Zen Mommy Minute: The Tea Pot and BALANCE

What happens when you start moving real fast and all of a sudden you find that life is a little “too” full? Do you have a parenting pressure relief valve? What/where is it and what do you do when you hear it whistling? Join in the chat as we discuss balance on the Yogi Parenting Discussion Board.

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Zen Mommy Minute: Meditation with Kids

pebbles smallerHere’s an idea for your family to bring stillness and awareness to you and your kids. It’s a “Pebble Mediation” and my kids LOVE it. All you have to do is walk outside with your children and pick up a few pebbles or rocks… [Read more…]

Zen Mommy Minute: “I Yam What I Yam”

I can hear Popeye now “I Yam what I Yam…”. Parent or not, this week, let’s embrace the “I” that is our “true-self”. Let’s allow the things we do with our kids during the day, at their schools, etc.. to flow from these innate parts of our personalities…

not from only a sense of duty or obligation. Our children will see us in our bliss and learn that they too can love who they are and use their gifts on a daily basis to make a difference in the world.

Let’s parent in a way that is in line with [Read more…]

25 Weeks: Back to BABY NAMES

25 week biggerOK. I’m opening it up. I would LOVE to hear your BEST BABY NAME ideas for our twins, now 25 weeks along and pushing two pounds each. Be sure your comment links to an email or web site so I can track you down and thank you if we go with your suggestion! And so you don’t feel like you’re just randomly throwing names out there, let me give you some background on names from where me and my big-belly sit.

  • Our girls are Reilly (9) and Morgan (almost 7). Note they have two syllables AND 6 letters each, that both are also last names AND both could be for a boy or girl (though more on the girly side if you ask me.) Freaky coincidence or obsessive compulsive parents? The former. These parallels didn’t even dawn on us until after we’d picked the name Morgan.
  • I love using family names, especially for middle names, and we have a big family with lots of names for the picking. Reilly’s middle name is Cecelia after my husband’s grandma (who was the LIFE of the party kind-a-gal and could tell a dirty joke and kick back  a few vodka tonics better than most) and Morgan’s middle name is Kathleen after my baby sister who just had a baby of her own. Morgan was well named as everyone in the family says she looks like my gorgeous younger sister.
  • We’ve always had trouble picking boy names. We have two girls so you’d think we’d have a long list of boy names ready and waiting…  but in fact, we have about 3 girl ideas to every 1 boy idea. Our top picks for a boy in pregnancies past included William (and call him Liam), Mitchel (not even sure if I’m spelling that right) and Leo (my dad and my big brother’s name, unused through 13 grandchildren, only four of which are boys on my side of the family.)
  • The man that married us (straight from Ireland – all LOVE-able, intelligent, KIND, five-foot four-inches of him) is named Liam Collins. We’ve often thought how cool it would be to use all or part of this incredible man and dear friend’s name.
  • Some other family names include Alice, Hadley, Ivy, Jane, Elizabeth, Dean, Callahan, Pericles, Demetrius, Mark, and of course Shawn (my hubby who always wished his parents had spelled it “Sean”) and Suzanne (me, named after my mom “Susan”).
  • What else? Oh yeah, one of my favorite women in the world is Amelia Earhart (post I wrote about what a Bad Ass she was/is.)

Was any of this helpful? Or now are you as confused as we are? I hope you can see some creative potential in all I’ve shared, or just forget everything I’ve said and give me your best shot. A fresh new perspective might be just what we need. Send me your favorite one only… a first and middle name for baby girl and baby boy. I’ll let you you know our top five picks VERY SOON.

And speaking of names… what is your full name? Do you like it? And why did your parents pick it?

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This Zen Mommy Minute is published in partnership with Due Maternity. This week Zen Mommy is especially grateful for the fashionable maternity tops Due has… making room for her growing belly!  xoxo

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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
27 Weeks : Holiday Maternity Fashion Tips
26 Weeks : The Nursery
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

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.

Week 24: Cord Blood

cord bloodThis is what’s on my mind this week. It’s not sexy… I know. At least not as sexy as say, writing about our upcoming room-makeover for the twins’ nursery. But hey, it’s time for my husband and I to consider cord blood. From what I read it’s good to know if we want to collect this after the birth of our twins by week 27; that way if we decide to do this, we have plenty of time to manage all the details.

So hold on tight, I’m gonna share EVERYTHING I’ve learned so far about cord blood with you… starting with this enlightening link on the general benefits… including the fact that “To date it can treat more than 80 diseases using Haematopoietic Stem Cell (HSC) transplants, including leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and metabolic disorders.”

I’ve talked to a number of people about this, but it was my friend Julia who gave me the most thorough information. She told me not only about her decision to collect her son’s cord blood, but her experience in doing so as well. This is the sort of information you can only get from a friend. So of course I have to share it with you.

I am just one day from our six month OB visit and ultrasound (yippee!!!) so Julia’s timing with this information is impeccable. I plan to go over all that I’ve learned and any questions that I will no doubt have at my upcoming appointment.

So what have I learned? In a nutshell, that it’s best to think of collecting our twins’ cord blood as “insurance”… something you hope you’ll NEVER need, but if you do, man are you GLAD you have it. And I also learned it’s expensive.

The first question I had for my friend was given the cost, WHY did you decide to go ahead and do this? Her answer says it all:

“Santi and I thought about banking Aiden’s cord blood after I read about it in a magazine. After being a nurse in the PICU, I thought about all of the genetic disorders my patients had encountered, (i.e. various cancers, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy) and I wondered if there were anyway stem cells could have cured or at least improved their conditions. I also had an aunt pass away of leukemia the year before I had Aiden. She was able to get a life saving stem cell transplant, but after only a couple of months her body rejected the foreign stem cells and she passed away. She was only 40 years old. I often wondered if she could have gotten an autologous transplant (her own stem cells), if that would have saved her life.

I brought it up with my doctor and he told us he thought it was a great idea to bank our child’s cord blood. I remember him saying, ‘Twenty years ago, bone marrow transplants weren’t even possible. Who knows what’s going to be possible in the next twenty years.’ I think that was when we decided to go ahead and do it.”

So they did it. They made the investment. Julia says that there are two main companies that provide this service, CBR and ViaCord, and that in all her research they were close in price… about $2,000 per child give or take a $100. Wow. I don’t even want to see the price tag on twins!!! But my friend was encouraging here as well, telling me there’s a discount for medical professionals and for mothers of twins, payment plans (interest free) and a gift registry option. Can’t you just see yourself opening this at your baby shower?!?! A unique and practical gift to say the least. I can just hear Practical Mommy’s approval now. *wink*

OK. I know this isn’t for everyone, but as a medical professional, I have to say, I am definitely interested in the benefits it could have in the way of health and healing. SO I dig a little deeper. I asked my friend for resources… where to go, who to call. Here is her reply:

“A great resource for accurate info that is independently operated is parentsguidecordblood.org. You can also check out CBR’s website and even take an online tour of their lab. The Cord Blood Education Specialist that I worked with at CBR was Jennifer Lind. She was a great help from the beginning to the end of the process. Her e-mail is jlind@cordblood.com and her phone number is (800) 588-6377 Ext. 686.”

I found this page helpful which lists a number of Public and Private Banks. So there you have it. You now know everything I know on the matter. I’ll be talking to my doctor tomorrow and plan to talk with someone at CBR as well this week so I’ll keep you posted.

If you’ve had kids, did you do this? If you are pregnant, have you heard about the benefits of cord blood? Are you weighing whether or not to go there as well? Tell me all and I’ll let you know what I decide soon.

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Shower_HugBaby(s) Watch is published in partnership with The Shower Hug, essential for breast pain relief during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

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
27 Weeks : Holiday Maternity Fashion Tips
26 Weeks : The Nursery
25 Weeks : Back to Baby Names
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

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 Infant Massage Instructor and health education teacher. 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.

Zen Mommy Minute: Fun Halloween Tips for Parents


This Halloween, keep it safe for sure… but also keep it FUN! Here are three simple tips to keep you and your kids smiling all Monster Mash night long:

  1. Share stories from Halloween past with your kids. Tell them about when you were little. What were your favorite costumes growing up? Favorite candy? Family traditions?
  2. Look up the meaning and origins of Halloween on the internet with your kids. Tweens might especially get a kick out of this.
  3. Keep the pressure off, especially around costumes, telling jokes and going to a certain number of houses to trick – or – treat. There’s no right or wrong here. Focus on the F-U-N. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the things your neighbors are doing but remember (especially for young kids) less is more. [Read more…]

13 Weeks: Mindful Nesting

broomI know it’s only been seven days since last I wrote… but I seriously feel like I could write a novel this week. Chapters? They would be:

Chapter 1: Things my hubby and I are talking about

Chapter 2: Things I am thinking about

Chapter 3: Things I am doing… already!@#@ to prepare for our babies

You get the picture. It’s this last chapter, the “doing” one that freaks me out a little. I’m just one foot in the door into second trimester and apparently I am nesting (or some warped version of nesting there of.) [Read more…]