• Kindred: Transforming we to they

    We are all a little more alike than we probably realize. Each day this month we will share stories to highlight our kindred spirits. You'll witness happiness at its truest, struggle at its most genuine and humanity in its purest form.

    Hopefully, you will shift they to we, and together we'll build a more empathetic, understanding community.

    Follow us on FacebookInstagram, Twitter to see the stories for yourself.

  • Wanted: Soft Fabric for Community Quilters


    There is nothing sweeter than seeing a baby in a handmade quilt. The baby’s eyes light up when they see all the colors and patterns. The added warmth and comfort of the new hand-made quilt seems to be uplifting to both the baby and the parent. For many years, the ladies at Oklahoma Quiltworks have lovingly created the most beautiful quilts for the babies and toddlers at Infant Crisis Services. The time, talent and dedication put into these quilts is nothing short of amazing.

     

    The Oklahoma Quiltworks is a group of seven extraordinary talented ladies, who volunteer to make quilts. Together, they have hand-stitched thousands of quilts for Infant Crisis Services. Each quilt is stitched with love and prayers for the baby or toddler who receives it. Our friends at the Oklahoma Quiltworks craft from donations of fabric and batting. Currently, our friends are struggling to get quality baby print fabric. If you or someone you know would like to donate soft fabric with baby or toddler patterns, please bring it to Infant Crisis Services.  We will happily deliver it to Oklahoma Quiltworks and their wonderful volunteers who will use it to create a special one-of-a-kind blanket for a baby or toddler in need.

    Click here to find out where you can drop off donations. 

    Beth Lykins

    Director of Volunteer Programs

    Infant Crisis Services, Inc.


  • More than Stranger Danger

    We all know how to talk with our children about stranger danger, but child abuse, especially sexual abuse, is a difficult topic to discuss for most adults. It's uncomfortable to think about your child or a child you care for being harmed or mistreated in any way. But, when it comes to our kids, we have to step up to the plate, be aware of the signs and act responsibly. The fact of the matter is, sexual abuse is a reality and it happens every day. It's likely you know a child who has been or is being abused. Do you know what to do about it? As a parent, here's what you need to know about sexual abuse:

    Step 1: Learn the facts

    • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the time they are 18.
    • 90% of them know and trust their abuser - it's not a stranger hiding in the bushes.
    • 40% of abusers are older or larger than children
    • Over 6,000 Oklahoma children were sexually abused in 2014

    Step 2: Minimize Opportunity

    Eliminate or reduce one adult to one child situations where your child is alone with another adult. You have the power and the right to protect your child.

    • Choose group situations carefully.
    • Make sure interactions can be observed and interrupted.
    • Demand best practices in schools and organizations that serve your children: background checks, in person interviews, reference checks, code of conduct, policies in place, prevention training for staff.

    Step 3: Talk about it

    One of the best protections against abuse is our relationship with our children. Encourage open conversations with your children regularly. Only 29% of parents talk with their children about personal safety. Ask your child to unplug from their computer or phone for a few minutes and talk about the tough issues.

    • Understand why children are afraid to tell.
    • Know how children communicate
    • Talk openly. If an incident does arise, you don't want any confusion about what happened when your child tells his or her story to the police.
    • Talk often. Have regular dialogue with your kids about lots of different topics so you're both comfortable talking when the subject of abuse is brought up.
    • Have touching rules. Your family has rules about not getting in a car with strangers or crossing the street safely. Include rules about right touch and wrong touch in your family rules. Explain to your child that private body parts (or bathing suit areas) are their own parts and no one is supposed to touch them there.
    • Make sure children know that it's OK to tell if someone touches them inappropriately.

    Step 4: Recognize the signs

    Physical signs of abuse are not as common as emotional and behavioral signs. Look for:

    • Withdrawal
    • Depression
    • Anger, rebellion, defiance
    • Fear of situations or people
    • Sexual behavior or language
    • Failing grades or rising grades
    • Use of alcohol or drugs
    • A change in behavior 

    Step 5: React Responsibly

    If your child tells you someone has touched them inappropriately,

    • Be calm.
    • Listen carefully.
    • Don't rush.
    • Ask open-ended questions.
    • Believe the child.
    • Tell them he/she has done nothing wrong.
    • Affirm the child's courage/
    • Seek professional help.

    Commit to having open and honest dialogue with your children. Get out of your comfort zone and talk to them about personal safety. Your relationship will grow as a result and your children will be safer.

    For information on how to talk with your children or to schedule our More than Stranger Danger workshop for your group, contact Family builders at 405.232.8226 or email egrunewald@familybuildersok.org.

     

  • DIY: Baby Food

    All parents want their children to be healthy and happy. One way to ensure that your child is receiving all the necessary nutrients to grow healthy while also avoiding preservatives that may be added to store bought food is by make your own baby food. You may think that making your own baby food will be costly, take too much time or require fancy equipment.

    The cost of making your own baby food is about 20 cents per 1 ounce, while the cost to buy 1 ounce of baby food is more than double the cost! There is no special equipment required to make baby food. All you will need is a blender or masher, ice cube trays, a freezer, and storage bags or containers. The best part of making your own baby food is that you decide what your baby is eating so you won’t have to worry about added ingredients.

     

    The ONIE Project has developed a guide for making baby food at home that is quick and easy.

    1. Keep it Clean 

    • Wash fresh produce in warm, clear water.
    • For items like sweet potatoes that have a tough skin, use a vegetable brush.

    2. Separate

    • Make each baby food by itself.
    • Use clean knives, cutting boards, pans, etc. for each food.
    • Cook and freeze baby foods separately; you can mix together at mealtime.

    3. Prepare

    • Cook the food in plain or bottled water.
    • Do not add salt or sugar (A baby has more sensitive taste than grown-ups and will like the plain food just as it is).
    • When tender, put cooked food into a blender or mash to the right texture. Add some water or 100% apple juice if it needs to be thinner.

    4. Freeze

    • Freeze the baby food overnight in an ice cube tray.

    5. Store

    • Pop out frozen cubes; store in a new plastic freezer bag; label and date.
    • Keep frozen; no quality loss for up to 3 months.

    6. Serve

    • Remove as much as needed. Each “cube” has about 1 ounce of baby food (2 tablespoons).
    • Reheat and test temperature.

     Meats

    • Use only plain meats.
    • If you are cooking a roast for the family, do not make baby food from it if you added salt, onion soup mix or mushroom soup to the pot.
    • Check meats for doneness with a food thermometer. Be sure all meats are cooked to 165 degrees so that harmful germs are killed.
    • Use a blender for young babies who need a smooth texture

    Fruits

    • Cook fresh fruits in juice soon after peeling or cutting.
    • Heat kills enzymes that cause browning.

    Thank you reading our guest blog and we hope you have a happy and healthy day!


  • Food Play is Good Play

    It is important to start healthy eating habits at a young age. This may be a tough task for mothers as kids are quick to decide what they like or dislike. Fruits and vegetables tend to not be at the top of a child’s favorite foods list. It may not even be that they don’t like the taste but rather they do not like the way the food looks. Maybe they have heard that the food does not taste good so they are unwilling to try it.

    The ONIE Project has a couple of suggestions for helping your child develop a taste for fruits and vegetables. First, let your child help with choosing fruits and vegetables. When at the grocery store let your child pick one fruit and one vegetable that the family will eat with their dinner or as a snack. Also, try choosing two or three new fruits and vegetables for your child to pick from to keep them from choosing the same regularly. When preparing the fruits and vegetables let your child help, whether it is adding seasonings or simply placing the food on a plate.

    Second, let your child play with the food. The ONIE Project loves to create fun snacks with fruits and vegetables that let children have a hands-on experience. Some of our favorite snacks are making funny faces using fruit, creating fruit rainbows, making ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, and raisins), apple cars, and making apple smiles (apple wedges, peanut butter, and raisins). Fruits and vegetables can be a lot of fun for children and parents alike.

    Playing with food and allowing the children to choose fruits and vegetables not only helps in expanding the child’s opinion of fruits and vegetables, but also helps in developing motor skills, recognizing colors and shapes, and can help improve their communication skills.



  • A Reason to Celebrate

    At Infant Crisis Services, it always seems there is someone on our staff who is either getting married or having a baby. This year, our outreach coordinator, Nicole Gifford, is tying the knot.  

    She and her longtime sweetheart, Zak, are getting married in November. The two of them make a beautiful couple! I am not exaggerating when I say they look like Barbie and Ken!

    Nicole came to us in September 2013 as a bilingual client services coordinator. Her love for the babies and her passion for our mission are evident. She stepped into the outreach position a few months later and is primarily responsible for expanding awareness in the communities that we serve so potential clients know about us. She has done a great job in that position and has been a true blessing to have on staff!

    As I've said before, we are like a big extended family at Infant Crisis Services. So in true family form, we celebrated Nicole's big day by hosting a wedding shower the bride-to-be. I wanted to share a few pictures from the shower. Feel free to leave your best wishes and best advice to the bride and groom in the comment section.

    Congratulations Nicole and Zak! We love you!

     

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