One parenting expert offers one way of doing things while another book seems to go completely counter to that. How do you know which way to parent? One awesome book shows you the way.
If your To Do list stresses you out, this is a must read! How to structure your day so that you are the most productive and get everything done!
Make Christmas magical and meaningful for your kids this year with three FREE videos stocked with Elf on the Shelf ideas, an alternate to Black Friday and ways for kids to give back this season.
Ever want to travel the world or interact live with your favorite people? Periscope delivers! If you have heard about this new social media platform and not known particularly how to begin or if it is worth it, I’ll discuss how to navigate Periscope, follow your favorite people and get started on your very first broadcast. Periscope is a monumental new platform that allows you to view anywhere in the world live. Yesterday, I watched an Uber protest taking place in Australia. The day before I saw Shamu live at Sea World Orlando. Let’s get you started on Periscope. First, make sure you download Periscope onto your phone. It is free and requires approximately 12 MB of space. Depending on the make of your phone, download either the Android version or iPhone version. Navigating Periscope Sign up is super easy. If you have a Twitter username you can use that to sign-in. Otherwise, you can connect Periscope to your cell number. Periscope has three main screens. The below screen shots are from an Android phone. Home Screen Map Screen Users Screen Follow your Favorite People To find a specific person to follow, simply tap the blue button in the lower right corner. Start Your First Broadcast To start recording live, press the red button in the bottom right corner of either the home screen or map view. Type in the title of your broadcast. You can choose to make your broadcast public for anyone to see or private for only your followers. Once you press “start broadcast,” you are live for anyone to view. During your broadcast, you’ll see who joins live as well as any of their comments. Hearts will float up from the bottom corner when your viewers like something you say or show them. Once you end the broadcast, you get a screen of stats. Periscope only saves broadcasts for 24 hours. If you want it saved longer, sign up for katch.me. It’s free and will “catch” all of your periscope broadcasts and save them for anyone to see. You can check out mine HERE. Good luck in your Periscope adventures!!!
I hated breastfeeding. When my daughter was born, I thought I would be the mom who would breastfeed exclusively. I thought it would be easy, feel good and be, oh so natural. HA! I quit within a month. When my son came, I tried again. I nursed him for almost 2 years! However, with that decision came a lot of judgement from friends and family. Here’s my story and how I reacted to the Mommy Wars. Breastfeeding was the HARDEST task I have ever done as a mother. Babies don’t appear out of the womb ready to breastfeed. It is not instinctual. It takes is a lot of hard work between mother and baby to make it successful. There were a lot of frustration, a lot of tears and a lot of breakdowns – for both me and my daughter. Every time she nursed I wanted to curse because her latch felt like a thousand needles in my skin. I stamped my foot on the tile floor and tears would flow from my eyes at the beginning of each nursing session. I hated it. I quit at a month. I still think it was the best decision I ever made for my sanity and well being at that time. When my son arrived four years later, I wanted to try again. This time, I prepared myself for what I thought was the agony of breastfeeding. I took a Bradley Childbirth Class with my husband. I discovered that nursing was not supposed to hurt. As soon as my son was born, I asked for lots of help. My Bradley teacher came to the hospital to encourage me. My doula helped me learn to nurse laying down so I could get more rest. My husband helped me latch my son correctly in those first few weeks so that breastfeeding wouldn’t be painful. My turning point came when my breast pump arrived in the mail. My son was about 2 weeks old and I had been moaning about how I hated breastfeeding. I hated the time involved, I hated not being able to give my daughter more attention, I hated being the only one waking up every few hours to feed. I left that breast pump in its package, unwrapped on the stairs. I wanted to send it back. I was going to quit. But I couldn’t do it. I walked past it every day and thought to myself, “I’ll just give it one more day” A few days later, I opened it and used it off an on for two years. Nursing a baby after a year old is met with some criticism in the US. In other parts of the word, it’s common to nurse until 3 or 4. Some cultures even nurse their young until 7 or 8. But in our country, the practice is still pretty uncommon. This story of me and a friend is pretty typical: The best way I found to fight criticism and deal with the judgement are to: Know Your […]
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CloudPetsForever #CollectiveBias I admit it. I have a hard time making time alone with my six-year-old daughter. Lately, it seems that I am constant damage control with my two-year old son and my daughter gets a pretty raw deal. She is a really helpful and agreeable kid. I often worry that I don’t give her enough of my attention because her brother takes up SO much. These are three ways that my hubby and I use to connect with her that are fun for her and fun for us. Dates I started these with my daughter when she turned 3. Every Friday, after I finished at work, I picked her up from day care and we went on a special date – just the two of us. Our dates usually involved something sweet because we are both sugarholics. Whether it was feasting on cake pops at a local bakery or trying new frappuccino variations, our dates were always fantastic. I work from home now but Fridays are still our designated date days. Even though they now involve her little brother, its still a fun time to reconnect where I put away my cell phone and devote that time to my kids. CloudPet™ As soon as my daughter saw these advertised on TV, she begged me for one. “Please!,” she pleaded, “that way I can talk with Daddy when he’s late coming home from work.” We went to WalMart and chose the puppy CloudPet™ which she named Sparkle. My husband’s job has been extremely busy recently and he’s frequently late for dinner. His long working hours have worn its toll on our daughter. So much so, that she reprimands him every time that he’s late. Since we got our CloudPet™, those late nights are much happier. He can now keep in touch with her even when he’s away from home with this new, one-of-a-kind toy. Our CloudPet™ allows my hubby to send voice messages to my daughter and also allows my daughter to respond. When he’s late, he can hop on the free CloudPet™ app on his cell phone, record a message for our daughter and send it along. I get a notification that she has a message which I then send along to our CloudPet™. Every message that she receives and every message that she sends goes through my cell phone. As a parent, I am in full control of all communication. My daughter rushes across the room as soon as she sees Sparkle’s heart blinking. She presses down on Sparkle’s paw and hears her daddy’s voice telling her he’s coming home and that he loves her. She records a message back to him and leaves with a smile on her face. You can see exactly how it works here. We’ve also been using our CloudPet™ to talk with my parents who live out of town. My two-year-old son seems a little confused when Opa and Mimi’s voice come out of […]
To help end the mommy wars, I plan to keep creating an honest conversation through Whimsicle where as long as children are healthy and loved, all parents’ opinions will be respected. No name calling. No shame. Only support and lifting up. Go to the Similac Facebook page and share the one thing you will do to help end the mommy wars. Parenting is stressful today. Every time you pop online there are a thousand Facebook posts, blog posts and Pinterest pins telling you how you should do things differently as a parent. Everyone has an opinion from breastfeeding to bottle feeding, cloth diapers to disposable, circumcision vs. non-circumcision. There was a moment in each of my pregnancies where I hoped that the baby growing in my belly would be a girl and not a boy – for no reason other than if it was a girl, I wouldn’t have to make the decision about circumcising. It terrified me to go against the norm of all the other men in our family and not circumcise. But it also terrified me to have my newborn son get a part of himself cut off. When we found out our second child was a boy, I attempted to calm myself down by saying, “JoAnn. Millions of boys are circumcised. It’s just something that has to be done. The procedure will be quick. Get over it.” Then I did what crazy, anxiety-filled me does in times of panic. I turned to my very rational husband who I knew would calm me down about this medical procedure. “I don’t think we should have him circumcised,” he replied. “Wait, WHAT?!? But everyone else is circumcised.” “I just think its an unnecessary surgery,” he responded Hubby did not help calm my fears at all. At that time, I was stuck between two contrasting positions. One of the majority of US society that you should circumcise a newborn boy and the other of my husband who thinks not. Seriously, this was one of the most stressful parenting decisions I’ve ever made. I wanted my child to be healthy. I wanted to make the right and responsible decision. I didn’t want people to judge me. However, the last statement is an impossible wish, because either way I was going to be judged by someone. So I read everything I could about circumcision. The articles pro-circumcision, the anti-circumcision and everything in between. I had four major concerns: But isn’t everyone circumcised? I found out NO. Where in the US about 75% of men are circumcised, only 8.5% of men in the U.K. are. Circumcision is not a common procedure in Europe unless your religion practices it. Won’t he get laughed at in the locker room? Yes, teenage boys can be jerks. But, first, boys behave a little different than girls. As my husband puts it, if other guys want to harass you, they are going to find a way. Foreskin or not, junior high can be a miserable place Plus, the rates […]
Sometimes I try so hard to control everything that after a while I explode in a ball of rage. I don’t want to “be a nag” to my husband. So, when I have too much to do, I try to get it done and then get mad at everyone when I don’t succeed. Sounds very healthy, yes? On a Thursday afternoon I had way too much to do and not enough time to do it. Toys lay scattered all over the family room floor. Crossing the room was like navigating a minefield. Three loads of laundry sat stuffed in baskets waiting to be folded. Every time I sat down to work on my laptop, my son would crawl onto my lap wanting to nurse or my daughter would call me over to help her with something on her homework. When my husband came home, I was overjoyed. My son was in a horrible mood. He wanted me to carry him non-stop and everytime I put him down, he would burst into tears. My body ached from having him on my hip all day. I tried to hand him off to my hubby, but he wouldn’t go. He grabbed at my hair with his toddler hands and buried his face into my shoulder. So, my husband went to spend time with our daughter instead, leaving me in the kitchen. Dinner. I looked at the sink and it was full of dishes. My husband and I have an agreement that I cook, he cleans. And the sink was full of dishes. No problem, I thought, I can wash these quickly, and then start dinner. The piano music started to echo from the other room. My hubby and daughter sat down to practice a duet piece for her next recital. I heard them laughing over a silly remark. I set my son down on the floor so that I could clean the dishes. He clutched onto my leg and started to wail. Well… screech. Laughing continued from the piano room. My son continued his high pitch cry. I lost it. “STOP IT!!” I yelled at my two-year-old. “JUST STOP IT! STOP THIS CRYING!” He stopped. He looked at me with his eyes open wide. Then, his little bottom lip started to quiver. Tears collected in my eyes as well. “I’m sorry,” I told him as I picked him up. “I’m so sorry. You are just driving me crazy with all the whining.” My husband then came in, right on cue, to take Dude while I fixed dinner. Dude screamed and wailed when he went into the other room with his daddy. I was both grateful to have the freedom to walk around the kitchen unencumbered and yet felt incredibly guilty at losing my cool. My six-year-old poked her head in the kitchen. I later overheard her mention to my husband, “I don’t like it when mommy gets stressed.” I realize that I try to take on way too much responsibility. I assume that I am the only one who is willing […]
(FYI: I have some affiliate links in this post to Amazon. Buying from my link helps support me and the blog. Thank you!) I thought we were the world’s best parents. Our daughter, Llama, slept through the night by the time she reached 6 months old and napped three times a day in her crib. Polish those super parent medals and hand them over, because we knew everything there was about getting a baby to sleep. And then, when my son came along, my husband and I chucked those medals into the garbage disposal. I missed my personal space. I missed taking regular showers. The smell of spit up milk started to permeate all of my shirts and my hair. I realized at the 2 month mark, I had had enough. He needed to sleep off of me. At first I felt guilty that I didn’t want that constant contact with my baby. Who was I as a mom? Then I realized that carving out time for myself was necessary to my personal survival. I tried everything suggested to me. Here’s what worked and what didn’t for my son. Cry It Out At my son’s 2 month checkup, my pediatrician insisted that the only way to get him to sleep on his own was to let him cry. I could go in every 10 minutes, check on him, rub his back, but I wasn’t to pick him up. Ever. Nor nurse him. He would eventually learn she assured me. For one nap, he screamed at the top of his lungs for 2 hours. I did the every 10 minute thing. Cry It Out works on some babies, but my son was not having it. The 5 S’s According to Harvey Karp’s book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, there are 5 S’s that a parent can do to help a baby sleep. They are swaddle, hold on the side or stomach, shush (aka white noise), swing and suck (nursing or pacifier). I bought a Woombie for the swaddle part. Honestly, best purchase ever. When Dude was in his Woombie, he would sleep for 3-4 hours straight at night. So I bundled him up in his woombie. Then, I cuddled him close to me in a side position. I shushed while bouncing up and down on an exercise ball and I let him nurse. 5 S’s right? I was exhausted! And yes, it helped him fall asleep. But as soon as I laid him down in his crib, he woke up immediately. The Slip Away I found out pretty quickly that Dude liked to fall asleep nursing. The problem was just putting him down after he fell asleep. One afternoon, I was so tired, I just decided to nurse Dude on my bed for his afternoon nap. As he was sucking, he fell asleep as usual. His mouth drooping wide open. I saw my opportunity and rolled away from him towards the edge of the bed. I planted my left foot on the floor and noiselessly slid […]
How many times have you thought, “If I have to watch Yo Gabba Gabba one more time…”? Relaxation is a priority as a parent. It’s just hard to find the “how” at times. There have been many times when I’ve simply lost it or wanted to lose it. While I was researching ways to relax, the first item on many lists was “Get a Good Night’s Rest.” Once I stopped laughing, I searched further for ways you can calm down when the kids around and not have a mommy meltdown. You know when you need it. Those moments when you feel on the brink of complete and utter “I’m going to lose it.” Next time that you feel an impending meltdown, thy these. Release Tension Lay down and breathe deeply My son had just broken two of my favorite coffee cups. My daughter kept asking me the same question over and over again. It was time for a breather (pun intended). Controlled breathing is something that kids can do with you. Lay on your back and put your hands on your diaphragm (right at the base of your ribs). Breathe in to the count of 5 through your nose. Hold for 2 seconds and then breathe out through your mouth for the count of 5. Concentrate on making your hand rise and fall with each breath. Repeat until you feel some sanity returning. The rest of these tips can be found in my e-book: