The Yenka. Enrique and Ana's song for children

Calimera: origin and meaning of the name for girl Calimera

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Are family holidays at the end of the year a source of pleasure?

The end of the year promises to be with family reunion ... But sometimes to make everything go well between the irascible Aunt Mado, the grumpy pre-teen and step-dad, is the diplomatic feat even the mission impossible ! In the end, would you say that family reunions are great or it's hell?

The end-of-year family celebrations are:

A puzzleA source of pleasureThe least possible



Cord Blood Center facilitates stem cell treatment for a three-year-old patient

Cord Blood Center, the first stem cell bank in Romania, announces the release and first use of a placental blood transplant for a Romanian patient suffering from cerebral palsy. After a prior evaluation, specialists at Duke University Hospital accepted the use of the graft. Thus, Alex, three years old, will be leaving for the United States at the beginning of February, where he will be given his own placental blood transplant processed and stored by the specialists of Cord Blood Center in the laboratory in Bucharest.

"Cord Blood Center not only stores placental blood and related stem cells, but aims to help clients, if need be, for a transplant. Alex's case also suffers from a condition that can be treated with his own stem cells. "The therapy the child will benefit from is still experimental, but has proven useful in different cases treated at Duke University Hospital," said Cord Cord Center General Manager Dr. Tudor Panu.

In 2010 Cord Blood Center initiated the program "Support for transplantation", which is with all its clients, offering them in case of need financial support of up to 185,000 euros for a transplant abroad.

"Similarly, in Alex's case, Cord Blood Center not only facilitates access to treatment, but will also support all expenses related to travel and therapy to be performed soon in the United States, in one of the top 10 elite medical institutions. from the US, "added Dr. Tudor Panu.

Alex was born healthy, but at the age of 11 months, he had an accident that changed the life of the whole family. He drowned during a meal and suffered a respiratory arrest. The minutes that elapsed until the cardiorespiratory resuscitation resulted in severe neurological injury, with subsequent diagnosis of cerebral palsy. There was a struggle with life, many months spent in different hospitals in Europe and a long series of therapies for the little boy who, after the accident, was immobilized and lost the ability to swallow food alone. For more than two years, the family has been trying hard to help him maintain good physical condition and make progress. The child's daily program includes sessions of kinetotherapy, swallowing, massage, acupuncture, osteopathy, hydrotherapy and hypotherapy. Periodically, the family goes to Ukraine where they attend a 2-week intensive recovery session.

"By accepting and administering the graft in Alex's case, we receive a new confirmation of the quality of the graft processed by experts in the CB Grup laboratories. We hope that after this transplant, certain brain cells will be stimulated to activate and Alex's learning capacity. to grow, "said Dr. Tudor Panu

Alex's parents chose to store placental blood stem cells at Alex's birth after careful documentation and after they were convinced that innovations are taking place in stem cell therapies.

"As a parent, you can never say that you have done too much and ... you can never stop," confesses Alex's father, George.

Did you know that:

• In Romania, less than 10% of the newborns benefit from stem cell harvesting.

• In the last 12 years, the number of transplants using umbilical blood grafts has increased 10 times.

• Over 25,000 umbilical blood grafts were used worldwide, until 2012, to treat various conditions.

• 1/200 are the chances that a person will need a transplant with his own graft or a related transplant, during a life of 70 years.

'I spy': turn-taking and talking activity for children 3-6 years

'I spy': a turn-taking and talking game

'I spy' is a simple game that you and your child can play anywhere.

'I spy' is a turn-taking game, so it helps to develop your child's social skills. When your child waits for her turn, she's learning how to play and cooperate with others.

'I spy' is also great for building your child's vocabulary and understanding of language. That's because your child has to think of the names of objects and the letters they begin with, if he can.

What you need for 'I spy'

You can play this game anywhere. You just need to be able to look around and talk with your child. You don't need any special equipment.

How to play 'I spy'

Decide who starts. You could choose the youngest person, or the person whose name starts with the letter closest to the start of the alphabet.

The player who starts picks an object that everyone can see. The player gives the first letter of the object as a clue. For example, if the player chooses a fence, she says, 'I spy with my little eye something beginning with F'.

Players take turns to call out guesses until someone gets the right answer. The first person to guess correctly gets the next turn to choose an object.

Adapting 'I spy' for children of different ages

You can easily adapt 'I spy' for older and younger children.

Your younger child can give his clue in a way that doesn't involve letters. For example, he could say, 'I spy with my little eye something that I can eat' or 'I spy with my little eye something that is red'.

Your older child could change the rules to make the game more interesting. For example, each player gets to ask three questions about the object with a 'yes' or 'no' answer before they take one guess.

Changing rules or making up new rules can be a great way for children to learn about solving problems together and being flexible. But it's important to go over new rules before you start playing, to make sure everyone understands what's going on.

5. Enjoy

Gradually, the pace and intensity of suction weaken. Your baby, sated, relaxes, sometimes even falls asleep. It is advisable to let him "finish" the first breast, that is to say to let go of himself or doze - around a quarter of an hour according to the babies - before offering him the second. But it is better not to interrupt it for that.Although the "food" part of breastfeeding is over, your baby may continue to suckle for pleasure. If you have time, let it go. Finally, slide your little clean finger between his gums to extend his jaws: it will naturally release your nipple.At the next feeding, you give him the second breast first.

Gradually, the pace and intensity of suction weaken. Your baby, sated, relaxes, sometimes even falls asleep. It is advisable to let him "finish" the first breast, that is to say to let go of himself or doze - around a quarter of an hour according to the babies - before offering him the second. But it is better not to interrupt for this.
Even if the "food" part of breastfeeding is over, your baby may continue to suckle for pleasure. If you have time, let it go. Finally, slide your little finger clean between her gums to extend her jaws: it will naturally release your nipple.
At the next feeding, you will give him the second breast first.


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Pumpkin-fish gratin (Ainhoa)

I liked to give my daughter the same dish as us, that I did not dirty for the occasion. Here is one she liked immediately, for its sweet taste and at the same time a little relieved.


  • For 6 persons :
  • - 800g of white fish (place for example)
  • - 4 tbsp. tablespoon of olive oil
  • - 1 clove of minced garlic
  • - 1 C. paprika
  • - 1 C. cumin
  • - juice of half a lemon
  • - 10 sprigs of chopped coriander (or parsley)
  • with a pumpkin puree:
  • - 1,5kg of pumpkin
  • - 4 tbsp. thick cream
  • + a knob of butter for the dish
  • + for the gratin, you can add either hazelnut butter, or grated cheese (but it's salty!), or breadcrumbs ...


Preheat the oven to 180 ° (thermostat 6). Peel the pumpkin, cut into pieces, steam or in very little water for about 20 minutes. Immerse the fish in cold water and poach it for 5 minutes from the beginning of boiling. Drain it and put it on paper towels. In a bowl, mix olive oil, minced garlic, spices, lemon juice and coriander. Crush the pumpkin pieces with a potato masher by adding the cream. Butter a gratin dish. Drain the fish at the bottom of the dish. Top with oil-spice mixture and cover with pumpkin puree. Sprinkle with hazelnut butter (or bread crumbs or grated cheese) and bake for about 20 minutes. Enjoy your meal !

How to raise independent kids the German way

After Sara Zaske moved from Oregon to Berlin with her husband and toddler, it didn’t take long for her to see the German cultural value of selbständigkeit – self-reliance – in action.

It was obvious at the playground, where the children ran unsupervised and swung from structures made of rope and metal, free from the watchful eyes of parents.

“In America we might call this ‘free-range’ parenting, but in Germany it’s normal parenting,” Zaske writes in the new book, Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children.

Part-memoir, part-parenting guide, the book details what Zaske learned about raising independent children during the nearly 7 years her family spent in Germany.

In Berlin, kids walk to school by themselves, navigate public transportation, cut food with sharp knives, even play with fire, prompting Zaske to wonder if Germany was an example of how we could do things differently in the U.S.

“I had always considered myself a relaxed parent, but living in Berlin showed me how much I had absorbed of modern American parenting style,” she writes.

Some of the biggest lessons she learns include:

• At daycare and on the playground, allow children to make the rules and discipline themselves.

“Our kita’s (kindergarten’s) philosophy was that the kids themselves were the best ones to enforce their own rules and solve their own conflicts – that they learn best from each other what is socially acceptable behavior,” Zaske writes.

• Spend time outdoors.

A German saying, “Es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter, es gibt nur falsche Kleidung,” roughly translates to “There’s no bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”

“We were outside almost every day, spending time in a different park every weekend, in all weather conditions,” Zaske says. “It was a shock, and kind of disappointing, to return to America and hardly see any kids outside on a sunny day.”

Give children physical independence.

Zaske details several examples including how German children use pedal-less laufrad (walking bikes – often called balance bikes in the U.S.) to learn the rules of the road, gain confidence, and move independently of their parents.

“It seems like a small thing, but it helps kids feel capable,” Zaske says. “They know that you trust them.”

As another mother tells Zaske, “I want (my children) to be independent and proud of what they can do. If I’m always with them, they won’t be.”

Teach children to engage with dangerous things, such as fire, in safe ways.

Zaske interviews a fire safety expert who says our natural human fascination with fire is strong, so prohibiting children from using fire means they will do it in secret. And if kids have no experience with matches, they don’t know how to hold them or put them out, so they burn their fingers, drop the match, or light something on fire.

Likewise, children in Germany are also taught to manage other dangerous objects, like tools and knives, so they understand how to wield them safely.

“It was baffling to me at first, but in retrospect it makes a lot of sense,” she says.

• Offer children spiritual and intellectual freedom too.

“As parents, we can exercise an enormous amount of power over our children if we want to … if we misuse that power to try to force them to think the way we do, or do exactly what we want, our children may not forgive us when they’re older,” Zaske writes.

Back home in the U.S.

The author now lives in Idaho with her husband and children – Sophia, age 11, and 8-year-old Ozzie, who was born in Berlin – and finding a way to make Germany’s anti-authoritarian philosophies work in the land of helicopter parenting.

“I caught myself being American here when terrorist attacks started to happen,” she says. “My daughter came to talk to me about some things she heard at school, and I realized I need to be really open with her about difficult topics, otherwise they hear all kinds of crazy information.

“We try to shelter kids too much.”

It’s possible for American parents to foster emotional and intellectual independence in our children, she says, though it’s more of a challenge.

“You have to admit that many of the things they do in Germany involve an entire society and support system,” Zaske says. “Healthcare. Subsidized childcare. A substantial maternity leave. Those aren’t systems we have in place here.”

That said, there are still things well within our control as parents.

“At the very least we can lose some of our guilt,” Zaske says. “There’s often a stigma attached to daycare, but if you find a good daycare system for your child, that’s such a positive experience. They are starting to establish themselves in the world without you, and that’s a good thing.

“You can also spend more time outdoors, and allow your child to play freely. Let them achieve things without you.”

Read more about Sara Zaske and her work here. Pick up Achtung Baby or read an excerpt here.

How are you raising a self-reliant child?

Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.

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