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TRAINING DAY As many of you know, I’ve been dealing with an injury in recent months. Last October, I twisted my left ankle in the house. That was bad enough, but to make matters even worse, I fell as a result. I landed on one of my son’s toys and twisted the same ankle again . The result was a badly hurt ankle that I had to take care of all fall and winter. Many of you saw me during the healing process, and you may have noticed I wore sneakers in the office because of doctor’s orders. You might not know this, but I really don’t like wearing sneakers, especially in the office. In my opinion, it’s just not how an attorney should dress. But what really bothered me about my ankle was that I had to stop physical activities like running. But no more! Recently, I got the go-ahead to start walking — and then running — again! And that means that every day since has been training day.
back into my old routine. But that’s a good way to get hurt again, so I’ve held back. I’m taking it easy, at least at first.
When you train, it helps to have something to train for. My goal is to participate in the Pike’s Peak 10K race that happens on April 29. I’ve run it before, and it’s really a fantastic event. The first little bit is uphill, but the rest of the course is downhill. It’s a fun race, and it brings in a lot of really skilled runners to Montgomery County. That’s because the Pike’s Peak race has a reputation for being a good place to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and many people want to do that. Of course, safety is important in a road race like this one. Tragedy can happen when people are running on the roads — take a look inside this newsletter for some running safety tips — and the organizers do a great job of closing the course off to traffic. It’s a fun time for our whole family. And perhaps best of all, there’s a fun run for the kids after the main race is over.
The goal? From couch to 10K by the end of April. It hasn’t been easy, but to be honest the hardest part is taking things step by step. After the doctor said I was healed enough to start walking and running, I wanted to jump right
As you can tell, I’m really looking forward to it, and I’m training hard as well. Who knows? Perhaps I’ll see a few of you there.
Have a great March!
–Meliha Perez Halp ern
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Your Dinner Table Might Be the Key to a Happier Family
BE FLEXIBLE ABOUT MEALTIMES Dinner doesn’t have to be at 6 p.m. on the dot. If Kamala has a karate tournament in the evening or Peter needs to stay late at school for art club, why not break out the healthy snacks and make dinner happen a little later or earlier? Plus, the meal you share as a family doesn’t have to be at dinnertime. If there’s time in the mornings, sit down for breakfast. If you have the opportunity on weekends or during a school break, grab lunch together. CALL ALL HANDS ON DECK Mom or Dad shouldn’t be expected to cook by themselves for every meal. This is family time, after all, so call in the kids! Make sure their tasks are age-appropriate — leave sautéing vegetables to the high schooler and let your first-grader set out the cups instead. This is the perfect opportunity to teach kids valuable kitchen
The family dinner is a staple of years gone by. These days, the only time you see a family sit together and break bread seems to be at Thanksgiving. This is a shame, because regular family dinners are incredibly important! It’s a time to bond with your loved ones that can have a positive impact on your kids’ lives. A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that kids who regularly partake in family meals are less likely to experience depression or engage in drug use. Furthermore, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University determined that kids who eat family meals five to seven times a week bring home higher report cards. Even when schedules are busy, you can make family dinners fit into your agenda with these tips.
skills and to take some of the burden off your plate. Plus, if your kids are picky eaters, inviting them to be part of the cooking process can make them more inclined to try the finished product. DON’T STRESS YOURSELF OUT It’s okay if you’re too busy on a Monday to cook dinner. There’s always Tuesday. Or you can take a trip to your favorite family restaurant. Family meals should be fun, and that can’t happen if you’re stressed. Don’t feel pressured to make each meal perfect or to prepare a three-course dinner every night. Chicken and rice can get the job done as long as you’re all sitting around the table as a family. No matter how hectic your schedule may be, making family meals a priority is always worth the investment. Who’s in the mood for meatloaf?
DRUNK DRIVING DANGERS What do Christmas, Halloween, New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Fourth of July, and Labor Day have in common? These are all holidays where people often consume too much alcohol and get behind the wheel. This month, people will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, so we wanted to give some advice to help minimize your risk of being struck by a drunk driver, as well as what to do if it happens. Pay attention to what they actually do, and yield the right of way if you have to. Wait for the other driver to act before you do. Finally, in addition to the popular holidays, Friday and Saturday nights are when drunk drivers are more likely to be on the roads.
Filing a civil suit is also an option. If the at- fault driver has previous DUI convictions, a suspended driver’s license, or is convicted of a DUI after your accident, your suit could be easier, but every case is different. Drunk driving is no joke, and we want you all to have a safe and happy March. Please do us and yourself a favor and pay extra attention this month for drivers behaving oddly. And of course, if you have any questions, please give us a call.
If you are struck by a drunk driver, you have several options. The first priority is to get immediate medical treatment if necessary. Next, report the accident to the police so they can arrest the drunk driver. After that, it’s best to speak with an attorney. You might be able to make a claim against the driver’s insurance or your own. This is one reason why it’s a great idea to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your own insurance policy.
The first thing you can do is avoid driving at night. Most accidents involving alcohol happen after dark when visibility is limited. If you do go out, you should never assume other drivers will follow the rules of the road. For example, if someone has their turn signal on, don’t assume they’ll turn.
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When the Feet Hit the Pavement
sudoku The first thing to remember is that when we run on roads and sidewalks, we need to watch out for automobiles — and make sure they watch out for us. Always wear reflective material and clothing when running, especial- ly if you run after dark or before dawn. Run against traffic, so you can see oncoming cars, and keep your head up at all times. Obey the rules of traffic, and I talked in my cover letter about running on roads, which is a very common activity all over the United States. In our area, the running season starts soon, with major races kicking off next month. But we’ll be hitting the asphalt sooner than that. As it gets nicer out, we all want a great run outside to be part of our exercise routine. And I want to make sure everyone stays safe out there when they run.
defer to cars, even if you have the right of way. There’s no sense getting hurt while try- ing to get healthy! A lot of people run with headphones in, but it’s safer not to. This allows you to hear your environment, and that can make a big differ- ence when avoiding danger. Of all the safety rules, this might be one of the most impor- tant. It’s also the one that people are most likely to ignore. I understand that, but it really is safer to leave the headphones at home.
It’s important to remember that cars aren’t the only hazard. Slips, trips, and falls are also hazards, and while it’s rare for other people to present a threat to runners, you should always run in populated areas and pay atten- tion to the way people behave. If a situation feels wrong, it probably is wrong. Finally, always run with a cellphone, and run with a partner or a dog as well. Not only does this help if someone is injured, it’s more fun!
Arroz con Pollo
Ingredients • 3 tablespoons canola oil • 2 pounds chicken legs or thighs • Kosher salt • Freshly ground pepper • 1 small white onion, diced • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
• 2 tablespoons capers • 12 ounces tomato sauce • 1/2 cup Puerto Rican sofrito • 2 cups uncooked rice • 4 cups water
Directions 1. Heat oil over moderately high heat in a Dutch oven or large cast-iron skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and cook until all sides are brown, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside, reducing the heat on the skillet to moderate. 2. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add olives, capers, tomato sauce, and sofrito and cook for 5 minutes. Add rice, browned chicken, and water and bring to a gentle boil over moderately high heat. Cook uncovered until the water is mostly absorbed, about 25 minutes. Gently stir rice, cover and cook over low heat for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
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inside Training Day PAGE 1 What Every Parent Needs to Know About Family Dinners PAGE 2 Beware Drunk Drivers PAGE 2 Road Running Safety PAGE 3 Arroz con Pollo PAGE 3 Do You Have the Right Babysitter? PAGE 4 200A Monroe Street, Suite 303 Rockville, MD 20850
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How to Find a Reliable Babysitter
Date night is good for the whole family, and the University of Lincoln found that, even when all other factors are removed, couples who regularly go out together are more likely to stay together. But child care is a full-time job, and it doesn’t leave much room for romantic moonlit strolls. Having a great babysitter will free up your schedule for some much-needed couple time. But how do you find a sitter you can trust? These tips and resources will help you find a sitter your whole family will feel comfortable with. SEEK OUT PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS When you’re looking for a high-trust service like babysitting, it’s often best to ask friends and family for recommendations. This is especially true if you know people whose children are a similar age as your own. Be sure to ask questions about the referrals you receive and make sure your potential sitter will be a good fit for your family’s needs. TURN TO TRUSTED LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS Colleges, neighborhoods, and places of worship often maintain lists of reliable sitters within the community. Asking members of these groups for testimonials will help you gauge a candidate’s professionalism. Kindergartens and day care centers are another
great local resource to turn to. Often, teachers and assistants will moonlight as sitters, bringing with them a host of child care skills.
SURF THE WEB There are great web-based resources for finding babysitters. Make sure the sites you visit are properly accredited and have plenty of good reviews. Most national sites do a full background check on all of their listed sitters. These almost always charge a membership fee, but many parents feel that added layer of security is worth it. CONDUCT INTERVIEWS Ultimately, the only way you can know if a candidate is the right babysitter for you is to meet them yourself. Make sure the whole family is present; you’ll want to pay attention to how your potential sitter interacts with your kids during the interview. Ask questions specific to your family’s needs and keep the needs of the sitter in mind, as well. Finding a babysitter who can give you and your partner peace of mind is essential. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of local and web- based resources you can pull from. With a little inquiring, you’ll be able to leave home knowing your children are in great hands.
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