Honoring Parents Category
Did you ever read something so funny that you laughed until you cried? That was all of us here at Kolcraft when we starting reading Baby Rabies blog. We completely fell in love with Jill’s honesty, sense of humor and insight. She tells the “real” story behind childbirth and parenting in a way that nobody else can. We had to have our Kolcraft fans meet her and are THRILLED to have you meet Jill – the mom behind Baby Rabies.
We LOVE your blog. You are so honest & funny. How is it that you can find so much humor in everything from birth pains to baby poop to your post-pregnancy body? Did we say we LOVE your blog? I love that you love it! It’s always nice to find others who relate. That’s the main reason I blog! You know, I have to find humor in all this stuff. If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry… and I have an ugly cry. I just try to always look at life in a way that makes me smile.
How would you say motherhood has changed for you, now that you have two children? My day to day is all about balance now. It’s about weighing the needs of one child against another. I used to never let my first-born cry if I could help it. I ran to him every time he whined. Now? If my infant daughter is crying in her crib while I’m trying to get my son to the potty before he pees on the kitchen floor, well, she’s just going to have to cry. I do my best to give equal love and attention to the one who needs it most at the time, but that’s not always obvious, and that’s hard for me.
What is your favorite part of being of mom? Love. It’s always the love…the love, the smiles, the laughs, all the trite things that every mother will tell you. It’s all that.
What has been your greatest challenge as a mom? Not being so hard on myself. As a business professional, and before that as a student, I demanded a lot of myself, and I excelled at it. I was an honor’s student, I was great at what I did in the work place. I didn’t fail often, and when I did, I could fix it. As a mother, there’s no way to be perfect. There are many days I don’t excel at this job, a few that I fail. It’s hard to let myself off the hook for that, to learn from it and grow and move on.
If you could give ‘expert advice” on one aspect of parenting to new parents, what would it be? Coming from a woman who produces children who grow like my boobs produce Miracle Grow, I say don’t waste too much money on tiny clothes! They grow out of them sooooo fast, and honestly, there are so few opportunities to dress a baby up in anything more than a comfortable sleeper or onesie those first few months. Save your cash and spend it on yourself! Get a baby sitter for a night or buy some great 4th trimester transitional clothes. Consignment sales and stores are your friend.
Where do you see yourself in 25 years? A happy empty nester, finally living in that downtown, super chic condo with our fancy, expensive furniture that we never had while having kids in the house. We travel. A lot. We have a dog. We visit our children frequently, and then we return to the quiet of our little space and raise our glasses every night to the beautiful life we made for ourselves.
Now for a quick glance into Jill’s life.
What is one thing always in your fridge? That sour cream that expired last year that my husband and I are silently arguing over who’s going to finally throw it out. Spoiler alert- it won’t be me. That and cheese. We are a cheese loving family… that hardly ever goes bad.
What is your one guilty pleasure? Just one? Goodness I have so many. Lately it’s wine and episodes of The Real Housewives of The OC, laptop up, tweeting snarky commentary.
If a genie could give you one wish but it couldn’t be immortality or 2 more wishes, what would your wish be? Health? Can it be health for my whole family? We can be broke, living in a van down by the river as long as we’re healthy. My husband and I strive to be examples of healthy living for our children. A healthy, happy family is my dream come true.
If you had a free day to yourself, how would you spend it? I would spend it dressed up, probably with heels on and impractical jewelry, carrying a purse instead of a diaper bag. I would meet up with some of my besties at a vineyard and drink some wine in the shade of a big tree in the Hill Country of Texas. I’d like to say we wouldn’t talk about our children or our husbands, but I know better than that.
If someone were going to write a book on your life, what would they title it? The Girl Who Knew Just Enough To Have It All
As a parent you are the one who is supposed to watch your kids grow and start families of their own. But what happens when you only have your child for a little bit of time? What then? Megan from In This Wonderful Life takes all of us by the hand and shows us that motherhood with all its twists and turns is indeed wonderful.
Megan, you are pregnant again – CONGRATS! Before we jump into your current pregnancy we wanted to talk about your first pregnancy with little Cohen. That was quite a journey from the excitement of your fist pregnancy to finding out that Baby Cohen was only going to live a short while. How would you describe your short time with Cohen?
Thank you! Our time with Cohen was very emotional. It was amazing to be pregnant with him and even more amazing to spend the time with him that we did. Of course, that time could never be put into any amount of words. It was one of the happiest, but hardest times in our lives. We were so blessed to have had him, but it was so hard to say goodbye. It is unforgettable, thankfully. He will always be apart of our lives.
What has little Cohen taught you about motherhood?
He definitely taught me the bond between a mother and child. From pregnancy up until we had to say goodbye, it was just something that seemed so unreal. It taught me no matter what, you never give up hope….especially on your child. You can never be prepared to have your child and you can never be prepared to lose your child. You realize nothing around you but your prayers and your child/family really matter. Brent and I were willing to (and did) sacrifice every worldly possession for Cohen. As a mother, you have to be willing to provide every inch of support and strength you can for your child.
You are pregnant with twins! How exciting – you will have 2x time the love & excitement. What are you looking forward to the most post-delivery?
Many things! Bringing them home is probably the biggest! I can’t wait to hold them all the time…at the same time. I can’t wait to see their daddy with them.
Have you received any practical tips on how to keep up with twins? I have received a few! So far, it seems the most stressed advice I have received is regarding schedules. It seems crazy that if one wakes up, you should wake the other, but it definitely makes sense.
If you could receive “expert advice” on one aspect of parenting, what would it be? Oh goodness, I would probably just want advice on how to guarantee my kids would be honest, kind, sweet & polite. I know, there are no guarantees. Realistically-probably advice on behavior skills and structure. I think these two things can be essential.
We have to ask – how do you manage to look so beautiful & model-like even while pregnant? What’s your secret?
HAHA! This definitely makes me laugh. If you are referring to my ‘prego mego’ pics, I will tell you, I prepare for most of those. I usually take them in the morning after I have just gotten dressed. It so happens that Thursday nights are one of the two nights I wash my very thick hair! I think it tends to look best the morning after a wash. So, I’m guessing that’s part of it! I have TONS of freckles (that I got tired of very early in life) so I definitely don’t go far without some powder.
Now for a quick glance into Megan’s life.
What is one thing always in your fridge? Right now, fruit! I’ve been on a berry kick since I got pregnant and there really isn’t one I don’t like.
What is your one guilty pregnancy pleasure? I think strawberry milkshakes! I love them. Sometimes I can go weeks without thinking about them, but when it crosses my mind, I must have one! I’ve had several since I’ve been pregnant, and though they might not be the healthiest thing, they help me get the calories I need right now.
One thing that helped you through morning sickness? Luckily, I never had much during the morning. It was actually more so at night. However, if I started to feel sick, as long as I would eat some crackers or something right away, it would usually help!
If you had a free day to yourself, how would you spend it? I would probably get as comfortable as possible and cuddle with Brent and our pup, Elton. There really isn’t much I’d rather do right now than be with them and be comfy.
If someone were going to write a book on your life, what would they title it? In This Wonderful Life
We recently met Carrie through Twitter. We started reading her blog & got sucked into it for hours! She has such a great approach to parenting and to life in general. We also love all her fun reviews. We hope you enjoy Carrie as much as we do!
You started blogging to share news about your second baby, Molly. Can you tell us more about that? With no prior knowledge, our daughter Molly was diagnosed with Down syndrome not long after birth. We were scared, sad and unsure of what the future meant for our precious Molly. I turned to blogging to share Molly’s story with friends and family…and in return I found an online community filled with supportive parents and virtual cheerleaders for my daughter and our family.
We love your approach to life – you are honest, real and enjoying the daily moments of motherhood. What has been your biggest surprise on your motherhood journey? It sounds so cliché, but I had no idea that I could love someone so much as I do Maggie and Molly. At the end of each day, all I want is to see that my girls are happy. As soon as I became a mother, my priorities in life changed…and I couldn’t be happier about it!
What has been your biggest parenting challenge? I’m constantly reminding myself to schedule “me time” and to not feel guilty about it. Everyone deserves a break – especially parents! As much as moms need a break from their children, I think kids need time away from their parents just as much!
You left the PR world to be a stay at home mom. Do you miss your career in PR? In the beginning, it was very difficult for me to adjust to the transition of being a stay at home mom. As a PR person, I was accustomed to interacting with people for a living every day. As a stay at home mom, it’s tough to have a conversation with babies that don’t talk back to you! I think blogging has been a great way for me to keep my feet wet in the PR world. There are many similarities in the blogging world with public relations – I’ve renewed my love for writing and I love the sense of an online community.
While Down Syndrome is not the focus of your blog, you have educated many people on what it is. We loved your birth announcement about Molly that focused on the positive and the joy of having a baby. What is the one thing you have discovered as a parent to a special needs child that you hope to communicate with others? With Molly’s birth announcement, I wanted people to know that we don’t feel sorry for ourselves as a family. I want others to see my daughter as an individual. She smiles, laughs, eats and sleeps just like everyone else. I think it’s important for people to know this.
What is your secret to keeping perspective? Plain and simple – There are much greater tragedies in the world than my child having an extra chromosome. After Molly’s birth, I could either focus on the negatives or focus on the positives – I chose the positives.
Carrie at a glance:
What is something that is always in your fridge? Mountain Dew! I can’t start my day without it!
What’s your guilty pleasure? Ice cream! It’s my one weakness when it comes to food!
Any books currently at your bedside? Not too many books, but tons of magazines! Southern Living, Cooking Light, Food Network Magazine and Better Homes & Garden to name a few!
What is your best “sanity” break to recharge your parenting battery? Every Sunday, I take an afternoon time-out and go to Starbucks. Just me and my laptop for a few hours – it’s relaxing and a great spot for people watching!
If someone was going to make a movie of your family’s life, what would the title of the movie be? Never A Dull Moment
You find out you are pregnant – oh the joy, the shock and the worry that ensues. How would you like to have someone to help you out so you could have the best possible stress-free pregnancy and start to mommyhood? Sound like a fairy tale? Not any more!
Bravo TV has kicked off season one of Pregnant in Heels where maternity concierge, fashion designer, and pregnancy guru Rosie Pope guides expecting mothers through the joys and perils of preparing to have a baby – at a bit of a steep price.
As a full time working pregnant mom, there are many days I would love for someone to help me prepare for baby (especially the nursery). A maternity concierge is a long off fairy tale for me, but on the flip side I get to go through all the uncertainty and unexpected joy of my pregnancy and motherhood with a virtual mommy community and that is priceless. Nonetheless, I’ll be tuning in as will our other Kolcraft digital staff – Emilie & Colleen – to watch the Pregnant in Heels drama unfold.
Will you be watching Pregnant in Heels? What is the one thing you would have loved a maternity or mommy concierge for while pregnant and those first years of your baby’s life?
- Over this past year we have been inspired by Mom Mondays where we have met working moms, stay at home moms, adoptive moms, moms who were resilient in the face of pain, moms who started their own businesses and more!
- We have shared parenting tips and you have shared your helpful parenting advice with each other.
- We have enjoyed Wednesday Wonders while exploring parenting themes in pop culture, ways to help the community and current events.
- We have taken a behind-the-scenes look at Kolcraft, learned about products, had contests and got your feedback on new products.
- We have had lots of fun on Fridays through activities, yummy recipes and creative crafts.
We really have enjoyed meeting you through our blog and look forward to another year of fun! To celebrate, we are giving away a product of your choice*.
It’s easy to enter our Baby Matters Blog Birthday contest!
- Look back over our Baby Matters blog posts
- Pick your favorite post
- Write a comment as to why it’s your favorite post
Contest will end on April 11th at midnight CST.
Thanks for being a fan Baby Matters and celebrating our 1 year Birthday!
*Product prize depends on current availability
While you are pregnant you dream about your baby’s birth. You wonder what it will be like to hold your baby for the first time–to look into his eyes or to hear her cry. It will be the perfect moment when mommy meets baby. But that picture-perfect birth was far from what Melissa experienced when she had to have an emergency c-section because her baby boy was in trauma. (You may remember we met her husband, Tolga, last June when we highlighted Dad’s during Father’s Day month.) We recently had a chance to catch up with her and chat. We were inspired by Melissa’s resiliency, hope and deep love. We know you will be inspired by her story of the miracle of motherhood. (Editor’s note – grab a box of tissues.)
Melissa, going back to your pregnancy with Baran, what were your hopes and dreams through your pregnancy?
I think I hoped what most mothers hope for—a healthy baby. Each time my husband and I went for my monthly check-up, we breathed a sigh of relief when we heard our son’s heartbeat. We simply wanted a healthy baby.
How did you know that something wasn’t quite right the morning you went for your emergency c-section?
My son was always very active inside me. He kicked constantly, day and night. He was born on December 21, close to midnight, but that morning, I didn’t feel him moving. I did what the books tell you to do—drink orange juice and lay on your left side, but despite doing that, I didn’t feel him moving. I called my husband at work and he encouraged me to call my doctor. I did, and I was told to get to the hospital for a non-stress test. Luckily, we heard my son’s heartbeat, but the technician told us he wasn’t moving. At that point, I started to panic, I knew something was wrong. I had such a strong feeling that my son was in trouble that I told the nurses a few hours later to “take my son out now!”
When Baran was finally delivered, you were told that he might not make it through the night and he was rushed to another hospital. What was that night like for you & how did you make it through it?
When I was told by my doctor that my son might not survive the night, I wasn’t shocked. I knew all along that something was wrong. I even told my doctor before my c-section that the baby wouldn’t be crying when he came out. She assured me that he would be, but I knew that he wouldn’t. My labor and delivery nurse even came to my bedside in the recovery room, crying, saying she was sorry she dismissed my concerns that something was wrong with my son. In reflecting on that night, I am amazed at my strong maternal instinct. I knew how the night would play out before it even did. It’s almost eerie to me. Perhaps God was preparing me for what was going to happen next. As a result, I wasn’t in complete shock when I was told the news. Somehow, I just knew that things weren’t right when I arrived at the hospital several hours before my son was born.
Once Baran was out of the hospital, the challenges didn’t end. What did you need to do to make sure he reached developmental milestones?
I’m grateful for Early Intervention’s services. Even though several developmental therapists showed up at my doorstep a few weeks after Baran was home from the hospital and the experience was overwhelming, I’m grateful my son had access to such services. For the past year, we’ve had several therapists monitor his developmental milestones. I am so grateful that he’s met every one of those milestones. I’m also very grateful that Northwestern Memorial Hospital has such a stellar NICU follow-up clinic. The doctors and therapists there monitor him very closely too. Being a new mom, I wasn’t sure when Baran should be reaching certain developmental milestones. I was also very hyper in the beginning, always asking his doctors, “should he be doing this?, or why is he doing this?” The best response I received was from Baran’s neurologist. At one appointment I asked this doctor, “Is it normal that my son does such and such. He responded, “It is for him.” After that I learned to stop monitoring my son’s every move with a microscope and to just enjoy him for who he is.
Any mom would feel angry at what happened, but you seem to be filled with peace. How did you get to the point you are at today?
I still have my moments of anger, but I’ve learned to live in the present, rather than in the past or future. I underwent several acupuncture treatments to help me overcome the extreme stress I experienced during and after Baran’s birth. That, coupled with the fact that Baran is doing so well, has helped me tremendously. I’ve had three doctors tell me that my son is a miracle. I don’t want anger to over-power my ability to thoroughly enjoy the miracle that God gave me.
We love the meaning of Baran’s name – why do you think that is the perfect name for him?
Baran means strength and resilience in Turkish. Actually, my husband and I chose this name before Baran was born. It was the only Turkish name we could decide on and one that English speakers could understand. Little did we know how fitting the name would be. My husband says to me all the time that Baran is his little hero. I truly believe Baran fought for his life—he wanted to live. He proved all the doctors wrong.
You are pregnant again! How are you able to deal with the fear of pregnancy problems and still enjoy your second pregnancy?
For some odd reason, and perhaps it’s maternal instinct again, from the moment I found out I was pregnant I’ve experienced a wonderful calm about everything. Yes, the doctor’s appointments are still stressful for my husband and me. We have our 20-week ultrasound coming up in a few weeks and we’re very nervous. However, deep down inside, I just feel calm. Maybe I’m finally learning to give up complete control over my life and just let things be.
Now for a quick glance into Melissa’s life.
What is always in your fridge? Whole milk and yogurt for my son (we’re trying to fatten him up a bit) and there always seems to be a rotting fruit or vegetable that we don’t get around to eating because we’re too busy .
What keeps you going through busy days of juggling being a working mom? I absolutely love coming home to Baran. He is so happy to see me when I get home. It’s the best feeling in the world.
What book is currently at your bedside? I have a stack of books next to my bedside. I figure if I put them there, one day I’ll get around to reading them. I’m usually asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow .
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? For now, I’d like to live closer to my family in Columbus, Ohio, simply because it would be easier to have family close by. However, I do love Chicago—except for the long winters. Right now I’m wishing I lived on the small island in the S. Pacific where my husband and I honeymooned.
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it? I’d sleep in, then I’d take my son to meet my husband for lunch, followed by a trip to a children’s museum or nearby park, and then I’d treat myself to a massage and facial. Ahhh, it’s always nice to dream…
If someone was going to write a book on your life, what would the title be? One of my favorite quotes is, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?” by Mary Oliver. If someone were to write a book in my honor, I wouldn’t want it to be about me, but rather about how each of our lives is truly a gift that should be lived out to the best of our ability.
Sometimes a dad can feel a bit on the outskirts of a pregnancy or baby bonding. They don’t do the actual birthing of baby, breastfeeding, etc., but there are still many ways that daddy can bond with baby.
Here are 5 ways that dads can bond with baby.
- Feeding time – If you are formula feeding baby or baby is taking breast milk from a bottle at times, now is the opportunity for hubby to pitch in for those 2 am feedings. It may be difficult at first for you and for him, but soon that 2 am feeding will become special baby/daddy time.
- Story time – Tired of reading Good Night Little Bear for the millionth time? We have seen some dads read the sports page or ESPN magazine in their story-time voices. Who knew golf could sound so sweet?
- Diaper time – Not exactly the most exciting job on the planet, but it has to be done and it can become a bonding moment. We love how Mat uses a Cajun accent when he is changing his daughter’s diaper.
- Texture time – Dad’s bodies have lots of textures for baby as he learns his new world through tactile contact. Everything from a dad’s 5 o’clock shadow to a smooth beard to hairy arms – a baby has a whole “texture map” to explore while bonding with dad.
- Carry time – Babies are portable and dad’s can bond with them by strapping on a baby carrier and going for a walk, doing safe chores together (not a good idea to mow the lawn or paint a room when baby wearing) or doing a hobby together. It’s a great time for baby to snuggle against daddy’s chest and for dad to bond with baby.
What ways has your baby bonded with dad?
We love to highlight moms who have the courage to pursue their dreams and show people that motherhood is their springboard to creativity and not a “cramp in their style”. One mom entrepreneur that we were excited to get to know is Patty Tapia who started her own business – K B Flowers.
Patty, let’s talk about motherhood first. You are a mom to two beautiful girls. Tell us a little about your mom experience. Has your motherhood journey been anything like you imagined it would be?
My motherhood journey is nothing close to what I had imagined. As a young, Hispanic woman, I had the idea that after having my daughters, my life was going to be put on hold and that included my dreams. The reality is that becoming a mom has given me the gift of adding more dreams and hopes to my life. Motherhood is just an addition to my life; it’s the cherry on top of the cake.
What has been your biggest joy of motherhood? What has been your biggest challenge?
The biggest joy of becoming a mother is hearing the word MOM. For me that is the best award I could have ever received. Knowing that I gave life to these two beautiful girls is priceless.
The biggest challenge has been learning how to balance the needs of a 7 year old and a 1 year old. Even though both are girls, they have very different personalities and needs.
You didn’t wait for your daughters to grow up before starting a business. What inspired you to be a mom entrepreneur and start a business?
What inspired me was the support that I have from my husband and daughters. I have the best cheerleaders! They supported me when I went back to school and they are now supporting me with my dream of starting my own flower shop. My dream of having my own flower shop has become OUR dream. The flower shop will be our family business. That’s why we named the flower shop K B Flowers. K stands for Karina my oldest daughter and B is for Bella – my youngest daughter.
What have you learned from the process of starting a business?
Starting a business is very challenging, but if you are starting a business that you love those challenges becomes easier to overcome. I’ve learned to be very patient with the process. It takes a lot of time and determination to start a business.
Where do you receive inspiration for the arrangements at K B Flowers?
I’m inspired by the beauty of flowers -how a bridal bouquet enhances the beauty of a bride or how a floral arrangement can bring joy to someone that is sick. I love flowers and I love creating memories with the magnificence of flowers.
Any advice for moms who want to start their own business?
Follow your dream and start a business doing something you love. Be patient with the process and most importantly never forget that your family always comes first. Make your dream of starting your business a family dream. Get the family involved and that will make the challenges easier to overcome.
Now for a quick glance into Patty’s life
What is the one thing you look forward to everyday? Waking-up the girls to another beautiful day! Waking them up and receiving those hugs and kisses is a great boost of energy!
What’s your guilty pleasure? My guilty pleasure is having the house to myself, relaxing and having a piece of chocolate cake with a glass of wine.
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it? As a Hispanic, music runs through my blood and I will love to go out dancing with my husband.
What is your favorite activity with kids? On Friday nights we have Karaoke. The girls love it. My husband plays the guitar and the girls sing their favorite songs from Justin Beaver to the Beatles.
If someone was going to write a book on your life, what would the title be? Faith, Family and Flowers
This year Kolcraft is going to Hispancize 2011 and we are super excited because we are going via blogger Sara Patterson from Momma Findings. We have been getting to know Sara a bit more over these past weeks and wanted to share our new friend with you!
Did you ever think you would be so involved in helping others with parenting through a blog, social media and conferences?
I think a lot of bloggers have a similar story as mine. I started blogging out of pure desperation. In 2007, My husband moved us 900 miles away to Charlotte, NC. He traveled 2-3 weeks out of each month and I was lonely. I was scared. I spent my days with three small children under the age of 6 with no friends, no family, and no familiarity. So. I started a blog. I had NO idea the impact it would have on me and my soon-to-be readers, however, I’m ecstatic to be a part of such a great community and social phenomenon.
You have some great reviews of various products on your blog. What is your favorite part of reviewing products?
My favorite part about reviewing items is the exclusivity of it all. A lot of the times, I get to try a new product before it hits shelves, giving my feedback to companies on how to make it better or how to market it when it launches. THAT’S my favorite part, being able to make such a big impact on Major Brands. My kids would say, however, that their favorite part is being the first to get “All the Cool Stuff”.
What are you looking forward to the most at the upcoming conference Hispanicize?
This is like no other conference I’ve ever been to. I’ve been to BlogHer. I’ve been to Mom 2.0 Summit. I’ve been to small conferences and small events, but Hispanicize is different. Since I took my blog to the next level and turned it into my own Brand professionally, I’ve always marketed myself as a Mom Blogger or Brand Advocate. I’ve niched myself and narrowed my reach, but with Hispanicize I’m networking, meeting, and learning from the nations top Latino and Latina Social Media Experts in various forms of expertise. Plus, I can help Big Brands make a Big Difference in the Hispanic Community both online and off. It’s widened my reach and spread my wings, so to speak. Did I mention I get to representing one of my favorite Brands at Hispanicize? Kolcraft! (editor’s response – YAY!)
Looking back on your parenting journey, would you say it is anything like you thought it would be?
I’ve told my Mother countless times that I wish she would have told me it would be like this. I wish she would have told me I’d get no sleep, worry constantly, and have my heart broken by these sweet children.
We decided to start a family at a very young age, just 6 months into our marriage. The deciding factor? 9/11. My oldest son is a product of 9/11. That night my husband learned that time is short and the one thing we wanted, more than anything, was a family of our own. The journey began on that sad day and I’ve been humbled and matured by it all.
Do you have a favorite “mom moment” that you can share with us?
This is one of my favorite Mom AND Blogger Moments. I’ve always struggled at telling my children and people I meet, what it is I actually do. Imagine their faces when I say I’m a Blogger. It’s unheard of. What does a Space Ranger Blogger Actually Do? (Sorry, I had a Toy Story flashback go through my head)
One moment that I recall is when my 7-yr-old brought home a book she had written in class. The title? My Mom Has the Coolest Job in the World In it she describes how I get to stay home with her, but I get really cool stuff in the mail and I write about it. “My Mom is a Writer. One day, she’ll even write a book. Just like Barbara Park. She wrote Junie B. Jones.”
Just months later, that same child of mine came to me with a pitch. She wants to start her own blog. She has name. She has a url. She has tag line and graphic ideas. She EVEN has a marketing plan to grow her readership locally. In other words? She wants to be like me and it melts my heart.
As a mom of three, do you have any advice for first-time parents?
Yes, actually. I wish someone would have told me, the first day my child was born, that you’re not going to be perfect. There is no “right way”. There is only the “right way for your child”. My three children are complete opposites. COMPLETE OPPOSITES. Certain methods that work well for my oldest, do nothing for my youngest.
My advice? Parenting is Trial and Error. Make your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. You’ll learn more about yourself through patience and personal growth than you ever thought possible. PLUS, your kids will be will learn that it’s okay to make a mistake and mirror how you’ve always responded to your own mistakes.
Oh. And wipes. Lots of wipes. No matter what stage of Motherhood you’re in, they ALWAYS come in handy.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go & what would you do there? I’ve ALWAYS said if I could travel anywhere in the world, it would be Brazil. There’s something exotic, yet energizing about it. I’d, totally, lay around on the beach all day (with my iPhone in hand of course).
What’s your guilty pleasure? French Fries and Chocolate. Not necessarily together, but now that I think about it….
What is an instant de-stressor for you? I like to run. I’m not talking running from the kids when they’re driving me crazy. I like to run long distance. I’m, by no means an athlete, but running calms my nerves, prepares me mentally and physically to tackle my day with three children. One day, I will run a marathon. One day.
If you had a free day with no obligations, what would you do with it? Every Mother’s answer would be sleep, but my personal mantra is, “Sleep is for the weak.” I don’t see it as weakness, however, I just don’t see the point in sleeping the day away. There is always something to be done, a blog post to be written, or a day of fun in the sun. So, if I had no obligations, a free day – I’d get lost in the country. I live in Texas and it’s such a beautiful State. I’d grab a Starbucks drink, my Husband, and my iPhone and just get lost in the country, listening to music and enjoying the scenery.
If someone was going to write a book of your life, what would the title be? This is a looming question that I’ve thought about all day. This is really hard. So, hard, in fact, that I polled my Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers. Out of a combined 4,500 people who follow me, I got two responses. I told you it was a hard question! One response came from my best friend of High School. He said “Clueless”, which plays an important role in my life, because for the most part, new parents and, even new bloggers for instance, are clueless of the journey ahead of them. But I refuse to be labeled as such.
My Mother responded with a title that completely describes me. It’s a name my Grandmother calls me. It’s a culture I hope to instill into my children and my writing- Sarita.
Check out Hispanicize and Sara’s blog. You will be happy you did!
March is National Nutrition Month and we were lucky enough to be able to interview Registered Dietitian and mom Katherine Brooking. Kathrine has lots of great tips and tricks to share to help you and your family eat healthy, nutritious meals. So grab a healthy snack and enjoy all the great information that Katherine has to share.
Earlier this year the new dietary guidelines were released. Can you share with us some of those findings?
One important, although not surprising, finding was that Americans are not consuming enough fruits and vegetables. It is so important to increase intake of fruits and vegetables because they are critical to lowering your risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It’s easy to increase your intake starting with these two tips:
- When a recipe calls for vegetables, double the amount. This works especially well for soups, salads and quiches.
- Wash, peel and slice fruit & vegetables the night before so you have vegetables and fruit as a “grab & go” snack. You can do this when you are on the phone or watching TV.
What about the recommendations for dairy intake?
It is recommended that anyone 9 years old and older have 3 servings of fat free dairy daily. I have partnered with Yoplait because they have increased the amount of vitamin D and calcium in Yoplait Original by 50%! This is such an easy way to get calcium in your diet.
Yoplait is also doing a 1 million cup giveaway on their Facebook page. All you have to do is go to Yoplait’s Facebook page and “like” the page to get a free cup. It really tastes great and the fact that it is low fat is so important for healthy eating. (Editor’s note – we love Yoplait yogurt. It’s a routine part of our snacks here at Kolcraft.)
What about moms who have children with dairy allergies?
True milk allergies are infrequent. Lactose intolerance is more common. There are probiotics in yogurt so those who are lactose intolerant can have yogurt. If a child truly has a dairy allergy, the good news is they often grow out of it. It’s important, however, that they still get the proper calcium and vitamin D intake. They can do this through fortified orange juice, cereal, and some soy. It’s important for parents to talk to a dietitian to make sure their child is meeting the necessary requirements.
What about moms who are dealing with picky eaters? Any advice for them?
I like Ellyn Satter’s books for getting kids to eat well. Her work is based on clinical studies and she has found that repeated exposure to foods is key. As parents, we have to put healthy food in front of our children to choose from and if a child chooses nothing than so be it. (Of course you don’t want this happening every day.) If a child refuses to eat healthy food and you end up “giving in” and feeding them sugary food, you train them that if they refuse long enough, they will get the sugary snack they want. A little child cannot make nutrition decisions – as parents, we have to make those decisions for them and not use “bad” snacks as the go to.
A few tips for helping your family to eat healthy:
- Eat as a family. This helps children see that eating a meal together is a special time.
- Set the rules early that the family eats what is set on the table. Mom & dad are not short order cooks!
- Be the role model for eating healthy.
- Be patient. It can take 15 to 20 times of introducing a new food before your child will accept it.
Most of us would admit that we want to eat healthy and we want our families to eat healthy, but when we are busy moms sometimes it’s easier to eat convenient “junk food.” Any tips for starting to eat healthy?
- 1st step – Start by being aware of what you are eating. Track what you eat by keeping a food journal because awareness is key.
- 2nd step – Once you have a sense of your eating patterns, start with small changes. Figure out where you are off track and every week make a goal. For example if you see you are eating lots of bread, decide your goal for that week is to eat whole grains that are better for you.
- 3rd step – Ask yourself each week “What foods am I consuming with little nutrition? How can I reduce my intake of them?” If you make too big of a goal such as, “I will only eat fruits and vegetables starting today” you are setting yourself up for failure.
What are good resources for educating yourself on eating healthy?
- The government has a lot of resources on dietary guidelines, etc. and is a good place to start. They also have a good site for specific information for kids.
- Kid Nutrition has great info based on scientific research.
- Yolplait also has a great site with wonderful recipes.
Here at Kolcraft we also HIGHLY recommend Katherine’s site – Appetite for Health. There are wonderful articles, recipes, tips, etc.
Thank you Katherine for helping our families eat healthy!
What one change will you make this month to help your family eat a little more healthy?