows and chest thrusts.
- Continue alternating five back blows and five chest thrusts until the object is forced out or the baby starts to cough forcefully, cry, or breathe on their own. If coughing, let them try to cough up the object.
- Repeat the chest compressions and so on, until help arrives.

Child (toddler to approximately 7-8 years old, dependent on weight)
Check for alertness.  Tap the child gently. See if the child moves or makes a noise. Shout, “Are you OK?”

- If there is no response, shout for help. Tell someone to call 911 and get an AED (if available). Do not leave the child alone until you have done CPR for about two minutes.
- Carefully place the child on his/ her back. If there is a chance the child has a spinal injury, two people should move the child to prevent the head and neck from twisting.

1. Perform chest compressions

- Place the heel of one hand on the breastbone — just below the nipples. Make sure your heel is not at the very end of the breastbone.
- Keep your other hand on the child’s forehead, keeping the head tilted back.
- Press down on the child’s chest so that it compresses about 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest.
- Give 30 chest compressions. Each time, let the chest rise completely. These compressions should be FAST and hard with no pausing. Count the 30 compressions quickly.

2.  Open the airway

- Lift up the chin with one hand. At the same time, tilt the head by pushing down on the forehead with the other hand.
- Look, listen, and feel for breathing. Place your ear close to the child’s mouth and nose. Watch for chest movement. Feel for breath on your cheek.
- If the child is not breathing: Cover the child’s mouth tightly with your mouth.  Pinch the nose closed. Keep the chin lifted and head tilted. Give two rescue breaths. Each breath should take about a second and make the chest rise. Continue CPR (30 chest compressions, followed by two breaths, then repeat) for about two minutes.
- After about two minutes of CPR, if the child still does not have normal breathing, coughing, or any movement, leave the child if you are alone and call 911. If an AED for children is available, use it now.
- Repeat rescue breathing and chest compressions until the child recovers or help arrives.

Adult
100 beats per minute. Sing a song that goes along with the pace of the compressions (“Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Let’s Get It Started” by the Black Eyed Peas).

 

Newborn and Infant Safety Techniques (1 month-1year)

1. Burping

- Hold the baby with their chin near your shoulder. Support the baby with one hand and gently pat/rub their back with the other to soothe them while allowing their body to stretch out with your hand.
- Sit the baby on your lap with one hand, supporting their chin and pat/rub their back.
- Lay the baby at a slight angle (with their head higher than their chest) on your lap facing you; rub their belly to soothe them while they stretch out their body. We advise this method as a last resort after the above two.

2. Choking

- ONLY if you clearly see and can easily extract the item that is obstructing the airway, take it out. DO NOT stick your fingers down the baby’s throat to try and scoop something out (this can shove it farther down).
- If you cannot see the object, don’t try to find it. Start back blows.

3. Changing a diaper

-  A newborn/infant’s diaper should be changed following each feeding, approx. every 2-3 hours. As child gets older, time frame will vary. Consult parent for schedule.
- Be sure that you put the diaper on correctly- not backwards.
- Dispose of used diaper properly.

Toddler Safety Techniques

- For naps and bedtime: Do not have anything in the crib with them, unless the parent instructs.
- Make sure electrical outlets are covered or inaccessible.
- Always keep one hand on an infant sitting on a high surface, i.e. a changing table to prevent falling.
- If there are stairs in the home, always use a gate.
- Keep your purse and any hazardous household items (electrical cords, medicine, cleaners, art supplies, toiletries etc.) out of a child’s reach.
- Stay with ALL children throughout bath time and never use more than a couple inches of water.
- Always ensure food is broken up into small enough pieces to prevent choking.
- Never administer medicine without the parent’s permission.

Pre K and K Safety Techniques

- Always use a helmet and/or protective pads when appropriate.
- If at a playground, make sure the equipment is age-appropriate for the children you are supervising.
- When crossing the street, choose street corners with crosswalks and make eye contact with drivers prior to crossing in front of them and always hold the child’s hand. Even if they are older, you must guide them across.

Elementary and Up Safety Techniques

- You are their biggest role model. Model safety first! Teach them safety rules for crossing streets, playing at playgrounds, etc.
- Avoid playing on non-impact-absorbing surfaces, like concrete.
- Remove helmets before using playground equipment.
- Keep screen use to a minimum.

1. AED reminders

-  Don’t use AED near water.
- Don’t use while child is wet or in a bathing suit.

2. First aid tips and tricks

- Carry 1st aid Kit with you- band aids, Kleenex, wipes, etc.
- Don’t give kids medicine without parental permission.
- Always use sunscreen in summer.
- Bring water always.

3. Fire safety tips and tricks

- Make sure the home is installed with fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Change the batteries in all detectors every six months.
- Develop a home escape plan with the children and family in case of an emergency. Have two exit routes available. Do a practice fire drill so the children understand where they are supposed to go (make an activity of it).
- There are two types of apartment buildings, fireproof and non-fireproof:
a) A fireproof building is usually a high-rise, so the building is made of concrete, not wood. If the fire is not in your apartment, it is probably safer to stay inside than to enter a smoke-filled hallway. Keep the door CLOSED, and seal the gaps with duct tape or wet sheets/towels. Open the windows slightly. Call the Fire Department. b) A non-fireproof building is usually an older building, has an exterior fire escape, and is made of wood. If the fire alarm goes off, leave the building immediately.

- Children and toddlers have a curiosity about fire. Make sure they are taught to NEVER play with matches and lighters. If a child expresses curiosity about fire, calmly but firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools, not toys.
- Never leave a child unattended in a room with a lit candle.
- Do not use candles if the power goes out. ONLY use flashlights.
- Never use an extension for large appliances.
- Turn off/unplug all space heaters whenever you leave the room. Do not leave children unattended in rooms with space heaters. Never plug in space heaters into extension cords.
- Using a fire extinguisher for a SMALL fire: 1) Pull the pin, holding the extinguisher upright 2) Aim at the base of the fire, from 20 ft. away 3) Squeeze the handle 4) Sweep from side to side.
- Fire extinguishers can only be used ONCE, and must be replaced or refilled after a use.
- Cooking fires/grease fires should NOT be extinguished with water because it will splash the grease and spread the fire. First, turn off the stove. Then use either baking soda or slide a lid over the pan to smother the flame. Do not attempt to pick up/move the pan, and do not take off the lid before a couple of hours.
- Always stay in the kitchen whenever there is something on the stove. Keep pan handles facing inwards in case a child tries to grab at the handle. Ideally, keep pans on the back burners if the children are around.

Note this post was developed and sourced by Bell Family from our training and experience in CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety through the American Heart Association and from our training with the Fire Department of New York. We also cited trusted blogs for added information. Note this is NOT a training or certification. These are simply helpful tips.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Fussy Babies at Night

Just when you think it’s safe to relax and catch up on your DVR shows, the baby gets fussy and the struggles of putting him/her down to bed begin.

Have you ever wondered why babies freak out at night? Well, thanks to a great article by The Bump, we can start to solve this mysterious question.

Here are some of the reasons the article highlights as to why the baby is acting fussy. And for the full article, click here.

1. Baby is overtired - Just like how you get cranky when you’re tired, so does the baby. To prevent overtiredness, the baby needs to sleep a lot during the day — he/she should have a nap every two to two-and-a-half hours.

2. Baby needs to nurse - Some breastfed babies seem to want to feed constantly in the evenings. It’s okay to nurse the baby in what seems like back-to-back-to-back sessions; breastfed babies are virtually impossible to overfeed. The same can’t be said for formula feeding, so if you’ve just fed the baby a bottle, don’t try to “top him up” to prevent him from fussing.

3. Baby is hypersensitive - Here’s the main reason for the witching hour; the baby is hypersensitive to noises, sensations and activities going on around him/her.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Boss Moms NYC

A fellow mom and I decided we would both take on reading an entrepreneur mom book and then report back to each other on how good it was. As we don’t have time to read two books each!

There are a lot of self help and motivational books out there. And there are the boring business 101 guides. But this is the first easy to read, motivational, practical how-to-start a business book I’ve seen-all geared towards moms!

Mom Boss.

I’m still reading, but here are the fast points I like so far:

I can relate to the self proclaimed workhorses she describes in her book. If you are passionate about it, it’s more like a hobby.

The one thing she said she had that her competition didn’t was the hustle. I agree, that characteristic will get you through!

The author, Nicole said, “I want this brand to be around for decades to come.” It’s important for start-ups to determine do you want to start a fast and furious brand and sell or grow gradually and be around for a long time.

She goes on to say, “Authenticity and trust mean more than fast and furious growth.” Balance isn’t easy. No one is going to tell you to shut the lap top and go to bed. The word balance is annoying. Just do what you have to do. If you don’t, it won’t get done.

We’ve got to manage ourselves and our expectations. I think this is really important as a woman and mom. If we sit around and worry all the time about what people are thinking, we will get no where!

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell!

Girlfriends, Glam, and Giving!

Our friends at CARDAMOM are hosting a great event in New York City on Tuesday, December 6th with the help of RPZL! Bring yourself and all of your friends to a fundraiser benefiting POWERHOUSE, a non-profit that empowers young NYC moms for career success and financial independence.

At the event you can enjoy a silent auction, cocktail reception, giveaways, and even blowouts and hair services (upon request)!

And if you show your CARDAMOM profile (download the app here), you can receive a 20% off discount at RPZL!

Event details:
RPZL at 27 West 20th Street, NYC 10011
Tuesday, December 6th
6PM-9PM
To RSVP, reply to rsvp@avantcollective.com.

We hope you all attend the event and donate to a great organization!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Event

A family fun day is right around the corner for all of those around New York City! On Saturday, December 3rd, it’s time to give back and help raise awareness for childhood cancer.

In 2007, the parents of a young boy who was diagnosed with cancer helped to launch Cookies for Kids’s Cancer by baking a total of 96,000 cookies with the help of 250 volunteers. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer now stands tall as a nonprofit committed to raising funds for research to develop new, improved treatments for pediatric cancer (the #1 disease killer of children in the US).

On Saturday, December 3rd, you can help support this wonderful organization at their next event! Meet amazing pastry chefs and munch on delicious treats, or make holiday gifts with food magazine experts for everyone on your shopping list (even Fido!), while mingling with friends. There will be a lot of fun activities for all family members and it’ll be a sweet way to kick off the holiday season!

The location of the event is at The Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 West 18th Street, 2nd floor (Between 6th & 7th Ave)

Additional information and ticket information can be found here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Pre-Baby On Call Services

How our on-call services work is we would typically set aside a 1-2 week window for the sitter to be on call around the expecting moms due date. You would then pay the sitter a day rate for all dates she is on call, and then pay her hourly for the date(s) she will be caring for your other children.

We will just need to know the approximate due date and we can begin to schedule around that time.

You will only need to pay for the dates your sitter is on call. If you book dates and you go into labor, just let us know and we’ll cancel the remaining dates. We do have a 24-hour cancellation policy, so if you cancel a sitter’s appointment with less than 24 hours notice you will be charged a $50 cancellation fee. If it is more than 24 hours notice there is no fee.

The family should also provide cab fare to get the sitter home in case of emergency.

Costs

- $75/day that the sitter is on call
- $30/hr when the sitter is with the other 1-2 children (member family rate is less per hour)
- Cab fare before 7am and after 9pm

Contact us today for more information!

First Foods – Peas, Carrots and Stain Stick – Oh My!

So your child is ready to start solids? Great!  Pull up your rugs and stock your cabinets with baby Oxyclean – life is about to get very colorful!

Introducing solid foods is an exciting (and potentially exhausting) milestone. I’ve gone down this road twice and had two very different experiences. I’ll try to be brief because you’re likely reading this post while trying to pee and keep your child from pulling all of the toilet paper off the roll at the same time.

With my first child, I had no clue what I was doing. I felt that my pediatrician wasn’t really providing me with the kind of nutritional support I was looking for. Her recommendation was rice cereal first, then fruits and veggies, etc. Rice cereal didn’t make sense to me because it’s not particularly nutritious and it’s hard for adult bellies to digest – things that make you go hmm… So, because I didn’t have enough on my plate already (pun intended), I decided to do a little digging.  I asked around, read a few books, consulted a holistic pediatrician and reached out to my friends abroad. Turns out, other cultures are feeding their children what they eat (in a mushier form) and are a lot less scientific (read: neurotic) about the feeding process altogether. I decided to give my son veggies and fruit first. So for 3-4 hours a week, I holed up in my kitchen and I did the Betty Homemaker, made from scratch purées thing. While a valiant effort on my part, I couldn’t keep up with his appetite and I was tired of the massive clean up.  Make food, clean up food, diaper change, stain remover, rinse, wash, repeat.  I also thought that the point was that he actually got the majority of the food I was serving in his mouth – as opposed to all over my (occasionally) washed hair and on the walls, so I made sure I was leading the charge by feeding him and making helicopter noises to get him to open his mouth. It worked – well enough, I suppose. I tried baby lead weaning – his determination to choke himself and my fear of said choking, ended that exploration rather quickly. The downside of purées (other than the labor intensive part) is that at some point you’ll have to go back to square 1 when they graduate to food that needs to be chewed!  Ugh, are we there yet?!  Some of you may not have entered this stage while others are thinking . . . been there, done that, got the strawberry stained t-shirt to prove it. Bear with me.

Fast forward two years and another child later – we were at the golden gates of feeding and I didn’t have the time or energy to go down the purée path again. I felt guilty that I’d done it for my son and didn’t want to “deprive” my daughter of the healthy food I’d provided him. I put on my strongest poker face and gave her whole foods and trusted (read: prayed to God) she wouldn’t choke herself.   She would take larger bites than made me comfortable, but I gave her the space to explore it and sure enough she would spit out pieces that were too big to swallow. I reminded myself to keep my face neutral – if she was coughing or gagging, she wasn’t choking (I strongly suggest taking an infant/child CPR class – for safety and confidence). I had to watch her carefully, but I gave her what we were eating and I tried to give it to her in a way that she could feed herself. And here is the kicker – she did! She even figured out how to use a fork and spoon by herself and she’s only 18 months. My 3.5 year old is still struggling with this skill.

I’d love to tell you there is a one-size fits all method of feeding kids but as with everything in child rearing – that’s not the case (because that would be TOO easy!). My advice is, try to be relaxed when you start this process. Of course, consult your pediatrician if you have any concerns. Know that right now, your child is getting nourishment from breast milk or formula so take the stress off yourself to get them to consume food for that purpose early on.  Your role is to provide them with what you deem as healthy food exposure – their role is to decide whether or not to eat it. Exposing our babies to foods is less about filling their bellies up so they can sleep through the night (although I hear this is a nice side effect for some, it wasn’t the case for my kids) and more about letting them explore flavors, textures and figure out “how” to eat and what is safe to swallow.

So what should you feed them you ask? From a nutrition standpoint – try to feed your kids as many whole unprocessed foods as you can. Organic is best, but not always available or affordable so check out the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, which can help you make the best decisions for your family. Life is busy – there is never enough time so don’t beat yourself up if you give your kids some processed stuff, but be cautious about the sugar and sodium content – you’d be surprised what can be in baby foods. With the advice of our holistic pediatrician, we started with orange vegetables (roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin), green vegetables (peas, broccoli, string beans), fruits (avocado, strawberries, bananas, apples, pears), meats and fish (rotisserie chicken is a great one or even the meat and veggies from chicken soup) and grains (quinoa is a fantastic source of nutrition and really easy for kids to eat). Advice regarding nuts has changed over the last year. New research indicates early exposure to trace amounts of nuts helps decrease allergies. Be sure to check with your pediatrician on the most accurate data and don’t be afraid to do research of your own – it can take a while for new studies to make it to your Dr.’s desk. Most of all, listen to your gut – mother’s intuition is a real thing. Be patient with yourself and your child – this is new for both of you.  If something is not working, change it up. I knew the way I approached eating with my son wasn’t successful so I did things differently with my daughter. She eats just about everything from fish to quinoa and she makes a massive mess in the process, but she has a healthy appetite for new foods and is an independent eater. If it means I need an extra paper towel to mop it up after, well, that’s a small price to pay.

Looking for a little more guidance on feeding your family? Contact me for a free consultation at thrivehivewellness@gmail.com.

Happy Exploring!
Jen Khalaf
Holistic Health Coach, Thrive Hive Wellness
Follow me on Facebook: Thrive Hive Wellness

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Kidz Central Station’s Plaza Hotel Event

Take in the sights of the Plaza Hotel during Kidz Central Station’s event this Veteran’s Day (November 11), from 5-7:30pm.

Make it a family early evening on the town and enjoy activities including face painting, a magician show, dj glow stick dance party, photo booth, and much more!

In honor of Veteran’s Day a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Bob Woodruff Foundation to help disabled veterans.

Don’t miss out! Join Kidz Central Station and their partners for this amazing fall event! To register, click here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell