Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday hectic

Dear Mommies,

Do have a place you can go this holiday season? A place that's quiet, maybe snow covered and out of the way--so no one can find you?

While everyone talks about shopping and activities for the kiddies and baking and entertaining, I'd like to talk to you about hiding.

That's right mommies, hide. I don't mean runaway from home or disappear while your toddler is on time out. But,  settle everyone down and find your quiet spot. Refill your well. Nap, pray, knit, watch Hallmark, just remove yourself from the holiday fray.

Let go of your expectations and your invitations. You'll be happier if you smile more and worry less about the how the cookies turned out.

How will find your hiding spot?

Relax mommies you've got this!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

time away

Dear Mommies,

When you go away even for a moment from your babies do you miss them? Of course you do.
But are there times when you know the separation is necessary or deserved?

I think of the patients who came into contact with the Ebola virus who must undergo quarantine. Can you imagine being separated 21 days from your little munchkins? But you know that you would do anything to protect them even if it meant being away from them. The awful scenario of infecting your own child would be too much to bear.

And then there's the situation of a stay-at-home mommy who has two little ones that she is also homeschooling. Talk about an overachiever! But this mommy was given the chance to go to Europe for a brief, 4-day, stay. She hesitated and thought she should wait until her children were a little older. But then the opportunity would not present itself again. She went ahead and made the trip. Although she missed her babies, she had a wonderful time seeing London and Paris.

It was a trip of a lifetime. Now she has stories and experiences to share with her children. And her children were able to live without her for a brief time and without separation anxiety too!

Have you ever been away from your baby?

Relax mommies you've got this.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's okay to be scared

Dear Mommies,

It's that time of year when little kids put on masks, demand candy and then run around like crazy. Or maybe I have that backwards?

Every year, the costumes seem to get scarier and scarier. There's more gore, more horror movies and more games that extol bloodshed. I don't think kids should be exposed to that stuff. They don't always have the ability to put things in perspective.

Here's what they see:

Here's what it really looks like (magnified):

Our little ones see things on a much different scale than we do. And that's why I think we need to protect them (for a little while longer) from horror and gore. We ought to check under the beds for monsters and tell them that zombies are fake. And that it's okay to be scared. They will learn all too quickly about the ghoulish realities of things like heartbreak, failure, divorce, unemployment, cancer and death.

Encourage your little ones to tell you when and why they are fearful. Tell them about the things you were scared of as a little kid (I was scared of spiders!). What was your big childhood fear?

Relax mommies, you got this!

Monday, August 11, 2014

They grow up so fast...

Dear Mommies,

Thinking of you as I attended a wedding. Toddlers aplenty. Although it’s one of my favorite things to do—toddler watch--I was more thinking about us. Most especially all we’ve given up.

When we fell in love we began a series of "letting go." Many of us had to move out of somewhere into somewhere else—we gave up our old homes. Maybe it was a good move but for most, we gave up something at the very least that were used to.
We got married and had to give up our names. (Even if you hyphenate, it’s still giving up your name.)
We gave up a whole bed. When the babies come along, we had to give up sleep altogether.
We gave up spending time on ourselves on little things like hair, nails, makeup—not enough time. 

These sacrifices do not go unnoticed. They are repaid—never in kind—but they are repaid. They are repaid at joy of birth, the small sighs of a contented sleeping infant, the first words, the first steps smiles and “I love you’s." They are unique and common at the same time and they are worth the letting go's and giving up's.

At celebrations like weddings its a wonderful time to treasure them.
What is your favorite "repayment?"

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's about ponytails

Dear Mommies,

There's nothing more fun than doing hair.

Moms and daughters know this. Just take a moment and comb her hair, brush out the tangles and braid.
Ponytails and pigtails remind us of the fun and innocence of little girls.

This was a fun Fourth of July borrowed creation from Facebook. You start with three ponytails. Divide two in half and twist all five sections to creation the "star" pattern above.

Oh, and pray that you cath your daughter on a good day!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Make Grandma (and Grandpa) Happy this summer


Babies and grandmas. They go together like kisses and hugs.

Moms & dads, one simple thing to put on your bucket list:
Take pictures of the nanas or ompahs or grannies or grandmas or grams, with your babies this summer.

In one photo, you can capture the true mark of time and happiness.
Happy summer!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Dog's Life

Be good...

Dogs are family and we often regard them as people rather than pets. Some myths about having a rescue pet. The biggest myth is that when you adopt you don't know what kind of a dog or cat you're getting.

Nothing could be further from the truth.
Most if not all shelters are obligated by laws to disclose everything they can about a pet's age, health and temprament. While they absolutely want to have a dog or a cat find a forever home, they don't want a pet to be unhappy. And shelters don't want you to be unhappy either.

Misconceptions also center around the reason why a dog or cat ends up in a shelter in the first place. One of the main reasons is because the animal was abandoned and not because it was a bad dog. Many owners, especially in this economy must move or make the difficult decision to surrender the animal so that it might fare better in better circumstances. Animals are also surrendered when an owner must move over long distances and the animal may not be welcomed in the new home.

The good news is that most shelter pets are housebroken. They are also neutered, evaulated for health issues, up to date on their shots and ready for you to love them. Forever.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Toughest Thing

The Toughest Thing

In life, as in writing, we are subject to criticism, rejection, and plain old mean words that hurt. But the worst thing anyone can do to you or to your work is ignore it.

Part of the human condition is the desire to be accepted, validated, loved. It is no different for the author who writes or the runner who runs. The end goal, whether we want to acknowledge it, is to be noticed. It takes courage to put yourself forward, to do your best to stand out in a crowd. To be competing on any level.

When we take the ultimate step to be noticed by the object of our desire, any type of emotion short of love, feels like a rejection. My advice to writers & lovers: Be not afraid

You will be judged, rejected, scorned and ignored. But you will be loved.

What were the toughest words you ever heard?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

live life big...

it's tough to be patient.

Winter will be officially over in 4 weeks. But each day of snow and cold can seem like the longest day of your life.

Life however is not measured (or at least it shouldn’t be), as what we “got through” or “got over.” We have a habit of wanting things to be done, finished, like yesterday, already!

Slow down, be patient. 

Remember your memories are sacred (or should be). Did you hug your kids before they tumbled out into the snow? Did you toss a toy to your dog? Enjoy those moment. 

Life is about loving and learning. Share the love while you’re plowing through your winter. You have so much to enjoy! Life life & live it big (it helps having a big dog)!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tell your story...

Come to the Days Hotel on March 22, 2014 in Bethlehem, PA.
Your story needs to be told. People want to read what you write.

For more info:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dear Mommies, please don't stress about the potty...

Are your stressing right now over potty training?
It’s one of the milestones of toddler-hood. Teaching your baby correct control of their little bladder is such an important benchmark that some pediatricians consider it an unofficial mark of the end of toddler age.

But you may be wondering why you’ve exhausted yourself to make sure she goes ON the potty instead of whenever she pleases in her diaper. They get it eventually.

Yet, mommies are between a rock and a hard place. It must be done. Some pre-school centers won’t take children until they are potty trained. I’m sure that changing Pull-ups puts a halt to curriculum. I don’t think it should be used as a measure of whether or not a child can learn or should learn. It seems a little extreme. Odd, too, because it’s been shown that when non-potty trained children are around other children who are potty trained, non-potty trained toddlers learn faster.

If there was one piece of advice I could give to mommies at this stage, it is relax. They do learn. They become functional adults who toilet themselves and use the restrooms with independence. Further, there’s no indication that early or late potty training does nothing to affect bed wetting or “accidents” in pre-school or later on in life.

Oh I know, easy for me to say, now that I’m out of the woods. You may be rolling your eyes, “Sure right, I’m down to one Pull-up and there’s a snowstorm and no chance of getting to Target for supplies!” But I would still say relax, you’ve got this. Your ace in the hole—you are the mommy, they are the child. You have gravitas and authority. Much more than you know.

Be calm, don't bribe (too much), and don't threaten. And I'm here to tell you, they will learn!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A new year, a new start

There's something about the sea that draws people. Much like every January, we say goodbye and look forward to the beginning. At the beach we see the end of the land and the beginning of water.

We can go on a journey or we can stay on shore and wait for a return.

Where are you this year?
Are you embarking?