Friday, September 30, 2011

Kids and Yoga

If you think yoga is for the thirty-plus set alone, it may come as a surprise that children as young as preschoolers actually enjoy striking a pose. While they do not attempt headstands, there are a number of simple moves that the young enthusiasts can perform. The exercises themselves last between thirty seconds to one minute, but children stay in a pose as per their capacity, which builds gradually with practice.

Many of the yoga positions resemble animal movements and elements in nature, which is why kids easily take to stretching their bodies like a cat or balancing like a flamingo. The poses spark the little ones’ imagination and promote awareness of their bodies’ abilities.

Instructors too afford children freedom to explore, and incorporate creative techniques and age-appropriate props to playfully lead them through the active and relaxation poses. So unlike in a class for adults your tots can flap their imaginary wings, make barking sounds in the dog pose or be still as the mountain for as long as they wish. In the process they develop strong, flexible bodies, better motor skills, and learn to calm down and focus.

Yoga also presents ways to overcome fear, anger and frustration. It has been found to aid hyperactive kids in channeling their impulses, and therapeutic in children with special needs. Thus this exercise system that dates back more than 5000 years fosters the overall development of children and unlocks their potential through the formative years. Yoga programs for kids offered across the country are providing that early start. From being a trendy discipline, yoga is gaining acceptance among parents too. In fact, some of the classes are open to parents so you have a wonderful activity to share with your child.

This is just the beginning. As your kids grow so do the ways in which the physical skills and meditation techniques derived from yoga can make a difference. An after school yoga session serves as excellent exercise without the pressure of competitive student sports. The holding of postures and synchronizing of breadth and movement enhance fitness. Hatha yoga which is the more widely practiced form in the West has several styles so there is flexibility in choosing a workout suited to the individual’s physical capability and personality type. For instance ashtanga yoga with it’s challenging sequence of poses performed at a faster pace is akin to athletic training while viniyoga is less demanding physically and focuses on precise coordination of breath with the movement of the spine.

Regular practice builds strength, energy and muscle tone, boosts bodies vital systems, and improves concentration and coordination. These benefits help your child be a better sportsman as well as a better student. Beyond that, the essence of yoga is to bring the mind and body together to attain inner peace so it promotes self-appreciation, serenity and a sense of balance. Hence your preteen or teen acquires the inner resources to cope with the stresses of adolescence, keeping disorders and addictions at bay.

Even if you may not know much about yoga it is not difficult to bring home it’s many positive effects to your family. Towards this end you can attend a yoga class taught by a qualified instructor or self-study using books and videos. Resources such as The Yoga Site (http://www.yogasite.com) and Yoga Journal (http://www.yogajournal.com) educate on the philosophy and practice of yoga, guide you on how to perform various poses as well as assist in locating a teacher in your area.

When practicing the postures with your four year old or your twelve year old at home a little bit of improvisation and spontaneity keeps the workout interesting and it becomes an activity that they look forward to doing with you. As you interact at their level, you will find discovering yoga with your child to be a rewarding experience in more ways than one.

Originally posted on CharlotteMommies
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Well-Balanced Moms Have More Fun

Or should I say "Well Balanced Moms Are More Fun?" Let me ask you, When was the last time you had lunch with some girl friends, or went on a girl's night out? When was the last time you went on a romantic weekend getaway with your spouse? If you can't remember, we definitely have to talk.

It's so easy to fall into the mommy guilt trap. We feel guilty if we take time for ourselves, so we end up taking care of everyone in the family but us. It's easy to lose ourselves in the quest to become Super Mom. Along the way we get stressed out and aggravated. It's important to do something just for us to stay balanced moms. Here are some ways for you to get started on your journey to rediscover YOU.

1. Get together with some girlfriends. One of the best ways to rediscover yourself is to spend some time with your girlfriends each week. Have lunch together, go to the movies to watch the latest chick flick, or plan a girl's night out every once in a while.

2. If you are having a bad day, call one of your girlfriends to vent, or just chat. You'll be surprised how much better you feel and how it puts things back in perspective that seemed like the end of the world a few minutes ago.


3. Spend a romantic weekend with your spouse anywhere but at home. Go away for a romantic weekend with your spouse a few times a year. Rekindle your passion for each other and feel in love again, instead just partners in dealing with the everyday stuff involved in raising kids.


4. Go on a date every week. Get a sitter once a week and go on a date with your significant other. Spend some time reconnecting with each other. If you have an activity that you both enjoy, take a class together.


5. Pamper Yourself. Do something every week to pamper yourself. Go get a new haircut. Visit your favorite nail saloon for a manicure, pedicure or to get your nails done. Call your favorite day spa and schedule a facial. Get a massage.

If you are on a budget, pamper yourself at home. Send Dad and the kids to the park. Take a hot bubble bath and paint you toenails. Honey makes a quick facial. Place a cloth in warm water and apply to your face to open the pores. Smear on honey, and leave on for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Don't feel guilty about taking time for yourself a few times a week. Your kids will appreciate it when they get a balanced and fun mom in return. You will be more relaxed, happier and actually be able to enjoy your family. After all, that's why you had kids in the first place, didn't you?

Originally posted on SaltLakeCityMommies
Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu Monday Heathers No-Salt Table Blend

Heather's No-Salt Table Blend

Ingredients:
6 tbsp. dried oregano
7 tbsp. onion powder
4 tsp. dried marjoram
4 tbsp. dried basil
4 tsp. dried savory
6 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried sage
3 tsp. black pepper

Cooking Instructions:
Mix together and store in an airtight container.

Additional Comments:
This is a lovely addition to the table. My family and friends are crazy about this mix and are constantly asking me to package it up for them.

Submitted to The Mommies Network recipe database by "Heather"
Friday, September 23, 2011

Time Out For Style

A common complaint of many mothers is the daily struggle of what to wear. Most mothers express exasperation that they dress too casually, and some say, sloppily. Many mothers do not have the time in their busy schedules to devote to finding appropriate and attractive clothing.
Help can be found with a wardrobe consultant who will review your closet, assist you in determining your clothing needs, provide shopping assistance, and organize your closet.


If you find that you stand in front of your closet full of clothes and have nothing to wear, I recommend that you find someone to watch the children for a half day and devote it to reviewing
the clothing in your closet. Put on some music of your choice and pop open a Diet Coke or have a glass of wine if you're feeling more adventuresome. You'll need to try on everything, unless by sight you find that an item is too worn, stained, or a size that you haven't seen for awhile.

Once you try on the remaining clothing ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does it fit?
2. Does the color suit me?
3. When was the last time I wore this?
4. Does this fit into my current life situation? (i.e. a stay-at-home mom doesn't need a closet full
of power suits);and,
5. Do I like it? (can I run into an old boyfriend and feel attractive?).

Items that don't meet the above criteria can be donated to a charity. Please make sure that the item is in good condition; the rule is to only donate what you would consider buying. Items with tags still attached can be sold on eBay or at a consignment shop. The balance of the items can be
tossed or recycled for your "rag bag."

Most women need the following for a casual winter wardrobe:
1. Jeans in a darker wash;
2. A pair of black pants. The current style recalling Audrey Hepburn looks good on most women
and can be dressed up or down. I recommend that you have several pairs so that when one pair is
in the wash, you have another to wear;
3. A pair of corduroy pants in a boot cut style;
4. A few sweaters in a classic style. I happen to like the J Crew Wesley cable style in the v-neck
so you can layer a blouse or t-shirt under. Plus, they are really soft and wear well;
5. A pair of short boots to wear under your jeans and pants;
6. A pair of flat shoes to wear with your black pants. Try black or an animal print for more style;
7. T-shirts in white and other colors that you like. The Old Navy ones are a terrific value;
8. A sweater coat - a Fair Isle type weave will add pop to your pants and jeans. Also, it doesn't
get that cold in Richmond, and, since we spend most of our days in cars, a heavy coat isn't needed for most days; and,
9. A "real" winter coat for colder days.

That's all you need. I find that the more choices women have, the harder it is to decide what to wear. Pare down and you'll find that you are more confident and ready to face the world!
The best part of the above list is that you can order these by catalog or on the internet. This is my favorite way to shop because I can try the clothing on at my own pace and match them to my existing pieces. No need to drag a 2 and 4 year old through the mall!
Now you need to organize your closet. Take out anything that isn't clothing related. Find a new place for Christmas paper, sport equipment, and toys. When you're doing this it's a great time to streamline your home. Make sure that you are using the same style of hanger; it takes up less rod space. I like the plastic "jewel" style hanger that you find in department stores. You should also buy a few shoe boxes and some baskets to put belts and scarves in. You can get these items at Target for a reasonable price.

Originally posted on RichmondMommies
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Lips are Lovin' Me!!


When I made my first "homemade product" over a year ago. I was such a consumer. It wasn't quality if I didn't buy it right? I was just looking to be frugal. Wrong! Instead of frugal, I am making high quality products for pennies compared to store bought

Recently the make-my-own bug has bitten me. Renee over at FIMBY has been motivating me for several months now...and so after loving my laundry soap, then deodorant (will never buy Secret again), followed by my homemade soap which is curing right now awaiting my Mother's Day. I have yet again made something I will never go back to buying! My lips are in L.O.V.E.

I must give Renee the credit for the recipe. I am still learning, but the more I make my own, the more I am branching out to create my own.

I think the hardest part of making my own products is actually gathering the supplies. In this case most of my ingredients came from my local organic health store. Once I have them on hand, it takes no time at all to be reaping the benefits of my own goods.
A few of you have asked where I got my supplies, so I noted it for you. I am sure you could get it online too.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz. (approx. 3 tsp.) grated or roughly chopped beeswax (local organic Co-operative)
  • 1 oz. (approx. 6 tsp.) coconut oil (local organic Co-operative)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lanolin (Left over from Breast feeding my babes)
  • 3/4 tsp. vitamin E (I had capsules in my cabinet and poked holes in them to add up)
  • 2 tsp. hard honey (local organic Co-operative)
  • 3/4 tsp. peppermint essential oil (local organic Co-operative)


Assemble what you need:
This actually takes the longest, the making is a breeze!



Grate the beeswax and melt with the coconut oil, Lanolin, and Vitamin E. It was the consistency of vegetable oil when melted completely.

Second add the Peppermint extract and Raw honey (some know it as hard honey). If you are buying it new for this purpose I would scrape the top and use for something else. Particles don't break down well.



Mixing the peppermint extract and Peppermint was tricky to incorporate. You have to be really fast. I started with a wooden dowel but quickly moved to a rubber spatula which worked so much better for me.
I did have to reheat some to pour it in. I do not prefer the tubes, as much as the round containers. It goes on so smooth and the peppermint is yummy and tingly.

The best part of making my own, is there is always plenty to share with others. I love being able to pass some on to family and friends to enjoy as well.

Try it for yourself and let me know how you like the recipe. If I can do this you you definitely can do this!


Submitted by Elizabeth from NorthMetroDCMommies.  Originally published on The Whimsical Housewife on 4/28/11.
Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu Monday Potato Pierogi


Potato Pierogi

Ingredients:
2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, chopped
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
6 ounces mild cheddar cheese
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1/4 corn oil

Cooking Instructions:
Boil the potatoes until well done, drain and mash with butter. Set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat cook the onions and bacon together. Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture for spooning over the cooked pierogi. Add the remaining bacon and onions to the potatoes. Stir the cheese into the potato mixture. Mix well. Chill until very cold. Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Pour water and oil into the well. Mix together. Add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough is firm. Knead dough until mixture does not stick to hands. Cover tightly and let stand for 1/2 hour in a warm place. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut in 2-inch diameter circles. Add 1 teaspoon filling, fold over 1 half of circle and press the edges together to seal. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon oil, then add pierogi. Stir occasionally to pierogi won't stick to the bottom. When perogi rise to the top, add 1 cup cold water to stop the cooking. Remove the perogi with a slotted spoon. Perogi will cook in 3 to 4 minutes. Serve topped with reserved onion-bacon mixture.

Recipe submitted by "Sarah" to The Mommies Network recipe database.
Friday, September 16, 2011

Mommy Guilt

Ladies, you all know what I am talking about when I utter these two nasty little words: “mommy guilt.” We all may have been prepared with the perfect nurseries, perfect birth plans, perfect diapers, and even perfect ideas of what we thought motherhood would be like. But we could never have prepared ourselves for the tremendous feelings of guilt that come along with the most important job on Earth. It begins almost as soon as we see the infamous two pink lines on the pregnancy test. We start to analyze each bite of food that we put into our mouths, making the right doctor appointments, getting the right baby gear. However, those guilty feelings of slipping a little extra chocolate as we pat our increasingly round bellies does not compare to the guilt after the babies arrive.

It doesn’t set in right away. In the early days, we are focused on the basics of newborn care and recovering from the birth. It starts to lurk as some start to plan for returning to work and leaving that most precious child with someone who doesn’t love them as much as we do. The thought is enough to rip your heart out. We didn’t expect it to be so difficult. Gulp. The guilt doesn’t go away after the baby stage either. In fact, it grows and gets worse. Why didn’t any of the countless parenting books and articles we read prepare us for it?! Then we have toddlers, which sometimes can be very trying to even the patience of Mother Theresa. We yell, and then wonder if we have warped them for life. We actually purposefully put them in front of the TV so that we can get through paying the bills and the house will stay moderately clean. Then we leave them there because we were so productive that we think we can just squeeze in a few more chores before breaking their zoned-out eye lock on the boob tube. Gasp. Just the thing we never, never, never thought we would ever do. We even used to judge those who did. And then we do it again the next week when we have to tackle the laundry. Horror of horrors.

Mommies, we must give ourselves a break. After all, maybe a gluttonous amount of TV now, will help them self regulate their own TV viewing later in life. Maybe that extra pregnancy chocolate helped us get enough calories to help grow those perfect, tiny fingernails. Perhaps there will be a recall on the more expensive car-seat with the better safety review and we will feel victorious for choosing the less pricey model. Did we love those sweet little people, though? Did we hug them and squeeze them? Yes! Today and every day. Isn’t that the most important thing anyway: that they feel loved? After all, helping our children feel loved deeply is the most perfect thing we can do. Even if we do it imperfectly from time to time along the way. Let us tenderly kiss them goodnight tonight and collectively, we will breathe a sigh of relief.

Originally published on ChesapeakeMommies.com
Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering with Hope

It’s still fresh in my memory. Like those who were old enough to understand when Pearl Harbor was attacked, I will always remember where I was when I first heard the terrible report. I was listening to NPR on my way to work and assumed the newscaster was talking about a plane crash. It wasn’t until I came inside and saw everyone huddled tensely around a TV set in the break room that I began to understand the enormity of what had happened. As the day wore on, regulars who usually chatted amiably as they paid for their groceries wandered down aisles with tear-stained faces and embraced each other in grief and consolation.

During the same morning hours, my sister-in-law was giving birth to her child in a San Francisco hospital. I can only imagine the emotions that must have warred in her as she held her little girl Sage in her arms. Stunned sorrow conflicted with the joy, hope and amazement of witnessing new life.

What stands out today is that hope was born in the midst of chaos and great loss, and our nation came together as one to comfort and lift each other up. As triumphant structures are erected at the site of Ground Zero, my hope is that we honor those who were lost and those who

Patriotic Waving Tattered Shredding American Flag, Old Glory, The Red White and Blue, Stars & Stripes, That Ragged Old Flag
Photo Credit: Beverly & Pack
sacrificed their health and safety to save others that day. The best way I can think of to do that in my own family is to continue to break the barriers of interpersonal discord by recognizing the common ground we all share as part of this nation and world. If we reach out, lift up, and carry one another’s burdens, we will have continued the legacy of those strong people who refused to let the events of 9/11 defeat them.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Finding Me Time


Something I’ve struggled with in my life as a mom is finding time just for me.  This isn’t the time to take to clean the house (must vacuum playroom), cook a meal (need to figure out tonight’s meal), put away laundry (3 baskets are waiting for me), or any of the other household tasks that exist (see list).  This is time for ME.  To do what I want.  I constantly remind my friends that even though we are moms we are not just Mom.  We existed as a person with interests and goals before we took up the mantle of motherhood.  And we need to continue those interests.  I feel it’s important to show my children that just because they become parents doesn’t mean their other life needs to stop.

Writing Tools
Photo Credit: Gaius Valerius Flaccus
I’ve recently enrolled in a writer’s boot camp at a local writing center.  It’s one night a week for four weeks.  I’ll be going back to one of the activities I have always loved.  We’re doing this as a trial.  If this goes well we’re going to try and get me more time to take writing classes or to work on the pieces I have started and in my head.  I find I am a much happier person if I have at least one creative outlet.  Writing, as I was once told, is good for the soul.  It helps take our inner thinking’s and puts them outside. 

gym equipment
Photo Credit: Jack Lyons
I’ve also started up at a gym.  I try to go at least two nights a week, and a time or two on the weekends.  It does take some time away from my husband and occasionally from my kids.  I think of it this way, I can either take a few hours here and there to be healthier and feel better thus extending my life.  Or I can take that time off from the enjoyment of their lives and the end of my own.  I’ve even spent some extra money on three sessions with a  personal trainer. 

It isn’t much.  But just those few steps have already made me feel better about myself and me still being Heidi-rose and not just Mom.  It makes me feel freer and able to stop worrying about all the chores and tasks and enjoy the time with my kids.  Because it reminds me that not only am I still an individual, but so are they.  And they need me to be whole so I can be wholly with them.  
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Microwave Popcorn

The girls and I had a movie night. I stopped buying microwave popcorn a long time ago. Too much junk, what not, sodium and hydrogenated oils in it. Besides this is something the girls like to help with. We like it with real butter and different toppings. Usually dry ranch dressing mix- yes not good for you but I can control how much goes in there, or cinnamon sugar.

Popping corn
Paper lunch bag

Toppings-
cinnamon sugar
ranch dressing mix
grated cheese
herbed olive oils
salt
butter


I use a little bit less than 1/3 cup of popcorn.









Pour it in the bag.










Fold the top down three times.







Place it folded side down in the microwave. Hit the popcorn button, or it takes about 3 minutes in our microwave.








See, yummy and easy. You can even reuse the bag for another batch. Just once though, don't reuse it more than that.








Submitted by Katherine
{Originally published by Give Peas a Chance on April 26, 2008}

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Everyone Deserves a Second Chance!

The Mommies Network would like to thank everyone who participated in the National Auction! Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from the auction will go to support Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. The remaining 75 percent of funds raised will be used to further The Mommies Network mission to provide a safe, secure, FREE place for mothers to find support and encouragement from other mothers and to empower them to be better women, parents, and community leaders.
 
The Mommies Network National Auction received a number of last-minute donations! These new items, along with some previously listed, will go up for sale in a limited-time Second Chance Auction! Get your shop on Sept. 5–11 on the National Forum!
Click here to shop today!
Monday, September 5, 2011

Georgetown, Here We Come!

This is part of a series.  You can find parts 1 & 2 on this blog.

Georgetown, Here We Come!

No I did not say that because I’m on my way to go shopping or check out the nightlife, though it was still dark out as we arrived into Georgetown. I’m saying that because Georgetown University Hospital is where we went to have DD’s tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and tubes placed in her ears. Yeah, that is a mouthful, quite literally! The last time I remember being up at 3:30 in the morning I was not getting up off the pillow, I was laying my head down on the pillow. Sadly, I was not just coming in the door from being in Georgetown; my being up late did however involve my DD and a feeding. But, here we were three years later and heading to something life changing for her. 

We got to the hospital and DD was wonderful, she hardly minded the extended wait we had in the waiting area before going back to the pre-surgery area. I tried to remain strong and remind myself not to cry, inside my head I kept saying, “Don’t cry Traci, and don’t let her see you cry!” Yeah, that didn’t work. The Anesthesiologist came in to explain once again what would happen in the OR when we got in there and even though I had read about it and heard it all before (from the nurse and friends whose children went through the same procedure), I still choked up and out came the tears. The time finally came for them to wheel her down to the OR and she started to cry. In the back of my head I knew this was a good thing since it would help get the gas into her quicker if her lungs were open but, it still hurt to see her so scared. 

Ana's well-attended surgery
Photo Credit: ReSurge International
We rolled into the OR and I helped them get her situated and told her to just close her eyes and go to sleep. I told her I loved her and that she was going to have sweet dreams and I couldn’t wait to hear about them. It took about a minute and a half and she was fully asleep. Her ENT walked me back to the pediatric pre-surgery area and asked if I had any more questions. At that point even if I did I don’t think I could really think straight enough to vocalize them. I went back into her room and the wait began for us. We were told the surgery would take about an hour and a half, and it did, at exactly an hour and a half later her doctor was back in her room telling us she was in recovery and we would be able to go back and see her shortly. 

Banana & Mango Smoothie Popsicle
Photo Credit: babe_kl
We were informed by her ENT that her tonsils were big, her adenoids were HUGE, and there was A LOOOOOOOT of fluid in her ears; so much that we were given ear drops to ward off infection. Before he even finished going over the surgery with us and her recovery process at home, they were calling from recovery for me to go and be with her. Her nurse walked me back to her in recovery and she saw me and started crying. The last time I heard her cough like that was when she had bronchitis. Lucky for us she loved the popsicles and apple juice and keeping her throat moist helped to keep that cough at bay. We were told the more she had of the two the quicker she would go home, luckily she understood that and before we knew it, we were on our way back home. 

How is she doing so far?  VERY WELL!!! It has been a week and a few days and we can already tell she is hearing things she may have never heard completely before. She is covering her ears at high pitched sounds, and you can understand more of what she is saying (fewer mumbled conversations). BUT, the big thing to check is the low tones and how she is hearing them. Time will only tell right now and we have an appointment coming up soon. Once I know more, I promise to share! 


Friday, September 2, 2011

Recruitment Challenge!


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