He Did It….

We recently went on vacation to our camp and two of my sons overcame their fear of the creek. It may not sound like a big deal, but to my family it’s huge. My youngest son who is 6 years old, was afraid to go down the slide into the creek. After me catching him a few times, he finally did it by himself. Now we can’t keep him off the slide.

My other son who is 9 years old has never liked to be in water that is over his ankles. Finally, I was able to get him to float on a raft next to me. He even stood in the water up to his knees, so I could put him on the raft. What a great vacation!

How to Choose the Best Sunscreen for Your Needs

I’m the mother you see standing in the sunscreen isle, looking at every single sunscreen option. Trying to figure out which one will keep my kids and myself protected.

Of course our family has 2 children who tan like their father and 2 children who burn and freckle like their mother. Add to the mix the option of whether to use a spray sunscreen or a lotion sunscreen. Too many choices. Here is a guide to help make your next sunscreen purchase easier….

Good luck and enjoy your summer!

How to Save Kids From Digital Heroine

Parents look at me crazy when I tell them I lock my children’s kindles away from Easter until Halloween. My husband and I have seen how addicting digital devices can be.

Everyone has started to realize that too much screen time effects behavior, mood and emotional regulation. I’m a great advocate for using digital devices to reinforce educational lessons.

I also do my best to set a good example for my children. I can’t expect them to stay off their devices if I’m on mine including my phone all the time. These are the best years with our children and we need enjoy them.

5 Things to Help Your Child Recover from Tonsil & Adenoidectomy

A little over a week ago, my son had his adenoids and tonsils removed. Like many moms I did my homework before, so I could anticipate what the recovery process would be like. However, my son hasn’t been the typical patient…Here are the 5 things that have helped him recover:

  1. Lots of Tylenol. Normally Motrin is the go to for pain relief, but it can cause your child to continue to bleed. Every 4 hours giving your child Tylenol will help with the pain.
  2. Yogurt vs Jello. My son wasn’t interested in jello, pudding or popsicles. However, he loved the yogurt in the tubes.
  3. Push Fluids. My son started with Gatorade and water then decided he wanted to drink milk. Keeping your child hydrated is important. I expected my son to just want fluids, but he wanted to eat real food.
  4. No color restrictions. A few moms had told me not to give my son anything red or purple. The doctors and nurses said the color didn’t matter. Just get them to eat and drink.
  5. Expanding their lungs. After surgery, make sure your child practices expanding their lungs. There are a few ways to do this including taking a walk to the end of the street or taking big breaths, holding it then exhaling. The reason this is so important is to keep fluid from forming in the lungs.

Each child is different and will recover from this rough surgery at their own pace. The most important thing we can do for our children is to be there for them and shower them with lots of love. I won’t lie it is a rough week filled with little sleep, but it’s worth it.

It Can Come for Anyone

The recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bordain are a wake-up call. Depression can strike anyone at any age and any time. Unfortunately, society continues to cast a stigma against depression sufferers, so people are secretly fighting this enormous battle. Taking medicine, talking to a therapist, watching what you eat are only part of the recovery process.

Providing a judgement free support system is essential. Giving our friends and family the space to openly discuss their thoughts and feelings can make a huge difference. We must remember to check in on our friends and family. Don’t wait for someone to ask for help because it probably won’t happen. Pick up the phone and call or send a “How are you doing” or “Let’s get together” text.

Here are a few hotlines to call incase you or someone you know is need of help:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663

 

Taken for Granted….

Another school year ended yesterday and of course my kids were extremely excited. By the end of the night they were already on my nerves. The stress and worry of how to keep the kids busy and outside was starting to set in. Then my husband received a call from a friend….

Our friend was on his way out of town to morn the loss of 3 family members (a niece pregnant with twins). A pulmonary embolism had taken the lives of all 3 as they were on their way to the hospital. My heart began to ache, and I realized how lucky I am to have my husband and children.

Sometimes we need a reminder that what we have is precious. My children will get on my nerves and each other’s, but I’m not going to stress or worry about it. I’m going to be grateful for the precious moments I have with my family.

A Simple Sentence Made Him Feel Unworthy….

Our weekend of lacrosse was ending after 2 days of watching our oldest take part in a lacrosse tournament. The first day they played 3 games which determined their bracket seeding for the second day of the tournament. On the second day they played 2 games and were finally playing in the championship game. Until the championship game the team which has 18 players was rotating the kids in and out. Was everyone getting equal playing time? No, but we understood. Our son is a first-year player, however he only played for 39 seconds out of a 40-minute game.

I knew when the game was over that my son would be disappointed by his lack of participation in the championship game. What I didn’t realize was that he had asked when he was going into the championship game and was told “Don’t ask when you’re going in, it’s the championship game.” His next question to me was “Why am I not worthy to play in the championship game, mom. I was good enough to help my team get to the championship.” My heart broke and my blood boiled. I didn’t want to embarrass my son, so we waited until his next practice a few days later to discuss his disappointment with his coaches.

At the start of practice, I had my son ask his coaches the same question he asked me “Why am I not worthy?” The coaches apologized immediately and said the statement was for the players waiting to play. Apparently, several boys besides my son kept asking when they were going to get to play. The coaches admitted they did not properly communicate with the kids or the parents that the “just for fun” aspect of the game didn’t apply to the championship game. My son felt better and more determined knowing the statement wasn’t directed to just him.

Parenting just like coaching is hard. What we say and do can either motivate our children or deflate them. I am proud of my son for asking for clarification from his coaches instead of giving up. I’m proud of myself for giving the coaches an opportunity to share their side of the story. Too many times we jump to conclusion after only hearing one side. I constantly remind myself to get all the facts before making assumptions or accusations.

Staying Fit Without Sacrificing Family Time

I recently was introduced to a wonderful program Fit4Mom geared to help women who are pregnant or have already had children get active again. They offer several programs including a stroller strides, stroller barre, fit4baby (prenatal fitness), and body back. The classes are geared to help mom strengthen her core, cardio, become one with our body, mind and spirit while entertaining and engaging our children. Of course, to participate in the classes, there is a monthly membership fee.

Fit4Mom also offers a village for free. The village includes weekly activities for mom and kids plus a monthly MNO. It’s a great opportunity to make new friendships for yourself and children. Also, a great way to help other moms in the community who need assistance.

To find the nearest location in your community, please click here! Now you can exercise without feeling mom guilt. Let me know which program is your favorite.

Sharing Mother’s Day….

This year I am very excited to share and celebrate Mother’s Day with my twin boys. For the first time their birthday is also on Mother’s Day. What makes this day special is they are my miracle million-dollar babies. Almost 9 years ago, I had a complete sack rupture with Twin A at 24 weeks. We had been house hunting all day and I stood up after folding a basket of laundry and fluid started gushing.

I ran upstairs because I thought at first, I was peeing everywhere, but the fluid just continued. I alerted my husband who rushed me to the hospital. On the way I called my doctor who was working the ER that night. I was immediately admitted and put on high power antibiotics. After running tests, the doctors determined that I was not in labor but would need to stay in the hospital until I delivered.

Fast forward 3 weeks later and the twins were born via emergency C-Section at a little over 27 weeks. Each one weighed 1 lb 15 oz and was 12” long. They both remained in the hospital for close to 3 months before coming home. One of our twins had a PIC line contaminated by a nurse which caused a blood infection. The infection crossed over into his brain and caused a blockage to the pathways that remove the excess brain fluid. He has hydrocephalus and will always have a right ventricular shunt. The shunt is in his head and the tubing runs behind his ear, down his neck and empties into his abdomen.

The twins both had Early Intervention which is an amazing program. One twin only needs Occupational Therapy for his hand grip. The other twin still receives Speech, OT, PT and has a modified curriculum in school. He continues to have balance and coordination issues from the hydrocephalus.

As my sons continue to grow into young men, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day!

Listening to Our Youth….

The other day, my eleven-year-old said something that stopped me in my tracks. “Why would they be so mean. There supposed to be teammates and have each other’s backs.” I was saddened that mothers continue to berate, gang up on and tear others down. My 5th grader understands the importance of having teammates backs so why can’t some moms understand motherhood isn’t a competition.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for competition in the right setting such as a board game, bicycle race, sporting event and even who can finish their food the fastest. I guess people don’t realize that motherhood can be very isolating. Some mom’s do not feel comfortable going out in public with their child(ren). Motherhood is overwhelming enough without people judging your appearance and kid’s behavior.

To all the moms out there, keep your head held high. I started attending small activities at the local library and church. Even if you only stay for 5 min, count it as a win.  I’m the mom who will engage with your children, so you can take a breath. No judgement here because I’ve been there.

Until next time…Remember Pepsi and chocolate are a great stress reliever for this mom of 4 boys!