Nurse Family Partnership – RGV

Expecting, new moms get support from Nurse Family Partnership :

When a woman is pregnant for the first time, she has dozens of questions and just as many opinions from friends and family. How can she learn to make the best choices for her and her baby? To help pregnant Valley women and new mothers through those unfamiliar times, the Nurse-Family Partnership pairs a first-time mother with her very own, personal nurse to guide her through pregnancy and give her expert health advice.

 

The national program launched in the Valley in 2012 and is offered for FREE by DHR Health Women’s Hospital. There is no waiting list at this time, and friendly nurses just like Gabby Calzada are ready to help expecting moms of all ages be the best moms they can be.

 

Vanessa Bocanegra was a high school senior and 24 weeks pregnant when she learned about Nurse-Family Partnership. Although she was nervous to meet Gabby, Vanessa was quickly put at ease and glad she made the decision to join the program.

Vanessa.Bocanegra

 

Gabby met with Vanessa every other week throughout her pregnancy. Vanessa’s son Damian is now 14 months old and doing well, and Vanessa credits her nurse with making her feel proud to be a mom and fall even more in love with her son. Vanessa is confident in her parenting skills, because she knows how to listen for or notice exactly what Damian needs. Gabby has also given her important parenting support and answers at the times when she needed them the most.

 

There is not a waiting list for the Valley’s Nurse-Family Partnership program.

 

Pregnant women in Hidalgo County who are eligible for these free services can enroll immediately. Once enrolled, a first-time mother is connected with a personal nurse who can answer her questions about what to expect during her pregnancy, childbirth and taking care of her baby. To find out more, pregnant moms can visit txnfp.org

Helping First-Time Parents Succeed – Nurse-Family Partnership

txnfp.org

With your very own free Nurse­-Family Partnership personal nurse, you will get the support, advice and information you need during your pregnancy and when your baby arrives.

5 Tips to Throw a Fun & Easy Party

blog july 10

 

5 Tips to Throw a Fun and Easy At-Home Birthday Party on a Budget

 

One of the challenges of parenting in the digital age is the worry about making everything “Pinterest perfect.” Kids’ birthday parties are no exception, but the reality is that our children just want a fun time to celebrate with their friends. When you get back to the basics with an easy at-home party, it’s not only budget-friendly, but it’s also less stress and more fun for everyone.

 

Start with a Theme
Planning around a theme gives you a focal point and serves as a springboard for other ideas. For younger children, loose themes that are gender neutral work well, such as fairytale characters or bugs and butterflies. Older children may already know what theme they’d like, or you can brainstorm possibilities together based on their interests. If you’re still looking for inspiration, we like these theme ideas that are broken down for different age groups.

 

Another option is to have an activity-based party, so you have the theme, activity, and sometimes even the food all rolled into one, making party planning even easier. Two activity themes we love from HuffPost are chocolate-making and scavenger hunt parties.

 

Make Low or No-Cost Invitations

Printing invitations can really bust your budget, but digital options are free or inexpensive and are more eco-friendly too. Going digital can give you the option to manage RSVPs online with services like Evite. If you’re tech-savvy (or have a design-savvy child), sites like Canva give you plenty of creative freedom to make your own special invitation.

 

If you decide to go the paper route, let your child help make homemade invitations. Use craft supplies you already have lying around, or grab some blank cards from a dollar store and let your child decorate them to their heart’s content.

 

Set the Scene

 

Decorations transform your home from the everyday into a world of wonder, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on them. One budget-friendly way to decorate is to keep store-bought decorations general and spruce them up yourself. A couple of DIY decorating ideas we like from Babble are confetti balloons and using printed washi tape to decorate plain cups. Try to get the best bang for your buck with inexpensive decorations that really pack a punch. Decorating with string lights is a great way to spice up your party, both indoors and outdoors, without spending much since they are inexpensive and kids usually love them. And when you’re finished with your party, you can use the string lights to add comfort and warmth to a space in your home!

 

Focus Refreshments on What Kids Want Most

 

Instead of setting out an expensive spread of food, focus on what kids really want, such as fun snacks like popcorn and, of course, the best part: cake and ice cream. You can get away with this by timing your party to start mid-morning or mid-afternoon when no one expects a meal. Most children would agree that the cake is pretty important, so consider making it yourself and starting a tradition by letting the birthday child help.

 

Play Classic Games and DIY New Ones

 

Planning a few activities is an absolute must because downtime leads to boredom and kids running wild. Classic games are just as fun as ever, so pick a few like freeze dance, hot potato, or red rover to keep kids entertained at no cost.

 

For something more current, one of the more popular party activities these days is to set up a photo booth. Scour the internet for photo prop templates that fit your theme, and print them yourself on heavy paper. To up the fun even more, use large cardboard boxes to make an actual “booth,” and let your children get involved by decorating it themselves.

 

The reality of modern party planning is that when you get back to basics, it’s easier to let go of stress and focus on what matters most. Children won’t remember (or even know) how much you spent on their party, but they will remember how much fun they had. Use these tips and your own creativity to pull off a memorable, fabulous shindig at home without breaking the bank.

 

Photo credit: Unsplash

Summer Camps 2018!

Hello RGV FANS. Summer is around the corner. Have you signed up the kiddos for Summer Camps? Looking for ideas? Well here are great selections for you to choose from!

Summer Camps kids 2018

 

Nadia’s School of  Dance-  Ages: 2-11. Mission, TX 956-534-0132

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Language Success- Mcallen, TX 956-683-8810

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Camp Invention- Mcallen, TX  1-800-968-4332

Camp-Invention

Albartos Colegio Infantil- Edinburg 956-683-1977 & McAllen, 956-928-1966

 

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Danz Force Academy- McAllen TX 956-400-1068

 

 

 

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Jing’s Gymnastics- Mission 956-585-4967 & Pharr 956-702-4967

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Musical Living Academy- McAllen, TX 956-221-3145

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All Star Basketball- McAllen TX – 956-627-0390

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Susy’s Art & Summer Camps- McAllen, TX 956-617-6527 or 956-627-0677

Susy's

 

La Quinta Mazatlan- McAllen, TX 956-681-3370

Quinta-Maztaln

 

 

Art Connection- McAllen, TX – 956-330-4335

art-connection

 

KinderMusik- McAllen TX- 956-624-9436

kindermusik_REV

 

Framboyant Summer Camps- McAllen TX – 956-687-4697

 

framboyant

 

Debi Lou Modeling- McAllen, TX – 956-454-0510

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Little Paradise Summer Camps- Edinburg- 956-720-4340 & McAllen 956-627-1450

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Sweet Boulevard- McAllen TX – 956-432-8047

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Want to advertise your Summer Camps? Give us a call! 1-877-887-7816, ext. 701

 

summer camp filler new june

 

 

How to Teach Your Child About Financial Responsibility

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Photo Via Pixbay

 

Teaching your children about financial responsibility at a young age can help instill values and knowledge that will last them a lifetime, and it’s a great way to prepare them for the real world. Even if your children are old enough to have learned about how money works, school will likely not teach them about how to save, how to spend wisely, or why a budget is so important. These are skills you can develop in your children with some hands-on teaching.

Think about what you want to teach your children, and make the lessons fun. For instance, you might encourage your children to set up a lemonade stand with a friend, or buy a piggy bank with a built-in money counter that will help them keep track of their savings.

Here are a few of the best tips on how to teach your child to be financially responsible.

Be consistent

Teaching young people about the importance of being responsible with money is difficult if you aren’t consistent with things such as giving allowance for chores. Some parents don’t believe in paying children to help out around the house, while others feel it’s a great way to help them learn about earning and saving. If you do decide to let your children earn an allowance, stick with it for a while to help them learn the right way to handle their finances.

Work from home

If your schedule will allow it, consider getting a part-time job from home so you can share everything about your job with your children. A great example is working for a dog-walking company, which would allow you to make some extra cash while you teach your children about the importance of being responsible, how to budget both money and time for the week, and what to do with the money you earn. Just be careful not to let your children take over the dog-walking duties; this is about what you can teach them.

Use gifts as teachable moments

Many kids receive cash for birthdays and holidays, so it’s a good idea to show them how to take a portion of it to put away in savings. It might even be the right time to open up a bank account just for your children so you can help them start saving. For older kids, you can strike a deal to match dollar for dollar what they put in up to a certain amount, as long as they keep their grades up and agree to some rules about withdrawals.

Teach your child to shop smart

Teach your children how to shop without overspending by talking about what they want to buy, creating a budget, and comparison shopping online before going to the store to make sure you get the best deal. By showing your kids how to be smart about their spending, they’ll learn that impulse buying can be hard on a budget.

Talk about “needs” and “wants”

It’s important for your kids to learn the difference between what they need and what they want, so include a lesson on the basic human needs and why they are so important. Emphasize that clothing, shelter, food and water, sleep, and family are the most important things in a person’s life, while toys and video games are merely for entertainment.

Talking to young people about money can be a big responsibility, and it’s often difficult for parents to know where to begin. Start off slow and easy and use as many real-life situations as you can to show your children how to be savvy financial planners so they’ll retain these lessons for a lifetime.

 

Family-Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Family-Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

 

St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally associated with green beers and an ever-elusive pot of gold. But your Irish heritage celebration doesn’t have to be boozy to be interesting and fun for the entire family.

Here are ways to enjoy the luck of the Irish with your littlest lad or lass.

 

Dinner party

Few meals conjure up images of hungry Irishmen after a day of hard labor more than a traditional dinner of bangers and mash. By plating plump sausages with creamy mashed potatoes and gravy, you have yourself an Irish meal that most everyone will agree is delicious. Here’s an interesting fact: Bangers – the sausage – get their nickname from linked sausages that tend to pop when exposed to heat. Bang! Of course, if you don’t have time to cook or aren’t handy in the kitchen, you can always make it a breakfast night and let the kids enjoy a bowl of Lucky Charms.

 

Brush up on your Celtic

There are few people in the U.S. who actually understand many of the most popular old Irish sayings. You and your family can research Celtic language and idioms and compare similarities to English. Business Insider’s list of 15 Irish expressions is a great place to start. Also, Google’s translate feature is a really fun way to share the language with your entire family. Bain sult as féin!

 

House hop

You don’t have to stop with just your house to enjoy a Celtic dinner. Talk to the neighbors and get everyone involved. One house can provide appetizers, another the main course and another still an enjoyable Irish dessert.

 

A family vacation

If you would like to really immerse yourself in Irish culture, a trip to the Emerald Isle is an excellent way to celebrate the holiday. Ireland is not only known for its looming castles and grandest estates, it also has some of the best beaches you’ll ever have the honor of relaxing on. If you don’t have an extra $10,000 lying around for an international vacation, you can also find family-friendly activities in Irish heritage-rich areas such as St. Louis, Missouri, and Charlotte, North Carolina, on FamilyLivingToday.com.

 

 

Movie marathon

If the weather’s bad or you simply don’t want to leave the house to celebrate, there are plenty of Irish films that will satisfy your cinematic senses this St. Patrick’s Day. The youngest in your crew may enjoy the animated classic The Secret of Kells or Disney’s Luck of the Irish, which chronicles the life of an everyday American teenager who finds out he’s actually not ordinary at all but half leprechaun.

 

Understand the holiday

St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional holiday that celebrates life of the eponymous Saint Patrick. As the Patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick is celebrated each March 17 and has been since the 17th century. What first started as a religious feast has evolved into a secular day of fun featuring festivals, parades, and special events in most major cities in the US and UK. The History Channel offers more information about St. Patrick’s Day.

Another great way to learn about this Irish day of honor is to visit your local cathedral and partake in a Catholic mass. Most parishes are happy to host guests but be sure to talk to children about Catholic traditions before attending as they may be wildly different than your own place of worship’s weekly service

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to honor good St. Paddy as well as your Irish heritage without a hangover on March 18. And by forgoing the libations, you and your family can enjoy the day – or week – together making memories that you’ll cherish for years to come and relive each St. Patrick’s Day.

 

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Holiday Party Planning Made Easy!

Holiday Party Planning Made Easy: Tips for Doing it Right

 

Are you worried about planning that perfect holiday get together? Relax!

We’ve got the steps for you to follow to make it easy and fun. Here’s how:

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Image Source: DIYDarlin.com

 

 

 

Additional Holiday Party Prepping Resources:

  1. Cleaning tips for a party-ready house
  2. Party planning checklist
  3. How to prep your home for festive entertaining
  4. 10 stress-free holiday party decorating tips
  5. 10 holiday party mistakes to avoid

Now that you know how to get started, you can enjoy the process. Make those lists, light some candles, and start thinking about your menu. You’ve got this!

 

Grace Heritage Ranch

Autumn Adventure:

October – November   (2017 will be Oct 21 – Nov 25)

Saturdays: 10:00 am – sunset

Sundays: Noon – sunset

Weekdays: Reserved for school field trips and private groups of 25 or more

READY, SET, COME PLAY! Bring the whole family out to Grace Heritage Ranch in the autumn to enjoy all the fun fall activities. Started in 2016, we add more fun and games each year. Climb a hay bale pyramid, hit the target at the Apple Slingshot, challenge someone to a sack race, take a hay ride, hang out in the pumpkin patch, and more! And, don’t forget to stroll the ¼ mile walking path to feed and visit with our animals along the way. Let your Adventure Begin!!!DSC_1221-cc-300x199

  • Come meet Harley, Henry, and Heidi – our Vietnamese potbellied pigs!
  • Adorable long-haired French Angora rabbits will be here!
  • Pet and feed the Jerusalem donkeys – Mercy, Faith, Hope, Love, and Joy.  Maybe Justice and Liberty will be around too!!
  • They love the Apple Slingshot!
  • Feed some of our rare San Clemente Island goats!
  • Meet our two and four-horned Middle Eastern Jacob sheep!!
  • Our Australian chickens, American turkeys, and Indian peafowl are always looking for treats!
  • Get a glimpse of our beautiful Peruvian alpacas!
  • Did someone say fajitas?  Feed our American Milking Devon cattle!
  • Don’t forget to take a photo with our snake Kaa, a 6-foot South American Red Tail boa!
  • And don’t leave out Boris the Texas tarantula, Bamboot the Asian scorpion, or our Madagascar Hissing cockroaches!

*feed is available for purchase to feed the animalsIMG_1942-300x225

A little friendly competition never hurt anybody!

  • Smack your way to victory at Tetherball
  • Chuck bags for points in Corn Hole Toss
  • Ascend the Hay Bales to be king of the Pyramids
  • Roll a pumpkin, clobber the pins in Pumpkin Bowling
  • Gain new ground in a Tug-of-War
  • Sharpen your aim and maybe win a prize at the Apple* Slingshots
  • Take a break while the kids swing, slide, and climb at the playground
  • Bust a bouncy “bronc”at the Hippity-Hop Corral
  • Challenge a friend to a meeting of the minds at the giant Tic-Tac-Toe Boards
  • Ready for the Rodeo? Rope a few hay bale “steer”
  • Strike the ball at the Ping-Pong Tables.  Best 3 out of 5 wins the match
  • Volleyball anyone?
  • Release your inner artist on our huge outdoor Chalkboards
  • Jump in the Sack Race and head for the finish line

*apples for slingshot available for purchaseDSCF3652-300x225For more info call :

956-230-6903

or visit : http://graceheritageranch.com

Top Summer Toys for Kids with Special Needs

Some of the biggest challenges of summertime for parents are keeping children entertained and developmentally stimulated. You probably want to add fun activities, exciting adventures and a couple of new toys to the mix to keep things interesting. Below are a few hot toy ideas that are fun and focused on your child with special needs–and just may give you an edge on the summertime blues!

Fidget Spinners, Puzzles & Tangles

If you’ve witnessed the latest toy craze, fidget spinners, then you know these tactile-type products are a hot item for kids of all ages and stages; however, they can be quite beneficial for children with sensory issues. They provide a pleasing, hands-on sensory experience that requires concentration from your child, making them a perfect stress-, anxiety- and boredom-buster for those restless moments on summer days!

Fat Brain Toys Squigz

Another hands-on toy – the visually unique and sense-stimulating Squigz by Fat Brain Toys – is described as “fun little suckers” according to the packaging. By the use of suction, they can connect to each other and any solid, nonporous surface, encouraging creativity, fine motor skills and playful experimentation – a fun addition to any toy collection!

Hedstrom Sensory Products

Hedstrom offers exceptional, quality products for kids, most notably their Sensory Stepperz that kids can balance, hop and step on. Features include different patterns and textures that help develop balance, coordination and gross motor skills. These can go outside or inside of your home, making them a great summer toy option!

Sand and Water Discovery Tables

Let’s not forget the classics! Sand and water tables – like this one – have been around for many years, but there’s a reason for that! A favorite for many, they not only provide hours of entertainment, but give your child a multisensory experience. And instead of using just sand and water, consider adding dry beans, shaving cream and other items of different textures, stimulating different sensory input.

SkyCurve Platform Swing

And finally, when you think of summer, long afternoons of swinging in the sunshine always cross the mind. Parent’s Choice and Creative Child Award winner, the SkyCurve Platform Swing by Hearthsong is a longer swing that allows your child to comfortably lay down if necessary, or it can hold multiple children sitting up. Nothing beats the great outdoors for stimulating all of the senses, and relaxing on a swing can be icing on the cake after a full day of play!

Summer certainly doesn’t have to be a bore! With a few new items in the repertoire, you’re sure to keep your child entertained, while giving them developmental tools to grow and have fun all at the same time!

Summer Camps 2017

Albartos Colegio Infantil: Summer Camps

956-683-1977(Edinburg)

or 956-928-1699(McAllen)

  All Star Sports Basketball: Summer Camps & Year Round

956-627-0390 (McAllen)

Aqua Tots: Summer Classes & Year Round

956-687-7946 Mcallen

956-687-7946 Brownsville

Danz Force:

956-400-1068 McAllen

Debi Lou: Summer Camps:

956-454-0510 McAllen

Happy Planet: Art Camp

956-827-1386 or 956-616-2372 McAllen

Jing’s Gymnastics & Dance- Sports Camps

956-585-4967 Mission

956-702-4967 Pharr

Kids Village: Summer Care

956-686-8602 Mcallen

KinderMusik: Summer Camps

956-624-9436 McAllen

Little Crayons: Summer Camps

956-424-1299 Mission

Lavallette: Adventureland Summer Camp

956-585-4344 Mission

Little Paradise- Summer Camps:

956-627-1450 McAllen

956-720-4340 Edinburg

Main Event: Summer Fun Camps

956-787-7100 Pharr
Missy’s Modeling: $45.00 Mini Summer Camps

956-682-0044 McAllen

Nadia’s School Of Dance: 5 Weeks of Themed FUN!

956-534-0132 Mission

Rhema’s DayCare: Summer Daycare

956-682-3933 Mcallen

Rogue Hip Hop- Summer Dance

956-322-9707 or 956-912-2012

St Paul Lutheran: Camp Invention! K-6

956-682-2345 Mcallen

Sweet Boulevard: Summer Camps

956-599-3742 Mcallen

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rhemas_001 rogue-hiphop_001 Alll_Star_Basketball_TotsAd_summer2017 little-crayons_001 kids village2 Nadia's Camp Ad st-paul-lutheran_001 Lavalette jings2_REV2_001 Happy Planet Summer Camp Ad debi-lou_001 danz-force_REV5 art-connection-studio_001 aqua-tots2_REV2_001 colegio-albatros_001

New Year’s Goals: How to Involve your Child with Special Needs in Making and Achieving Goals

By Diane M. McCullom

It’s January—the holidays have come to an end. It’s back to school, back to work and back to routines. With the end of one year, comes the beginning of a new one—and a new opportunity to make goals for the upcoming months.

But this New Year’s tradition doesn’t have to be limited to adults. Children of all ages and aptitudes should also be encouraged to set goals for learning, personal growth and their futures. When children learn to set goals and reach them, they can visualize their futures, make good choices and make their dreams come true.

Unfortunately, it’s easier for children with special needs to get distracted or discouraged from setting and achieving goals. The Frostig Center, a program dedicated to improving the lives of children with disabilities through research, development and education, did 20 years of research on what makes people with disabilities successful as adults: Goal-setting was one of six success attributes.

Here are a few ways you can cultivate successful goal-setting in your children, students or friends with special needs:

  1. Ask children about their dreams and desires, and encourage them to set goals related to those dreams and desires. In this case, their own desires will fuel their motivation. Listen to their dreams, and don’t squelch them, but help to shape them. For instance, maybe the child lacks social skills necessary in working with others, but he tells you he wants to play basketball as a goal this year. In that case, perhaps you could start by taking him to the library and learn by reading books or watching movies related to the sport. You could also practice social situations in public with the end goal of playing basketball later in the year. With the desire in mind, the child will have a higher chance of being more motivated to achieve his goals.

 

  1. Make goals achievable, measurable and time-sensitive. Big goals are positive, but make sure that the goals are realistic for the individual child. Breaking a big goal down into several smaller ones can make the task of achieving them seem less daunting. For example, getting an A in math for a semester is a great goal, but does the child normally get D’s? It may be overwhelming for the child to suddenly feel the pressure to make all A’s. Smaller, more achievable goals could be getting an A on an assignment or a B on a test.

 

  1. Model perseverance. Teach children that it’s ok to fail as long as they get back up and keep trying. Lead the way this new year by making a family vision board—something in plain view that you and your child see regularly. Seeing how you handle your goals, in success and failure, could be the greatest example of perseverance that your child experiences. Regularly check in with your child about his feelings, encourage the areas where he’s experiencing failure and praise his successes.

These few steps can help your child with special needs make giant leaps in feeling purpose and making dreams come true. Happy new year!

 

Diane M. McCullom is the senior vice president of clinical operations at Dallas-based Epic Health Services, a leading provider of pediatric skilled nursing, therapy, developmental, enteral and respiratory services, as well as adult home health services, with operations in 21 states.