The Brain, what do you know? Pt. 3

Jumping straight into more brain matter.

Children between the ages of four(4) and eleven(11) have six(6) things that drive them every day. Those are as follows:

6) To explore(anything and everything around)

5) To be adventurous/no fear(jumping off beds or playing the floor is lava hopping from couch to couch with no fear of falling and getting hurt)

4) To be creative(building with blocks, drawing pictures)

3)To express themselves through their imagination(playing as astronauts)

2)To be successful(not in the sense of becoming a lawyer or something like but successful from your feedback as a parent. Telling them when they did a good job on something or when you’re proud of them)

and finally, 1) to play! (the reason why when trying to learn they’re constantly moving around). In order to keep children’s attention, you need to keep some of these drives in play to keep them engaged in what you’re talking about. Add in factors of imagination and make a time to play while continuing to learn about the topic.

Along with these drives, there are three(3) things that all relate to behavior; the Individual, the Situation, and the Environment. Out of the three things, there are only two that can be changed. The situation and the environment are the only things that can be changed to help with the child’s behavior, you can not change them. If your child is throwing a fit, take a moment to evaluate the situation going and to see what you can do to help change it to help calm them down and end the fit.

There has been a study in research that shows the children who have to sit out during play time or recess are the ones who NEED movement the most. The lack of activity made them less productive, have less impulse control, and had poorer listening skills when they returned back to the classroom. Movement helps to give children time to get all the wiggles out so they can focus on tasks easier.

We will end here for now and continue in our last segment part 4! The next part things get interesting when it comes to different genders.

Meatloaf, what more can I say

This meatloaf has been a meal to go to many many times, it is one of my families favorite meals. The way the barbecue sauce makes the glaze on the top has renamed this meal Meat Candy in my household. While yes that may not be the best name choice, it was the first thing my fiance came up with and it stuck ever since. I have experimented a little bit with this recipe, while most of the time I keep it true to the recipe, I have added in a sauce called Ponzu in the place of the Worcheshire Sauce and it still tasted just as good. This is one of those meals that worked for a weekly dinner or even as an at home date night dinner. One of the things I enjoy about this recipe is the outside get a little crunch to it from the glaze while the inside stays nice and moist, it doesn’t dry out and become hard to eat. Once again, if you decide to give this recipe a change let us know in the comments below, along with the original poster as well

Recipe Here!

-TT

Apologies

Sorry, we haven’t been active much lately. Being a parent and living life, sometimes time gets away from you. Things with life get crazy and you end up busier than you expected to be. Just wanted to leave a heads up for everyone, that more posts will be coming soon!

-TT-TR

Poor Man, No Sir!

This stew may be called poor man, but believe me, it should be call rich man instead. The way all the flavors come together is amazing. I did change a few little things to work with the ingredients I had on hand. I substituted garlic powder in place of the garlic clove and it worked out just as well. I also only cooked it for about 5 hours instead of the 6 hours it had suggested in the recipe. My family thoroughly enjoyed this meal and we will be making it again once the colder weather months arrive. I believe this is going to be a dinner time must over the winter to keep us all nice and warm. You can check out the recipe at the link posted below, if you give it a try lets us both know! 🙂

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Click Here for Recipe

Ahh, Fall…

Fall is a wonderful time of year, between the cooling of the weather and the changing of the leaves. But I think one of the best things about fall is all the pumpkin patches to go to. Over the past weekend, my family took a trip to a pumpkin patch and enjoyed all the different activities that were present to us. While we all found the hay ride to be enjoyable, it was the first ride for two(2) of the members of my family, which made the ride even more memorable. Before it was time to leave we got the change to each pick out a pumpkin we wanted to bring home. After a little bit of searching, we found the perfect ones for all of us. Having these opportunities to spend with my family to make memories is an amazing feeling. Know that as my son gets older I’ll have these memories and pictures to go back and show him all the fun things we’ve done over the years. I know as he gets older, he won’t find little events like this as fun as he used to when he was little and I’m okay with that for right now. I know as the years go on, it will hit me a little harder that he doesn’t find certain things fun anymore, but that it all a part of growing up. I love that we have so many stories of different yearly events we’ve been to over the years to sit and talk about later on in life.

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Every day with a child is a new adventure, every day they learn something new and move on from something. Cherish all the moments you have with them while they are little. They grow up before your eyes.

-TT

The Brain, what do you know? Pt. 2

Let’s continue where we left off on learning some more new and interesting things about our brains.

Every experience you have had has literally sculpted your brain! There are a couple different environments that affect your brain. If you’re in a physically active environment it will help your brain to flourish and grow. For those with limited movement experiences the environment diminished the brain. Ever had someone tell you that tummy time is important for your baby? Well, they’re not wrong. Tummy time is extremely important because illicit reflexes are learned from the front of the body. So sitting in a swing all the time to be fed, sleep, and changed, it will cause learning disabilities later on in life because the child didn’t have those abilities to move around and learn.

Did you know that there is insulation in your head? The type of insulation in your head is called Myelin, that insulates your brain cells. Myelination develops over time. Ever wondered about shaken baby syndrome?  Well, this is caused, yes by shaking a baby, but it’s because babies have not developed the myelin. It would be like wrapping your brain in a thin layer of styrofoam instead of in insulation.  Would you wrap an egg in a paper towel and then drop it or would you wrap it in a layer of something protective before dropping it? Think of that egg as a young child’s brain. For everyone at around age twenty(20) the myelin in the brain is fully developed.

Do you feed and water your brain? Proteins are important for your brain and so is water. Do what you can to avoid toxic stress, learn to control the chemical releases in your head.

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Well, we discussed a little bit about the brain growing. Now let’s talk about what kills your brain, yes literally kills your brain. There is stress and then there is Toxic Stress. Toxic stress is caused by rushing a child or anyone young to do something that the brain isn’t ready for, such as pushing to read early. This can lead to learning disabilities and ALWAYS results in the destruction on the protein tubes! The hippocampus is the #1 cause of disabilities due to shrinkage from toxic stress(different types of abuse [mental,physical,sexual, etc.], and pushing the brain before it’s ready). Cortisol is the brain killer, it attacks the hippocampus first before anything else! Your kidneys(adrenal glands) help to produce the destruction weapon of the brain, cortisol. There are two different types of battle in the brain, one is SNS(sympathetic nervous system) which is your flight or fight response(ties back into the cortisol) and then there is PNS(parasympathetic nervous system) which is what helps you to relax and be productive. Serotonin is the #1 thing you want in the brain when you are trying to learn, serotonin is the feeling of being relaxed, having the absence of “threats”.

Let’s continue this is in part 3! Stay tuned!!

 

-TT

The Brain, what do you know? Pt. 1

How much do you know about your brain? Your child’s? What about another family member’s brain? Chances are you don’t know as much as you think you do. Scientists are still learning more and more about the ways brain work and ways that it develops.

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Let’s talk for a moment about why we have a brain.  If you were to ask a small group of people around you, I can almost guarantee they would say we had a brain because we think. I can tell you right now, that answer is wrong. While yes we use our brains to think, that is not the reason why we have one. I’m sure now you may be wondering what the correct answer is, well you may be surprised to learn that the correct answer is, we have a brain because we MOVE. Movement is why we have a brain, I’ll get into more reasoning behind that in a moment, but that wasn’t the answer you were expecting was it?Movement helps your brain grow seven(7) times faster than Emotional Experiences and Learning Something New. Movement is one of the most important things for your brain. As a baby, your brain is learning from all of your movements such as just moving your arms around or starting the process of crawling. Those movements are helping your brain grow so you can have more learning experiences are your body grows. Our brains stop growing around age five(5)!

An adult human brain has 100+ billion neurons(brain cells). These neurons are what regulate all of our thinking abilities. There are tubes in the brain where all information is stored, there are about 500-625 trillion of these tubes. They are called synaptic protein tubes. The neurons communicate electrochemically through tubes called synapses. For people who have ADD, there are areas(1 of 3 to be exact) of their brain that does not have the tubes to do their everyday activities. The result from having these missing tubes is the brain believes it needs to grow new ones, which results in all the fidgeting that is seen with child and adults who have ADD.
idea-light-bulb-clip-art-black-and-white-mtlenkbtaDid you know that there is enough electricity in our brains to power a 20-watt lightbulb?

Connections. The brain of a four(4) year old child develops an average of 700 NEW connections every second. Those connections are so important, those are essentially the foundations for a LIFETIME of learning. Everything you do is a learning experience which will, in turn, make connections to these experiences as you grow older. Let’s use touching a hot stove as an example real quick. Let’s say you’re a small child who is still exploring learning about new things, one of the things you are quite curious about is the stove where you see mom and dad spending time cook. You want to check it out, you go and touch the top, only to discover it is very hot and it hurts. A few days pass by and you see mom by the stove cooking, but this time you sit back and watch because you remembered the previous experience with hurting your hand. Experiences like that help to shape the way you learn later on. As you get older you will still remember the time you touched the stove and remember the pain it brought, which helps you to associate other items that may be hot like that as well.

 

 

Hopefully from this post you have learned some new things. I will be continuing this post within the next couple days with a part 2 as to not overwhelm everyone with new knowledge! Keep checking back to see what other surprising things you may learn about the way our brains work!

 

-TT

Weekend Vacations

Vacations are always needed when you’re a family. The stresses of daily living can really start taking a toll on everyone, so the occasional getaway is a relief. Over the past weekend, my family took a day trip down to our favorite state park, Ha Ha Tonka, and spent the day enjoy nature and hiking some of the trails. We love the beauty of this park, the beautiful blue water in the natural spring and the complexity of the different hiking trails. This park to us is a wonder of the world, the amount of peace you get while you’re there. The castle ruins that help to take you back in time, if only for a few decades, is a surreal feeling. The only downside to this state park is that not all of the paths are accessible to those who are physically challenged by either injury or disability, which is understandable they can’t make all the paths easy especially when places have been carved out by nature. But personally for myself, there are a lot of places I can’t hike and paths that I will probably never get to see the beauty of because of medical issues, and I am okay with that, mostly.

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Days like this weekend, I cherish because as my son grows older there is going to be less he wants to do together. He currently enjoys going to the state park and looking around and finding cool looking leaves and acorns. There is a huge challenge with taking him, though, he is so independent that he feels that he doesn’t need to talk along with paths with us, as a family. He likes to walk ahead of everyone, which can be good for pictures, but bad when it comes to skinny pathways with drop-offs on the side of them. We always make him come back to walk closer to us that way if something does go wrong and he loses his footing we are close enough to be able to help him.

There is so much beauty in nature that I personally feel everyone should take the time to go out and view it. Even if hiking isn’t your forte, just talking a walk around the block or around your town could be good for some together time with your family. There is always so much to see and so much to learn about while out. While out and about walking around with your child, see if you can find any animal tracks, or find something cool to add a scrapbook or to make a collage with. Don’t ever forget the importance of family time together, there will come a time when you’ll wish you had the moments back.

-TT

Hugs and Kisses

Having a sick child is never fun. Having to, in a way, sit back and watch your child be miserable is saddening.  Sitting there wishing you could take the pain away from them, take fevers, the chills, and all the other horrible things that go along with a cold and have them yourself just so they can be their happy little selves. Over the past couple days my son was home sick from school after catching a cold and coming home from school on Monday burning up from a fever. I don’t think I have ever seen a child so heartbroken to be missing a couple days of school while he gets better. Seeing his face Monday afternoon after I told him that he wouldn’t be going to school the next day was depressing. He loves school and getting time to spend with his friends. This week just happened to spirit week and he’s missed the days that he was looking forward too. There was also state testing which he wanted to do as well, and unfortunately, I’m not sure if they give the option to make that up or not for kindergarten. He is the only child that I know of that is completely obsessed with school. But school isn’t the point of this post, the point it I felt completely helpless that all I could really offer him was some hugs and kisses alongside some medicine to help with his fevers. Seeing him walking off the school bus Monday afternoon almost in tear from being dizzy and being so hot from his fever broke my heart, no parent should ever have to see their child like that. I know it’s hard to avoid when a child gets sick seeing them in a state like that. We took all the steps we could to prevent our normal trip to the emergency room and surprisingly enough we didn’t need a trip this time! My fiance and I were able to keep his fever under control and keep him as comfortable as we could.

 

Parents PLEASE if you know that your child is sick or even in the works of getting sick, please keep them home to help stop the spread of germs. There are children around that could potentially be hospitalized from the common cold because of immune system issues that people don’t know about or realize could exist. I was LUCKY my son only ended up with one of the cold viruses that are going around, there were cases of meningitis going around the town we live in. Having a cold, the flu, strep, ANYTHING like that is nothing to mess around with, especially to mess with the health of others around you. I’m not saying you need to quarantine yourself to your house, I’m just saying please think of others when you’re sick 🙂

-TT

A day away from home…

Today we took a family day trip out of town and went to a parade. It was an altogether good trip aside from the very hot weather. It was enjoyable to be able to share this tradition of going every year with my son once again. He absolutely loved it! He got to interact with a couple of the parade members, got high fives, a goodie bag of water safety tips, and of course the best part, candy! Every five-year-old’s favorite thing, a bag full of sugar. This year we were smarter and brought our drinks and chairs so we would be able to enjoy it better. Last year when we went we stood there and watched the parade for 2 hours and then continued to walk around the festival before grabbing a bite to eat and heading back home. Today’s trip, however, ended up in a trip out for lunch and then over to Wal-Mart where my fiance and I did adult things and bought essentials for the house. While we were at lunch my son did something miraculous, he tried TWO new foods, squid, and eel. This has got to be the best part of the day because he is a very picky eater and normally isn’t willing to try anything new. I couldn’t be more proud of him for trying it and actually liking it! All in all, it was a great day, I love that I have the ability to spend days with my family and enjoy the new things my son discovered and learns about while we are out and about.

-TT