Archives for November 2016

A Personal Account of an IEP Journey

Lia Martin’s 9-year-old son, Taylor, is a gifted artist – but he also has ADHD. That means, as the former sitcom writer and TV executive puts it, he didn’t enter the classroom seamlessly. Her son’s learning difference eventually led Martin to seek out an IEP (individual education plan), and that journey also was not seamless. It started with her feeling of failure the first time she heard Taylor, then a kindergartner, labeled “special needs.” “In that moment, I felt powerless. I felt unequipped and I wondered what I’d missed,” says Martin, who has also worked in educational nonprofits. Martin has...

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Creating Your Own Fun Family Traditions

Many family traditions are passed down through the years and are a great way to connect the generations. For my family, I like to incorporate traditions from our childhood and create new family traditions together. I believe traditions help us focus on experiences rather than things. Here are some ideas to help you make a lifetime of memories: Kindness or Service Elf: Our twist on “Elf on the Shelf” is more about giving than receiving. Each day, the elf leaves an act of kindness or service for the kids to do. It can be anything from making their sibling’s bed...

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Rosa’s Mud Cake From “How to Celebrate Everything”

Jenny Rosenstrach doesn’t just write about food. She writes about family, rituals, traditions and how food brings all that together in the most delicious way. “One ritual, family dinner, is so fundamental to the psychological health of our household that we think of it as our North Star, something worth organizing our days – maybe even our lives – around,” she writes. Her popular blog, “Dinner: a Love Story,” is dedicated to this daily ritual of coming together as a family to share a meal. Her previous cookbook, “Dinner: The Playbook,” deconstructed the ritual of daily planning, shopping and prepping...

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choir programs in la

Choir Programs Let Kids Sing a Song

Given the chance, most kids love to sing and lots of L.A. programs will help them tune in  As Artistic Director Misha Shtangrud plays the piano to start a rehearsal for MUSYCA Children’s Choir, he sings, “Hello everybody, yes indeed, let’s make music, yes indeed.” His young students joyfully sing along, clearly enjoying the upbeat music and seamlessly transitioning to “Do Re Mi” and “Seasons of Love.” The kids, ages 7-9, are part of MUSYCA’s Junior Choir, one of several youth vocal ensembles led by Shtangrud and his wife, Anna Krendel, executive director and pianist. Both hold doctorates in music...

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children's resale shops in la

Where to Buy, Sell or Trade Your Kids’ Clothes in L.A.

Buying used clothing for children makes a lot of sense, and if you can clear their closets of outgrown duds at the same time, it’s a no-brainer. I hit up the top resale shops in the L.A. area to find out what types of deals I could make. Here’s the rundown on these awesome spots! The Green Bean: This cozy, colorful Eagle Rock shop is run by Traci Green of the family folk band The Hollow Trees. It's a small space, but there's a lot of personality crammed in here. (Disclaimer: Bracelets I make are sold here.) Trade days are...

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kids' haircuts

Kids’ Haircuts Get Playful at Snip-Its

There's a new children’s hair salon and spa in the San Gabriel Valley. Snip-Its Monrovia gives kids a fun experience while they get haircuts. Snip-It Monrovia Owners Yan Hu and Michael Brewer opened in late August. The salon specializes in services for infants, toddlers and pre-teens. The store is designed with kids in mind, with floor-to-ceiling murals, branded characters, games, tablets and books for children to explore. A magic box dispenses a prize at the end of the service to top it all off. Snip-Its turns the mundane and often unpleasant experience of getting your child’s hair cut into a fun-filled animated adventure. They...

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8 Tips for Talking to Kids About Alzheimer’s

Learning that a loved one has Alzheimer’s can be quite overwhelming. If you’re a parent and have to talk to your child about the disease, those feelings are likely exacerbated. This reality, while harsh, is one that affects millions of families. While we often think of Alzheimer’s as an illness that solely affects the patient diagnosed with the disease, the fact is, it affects the whole family. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with the disease and these numbers are expected to escalate rapidly in the coming years. While symptoms of the disease develop slowly,...

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When Kids Swallow What They Shouldn’t

During the holidays, many children get their hands on things they shouldn’t. When parents are distracted with cooking, eating, drinking and chatting, no one sees the 2-year-old wander into Grandma’s bedroom to find the candy dish of pills on the dresser. This season, take preventive steps at home and in homes you are visiting. Keep medications and other dangerous substances in their original packaging (with child-proof caps if possible). Store these substances in a locked cabinet that is out of reach of children. If you will be visiting the home of someone who uses a pill organizer, transfer the pills...

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holiday traditions

Family Holiday Traditions Worth Sharing

Add any of these ideas from L.A. families to your seasonal celebration. When you roast a Thanksgiving turkey in my house, you have to use Grandad’s stuffing recipe. And all the up-and-coming young cooks in the family are pressed to take a good whiff of the stuffing so they can learn how much poultry seasoning to add. (Sniffing is the best way to tell.) Family and friends love my Christmas cookies, but most have never tasted the little reindeer with the pretzel antlers and candy noses. That’s because my mom, my daughter and I only bake and decorate those on...

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