Archives for May 2009

How to Change the World

Ready for a bedtime story, friends? Okay… it’s a good one. This reading, by my faithful “Faith” is for a few “half wild dogs” that I’m honored to run with… always Zen Mommy but also Jen, Leigh, Morgan, John, David, and Lewis. Keep making your own rules. You’re all Woolburs, the lot of you!

How do you change the world? By being your awesome wonderful authentic selves! And never follow the flock! Nevah!

Woolbur is my newest favorite kids book by Leslie Helakoski and Lee Harper.

How Things Become A-Parent

In parenting and in life we teach what we need to know. My lesson? SPLASH!splash-water-cut1

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How to Find your Inner-Alice (in Wonderland)

Dossier ~ file containing detailed records on a particular person or subject.


While our kids played every fantastical game imaginable  in my back yard, Practical Mommy and I sat laptop by laptop giggling and dreaming up our dossiers. [Read more…]

How to Let Your Kid Come Out to Play

zumwaltMy name is Allie. I am a very happy and proud mom of two little fraggles (a 5 year old girl and a 2 year old boy). I like to think that I am a good Mom (making many mistakes and learning valuable lessons along the way) but the jury is still out on whether I do my job well—time will only tell. My kiddos may get me the T-shirt that claims that they have “The Best Mom in the World” (they are slightly biased) but I will wait to see if they are still saying that when they are thirty-something.

When I was six years old, I am pretty sure I wanted to be a boy. That probably sounds like a psychiatrist’s dream to say something like that but, whatever!!! Boys were good at everything, they could go topless anywhere, and they did not have to wear big, annoying, bows in their hair.

I wish I could say that my six year old self would say something so profound to me–full of wisdom and and life changing but probably not.  Most likely, my six year old self would tell me two things that would go something like this: “You have a big old honkin’ piece of broccoli in your teeth” and “Remember that I am still in here somewhere and I LOVE it when you let me out to play.”

Join Allie on My Mommy Manual’s Discussions page where she and the other WAG Women will be sharing what WAG has brought to her life… “I can be myself. Exactly who I am!”

How to Write A Dossier

Dossier ~ file containing detailed records on a particular person or subject.

You may have heard rumblings of something new afoot in the lives of Zen Mommy and Practical Mommy. A few heartfelt conversations regarding Bad Mother has turned into a wild ride down the rabbit hole to Looking Glass Lane. We are all about connection here on My Mommy Manual, so it’s no surprise to have found kindred spirits in Twitterville. We’ve linked arms with three other influential mamas. You can read their dossiers here (@MissIve, @FleurdeLeigh, @ModernSingleMom, @ZenMommy).


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How to Install Britax Boulevard CS [video]

Watch a real mom install this car seat. Note that this is us, not Britax! This is as real as it gets, friends!!! I was sweating… but still turned down any assistance from Mr. Zen Mommy! 🙂 On a related note (and legal disclaimer), this video is not meant to relieve you of your responsibility of actually reading the owner’s manual. Follow at your own risk!

A plus for the Britax Boulevard CS is their click and safe system [their video explains quite nicely]. Fine… their video is much more polished.

Just to be clear, we are not a retailer but if you’ve decided that this is the car seat for you, we recommend visiting CSN Stores. They carry the Britax Boulevard CS in their ever popular Cowmooflage print, you’ll save $120 off the recommended price, and get free shipping.

This car seat was one of the featured items during our baby gear segment on Great Day St. Louis on KMOV4.

How to BE a Mom That Matters

suzannefamily22A few months back, I nominated Zen Mommy for Why Moms Matter. Frankly, I can’t even remember what I wrote in that original nomination… which asked why she inspires me. I’m sure that I gushed! But quite honestly, a day doesn’t go by that Suzanne doesn’t inspire me in some way so that was a tricky question to answer in “sound bites.” The cool thing is that I got to gush all over her again, this time on BlogTalkRadio. I was so grateful for the opportunity to do that, to highlight our friendship and connection. Thank you, Danielle (@ExtraordMommy of! And thank you, Mom Faves!

How Have You Violated the Good Mother Rules?

MONDAY, MAY 18, NOON EST… the ladies of Looking Glass Lane reconvened our online discussion following our talk with Ayelet Waldman’s about her memoir and latest book, Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace.

lookingglasslaneListen to the RECORDING! Um… yes, the rumors of [a__ slapping] are true! Thank you, @MissIve!

But I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised considering the color of last week’s conversation! Evidence of “bad mothering” ran rampant, including Morgan’s swollen-belly-with-no-ring and Ayelet’s Dead Baby Club, and “acts of service” that keep marriages alive!!!

Ayelet says, “People bring everything of their own experience, of their own life into [what I write] and they end up responding to their own anxiety rather than to me.” So what are YOU bringing? You can still download the FREE chapter from her book here. You can watch our segment… click more! [Read more…]

Zen Mommy Minute: Judgment

Feeling judged? Judgmental?!?…or like you’re never enough? Play along with me in this little “exercise” on judgment. ;p It’ll be fun (and painless)…I promise! And by the end, I hope you could care less what other people think about you.

This video was inspired by the book  BAD MOTHER by Ayelet Waldman (a must if you are a mom and judgment of any kind is on your radar). I hope it speaks to you!!!

How to Laugh with Friends

monnieMy name is Monnie Brodbeck and I am the mom of two loving, happy girls, Hannah (age 6) and Lydia (age 3) and a sweet golden retriever named Tenakee.  My husband, Steve, and I are a team as we play, work, laugh, and explore as a family. We all enjoy the outdoors and find joy in adventures of all kinds. When I was six, I wanted to ride my horse everyday and play outside.

I lived on a horse ranch in South Dakota where I played outdoors everyday, creating imaginary games and playing with horses, dogs, and cats.  If my six year old self could give me advice, she would say, “Keep it real.  Be all that you want to be and love your happy life. Have fun and laugh with friends!!” Monnie is the force behind the Original WAG, a group in which a woman can experience “adventures” and all the personal growth and empowerment that come with them, with the support and the security of her girlfriends.

Join Monnie on My Mommy Manual’s Discussions page. where she and her WAG Women will be sharing how and why she started her WAG, “As moms and as women, we need things that are all about us. It really is an opportunity to celebrate together, to explore and to learn and to have a good time.”