Archives for February 2009

Yoga Parenting

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How to Find New Hope

melissaWhen I found I that I was pregnant, I was ecstatic. We had been trying for months and it finally happened. We were at a great point in our lives, married and finally finished college. We had been through a lot together and thought we didn’t have anywhere to go but up from there.

Well, I was wrong. When I was five months pregnant with my son, my 23 year old brother suddenly died on the soccer field. He had the same heart condition that took our fathers life just five years earlier. My parents had me checked out as a child (because my dad had been treated for this heart condition since the age of 21) and I just had a mermor. They never checked my brother. The condition they shared was cardiomyopathy, which is basically an enlarged heart, and in our family’s situation, was hereditary.

I still can’t believe it, I am still numb to the idea. He was healthy and active, in the prime of his life. He was my best friend. He walked me down the isle at my wedding and he was my husband’s best man. I could go on and on with how amazing he was. We were so close, and at times, we were all each other had. I felt so alone. I felt like a piece of me was gone.

I could of lost it then. My brother was my rock after losing my dad. My mom has her own issues and of course was going through the worst thing that a parent could ever go through. After losing my dad, I smoked and drank, and basically got out of control.

This time, I couldn’t. I had a life inside of me, depending on me. I knew that I had to be strong for him. I knew that my brother would want me to be strong.

I thank God for my husband. He helped me plan my brother’s funeral. He helped me go to my brothers apartment and clean out his room. But the thing that really kept me strong was the day after my brother died, I went to the OB to get a heartbeat check, because of all the stress, and hearing that, I knew that I still had a reason to be here.

The day my son was born was the most amazing day of my life. After seeing so much death in my life and losing the people that I love, I finally was able to give LIFE.

My son is named after my brother, and I realize that my brother will live on through my son and I.

Amazingly, my grandmother and my brother were the only two people on either side of our family’s to have these amazing blue eyes. My son has those beautiful eyes. Now I get to see a piece of my brother for the rest of my life.

Through all of this, I still believe that I am a positive person. My son has given me reason to hope, reason to believe, and reason to LIVE.

Also read:
Tara’s moment

How to Make Your Toddler’s Day!

… take them to see Thomas and Friends LIVE! On Stage FOR FREE!
topham_thomas_72dpiI just got 4 passes to see Thomas and Friends LIVE! And due to a scheduling oversight on my part, I can’t use them. Thomas is touring 50 cities from now until August. Here’s the schedule. So who wants them??? Our subscribers get first dibs but sign up today and leave a comment below to let me know you want the Thomas passes. Redeem them at the box office for the best available seats (except for VIP seating). [Read more…]

How to Recognize Postpartum Depression

More than just the Baby Blues

postpartumdepressionWhen I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was relieved. In some way, I knew it was my saving grace. Just two months earlier my beloved father had been severely injured in a car accident while on vacation in New Zealand, and he was still lying in a coma on the other side of the world fighting for his life. While his fate was undecided, I knew that this tiny life growing inside me would give me the strength I needed to nurture myself and my son while sitting in the limbo of my father’s uncertain outcome.

At the time it didn’t occur to me how compromised I was emotionally, I was just trying to get through from one day to the next caring for a toddler, working, being a wife, daughter, and friend. When my little girl’s name crept into my dreams at night I woke in the morning ready to face another day that otherwise might have been unwanted.

[Read more…]

How to Count Your Blessings

blessingsWhen I found out I was pregnant I cried. Not because I was happy. Not because I was unhappy, but because it didn’t happen when I wanted it to. I am deeply passionate about horses. And I have been so since I was barely able to walk. I also didn’t really like kids. Even as a kid I didn’t like them. So right before I found out I was pregnant a local tack store was going out of business and I went bonkers getting stuff on sale; riding breeches, tack, etc. Then I found out I was pregnant. It was in February and I was just gearing up to get back in the saddle come spring.I cried. Now I was going to be pregnant, in the summer, and I wouldn’t be able to ride all year. I cried. I was going to be big and pregnant in the miserable, humid, Midwest summer. I cried. I wanted a child, I just wasn’t sure how badly I wanted a child. My husband cried. He was esctatic. He wanted kids before we even got married. I took a second pregnancy test, and I cried again. I was still pregnant.  My best outlet for stress was my horse, now that I was pregnant he didn’t want anything to do with me. He didn’t want his grain from me or even his favorite treats; peppermint candies. I was miserable. The next thing I knew those rotten pregnancy hormones hit and I was sick all day every day. As the baby grew I not only had all day morning sickness I had acid reflux. Unfortuntly the side effects of the medication for the acid reflux was worse than the problem it was supposed to treat. I was so sick I couldn’t even utilize my back up stress relief of yoga, bending over was a bad thing to do. No one wants to do yoga next to a pregnant woman vomiting all over the place.

I wanted a boy. I was sure I was pregnant with a boy. I had found a boy name that made me cry for hours. I actually cpntcted someone who would know the history of the boy name to learn more. We had our ultra sound and my boy was a girl. I cried. I wanted a boy. I know personally and professionally how difficult mother daughter relationships can be. I was going to have to face this, the Universe blessed me with a girl. My husband cried. He wanted a girl. The Universe blessed him with a girl. Fortunatly we had a girl name ready and waiting, Ella. It means beautiful, fanciful. I believe names have power. We chose names very carefully.

Labor stared almost 40 weeks to the day. It wasn’t comfortable in the begining. The contractions were far apart and so my husband drifted off to sleep. I did not. I fretted. I stressed. The contractions steadily became closer and closer. I woke my dear husband up. He drove me to the hospital. The contractions stopped and I almost cried. I felt like a fool. The nurse laughed at me, said it happened all the time. My husband is a chiropractor and acupuncturist. We had agreed, as did my doctor, to use acupuncture to help with contractions and pain. Unfortunatly the points for pain were on my back where the strap for the monitor was, so he couldn’t treat my pain. He was very successful at getting my contractions back and my cervix to dialate. I had planned to go natural. It only took a few trips to the bathroom, without my acupuncture needles to realize I was going to need drugs! So I asked for them. I was told it was too soon. I cried. Back labor and front labor, as I call it, was not fun. If you’ve had a child I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. When I was far enough along my OB/GYN came in and told me, jokingly, that he had a dinner date at 5pm so I better have Ella before then or his wife would be mad. My husband was so helpful that before and after the drugs he watched the monitor to tell me when I was having contractions. Like I didn’t already know! No I did not cry, I tried to break his hand. It didn’t work. Once I had the epidural though I felt nothing. I mean nothing. I’ve heard you still know when your having contractions and still have the desire to push. Nope not me. The only way I knew I was having a contraction was Ella kicked the living crude out of my rib cage. In fact she bruised me.

Pushing was not easy. Ella was not going to come into this world easily. She locked her toes around some ribs and hung on for life. I was vomiting, I needed oxygen, Ella was not doing so well, I wanted to cry. I couldn’t. And then she finally made it. She screamed. She cried. They took her to clean her up and such. I cried. My husband left me to go to her. I cried. That first scream, was my first defining moment as a mother. I had held some small attatchment to her while pregnant. When she emerged into this world with such a strong, self-confident voice I became so in love with her I cried. I wanted my child with me whether she was bloody or clean. I knew she was not happy, she was not warm, and did not feel safe. My husband cried. Ella cried so loud my parents heard her down the hall and out a set of doors. At the time they had no idea whose baby it was. They know now. And she was born at 4:47 pm, in time for my OB/GYN to get to his dinner date. Ella still remains very verbal. She still screams and each time I smile and reconnect to her. I hope she forever keeps her voice and her self-confidence. The Universe blessed me with a baby girl. Thank you Universe.

Tara S. Dickherber, M.Ed, CPC is a Certified Professional Coach and Certified ScreamFree Parent Leader. She specializes in coaching people to create balance for life, self-confidence, and healthy parent child relationships. To learn more about Tara visit her blog at or follow her on Twitter.

How to Build Your Network

pigeonsEvery day, I am impressed by all the cool and interesting things women are doing. I’ve already talked about my friend Gail and the Global Hugs Tour. But there are so many others. Kathy is developing college curriculum for aspiring women entrepreneurs, Jennifer is encouraging kids to use their imagination (more on that soon), Diann is saving a school… all are women and moms who are giving their passion to the world. I know that this isn’t an easy thing. I constantly struggle with feelings of doubt or battle being overwhelmed by all the things I have to do all and/or all the things I have to figure out how to do! I couldn’t do it without the support of my network.

Belonging to a community seems to come naturally to a lot of women. Many of you have probably already seen the Kelly Corrigan’s Pigeon video. It’s natural to yearn for a flock. In my own experience, there’s no better way to accomplish a goal than by working together. But what if you don’t have one? How do you cultivate your flock? Or, as Seth Godin says, your Tribe. [Read more…]

How to Make People Smile

This short film made me smile!!! It’s 16:23 minutes that will brighten your day. It starts with the idea of validation… isn’t it interesting how people continually look for it outside of themselves?! Even Hugh, the character in the clip gets his validation from getting people to smile, even though ultimately, someone else’s happiness isn’t really in his control. Gosh, this sounds a bit like that “savior complex” of mine! [Read more…]

How to Negotiate with a 5-year old, J.D.

negotiationMommy: Boy, if you play with the light again, you lose points!!!!

Boy: I don’t want points.

Mommy: Okay… if you play with the light, you lose privileges.


[Read more…]

How to Create an Organized Homework Space

Homework is a fact of life for most school kids and their parents. For me keeping my kids on track starts with creating a positive and well organized workspace. As a founder of a local neighborhood after school program, I’ve come up with a list of ideas I believe go along way to encouraging and enhancing homework completion.

First and foremost, develop an organized homework routine. In our house, timing is a big issue. My ten year old son needs to play for a while when he gets home, while my twelve year old daughter usually heads straight up to her room and starts her homework right way.

Either approach works great so long as there is some consistency regarding the time (and place) homework is done. Developing an organized schedule may also help avoid procrastination. Just because your child may not have homework on a particular night, doesn’t mean they can’t use their ‘homework time’ for pleasure reading or working on an upcoming project.

I’ve also learned having your child play a role in selecting where school work is done is VERY important. While a desk may work for one child, it may not work for another. The kitchen table may be a better option. Regardless of the location, it’s important to select a homework area with adequate lighting, one that is comfortable for working, and is as free from distractions as possible. Large, clutter-free work surfaces are best.

Homework time is also a good time for the whole family to pursue quiet activities e.g. paying bills, reading, writing etc. Not only does this provide a good work environment, it models positive behavior as your child sees you working at things that require effort. You may also consider a ‘no phone call’ policy during this time.

For more tips on helping your kids with their homework visit homework help.

If your child’s school doesn’t enforce the use of an organized homework agenda, create your own. Both agendas and checklists have become invaluable tools in our home. Keeping a running ‘to do’ list helps not only my kids stay organized and on top of assignments, but it reminds them about what materials they need to take to class. Crossing completed items off a list gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Help your child develop an organized homework plan and estimate together how long each assignment should take. Also assist him in prioritizing homework assignments in the order in which they should be done. Starting with one assignment or part of an assignment that isn’t too long or difficult is a good idea to give your child a sense of accomplishment.

Teach your child how to manage and organize his time, and how to structure long-term school projects. Understanding how to break down big assignments into smaller more manageable steps will be important to your child’s overall academic success.

Pay close attention to due dates. When dealing with assignments like science fair projects, your child should not only note project requirements and due dates but also his plan of attack. Post required steps like visits to the library or the purchase of materials.

Talk with your child about the importance of not leaving school until he checks his assignment list and makes sure he has any necessary books and materials.

Keep school supplies and storage areas organized. Making sure your child has all the necessary supplies shows him that you take his work seriously.

Help children stay organized by encouraging them to get in the habit of putting textbooks, binders, signed notes, and other necessary materials inside their backpack as soon as they are finished with them. And finally, keeping their backpack in the same location every night eliminates last minute panic.

For more creative organizing solutions visit Sherrie Le Masurier is a lifestyle columnist, organizing consultant, and co-owner of, a website geared to organizing and decorating kids’ rooms.

How to Make Naturally Sweetened Strawberry Delight

agavestraw_1This recipe is so simple and yet, it has evaded me for decades. It took a trip to Hawaii to visit friends to discover one of its key ingredients–and it’s not even Hawaiian. They made this dessert for my fiancé and I, and we’ve been smitten since.

Fresh strawberries, quartered
Agave nectar/syrup

And onto the quickest Preparation:
Combine the ingredients together in a bowl or container, adding the syrup in teaspoon-increments (or less) until you’ve reached your desired sweetness. Consume as is or let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Yes, that’s it! [Read more…]