Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Archive for the ‘Parenting/Kids’ category
Posted: November 15th, 2013

Wedding Ring or Engagement Ring on whiteI never thought about the gunk I get on my rings. Or bracelets. Or necklaces. Until I opened an e-mail that told me all about my jewelry germs. Ick!

In a press release, David Bellman, inventor of the Aquasonic Wave jewelry cleaning system, and Dr. Holly Neefe, a pediatrician with 17 years of experience, warned that bacteria gets on our jewelry, and it makes us  carriers for some nasty germs.

Bellman invented the AquaSonic Wave, an at-home professional-quality jewelry cleaning system, but this isn’t a commercial for that. However, it is notable that Bellman’s co-inventor is Dean Kamen,  inventor of the portable kidney dialysis machine, and the Segway — those cool transport systems we ride in big cities, at the peninsula and at Peek ‘n Peak. For more information visit www.aquasonicwave.com.

Here’s an article from Woman’s Day on DIY — how to clean your jewelry at home. It includes quick tips on how to clean pearls, diamonds, sterling silver, gold and turquoise. Here’s an ehow link on how to clean opals.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted: October 24th, 2013

When I see all the cute Halloween costumes, I remember some of the cute stuff my kids wore. And here they are:

Kelly and Ry

Kelly and Ryan — the pumpkins invade!

Howie the lion

Howie roars as a tot. That young woman next to him is making me feel awfully old. This picture is about 25 years old.

Howie and Kelly

I made that Christmas tree costume that Howie is wearing. We all wore it at least once. Kelly was a dinosaur. We turned her sideways so we could see the dino part.

Green

Kelly Potter

In a year of Harry Potter, Kelly made her own costume.Great job, Kell! That old house we lived in had some Hogwarts’ characteristics. I magically raised three kids there.

As the kids got older, they were very clever. Kelly has been a slice of pizza, Mario Brothers’ characters, Woody from “Toy Story” and much more. The boys were football players. And they went through a lot of scream masks. For years. Too many years because I have a box of scream masks.

In recent years, when both my boys lived with us, they were cowboys. I’m not going to embarrass them with that photo, but I do have it. And my oldest went to a party with a last minute costume of a party in his pants. Balloons and other party paraphernalia wrapped around his waist.

Oh the days of partying kids.

Back in the old days on Oakmont Avenue, trick or treating was a trick that I remember. My oldest was 7, and he was recovering after a bout of chicken pox. He became totally “sausted” after we had only hit a few houses. My daughter and youngest son were raring to go, so I carried my oldest one home and took the other two back out. The next day, it was two more kids with chicken pox. That’s a disease that now has a vaccine.

Good thing because it was nasty. My daughter never got very many chicken pox, and she seemed unscathed by the whole thing. My youngest was covered in them, however. Nothing slowed him down, but he was covered. And he itched. My oldest was sick as a dog — fever and miserable. It’s funny how three kids with the same genetic makeup can suffer so differently. At the time, I remember calling it Pam held hostage — I think we hit 21 days before we could send everyone back to school and the babysitter.

This year, no Eckerts are home to celebrate Halloween, but little Mia Parker will visit. She is a pirate, and shiver me timbers, I am looking forward to that.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted: October 6th, 2011

Weddings have arrived for our family, and being a stepfamily opens a new chapter with another wedding on the horizon. Fortunately, it’s not uncharted territory for us. My hubby’s oldest son got married a few years ago. As a stepmom, here’s what I learned:
1. It’s all about the bride and groom and their bio-parents — we steps have nothing to do, but offer support — to our spouses. Silence is golden, and if someone asks your opinion, stay vanilla. No matter what you say, you’ll wish you hadn’t opened your mouth. Now, I’m not saying that’s what I did the first time around. I’m just telling you what I learned.
2. Give the kids a specific sum of money and tell them to enjoy making their plans. It’s easier. That way, the decisions are up to the bride and groom. When all the parents get involved if there’s any disagreement, someone gets hurt. It gets ugly. Just write a check and be supportive. Once again, I’m not saying that’s what we did the first time around. I’m just telling you what I learned.
3. Get approval on your dress or suit or whatever you’re wearing. I DID do this. I wore navy blue. I know wearing beige is what some etiquette guru might suggest, but be careful. Beige isn’t always a good choice for a lot of reasons. Ask the bride and make her happy.
Enjoy it all, and smile. It’s over in a flash. The happiness you see on the kids in their wedding pictures will give you happy memories forever. And once you read all the advice and Q&As on The Knot, you’ll discover that other people had some terrible problems. Be thankful you didn’t have those wedding bell blues.

Posted: October 5th, 2011

“Well of course you can!” I say enthusiastically.
We’ve all encountered the “bring a friend along,” and it’s a great idea … on paper.
Three things I’ve learned:
1. When your darlings start bringing along friends, enjoy it. Make it fun. You will be the odd man out and often more of a driver than a participant, but at least for the ride in the car, you’ll get a chance to KNOW the friends. Take it from me — mom of three and stepmom of three — no one, and I mean no one, will influence your child more than friends.
2. Be prepared if the kids want to ditch you. As kids become ‘tweens, you become invisible, especially at the mall. But relish letting go a little. Watching your child grow up and interact without you is endearing. You’re going to see a little of yourself in that tween. Smile and remember it’s a step toward independence. Give them the space they need, but make sure you have had all the safety discussions in advance.
3.You’re going to find that you don’t like some of the friends, but don’t be judgmental, at least not out loud. My mother was a terrible judge of character. She disliked some of my teen friends that are, to this day, my best buds.
But that doesn’t mean every kid will be a lifelong bud. The bottom line here is that kids change. The overly loud, boisterous and obnoxious friend that your child loves and you dislike might be the lifesaver your youngster needs someday. Trust me on this. A friend can be annoying one year and thoughtful the next. It’s all part of the growing process … for us and our offspring.

Posted: October 1st, 2011

I dodged the bullet on allergies most of this year, but I am paying for it these past few days. Sneezing and itchy-red eyes are my enemy today. I just took a dose of Allegra, which doesn’t always work. So now I am scanning the list of meds at webmd.com One of the few things that works for me is Singulair, which I pretty much take year round. My prescription ran out, so as soon the Her Times 5K is over — it’s off to the pharmacy.
I know how hard this season is on kids, too. None of the kids had the same results. My son did well on Zyrtec for years, but knocked my daughter out. Same with Benadryl.
Although I do hate the feel and taste of nasal sprays, they work. That’s next in my arsenal today. If you can get kids to try it, they often find that it works so well, it is worth the temporary discomfort. I can guarantee it.
See all you ladies at the 5K — I’m the one with the red eyes!

Posted: September 30th, 2011

I never ask people to vote for anything or anyone. Not on Facebook or anyplace else, but I implore everyone to vote for Liz Allen in the Live Fearlessly contest.
If you don’t know Liz, please read the essay submitted. I do know Liz, and she is an extraordinary woman who faced a lot of sadness in her life losing numerous family members in a short time. Yet, Liz never dwells on the sadness. She is an inspiration for all of us.
Liz is the public editor at the Erie Times-News, and I am proud to have known her for decades. Take just a minute to voter for her today — voting ends tonight.
The contest is a statewide honor, and no one deserves it more than Liz.

Posted: September 28th, 2011

The Her Times race is Saturday at the Rotary Pavilion on Presque Isle, and the Her Times staff will be there to root on the more than 800 — that’s right 800 women who will be running for fun, for good health and for private reasons that often inspire me.
Congratulations and a huge thanks to Heather Cass. Without her, there would be no Her Times 5K. Make sure you give her a huge thank-you when you see her!
Last year, an acquaintance of mine told me she ran because her friend, who had passed away, ran it every year. It was a connection to her friend.
This year, we received a call from a woman whose Bible study group is running together. This is one of dozens of group efforts that are all part of the Her Times experience.
Whatever your reason for running, go for it. And walking is just fine, too in this 5K. The 3.2 miles (that’s what a 5K is) isn’t all that far when you do it with friends and enjoy it. It’s going to be a beautiful day — perfect for running. I hear a possibility of showers with temps in the 40s. I’m working the race, so we’ll see you there.
For more info, check out Heather’s blog

Posted: September 27th, 2011

When kids make you laugh so hard, your sides hurt, it might be the middle school years. It’s a time when kids have a somewhat grown-up appearance, but they still have that impishness that makes me grin just thinking about it.
I still laugh when I think of football car pools. No one wanted the return trip home, but I did. The skinny boys of fall were muddy, sweaty and laughing. In our car pool, we had twins who excelled in rapid-fire delivery of Internet jokes that made me laugh so hard, I’d cry.
This hearty half dozen players had also mastered and memorized some “Jeopardy” skits from “Saturday Night Live” starring Will Farrell as the Alex Trebek and Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery.
It was like watching it live.
Now, we also did have practical jokes in school, but these kids did nothing like the tricks I recalled at St. George Elementary School. And many of those kids had grown up to be teachers, principals, lawyers, judges and doctors.
Middle schoolers will make you laugh, make mistakes, make you cry and give you memories. The best advice I ever received about dealing with any of the bad times was from a teacher. “Kids will have rules to follow the rest of their lives. If they break a few now, they’ll learn to stop. We all need to give them a break.
Here’s to middle school mayhem.

Posted: September 26th, 2011

One of the most important things I learned as a mom was to be a mom when the kids were involved in sports. Kids have coaches — lots of them — to tell them how to improve and remind them when they make mistakes.
I found I had to remember that kids are just kids learning how to play a sport they love. They have school, social issues, tests and life to get in the way of athletic performance.
And they have bad days. Just like you and me. Really bad days when their timing is off, the hands work like feet, and the feet seem to be traveling in slow-mo. Those are the days that they really need Mom and Dad to encourage them.
My daughter was the Metro Runner of the year her freshman year, and I reminded her to enjoy it and be humble because runners, especially girls, experience body changes that may or may not work in their favor as they age. While she went on to become a state champ two years in a row, there were days that she was pretty down, and that’s when this mom had to be a cheerleader and congratulate her for all the good runs.
It’s especially tough to watch a kid go from stardom to anonymity. My youngest son, a standout athlete through eighth grade was plagued by injuries in high school that eventually ended his athletic career in just about every sport.
Throughout the seasons of broken bones and shoulder surgery, there were some dark times and some really bad grades. I dug deep to find motivation for him, and I’m glad I did because losing his athletic ability was like losing a part of himself.
It brought us closer and he found some new strengths he never knew he had. So did I. And I’m still cheering.

Posted: September 23rd, 2011

If you need a moment of inspiration, read the blogs of seven brave Erie women who have taken the challenge to lose some serious weight … with the help of Flab to Fab, a workout center in Erie.

The Flab to Fab team

Click on the links below to find out how each individual real woman is handling this. They are losing weight and inches in a team effort that will make you smile and inspire you to jumpstart your own weight loss efforts.
Adria
Casie
Kelly
Melanie
Rita
Steph
Tica
These ladies have shared some raw emotion over the past 10 weeks about the weight loss process in blogs that started at the beginning of the contest in July. Flab to Fab owner Lisa Desko did too. I’m inspired because I know how hard it is to lose weight when life doesn’t make it easy. These gals have proven that working together with professionals has been a big hit. You can see success on their faces and in their blogs.
Take a few minutes, and offer some encouragement. And vote for the woman who inspires you most. Although this contest ends soon, I have a feeling this group will be together long after this contest over.
Congrats ladies. You are an inspiration to all women.

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