Family Entertainment, Parenting

5 Unique Alternatives to Baby Books (That Won’t Make You Feel Like a Failure)

*Quoted as expert

As a kid, I would flip through my baby book, hoping my mom had filled in some of the blanks while I was sleeping or at school. But every time I took the book off its shelf, I saw the same barren pages between the faded pale yellow covers. Listed were the date and time of my birth, my birth weight, a lock of hair from my first haircut … and that was all. I promised myself that if I ever became a parent, I wouldn’t start a baby book if I couldn’t commit to the project. As an adult, I know that I’m amazing at starting projects. But finishing them? Not so much.

This is why I’ve never owned a baby book.

It turns out, I’m not alone. In the age of the smartphone, many parents are finding the traditional baby book just doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t mean those of us who are sans baby book aren’t capturing the important moments. There are plenty of ways to hold onto the milestones, the mispronunciations that are too cute to correct, and everything in between – while letting go of the pressure to fill in the blanks.

. . .

4 | Film them

There is nothing quite like a video to preserve a moment. At the end of each year, Bailey Gaddis, the Ojai, California mother and author of “Feng Shui Mommy,” creates a “Year in Review” video montage of all the short takes she’s recorded of her four-year-old son throughout the year. Not only does the video showcase milestones and random sweet and funny moments, Bailey loves that they double as holiday gifts for the grandparents. As an added bonus, videos won’t create clutter.

Read the full article on Parent.co

Parenting, Reviews and Giveaways

Ergobaby Omni 360 Review

My main issue with the classic Ergobaby carrier was that I could only (comfortably) have my son facing my chest. As he grew older, and had a desire to check out the happenings around him, he would get peeved when he was stuck looking at me (unless he was in the mood for some boob.) So, I’m happy to report that the Ergobaby Omni 360 carrier solves that problem and allows your babe to comfortably be carried in pretty much every position you can imagine: forward facing, outward facing, on the hip, and on the back.
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And, there are other perks attached to this updated Ergobaby:
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  • The structured bucket seat allows baby to sit in an ergonomically-friendly position, in all positions, minimizing “my crotch hurts” fussiness.
  • There’s also goodies for the adult. The crossbale shoulder straps and lumbar support allow you to go for hours with your child strapped to your body without feeling like your back is being slowly tortured. I would know – I went on a four mile hike with this carrier (and my child) and I could have gone further.
  • You no longer have to worry about losing that bulky newborn insert. You can now simply adjust the leg width and wa-lah (!), newborn ready.
  • It’s more comfortable for dads. My husband, who is a lot a bit larger than me, had problems adjusting our original carrier to suit his wider and taller frame. The Omni 360 carrier is so versatile and easy to adjust he gets a little twinkle in his eye when he gets a turn with it.
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While I was already a devotee of Ergobaby before this new beauty was released, the Omni 360 is such a champ I’m now that mom who accosts people at the park telling them how they MUST get an Ergobaby Omni 360 in their life.
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P.S. Dear Ergobaby, could you please figure out a way to add a cup holder and wine dispenser to your next model? Please and thank you.
Childbirth, Parenting, Pregnancy

3 Ways to Foster a Psychic Connection With Your Baby

Your baby can communicate from the womb if you just learn to listen. 

The Tibetans believe that pregnancy is the time when a woman has the strongest connection to “another realm” because her baby is living partially in her body, and partially in the spirit world. This spiritual gateway is also believed to release the full voice of the woman’s intuition, allowing her to send and receive messages to and from her baby.
 
For some, these messages come via clear voices heard in the mother’s mind, or said by another at the exact time the mother is asking a question of her unborn baby. But, for many pregnant women messages from their baby come through in more abstract, but just as powerful, channels.
 
Following are ways you can open up this magical communication channel with your baby, helping to ensure they’re able to be one of your guides throughout pregnancy and childbirth. 
 
1. Clearing the Clutter

When the energy around or within you is stagnant, the channel of communication between you and baby becomes blocked. To begin clearing these blocks, get rid of the clutter in the primary areas you spend time in, only keeping objects and pieces of furniture that you love or add usefulness to your life. 

After your outer clutter is cleared, ensure your inner environment is uncluttered by forgiving others for wrongs you feel they’ve committed, and forgiving yourself for missteps you believe you’ve made. Just let it all flow out – your communication channel with Baby will blossom in the clear space that is left.

2. Practicing Heart-Centered Meditation

Now that you have a clear channel for communication, begin to tap into it by minimizing distractions, closing your eyes, and placing your hands on your belly.

As you sit, notice warmth from your heart center beginning to radiate down towards your uterus, then notice a warmth spreading up from the center of your uterus.

Allow the warmth from your heart and uterus to connect and create a channel of love that is alive with love for your baby, and from your baby.

You don’t need to search for any profound messages in this space, just sit, and be, and feel warm with your baby. 

3. Doing Free Flow Journaling

You’re now tuned in to a feeling-connection with your baby, and are now ready to explore your thinking-connection.

To do this, set aside twenty to thirty minutes, preferably after you practice the heart-centered meditation, and begin writing. There is no prompt for this writing exercise, just write whatever comes to you, even if you just write, “I don’t know what to write” for the first few minutes.

Let words pour out of you without pausing to analyze spelling, sentence structure, or even the topic you’re writing on – just keep writing.

You’ll likely notice, if you commit to the full time, that interesting and meaningful messages will begin flowing from pen to paper, maybe even messages that don’t seem to be coming from your own mind . . .

4. Becoming Aware of the New Rhythm of Your Thoughts and Desires

The more you tap into your psychic connection with your unborn baby the more you’ll notice the rhythm of your thoughts and desires shifting.

You may start to think about relationships, work, or maybe food in new ways, and notice that you’re having desires for conversations, experiences, or other facets of life that you never had before.

What if these subtle shifts are your baby communicating with you? Maybe this is his way of encouraging you to live a life that will optimally set the two of you up for your new life together – may be.

5. Taking A Few Moments of Stillness Before Acting

Subtle communication, with your intuition or baby, is often missed when you hastily move through life.

To ensure you’re able to honor the messages from your baby, pause before you speak, make decisions, or transition into a new activity. This pause may just last a few moments but can create the space for you to live with greater intention and a heightened awareness of the needs of your baby.

An added benefit of developing this psychic connection with your baby, before they’re born, is that it will make their transition from womb to the outer world smoother for you both. You’ll have a preexisting mode of communication, which will enhance your baby’s ability to “tell you” what they need, and your ability to decipher and respond to those needs.

This enhanced communication will also make the many moments of challenge easier to navigate because you’ll be connected to the bigger picture – that the two of you are co-authoring an epic love story. 

P.S. Until 12.31.17 you can get 10% off my favorite baby carrier at ErgoBaby.com! Just use the super simple coupon code BBMkp9VIniU 😉 And, FREE shipping!

Parenting, Travel

The Mom Who Is Stepping Off a Building For Her Son

If you’re a mom, it might not surprise you that there are women out there literally stepping off a building to support their children.

Sheila Bierwert is one of these women. This year will be Sheila’s seventh time participating in the Over the Edge event at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort, which raises money for The Special Olympics Hawaii. The fundraiser consists of participants (who were able to raise $1,000 or more for The Special Olympics Hawaii) rappelling over the edge of the 40-story resort.

I asked Sheila what the most intimidating aspect of the rappelling was, and her answer was appropriate for so many risks in life: the hardest part is taking the first step. Luckily, the rooftop Over the Edge staff is well versed in how to supportively coax rappellers off the edge of a building.

Sheila is willing to take this first step over and over again to show support for her son Trevor, who has special needs, and the other Special Olympics athletes who she says face challenges on a daily basis.

Sheila Bierwert
Sheila with her family.

Her family has become so involved and inspired by this event (they’ve raised $40,000 so far!) that her daughter Emma will be taking that epic step with Sheila on October 28th.

And, while some thrive on the adrenaline something like rappelling shoots through the body, Sheila is not one of them- she says she doesn’t even enjoy going to amusement parks. But, love for a child will do that to you: it will pour a dissolvent over your fears.

If you’re interesting in supporting this fundraiser, click here!

 

Childbirth, Parenting, Pregnancy, Press

Inspired Conversations with Linda Joy

Curious about what’s it’s like to navigate the emotions of an unplanned pregnancy? Or, many of the other wonderful/crazy/confusing/transformative challenges of the journey into #motherhood? Tune into to my interview on the Inspired Conversations with Linda Joy radio show today at 2pm ET here, http://omtimes.com/iom/shows/inspired-conversations/ #pregnancy #childbirth#fengshuimommy

Inspired Conversations_Bailey Gaddis

 

Childbirth, Parenting, Pregnancy

How to Prepare for a Baby – The Essential To-Do List

Preparing for a permanent resident in your life that you’ve never met can be tricky, but doing nothing to prepare is even trickier. While there is no way to ensure you won’t be popped with surprises during early motherhood, there are ways to set yourself up for greater success, satisfaction, and sanity before your wiggly little person makes their grand entrance.

To kick off your preparations, complete the following to-dos before The Day:

  1. Create Your Baby Zones.

Babies have a sneaky way of taking over every square inch of your house if you don’t designate specific areas wholly devoted to your noisy cherub. For example, set up a changing zone in one room of your house (or two if your home is spread out) and an always stocked and organized diaper bag you can grab for on-the-go changes (like blowouts so messy it’s best to bring the supplies to baby.) In addition, consider setting up play zones, feeding zones, sleep zones, dressing zones, and any other zones you think your baby will need.

Read more on Nanit

Career, Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Pregnancy

10 New Ways to Afford Fertility Treatments

Before the birth of her daughter, Aurora, in 2016, Heather Huhman, host of the podcast Beat Infertility and founder of content-marketing firm Come Recommended, went through seven cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF), suffered four miscarriages and gave birth to stillborn twins, Eric and Alexis. As difficult and heartbreaking as the Washington, DC, woman’s journey to motherhood was, she never stopped working—she had to foot the almost-$60,000 bill for all those fertility treatments.

Heather is not an anomaly. A survey by FertilityIQ, a fertility doctor and clinic evaluation website, found that 92 percent of women undergoing fertility treatments are employed. Of those, 68 percent work a full 40 to 50 hours a week.

One big reason? More and more women are postponing pregnancy until their mid-to late 30swhile they’re furthering their careers—and this delay often makes fertility treatments necessary to start a family. But medical need isn’t the only reason working women make up the majority of fertility-care patients: The high price of help forces many women to continue earning a paycheck while trying to conceive. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine reported that the average cost of one IVF treatment in the United States is $12,400, not including the extra medications a woman might need and the added fees for using an egg or sperm donor, or gestational surrogate.

Read more on Working Mother

Family Entertainment, Parenting, Travel

7 Family-Approved Summer Activities in Tahoe

While the spirit of many ski towns dissolves with the snow, the Tahoe area pulsates with energy all year. When the skiers and boarders skip town, usually after enjoying the snow from November to July, a fresh crop of thrill seekers and wanderlusts emerge to enjoy the hiking, biking, diving, fishing, swimming, and sightseeing in the visually rich environment.
With an overflowing platter of recreational options, this area is ideal for families yearning for adventure, but with a variety of comfort zones.
When planning your summer vacation to Tahoe, pick and choose from the following to craft an epic journey into this astounding pocket of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
 
1.    Bike Riding: If you’re looking for a scenic, safe, and leisurely family bike ride, rent your wheels at Parallel Mountain Sports in the Village at Squaw Valley (or bring your own!) and have them direct you to the path that snakes along the Truckee River all the way to the crisp waters of Lake Tahoe.
Parenting, Self Love

Introducing HypnoMothering

One of the most common questions I get about Feng Shui Mommy is “What’s the deal with the section on the Fourth Trimester? What the heck is the Fourth Trimester?”

The first three months of a baby’s life out of the womb are referred to by many as the “fourth trimester” – while the baby is no longer in the womb they are still helpless in so many ways and fully dependent on their mother.

These first three months out of the womb are also the first third of what is sometimes referred to as “exterior gestation.” This term comes from the belief that infants are born before their brains are fully matured (because their heads would be too large to fit through the birth path at full maturity) so, their brains finish growing when they are outside the womb.

During this “fourth trimester” the mother can no longer just take care of herself and trust that her baby will receive all he requires (as he did in the first three trimesters), she now has to be really intentional about caring for her own needs, while also of course caring for her infant who is now much more demanding than he was in the womb – it can be incredibly challenging/ overwhelming / (insert your favorite emotional adjective here)!

So, beyond the support I offer for the fourth trimester in Feng Shui Mommy I am now certified to teach HypnoMothering!

HypnoMothering is a 2.5 hour class for moms to be, new mothers, and moms of young children. Developed by two hypnotherapists, each a mother of twins, this fun, practical class teaches mothers easy and fast self-hypnosis techniques to make the most of limited sleep, keep calm and balanced on challenging days, and find focus and mindfulness amidst the myriad of feelings that mothers face.

Find out more here 🙂

Parenting, Reviews and Giveaways, Sponsored Posts

The Cloth Dying Process That Could Change Your Baby’s Life

Sponsored Post: This post was sponsored by Panchhi a company offering high quality 100% organic cotton muslin baby products and only uses natural printing (no chemical dyes!) I don’t post many of these because I only accept sponsored post opportunities from companies offering services or products I already use, and have an ideology I can get behind.

 

A baby’s skin is continually developing in the first year of life, making it susceptible to infection – premature babies have even more sensitive skin, as it did not have enough time to properly develop in the womb and needs extra attention while it plays catch up. What touches this silky skin matters and deserves intention and attention.

Extra Tip: To inoculate your baby with healthy bacteria, rub their bare skin on yours. This is one reason why skin-to-skin is so widely encouraged.

Luckily, with companies like Panchhi coming into the textile-selling scene (companies that are conscious of both the sensitivity of baby’s skin and our environment) it’s easier to find products we don’t hesitate to wrap our children in.

100% organic cotton muslin is a favorite textile for many skin savvy parents (as it’s gentle on the skin, and helps to prevent overheating and sweating), but what about the dye that creates those cute little images and catchy sayings? Does the composition of that dye matter?

It sure does.

Recent research has found that by-product polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been found in certain colors of printing ink used in children’s clothing. The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Environmental Protection Agency classify PCBs as a “probable human carcinogen” and The National Toxicology Program has found that PCBs are “reasonably likely to cause cancer in humans.” In addition, people exposed to high levels of PCBs have experienced irritation in the lungs, skin, nose, and eyes. PCBs have also been found to disrupt hormone function and the immune system.

So yeah, not a friendly group of 209 chemicals that share a common structure.

Because the presence of the PCBs in dyes isn’t intentional, it’s tricky to know what clothing companies to avoid – but we do know which companies to seek out – those that use natural printing.

Panchhi practices the ancient art of natural printing, where colors are extracted from sustainably harvested plants and herbs – no harsh chemical dyes are used on their organic products.

 

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Common herbs used for natural printing are Haritaki, Maddar, Pomegranate, Turmeric, and Indigo. (Panchhi utilizes these herbs for printing but takes it a step further by treating all their products with sea salt and dipping them in aloe vera to enhance the wellness properties and fastness of the prints.)

While these plants don’t offer the same palate found in clothing that utilizes chemical dyes, they offer an array of soothing colors made of Ayurvedic (an alternative form of medicine that focuses on the mind-body connection) herbs believed to produce a positive aura and calm in the wearer of the clothing. And, if your baby is the one wearing that positive aura and calm inducing clothing, you’re in for a good day.

 

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Here’s a further breakdown of the potential powers of these herbs:

Haritaki – Believed to help in detoxification, rejuvenation and in increasing positive energy and awareness.

Maddar – Believed to heal various skin ailments, jaundice, irregular menstrual cycles and kidney dysfunctions.

Pomegranate – Believed to relieve constipation, inflammation, body pain, along with boosting memory, fighting infections and promoting a healthier heart.

Turmeric – Believed to have healing properties for skin problems, cough, cold and fever.

Indigo – Believed to be helpful for people who get excessively hot and sweat a lot. In addition, it is believed to have healing properties for respiratory problems and is used in many parts of India to treat mosquito bites, fast healing of bruises and relieve pain. Indigo is also believed to help calm down, relax and sleep peacefully.

Yes, please.

P.S. I’ve noticed that all the organic cotton products I’ve bought for my son over the years always outlive his non-organic cotton items, making up for the higher price tag of the soft stuff.

 

Quotes from friends of mine who have used Panchhi products:

“I have a more neutral and natural aesthetic which is why I loved the muted colors and soft tones of Panchhi products – they don’t overwhelm the senses.”

“I could tell a marketed difference in my daughter’s sleep when she started using the Panchhi sleep sack – she would fidget less and wake up happier.”

“My son loves the big cozy Panchhi towel, he uses it as a cape and refuses to take it off hours after his bath. And, unlike many other towels we’ve tried, this one doesn’t leave a residue on his skin.”

“I’m super picky about the washcloths I use on my newborn, usually finding them to be too rough or too “syntheticy.” The Panchhi wash cloths are soft and effective and don’t make me feel like I’m rubbing chemicals into my baby’s skin every time I wash her off.”

Parenting, Reviews and Giveaways

Review: Back to School With Bigfoot

My son is already having concerns about re-entering the equally fascinating and intimidating world of school. He’s such a little guy that it seems hard for him to find the words to express his nerves but this book gave him an outlet to explore his feelings in a fun and non-threatening way. The book makes the point that no matter who you are it can be scary going back to school, but this entry can be even more challenging when you feel like you are different, which so many of us do. This book is fun, humorous, and relatable, offering a safe space for parents and children to examine the emotions attached to a new school year.

Check it out here

Parenting

10 Organization Hacks Pros Use in Their Own Homes to Keep Them Looking Tidy Every Day

*I offered a hack for this piece.

Purge, purge, purge

“You do not want to waste time organizing items you don’t need to keep,” says Eileen Roth, author of Organizing For Dummiesand owner of Everything in its Place. So the very first thing you need to do is decide what you can get rid of. She suggests asking yourself: 1) Will I use it again? If you haven’t used (or worn) it in over a year, then let it go. 2) Is the sentiment worth it? Can you take a digital picture of the item and let it go or will you cry because the sentimental value is that high?

Do a sweep three times a day

“It’s essential to my sanity to do a stuff sweep every morning, afternoon, and evening,” says Bailey Gaddis, a certified professional organizer and author of Feng Shui Mommy. This sweep consists of going through every room in the home and returning all objects to their designated homes. “I have a preschooler, so I usually carry a basket with me for easy collection and transport for smaller items. Each sweep takes about ten minutes (for my entire home) and I always feel lighter after it’s complete.”

Read more on Reader’s Digest

Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Self Love

Hypnosis for Children

I’ve had the pleasure of many amazing clients under the age of 18 (many of them under the age of 12) come through my hypnotherapy practice in the past few years, and after seeing similar issues come up over and over again (in my own child as well!) I decided to make a set of short hypnosis tracks to support children with the trickiest issues such as sleep, fears and phobias, potty training and bed wetting, and much more.

All recordings are under 10 minutes and follow a very specific formula geared towards offering children a clear, gentle, and effective experience.

If you’re interested, check them out here. (P.S. The page takes a few seconds to load.)

Here is a complimentary sample for you to check out 🙂

Career, Parenting, Self Love

This 10-Year-Old Kid Reporter Is Following Her Dreams And Inspiring Others To Do The Same

If sports or socializing aren’t your thing, navigating school as an adolescent can be challenging.Avid reader Shayna Anne Rose, 10, discovered this truth in second grade when her teacher told her she could no longer read at recess and needed to interact with classmates.

To cope with this shift, Shayna started a class newspaper on the advice from her mom, Julie Rose, where she interviewed other students during recess. The paper was such a hit, classmates volunteered to help. Soon, Shayna had a “staff.”

As Shayna’s interviews grew in popularity, she reached beyond the playground and began interviewing teachers, police officers, and firefighters. The tipping point came when Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker agreed to be interviewed by the budding journalist. This interview was quickly followed by a chat with New England Patriot’s Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, and two rather well-known people with the last names Clinton and Trump.

Read more on Babble