Some phases of childhood were easier than others for me to manage. For example, I remember four being easy. Good thing, because three was brutal. I could go on and on in detail about the ups and the downs, with the
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- Babble.com | Parenting – Thu, 17 Apr, 2014 2:19 PM EDT16 Years Later: How I'm Changing My Parenting Strategy as the Mom of a TeenI was never one to follow any one particular parenting strategy or style, especially one with a fancy name or rules to follow. When my girls were babies, I felt like the only parenting strategy I needed to master was what I refer to as "recalibration". With each passing stage or phase, I found myself having to assess and reassess how I did things. Just when I thought I hit my stride, the current would change, and I would have to shift my parenting rudder accordingly. With each of my slight modifications, I questioned my ability to be a good parent, wondered if I was doing right by my children, and hoped that how I was parenting was going to help my children grow up to be secure, happy, and healthy people. As I've heard it said, "Parenting is not for the faint of heart."
- A Disability Does Not Define a PersonI can't deny that when my kids were born, I succumbed to the typical behavior of a new parent whose child has Down syndrome. For a long time, I thought they were angels - that they would be kids forever and that they would never be capable of acting with malice.
My attitude about their lives wasn't any different from that of most new parents. We love our angels and can't imagine them ever being anything but the perfect beings they are at birth. On top of that, when a child is born or diagnosed with a disability, the immediate response from those around us is to try to make us believe how blessed we are for receiving such a special being, someone out of this world.
When a child is diagnosed with autism, society leads us to believe that they are savants or have special powers. When a child is born with Down syndrome, people believe they are sweet, innocent, and wonderful beings. Perhaps this is supposed to be the consolation prize that comes with having a child with specialRead More »from A Disability Does Not Define a Person
- 5 Ways My Parenting Has Changed Over the YearsAt first I was going to title this post "5 Ways My Parenting Has Changed the Second Time Around" - because I actually thought for a minute that it was as simple as that. You know, the usual naive parent stuff, going from using binky wipes with your first baby to popping it in the ol' mouth to 'give it a clean' by the time we're into our second baby.
Nothing in parenting is ever black and white, and my particular style definitely doesn't fall into one category. When I got pregnant with Wyndham, I was that mom who wanted to do things as holistically as possible - everything from the birth to the wooden Waldorf and Montessori toys we'd only allow in the home and organic garments I'd dress, wrap, and swaddle him in.
How annoying was I?
Perhaps a lot, or perhaps not much to you, depending on where you fall, dear reader. And I don't even care about any of that, because I'm still that mom. I still have a great respect and admiration for natural childbirth, and I LIKE wooden toysRead More »from 5 Ways My Parenting Has Changed Over the Years
- Babble.com | Parenting – Thu, 17 Apr, 2014 12:59 PM EDTI wonder how many times a day/week/month/year we find ourselves as parents saying or thinking, "Do as I say, not as I do."
Like when we pull out the carrot sticks at snack time, then sneak into the pantry and grab a handful of potato chips?
Or when we insist that they go to bed on time, and then we stay up until midnight and wake up cranky, tired and irritable -- precisely the behaviors we were trying to curb in them by getting them to bed right on time.
Or even when we shoo them out the back door to go play in the yard and, you know, get some exercise while we watch them from the safety of the kitchen window? (Maybe so we can nibble on a cookie without having to share for once?)
We know better. Obviously. We know what the healthy choice is: to eat our (not deep-fried) veggies. To get a good night's sleep. To make time to play and move our bodies. And yet, again and again, we don't do it.
Oh the hypocrisy of parenthood! It's a shame that kids are so darn good at scoutingRead More »from Why “Do as I Say, Not as I Do” Doesn’t Work in Parenting
- 8 Birth Stories Crazier Than YoursThe group of us sat around the dining room table, gaping at a cellphone. I was hanging out with a bunch of other moms from the neighborhood, and one had just told us that years ago she'd given birth on a local highway. Even more incredible: they'd gotten a copy of the recording of her husband's call to 911, and she had it on her iPhone. It lasted nine minutes, and we all listened in fascination as the husband grew more and more nervous ("When are you getting here?!") and the officer on the other end of the line advised her not to push (!!!). She had the baby before the ambulance arrived.
Like meeting cute stories, you never get tired of hearing about birth stories. These are some of the most memorable ones out there.
1. Woman gives birth to twins on separate highways
"The babies are coming!" yelled Siobhan Anderson. She and her husband, Bryan, were on a highway in Long Island, New York, en route to the hospital. He pulled over and called 911. As the EMTs got her onto theRead More »from 8 Birth Stories Crazier Than Yours
- Babble.com | Fashion – Wed, 16 Apr, 2014 6:13 PM EDTIt's that time of year again: The new season of Downton Abbey is in full swing, and our Sunday nights are spent drinking tea while watching the Crawley family drama unfold. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you may be the only person on the planet that hasn't seen the show! This season takes place in the early '20s, so each episode is chock full of drool worthy dresses and the best of the best accessories to accompany the outfits.
I'm a little obsessed with this time period, so I went shopping for some '20s inspired outfits with a modern twist! Whether you're looking to host a season finale costume party, or you just want to add a little glamour to your date nights, check out these four Downton Abbey inspired ensembles!
This ensemble is inspired by Lady Mary's ensemble at the beginning of the fourth season. The dark colors, drop-waist style dress, lace and fancy accessories all fit perfectly inRead More »from Tea Time! 4 Gorgeous Downton Abbey Inspired Outfits
- Life Would Be Easier Without My Youngest Child"What's your favorite animal?" My 3-year-old asks, green eyes wide, blonde hair haloing her face.
"Giraffe?" I mumble. It's barely 6 AM.
"Me, too!" my daughter cries gaily. Then she grows serious. "I also love bunnies and hippos and those other ones with the big horns on their noses. What'rethosecalledMommy?"
I stumble into the kitchen to get breakfast ready. She stands beside me on a chair and makes "little eggs" in the flour with a teaspoon, bellows to her big brother and two big sisters, "PANCAKES ARE READY!" and then helps me do laundry by folding dishtowels into messy squares and squishing them into the drawer.
Before this little girl was born, I worried we were being greedy. My husband and I were already blessed with three healthy children, could we really be lucky enough to have a fourth?
I adore this child. She is good-humored, philosophical and bright. She has a question -- and an answer -- for everything. But sometimes, more often than it is safe to admit (andRead More »from Life Would Be Easier Without My Youngest Child
- 6 Reasons My Toddler Hates Her ParentsI was in the gym locker room last week as a mom and her teenage daughter readied themselves for the day after working out together. While there were a lot of similarities between this angst-ridden teenager and my 9-year-old, the similarities between her and my toddler were even more apparent. The biggest difference between the teenager and the toddler? The teenager quietly stewed and rolled her eyes at her mother, while the toddler has no problems screaming her distaste and throwing herself to the floor in epic meltdowns.
If Vivi were capable of understanding or using the word hate, these would be her major complaints against us -- her terrible, terrible parents.
1. We wash/comb/style/touch her hair.
HOW DARE WE?! I don't know how in the world we got two kids with these amazing heads of hair, and both of them HATE having anything done with it. As soon as I begin combing Vivi's hair she begins rubbing her hands through theRead More »from 6 Reasons My Toddler Hates Her Parents
- Babble.com | Beauty – Wed, 16 Apr, 2014 4:38 PM EDT
By now, most people have heard about Clarisonic cleansing brushes. While they still seem to be the dominating the market and the company claims they are superior due to high oscillation speeds, they are pretty pricey. However, there are a lot of great quality, well-reviewed options that are a bit more affordable. All skin cleansing brushes boast the same claims. Regular use improves tone, texture, elasticity, and firmness. They work by gently exfoliating as you cleanse, allowing for a deeper clean, are more efficient makeup removal, and improve blood flow to the skin. Because skin is cleaner, medications and products you apply after their use are more effective due to the fact that they are able to penetrate more deeply. Look for a skin cleansing brush with soft bristles to gently remove impurities and stick to using it no more than once a day. I've included both electric and manual skin cleansing brushes in this product roundup. Visit the roundup below for 8 skin cleansing brushes forRead More »from 8 More Affordable Alternatives to the Clarisonic Skin Brush (All Under $75!)
- Babble.com | Parenting – Wed, 16 Apr, 2014 4:24 PM EDT
10 Tips and Tricks That Prepared Me for a Natural BirthA little over two years ago, I experienced one of my life's greatest accomplishments: giving birth to my daughter Fern … naturally without so much as an aspirin. (You can read her birth story here if you're interested.)Read More »from 11 Tips and Tricks that Prepared Me for a Natural Birth
I don't share this to brag - truly. I'm kind of a baby when it comes to pain and quite honestly one of the last people you would ever expect to have a natural birth, so the fact that I did it? Well, it was pretty freaking empowering, and I have never been so proud in all my life.
I totally get why some women want their epidurals and I completely respect that, but natural birth really is amazing. Birth is by its very nature unpredictable, but if a natural birth is what you're aiming for, then there are definitely some things you can do to prepare yourself ahead of time in order to increase your odds of having the birth you've dreamed of.
I made a list of some of the things that helped me most in preparing for my natural birth, and I hope you'll find them helpful as