Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Kids Point Reward System Charts

My sons are both very stubborn. Getting them to do something I want is a chore. They've both also turned into picky eaters. Since I have a bunch of free time now, I put together a reward system for them to try to get them to do what I want, including eat better. My oldest son has a monster reward chart I downloaded from http://www.kidpointz.com/. It is a weekly chart where you add a list of tasks and mark off a square for each day of the week where the task is completed. His tasks include: brush teeth, do homework, clean room and listen while I read at night.
My youngest son has a doggie reward chart I also downloaded from http://www.kidpointz.com/. It is the same type of chart as the monster chart. His tasks include: brush teeth twice a day since he has 4 cavities, clean room and listen while I read at night.
I also downloaded a fruit and vegetable color chart from http://www.personal-nutrition-guide.com/support-files/rainbow.pdf. It tracks which fruits and vegetables are eaten every day according to what color they are. The chart also has a color coded list of which foods belong to each color. It doesn't have white though, so I added that myself. Included in that list are bananas, cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, onions and potatoes. I'm also letting them include milk, cheese, yogurt and chicken for the white category.
I've set up a point system where each activity done per day earns 1 point.
There are a total of 10 activities for each boy at 1 point each, so there is a total of 70 possible points per week that can be earned. This is a 30 day system, so for 4 weeks that is 280 total possible points for a 100%. They need to earn at least 182 points for passing of 65%.
I'm setting up these prize levels:

181 points or less (0 - 64%): $1 prize
182 - 206 points (65% - 73%): $5 prize
207 - 231 points (74% - 82%): $10 prize
232 - 256 points (83% - 91%): $15 prize
257 - 280 points (92% - 100%): $20 prize

The prize is their choice as long as it stays within the price limit of what they earned.
We'll see how it goes!
My oldest just told my youngest: Have you noticed Mom has gone cuckoo because of that chart thing! LOL! Guess that's what happens when I don't have work to do.

UPDATE: 7/6/13 - My sons are doing really great with this, especially the oldest, who's very competitive. For the first round, my youngest got the $5 prize and my oldest got the $10 prize. In the latest round my youngest got the $5 prize and my oldest got the $15 prize. It's definitely a good, sneaky way to get kids to do what you want with the added bonus of teaching them to manage money.

More Kids Reward Systems

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kid School Emergency Stories

I was watching Live with Kelly and Michael this morning. Kelly was talking about how she received an emergency phone call. Turns out her daughter, Lola, had fallen in school playing frisbee and was being taken to the hospital. X-rays showed nothing was broken, so they left. On the way home, the hospital called and said to come back. They had looked at the wrong x-rays. Lola's arm was broken! Crazy! One more story of hospital error.
Anyways, that reminded me of my son's school emergency a few weeks ago. The nurse called and said he had gotten his finger stuck in a water bottle. You know the stainless steel water bottles with a plastic screw on cap that has a flap over the hole you drink out of? Yeah, his middle finger on his right hand, was stuck in that hole. Apparently, the nurse couldn't get his finger out. She had tried icing it and using some sort of lubrication, but it didn't work. His finger was starting to swell, so she called the EMT. Driving to the school, I had visions of them transporting him to a hospital to amputate his finger, and my running in yelling at them to stop! lol.
When I arrived at the school, there was a small firetruck and an ambulance parked in front. Gathered in the nurses office was a whole group of people: my poor son who looked like he was about ready to cry, the nurse, the fireman, 2 EMT's, the janitor, a teacher's aide, and then the gym teacher came in. Luckily, they had gotten the cap off his finger shortly before I arrived. The EMT's ended up cutting the cap, not his finger, off. I was super glad they were able to get the cap off without resorting to drastic measures! He caused quite a commotion at the school! Everyone was pretty worried about him.
I'm not exactly sure how he ended up getting his finger stuck. He didn't offer too much information other than it was after lunch. He'd stuck his finger in and out of the whole a couple of times, and then it got stuck. He told his teacher who took him to the nurse.

More Raising Kids

Monday, September 10, 2012

Another School Year

The boys are in 2nd grade and preschool this year. My youngest is really enjoying preschool. He had a few issues the second day involving not wanting to clean up, getting upset, throwing a tantrum and kicking the teacher, but other than that he's doing great. He was upset when he had to take the weekend off from school.
His speech is coming along pretty well, although I still hate sending him off to school alone. He's at the same preschool with the same teacher his brother had, so already knowing her makes leaving him a little bit easier. She did a great job with my older son. My youngest son has a special ed teacher coming twice a week for an hour and a speech therapist coming twice a week for a half hour. He got approval late in the school year last year, so he only had it for about 2 months with nothing but me over the summer. Hopefully professional help for a full school year will have him ready for kindergarten. He's missing a lot of early sounds like p and b. He really seems to know a lot of things, colors, shapes, letters, etc. It's really great being able to understand more and more of what he says. The other day I was cutting an onion and I said: OMG I can't see. He heard me and said: yeah, you need a haircut lol.
They are getting big way too fast. Now that they are both in school, I have mornings to myself for the first time in almost 8 years. Working at home while raising two very busy boys pretty much by myself has been challenging, but I'm really glad I've been able to stay home and watch them grow. Speech Therapy

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Vegetable Gardening

Here in upstate New York, we are having a very hot and dry summer. Everyone's lawns are even turning brown. Farmers are even hoping for rain, so that corn and the second cutting of hay will grow.
My summer hobby is vegetable gardening. I like to grow a wide variety of vegetables. This year I'm growing a couple different kinds of lettuce, arugula, spinach, peas, green beans, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, corn, popcorn, butternut squash, pumpkin, watermelon, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and beets. Everything seems to be growing pretty well. Probably because I've been making an effort to water the garden.
The boys father stopped at a garage sale and bought a box of irrigation supplies for $20. The guy running the garage sale used to install lawn sprinkler systems. There were tons of things in the box, including hoses, nozzles and sprinklers. His find has been a big help with keeping the boys cool and the garden watered.
I've been trying to get the boys to develop an interest in gardening by helping me, but I'm not having much luck. The youngest one did help me plant seeds. He's not much of a vegetable eater, so I was hoping gardening would help with that too. He will eat carrots and peas so far. I'm hoping that once the green beans and tomatoes are ready, he will eat those too. Tomatoes are the only vegetable my oldest son will eat. I've resorted to the sneaky chef method of pureeing vegetables and sneaking them into the foods they will eat. Hopefully, I can phase that out someday. With all of the crap in store bought food these days, growing their own organic vegetables is a skill they are going to have to learn if they want to stay healthy.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hoping to Heal Tooth Decay Naturally

A few weeks ago, I took my 4 year old to the dentist for the first time. The day before, I just happened to take a peek in his mouth and saw a gray spot on one of his teeth. I pretty much knew what that was, a cavity. Unfortunately, his first dental trip didn't go very well. He refused to sit in the chair and let the dentist get a close look. He did open up while standing, so the dentist could view the tooth. He thought it was a cavity too. My dental hygienist suggested I take my son to a pediatric dentist, since they deal with kids every day and have a kid friendly office. That was a big mistake. For a pediatric dentist, he was not very good. He didn't connect with my son at all. The dentist came out all hyper and talking a little loud to my son wondering what his name is and how old he is. My son just ran over to me and didn't say anything. I think he was scared. Then we went into the room. My son went to look at a bunch of sticker rolls they had on the wall and was trying to check a few other things out. The dentist had this weird tone of voice when telling him to stay away from things. The dentist had me sit my son on my lap facing me and lay him down between me and the dentist, so he could look in his mouth. I think my son wanted to sit in the dental chair, but the dentist didn't even try to have him sit in it. Then when the dentist was looking in my son's mouth, he was singing this weird song. The only positive thing the dentist did was show my son the mirror he was going to use to look in his mouth. When he was done, the dentist said my son had eight cavities and my son would have to be hospitalized and knocked out in order for him to take care of all the cavities at once. I've never heard of hospitalizing a child for cavities, but apparently that's what a lot of money hungry dentists do. I asked him if we couldn't just fix the cavities a little at a time and he said what, knock him out multiple times? This dentist, who's on Genessee St. in Utica, NY was going to charge $2000 for fixing the cavities. On top of that would be the hospital bills, so it would probably cost about $5000 to get my son's cavities taken care of with this dentist. Pretty crazy. I have NY's Child Health Plus for my son which includes a dental plan for certain dentists. This dentist isn't in the plan. I was just stunned, but fortunately something came over me and I said I was getting a second opinion and we left. If my son ends up needing to be hospitalized to get his cavities taken care, that dentist won't be doing it. I didn't like him, he didn't connect with my son and I'm pretty sure he didn't have my son's best interests in mind and was just out to make money. I immediately went to my dentist and scheduled an appointment for my son. Hopefully he will be able to get my son to cooperate, although I don't really hold much hope in that. If that doesn't work I'm not sure what I will do. In the mean time, I'm reading a book called Cure Tooth Decay. Apparently, it is possible to remineralize teeth and heal cavities naturally. Apparently, tooth decay can be stopped and small cavities may even go away. According to this book, cavities are the result of a nutritional imbalance of Vitamin A, K, D, calcium and phosphorus. Remineralizing teeth requires a diet of no grains or sugar, with raw dairy products, vegetables, limited amounts of fruit, eggs and grass fed meats. There are a lot of testimonials on the internet from people who have had success with healing tooth decay with diet changes. I'm doing the best I can with changing my son's diet, but it's difficult to get a picky 4 year old to cooperate. He's doing great not having juice. I've also stopped giving him gummy vitamins. The cavities are all between his teeth. My dental hygienist said cavities between the teeth are usually caused by sticky things, such as gummies and lollipops. I'm guessing the gummy vitamins are a big cause of the cavities, so beware of gummy vitamins. The same thing happened with my older son, only he was 6 and cooperated, so that my dentist could fill the cavities. The worse thing he is eating is cheerios and crackers, so that's not too bad. I'm really hoping the changes that we are making will help at least slow down the tooth decay until my son is a little older and more cooperative. It's tough having restrictive dental insurance. My dentist doesn't even take it. I was laid off last year and lost my dental insurance, life insurance, etc. I tried signing up for life insurance with a local company, but they kept requesting more info and were concerned with my blood sugar issues. It also required someone to come to my home and give me a physical. I wasn't too keen on that aspect. In the end, they cancelled my application saying I didn't respond to their request for more info, which I did. TLI Family Insurance is a site that might be worth looking into if I decide to try to get life insurance again. You can click here more info, if you are interested in life insurance. Allstate might also be an option. I have my car and homeowners insurance with them, and they also offer life insurance.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Eyeglass Neck Chain

When I was pregnant with my oldest son, I had a ton of headaches. I'm a software developer, and at the time, I worked eight hours per day. By the end of the day, I had excruciating pain around my eyes and temples. I thought part of it might be eyestrain, so I went to the eye doctor at Walmart. Sure enough, I needed glasses. Once I got glasses the headaches weren't quite as bad, but a lot of it was probably hormonal. A few years after that I signed up with a real eye doctor, and I now go have my eyes checked yearly. My eyesight problem is that I can't see distance. I refuse to drive without glasses. The signs are just too blurry. I also wear my glasses during the day while I'm working on the computer.
My oldest son was a preemie. It's common for preemies to have eyesight problems, so when he was about four, I took him to my eye doctor for an examination. It turns out that his eyesight is actually quite bad. He's supposed to wear his glasses all the time. He's not too good about that, but he does wear them most of the day while he is in school. He doesn't think he needs glasses.
I still have to take my youngest son for an eye exam. I'm waiting until he's a little bit older and more cooperative. My oldest son's first trip to the eye doctor didn't go too well. He was uncooperative and the eye doctor insisted on using eye drops. In order to get the drops in, we had to hold him down. My eye doctor is ok for cooperative patients, but he's not good for little kids, even though he's supposed to specialize in kids. His personality isn't very kid friendly either.
My son and I are always misplacing our glasses. I always set them down and forget where I put them. Of course it's harder to find them when you can't see without them.
Last week, my son came home without his glasses and didn't know where he had put them. Luckily, he had put them in his desk at school. That was a relief. Glasses are really expensive, a good couple hundred dollars, so I really don't want to have to replace them.
My great aunt Freeda always use to wear an eyeglass neck chain. I think that is what my son and I need. I would probably feel like an old lady, but they are really a good idea. You can buy them in different colors and styles. They are very inexpensive too. Much cheaper than spending a couple of hundred dollars on a new pair of glasses because the old ones were lost.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Safety First

Guest Post contributed by Cori I am always trying to find new ways to save some money. A coupon here, a good deal there, buying used and gently worn items, etc. etc. So when I needed to have a tired replaced, it seemed like it was only a natural choice to purchase part worn tires for my car, instead of splurging on pricey brand new ones. Thank goodness I decided to check it out online before I actually went through with it! At first I found a lot of information about all of the regulations in place to make sure that these tires are safe and meet certain standards for resale. Then, I came across an article on TrustedDealers.co.uk about an investigation that was done on places that sell these partially used tires. Apparently whoever conducted the investigation went around purchased 50 tires from different vendors. What they found was both staggering and disgusting. Almost all of the tires were in violation of the regulations in place, often by being mismarked, but what is even more terrifying is that some of them were violations which made the tires very clearly unsafe for driving. One tire was even described as having the “potential to kill”! Two of the tires still had objects which had poked through the tired stuck in them, four of them had damage done to the liner on the inside, sixteen of them had not been repaired following proper guidelines, and six were driven without being properly inflated. This is really terrifying when you think of all of the potential damage these “money-saving” tired could have possibly caused to drivers and passengers alike. As I mentioned, I am all for saving money, but never at the expense of my own or someone else's safety. I can't believe that a practice such as this is even still illegal because regardless of the fact that the government has put “regulations” into place, it is obvious they are not being enforced strictly enough! I employ anyone who reads this to either buy brand new tires or if you absolutely must purchase worn tires, please only do it from trusted dealers!