Archives for November 2009

Zen Mommy Minute: The Words We Use


Here are some thoughts about the words we use and ideas on how words can help or hurt us in our parenting. Whether you are pregnant with your first or raising teens, we can all benefit from watching for a few important words like should, try, need and MY/MINE and the messages they convey.

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How to Help Your Baby Breastfeed

Is your infant having trouble latching on? Dr. Colleen Stratton helps nursing moms and their infants by making sure there are no cranial issues preventing them from achieving a good connection. Video (3:53)

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How to Get Bound with a Book

My dad died a long time ago,  long before I had children. Yet, among other things, we are still bound by a book. It’s a hardcover edition of Mark Twain’s short stories. My dad bought it when I was a toddler and gave it to me the night before I got married, telling me that Twain’s humor and wisdom would come in handy in the years ahead. It did, and it still does.

book_boundWhen you share a book with someone it’s as if you’re saying “I value what’s in this book enough to want to share it with you because I value you too.” Simple sentiments become more powerful when accompanied by a book.

Parents of small children know how important “book/cuddle time” is to raising a reader and making essential connections. Parents of preteens and teens can continue to build a special closeness through books: [Read more…]

Positive Parenting Tip: Commercial Grade

positive_Parenting_tipOur Yogi Parenting audio tips are presented every Friday by Michaela Turner, BS Ed, CYKT, YKT, Co-Founder Yogi Parenting

Listen to this :15 AUDIO TIP:

Michaela is a 30 year veteran educator and a Certified YogaKids Teacher and Trainer. She teaches yoga baby and yoga kids classes for children throughout St. Louis, Missouri. As the Co-founder of Yogi Parenting, Michaela offers tips on parenting and seminars nationally, blending her joy for yoga with her love for children.

28 Weeks: Pregnancy Calf Cramps to Wake the DEAD

mummyIf you are or have been pregnant, odds are you know what I’m talking about. Over 50% of pregnant women suffer (and I mean suffer!!!) from these horrible, jaw clenching seizures in the muscles of the legs, usually in the calves, and (for me anyway) the sneaky little devils like to strike in the middle of the night.

I started getting them every other night around 2a.m.  about two weeks ago. One was so bad it lasted into the next day and had me limping… considering a cane or a crutch as I was going to a convention downtown and needed to walk a ton. Ego prevented me from going to that extreme so I just limped along for the day and sat as much as possible.

I’ve figured out a few things that work to help my cramps and hope they help if you are suffering from them too!

  1. Sometimes if I freeze (much like a deer in the headlights) those nasty leg cramps will pass me right on by. I love when this happens but have to say, it’s the exception… not the rule.
  2. When they do strike, I get right out of bed and put some weight through the leg. this not only flexes the foot putting the spasm-ed calf muscles on stretch, but weight bearing is supposed to have a mellowing effect on spastic muscles… a trick I learned as a physical therapist.
  3. Massage the muscles. I use the same massage oil I use for belly massage and to prevent stretch marks. If I’m lucky, I wake my husband with all my moving around (not to mention the sounds of pain that come from me, enough to have anyone in earshot swearing I was in labor) and he works my calves with the oil. One of only two perks I can think of from the whole calf pain thing.
  4. The other thing I do, and the second “perk” (if you can call it that) of having calf cramps to wake the dead in pregnancy… is that it gives me a chance to pretend I’m in labor. Yup. I actually have decided with each spasm to pretend I am indeed in labor… to soften my other muscles even as the one in questions locks into a spasm. This is exactly what occurs in labor, except that it’s my uterus doing the seizing not my leg muscles. I breathe in the mantra “I am love” and breathe out with “I am enough”. This really does help. Mind over matter? I think so.
  5. Following nights where the cramps were super bad, I wake up and soak my legs in as hot of water as I can stand. This REALLY sets me up to win… taking me from limping in pain to limp free in 20 minutes.
  6. And finally, I have started eating a banana, handful of almonds and glass of o.j. a day as I’ve read all of these can help. I think they do. That and being sure I remain hydrated through the day, but I tell ‘ya, if I drink any more water than I already am, I’m bound to float away.

I know I’m not the only one out there so I’d love to hear from you, misery loves company… do you get calf or leg cramps? when did they start? and what do you do about them that seems to work?

Related Articles:

39 Weeks : We are so BLESSED!
37 Weeks : Crystal Ball
36 Weeks : Pre-Birth ENERGY
35 Weeks : House Arrest
34 Weeks : Like “Cantaloupes”
33 Weeks : Blessingways and Birth
32 Weeks : Other New Moms & Icing
31 Weeks : Newborn Baby Checklists
30 Weeks : Sage “New-Mom” Advice from a Friend
29 Weeks : Placental Encapsulation
27 Weeks : Holiday Maternity Fashion Tips
26 Weeks : The Nursery
25 Weeks : Back to Baby Names
24 Weeks : Cord Blood
23 Weeks : Baby Fat
22 Weeks : Baby(s) Moving! Time for Belly Massage
21 Weeks : Flu Bug
20 Weeks : Parents As Teachers
19 Weeks : Sleep
18 Weeks : Breastfeeding
17 Weeks : Childbirth
16 Weeks : Sex of the Babies. We’re having…
15 Weeks : Baby name Game
14 Weeks : Prenatal Yoga
13 Weeks : Mindful Nesting
12 Weeks : My Changing Pregnant Body
How Spirit Moves

due logo This Zen Mommy Minute is published in partnership with Due Maternity, a great place for maternity clothes.  xoxo

Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy

In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and expecting twins in Jan of 2010, Suzanne co-owns a holistic health center with her husband Shawn in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Educator of  Infant Massage and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne is a Co-creator of My Mommy Manual and the online parenting course, Yogi Parenting, a positive parenting approach for raising kids of all ages.

How to Keep It Together During Family Holidays

Our Expert Mommy, psychotherapist Shellie Fidell is also a regular on Great Day St. Louis. We loved her recent segment that shares her practical tips on how to manage the added stress of extended family… starting, yup… this week!Coping_with_Holidays

Do you have a story to share about a stress-free or stress-full holiday gathering? Share in the comments below. I know Sharon has a great one about a Green Bean Casserole…. 😉

Related Articles
How to Make Easy Holiday Treats
How to Celebrate Thanksgiving [Read more…]

How Can You Tell If Your Child Needs Braces?

Good question. It seems like almost everyone gets braces these days. In my conversation with Dr. Jackie Demko, she confirmed that 80% of the U.S. population does indeed get them. BUT she provides a really great perspective on whether this is something your child NEEDS!

Does your child wear braces? What tipped you off the he/she needed them? Leave a comment with your story!

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Week 27: Holiday Maternity Fashion Tips

More of Me Maternity Black DressThis week I’m thinking about THANKSGIVING and CHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR’S EVE!!! All these big parties coming up. I just hope I’m mobile enough to enjoy them all… the end of January feels just around the corner. Am I ready? I may not have the nursery done.. but I know what I’ll be wearing come Christmas. Ha. That’s gotta count for something!@#@!!!

If you are pregnant, here are some tips to help you prepare… well… at least your closet anyway… for the holidays.

TIP #1: Save Energy:
Shop online for maternity clothes. This allows you to shop the high fashion name brands and more affordable lines all in one place, and frankly, I just don;t have the staying power to shop multiple stores in a row to find the right outfit and a good deal like I used to. There are also a number of free shipping offers and deals around the holidays. The main idea here is to sav your energy. Shop smarter… not harder! And if you are hitting the stores, shop early and avoid the crowds. Getting out to shop on Black Friday is NOT be at the top of my to-do list…

TIP #2: Buy Versatile Maternity Clothes:
Plan a few festive outfits you can mix and match that will work for ALL the upcoming holidays, from Thanksgiving to Christmas and New Year’s. Don’t wait until the night of the party to figure this out… have it planned. You’ll end up saving money and getting alot more wear out the the items you do end up buying!!! Here are a few good picks when it comes to being “versatile” items.

  1. This black skirt from Japanese Weekend is also a killer black halter top maternity dress and only $78. That’s alot of bang for the holiday clothing buck.
  2. Dress up your jeans with a dressie top. I like this one in Black Eyelet from Maternal America and plan to wear it on Christmas day with the family with jeans and black boots.
  3. Pick a few maternity tops that can be dressed up/down and worn well past the holidays as well like this off-white one… off-white is a great color for winter and the holidays.

TIP #3: Buy at least ONE Dress

Pregnant or not every girl needs a Go-Dress! To help you get the most mileage out of this specail dress:

  1. Pick a classic solid color so that different accessories can easily be added.
  2. Look for a maternity wrap dress as these are adorable over jeans and can be worn with funky tights/boots or really dressed up with heels.  Look for one in red, a great color for the holidays.
  3. Look for “smart buys” when it comes to selecting your go-to dress; one that is sure to work for many occasions, many seasons and even future pregnancies. Classic cuts and colors will take you MUCH furture than trendy styles here.
  4. FINALLY: The trend in Maternity fashion is fitted so have fun showing of your beautiful belly bump! It truly is something to celebrate. Here I am showing off mine on a local St. Louis morning show going over tips for Holiday Maternity Fashion.

I hope your pregnancy is going well and that you are in the holiday spirit!!! If you have any great maternity fashion tips or questions, I’d love to hear them below.

Related Articles:

39 Weeks : We are so BLESSED!
37 Weeks : Crystal Ball
36 Weeks : Pre-Birth ENERGY
35 Weeks : House Arrest
34 Weeks : Like “Cantaloupes”
33 Weeks : Blessingways and Birth
32 Weeks : Other New Moms & Icing
31 Weeks : Newborn Baby Checklists
30 Weeks : Sage “New-Mom” Advice from a Friend
29 Weeks : Placental Encapsulation
28 Weeks : Pregnancy Calf Cramps to Wake the DEAD
26 Weeks : The Nursery
25 Weeks : Back to Baby Names
24 Weeks : Cord Blood
23 Weeks : Baby Fat
22 Weeks : Baby(s) Moving! Time for Belly Massage
21 Weeks : Flu Bug
20 Weeks : Parents As Teachers
19 Weeks : Sleep
18 Weeks : Breastfeeding
17 Weeks : Childbirth
16 Weeks : Sex of the Babies. We’re having…
15 Weeks : Baby name Game
14 Weeks : Prenatal Yoga
13 Weeks : Mindful Nesting
12 Weeks : My Changing Pregnant Body
How Spirit Moves

due logoThis Zen Mommy Minute is published in partnership with Due Maternity, a great place to shop online for holiday maternity clothes.  xoxo

Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy

In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and expecting twins in Jan of 2010, Suzanne co-owns a holistic health center with her husband Shawn in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Educator of  Infant Massage and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne is a Co-creator of My Mommy Manual and the online parenting course, Yogi Parenting, a positive parenting approach for raising kids of all ages.

Positive Parenting Tip: Short and Sweet

positive_Parenting_tipOur Yogi Parenting audio tips are presented every Friday by Michaela Turner, BS Ed, CYKT, YKT, Co-Founder Yogi Parenting

Let your kids teach you how!!! Listen to this :15 AUDIO TIP:

Michaela is a 30 year veteran educator and a Certified YogaKids Teacher and Trainer. She teaches yoga baby and yoga kids classes for children throughout St. Louis, Missouri. As the Co-founder of Yogi Parenting, Michaela offers tips on parenting and seminars nationally, blending her joy for yoga with her love for children.

How to Pick Your New Mommy Wardrobe

postnatalLast week a very good friend of mine had her first baby. When I went to see my friend and her beautiful daughter in the hospital we talked about how the pain is more that one can imagine, but its all worth it. We talked about what the best clothes were to wear for breast-feeding and recovery. For those of us who have been through or are going through babydome, the first 2 months become somewhat of a blur. We almost robotically feed, change diapers and rest whenever we can. Somehow we manage to eat, shower and actually be a Mom to our other children and half the time not even remember how we did it. Then we take a look in the mirror with dark circles under our eyes, no make up, wearing what ever our burry vision could direct us to and undone hair. Some would say welcome to motherhood, but we know it’s just a temporary glitch because we have little lives to care for and get into a pattern. What can we do to get ourselves through the time and beyond? How can we organize ourselves to look the best with out to much hoopla? I have some ideas for you and if you organize it now before the baby or take a little time after the baby is born, you will save yourself time, stress and feel better. Sounds great doesn’t it?

  1. Select a drawer or section in your closet to place an entire outfit that fits you in post baby body. For example a comfy but not sloppy pair of pants and top such as yoga pants and roomy top. If you wear all one color it adds a sliming effect. Keep several of these outfits in a drawer so you don’t even have to think about what you are grabbing. It will save you time, energy and a lot of grief.
  2. Buy yourself a super cool hat. Hats are back and in all kinds of cute styles. If all you can manage is to brush your hair, throw on a great hat and look like a million bucks. This is perfect for the times when you can’t get in to get your roots touched up or just need a boost.
  3. Shoes, what can I say? We all need shoes don’t we? At this time in your life comfort is key but they need to be easy to put on. Fortunately there are so many cute styles out now for slip on flats. The reason I’m suggesting this is to save you time getting yourself together. When you have a toddler in one hand and a baby carrier in the other fiddling with shoes that have a lot of bells and whistles will prove to be tiresome.

The point here is to keep it simple. Save entering the high fashion world for a bit and focus on recovery and you kids. By creating an area in your closet or dresser for quick grab outfits, getting dressed and looking pulled together can be easier. When you are comfortable and feel like you look assembled it directly affects our psyche. You will be ready for visitors and trips to preschool. Simple basics can pull the whole look together and the only thing you will have to prepare yourself for are all the “Wow, you look great for just having a baby!” compliments that will come you way.

Image of Nursing Top from Due Maternity.

Expert Mommy, Julie Sprouse Verleger is the owner of Organized Home.