|Posted by kidtimefitnesscompany on April 2, 2014 at 5:40 PM||comments (0)|
I wrote this on my personal Facebook page this morning and was asked to make it public so it can be shared. It is regarding my now 10 year old son, Tyler, and labels associated with "Special Needs" children. Happy Autism Awareness Day! Please feel free to share.
Copied from my personal page:
I'm having trouble focusing on work today, feeling a bit sappy as I figure out how to celebrate Autism awareness day with my family. It's an emotional subject. Even years into our journey. I figured I would share a bit of our journey with you all in hopes that I might be able to offer someone out there a bit of peace. While Aspergers (on the Autism spectrum) isn't Tyler's only diagnosis, it is his most recent one and the one that best explains his typical behaviors. Tyler was first diagnosed with a Chronic Tic Disorder (now Tourettes) at age 2 1/2. Since then he has also been given the diagnosis/ labels of Attention Deficit Disorder and Aspergers Disorder. I will never forget any of the days he has been given any of these labels but the first one hit me the hardest. After the appointment with the neurologist I was heartbroken. Hearing a medical professional give your child a diagnosis of any kind is not any easy thing. It makes it "real". It makes you worry. A million "what if" scenarios immediately fill your mind and you can't help but wonder if you did something wrong, regardless of how untrue that thought is. I remember playing ball outside with Ty later that day and him struggling with his motor skills and directions. For the first time ever I started to look at my child differently. Suddenly, he wasn't just Tyler. He was a child with a disorder. He was "different". This broke my heart and I couldn't stop thinking about how "different" his life would "have" to be because of what the neurologist told me. Looking back, I realize that is a dangerous thought path to follow because it is completely wrong. I am thankful to have realized that quickly. As soon as the next day I started to realize that my son was NO different because of this diagnosis. That he was the exact same person he was a few days ago. A label is only a label. It can be helpful as it provides a framework of best practices when you hit a wall as a parent (which anyone with a special needs child knows can happen more often then we'd like), but it doesn't change your child. It doesn't define them. It doesn't make something "wrong" with them. If I could go back to that day and tell myself one thing it would be to not worry so much about a label. Every single person in this world is unique. Every single person has their "stuff"... some have a title associated with their behaviors. Some don't. It doesn't make anyone wrong/ right/ better/ worse. It makes us all different. Today, I'm thankful for all of his diagnosis because it has helped us all to get support and information we've needed throughout the years but I really wish (especially for those going through the initial process) that the word disorder would just be removed from all of our vocabulary in terms of special needs children. ALL children are "special needs"... they just each have different needs and there is nothing "disorderly" about that. A diagnosis is not a reason to excuse behavior, to limit expectations, or to judge, but an opportunity to learn how to best parent your child. Big hugs to anyone out there who has had to, or is currently, navigating the sometimes confusing system we have and trying to figure it all out. I hope you know you are not alone. Please try not to worry so much about the label, the what-ifs, and the challenges and just enjoy your child. Love them just as they are. Accept that they are not perfect, and that you are not either. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you make along the way, and forgive them. Know that all any of us can do is our very best. Learn from your mistakes and try again next time knowing that no matter what happens that loving each other is the most important thing any of us can do. Your child is "perfect" just the way they are, and you are the perfect parent for them. Hugs -T.
*Note: For those that are seeking help with diagnosis, intervention, counceling, or other services here is a brief list of resources in the Central Valley that provide services for children and families.
Valley Mountain Regional Center (209) 529-2626
Central Valley Autism Project (209) 521-4791
Sierra Vista Child and Family Services www.sierravistacares.org
Leaps and Bounds (ages 0-6) (209) 558-4595
Stanislaus County Services http://www.stancounty.com/BHRS/services-child-system.shtm
Your child's pediatrician is always a good place to start as well.
|Posted by kidtimefitnesscompany on November 27, 2013 at 7:00 PM||comments (0)|
As Thanksgiving has approached this month along with the usual, "Happy Thanksgiving" wishes I've been hearing something disturbing. Pre-meditated guilt disguised as intentions to "be healthy". I want to tell you a little secret. "Healthy" isn't about always eating low calorie, high protein, low carb, etc. Sure, most days of the year those choices would be considered healthy. But health is about so much more than that. It's about balance, it's about moderation. And sometimes even moderation needs to be moderated.
Health is about your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Not just about what you put into your mouth. When I hear someone weeks before this wonderful holiday already feeling guilty about enjoying this blessed meal I cringe! Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful. For everything. For the family that surrounds us, the friends that we hold dear, the warm homes we have to gather in, the food that we are fortunate enough to enjoy. Those are all things to embrace. The food included.
I'm not suggesting that we embrace Thanksgiving-esque diets all year long or that we throw our good eating habits out the window. Just that we give ourselves the opportunity to occasionally enjoy a little splurge. That we throw the guilt out the window and allow ourselves to enjoy the day and everything it has to offer.
So, today, I challenge you. To not count calories/ protein/ carbs or anything else tomorrow other than your blessings. To remember that your state of mind is just as important as your physical goals... and that a little splurge once in a while is most definitely "healthy". Happy Thanksgiving, friends! And thank you all for being among the people I am most thankful for! : ) -Miss Tanaia
|Posted by kidtimefitnesscompany on November 14, 2013 at 10:10 AM||comments (0)|
I had an interesting conversation with a parent yesterday. She called to reserve a space for her daughter in an upcoming class but wanted to double check on the location and expressed concern over our move in Turlock last year and our classes being spread around at various locations. I completely understand this concern. If you are investing your time and money into a program you want to make sure it is going to be around. So, with that in mind, I wanted to share some company history and information with you.
When I started this business in 2010 the idea was to be completely mobile. This is because the vision I have for Kid Time is to provide programs that are affordable, accesible, and fun. It was never about opening a location. It was about bring the program to the students. I originally partnered only with recreation departments and schools so that classes could be held in communities where families could access them easily. We started with the city of Ceres, then Escalon, then a couple of schools in Turlock. Then, we opened the Turlock studio because we didn't have many partnership opportunities at the time and we wanted to see how it went having a "home base" other than my literal home. I loved having our own space here in Turlock. However, for us, it was not cost effective to lease and maintain our own space there. (Read there is no way we could continue to be a viable organization if we continued down that path). Because we did not want to raise the price of classes, moving classes to partnerships with the city and other local organizations was the best option for us in Turlock. Thankfully, at that point, we had some options open to us so we made the move. Moving out of that space was a tough decision, but I believe it was the best decision, and here's why:
1) It's not about the building. It's about the kids. My first priority is that we remain true to our vision as a company- and that means doing everything that I can to keep our programs affordable, accessible, and fun.
2) I prefer to partner rather than compete. Every gym I've met with has trouble getting children involved with programs. I believe this is because they specialize in adult programs. It's the opposite of us, really. We have the hardest time building up adult programs. Which makes sense. We specialize in youth fitness and recreation. Partnering with local gym owners (who have AMAZING facilities) makes sense for both parties. Plus, partnering means our staff can spend more time on program development and less time on building maintenence. A win-win all around!
3) A mobile fornat keeps programs affordable. I don't ever want to have to raise prices. I want our programs to be something that everyone can participate in. Plus, even if you can afford to spend x amount on classes, do you really want to when you get save the money and still participate in quality programs? I have a feeling the answer is no. We all need to be smart about where our money goes.
I love the partnerships we have been able to form and the amazing people we are fortunate enough to work with at each location! I want you all to know that even though we are "spread around" we aren't going anywhere! Here are our partner locations and why we are there:
Ceres Recreation Department: This partnership holds a very special place in my heart. Ceres is the first place I taught when moving back to the valley in 2004. Many of the current Kid Time programs are based on programs I developed with Recreation Supervisors Traci and Cambria years ago when I taught as a city instructor. Kid Time really, honestly, truly wouldn't even exist today if it wasn't for these two amazing ladies (but that's a story for another blog). Plus, the new community center is AMAZING and so are our Ceres families.
City of Turlock: Years ago, prior to starting Kid Time, I also taught for the City of Turlock. When I first started Kid Time the city was going through some changes that meant we weren't able to contract (hence choosing Turlock for the location of our first studio). Thankfully, that has all been worked out and we are able to work with them once again. We are SO HAPPY to have this partnership back and are loving our classes there!
City of Escalon: There aren't a ton of class options for families in Escalon... which is exactly why we NEED to be there. We love our Escalon families and are so happy to have had the support we have in their community!
Brenda Athletic Clubs: My husband use to teach the owner, Tom Brenda's, daughter in sixth grade. The first time I met Tom was in passing on a date night downtown. He said, "Oh, you're the one who just opened the Center Street location? Good luck!" (insert slightly uncomfortable laughter from me here). I had a mix of thoughts somewhere between, "Oh crap, this guy knows his stuff maybe I should listen?" and "Oh, I'll prove him wrong, let's DO THIS!" if I'm being completely honest. Well, lesson learned on the Center Street location. Thankfully, Tom believes in our program and welcomed us into his facilities with open arms! We love the group fitness room in Turlock and plan to be there for many years to come!
Home Community Church: The staff at Home Community have always made us feel very "at Home". Even though their downtown location has closed we will definitely still be providing FREE children's classes the first Sunday of the month for them at Carnegie (PS. this is totally open to the public. Give us a call if you'd like more information).
The Salvation Army: This is our newest location and we are so happy to the there. The gym is HUGE and so nice! We are able to reach families there that we haven't been able to reach otherwise, and we love that!
The City of Modesto: City of Modesto programs are starting January 2014! Details will be available soon on our website and in the city recreation guide.
City of Patterson: The city of Patterson went through some changes a few years ago (similar to the past changes in Turlock) and we had to pull our programs out. Well, good news... we're coming back to stay in 2014! Details to come...
Fitness Evolution Health Clubs (Formerly known as Fit U): We are on a break due to space limitations at the moment but plan to be back at the Modesto, Riverbank, and Oakdale locations in 2014! Please keep a lookout for details!
Our School Programs: Since our school programs aren't open to the public (only to school participants) I'll keep this short and sweet. We love to be at your child's school and recognize that some families do not have schedules that give them the opportunities to participate in outside programs. Being at the school means that students that otherwise might miss the opportunity can be a part of our programs. Of course we love that! (PS. give us a call if you'd like us at your child's school... we have many options available!)
We are so thankful to be able to work with such a variety of wonderful groups and people! We hope you know that we will do everything we can to bring our programs to you. If there is a location you would like us to be at, please let us know! Afterall, it's about YOU and your families! Feedback is ALWAYS taken into consideration!
So, there is some "insider" information for you. I hope that it helps anyone wondering to understand our company position. I know that it isn't the traditional way of doing things- but we think that it's even better! We hope you agree!
|Posted by kidtimefitnesscompany on April 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
Let's get messy and make some food! Cooking with your kids can be really fun (no, really, it can). Sure, the clean up can be a bit more, but ya know what? They can help with that too. Besides the obvious benefit of teaching your children how to whip up a meal, there are added benefits such as:
1) Opportunities to learn math, science, and reading in a FUN way
2) Squeezing in a little extra family time into the busy day
3) Children are more likely to try new foods if they have a hand in making them
Here is a yummy, and healthy, recipe that is so easy a 3 year old can make it with little help (as you can see) ; )
Eggplant Parm "Pizzas"
We bought an eggplant and I didn't know what to do with it. We aren't big eggplant eaters. We also had some leftover marinara sauce that needed to be used. This is what we came up with.
Eggplant (we used the long skinny kind. No clue what they are called... but you could use any, I'm sure)
Egg (scrambled up)
Bread crumbs (we were out so I grated up the crust of a baguette roll)
Preheat oven to 350
Slice eggplant into thin slices (about 1/2 inch)
Dip the slices into the egg, then the breadcrumbs. We did one side only but you could do both.
Pour the marinara sauce over the top
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes
Take out of the oven and top with italian cheeses
Bake for about 2 more minutes or until the cheese is melted
Enjoy! : )
(Outfit change due to a potty accident while waiting for dinner to get out of the oven... oops!)
Scared to take on a cooking project with your kids at home? Come to us and we'll teach them the basics! We offer Kids-in-the-Kitchen courses through the City of Ceres Recreation Department every summer. The month long course teaches students ages 6 and up how to create delicious (and kid friendly) meals and desserts. A new recipe is featured each week. We also offer holiday themed workshops every month! Here is a link to our Facebook Kids-in-the-Kitchen photo album so you can see the fun!
To register for the Kids-in-the-Kitchen courses or workshops please visit www.ci.ceres.ca.us
Have a happy, healthy day!
|Posted by kidtimefitnesscompany on March 23, 2013 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
My cutie bugs
This morning I woke up laughing. Literally. The first words I heard were Tyler, my almost 10 year old, asking me if he could ride his bike to school by himself with his dad following him in the truck. I gave him the "there-is-no-way-that-is-happening" look and laughed a bit. He responded with, "What about when I'm in 5th grade?". I had no answer to that. Thankfully, they were running late for school and there wasn't time to argue. I sat there for a minute thinking about the two large intersections he'd have to cross and a few hundred parents trying to drop their kid's off on time. I am super lucky that I am married to a teacher (and therefore get to skip the school drop off/ pick up on most days) because I think I would have a panic attack witnessing the crazy driving and other antics around the schools in the morning. There is no way my "baby" is going to ride his bike alone and brave all that.
A couple of weeks ago he had his first sleep over at a friends house (two houses down from ours). This was the first time he has spent the night with someone other than family. I about died. I tried to say no but since I couldn't back up my reason I had to say yes in the end. He had a great time. I spent the evening being teased by my husband for being so paranoid.
I know I'm not alone in this. I see parents all the time at the studio and other classes so freaked out by the idea that their child is in class without them. Even though there are large windows and they can see and hear everything that is going on, they still worry. Especially on the first day of class. I try not to judge. Heck, i can't judge! When I am on the "parent" end of things I know I act the same way. It is hard to let go. Yet, after the first day of class even the most paranoid of parents sees how much their children gained from doing class on their own. They realize that our staff are trained and trustworthy, and that their children do so well being a big-kid in class all "on their own". I also see the opposite happen. Parents that ask if they can drop their 4 or 5 year old off for class and go wait outside or run errands. Since this isn't something that would be natural for me to do as a parent I have to avoid looking at them like they are crazy. But you know what? I can't judge them either. In fact, I might have something to learn from them. You see, these parents don't typically ask that because they don't care to be with their children. They do it because they know their children behave better and learn more when they are out of the room. Usually, they are right (although there are always exceptions- and that goes both ways).
I know my husband, Chris, thinks I'm rediculous. Honestly, I know he's right. But I worry! I worry about all the danger there is in the world and the bad possibilities. I worry that he will get hurt, that he won't know what to do in a given situation, that I might look back on a situation like that and regret saying yes. Isn't my job as him mother to keep him safe? "Yes, it is!" I tell myself. Yet I also know that my job as a mother is to raise a child that is going to make it in the world. A child that is allowed to experience life-and all the good and bad that come with it- and learn from it all. I'm pretty good about this when the kids are WITH me. For example, Ty learned to make his own breakfasts and lunches when he was 5. He was allowed to use dull knives, the microwave, etc. He can now cook pretty much anything- soups from scratch, etc. I don't worry about him going off to college and not knowing how to make a meal for himself. I don't worry about him not helping his wife around the house because he is growing up helping in all areas. And ya know, he loves it! He's good at it! He even talks about opening his own restaurant one day. Had I been to scared to let him near kitchen utensils this would not be the case.
Chris and I both grew up in single-parent households. We are both the oldest. We were in charge of picking our siblings up from their classrooms, walking them home from school, babysitting at a young age, the responsibilities of being home alone, etc. I know this is why we are strong independent adults. We learned how to take care of ourselves, and others, at a young age. Chris use to build tree forts in the woods with his friends. They would "borrow" wood and tools from his grandfather (a contractor who built their cape cod neighborhood). The man can now build practically anything and has built most of the furniture (and even a few rooms) in our house. Kids learn so much from independent play! I watch my children (ages 3 and 9) work in the garage with him and as adorable as I find it, I often have to leave the room. I picture nails through fingers and scenes from that Johnny Cash movie where the older brother gets sawed in half chopping wood. I know that my husband is keeping a close eye and teaching them how to use everything properly, but still... I panic.
I really shouldn't. The fact is, they've never been hurt and they have learned so much. This is probably the case with most of the things I worry about. I know that realistically Ty is in much more danger in the car driving anywhere then he is riding his bike on the nice paved roads with the crossing guards helping him to cross. I know that realistically he has much more to gain from sleepovers with friends then there is to risk. I know that the way that people, kids included, learn is by doing, and that I need to let them "do" more. I know that there are few black and white answers when it comes to parenting and that we have to just try our best to figure out what the "right" decision is for each kid in each situation. Finding that balance between keeping our children safe and helping them to learn independence is a tough one to find. Yet, at some point we have to let them experience life- and not just while with us. We have to let the umbilical cord stretch a bit farther, as my husband would say, if we want them to learn.
And the truth is, the world really is a much safer place then the news lets us think it is. I don't want my children growing up thinking that everything and everyone is dangerous. I want them to grow up feeling secure in their decisions. Trusting their instinct. Knowing how to not just survive, but thrive independently. I know I have to let go, just a bit.
So, this morning I am going to take a deep breath and try my best not to worry about all of the scary "what-ifs" and maybe worry a bit more about what they might be missing out on because of my unrealistic fears. I am going to trust that my son is a smart kid who can be trusted to follow traffic rules with his dad following behind and I am going to look forward to him coming home today to the news that in 5th grade he will be allowed to ride his bike to school on his own with his dad keeping watch. I am going to be proud of myself for raising a child who is not scared to try new things and be thankful that I am fortunate enough as an adult to have the privledge to worry about these "little things" and not be in the situation that my parents were when I was a child. I'm going to remember how safe my neighborhood and our school really is and be thankful to live where I do. And, I'm going to give my 3 year old a big hug and be thankful that she is still so little and that I don't have two children braving the "big world" at the same time without me by their side 24/7... at least not yet. ; )
|Posted by kidtimefitnesscompany on March 14, 2013 at 4:20 PM||comments (1)|
Kid Time Fitness Company is now blogging! Each week we will feature a new article on fitness, health, exercise, education, arts and crafts, cooking with kids, behavior, child development, and more! We would love to know what you would like to read about. Please comment below with your ideas and we will do our best to customize our articles just for you!
Here is who will be writing:
Stay tuned for fun information and helpful articles!