Monday, November 4, 2013

Mamma Mia!

Last Friday I took my family to see Mamma Mia. It was Hubby, I, both my girls, my grandmother and mom. (Thank you so much to the ladies who gave me the tickets they couldn't use. My family truly enjoyed the experience all together!)

Just so you understand... B LOVES Abba and Mamma Mia. It's one of her favorite movies. I have sung Abba songs to my girls since they were born. They LOVE it.

So as we were sitting in our seats and the show started B got excited and clapped. The guy in front of us turned around and looked. Not a big deal right? The show went on.

Then she coughed. The guy let out a sigh that sounded frustrated but who would get angry at a kid for coughing? More of the play passed.

Then D whispered "Can I have my drink?". The guy in front whipped his head around and "SHUSHED" my 5 year old! I honestly barely heard what she asked but he had the nerve to shush her. I did nothing, just told her to take a drink and try to be quieter. I am one of those who feels that everyone has a right to enjoy their show so even though this jerk was uber sensitive to every sound... let him watch the performance.

Then Brianna leaned over and whispered something to my grandmother. I couldn't hear what she said but the guy whipped his head around and shushed her and my grandmother. This is when I got mad.

My daughter has some impulse control issues. She has a hard time hearing music and not signing and dancing and here she sits perfectly quiet and barely rocks in her seat and this guy wants to shush her for whispering something that even I sitting a seat away couldn't hear?!?!? If he only realized just how hard it was for her to contain herself and she was doing it perfectly!!!

Ok, remember how I said everyone has the right to enjoy the show? Well this douche bag is keeping my kids from enjoying the show because D is scared to move and B is scared to make a sound.

Finally intermission comes. The lights go on and the guy gets up and shoots a mean look to my family and storms off. I get up to go after him. I am ready to lay into him ask him how he thinks shushing girls at a play based on rock music is ok? Does he consider for one second the kids ages? Or the fact that my grandmother has wanted to see this play for years? Or how she nervous to speak because this man may shush a special needs kid again and cause her to get upset enough to miss the show?

But I don't go after him. I decide that during the next half of the show we will be up dancing and singing along just like several of the other guests were doing and if he doesn't like it he can leave or shush me. And I'd LOVE to see how that works out for him.

When he comes back he has several other people with him and the girls are still being practically perfect, giggling, talking about their favorite scenes so far and singing. He moves down several seats and sits with his party. Good riddance!

When the show started again the girls sang quietly, rocked back and forth in their seats, tapped their toes and clapped. They truly enjoyed the second half sooo much! And at the end for the finally we all got up and danced in the aisle.

I look over and see the grouch from earlier and watch as he sits stiff in his chair and stares at the stage and suddenly... I feel sorry for him.

My anger is gone. This guy sat there alone and unhappy and I pity him. I pity anyone who would begrudge a child for having a good time or scold them for quietly asking for a drink. His new seat, surrounded by his friends(?) may have been quieter but they sit there stiff and don't even look like they are enjoying themselves.

When the show is over we leave laughing and still signing and every usher we pass asks how the girls liked the show and they enthusiastically say they loved it. He walks with his group, they are barely talking and no one for one second would suspect he had a good time.

And even though he had the audacity to shush my girls and almost ruined the first half of the show... I feel sorry for him.  Unhappy people want to make others just as unhappy as they are. I don't know why this guy seemed so unhappy. I don't want to know. All I know is when we made the decision to not let his grumpiness effect us we had a great time.  And for half the show we were the Dancing Queens!

So the moral of the story is...

Don't let those below you pull you down to their level. If they don't want to step up and sing with you... let them walk away as you dance behind their backs!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Parenting Expert?

There is no such thing as a parenting expert. It honestly gets me made when people seriously refer to themselves as a parenting expert. Especially when they are self proclaimed parenting experts. It's almost as bad when they have some degree or certificate backing them up.

You mean to tell me you have a degree in child psychology but no kids? I should definitely take everything you say as fact!

Oh, you think my child with sensory processing disorder should just "deal"  with the itchy tag in her shirt so she learns to handle problems on her own? You must have learned that from raising your own child who has no special needs.

Often these "experts" are just moms. Maybe they write a blog, or contribute to a website, work in a field where they disperse their parenting expertise on the masses or just stay home with their kids and feel they have mastered this whole motherhood gig. But just because you have become an expert in your field or just your household doesn't mean you know any more about kids than I do. And me writing this certainly doesn't mean I know more than you!

I started a website because unlike some experts who think they know everything about parenting and being a mom... I realized that all moms have wisdom to share. Tampa Bay Moms Group was created because all moms are experts in their field even if they are not all knowing. And sure... I've given out my fair share of advice and tips on the website and tv but I also know that my experience in being a mom comes from being a mom to my kids and what I have learned and used (and in some cases used and decided never to try again) from books and other professionals, especially other moms!

I've become a "parenting expert". Ironic isn't it. But I will be the first to admit... I AM NOT AN EXPERT. I may have parenting experience. I may have information that you may not know about or advice ands wisdom to share... but I'd wager you do too.

No two kids are exactly alike. No two parents "mother" the exact same way. What works for one may not work for another.

My point is... I may be referred to as a Parenting Expert... but I am no more one that any other mom who is doing her best for her kids and continually tries to improve. And any mom who thinks they are an expert is probably not pursuing improvement in lieu of believing they already know it all and if that's the case you are no expert at all.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Thanks for all you did wrong mom!

When it comes to being a mom there is no one way to do it. In fact we all have our own rules and guidelines that we follow. Some of us follow the methods of our mothers. Others see errors in their own upbringing and take a different route completely.

My mom was fun. She'd dance with us, play with us, give us snacks by candlelight just for fun. She would bury us in the sand, wrestle with us. She towed us too and from practices and games. She loved us sooo much. There are so many ways that I hope I am like her as a mother.  But she wasn't perfect. Far from it.

I don't really follow the parenting style of my mother. In fact I think my mom did many things with raising me that I wouldn't do with my own kids. I turned out all right in the end. In fact, I think I'm better than just alright, when all is said and done, but she did many things that I as a mom wouldn't do.

Is that to say that she was a bad mom? No. It means she had a different parenting style and I took what I learned from her and have raised my kids using that (or not using it as the case may be). I believe my mother did what she felt was right. And honestly that's all anyone can ever really ask.

But my mom was very relaxed about what we watched or listened to. My exposure to slightly more mature movies and music not only desensitized me to what I was seeing and hearing but it also made me encounter themes that I probably was not old enough to see.

She didn't read my diary or as I got older check my pager or cell phone. She didn't speak to my friends parents when I said we were sleeping at her house. She trusted me. She didn't snoop or question me too much either.

Was her mistake to trust me? Well... frankly, yes it was. I was a child. And though I appreciate, love and am grateful for her trust in me it was misplaced. We were kids, we pushed the limits and tested boundaries. I believe part of the issue was I never gave my mom a reason to mistrust me. Not because I was such and angel, but I was that good at hiding.

But my mom also believed I had to make my own choices and learn responsibility on my own. And I did. Slowly I might add. Her discipline ranged from extreme to laughable and varied depending on her mood. Small rule infractions could reap huge punishments while a major rule break could get a warning. Because it wasn't consistent I honestly wasn't too worried because if I got in trouble I may or may not be grounded. Not knowing made the risk much less intimidating.

So what I am getting at, the surprising point of this is... I learned a lot from my mom. Sure I don't agree with her but that is what taught me so much. I learned that my child can be trusted but not trusted blindly. I learned that they can make their own choices when I present them with options. And they learn responsibility along with consequences. And when it comes to discipline I am firm, fair and consistent (usually).

So while many of us follow the model of mother we were given there are those who, like me, take a different route. I don't agree with all the things my mom did but I am using it to learn with my kids and I hope they will learn from my mistakes (actually I'd hope not to make any but let's be realistic).

So this is a thank you to my mom. Sure you may have not been the picture perfect model but  you turned me into the best mom I know how to be. And that means everything to me and to my kids and hopefully one day they will look back and thank me for all I did wrong too.

Monday, September 16, 2013

How much privacy should your child have?

From WFLA's  News Channel 8

Polk teen's death spurs social media conversation

Polk County authorities are investigating the death of a 12-year-old girl. Her mother believes her daughter's death can be linked to cyber bullying.

"If I had known about it, I would have taken her phone and all of her electronics away," said Tricia Norman, outside her Lakeland home. She believes her daughter, Becca, took her own life by jumping from the tower at an abandoned cement plant.

Authorities found numerous negative messages on her phone, including "nobody cares about you" and "you seriously deserve to die."

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says the recent case of cyber bullying should be a lesson to all parents: know what your children are doing on the phone and online.

"If you're not searching your children's devices, if you're not taking them from your 12, 13, 14, 15, 16-year olds, and demanding to look and see what's happening, you're not being a responsible parent," Sheriff Judd said.

Reed the full story here!

I decided to post this on and you can check it out here: How much privacy should your child have?

My question was prompted by this sad suicide story but at it's core it raised this question...

How much privacy should your child have?

This sad story is an example of what can happen if you are not fully aware of what is going on in your child's life. I am NOT blaming the mom. She is just one part of a sad story that led to this sad end. Had the mom gone through her phone, had the girl asked for help, had the kids who bullied her not done so, had thier parents paid more attention to what they were doing... but sadly these are all what ifs.

I asked Tampa Bay Moms Group Members:
Do/would you go through your child's cell phone?
Would you periodically search their room? Their backpack or purse?
Would you read her diary or private blog?
Do you check up on them online?

My answer is YES to all. I want my kids to have some privacy but I rather them be safe.

That means they can have a phone when they are responsible enough and with it comes the understanding that they can not lock it unless I have the password. I get it handed to me as soon as I ask. I can check it whenever I like. Same goes with their personal space and belongings, online accounts.

It's not that I don't trust my kids but I am their mom. Not their friend. And they are kids. I can trust them but that doesn't mean I can always trust their judgment.  As a parent I feel is it my duty to check up on every aspect of their lives.

Now that doesn't mean as take a peek at B's diary I have to read every page. I am not trying to see who she has a crush on or what she ate or why shes mad at a friend. I am grazing through looking only for things that I need to be involved in... like bullying (whether she is being bullied or doing the bullying). Same with A's cell phone. I pop on and go through his texts, I check on his instagram and facebook (both of which I am a friend on) and that's it. They know I will do this and if they don't like it they can hand over their phone or close their accounts or stop writing in their journal.

I hate that I feel I have to do this but I would hate even more to be standing on TV saying "If only I had checked her phone I would have known how bad things were".

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Love your belly!

It's easy to feel self conscious about our bodies. Once we become moms and have out tummy's morphed into a home for a tiny person and they leave... well, it's rarely the same. And we will exercise, complain, hide or explain away the marks, skin and flab. I know I do. But when I saw this I wanted to share it. If we all looked at our stomachs for how beautiful they are and the amazing thing they did wouldn't that be amazing?
I don't know who wrote it, or who made this but I'd love to find out. Not just to give them credit but to say... Thank You!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

How do you decide which extra curricular activities your child should do?

When I was asked this on  WFLA's Daytime Show I found the wording funny.

How do you decide which extra curricular activities your child should do? Well... you don't. You make suggestions, let them do the same, try them out and then as a family  you make a decision.

Doing activities like baseball, football, dance or music is a commitment and usually one that effects the who family.

My son did football for a few years and the commitment was high. Practice was 3 nights a week for two hours a night with games lasting about 3 hours on Saturday. It limited the time the girls could spend doing their activities and it increased the time I spent chauffeuring kids around town.

So before you make a commitment figure out what you want to have them try. What are they interested in? If your child is small and slow sadly football may not be a great option but soccer or baseball may. But if they are twice the size of other kids basketball may seem like the logical idea but maybe they have a song in their heart they need someone to teach them how to play! Don't limit them!!!

If you kid loves to dance but has no rhythm should you keep them from participating? No. Let them dance and realize they may never make the performance team.

All that matters is your kids are having fun, they are safe and you are not going insane.

But also remember once the season or session starts... when you sign up you make a commitment to the coach and team (or teacher and class, etc). Do not just drop out without a very good reason (health, moving, etc). It sets a bad example for your child. Make them stick it out. It shows that they should be able to have people count on them even when it's a sacrifice to themselves, it teaches them responsibility and just because they don't like it at first doesn't mean they won't change their minds.

So sit down, find out your child's interest and try something. It's great for their self esteem and health to find an activity that they are either good at or just plain enjoy. Now if you found something they are good at and enjoy you've hit the jack pot so stick with it!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How do you prepare your child for the arrival of a new baby?

How do you prepare your child for the arrival of a new baby?

It's much like preparing your dog for a new puppy. Kidding, but not totally. It's really about easing into it.

When you are dealing with a child it's important to ease them into the new addition soon and slow. This goes for only children who will suddenly be sharing moms attention and affection or for other siblings who are suddenly losing their standing in the family hierarchy.

Sometimes I joke and say that kids have this natural survival instinct. It's what causes them to know the exact moment when mom and dad could be making a new addition and this explains why that is exactly when they will knock on the door or crawl into bed with you.

They have a sixth sense to let them know that they are moving down the chain.

Ok, so I'm just joking though it could be true (at least in my house) and it explains why hubby and I NEVER GET ALONE TIME.

But all kidding and sarcasm aside... here are some things to do to prepare your child(ren) for a new baby.

1. Tell them about it early. The sooner you tell them the longer they have to adjust. Have them ask any questions, answer them as honestly as their age permits.

2. Stress that they will always be special and find ways to make them feel that way. Give them a unique nickname or find a special story or rhyme you reserve just for them.

3.Let them share the news! Even if they aren't excited about a baby brother kids love to share news. It makes them feel big. So let them tell the grandparents, their friends, etc.

4. Allow them to go to the doctor with you... especially for the sonogram.

5. Let them pick out juniors name. You don't want to give them full control or your baby may be named Optimus Prime... but you could give them the names you are deciding between and let them have the final decision. This will really help foster a special bond.

6. Let them pick out things for the baby. A special blanket, their going home outfit or a stuffed animal will help them feel included.

7. Include them at the hospital. You may not want them in the room while you push (after all it's scary and who knows what colorful words they may hear). As soon as baby is out and able let your other children in first and be the very first to meet the new baby and hold them.  This is a good time to give them their special little gift they picked out.

8. Give your older kids a gift. You could get really creative and have them make a handmade frame in advance and then once baby is born put the first photo of them holding her into it. Or get them a special toy. It's easy for big kids to get jealous when the baby gets so much attention and gifts so be sure to not leave them out.

9. Be honest. Explain that when a new baby comes people are very excited to see the baby and sometimes it may seem like that is all they care about but that is not the case. And slowly things will become more balanced . If they ever feel they are not getting enough attention they can just say so. But you have to make a point to listen and look for signs if they don't mention it and of course make a point to give older kids all the love and attention they need... even if it's on just 2 hours of sleep thanks to that new bundle of joy.

10. Be ready to seek help. If your child starts to revert to younger behavior (tantrums, potty accidents, or won't do tasks they normally do like feeding themselves), acts out or becomes a bit rough with the new baby (pinches, tosses toys at or seems at all aggressive) and talking to them isn't working do not be afraid to ask for help. You can find a friend, parent, online connections like (sorry, shameless self promotion) and of course your pediatrician.

But if the kid just doesn't adjust to the new baby put them in a dog crate until they decide to play nice. And reward them with treats when they do good. And never underestimate the power of a good, behind the ear scratch. (:P)

Oh, and congratulations and good luck with your new addition!

Cyndi Edwards from Daytime motivated me to blog! (Again)

Today I recorded my segment for Daytime.  First of all let me say that I just LOVE going on. Cyndi is just so amazing. I adore her. And Jerry (who skipped out to have fun in L.A.) is a hoot!

But today it was just Cyndi and I. And the only bad part is the show will feature lots of models for a Tampa Fashion Week feature. So here I am surrounded by 80lb, 7' tall models. Nothing makes you feel sexy and thin like being surrounded by 20 something's who get paid to be gorgeous. It's hard to believe I ever came close to looking like them... but on the bright side... they should hope to look like me in 10 years after popping out a few kids. (Sour grapes anyone?)

So I'm feeling no so hot and here comes the cherry on top... literally. Cyndi walks out looking positively stunning in red! I probably complimented her 20 times. She was absolutely gorgeous! She could have been up there with those models no problem. And here I sat in my belly fat hiding blouse, mom jeans and ballet flats (because I just can't wrangle kids in heels).

Any way... today was pretty much the format as all the times before. I answer real questions from real moms. Simple right? But as Cyndi did my introducntion she mentioned my blog... My Handmade Life by Steffany813. Eeekkk!!!!

I have been so terribly bad about keeping up with this! She told be that she loved it and of course I was sincerely flattered but I told her what a absolute slacker I was about psoting here. It's not that I don't love it but I just don't have a lot of time and with Tampa Bay Moms Group growing so fast and other endevours I am dabbling it... well... my blog has fallen by the wayside.

But since it will be mentioned on Friday (10am on WFLA's Daytime if anyone cares to watch) I better freshen this puppy up!

SO here I am... I am blogging. I am posting. Yeah me!!!

I better keep it cracking too. Thanks Cyndi for giving me a swift kick in the butt to be a little better about my blog! (No pressure!)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Me on TV!

I was on WFLA's Daytime again today! Actually I taped it on Wednesday but it aired today.

I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing myself on TV. Honestly though, even though I can't get over at least a mild case of nerves the hosts, Jerry Penacoli and Cyndi Edwards are just so amazing. They just have this way of making you feel right at home so even with multiple cameras and lights blaring you are right at ease with them.

Once again today I was asked some parenting questions. These were provided by the members of They asked:
  • How do you prepare your child for the arrival of a new baby?
  • How do you decide which extra curricular activities your child should do?
  • How do you talk to your kids about bullying?
  • What do you do if your child is being bullied?
  • What do you do id your child is a bully?
Not such easy questions! Well if you didn't see the show I'll go ahead and spend a few posts answering these questions... but not right now.

Right now I will sit back and enjoy my 5 minutes of fame. After all, a friends husband called to ask if I was on TV since every television in his gym had my face slapped on it while he was working out!

Best part of taping was the first time I was out at Daytime Jerry and Cyndi said how they just "loved me". I'm no ego maniac so I was unbelievably flattered!

This time they said how they really wanted me back out because I was so fun and candid and natural! No pressure right?!?!? LOL. But it was great. I do think I made a mention to them that if I started a coughing fit and had to cross my legs suddenly ignore me. I then explained how I can no longer cough, sneeze or jump without having to prepare. And then I realized I must be nervous since I was basically blabbing to them about how moms pee themselves. ***I'm such a nerd***

But hopefully my overshare didn't scare them off. They did say they wanted me back out. I left the studio on cloud 9!

Not bad for a crazy (oversharing) mom who just wanted to connect other moms online. ***Smiling Happily***

Monday, June 24, 2013

It could alwyas be worse so it can't be that bad.

Sometimes it's easy to loose track of all the things you have to be grateful for. No matter how many blessings you have you can forget about them during one bad day. But I tend to really focus on my good fortune. But then there are times when too much is going good and I think "this just can't last".

I'm not a "glass half full person" really. But I'm not the "glass half full" kind either. I'm a "There's a glass so if I get thirsty I'm all set" kind of girl. I'm practical. Not a pessimist or an optimist... it's more of a realist.

So when things are going my way I don't forget about all the bad things going on. I focus on the good, realize that things could always be worse and then try to do something about the bad.

Sometimes the bad I try to fix isn't even in my life. For example, we have been blessed to be able to finally move out of our too small home and into the perfect home. It's in a area I love and since we are building we are customizing it as we want (within our budget). But during the excitement of making this huge, life changing purchase natural disasters (tornadoes to be exact) have left many people homeless, not to mention the deaths from the event.

It really upset me. Here I am thrilled about my new home when many people don't' have one to go to. I know, I can't save everyone. But it's hard to be happy for me knowing  how others suffer. So I will stay focused on the positive. My family works hard and is getting a house that finally fits us and we deserve this. But I will also try to do something to not just show I appreciate what I have but to help those who may not have.

We have been doing a lot of volunteer work this summer. Simple things like doing collections, volunteering time, talents. Things that may be small in scale but add up and help.

I look at it as throwing a few extra coins into the karma jar for a rainy day. It helps my conscience and helps others.

So though I never loose sight of my blessings I also try to help make things easier for others so they can find a few blessings themselves.

Maybe my "it can always be worse" attitude isn't what most people would think of as positive but it works. When B spends hours at doctors I think that she walked in there. Some of the kids at the neurologist can't do that. When we disagree over who should have A over a weekend (split custody is a bummer) I think how lucky he is to have two sets of parents who love him so much. When D is acting like a brat and on my nerves I think of how we almost lost her twice (from MRSA and the seizure) and suddenly my patience grows.

It could always be worse. And maybe one day it will be. But as long as I have my kids and my husband... I'm blessed.

So sure, it can always be worse but if it can get worse then it can't be that bad.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mom Squad: Humane Society Officer kitten shooting

I was on Channel 10 for the Mom Squad discussing a pretty sad incident.

The story was on the Huffington Post: Bob Accorti, Police Officer, Shoots Five Feral Kittens In Ohio

Basically a family of feral cats were in a families yard. The husband could not remove the aggressive kittens (ages about 7 months) so they called to have the animals removed. When a humane animal officer came out he said the shelters were full and the kittens would be going to "kitty heaven". He then proceeded to shoot the kittens... as the mom and her 4 children ranging in age from 5 months to 7 years watched from inside the house. Some stories say the family was outside and when the firing started the mom took her kids inside when it began. The officer was not disciplined because "weapons are an acceptable form of euthanasia" and "his actions were appropriate" and "they decided not to impose any disciplinary measures for the incident".  I am giving my opinion based on what I have read and realize maybe it is inaccurate but for the sake of argument let's say it's right.

The big story is the officers method of euthanizing the animals. Not only does it wreak of animal cruelty, the fact that children were watching this shows a blatant lack of judgment... not to mention a disregard of safety procedures. And the phrase excessive force keeps running through my head. Firing a weapon in a residential neighborhood? In a families yard? Where do you start. But that wasn't my only issue.

When I discussed the topic on the Moms Squad Segment called Mom Squad: Humane Society Officer kitten shooting I was pretty shocked after reading the articles, watching videos on this I never once found anyone saying "Why were the kids watching this transpire?".
I mean... feral cats, armed officer... I'm no rocket scientist but it sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. Sure the best case scenario would be for the officer to somehow capture the cats in a nonthreatening way and take them somewhere else to be put down (though I am sure they could have found a place for them that did not include being destroyed). But let's be real. There is a much higher chance of the cats attacking the officer or him hurting the animals in order to capture them. Then throw in that he drew a weapon and viola! Media Fodder!

Let's say the mom did not know that the officer would be using such excessive force to "put the cats downs".  Let's say that it all happened so fast, suddenly he drew and started shooting... even if that is the case the kids should not have been present! Nor should the officer discharged his weapon in front of civilians when his life or personal safety was not in danger!

But when I pointed out that no one was asking why the mom was letting her kids watch this I got a message "So the MOTHER was at fault because her kids were watching? Sure, that's just like blaming the victim".

Yes, it is blaming the victim because guess what? SOMETIMES THE VICTIM IS TO BLAME!

Maybe in this case the mom is not entirely at fault but when you're a mom you have to take responsibility. I don't think being the "victim" should give you immunity.

As a mom  you have to be willing to take the blame. You made a bad decision. You may want to cry foul and rally for the officer to be punished (and yes, he should be punished) but you need to step up and say "Yes, I may not have known what was going to happen but I should have taken precautions anyway". It's was a good mother does. She accepts responsibility for her actions. She sets the example for her kids. And maybe this mom is doing that and it's just not in the news.

But for some random person to get worked up because I want to "blame the victim" is ignorant at best. Yet this may also be the exact type of person who files suit against a coffee shop for having their coffee burn them just because they didn't have the foresight to wait for it to cool before drinking.
It reminds me of this clip that has been circulating the Internet for a while.
In it a pregnant woman stands smoking as she worries what effect the sound of a jackhammer will have on her unborn child.

I wonder if in the sad event the baby was born prematurely with underdeveloped lungs or other complications if she tried to sue the construction company? Or maybe she went after the tobacco companies? Or perhaps she took the blame, felt the guilt and started to do right for her child.
I'll never understand it. It's like a game of hot potato where blame is the potato and everyone in the world (myself included) wants to join in and pass it around hoping it will stick to the person of our choice when often the blame should be spread out among more than just one person.
But that's also the funny thing with blame. Though many people deserve it, few will accept it. Most people just pass it along. While there are those who take it, even when they shouldn't and wallow in it. If everyone just accepted responsibility for their own actions we cold stop passing the blame and focus on fixing the problem.
Rather than picketing the police department to punish this officer, start a campaign to eliminate the use of weapons on animals by human officers. Wouldn't that be a more productive use of everyones time and efforts?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Will my body ever be the same after pregnancy?

This was a question asked to me on Daytime.

I believe my response was "It depends on how you feel about liposuction and plastic surgery".

But all kidding aside this is a very popular question.

It's asked by moms who are are preparing to have a baby, by moms who have their little bun stretching their oven into a shape they never would have thought possible and by moms who have had one or more kids and still can't find the body they lost before having a baby.

Sometimes your body snaps back. Sometimes it snaps back from your first pregnancy and after the second it doesn't. And there are times when it doesn't go back.

You can google and look for explanations and solutions but this is what I know...

Every woman, every body and every pregnancy is unique. Having a baby is magical and sometimes a little traumatic for the body and not everyone can get back to their pre-baby shape.

Some moms can without trying, some can with a good amount of work and then some spend the rest of their lives wearing maternity jeans long after their kids have grown up.

To get back to your original shape and figure you have to be willing to work at it. But I think most importantly you have to be willing to accept the fact that you may not get there... and that's ok.

You made a baby! You have extra skin and maybe some fat and probably more than a few stretchmarks because you used your body to create a life! You made an entire person. That alone is amazing. We have pressure to be this perfect  mom and yet we add to it the pressure of appearances.

We feel so much pressure as women to look good, be thin and sexy but that's not what is important. It's not about being "skinny". Skinny isn't always healthy. It's not about being thin. Thin doesn't mean fit. And it sure as hell isn't about being sexy because sexiness is in how you feel and how you carry yourself. Sexy is a state of mind if you ask me.

So eat right, be active and get HEALTHY. Not only will you being doing what's best for you but you will also be doing what's best for your child. You will be insuring that you are around for them as long as you can by implementing a healthy lifestyle and best of all... you will be setting a good example for your kids.

It is a fact that kids who watch their parents display healthy eating habits such as choosing fruits and healthy snacks over prepackaged calorie filled snacks will often opt for healthy options themselves.

It is a fact that kids who exercise with their parents will be more active and healthy themselves. You don't have to take a trip to the gym. Play! Chasing your kid around is a great work out. Go outside, play, take a walk, bike, run, even wrestling and having a tickle fight gets you and your kid moving together.

I'm not the best physical specimen. In fact I love to eat (and I have the belly to prove it). I can add bacon and ranch dressing to just about anything. But I do yoga daily and try to replace some ingredients with healthy alternatives. But I'm doing it to be a little healthier myself and to help my kids see that replacing white bread with whole grain bread is simple and easy. Now we may add a side of chips to our sandwich but still... it's all about the little steps and doing the work to get you to where you want to be.

But really... be happy with you. It is important to teach your kids by example that being confident is a decision they have to make just like being healthy is.

I'm a writer.

I'm not a "blogger".

I'm a writer. I've writen tons of short stories and done freelance work. I love to write.

But this blog is different. I'm not looking at it as a blog. I'm looking at it as a tool for my writing and my book. Let me explain...

See, I started (TBMG) to help myself and other moms connect.

I'm a mom to three amazing kids. But I didn't know it all (and I still don't). I really just wanted a place where I could go to get, and when possible give, advice. 

So I created TBMG and used my mommy friends as a sounding board for the ideas and features for it. With the help of my founding members TBMG was born and in the last few years has grown to be the largest social forum of it's kind in Tampa Bay.

So as the site grew so did our "fan base" and I began to get emails from fans, not just in Tampa Bay but from all over the US. Some were personal. So personal they didn't want to post on the site (even though they could remain relatively anonymous). I was being asked for parenting advice. Me! The person who created a site so she could get advice and support.

After a while the media picked up on the site. Thanks to TBMG I have been featured on Daytime   WFLA where I give Advice for Moms by Moms and been asked to join WTSP Channel 10's Mom Squad  where I along with two other moms give a moms opinion on a wide range of topics.

I have been so blessed to be able to share what I know and even more blessed to continue to learn.

My advice and opinions may not always be right. They often are humorous and a little off the wall. In fact sometimes they may be down right scary. But they are mine.

And I hope that people take this blog just as that. A fun and entertaining and dare I hope... informative take on parenting and things that come up in the life of a mom or just a moms eye view of different topics. Oh and if you learn something or want to teach me a thing or two, even better.