Archives for January 2009

How Much Does It Cost to Have A Kid?

These days, everyone seems to be asking “How much?” I read somewhere recently that the current economic climate is making people postpone having babies. Maybe they would reconsider if they read this post on Soapbox Mama titled, The Price of Children.

At first, it seems to be the usual waah, waah, waah… lamenting the fact that the average cost of raising a child for a middle income American family is $160,000, not including college tuition. But then JB goes on to break that down to it’s daily equivalent of $24.24. What do you get for $24/day? I was so moved by JB’s perspective. She says…

You never have to grow up. You get to:
• finger-paint,
• carve pumpkins,
• play hide-and-seek,
• catch lightning bugs,
• never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh. You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof.

snow_daybishop_snowFor all of us who are feeling squeezed by financial pressures, it’s such a great reminder to focus on the 98% of things that are going right in our parenting lives. Thanks, JB!

Read the rest of her post. It’s fabulous! It’s just what I needed to hear when a couple of snow days and trips to doctors and vets throw my work schedule off kilter. Yes, I got to PLAY in the snow and watch my kids and dogs frolic! I also got to engage in a serious discussion about whether there is a tooth fairy for every child or one for everyone.

What about you? What did you GET TO do with your kids today?

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon. Click the links for Practical Mommy’s recommendations for travel car seats, affordable and fun diaper bags (skip hop bag), and the best-selling crib brand, Da Vinci Crib.

How to Prep your Child for the New Baby

new_babyDo not be surprised when after your second child is born, you look at the energy you spend in a day and realize a majority of it was spent…not tending to the baby as you might imagine…but doting on your first born. Unless someone prepares you for this, you might find it odd. “How did I think tending to a baby was so hard?” I consistently hear second time moms in my baby classes saying “Now that I’ve had my second, it’s my toddler that’s giving me a run for my money! HELP!”

Help is here…in the form of helping you RESET your expectations. This is where everything flows from after all, isn’t it? Our expectations in life? [Read more…]

How to Tend to Baby’s Umbilical Cord

YES! Finally a parenting how to that is simple. This one doesn’t even require bullet points. Let’s sum it up into three easy to follow words: clean and dry. Keep the area clean and dry. That really is it. Want three other simple and easy to follow words on this? Less is more.

When I was a new mom we were told at great length how to swab the area 6x a day with alcohol swabs to keep it clean and dry it out. But this is no longer the sage advice from doctors and nursing. What they have found is that when left to its own devices, your babies’ umbilical cord knows what to do…much like you in conceiving, carrying and now nurturing your child when you a) trust that things can be simple b) you tell yourself you do know what you are doing and c) when you listen to your inner voice.

Some times less is more and things CAN be simple…even when it comes to being a parent. Let’s “remember the umbilical cord” the next time we are pulled to making much ado about something that really could be as easy as three little words…if we approach it that way.

Suzanne, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003, Suzanne owns a holistic health center in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Infant Massage Instructor and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne offers life coaching as Zen Mommy Coach.


How to Nurse Your Baby

42-15658189There is a lot of information out there about latch ons, let downs, breast pumps, soreness, positioning and more…but how many articles on nursing prepare us as mothers to nurse our babies from more than a body perspective? What about readying our minds and our souls?

I was excited to nurse my baby…for the nutrition I knew it would offer…for the bonding and the closeness. I was hopeful nursing would work out without all the horror stories I had heard and read about including thrush, pain, chapped and sore nipples. My husband and I went to Bradley Method Birthing classes, held baby dolls in the cradle and the football hold…and I even attended a La Le Che League meeting or two. But when you come right down to it though, nothing I had read or heard prepared me for the absolute blessing nursing would be for me in my new life as mother.

[Read more…]

How to Be Vulnerable

baby-eatting-croppedI taught 8 precious little babies (all under 12 weeks old) and their parents infant massage this weekend and walked away touched, moved and inspired. These powerful little persons left me thinking about what it means to be truly vulnerable in my life…or not. It dawned on me how much I resist the idea of being vulnerable…how close this seemed to some sort of weakness. But my 8 new little friends had another sort of message for me. They reminded me of the power of living vulnerably.

[Read more…]

How to Get Rid of Clutter

clutterI have a two-pronged approach to clutter: 1) Get rid of the clutter you have and, 2) Don’t buy (yes, I said buy) new clutter. Easier said than done? Really? Assuming that you are the average person with the average kid/baby home (as in, not the ones that I hear about on TV that truly live amidst mountains of trash), I think a little dedication to a few tasks will go a long way to minimizing the clutter in your environment. And this, my friends, goes a long way in minimizing the clutter in your mind (or at least, that’s been my experience).

Get Rid of the Clutter You Have
Quite simply, throw everything out that you don’t need!
• Go through your closets and donate clothes you haven’t worn for a whole season or, organize a clothing swap with your girlfriends like my friend, Emma did in our neighborhood.

• Do the same for books, furniture, miscellaneous household items. If you are a pack rat, enlist the help of a friend who is NOT… like me! Pretend you are moving to a small apartment and have to pay extra for every box you bring.

• For random papers (this is the best!), get banker’s boxes, one for each room if you want, and label them “pre-2009.” Just toss EVERYTHING in there. Store the boxes. If you don’t touch them in a year, toss them. If it makes you feel better, wait 2-3 years and then toss them. The point is, the piles of papers everywhere will stop stressing you out.

Don’t Buy New Clutter
Once your home is de-clutterfied… keep it that way. I’m no Fly Lady. She’s got much more involved tips in this respect. But my philosophy is that “clutter” doesn’t walk into your house on two feet! I have a bit of a zero tolerance policy on clutter because I have limited storage/space (which I’m finding is truly a blessing in disguise). Did anyone catch Jerry Seinfeld’s bit on “stuff?” …how everything we buy is just a few steps away from “trash?” Soooo true! The shiny new small appliance first sits on the island, then in a cabinet, then in the basement, then in the garage, then in the dumpster! My point being, before you buy anything, keep in mind that when you buy any thing, you’re actually making a commitment to IT! You’re the one who will have to clean it and maintain it and store it! So either don’t complain about it later or just don’t buy it. You’ll be doing a good deed, not just for your home, family life and pocket book but also doing your bit to save the planet and ourselves! Really… watch this video called, The Story of Stuff if you don’t believe me (or just because… it’s really cool, albeit depressing!)

For all those things that seemingly walk into your home unassisted, diligently escort them out promptly. I make a habit of putting junk mail straight in the recycling bin from the mailbox. I go through all my kids papers daily to see which ones can be trashed and which ones go in the giant portfolio for posterity (until they move out and decide to toss them out themselves), and any junk Happy Meal toys never survive more than a week before surreptitiously disappearing into the trash bin.

I seem to be winning the war on clutter in my house. My car… on the otherhand… is another story!

Do you have any good anti-clutter tips?

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon. Click the links for Practical Mommy’s recommendations for travel car seats, affordable and fun diaper bags (skip hop bag), and the best-selling crib brand, Da Vinci Crib.

How to Make New Friends

gail_goodwinWhen it comes to knowing how to make new friends, my kids are the gurus. I’ve watched them for years now on the playground… “Hi! Do you want to be my friend?” So when I went to a conference in Vegas last weekend, courtesy of my new blogger friend Corrin and IZEA, it was that image that I held in my mind. At first, I was a little daunted by the fact that I didn’t expect to know a soul there but I reminded myself that it was going to be one giant playground. I was going to meet so many friends… I just didn’t know who they were… yet! [Read more…]

How to Be an Angel

angel(It’s kinda like being a hero!)

I dropped my phone on the sidewalk one day. I was still on the mend from my surgery and it was really painful to bend down. I must have hesitated for a moment because I heard a small voice call out, “I’ll get that for you!”

When I looked up, about a block and a half away was a little girl on a bike who looked to be about all of six years old. She hopped off, picked my phone out of the grass and handed it to me, and continued on her way. I think she was an angel. [Read more…]

How to Live in the Yin and Yang of Life

yin_yangYesterday I was blue. Not dark blue…more like a gray, powder blue…like a light drizzle on an overcast winter day (which would actually describe yesterday’s weather). Does that ever happen to you? You just wake up and feel blue…no real cause for it that you can see. I looked to my heart for a sign that would tell me what the cause might be, but there was none. I got that it just was. I just was. Maybe you’ve felt this way too. A feeling shows up like an ache in your heart or a pang in the pit of your stomach. It’s always there somewhere in the body. For me it was a sadness that showed up like a lovely ache in my heart. It felt like an expansion. Like a good stretch to tight muscles taken right up to that edge between pleasure and pain.

Yesterday I was at that edge…stretching, holding, breathing and stretching some more. I wrote in my journal, “how can we all be so connected and yet feel the divide at times so deep within ourselves?”

[Read more…]

How to Make the BEST Chicken Pot Pie in the World

chicken_pot_pie1My friend, Sharon gave me the best recipe for chicken pot pie. What made it the best? It’s soooo easy that even my 5 year old can do it. To be fair, my 5 year old is a good cook but… okay, the average, dare I say it, 3 year old could do it.

So here it is. [Read more…]