Archives for November 2010

How to Make Spoon Pie

I love to eat sweets. I love to bake. (Which came first, the chicken or the egg?)

My older two girls have inherited my sweet-tooth I am proud (and horrified) to say. So when the publishers of “Bon Appetit Desserts” asked if they could mail me their new 689 page cookbook full of only (you guessed it) desserts to review, I said, “Heck YEAH!!!” The deal was sealed when they agreed to send an additional cookbook to pass on to YOU.  (Just comment – gotta play to WIN!)

Described on the cover as the cookbook for “all things sweet and wonderful”, I’d have to agree. A forty dollar value and I don’t know how many pounds heavy, you’ll want to sit down with a cup of coffee and flip through this eye-pleaser thanks largely to award winning photographer and frequent Bon Appetit contributor Con Poulos.

This 50 second video from when the kids and I took it on a “test run” this past Thanksgiving holiday weekend will give you a good look at what you could win! (Did I mention 689 pages?) We poured over our new, easy to follow and pretty-to-look-at cookbook and picked three non-fussy recipe to make. [Read more…]

How to Make Mealtimes Memorable

Mealtimes can offer your family a chance to have real quality family time.   Show your children love by using some creativity and your kids will have wonderful memories that they can cherish into adulthood. Here are a few of my favorite ideas to get you started.

1. Own a Special plate. My mom had this cool plate for us while we were growing up and I loved it. We got the privilege of using the special plate whenever we did something good (good grade, birthday, or just for the heck of it!) I always love this tradition and use it with my family now. You can buy it online or make your own at a pottery store.
2. Schedule Family Dinners as Part of your Weekly Schedule. I would love to say that my family eats at the table every night but that would be a lie. [Read more…]

How to Label Your Child

Yes, labeling… like a pickle jar.

I cannot take credit for this one. My friend, Kellie is the genius! My son invited a few of his friends to celebrate his birthday at one of those indoor arcades that has always given my psychic hives! You know… total and complete chaos. At least, we’re beyond the age of him getting trampled by the bigger kids. Now, he is the big kid that could potentially trample someone else! However, we are not beyond him getting “lost” within the pandemoneum.

In a moment of panic, will he remember my phone number? Oh sure, at home he remembers it. In the car, he remembers it. Hopefully, like Dory, it will come to him unbidden. But in the event that it doesn’t…

Nothing to sew or iron on. Nothing that will get in his way. No sticker that may come off. Brilliantly simple, eh?

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yoga Parenting course. Are you ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful?

How to Find Meaningful AND Affordable Gifts

“Merry Christmas,” said the checker at the grocery store. Really? … and that was three weeks ago! And if I weren’t Practical Mommy, maybe I’d be freaking out a lot. But see, I try to keep my finger on all things cool, fun, new for kids and moms.

How? I have friends. Who own all the right stores! Like Molly at City Sprouts. Our kids are friends and she is totally in the know.

So when Great Day St. Louis asked me to share the inside scoop, this is what I brought:

[Read more…]

How To Rehab Your Relationship

Going to good couples counseling is something like repairing an injury.  We’ve hurt each other with our words over time and have learned ways to limp along in our relationship, not quite as strong as it once was.  So going to marriage therapy for me is like digging in a wound, trying to line it up straight and strengthening what has been there all along.  This is work, people.  I’m not sitting on the sidelines anymore crying about my emotional boo-boos.  I’m in rehab.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m in it to win it.  So I’m doing the work even though I have moments of pain and discomfort.

A part of our regular practice these days is to talk more (so obvious, right?).  I don’t just mean talking about the family schedule or finances, but the things that have injured our relationship.  The hard stuff.  And because we can’t spend $200 an hour on all of our little stuff, it’s gotta start with us.  So our wonderful therapists, gave us this common Couples Dialogue to structure our conversations (or at least get us started).

I know, the name even sounds mamby-pamby, but if a couple can agree to the process then I tell you, this helps to reset the injury so that you can be strong again. [Read more…]

How to Break Free from…

FOOD, in my case.

I have observed that people are obsessed with food. Note: observation v. judgement. I am certainly among such “people.” So it was with some aspects of scientific interest that I embarked on the “experiment” of The Master Cleanse. Danielle Smith graciously recorded pre- and post- real time observations of my 5-day detox/cleanse/fast.


What did I learn? [Read more…]

FAITH-ful thoughts: How I Think about Perfect

My mom is Practical Mommy. I am nine. And this is what I think.

This is what I believe about “Perfect”
If you think it is “perfect”, it is perfect.

How to Celebrate National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month. Our Expert Mommy and Adoption Coach, Sherrie Eldridge shares her thoughts on celebrating this month!


Dropping everything and running to the second story of her home, Leah Cook lifted the old-fashioned wooden-framed window that was pinning her seven-year-old granddaughter’s fingers to the sliver-filled sill.

“Now, now,” Leah whispered as she swooped up her granddaughter into her bountiful arms, rocking and nestling her granddaughter until the sobbing stopped. Leah’s granddaughter had no idea of the eternal impact those arms that were holding her had on so many families. She didn’t know that Grandma’s house was really an orphanage, The Clinton County Children’s Home, where abused and abandoned kids found unconditional love, and safety. She didn’t know that her buddies who ate Wonder Bread with margarine and sugar sprinkles were really orphans. She didn’t know that Leah worked with county physicians, attorneys, judges, birth mothers, and parents wanting to adopt. She didn’t understand that the same grandma whose obituary would someday call her “the mother of many” was the mother of her dad and mom, Retha and Mike Cook.

To the little girl, now grown and a grandma herself, Leah was an angel in disguise, [Read more…]

First 4 Weeks of Motherhood

Hello from Mommyland! Riggs is four weeks old today. I don’t even know where to start. The delivery went amazingly well. I was in labor for eight hours and pushed for one. The hardest part was pushing with no feeling from the waist down. I had to play some pretty tricky mind games with myself to figure out how to do that..but I managed.

I visualized delivering a baby but I wouldn’t let myself think about it actually being my son. If I did, I would start crying and get all emotional. I had my Holding Hands bracelet on and I was able to focus on each woman who gave me a bead.. I could see their smiling faces and remember what they told me each bead represented. That too made me get emotional. So during the actual pushing…and I am not making this up.. I made them turn on channel 4 and turn the tv up really loud during the 5 o’clock news. I remember during one contraction screaming, “Oh my Gosh, Vickie got bangs.” I had to distract myself so I would stay focused. My husband at one point said, “This is it! Riggs is almost here…just a few more…” and I interrupted him with, “Don’t say HIS NAME! I have to focus…I don’t want to break down”  another memorable moment was when I made my doctor stop what he was doing and smile at me. You have to understand. Dr. Chadwick is a very happy man and always smiles. I had never seen him look serious and it was breaking my concentration. He gave me a fake half, smile and I made him do it again. I think I was getting on his nerves and the baby looked a little annoyed, too 🙂

But he made sure Baby Riggs (told you his name wasn’t really Skittles) was perfect…. Here he is just a few minutes after he was born.

After all those blogs about my worries and fears, I am happy to say that not one of them has come true. I mean yes, I am up feeding in the middle of the night and yes, sometimes it takes me an hour or more to get him back to sleep, and yes, my days are consumed with him and yes I am lucky to get a shower…yes, my husband and I don’t have alone time like we did… BUT I love all of it!

God blessed me with a very easy going baby… he caught on to breastfeeding right away and latched on perfectly. My husband gets up with me during EVERY feeding… he changes his diaper while I get ready to feed him… and we take turns putting him back to sleep. That little boy loves his daddy.

I catch my husband just smiling at me while I am talking to the baby. And I swear he has told me how much he loves me in the last four weeks more than the entire pregnancy. Not that he didn’t before but he is much more affectionate and tells me daily what a great mommy I am.

I am not bragging I am just telling you that husbands really do love you even more once they see you with their child. Oh! and he just up out of no where arranged for my sister and brother-in-law to watch Riggs while we have our first date night tonight.  That is definetely out of character and I didn’t even have to say anything to him.

My mother being here for the fist week and a half was a huge help.

Just watching her and how she reacted to his cries like during his first bath… taught me how to respond and not over react.

Also, all of the advice from Zen and Practical Mommy has really helped. I felt so much more at ease and prepared once he was finally here. My friendships with those two wonderful women have changed me. They encouraged me to trust God and my instincts to guide me. They also made me realize how much your child can guide you.  I also appreciate my son more… because I am not spending my time worrying.

I would have to say that the worst part was recovering from the delivery. I was in pain… and things just weren’t the same. But four weeks out and I am feeling close to normal. I am walking two miles every other day or so…I wear a lot of yoga pants… anything with elastic. But throwing on a hat and sweats every day is a vacation in itself!

My biggest concern is how I will fit the feedings and pumping into my crazy work schedule and how I will get Riggs adjusted to it. But I have seven weeks of maternity leave left and I am not spending them stressing about work.

I am so in love with this little boy and his father! Life is good! Thank you for all of your words of encouragement!

Virginia Kerr is a morning news anchor on News 4. You can watch her Monday – Friday from 5AM to 7AM.

How to Find a Great Nanny

There is not much I need to type here that I don’t say in this video journal from our week long adventure finding a nanny. I will tell you that we DID IT! We hired our fifteen to twenty hour a week nanny. Her name is Rachel and she r-o-c-k-s. She’s experienced, she’s easy to work with and most importantly, she’s great with my kiddos.

From the start I’ve felt like we’ve just “flowed”… and that is really important to me.

I never wanted this process to be hard, nor did I think it needed to be, inspite of some of the horror stories friends have shared with me on their experiences doing the same. Who wants this important relationship to be hard, stressful or strained? Not I. Not I!!! So going into it, I looked for help. Someone to hold my hand you could say. Enter the agency I decided to use to source referrals, [Read more…]