Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Discussion #5: Discipline by example

Just recently I met a mother whose 2 year old son is quite the biter. He bites and slaps her at every oppurtunity he gets. On seeing the mother's plight, another mom suggested that in order to get him to stop biting her, she needs to actually bite him so he will know that it hurts and be compelled to stop. The mother of course was distraught at the thought of biting her own child, while the other mom swears it works, once you do not intend to harm the child. So what, do you think, do you bite your child in order to teach him/her not to bite and do you slap your child to teach him/her not to be so quick to slap others? Your thoughts please..

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Making favourite foods healthier for your kids

Ahhh, how often do you ever wish that your toddler would just get it on with eating? You've tried and tried to make those veggies appealing and you often end up with a grumpy child, shaking their head "No" and a frustrated mother who knows the child just needs to eat. It's a pretty tough world in mommywood, but have you ever thought of making some all time favourites much healthier to ensure that your child actually eats?

 Well I found this great article at Babyfit and I hope that this will help the much frustrated mom with her fussy lil eaters. It begins:

Everyday chicken noodle soup can be transformed into a powerhouse of vitamins by adding a serving or two of vegetables. You're thinking you can already hear the complaints about the soup being "chunky," right? Well, your secret weapon to battle veggie woes is the blender. This handy appliance will be your new best friend when it comes to loading your favorite recipes with nutrients.

In your next batch of macaroni and cheese, add cooked fresh or frozen pureed winter squash--think butternut or acorn squash. The texture and color resemble that of the cheesy dish while adding a serving of veggies. The possibilities are endless! 

Aside from adding winter squash--or even cooked carrots--to macaroni, there are plenty of other ways to amp up this dish and make it more nutritious. To begin, making it from scratch with your children is a better alternative to the boxed variety. When cooking at home instead of getting takeout, you can use whole wheat pasta and control the amount of cheese and sodium added.

Instead of minced, processed chicken nuggets, patties and tenders, cut skinless chicken breasts into chunks then dip them in flour, egg whites and breadcrumbs. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. 

French fries are a commonly requested food among young people. Slicing and baking your own potatoes is a very good alternative to the deep-fried option. 

Continue reading here

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Interactive GSAT Games website and GSAT Online Resource Services Available

Just like most of us parents, children do have a hard time studying and this is often due to parental pressure and mostly reading material that is deemed 'boring'. So it should come as a pleasant surprise that educate JA now has the wonderful interactive GSAT DVD which features practice questions in a fun and interactive format. See flyer below for more details.

Similarly, GoGSAT offers online support by way of tutorials, practice questions and even an e-learning centre. For more information, free trials and demo visit GO GSAT
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Yes we've been noticed

As many of you many know, this here blog is my project of sorts, that I have so many plans for and it reaches my heart when the blog is noticed. So I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a nice summary on Blog Jamaica. It begins thus....

When Shanoy Coombs wanted “to share all things mommy related with other moms” she decided to start a blog called Jamaican Mommies. Now visitors can share precious and poignant moments, comments and concerns on a variety of mommy topics. Of course, they can also connect with other moms.
Continue reading

Edit: And on November 14th, a visitor to the blog led me back to the Jamaica My Way forum (Yes I'll sign up and become a member) and they too had praises for Jamaicanmommies. Author Jamcan1 posted "Okay so this blogger isn't a member of ours but I think her blog is fabulous! Its very real....and when people think there isn't much more to Jamaica than dancehall, food and parties...this blog is very refreshing.

Sounds like a very AWARE mother reaching out and communicating with other Jamaican mothers. Some good material in here."
Sweet! See other favourable comments here

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cutest Baby Ever Competition Launched and Mom to be and Baby Expo in December

I've pretty much always wanted Jamaica to have one of these Cutest Baby Competitions and also had it on my agenda to organize same. So I am somewhat thankful that the Flair Magazine, along with the Caribbean Events Group and Huggies have finally launched one.
So go on out and enter your little one to win prizes.. Best of luck for all moms

Categories: Category 1- 6 months-11 months
Category 2-1 year old- 1 year and 11 months
Category 3- 2 Years old-3 years old

How to Enter
Submit ONE photo of your cute baby via email to Write in the Subject Line "Cutest Baby Ever Competition". Write your name, contact number, Baby's full name, Baby's age and Baby's Date of Birth.

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday, December 3, 2009 at 5 p.m. Winners published in the Flair Monday, December 7, 2009.

Competition Rules:
Only ONE Photo per baby; Send photo in jpeg format, Entrant must be Baby's parent or guardian or have permission from the parent/guardian; The winner agrees to have the baby's image used to publicise the competition; Judges Decision is final.

Also be sure to check out the Mom to Be and Baby Expo in December

The due date is December 5-6. The second annual Mom to Be and Baby Expo, slated for the Chinese Benevolent Association's auditorium, promises to be another exciting and informative celebration of pregnancy, babies and parenting.

The Caribbean Events Group and their partners promise another great boutique event, combining shopping, seminars, free consultations and services for expectant and new parents.

One lucky mother will win a major prize of products and services for three months for her and her baby. Continue reading here

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Discussion #4- How much TV is too much?

Medically is it said that children under 2 should watch no TV and children above two should watch no more than 1-2 hours of TV. It is also strongly reiterated that TV should never be a replacement for other activities and some researches seem to indicate that children exposed to prolonged TV viewership tend to be more obese and aggressive. Yet while the recommendations may be ideal, many if not all persons find these recommendations hard to live by. In the same vein, some recommend that for young children, all viewership be limited to educational programmes.

So am I the only bad parent who occasionally leaves my lil one watching a cartoon (she loves the Chinese one named Kai-lan)so I can get a shower or do dishes without a clingy baby holding on to my feet? What do you do? Do you allow your children to watch TV? If so how much? Do you have bigger kids? How much TV do they watch? Is it affecting their behaviour and lifestyles? Obesity? Aggressiveness? Weigh in on the discussion and let us know.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009



The lawns of Hope Gardens in Kingston will be transformed for three exciting days when Garfield’s Christmas Wonderland comes to town from December 18 to 20. The ultimate family event, all three days, from the Friday to the Sunday will be chockfull of activities designed for every member of the family. The organizers promise “a full entertainment package geared at the whole family”. The brainchild of Peter Shoucair, he says the idea to do this kind of event came about because of “the lack of quality family entertainment.”

According to Shoucair, “There are limited opportunities for the family to go out and enjoy themselves, especially in this kind of easy, funfilled atmosphere and Christmas is a time when families come together, so we figured this would be an ideal treat.”

Garfield Christmas Wonderland will be the first of its kind in the island and will see kids getting the chance to interact with cartoon characters such as Garfield, Batman, Krypto The SuperDog, Pink Panther, Care Bears, and local cartoon characters such as KFC’s Chicky and Chubby from Jamaica Beverages. Other attractions will be Santa Claus “coming in from the North Pole,” according to Shoucair. For a small fee, kids can go to Santa’s Village, take photos with him, and in addition to that will have free access to Candyland where they can enjoy free candy. While the kids are amusing themselves adults can take the opportunity to go to the shopping village and get a head start on their Christmas shopping,” Shoucair added.

Tons of attractions will be available over the three days and they all come under the price of one ticket. The activities include one free ride in the amusement park, meeting and greeting all the DC Comics’ characters and a 60-minute seated live Garfield show done twice per day – at 2:00 pm and again at 6:00 pm. The perks do not stop there as ticket price also covers other attractions such as the petting zoo, free access to Coco Jam — actually a children entertainment complex in Barbican Plaza. This will be set up within the venue, and also includes KFC’s Chicky Land, rides and games, , a shopping village and children yoga classes.

There will be no parking at the venue…but return shuttle service will be provided throughout the day to and from the two parking spots which are at Jamaica College and Hope Gardens (next to the bandstand). Entrance to the Hope Gardens parking lot is via Hope Pastures only.

Limited pre-sold tickets at venues now. Copy Cat, Training Camp, Coco Jam, Young’s Pharmacy, May Pen, Mailbox MoBay, Broadway Surprise, Clock Tower Plaza and in some schools.

Garfield’s Christmas Wonderland is sponsored by TVJ, KFC and Pizza Hut, Scotiabank, New Line Motors, Jamaica Beverages, ATL, Jamaica Observer, JIIC, Marksman, King Alarm, Shakti, Jamaica Pegasus, Oasis, New Line, Tru Juice, Breezes, Trident, Guardsman Group, among others and is endorsed by the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Ministry of Education and the Child Development Agency.

Go on and check it out!!

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November is Parent Month

Wow did you know that there is an entire month dedicated to parents? Does this mean we can just sit back on the beach, with a glass of lemonade? getting an Oceanside massage? Come on dream with me a little... Or do we sleep in all day while the older kids bring us breakfast in bed and a wonderful nanny (who appears out of no where) ensures that the smaller kids allow you to just rest? ahhh almost surreal eh? Well if only, just think of it this way, parent month isn't so much about being pampered, but it is more about getting active and engaging in activities planned for your and your children's benefits. I know it doesn't sound quite as appealing as the previous 'fantasy' but many years later when that child or children turn to you and say a genuine 'Thank you' your heart will melt and you will know that it was all worth it.

So on speaking with Ms, Georgia Garvey, Communications Manager for the Child Development Agency, it was disclosed that November is Parent's month and for the month certain key activities will be held as outlined below:

12 Nov, 2009-Parenting Workshop at the Min of Education, Caenwood Centre, 37 Arnold Road, Kingston 5.

19 Nov, 2009- World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

19 Nov, 2009- Parenting Expo at the Min of Education's Mandeville Office

20 Nov, 2009- Special Movie Discount on "A Christmas Carol in 3D" at Palace Multiplex and Odeon Cineplex. 5 p.m. shows only. (For one night only- When a parent takes a child aged 3-11 years to the participating cinema, that parent will pay for one child's ticket and the parent gets a free ticket)

20 Nov, 2009- Universal Children's Day

20 Nov, 2009- forum with UNICEF to mark the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

25 Nov, 2009- Literacy Fair and Parenting Expo at Rousseau Primary School.

25 Nov, 2009- International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

26 Nov, 2009- Early Childhood Parent Expo and awards at Ferngrove Resource Centre, Ocho Rios

26 Nov, 2009- Parenting Expo at Portmore Community College.

28 Nov, 2009- Family Reading Day

For further information, contact the Office of the Children's Advocate or the Child Development agency.

Parent Month is organised by the Coalition for Better Parenting under the theme Parent the Right Way: Read with your child everyday

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Further tips on dealing with Separation Anxiety

Previously I spoke about Separation anxiety here and today the Jamaica Observer also has excellent tips on how to deal with this.

When your little one clings

IT'S quite natural for most, if not all babies to want their parents to be with them every waking moment and sometimes this need continues even after they've been enrolled in school. This has left many parents in a dilemma, as they genuinely don't want to leave their child feeling hurt or abandoned. Parents are left feeling guilty each time they have to leave their kids to undertake chores, attend events or go off to work. After all, the last thing you want to do is to have your child feeling unloved, when they scream and stretch for you as you go out the door.

"She didn't want to stay with anybody else but me, so I couldn't go out and look a job," said Tamika Gordon of her now nine-month-old daughter.

But what causes your baby to become so clingy, and when will this phase end? More importantly, what can you do until it does?

Continue reading here

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Launch-Roving Caregivers Programme (RCP) Showcase

Good Day my Bloggies,
I have missed you dearly but I've been so tied up with work committments and promise to update more regularly.

Just taking the oppurtunity to invite you all to a wonderful programme geared towards early childhood education. Do go out and see!

Date: Saturday, November 7, 2009
Time: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Location: Hilton Kingston Hotel, Jamaica

The Roving Caregivers Programme (RCP) is an informal early childhood development programme that seeks to reach children birth to three years of age who do not have access to any formal early childhood education. Early stimulation for children and parenting education form the core of the programme.

RCP addresses the developmental needs of the very young in disadvantaged conditions where children benefit from: quality care and attention, development of basic skills, better health and nutrition, and at the next level, better performance in pre-school and future education.

The RCP originated in Jamaica, and the Caribbean Child Support Initiative (CCSI) has facilitated its replication in four Eastern Caribbean countries - St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. The intention of the showcase which is being launched in Jamaica and will move to the other islands (Dominica, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) is to highlight and demonstrate the RCP model as a viable, cost-efficient and effective option for communities with little or no access to ECD/family support services. It will also serve to inform and influence various stakeholders on the importance of providing access to quality Early Childhood and family support services as a matter of priority.

The showcase will begin with an official opening, and guests will be invited to tour booths that reflect the training, research, stimulation, play, income generation and enterprise development aspects of the RCP.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Saluting Women of Merit for National Heroes Day

With today being National Heroes day, we recognise some of the women who've made the news for their work in 2009.. Meet marjorie, who is a famous Jamaican educator who is tackling Autism in the most fundamental ways. Shauna and Rosetta are living overseas but are Jamaican mothers Rosetta is an author mother and grandmother and despite not personally living with Autism has written a romance around the topic of Autism which she sent here she will be carrying out a book signing in New Jersey at the Barnes and Noble in Springfield

How one woman created an entire village

Barbara Gilbert does not own a home. The single mother of four still lives in a rented home in Atlantic Beach, Florida. Yet she has used her own money and raised more than US$200,000 in donations to build houses for 84 families across Jamaica who had nowhere to rest their heads.

She works through Food For The Poor, the Florida-based international charity with Jamaican roots. Now 14 families have settled in a community built three years ago with the money she raised and named in her honour - Barbara's Village, located at Bernard Lodge in St Catherine, on land donated by the Sugar Company of Jamaica.

Gilbert learnt about the needs of poor Jamaicans while listening to a radio telethon in 2005 in Florida.

When she visited the island to help one family she saw greater need and began what she says is a lifelong commitment to providing shelter for the poor who cannot afford a place to lay their heads.

When God called, Maia answered

When God told Maia Chung-Smith to start a foundation for autistic and disabled children, she heeded the call without knowing where the money would come from.

But thanks to her continued commitment, she continues to bring help and hope to children and parents who have to deal with the condition on a daily basis. To ensure that she reaches every sector of the society where autistic children are found, the journalist launched a radio programme to allow parents of autistic children to share their testimonies and coping strategies.

One of the group's major charity projects is the Promise Learning Centre which is the country's only dedicated autism school. Chung-Smith's organisation has lobbied for computers and other educational items for the children so far and intends to do much more for autistic children in Jamaica. See our Interview with Maia Chung-Smith here

The women of RISE

They are three completely different women, with their own challenges, unique characteristics and past. But for the last 19 years, Debbie Pinto, Sonita Morin-Abrahams and Jan Lopez have spent their time and energy working to better the one project that brought them together.

The women are the founding members of the RISE Life Management Services (formerly Addiction Alert) and like proud parents, have seen the programme through some of its toughest hours and rejoiced in some of its shining moments. Today, RISE works primarily in six inner-city communities where they try to educate children and adults alike about the dangers of addictions. It also operates a number of services including a life management skills training programme, parenting workshops, remedial and HEART Trust/NTA accredited vocational classes, adolescent and family counselling services and a classroom for drug and gambling prevention education. They also have a toll-free counselling service for addictive disorders and do assessments, referrals, drug-testing, family interventions and short-term individual and group counselling.

Marjorie Hylton's Promise

Despite their shortcomings, Marjorie Hylton is extremely proud of her 45 children, so much so that just talking about them brings tears to her eyes. Hylton is the founder and principal of the Promise Learning Centre in St Andrew, which for the past 16 years, has been a place of refuge for autistic children. The school is the only one of its kind in Jamaica and was borne from her desire to provide a nurturing environment for children with special needs. "I wanted to do something more than just ordinary teaching and I thought teaching special needs children would give me that fulfilment, and it certainly has," Hylton said. Hylton said she is flooded with calls from parents locally and oversees who want their children to be educated at Promise Learning Centre.

"People need a place to have their children schooled, because no matter how they push them in the regular school, the children are just squeezed out because they cannot function in the regular environment," she said.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Discussion #3- Abortion...Whose right is it anyway?

With abortion being a raging debate, I just had to tune in, so what are your thoughts? Is abortion wrong across all fronts? or only on certain levels? Should someone be 'allowed' to terminate another's life? or is that decision to be left solely up to God? Share your thoughts

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Favourite Handbag

One of our Lovely Mommy readers submitted this and I just had to share. How cute is it to juxtapose your Ray of Sunshine to a beyond expensive bag Opie. Here goes:

Whether it's Coach, Nine West, LV, Prada, Kate Spade, Via Spiga, Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, Wilson's Leather or whatever your favorite brand of handbag may be, there is none like the one that I carried for 39 weeks then delivered into this world. So what brand is my favorite handbag right now? She is exclusively KC - mini me oh and mini daddy too lol.

I go for her without question and dressing her is a joy. I wear her with pride. I don't just set her down anywhere and I certainly don't leave her anyplace. You better believe this handbag has my attention all the time - well it is a serous price to replace her. She never rides on the floor of the car and throwing her over my shoulder is an act of play that reaps shrieks of laughter and screams that say "I like that, do it again mommy".

Once I step out with this handbag and make a public appearance it is on! From the grocery store to IHOP to Target to the park and don't mention restaurants and church. Others seem to like this handbag quite a bit and always make comments to the tune of :- "So pretty", "Oh so cute", "I like..." and "O my so, so beautiful". Some even want to hold my handbag for a while and others offer to take her home with them. If there are no comments the smiles and soft looks give away the hidden thoughts of the onlookers. My female companions who have similar totes easily begin to share their experiences and we seem to strike up an effortless bond.

Having this brand of handbag has brought me constant attention so I have to think twice about how I look so that I complement my handbag all the time. Since sometimes I just want to be chilled and easy with my threads this is a little pressure you know...sigh, but the handbag does always star the show.

Isn't it funny how having a baby can change your world and experience as you know it?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Maia Chung Autism Foundation to seek support from the Jamaican Diaspora....Air Jamaica supports the cause

editdata.mso">MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTCaption: Maia Chung Host and Creator of Specials Jamaica's only Autism Radio Show aired on Newstalk 93 FM every Tuesday between 10 to 12 midnight. Also pictured are Glendine Martin Production Co-ordinator and Alva Belnavis Production Coordinator and deejay

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National Carrier Air Jamaica has gotten firmly behind the effort to improve the lives of the Jamaican Autist, as the airline will be the national carrier for a team representing The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation that will between October 19th to 25th - 2009, be visiting Manhattan, New York - to address the Jamaican consulate in Manhattan… ostensibly to solicit help for the Jamaican Autist from the Diaspora community, specifically in the areas of raising awareness about autism, obtaining books about Autism for a reading corner to be established in collaboration with the Jamaica Library Service at the Tom Readcom, as well as to get funding to help meet education costs for autistic children in Jamaica.

The trip came about due to Mrs. Chung-Smith’s award winning philanthropic work as recognized by The First Global Bank which named her First Global’s Woman of Vision 2009 the second such honour to be bestowed by the bank, the first being awarded to Dr. Olive Lewin last year.

The award took Chung-Smith’s work to the international level where it was picked up on by author Rosetta Jamieson-Thomas author of the Autism Romance “A Margin of Hope” – a fictitious tale about a Jamaican couple’s struggles with coping with their Autistic son.

Jamieson-Thomas in an effort to promote her book with the secondary agenda of using the novel to parlay help for the Jamaican Autist…upon hearing of the award bestowed on Chung-Smith invited The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation team to visit the United States this October , to appear at a book signing for “ A Margin of Hope “ at the Barnes and Noble book store in Springfield New Jersey – with the dual intent to promote the issues of need in the Jamaican Autism community and highlight the need for tolerance towards Autists through her novel. Mrs. Jamieson-Thomas has no personal experience with Autism but was moved to pen the book as a result of her work with challenged individuals in New Jersey where her family now resides.

The signing event, blossomed into a full on mission to raise support when publicist and daughter of the author Shauna Jamieson, began negotiations to have the visit become more impactful through a Jamaican consulate event by The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation team …that should spark more awareness Stateside with possibly more help accruing for Jamaicans living with Autism.

“Right now the education matters affecting the Autists are the most crucial, despite Ministry allusion earlier this year , that some of the schools offering private care for Autism may have gotten grant aid status for this September …which would have been a great step towards defraying the astronomical costs associated with educating the Autistic…the promise was not kept by education Minister Andrew Holness” – Mrs. Chung-Smith said.

This has seen the expulsion of several seven and eight year old Autists from their schools as since the schools are not government funded, the schools themselves cannot pay teachers or pay rent to keep the institutions going.

“In this vein instead of lying down and letting go of all hope I am determined to see what we can do for ourselves I am a great believer in helping ourselves. The trip will mean me taking time off from my job but I am compelled to do what must be done, if we get even one child some help… my philosophy is the Foundation will be successful” – Chung said.

The actual link between the Jamiesons and Chung-Smith, occurred via the nation’s only Autism radio show SPECIALS aired on Newstalk 93 FM each Tuesday between 10 pm to 12 midnight. The mother and daughter duo after several emails did an interview on the show representing the first promotion of their work and publicisation of their interest in the disorder’s treatment in their homeland.

Copies of “ A Margin of Hope” are available for loan from The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation by calling 876-578-3079 – leave your name and number.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Discussion #2- Sparing the Rod and Spoiling the child

We've all heard at sometime or another about sparing the rod and spoiling the child. In the United States, it is said that the rod is often spared and the child spoiled. Back in Jamaica, more often than not, the rod is not spared, nor the child spoiled. In other parts of the world, this 'decision' lies in 1. Who your parents are 2. The laws of the land. Generally, though, different parts of the world have been taking different approaches to a 'good beating', so what's your take, Should the rod be spared at all times and the child spoiled? or vice versa? What other ways can we as parents discipline children effectively without 'spanking'. In fact, should spanking be absolete? Let us Know. At the end of the week, I'll post a bit on what professionals have to say about the issue.
N.B. I found this image to be pretty funny.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Save Lids to Save Lives Campaign Launched

Having attended, yesterday's launch of the Annual Breast Cancer awareness month, I felt the need to share with you how you can play your part, via the Save Lids to Save Lives Campaign. Below you'll find the pre event press Release I did for the event. I have also attached a link that gives information on how to do the breast self examination. Dr. Eva Fuller, Director of Health Prevention and protection in her presentation at the launch, indicated that "It is the most prevalent type of cancer in Jamaican women and is responsible for about 18% percent of deaths in Jamaican women each year. According to data from the Jamaica Cancer Registry, between 1988 and 1992 breast cancer accounted for 26.4% of all female cancers. In fact, it’s believed that one in every 23 woman will develop breast cancer in her lifetime and a 1999 survey showed that at least 16 women die of the disease each year in Jamaica. that 1 in every 23 women in Jamaica is prone to Breast Cancer." So I implore you all to do the Breast Self Examination, know your risk factors and remember that Early Detection is your best defence in the fight against Breast Cancer

Jamaica Cancer Society and Yoplait- Boosting Breast Cancer Awareness

With the desire to stem the incidence of Breast Cancer in Jamaica, Yoplait and the Jamaica Cancer Society launched an undoubtedly healthy partnership on Thursday, October 1, 2009. In a joint venture to mark the start of the annual Breast Cancer awareness month and Yoplait’s Save Lids to Save Lives Campaign, representatives from both organisations announced the partnership.

The partnership arrangement will see Yoplait and Wisynco, through the Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives campaign donating $8 from each Yoplait sale from October 1 to November 14, to the Jamaica Cancer Society’s initiatives. A minimum donation of $200,000 is guaranteed but everyone can join the cause by buying Yoplait to make that amount bigger. Select retailers will also join the cause by offering Yoplait at discounted prices on specific dates each week. On these days, store staff will wear Pink Save Lids, Save Lives shirts to show their support. Participating retailers include Progressive Grocers and Lee’s Food Fair Supermarkets.

Caption: Mr. Earl Jarrett, Chairman of the Jamaica Cancer Society presents Dr. Eva Fuller, Director of Health Prevention and Protection at the Ministry of Health with a Save Lids to Save Lives Campaign T-shirt, while Sharon Neins, Country Manager for General Mills looks on.

This partnership is only fitting since yogurt has proven health benefits which include lowering the risks of many types of cancer. International bodies of research also suggest that populations that eat large amounts of yogurt [or other fermented milk products] seem to have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. Concomitantly, Mr. Earl Jarrett, Chairman of the Jamaica Cancer Society points out that “At a time when the world is plagued by economic uncertainties, it is indeed a welcome venture to have Yoplait on Stream. We certainly look forward to the assistance in continuing to achieve our objectives and encourage Jamaica to support the Save Lids, Save Lives campaign as it supports the Jamaica Cancer Society”

To cement the relationship, William Mahfood, Managing Director of the Wisynco group expounded on the healthy effects of such a relationship. He asserted that “The Wisynco team applauds the work that the Jamaica Cancer Society has been doing and we are more than enthused that through our product Yoplait, we are able to join in the fight against breast cancer. We also invite the public to participate through the purchase of Yoplait.

This year’s breast cancer month, with Yoplait’s input will see a series of healthy initiatives, including free aerobics in the Emancipation Park, (led by Jamfit’s Karelle Ashley) each Tuesday, 5:30-6:30 p.m. throughout the month of October.

For More information about the Schedule of Activities for Breast Cancer Month or to receive more information on Breast Cancer, you can contact the Jamaica Cancer Society at: 927 - 4265 or via email at You can also receive more detailed information on the Save Lids to Save Lives Campaign and the free aerobics sessions in the Emancipation Park by contacting me at

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Discussion #1 Weight Management

In trying to boost the interactive element here, each week we'll have a Tuesday and Discussion topic. Today, I touch on an issue that I think women on average face, that of weight management-gain or loss. So let us know, Are you trying to lose or gain weight? Are you meeting your target? What does or does not work for you? Fire off your feedback and at the end of the week, we'll invite a professional dietitian to provide feedback on what you need to do to make weight management work for you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bridging the Gap...Help Raise Funds for Local Autism foundation

At a time when more and more persons are recognising the importance of education in all its form, it becomes more than crucial for parents/guardians to identify the challenges their children face and how to help them overcome these, so they can in turn reap success. Sadly, for some parents this 'identification process' is more complex. such is the case when a child faces a learning disorder such as Autism.

Autism is defined by psychologists as a "Neurodevelopmental brain development disorder characterized by impaired "Social interaction" and "Communication", and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Autism involves many parts of the Human brain; how this occurs is not well understood. The two other Autism spectrum disorder(ASD) are Asperger syndrome, which lacks delays in cognitive development and language, and PDD-NOS, diagnosed when full criteria for the other two disorders are not met.[3]

It may sound like a lot to process, but fortunately, here in Jamaica we have the Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation, which works along with parents whose kids are affected by autism and other disabilities. Through this foundation, there has been a significant increase in awareness levels of what autism is and how to help a loved one affected by it to succeed in all their endeavors. The task however is not an easy one.

With the new school term on us and changing governmental allocations, much of the education sector's much needed funds have been reduced. This reduction will now mean that many special needs kids may not be able to remain in school. This is confirmed by the Maia Chung Autism and disabilities foundation which has been receiving continued calls that many special needs children will be the casualties of the Jamaican economic meltdown. Sad I know, but like the proverbial "behind every dark cloud, there is a silver lining", hope has arisen from a seemingly hopeless situation. But the best thing of all is that you our readers and your family, coworker and friends can play your part by making yet another special needs child remain in school.

It is simple really. The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation is asking for a donation of any amount for the DVD Maia and Quinn an Autism tale. This tale outlines when Maia first told Jamaica about her struggles with Autism. It was this "confession" which led her to start the Foundation. This fundraiser is a new and ongoing project which with your support, will help as many special needs kids as possible to stay in school.

So I implore you all to support this initiative, knowing that you will help someone in dire need with the added bonus of getting a product and the satisfaction that accrues from helping your fellow Jamaican (s).

Interested persons can call 876-578-3079 or email or to order DVDs or provide other forms of assistance.

Come on guys! Let us do this-Together we can truly shout "Yes We Can"

I also implore you to check out the video below to see Maia share her experience with Jamaica about what it is like having an autistic child. For more information on autism you can visit The National Institute of Neuirological disorders' website.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us and We are that Family induction

Good Morning all! Today is indeed a great day. Just diverting a bit from my usual content to let you know that yesterday I celebrated an even greater day- My first anniversary!! Three Cheers for the lovely Mr. and Mrs. Coombs.

We had two days of fun (including days with our little pookie bear and nights without)- Sweet right!

So I truly feel blessed having made the one year mark, with no love lost. I remember clearly my favourite quote since being married " From this day forward I will not walk alone, my arms will be your shelter and my heart will be your home" So here's to a blessed day, one down and here's hoping and praying for many more to come.

Coincidentally, My blog was featured on We are that, so go on over here and find out why We (my family and I) are a part of THAT society's family tree.

Jamaican Mommy

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Real deal on what to do once baby arrives

So your baby is finally here. Now what? If you are anything like millions of mothers before, you would be asking this question. You are still shaky knowing that you have another life to actually take care of and also empowered that you have made it thus far, but then you can't help but have feelings of inadequacy sink in. Will I be a good mother? How will I manage? Am I doing this right? and the list goes on. But as any new mother-turned pro can attest, all is not lost and before you know it, all the mommy related things that once seemed impossible now become second nature. I know right? you've heard that before, but reassuringly it is the truth. I am living proof having moved from one who could hardly change a diaper to a loving, devoted, 'super' mom.

So first off, you will have your granny telling you what not to do, then there's your mother saying her strategies are tried and true and there's also the friend across the street who also swears by 'putting a little rum' in the baby's feed. Sounds familiar? sure it does, but before you get to finding this to be a jocular manner, think very carefully about what will or will not harm your baby and bear in mind that not everything that your mother, aunty, grandma or neighbours swear by is even safe for your little one.

We will definately do a piece on baby and childcare myths, but today we look at how to deal with some of the life changing and not so life changing experiences once baby arrives. I've compiled a basic list which I think embodies most of the major elements, but I do welcome feedback and be sure to add some of your proven strategies too.

1. First of all, you need to believe that you can do this: It might sound cliche but it works! Conditioning one's mind for the challenge and reward of raising a child certainly makes one more optimistic for the task at hand. But remember that no matter the enthusiasm, if you are having significant problems coping and feel like you are at wits end or will somehow harm your child, be sure to schedule a doctor's appointment ASAP since you may be experiencing Post Partum Depression (PPD). See other signs of PPD here

2. You need to educate yourself: Having a child involves so much re-education. This re-education goes beyond reading information in a book, but goes on to include lots of self research, getting multiple feedback and busting some of the many myths affiliated with childcare. For example, I have always heard family members in Jamaica ask if I'm not 'stretching' the baby so that she can grow. Not only is this a totally irrelevant exercise, but my research has also indicated that this practice can be very dangerous. Imagine holding your precious bundle by the leg and then the unfathomable broken limb occurs! Medical professionals have also reiterated the necessity for this practice to be discontinued since a child needs no help in being stretched, since babies stretch on their own, especially after waking up. There are also countless misconceptions related to feeding a child so that he/she can be 'fattened'. Do the research and you will see that many of these practices are quite harmful for the baby's digestive tract.

3. Be careful of who you get information from: Enough Said!

4. Use your motherly instinct: This is almost always right and if you are still unsure, you can get feedback from a qualified and/or genuine person.

5. Know that it is ok to leave some tasks undone:
You may to be used to being the ultimate multitask-er, but with the toll that pregnancy and childbirth has taken on your body, you will need all the rest you can get. Try to delay some tasks and seek assistance with others. After all, taking care of a baby is already a full day's work.

6. Remember it is ok to cry: It is! whoever said big girls don't cry does not acknowledge the cleansing effect that crying can have on a weary soul.

7. It is ok to think you are not getting it right! but refer to point 1 above, keep the optimism going and before you know it, you'll be well on your way.

8. In all you do, make sure it is for the benefit of the child and not so much your own selfish agenda: Remember that bit about putting a little rum (alcoholic beverage) in your baby's feed so he/she can go asleep? That is definately a selfish and potentially fatal move. I know it irks you when there's a screaming child who goes on for hours, but eventually it will pass.

9. Try to get some ME time: How is this possible you ask? check here. I know you love your newborn and want to spend every waking moment, but believe me, somewhere along the way, especially if you're a Stay at home mom, you want to just get out and feel like somewhere inside the 'individual' still exists. It's fine really, no need to feel like you are being selfish. Make proper arrangements for your child's care and go for a walk, a jog, meet with friends for a chat and you'll be surprised how re-energized you feel. If you can't bear to leave your little love bud alone, take him or her for a short walk, go to the mall and window shop or meet your pals for a lunch date with Little one by your side.

10. Enjoy being a mother: I know you're already thinking "Oh that's easy" but when the going gets tough and you sometimes feel knocked out and down, a large dosage of enjoyment mixed with a side order of love can be just what mothers need.

Baby Fit also has some other tips here

So there you have it! your mother-to mother guide on some of the tips that will get you through what seems like endless days..and nights! when you are a new mother.

For those once amateur-now turned pro moms, be sure to share some of the things that seemed so challenging but are now a breeze. New mommies, also share your challenges and I'm sure we can help you with real life tips on how to surpass these.

Take Care!

Friday, September 4, 2009

One on One with Maia Chung: Jamaican Celeb Mom #2

We know her as the previous Anchor Woman on CVM's News Spot. More recently, she has continued to make her Mark as an advocate for persons with disabilities via The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation. Through this medium, she offers people with hope; hope that they are not defined by their disabilities and hope that with life, endless possibilities are still available. Maia is one who has made public, emotional displays as it relates to her child being autistic and beyond all her efforts we see a strong and ultimately empowered woman. In her we also find a role model mother who lives to see her children happy and successful. She brings to the fore that hint of motherhood mixed with determination, hence making her worthy of being emulated. She has so much to share and we'll be sure to keep you updated with a more in depth interview, but for today enjoy these 10 questions with woman dynamo Maia Chung, our Jamaican Celeb mom
Name:Maia Chung-Smith
Job title:News Manager Newstalk 93 FM – Managing Director/Founder The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation
Number of Kids: 3 boys Wickham Junor Smith- Ardenne High Cinquain Raphael Smith – Wolmers High Quinn Garren James Smith Promise Learning Centre

1. How do you manage being a professional mom? Lol …lawd …how do I manage? God has blessed me he holds my hand all the way everyday he helps me to do the following … I segment my tasks -plus organize: simply put when I am on a task I blank my mind to anything else so that I can perform at my best for that thing e.g. when I am bathing my youngest I am totally plugged into that moment nothing else matters and I consciously gear my thoughts to enjoying everything I do.
I organize by put in place support systems that enable me have my cake and eat it – so I have a housekeeper so when I beat the late hours work or partying when I come home I can just chill with the boys for hours chatting playing …

2. Are there ever clashes with work and family time? How do you handle this? There are always clashes lol my day would be someone else’s day if I never had a clash …how I handle this …NOTHING COMES BEFORE MY BLOOD (family) so there is no choice if I have to do something for the boys which is imperative versus work BOYS FIRST ask my friends they will tell you say “chung-fah we step off if anything wrong with har yute dem” - lol

3. What are some of the techniques you use to ensure that you have enough time with the fam?
Me and my husband split the work –tag team we hire help and our extended families are good people they help us when we need it …My grandmother Roselyn Blake lives at my house and she is like the supe when me and my husband are not there...

4. Favourite Family place/Activity? Sunset Jamaica Grande
Favourite family activity all of us lying by the pool or beach there
5. Proven Disciplinary strategy? Proven is hard ….I try various things like denial of privileges, when they were younger they got spanked and I try to be very rigid in my behavior as it relates to discipline broken down that means if you give a report I don’t like and I know you can do better I will take away your game system privileges for the following term and I don’t back down “you coulda bawl blood” – it’s like the honour system they see mommy is a woman of her word and it works because if I utter the words it shall be done …so they behave so they can have a comfy existence

6. Fave thing about being a mom?
7. What are your major challenges as a mom?
My major challenge as a mom is I always and I am not kidding feel as if I am not doing it right …I feel like I am at GSAT and there is a question that is tricky and I misinterpreted it…I feel that day every minute everyday in fact honestly I wonder all the time “Lord am I a good parent” in my daily affirmations “God help me be a good parent to your children”

8. Most rewarding experience as a parent to date?
I feel embarrassed but I’m gonna tell the truth and shame the devil I say to my husband all the time “me feel good say them still with us…it sound a little morbid but the fact that with God’s help I gave birth and I haven’t done anything that has maimed them they are functioning in their right respect and they can read and know how to take the bus and use computers is THE BIG AWARD!!!”

9. What parent/child related development would you most like to see in Jamaica?
Well coz of how I was grown I took it for granted that other kids had it like me, from a very early age I was given the space to exercise my own understanding /choice naturally within reason so at age 7 me and my mom Jeanette Gordon would go to Pablo’s for cloth to make dresses I got the choice within reason to choose my fabric – what parent child development needs now is parents teaching their children to respect themselves by showing the children that they the parents respect them and their thoughts feelings concerns, it engenders confidence in the child – I gather many parents have an attitude that you have no sense so do what I want you to do. If you are raising a child in the way he ought to go you the parent has to gauge when room is needed for them to exercise your teachings adding their individualized God given angle to it…

10. What advice do you have for other moms?
Tell your children every day even when they are tots that you love them …then ask them when they can answer “you know why?”…and when they say “why ? “ - Tell them because you are great person…never let them believe you love them because they are pretty smart handsome athletic or any other conditionality …I was always sure that my parents loved me whether I was ugly smelly and that made me oblivious to what others thought of me coz you dun know my people dem and God rate me raeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! That confidence that I was a valuable part of God’s creation just because I existed and because I could do magic trick, feeds my belief to this day that anything in God’s world that I want I can get ….

Bonus Question: What advice do you have for moms who face greater challengers than the average? How can one deal with any disability?
Mom’s when life is hard walk closely with the Lord without GOD as the nucleus of everything I do (and I am no angel only Christ was perfect) I could not cope this is a literal belief I have there is a GOD and I know that he walks me through everything and I KNOW he loves me like he does everybody…my confidence in that love helps me be at peace because he is in control and I can relax no matter how ugly the situation looks because HE will take care of me and to date that has been happening and everyday it manifests mores
More tangible coping skills get counseling for things that bother you emotionally
Ask for help when you need it
Don’t be ashamed of having ugly parts in your life think about everyone you know now and realize real life is about pretty and ugly parts – when you truly believe this you worry a lot less

There you have it. One on one with Maia. In this single piece I've found so many words of wisdom and I'm sure you our readers will too. As always, please leave your comments and show love to such a lovely Jamaican Mommy. Also be sure to tune in to Nationwide News each Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m. for her programme.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When they speak...Listen

Just one morning, while heading off to work, I saw a little boy of about 5 or so with his mother. She proceeded to stop a taxi and then asked the driver if she could get a brief stop to a certain community to leave her child for the day. On hearing the place's name, the little boy put up a major fuss and was wailing and pulling away from his mother, all the while refusing to go into the vehicle, He kept shrieking "I don't want to go to __________, please mommy, don't let me go" to which the mother replied with a sturdy shake and many loud outbursts of why the child should not disobey or disrespect her in public. Now I'm a strong opponent for disciplined and respectful children, but I am also a firm believer in cultivating not just a speaking to, but a listening to relationship with one's child(ren). After all, an 'investigation' by the mother may have revealed exactly why the child was so hesitant and might have helped to prevent a possibly hazardous situation.

More generally though, too often we hear parents shrieking at how 'hard ears' their kids are and how they disobey their every rule. Simultaneously, you hear the everyday cry from older children "you never listen to me". What this therefore means is that many parents are taking more of an autocratic approach to communication-which is itself a fallacy, since communication is supposed to be a two-way street with feedback from both parties (mind you not at the same time, since this might only aggravate both parties further).

We at Jamaican Mommies therefore did some research to get tips on how parents can effectively communicate with their kids (Speaking and listening)and these were some of our most useful tips:
1. Invite your child to talk to you. Respond to your child's opening remark by saying, "Let's talk about it" or "You have a right to express how you feel."

2, Ask open-ended questions that encourage children to share their feelings and ideas. Ask
"What did you do in school today?" instead of "Did school go well today?"

3. Help children identify their feelings. Describe your own feelings. Instead of saying "I'm upset," say "I'm feeling sad and discouraged because I didn't get the job."

4. Talk about things of interest to your children. You can gain a new understanding into the world of your pre-teen or teenager.
?? Choose topics that everyone can talk about. Talking about the "scariest moment I ever had" or "what I want to be when I grow up" fosters involvement.

5. Spend time having fun together. You may have to re-order your priorities and drop some commitments that take time away from the family.By being honest about your own feelings and listening to your children, you can reduce misunderstanding and develop a closeness based on trust and acceptance.

Additional tips also include:

*Look a child in the eyes so you can tell when they understand... bend or sit down... become the child's size.

* Practice listening and talking: talk with your family about what you see on TV, hear on the radio or see at the park or store. (Talk with your children about school and their friends.)

*Respect children and use a courteous tone of voice. If we talk to our children as we would our friends, our youngsters may be more likely to seek us out as confidants.

*Use door openers that invite children to say more about an incident or their feelings. "I see," "Oh," "tell me more," "No kidding," "Really," "Mmmmhmmmmm," "Say that again, I want to be sure I understand you."

*Give your undivided attention when your children want to talk to you. Don't read, watch TV, fall asleep or make yourself busy with other tasks.

I'm sure when much of these tips become regular fixtures in our lives, our children may grow to feel just how important their voices are and will actually approach parents for feedback on the tough decisions in their lives.

Tips courtesy of Kid Source Online, Cornell University and Parenting Tips

Be sure to share just how you encourage a speak and listen relationship with your child(ren)

Jamaican Mommies Picnic Rescheduled

Following the big hurrah about the picnic that was to be. I have to unfortunately inform that the picnic has been rescheduled due to many last minute cancellations. However, as with all good ideas, I think this deserves another run so we can make it happen. This time I'll ask for your feedback along the way, mainly via here since it seems not many persons on the Facebook Group responds to their messages.

With My 1st Anniversary in September, Birthday in November and Kai's first Christmas in December, I know I'll be pretty busy around those times. Nonetheless, I'll give you guys the chance to propose dates and we'll form a planning committee so things can run much smoother.

So for now I'm proposing October, possibly around Heroes Weekend? or any other random weekend? What sayest thou? This time It is up to you. Suggest your dates and any ideas below so others can see. Please leave comments so I can get some ideas going

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