Khamis, 7 November 2013

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Parenting

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Parenting

Memories are made of these


Woman creates a memory garden to honour family members and friends.

MEMORIES flourish among the hostas and coral bells in Kathy Roby's garden.

This summer, Roby turned a fenced plot near her house into a memory garden to honour friends and family members – mostly people who have died, but also people who have served in the military.

But there's nothing morbid about the spot. It's a serene space, a place for pleasant recollections and quiet reflection.

Roby decided to start the garden after losing her parents, her in-laws and a friend, all of whom had lived with and been cared for in their final days by her and her husband, Mark Pollock.

In all, six people have occupied the couple's two in-law suites since 1997 – at one point, four people at once, Roby said.

The sixth, a friend of her mother's, recently moved to an assisted living facility after having lived with Roby and Pollock for 13 years.

"Kathy finally got done after 16 years of taking care of these people, so I think she wanted a memorial garden," her husband said.

Roby's work as a funeral director with Hopkins Lawver Funeral Home played into the plan. She is comfortable with death and understands the importance of celebrating the lives of people who have passed on.

And it helped that she had the perfect spot for the garden, a former vegetable patch that had struggled because of too much shade.

A paver walkway divides the memory garden into four sections, each with a theme. At the centre is an angel statue and a weeping cherry tree, chosen because of its name.

Wind chimes from a family member hang on a plant hanger in Kathy Roby's memory garden, September 5, 2013, in Suffield Township, Ohio. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal/MCT)

Wind chimes from a family member hang on a plant hanger in Kathy Roby's memory garden. -MCT

One section of the garden is devoted to her family, one to her husband's family and one to veterans. The fourth is an undedicated space that Roby has filled with plants and garden art that support the theme of remembering.

All through the garden are artifacts that remind Roby and Pollock of their loved ones. The green post that holds a birdhouse came from the porch of Pollock's great-grandfather's house in the Belmont County community of Neffs, Ohio.

The barnstone at its base was from his grandfather's farm in St. Clairsville, Ohio. A bell that was a long-ago gift from Roby's mother is mounted on a yoke and pole Pollock had made for it, which the couple erected near rocks from her great-grandparents' farm.

Roby even had signs made to hang from the fence in both sections, listing the family members who are memorialised there.

The section of fence that edges the veterans' section is hung with plaques honouring family members and friends who have served in the military – some still living, others deceased. An American flag and a flag bearing symbols of the military branches flutter over the garden, which has as its focal point a small bench displaying a pair of vintage Army helmets.

Scattered throughout the memory garden are art pieces that speak to the cycle of life – a birdbath to attract feathered visitors, a stone carved with Ecclesiastes 3 ("To everything there is a season ..."), a likeness of Roby and Pollock's ageing Shih Tzu, Conway.

There are also antiques and mementos the couple has gathered, such as the corn grinder from Pollock's family, the small iron pot that once stood on Roby's grandmother's porch, and the Hopkins Lawver advertising sign that once hung at Paradise Lake Country Club and now honours the late Robert Lawver, the man under whom Roby served her apprenticeship.

It's appropriate that Roby and Pollock have filled the garden with heirlooms. They share a deep respect for their families' history, and they've decorated their house with family antiques and memorabilia – among them, Pollock's old bike, which hangs from the rafters of their living room ceiling, and a bench that incorporates the ends of a pew from the church where his parents were married.

The garden was inspired by one the couple saw that was decorated with old grave markers. Roby wanted to do something similar, but settled on statuary when she couldn't find headstones.

It's a work in progress, she said.

"We're still looking for relics from people in our family," she said. "We'll add things as we find them."

In the meantime, the garden serves as a reminder of the people Roby and Pollock have loved and a place where they can come to think about them.

"I think part of them is here," she said. – Akron Beacon Journal/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Learning to eat


Some children need help overcoming their feeding difficulties.

THEY are the picture of a happy family. Four-year old *Anusha chats animatedly with her parents as she plays with her iPad.

Her mother Saraswathy and her father Buven, fuss over her like only loving parents could. The feeding tube attached to the left side of Anusha's face was the only indication that she has feeding difficulty.

Anusha has hypotonia, which causes her muscles, including those at her mouth and throat, to be weaker than normal. Because she couldn't swallow milk like other infants, she was fed through a tube from the day she was born.

"For many children, eating is something that comes naturally to them. Anusha is different. She has to be fed through a tube since she was young," explained Dr Juriza Ismail, a paediatrician at the Feeding Disorder Clinic in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

"She has to be taught how to bite, chew and swallow her food."

Anusha, now four, is still fed liquid nutritional supplement for children through a tube. Her parents have been trying to get her to eat solid foods.

So far, Anusha enjoys snacks that melt easily in her mouth. However, when it comes to more solid food, she would just let the morsels remain in her mouth and rarely swallows them.

Anusha is an intelligent and active girl. Still, her parents are worried her feeding difficulty will make it difficult for their daughter to fit in with other children.

According to dietitian Ruzana Abdullah, Anusha often refused to eat when her parents first brought her to the feeding disorder clinic a few months ago. She had been referred to the clinic for further evaluation and also to gauge the possibility of feeding via gastrostomy.

After a careful evaluation, a team of multidisciplinary experts, which included Dr Juriza and Ruzana, found that Anusha's eating skills were emerging and could be improved by proper meal planning and feeding method.

They proceeded to work closely with Anusha's parents to formulate a meal plan specially designed just for her. The team also offered guidance and advice to her parents on how to best feed their daughter.

To help children with feeding difficulties, it is important to work with specialists over a series of follow-up visits after the first consultation.

This is to ensure that patients develop permanent improvements in their eating behaviour.

In just a few months of follow-up sessions with different specialists, Anusha has shown improvements that has left her parents overjoyed.

Her mother Saraswathy said, "It's amazing how my daughter is now eating bigger portions."

Anusha has also developed more interest in solid food. "Now, whenever I blend her food, she would rub her tummy and say 'Yummy!' in anticipation!"

"It's our hope that Anusha would learn how to eat like other children by the time she is old enough to go to school," said Saraswathy.

They still have some way to go in helping Anusha overcome her eating disorder, but her parents are so much more hopeful now. With the expert treatment and follow-ups Anusha receives, they believe there is now a ray of light at the end of the tunnel.

Feeding difficulties have the potential to negatively affect a child's growth, development and behaviour.

Since 2012, the Malaysian Paediatric Association has collaborated with Abbott Nutrition to promote Identification and Management of Feeding Difficulties (IMFeD), a tool that allows for efficient and effective diagnosis of childhood feeding difficulties. For more information, visit

This article was contributed by the IMFeD programme, spearheaded by the Malaysian Paediatric Association in collaboration with Abbott Nutrition Malaysia.

*The names of the child and their parents have been changed for privacy reasons.

Babywearing comforts


To prevent hurting your back, parents should try babywearing, says
chiropractor Moira Robertson (left). Homemaker Jasbir Kaur admits that babywearing takes getting used to, but is well worth the time. 

To protect their backs from the strain of carrying their babies, Robertson is advising parents to try babywearing, which is wearing or carrying a baby in any type of assisted carriers designed to provide comfort to parents and baby. Some of the more popular baby carrier types include the soft-structured carrier, hammock-style sling and toddler-friendly waist belt.

"Baby carriers are designed to evenly distribute a baby's weight between the wearer's hips and shoulders. When your child grows from 3kg to 10kg, all the weight will go into your hips. That practically leaves no pressure on your spine, as compared to carrying your baby without one," Robertson explains.

Homemaker Tan Shu Yin from Penang recently travelled to Singapore with her two kids in tow. She held her four-year-old Lim Yiu-Shern with one hand, luggage in another, and her one-year-old Lim Yiu-Khye strapped onto her front in a soft-structured carrier.

"I used to have lower back ache from carrying my firstborn. I only started babywearing when my younger son Khye was born, since it's near impossible to handle two strollers whenever I'm out alone with the kids. During the trip to Singapore, I carried Khye for 12 hours a day, five days in a row. And when I came home, I had no back aches," relates the 31-year-old Tan.

Robertson says that good carriers must have a wide-enough base to support the natural development of the baby's hip joints.

You may have noticed that newborn babies have very 'open' legs. The position actually allows for healthy hip development – the force-straightening of the legs to a standing position, on the other hand, can loosen joints and damage the soft cartilage of the socket. Improper postnatal wrapping, swaddling or carrying can lead to infant or child hip dysplasia, which is the deformation or misalignment of the hip joint.

"Parents should avoid crotch carriers or crotch danglers where the child's legs and hips are dangling down or straightened as these do not allow the child's hip to sit in the socket," Robertson warns.

Fuss-free babies

Research has also shown that babies fuss less when in slings or carriers. Having their parents' body warmth, familiar scent and breathing patterns close by make them feel loved and secure.

Mother-of-three Jasbir Kaur, 38, who started babywearing with her youngest, Sadhanaa Kaur Nanva, noticed that the 19-month-old is a much calmer baby compared to her older sisters.

"I didn't use the baby carrier on my two older children because I wasn't comfortable with it then. When Sadhanaa was born, I gave it another go. I think she turned out much calmer, and I'm much calmer too. I can respond to her cues easily and know almost immediately when she's hungry or when she needs her diaper changed. She hardly cries and has never once had issues with colic," says the homemaker, who is now a strong advocate of babywearing and an active member of the local babywearing community.

But Jasbir warns that perseverence is key in getting used to babywearing. "Initially, I found babywearing quite uncomfortable and my daughter didn't like it. It's not like a dress that you can just put on. It's all about trial and error and you have to keep trying, even if your baby refuses to co-operate. Now I have the carrier on the most part of the day. When I put Sadhanaa in the carrier, she'd fall asleep within minutes, and I'd just carry about my daily chores."

Indeed, babywearing allows a mother to multi-task and at the same time, watch over her child. Jasbir has also found it convenient to nurse in public, as most baby carriers are designed to allow discreet breastfeeding.

There are many different carriers available in the market, across the price range. Those who are planning to purchase one as a gift should actually refrain from doing so – the decision is best left to parents who should take the time to test out the carriers before buying one.

If babywearing is for you, here are some more things to keep in mind. In her book, Babywearing: The Benefits And Beauty Of This Ancient Tradition, Texas-based Maria Giangiulio Blois points out that parents who babywear need to stay attentive to the baby's interaction with the environment.

Parents also need a little more space to turn around to avoid bumping the baby into counters and doorways, and carriers must be fit snugly and properly to prevent an active baby from wiggling out, she adds.

"As the baby has more freedom of movement and is closer to the adult point of view in a sling, compared to the knee's eye view of a stroller, parents must also watch to prevent the baby from grabbing hot drinks or other dangerous items," Blois writes.


0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved