Race and Racism | The Pink Elephant in the Room

I want to discuss the pink elephant in the room.  I want there to be open and honest talk about race and racism.  Regardless of where your opinion lies regarding the outcome come the the George Zimmerman trial, there needs to be more talk about race relations in this country.  Not only do we need to have this conversation, our children also need to hear it.
It boggles my mind that so many news outlets are saying, "It's not about race."  We will never know to what extent race played a role on the night of Trayvon Martin's death. However, the race discussion is going on as we speak.  It is evident in the L.A. riots from last night.  It's evident on Facebook.  Everyone is talking about race.  However, everyone is tip-toeing around the issue.
Now is the time to be open and honest about all the possible ways the race and racism are factors in everyday life.  Race and racism exist and existed.  Why not take the opportunity to talk about Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr? Malcolm X? President John F. Kennedy? Robert Kennedy? Assassinations? Civil Rights Movement?  Let's analyze the past and the present.  Let's talk about how far we have come.  Let's talk about how far we still have to go. No matter what, let's talk.  The pink elephant of race and racism cannot and should not be ignored.  This is a great time to talk to our children about race and racism.
Our children will not know about history if we are unwilling to share it.  Lessons learned are important to review.  It is important to have these discussions as a family.  Consider starting this conversation by discussing the history of segregated schools.  Your child may have learned about Brown v. The Board of Education (http://bit.ly/13qEbYe). However, talking about it as a family will leave an indelible mark on our children.  
Consider taking them to a museum that shows artifacts from that time period.  Seeing is believing and feeling, especially for children.  I know when I went to the Children's Museum of Indiapolis, I was moved by their exhibit on Ruby Bridges.  She was a 6 year old girl who was the youngest to integrate and attend a "white school" in 1960.  The exhibit is called "The Power of Children: Making a Difference."  Pictures of the exhibit are available online (http://bit.ly/1oxlajs). Use the website as a tool to help you have an open dialogue with your children; the museum has a family guide available in PDF format (http://bit.ly/1tjlk4I). Race and racism a important topics to discuss; our children need to hear it from us, not just school or the TV.

Beautiful Skies in Traffic

As I sit in bumper to bumper traffic, I am try to find something positive in this very "stuck" moment.  About 40 minutes later, I decide that maybe if I take a picture of the moment, perhaps I can find the beauty in it.


Of course, looking at the picture, I see the clouds pop out. I had focused on the cars and being stuck. However, I had completely missed the sky.


Then, at the end of my long ride home, what should appear but a lovely sunset with another enormously large and beautiful cloud above the sunset.


Dr Wayne Dyer's words come to mind, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."


What a beautiful canvas God painted tonight 🙂


Wishing you all a beautiful canvas ... tonight and tomorrow too.


Eat Your Fruits & Veggies

A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that we are not eating enough of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. The CDC report stated that in 2009, 67.5% of adults ate fruit less than two times daily and 73.7% ate vegetables less than three times per day.
How much fruit servings per day is recommended for my child?
Children 2-3 years old should have 1 cup per day, 4-8 years old should have 1 - 1½ cups per day.
Girls and boys 9-13 years old should have 1 ½ cups per day.
Girls 14-18 years old 1½ cups per day, whereas for boys it’s 2 cups per day.

How many veggie servings per day are recommended for my child?
Children 2-3 years old should have 1 cup per day, 4-8 years old should have 1 ½ cups per day.
Girls 9-13 years old should have 2 cups per day, whereas for boys it’s 2 ½ cups per day.
Girls 14-18 years old should have 2 ½ cups per day, whereas for boys it’s 3 cups per day.

What about for us parents?
You serve as the best role model for your children. Let them see you eat healthy every day.
Women 19-30 years old should have 2 cups of fruits per day & 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day.
Women 31-50 years old should have 1½ cups of fruits per day & 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day.
Men 19-50 years old should have 2 cups of fruits per day & 3 cups of vegetables per day.

In addition, eating enough fruits and veggies will help with your and your children’s overall health. It helps with weight control, prevention of chronic diseases and certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and several other illnesses.

What counts as a cup?
An 8 ounce cup of raw fruit, fruit juice or ½ cup of dried fruit counts as a cup of fruit. An 8 ounce cup of raw or cooked veggies, two cups of leafy green veggies, or a cup of pure vegetable juice counts as a cup of veggies.

Two excellent resources to utilize are www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/index.html and www.supertracker.usda.gov/default.aspx. These websites have lots of examples, pictures and interactive tools to help you know how to make sure your family eats a healthy diet.


Baby Teeth Stem Cell Banking

Child Opening Mouth for a DentistIn recent years, baby teeth have been recognized for having stem cells as well. The baby teeth that can be used to store stem cells are the top and bottom six (6) front baby teeth.
Stem Cells are cells that contain the ability to transform into a variety of other specialized cell types. That being said, there are several type of stem cells, each type differs in that some have unlimited capacity to differentiate into any type of specialized cell; others are very limited. In research, embryonic stem cells have been used. In daily life, stem cells are collected from umbilical cord blood after delivery. Traditionally, these cells have been used to treat leukemia through bone marrow transplant.
So, the question is, should you bank your babies’ teeth? The next question is which companies offer teeth stem cell banking?
First, it is unknown whether or not the stem cells from baby teeth will ever be used for treatments in the future. It many take anywhere from several years to decades until this will be known.
Second, the cost is quite expensive. It can cost approximately $600 for the initially, per tooth, with $100 annual cryopreservation storage fee. Alternatively, there are twenty (20) year storage plans for multiple baby teeth which can cost approximately $2,500. Each dental stem cell bank has different price plans.
Third, if you decide to store the stem cells of your children’s teeth, the above storage banks must receive the tooth within 48 hours. What does this involve? You must register with a tooth stem cell bank. Place the baby tooth in milk immediately. You or your dentist must use their collection kit which needs to be sent to the tooth stem cell bank via overnight mail. 
So, should you use a dental stem cell bank? Ultimately, the decision is yours. Currently, many experts do not considered it to be worth the expense, as it is still unknown of what benefit these stem cells can be. It is unlikely to be able to treat leukemia via bone marrow transplant. However, it is speculated that it may be beneficial for tooth or bone treatments in the future.
If you are interested, the three (3) companies that store stem cells from baby teeth are:
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