Suffering from the Terrible Two’s? Remember to BIRP

If you find yourself complaining about your tot, wondering aloud, “WHERE DID MY SWEET ANGEL GO?!?!” know this… you are not alone.

Here’s a tool to help you with the many power struggles that go along with raising a two year old. I hope it helps.

First and most importantly, disengage from the power struggle.

I love this visual: if one person drops their end of the rope, it’s awful hard to play tug-o-war.

DROP YOU END OF THE ROPE whenever possible. The next time you and your two year old child lock horns (works for all ages but especially for two year old kids) think BIRP. Not as in belching although that might work to bring levity to the situation, but BIRP as in:

B: Boundaries
I: Independence
R: Ritual
P: Play

The first two letters stand for our BOUNDARIES and their INDEPENDENCE, the cause of many if not most of our power struggles. Both are [Read more…]

Connection In a Box. Is This BabbaBox Yours!?

Last week I received connection in a box. It came on a day life found me far too busy to slow down and be connected and yet there I was, home on a rainy day with four kids pulling for me to be just that.

This was one of the first few weeks of summer break after all, couldn’t I make a little bit of time for FUN before moving full speed ahead into my to-do list? BabbaBox to the rescue.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ask Webster what this means and you’ll find this:

con路nec路tion[kuh-nek-shuhn] verb (used with object)

1. to join, link, or fasten together; unite or bind.
2. to establish communication between.

Multitasking. Busy-ness. Getting things done. It’s easy to pick these over connection with my kids. I know I’m disconnected when my lil guys go to tell or show me something and I give them only half my attention. Half my heart. It’s in these distracted moments of life, if I REALLY just stopped to listen to them fully, I would find the things they are telling and showing me are anything but little.

My two year old son finds an ant crawling up his arm. “He likes me!!! He likes me!!!” Sheer joy dripping from every word for his newest pet.

My two year old daughter telling me about her twin brother she calls Bubba. “Bubba’s my friend.” She says it with a smile, her head tilted shyly down and love for her womb-mate just oozing with this realization.

I received our first BabbaBox a few weeks ago and before my oldest two kids ripped into it, I tucked it away for the “perfect” moment. Last week brought that moment. I had a lot to get done around the house (laundry, shopping, dinner… you know the drill) and yet with it raining, I wanted to do something fun with my kids as well. BabbaBox to the rescue.

We opened the box BabbaCo sent me to review and it began. Kids crawling over one another to get to the next thing. Sock puppets? Cool!!! (Even my nine year old thought so.) The box brought giggles. The creative juices started pumping and we were off and on our way. Connection.

We read the book the box included about feelings. We used our Spy Glasses (what we began to call our “Feeling Finder Glasses”) and watched for the ways people around us were feeling, searching for emotions we’d been talking about through the various activities we’d done together. Mommy’s HAPPY!!! She’s sad. He’s funny. He’s silly. Ohhhh. Scary!!!

The box is actually intended for 3-6 year old kids and up but we had a blast just the same. Tailoring the activities included in the box for my youngest two was easy. Everything we needed was in there down to rounded nosed scissors.

In the end I found there was more to the BabbaBox than what came in it. The experience it inspired, one where I got to show up for my kids on this rainy day and be PRESENT, spontaneous and creative without having to do any work on the front end to make it happen was MY favorite part. Though I loved what came in the box, it was experiencing the box with my kids that I treasured the most.

I thought how much my parents would like this. What if I sent them the BabbaBox monthly to do with my kids? How fun would that be??? Thinking Christmas might be perfect to start that tradition.

Okay, enough about our box. Want to have a BabbaBox experience of your own? I was given a box to review and one to give away to you if I liked it. (And “liked it” I did.) Check the Rafflecopter entry above for the many ways you can enter. You can play everyday through the end of the giveaway, Friday, June 29th if you like! Here’s hoping you WIN connection in a box to call your own.

Maybe making time for the BabbaBox once in a while with my kids will help me remember the little moments of life are ANYTHING but small. And if we keep practicing, maybe, just maybe we can be present, playful and creative parents even while we are ticking away at our to-do lists.

Maybe. 馃槈

BabbaBox - Activity Box for Kids

 

Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommyhopes if you liked this article you will聽subscribe聽and/or join other mindful mamas聽here. To keep the lights on, Suzanne runs a聽holistic health centerin St. Louis, Missouri with her husband Shawn. She is passionate about the connection we are and to that end offers聽Infant Massage, parent coaching and聽YogaParenting.

 

 

Hey, Connection Isn’t Always Easy

re路la路tion路ship [ri-ley-shuhn-ship] noun

1. a connection, association, or involvement.

2. connection between persons by blood or marriage.

3. an emotional or other connection between people.

4. a sexual involvement; affair.

Being a mother, wife, lover, woman, friend… sometimes it’s hard. Maybe it’s just that by definition relationships are hard. Look above. The word connection is used in three of the four explanations of relationship and hey, connection isn’t always easy.

I opened the Bible on a day years ago when life and my relationships were getting the better of me. I was down and looking for some encouragement. I love to open certain books (the Bible being one of my favorites to do this with) to a random page and let where ever my finger falls speak to me. The words on which I land almost always knock me off my feet with the wisdom they hold. A word, passage or an entire page; on this day the message for me was contained in a single word.

“Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). Mark 7:34

This single word spoke volumes to my heart [Read more…]

Babywearing

Wanting to hold your baby is natural and has benefits for both parents AND baby.

Babywearing. This is literally the ONLY way I was able to grocery shop with my twins (six months old in this picture.) I wore them in different ways at different ages and I hope this review of the hows and whys encourages you to look into the many different babywearing options there are out there for parents these days. They are two now and our sling is still getting a work out, mostly around the house when I’m cleaning up and with light food prep for dinner these days.

Babywearing makes life easier and more comfortable for all, keeping our little ones close while also freeing up hands. Babywearing allowed me to tend to LIFE (including my two older kids) while also meeting my twins most basic needs. The need to be held.聽 [Read more…]

How Parenting Helps Me Grow

There is nothing like parenting to hold that mirror up to a grown person’s face (to my face, to your face…) and show us where we get to grow. Apparently I get to grow in patience and acceptance because these two keep showing up in my dang mirror. They were there yesterday, staring out at me. I recognized them right away.

My eight year old walked into the living room and saw it first. Instead of screaming at the horror she alone was witnessing (which, thinking back to being eight, could have been a fun thing to do) she ran to find me in the kitchen and broke it to me gently.

With big eyes and a shocked look on her face she said, “Mom, you are NOT going to like this.”聽She paused for dramatic effect.聽I froze and braced myself for impact.

“You are really going to freak out.”
[Read more…]

Cutest Baby Contest 2012

When our friends at Baby Kid Expo asks us to partner with them gain on the Cutest Baby Contest, we couldn’t possibly refuse. Last year’s entries were beyond adorable!!!

We want to see your cutest baby pics… and share them… and gush over them… and have everyone else gush over them too!

PRIZES! PRIZES!
The most-gushed (a.k.a. most voted) will win:
1. On Location photo shoot from Rhonda Jean Photography valued at $100
2. A Basket of Goodies from Tender Tushies
3. Cuddle Bear Book and Stuffed Animal from Sharman Mitchell with Usborne Books
4. a copy of聽Cool Party, Mom! The Other Three Words Every Mother Loves to Hear by Marnie Ann Pacino

… and more!

TO ENTER
1) Post your pic on our Facebook Wall (yes, you have to Like the MMM page and the Baby KId Expo page) between now and midnight CST on March 15.
2) Go back to the MMM Facebook page between March 16-23 to see if your cutest baby made the 15 finalists and VOTE! The poll will be live by NOON CST on March 16.
3) Winners will be announced on the main stage at聽Baby Kid Expo on Saturday, March 24 at the St. Charles Convention Center to find out if you won!

*Kids have to be 24 months or younger and they cannot have been finalists in 2011.

How to Set Powerful Resolutions this New Year

“Where love is, so is transformation.

…because love is transformation, moment to moment.”

-J. Krishnamurti

We are now well into the second week of 2012. How’s your New Year’s resolution going? If you’ve all but given up on resolutions, you are not alone. Zen Mommy talks about why most resolutions leave us feeling guilty and looks at the difference between “change” and “transformation” with Carol on Great Day St. Louis.

Maybe you set a New Year’s resolution and are still rocking it; eating better, exercising more, clearing out the clutter that has somehow successfully taken over most every nook and cranny of one’s car, home and office since it was reined in, January of last year.

Maybe you set a resolution for 2012 and have already broken it. If that is the case you now get to decide, is it worth reviving?

Or maybe you resist the idea of resolutions all together. You’ve watched them come and go in years gone by, each time largely failing to truly help you reshape an area of your life that you hoped to change, alter or in some way improve, and this year you’ve just chosen out.

If you are in any one of the three above categories, I invite you to join me in setting an empowering resolution for yourself and your life for 2012. What will make it powerful? One simple word. Love. Creating our resolutions from a place of self love and acceptance verse change, i.e. wanting to make something better, more or different (which is where most resolutions come from) makes all the difference in the world.

Let’s look a bit closer at how this works.

Setting Powerful聽 Resolutions in Four Steps:

1) Write down your resolution.

It can relate to any area of life or be specific to parenting:

EXAMPLES:

  • “I’m going to get more organized at home and/or work…”
  • “I’m going to start exercising more”
  • “I’m going to be more patient with my kids”

2) Now, take a moment and reread your resolution.

As you reread it, look for any negative beliefs you may hold that might be driving your resolution. What is behind your desire to change this area in your life? Many times, our desire for changes comes from an underlying feeling of not being enough.

EXAMPLES:

  • “I’m going to get more organized at home and/or work…” (I am so unorganized – life is out of control – there are not enough hours in the day)
  • “I’m going to start exercising more” (I am out of shape – I’m fat – I hate my body)
  • “I’m going to be more patient” (I am a bad mom – I wish I was more like so-and-so – I’ve probably permanently screwed-up my kids)

3) Next, write down and re-read the negative belief(s) behind your resolution.

Realize that any resolution born from guilt, pain or fear will most certainly set you on a course for failure, leading to more guilt for eventually breaking your resolution. This step is very important.

Before you go to “change” any area of your self or your life, spend some time with it as it is. Breathe and see if you can let go of the story you’ve made it mean… the drama… and just be with the facts of the story. (Ex: The fact behind the negative belief “I’m fat and ugly” could be “I am 20 pounds over weight) Breathe.

Sit a moment with things exactly as they are without judgment. Accept them. Accept yourself exactly as you are right now. See if you can hold love present even as you think about this area of your life exactly as it is.

From this place, where love is present, you can create your life, not just react to it. From this place, where love is present, so too is transformation. If you feel this shift to love, move to step four. If you have any difficulty here and want to move deeper in transforming the negative belief you hold, there are some wonderful tools for forgiveness on this site by Dr. Michael Ryce that will assist you including his forgiveness worksheet that I invite you to check out.

4) Begin again.

Think about your resolution in new words, declaring what you would like to create in any area of your life by completing this sentence:

“The possibility I am creating for myself and in my life is _____________.

After going through this final step, the EXAMPLES from above might read instead like this:

  • “The possibility I am creating for myself and in my life is structure and order.”
  • “The possibility I am creating for myself and in my life is time for myself.
  • “The possibility I am creating for myself and in my life is peace.”

Make sure to write what you are creating, not what you want to avoid, like “to not yell, to not eat bad foods…” If you are still saying what you DON’T want — that is exactly what you are going to get.

Use positive, creative words. Write them down. Post your new resolution all around you on sticky notes to remind you of it throughout the day. Say your resolution to yourself each morning you wake up and every night before you go to bed. The possibility you hold for yourself and your new year WILL begin showing up in your life.

Happy New Year!!! May 2012 be filled with joy, self-love and acceptance for you and your family.

I hope you will share this exercise with your kids. What a BEAUTIFUL gift for we as parents to give our children.

Transformation.

鈥斺斺斺斺斺

Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and twins born in February of 2010, Suzanne co-owns a holistic health center聽with her husband Shawn in St. Louis, Missouri聽 where she practices as Certified Educator of聽 Infant Massage and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne offers parent coaching and is the co-creator of the Yoga Parenting聽approach to聽positive parenting.

How to Escape from your Crib (at 19 months of age)

Much to this mom’s dismay, my 19 month old daughter climbed out of her crib after nap-time yesterday… and then I’m pretty sure lured her twin brother (4 minutes younger so there’s that!) to do the same. I walked in and my baby boy was sitting on the floor in front of his crib with a not so very happy look on his face saying “BOOM! BOOM!” Baby girl (can I still call them baby at 19 mo?) on the other hand was happy as a lark, walking around the room pulling blankets out of drawers, reveling in her new found freedom and POWER! ^_^

I set up the camera to catch her in the act. This is what I found.

Anyone else had a baby get out of the crib this early? My other two went 2.5 years before moving to big – girl – beds and never even attempted to climb out. Please share your creative thoughts on managing this. I’m all ears! Thus far, I’ve decided to lie down on the floor ’till I am certain my ‘lil Houdini has safely drifted off to slumberville. 馃檪 My boy ain’t in ANY hurry to throw himself over again, that’s for sure.

BOOM!!!

——-

Suzanne, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommy-ing to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and twins born in February of 2010, Suzanne owns a holistic health center in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Infant Massage Instructor and Parent Coach.

How to Find Your Child’s Parenting Manual

I needed to be reminded by my own message today. Tune in. Trust.

Thank you spirit for this reminder that came in the form of a conversation with my friend Katharine — a loving mama (to a very lucky little five-months-old boy) who is navigating the sometimes crazy road of mothering an infant, seeking balance as she lives with sleepless nights聽 and the many questions we moms face as first time (heck, as ANYtime) moms. “Am I doing it right? What does my baby need? Am I a good mom?!?”…

My friend is a warrior because she is taking the spiritual path of motherhood ON. It’s not always an easy path, but what it lacks in ease it makes up for in soft baby kisses and looks of love that could charm the devil himself.

Here is what I am remembering today.

—-

Ok…where’s the manual??? How many of us have felt that way when we are first sent out of the hospital with our little bundle of joy held snuggly in our arms? It would be nice though.聽Just turn to page 3 on crying and you will see exactly what you need to do. Not sleeping? Please turn to page 12.


Well, this may be hard to believe, but聽our children聽do come with聽a manual. And we actually get a different one with each child, each manual as聽as unique as they are.聽And like all manuals, just because we are given the manual doesn’t mean we immediately have all the knowledge inside memorized just by holding it.聽No, we聽will actually have to READ the manual if it’s going to help us.聽Or in the case of聽the manual that comes with each child, we need to聽LISTEN to it. You see, this manual is called our intuition.

The hard thing about intuition聽and parenting is that so often, as new moms,聽we are clear about one thing…we know nothing!!! I know it feels that way.聽But I am here to tell you, and hear me loud and clear, “Yes you do!!!” If it feels like you were absent the day this thing called聽鈥渁 mother’s intuition鈥 was handed out, relax. It might just be that you are聽standing there holding聽it in your hands, wishing you knew what it said inside, frustrated that you don’t. Hey, I got an idea. Let’s OPEN IT UP and let that information in!

[Read more…]

BOLD IN ST. LOUIS

BOLD is a global arts-based movement inspiring聽communities to create childbirth choices that work聽for mothers.

BOLD IN ST LOUIS

Local volunteer community organizers came together in 2009 to support the first reading of the play, Birth, by Karen Brody in St. Louis. Then, in 2010, volunteer organizers and sponsors built on their former success and hosted the first ever local full production of the play.聽Watch the 2010 cast in this inspiring short film of聽the play by聽RaileeProductions:

Plans for 2011 include another full production of the play,聽Birth, on August 28th, 2011 at the Tap Room in downtown St. Louis! Click here for more information on how you and/or your organization can get involved!

Karen Brody wrote聽Birth after interviewing 118 women across America about their birth stories. The play tells the story of eight of those women, representing the spectrum of experience among low-risk, educated, birthing women in the US today. Each performance is followed by a talk-back, giving audience members a chance to discuss pertinent issues from the play.

BOLD, initially called Birth On Labor Day, was founded聽in 2006 by playwright Karen Brody. Brody offered聽cities around the world the opportunity to perform her聽documentary-style play called Birth as part of BOLD.聽Her goal was to use the play to 鈥渕ake maternity聽mother-friendly.鈥 Well-known women鈥檚 health expert聽Dr. Christiane Northrup called the play 聽Birth, 鈥淭he聽Vagina Monologues for birth,鈥 a label it has lived up聽to through BOLD.

BOLD runs three core programs: Performance and聽Talkbacks of the play Birth, Red Tents events, and the聽College Campaign.聽BOLD programs raise awareness and money in local聽communities to improve childbirth choices for mothers and聽have raised over $115,000 to date. This grassroots initiative reaches over 20,000+ women, men, children and聽families (and growing!) every year through local events like ours. For more details on the play and the national event, please visit the national BOLD web site at www.boldaction.org