Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Interfaith Family

I've never been an uber religious person though grew up Catholic & decided young that it wasn't for me. I found amazing spirituality & friendships at a non denomination church. They were the ones that introduced me to meditation... Amazing for teens!! In my twenties I leaned toward Buddhism and actually got to listen to the Dalai Lama in person. It was an amazing experience. Then the accident happened & I believe that the prayers all worked & that my guardian angel was paying attention. So right now I'm open to everything & I like that my pastor at Antioch talks honestly & tells us that he's not perfect & doesn't know it all yet.

Now comes my daughter, I guess I call myself undecided, but if pressed Christian, and my husband is Jewish, I want to teach her our religions but not force her into one, let her find her own path. So she goes to my church & we all go to the Jewish center. We try to celebrate holidays from both religions in fact the festival of Sukkot is coming up & I'm super excited to learn all about it. 

What is your favorite/preferred religion & holiday? 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shop local

Got into a discussion yesterday about buying American. Now while I think that's good, even better is shopping local. Keep our neighbors & local businesses in business, more employed neighbors = better life for all. So I'll be blogging about local businesses around me but please comment if you have any favorites in your town. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


My sister Julie has introduced me to hot yoga and I'm hooked. It has helped tremendously with my balance, flexibility, fatigue, being able to calm my thoughts, and parenting. How would yoga help with parenting? So many unexpected ways its hard to explain but i will in future posts.  

I was skeptical so luckily Radiant Yoga in El Dorado Hills CA has an introductory $30 for 30 days. If you went every day that's $1 a day!!! They do have classes every day. This is my second yoga studio experience and Radiant is fab they have amazing teachers, assistants, and ambiance. I am sad I don't live in California, I am putting my wish out in the universe for them to open nationwide. 

I have no complaints not even a "meh" as every aspect was phenomenal from check in to clean up. Yes clean up, they provide tee tree oil diluted in water to clean your mat. 

Have any questions for me or do you have a favorite yoga pose/studio/teaching/video? please put them in comments. 


Friday, June 7, 2013


Let me preface this by saying I bought a CD nothing was given to me to write this post. I enjoyed it so much I want to share with you all.

Anne E. Howard and Jason Wright are poodle owners with aspirations of their poodles, Murry & Dina, being service dogs hence the name The Poodlums. They are married musicians but also board certified music therapists. Better than any child music group on tv (in my opinion). I actually cried (yep thank goodness for sun glasses) it was so beautiful and touching & Ava was listening, following direction and having fun. I hope to see them in person a few more times while I'm in California & I hope they come out with a DVD.

 Yeah yeah Ava enjoyed watching & singing along but more importantly ::snicker:: I loved it too. They are fun, funny, expressive, engaging oh I could go on. They sing about numbers, letters, science & etc in Spanish & English. These two NEED to have their own show I would so watch them. Ava (and I) had so much fun singing along that when it was over she made up a song about them it goes like this "Poodlums are people, people who like animals, they are good guitar players and know the alphabet, they are fun" ::clap clap clap::

Visit their website for cd & upcoming shows. To share a bit from their "about you" page:   
MISSION STATEMENT: The Poodlums aim to provide high quality, educational music experiences to children with and without special needs and their families, and to educate the community on the benefits and importance of music as a tool to optimize learning, and as a means of creative artistic expression that connects each of us to our own humanity and thus to one another. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Radical Potty Training

I think my child is potty trained and here's what I wish I had read / was told. 
First step away from age expectations and time tables.  
Then give an incentive to be out of diapers. 
And let your child decide when s/he is done with them. 

Radical right? I've read & practiced everything from diaper free baby (part timer here maybe it would have worked if we did full time but that just wasn't a good fit with our lifestyle) & beyond but NOTHING has worked. Now they do need an incentive and it can't be a bribe like chocolate or stickers (yep tried bribes) my child's incentive was that she had asked to be in ballet class I told her that to be in that class she couldn't wear diapers. BOOM! I saw the light bulb go off. For another child it was being able to go to the Ikea daycare. Fun stuff. Big stuff. 

So moms, caretakers put away the guilt, stop the mom olympics, let it go. 

Monday, May 20, 2013


I would tell you I don't have expectations around Ava's play but then we are at the park and I want to tell her to "go play with kids" but I stop myself and let her do this for an hour. No joking she has batted the same fountain for an hour, well she batted the bigger one once but still. I also would not like her to play with "evil" barbies and all things pink. But it's who she is I need to stop putting my "needs" on her. Just let go. How do you overcome your expectations? 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Needed This

Kind of appropriate it's #pickmeuptuesday. I've been feeling down about the move east. Felt like had I stayed out west I would have never gotten on a small plane and not to mention better scenery, & things to do but you can't live in "what if"s.
Taking my child puddle jumping today made me realize it's not about where you live it's how you live your life. I am going to enjoy this life to the fullest.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Skin Cancer Please Check Yourself

I've never concerned myself about being safe in the sun. The thought of melanoma never crossed my mind. I mean its stuff you read about, never something that could happen to a you... until it does. Let me preface that I do not have cancer but the amazing and courageous Dawn Gentz lost her fight with melanoma last week. She leaves behind the love of her life and two fantastic kids. Melanoma is the most dangerous cancer not because it is the most common but because it spreads FAST. We might have lost Dawn but her message goes on. Get those moles checked!

So what are the risks?
  • Sun - just one childhood sunburn doubles your risk
  • Tanning Beds - ups your risk of developing cancer by 75%. If that doesn't turn you off hopefully the fact that you will get more wrinkles will. 
  • Moles - check for the odd ones
  • Skin type - sorry fair skinned friends
  • Already weakened immune system - like you don't have enough to worry about
  • Family History - if someone in your close family has had it it can appear earlier in you. There is genetic testing available. 

How to lower those risks?

  • Stay in the shade
  • Wear sunscreen - 30 minutes before heading outside & every 2 hours thereafter. The hours between 10am and 4pm are most important.
  • Wear a shirt, sunglasses, hat

I've always been a stickler for Ava to wear sunscreen and have always checked the EWG for recommendations but if stuck with only "bad" options TAKE IT because really the only bad option is a sunburn. I have 5 different sunscreens in my pool bag right now because one might be easier than another at different times, I have face stick, squeeze tube, and a spray bottle. So even though I'm a stickler for my child I will now be one for myself. 

Please watch this

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pediatric Dentists and Toddlers

If we've spoken recently you probably know my toddler's many visits to the dentist. She had a small cavity, we went the wait & see plus no candy/ good hygiene route. Well that back fired. The cavities got SO bad they were drilled & capped then 2 weeks later one side got infected and needed to be pulled (got a 2nd opinion). I'm devastated, having my child be hurt or sick hurts WORSE than waking up in a hospital not sure how you got there but through finding a second opinion I found Dr. Rubin at Smiles 4 Kids Pediatric Dentistry and for that I'm thankful. When you walk into the waiting room we were greeted by not only smiling office staff but also a very cool mural and lots of fun toys. It made Ava excited to go there and she has even asked to go back (even after the appointment weird right?) This dentist is not in our insurance plan and we are paying out of pocket THAT is how good an experience we had and how much I trust this dentist, tell them we sent ya. If you're not in the Cincinnati area or within driving distance here are some things to look for in a pediatric dentist:

  • Fun & comforting office staff, whatever vibe the hygienist is putting off the child will pick up on and exhibit themselves. For cleanings its mostly the hygienist who's working with your child and the dentist only comes to look at the teeth for a short bit.
  • Fun office - toys fun pictures/murals stuff to look at not only in the waiting room but where they will be getting their teeth cleaned.
  • First ask friends, family, even your pediatric doctor but if they don't come up with any names that work for you, you can search the AAPD tool

Going for your first visit 
  • Should be around 3 years old (our case earlier) its most important in case you have a dental emergency. If you have an emergency but have never seen the pediatric dentist it might be hard to be seen. 
  • Don't OVER talk it but do tell them what to expect and what is expected of them. Your tone of voice is very important in this. "We are going to go to the dentist he wants to count your teeth and make them sparkle then afterwards we will go x and have so much fun." 
  • Always do something fun afterwards so that the fun is associated with the dentist. 
Hope this helps 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

iPhone App Of The Moment - Endless Alphabet

Stickman is still a big favorite in this house but we found a new favorite app today its so seriously cute, totally engaging, and addicting. You can put that mommy/parent/caregiver guilt away because its also educational. Called Endless Alphabet froCallaway Digital Arts, little ones can learn the alphabet, spelling, and vocabulary but most importantly they have fun, fun and FUN.

A word comes up and a voice says the word. Then hilarious interesting creatures come knock them off so the word then is in grey & the letters are mixed around in color.

Click on a letter and it animates with creature like features then says and repeats the sound of the letter. When you match it to the correct spot, the letter is said. Then the creatures act out the word and a definition of the word is spoken. Its sometimes a funny definition. For example, the definition of tangle is "A tangle is a mess of rope or strings. Hair gets tangled all the time."

Callaway Digital Arts adds new words weekly. So letter sounds, definition, spellings, matching, oh I couldn't be more happy with this app but wait there are no advertisements or in app purchases (see this post to learn how to turn off auto in app purchases for other apps that may have it).

OH its FREE so go get it NOW!!

Do you have any other favorites from Callaway? I'm tempted to try all their other apps since I'm super impressed by this one

Friday, March 15, 2013

Car Seat Safety

To find your state's car seat law you can search the web - (Your State) Car Seat Law.

Besides obeying the law, more importantly its about saving a life. Car crashes are the number 1 killer of kids 1 to 12 I'll let that sink in.....NUMBER ONE!!!.

In a perfect world I would have my little one rear face till its time for her to drive a car...if only she would stay a little peanut, but I don't think I'm that lucky ::sigh::. I WILL proudly be THAT mom. If she complains about being the only kid her age still in a booster I will say "Hey aren't you late for college orientation?" (Totally joking...maybe) I don't mind the comments about her rear facing "that looks uncomfortable" "her legs are going to get broken" I know I've done what I can to ensure that she's as safe as possible, a broken leg is better than a broken neck you know.

There is no "perfect for all" seat, as one needs to fit your car and your child. Please see below for some links that I frequent.

NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  choose the right seat

Nationwide Inspection Stations - you could have a nice rear facing seat with high limits but if its not installed correctly its worthless. 7 out of 10 are installed incorrectly

Got a question? FB page Car Seats for the Littles is full of knowledgeable car seat techs instead of "Write Post" click "Ask Question"

The Car Seat Lady FB

Great overview from Cincinnati Children's Hospital these people are in the Trauma Services Department and don't want to see anymore preventable heartache

More safety resources I just found out about today

If you have any amazing links to share please do so in comments.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pete And Repeat Were Sitting In A Boat

Pete fell out, who was left REPEAT          All. Day. Long.

Kids a little older than my 2 year old are usually repeating because they don't think you heard them. The toddler age totally WANTS to talk about something with you and the ONLY thing they can think of is "I like dirt" 5,000 times an hour. So I've found that expanding on what they are repeating helps them learn plus slows down the number of repetitions. So ask some questions to get that toddler mind rolling like

  • What grows in dirt? 
  • What else do you like? Do you like grass?
  • Is dirt soft or squishy or hard?
  • What happens to dirt if you add water?

Another one of my toddler's example is "I like to jump" ask questions like

  • How many times can you jump in a row? Lets count!
  • Can you Hop? (Skip, Twirl, etc)
  • What animals jump? (hop)
  • Can you jump high, can you jump low?
I have a friend who told me today of her daughter saying "The stove is hot" because the stove is hot and hey did you know its hot? So expand with
  • Why is it hot?
  • What else is hot?
  • Is your drink hot?
  • Is an ice cube hot or cold?
I could go on & on but you get the idea. :) Have fun! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

How to turn around a fuss bucket

Tonight I turned fussing around with a joke I heard fussing so I asked "is that a fuss bucket I hear? Are you a bucket of fuss?" much laughter and "YES"
I usually use the "if you're fussing that means you need a nap" but the laughter way was so much more fun & effective. What are ways you turn your toddler's fussing around?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Toddler's most favorite iPhone app of the moment

This app was introduced to us by a 9 year old but is loved by the toddler. I even like to play it so that's why I'm telling you. It's called Stickman 2. I use the free version but there is a paid one I just don't know the difference. Check out some screen grabs of our fun.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I'm Changing

Do you love yourself? If you're like me you have flaws, many many flaws, but I hope you can look past those or at the very least not vocalize any of the personal critiques. There are children in my area being seen for eating disorders at 8 years old. Yes 8. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. 

Scary Facts (via
  • 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner 
  • 47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
  • 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat 
  • 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.
So Moms & Dads here are some things I've done and some I've heard...

  • Lets stop talking about being fat, (phat is okay because well you are). If you think your child's chub is cute then criticize your own, you're confusing the little one. That child's chubby chin is freaking adorable and so is yours. 
  • Don't tell them you work out to "get skinny" or "lose weight" you workout because its healthy and fun. 
  • Stop the "that's bad food" food can't be bad, its food, it can be healthy or unhealthy but not bad.
  • Teach them to be the boss of their hunger, no more telling them they have to eat more. I've now created a container that my child can get into with random foods that she can access at any time. If she doesn't like dinner or is hungry before dinner is ready, she can go to that container & choose whatever she wants. 
  • No more "rewards" (exception is potty training in our case) no more "if you eat dinner we will get ice cream" 
 Are you guilty of any of these & willing to change? 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

In App Purchases

I was down $1 on my itunes card & after wondering where it went I realized I did not have my phone set up as secure as I thought.

Luckily I have Apple which is pretty easy to turn off in app purchases. I would like Apple even more if this was set to OFF from the beginning making people turn it ON but I digress.

Settings > General > Restrictions > Turn "In App Purchases" to Off
or you can set "Require Password" to immediately or after 15 minutes which as long as you don't give your password out to the kids :)

If you have products that use the Android Market you are not so lucky I've heard. Now I don't have Android so I have not personally tested this but here are some ways.

- Set a PIN for purchase *not available on all devices click here to see how to see/change your version 
-  if running version 3.1 or higher > Google Play Store > Menu > Settings > Set or change PIN > enter PIN code > OK > Re-enter PIN to confirm > Check box "Use PIN for purchases"

Other ways that might work if you don't want to upgrade your version
- remove your credit card or put a gift card that has a $0 balance.
- install an app that will require passwords to certain apps "App Protector Pro" does cost $
-  turn on airplane mode when the child is using it. This will not allow you to get calls or text messages till turned off

So hope this helped.