Jeannie Fleming-GiffordAuthor

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford is a mama to one little lady, freelance writer, and the director of education for a non-profit community school of the arts. Graduating with a B.A. in Music and a M.A. in Child Development, Jeannie began her career in quality child development programs as a teacher, then moved into creative administrative roles with science centers, symphony orchestras and arts programs. Owner of 170+ year old house, Jeannie loves living in small town America where walks to the park and bike rides to the coffeeshop are part of her everyday adventures. In her spare time, Jeannie enjoys yoga, dark chocolate, long walks with her two black labrador retrievers and, of course, the everyday fun parenthood brings.

Babies Vs. Puppies

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Babies Vs. Puppies Picture

Are you ready for another one? I always smirk when I am asked this question. I smile and provide the same answer, “I know my limitations.”

The truth is, I’m not sure I AM ready for another one (“one” being a baby). I am not sure I ever will be. Is one enough? …
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newborn sleeping on mother

“I love nothing more than to have Edison sleep on my chest.” It was a simple Facebook status update that got a lot of “likes.” What is NOT to like about a newborn sleeping across your chest? Bliss.

As I read this new mama’s status update, I was easily transported to the early months of my daughter’s life when I lounged in a recliner snuggling with my little girl. At that moment, there was nothing I loved more. Having a newborn sleeping peacefully on you is pretty darn close to heaven.

The status update stuck with me and I thought there has to be more to it. What is this amazing feeling? Why does it occur? …
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Remembering: Talking to Children about Loss Picture

Today is my grandmother’s birthday. Eleanor Jean Rose was born in 1926. Like many of her generation, she skipped out of high school in her teens to marry and start a family. She gave birth to a daughter and a son. She embraced her days of caring for her family while also working outside the home to meet the needs of her family. In her middle years, she cared for her husband as he battled, and eventually lost his fight to cancer. In her 50’s, she decided to complete her coursework and graduate from high school. Through it all, she sang and whistled each morning and never forgot to laugh. …
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I Want: How Do You Handle Holiday Wishes? Picture

It’s not even Halloween and I’ve already heard the words. What words? “I want.” As in, I want THAT. I want THIS. I want THOSE. Of course, it doesn’t help that it seems the mailman is already bringing catalogs filled with “holiday cheer.” Filled with the latest gizmos and gadgets, my child is already eyeing her wishes for this holiday season.

Are you ready to take on the upcoming holiday season? Truthfully, I don’t even want to face it. Our playroom is still filled to the brim with last year’s “joy.” Really, what could this child possibly want? …
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Seeing IS Believing

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

baby tiger

I hope your Halloween is filled with more treat than tricks. As a parent of a young child, I often find this holiday a bit trickier than I like it to be.

You see, my kiddo – as does yours – believes what they see, and then has the power to add a little magical thinking to make it even more than it is. Thanks to Jean Piaget (Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher) for creating a great little theory on cognitive development (or how children think). Essentially, what Piaget theorized is that young children learn through their senses and, at the earliest stage, do not have the ability to logically manipulate the information they intake.

What does all this have to do with Halloween? …
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How to Reduce Your Child’s Stress Picture

Stressed. For once, I’m not talking about myself. It may be worse; I am talking about children.

How do you know when your child is stressed? Do children get stressed? You bet.

Sometimes we look at our children and we may think of their lives as “easy peasy.” We feed them, change their clothes, clean-up their rooms, help brush their teeth, bathe them, play with them, take them here and there, and snuggle them. Who could ask for anything more? …
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Thursday, October 18th, 2012

dressing toddler

There was a time when all I seemed to hear is “I DO IT.” As a young toddler with a rapidly growing vocabulary, she was very proud of those words. She happily asserted herself and attempted nearly anything and everything. She often wasn’t successful. Sometimes, these attempts would end in tears, or worse yet – a full blown tantrum.

Today, I’m longing for “I DO IT.” I miss it. These days I’m hearing a lot more of “YOU do it.” It’s about picking up her shirt, putting on her shoes, brushing her hair, wiping her bottom, and the task list goes on. I’m starting to wonder, who IS running this show? …
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Pregnant and Smokin’ (Not in a Good Way) Picture

Are you smoking while pregnant? Unfortunately, I’m not talking about how gorgeous you look with that baby belly. I’m talking about cigarettes.

There are some things I never considered while pregnant. Smoking was one of them. However, that was an easy choice. I wasn’t a smoker before I became pregnant. My vice? Coffee. Did I give up my beloved cup of java while preggo? Absolutely not. I did try to cut back a little, but I wasn’t going cold turkey and giving it up.

It’s with my caffeine addiction that I can kind of understand why it was that recently I saw what looked like a mama-to-be lighting up and smoking a cigarette. As I drove by, I couldn’t help but gawk. …
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Dazzling Divas

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Dazzling Divas Picture

Who do you imagine your little girl becoming? Do you have a vision for her? A long time ago in a land far away, called graduate school, I spent my time researching environmental versus genetic impact of who we become. I concluded that as parents we certainly DO have impact on who our children become. However, so does genetics. My theory was proven when I became a parent myself. There simply seems that there are some qualities that are just WHO my child is, from the day she was born.

I was reminded of all this while recently watching a parade with my family. …
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Sick Kid? How to Know When to Call the Pediatrician Picture

‘Tis the season. The kiddo and I are curled up on the couch today. It’s a bummer when your little one is sick. It’s a double bummer when BOTH you and your child are ill. As I’m bundled up under a blanket, half-watching one more episode of Clifford, I’m also wondering where we go from here. We are sick. Are we “call the doctor sick?” How do you know? …
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