Mom 2.0 Again…Dana Point, California

Greetings from MOM 2.0!

A great place to be right now listening to the surf and watching the ebb and flow of the tide!

The sea is so relaxing and it has always been my happy place!

Mom 2.0 The Ritz Carlton, Dana Point CaliforniaI am one lucky grandmother to be here at Mom 2.0! This year it is here at the Ritz Carlton, Dana Point, California. The venue is spectacular and only adds to the excitement of being at this fabulous conference.

It was somewhat touch and go getting to Laguna from Chicago yesterday due to family responsibilities but it was wonderful to finally finally lay my head on on my pillow here at the hotel after a marathon day which began at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday in Chicago and ended at 11:30 p.m. here near Laguna Beach.

For the next couple of days I will be surrounded by some very interesting mothers grandmothers, dads and so many other wonderful people who will continue to inspire me.

Join me for Mom 2.0 here in California!

 

Parenting in Loop Weekend Picks

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Picks

Welcome to a warm Sunday here in Chicago.

Our daughter and her baby made it here without any delays last weekend and are enjoying themselves and so am I. How lucky we are to have our little grandson grinning at us in person rather than on FaceTime.

The Pockit Stroller was a huge success as a must with a baby, especially when you are traveling alone. He was also super on the plane which was a huge relief.

There were so many good reads on my feed this week! It was difficult to pick just three but here goes.

Do you have to give up “your creative self” when you become a parent? Or does the creativity get woven into the the new fabric of your life.

A portrait of the artist as a young mom.

 

Source: Is Parenthood the Enemy of Creative Work? — The Cut

weekend talks

An in-depth exploration of the menstrual cycle and the difference between training bras and sports bras at this age wasn’t part of my Master Parenting Plan.

Puberty Girl visits our home frequently these days. She’s 13 years old, and she wears a bra, smears deodorant under her arms and drags a razor across her legs. She gets her period, and frequently changes her pad or knots a sweatshirt around her waist to cover up an unsightly stain.

My 5-year old daughter created Puberty Girl. The juicy details of adolescence have also captured the attention of my 7-year-old, but she has yet to create an imaginary representation of her curiosity.

This weekend read is just so interesting as it deals with a topic that so many parents dread and have difficulty with as their children get older but how young is too young for this discussion?

Source: How a social worker ended up talking to her young daughters about puberty – The Washington Post

My wishes to you all for a somewhat relaxing Sunday…the weekend is almost over. It simply goes to fast for me!

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Picks

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Picks

My daughter is traveling with her 7 month old son this week and although the Safety 1st Step and Go stroller she uses all the time is wonderful she wants to travel lighter. So I was on a mission to find her the smallest stroller with a good price point for my budget! Thanks to my favorite baby gear go to person Jamie Grayson aka “The Baby Guy NYC” I was able to locate the Pockit Stroller.

weekend at Gearapalooza with The Baby Guy NYC

The Baby Guy NYC

Once I found out the stroller on The Baby Guy NYC, my second problem was shipping it over night. Thank you Pish Posh Baby for making it so easy to get the exact stroller delivered overnight to my daughter for her travel this weekend.

The process of finding an awesome stroller that is right for your family is often times accompanied with feelings of overwhelm. We often hear parents complain and ask:

Source: How You Can Pick Out an Awesome Stroller for Your Family – The PishPoshBaby Blog

Organization is the buzz word these days and moms look at other moms and do the inevitable comparisons.  This post came through my feed and I thought it was a great one to share.

Mom-Finds-Out-Her-Baby-Named-After-Ex-Girlfriend

 

We all have a mom in our lives whose level of “togetherness” we secretly (or not so secretly) envy. She shows up at school drop-off looking like she was dressed by a stylist and had time for a blowout, has no problem chairing a fundraiser on a whim, and has a successful day job, too. There are two truths that this mom would love for you to know: #1 No one has it all together, even her, and #2 She’s got a few tricks up her sleeve. While we can’t tell you the last thing that caused her to melt down or lose her cool, we do know a few reasons that there seem to be more hours in her day than everyone else’s. Here’s the scoop on how to channel your most organized self:

 

Source: Things Organized Moms Do | POPSUGAR Moms

What is better than a weekend birthday party?

I am a big fan of Beverly Cleary books and in celebration of her 100th birthday I am featuring this post! Happy Birthday dear Beverly!

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On April 12, Beverly Cleary will be eating a slice of carrot cake in honor of her 100th birthday. While the talented author might not be going all out for the occasion, anyone can celebrate by picking up one of her beloved books that have the power to

Source: Most Popular Beverly Cleary Books For Kids | POPSUGAR Moms

Here’s to a nice weekend everyone!

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Pick

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Pick

Do you go away on a kid free break for long weekend and leave grandparents in charge with a list of everything they have to do while working as locum parentis? On a scale of 1-10 how do they usually score?

Personally, I never experienced problems when we left our kids with my mom so this type of tongue in cheek letter would not have been necessary but assuming my family was an exception as a grandparent myself now I never want too be the recipient of such a missive,

Let me know what you think?

Have a nice weekend! 

Spring is almost here ,

Weekend fun

Dear Granny, Grampy, Nana and Pop Pop:

Thank you sooo much for taking care of the kids next week so the husband and I can go away for the first time in years. I know I’m just supposed to be appreciative, so let me tell you a little something that I would appreciate.

I would appreciate coming back to the same kids we left behind. See, in the past when we’ve left them with you for just one evening, we came back and literally couldn’t tell where their buttholes were because both kids had turned into the most gigantic assholes I’ve ever seen. I know you think that taking care of your grandchildren is your chance to relive your glory days, but these are not your kids. These are our kids. And if they act more a-holey than usual when we return, then going on vacation has actually made life more stressful, which means I just paid a shitload of money for my life to get worse.

Source: 10 Things Grandparents Shouldn’t Do When Grandchildren Visit Scary Mommy

Baby Development at 6 Months

Baby Development at 6 Monthsbaby development

 

 

Can you believe that 6 months has gone by since your baby was born? In some ways of course in other ways the changes in him can make you wonder were did the time go since he was just in a swaddle?

Baby development is slowly happening each and every day right in front of you. It is not dramatic but it is subtle and so much fun to see these new abilities and changes.

At six months he is becoming more physically active and more social. What have you noticed?

Here are some highlights of baby development at 6 months of age.

  • Rolling over and rolling around when you are trying to change his diaper and not staying put any longer when you lay him on his play mat on the floor. His muscles are developing and he is holding his head up better and perhaps he is even sitting up.
  • Now that he looking around more he is also becoming more social. He will even flirt with you and crave your attention as he also begins to develop stranger anxiety. His crave for your attention is making him engage in behaviors and crying that he knows will alert you to him. It is now time to give him some positive feedback when he does positive things which just about always at this point because the time will come when some of his attention getting behaviors will not be so cute and endearing.
  • Foods- When you begin to give your baby some solid foods on the recommendation of your doctor don’t be surprised when his stools change and become more stinky depending upon what he is eating. If he does get constipated try to give him some baby strained fruit and veggies to help him out as firm stools can be really uncomfortable for him.

My little grandson seems to be right on target with his baby development, he is wowing us with his little baby nuances and new abilities. Although he does not yet sit up fully on his own his head is well controlled and his is exploring his environment every chance he gets. Safety has become more important with regard to his new love of rolling around whenever and wherever possible.

He also has tasted some yummy foods. Organic foods are preferred by mom and dad but it is not easy to always find them in the baby food aisle a their local grocer.  So grandma gave baby and parents a present a baby food processor, the Baby Brezza Food Maker, which should thrill everyone with it simplicity of use and clean-up with the bonus of preparing really healthy delicious food and one that was not available when this grandma was a young mom. I also order baby food online, delivered right to their door.

I can’t wait to see what happens during the next month of my little grandson’s life!

Source: Your 6-month-old’s development: Week 1 | BabyCenter

Early development and Baby Sign Language- 7 Positives

Baby Sign Language – 7 Positive Reasons to Teach Sign

Baby sign language

Six months has just gone by and baby’s understanding of spoken language along with her motor skills  develop much faster than talking and speaking words.

Baby is waving and pointing around 9 months to 1 year. So it seems to be the optimum time to teach signing to baby as a way for him to express herself. It may actually cutdown on TANTRUMS from frustration.

If anything can minimize frustration both yours and baby’s, to me, it is worth it. Hungry (putting your fingers to your lips) is a great first word to begin teaching. Full is another word that is helpful rather than little one throwing her bottle or dish to the floor. Cleaning up the floor is no fun!

Baby Sign Language to the rescue!

Source: Your 6-month-old’s development: Week 2 |

BabyCenter

 

  • Early Communication– signing can begin as early and 9 months and first words at 12 months. (Sara Bingham of WeeHands and “The Baby Signing Book”)
  • Larger vocabularies
  • Few tantrums- because now your little one can make some of his needs and wants known, less crying and less whining.
  • Increased confidence – watch his facial expressions when he makes himself known.
  • Greater interest in books-reading and signing simple books makes it a more enjoyable experience for your child. Think “Itsy Bitsy, Spider”.
  • They are smarter – “According to research at UC Davis, babies who sign have a 12-point higher IQ than those who don’t. Experts surmise that signing stimulates the language centers in the brain”.
  • Better mom baby bonding with baby sign language – this is my favorite, what could be more motivating? “In one study by the University of Hertfordshire, mothers who signed with their babies were more tuned into all of their baby’s nonverbal cues — signed or not — and also more likely to see their baby as having a mind of their own rather than just a lump of Silly Putty for a brain. All of which is bound to bring you and baby even closer and make your already-solid-as-oak relationship ever stronger”.

IMG_9073

 

More from The Stir: 5 Baby Sign Language Basics You Should Learn

 

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Welcome back!

Do you play catch up on the weekend? This weeks pics are short and sweet to read while you take a much needed break from the weekday routines.

Baths…are they really necessary every day for kids? What is the routine in your house? Do you wash your child’s hair every time they shower or take a bath? I never really thought about this too much but it must be a topic of discussion so here are some guidelines.

My grandmother told me that back in the day Saturday night was bath night and their tubs were in the kitchen because they had to heat their own bath water on the stove. That was tenement living in NYC in the early 1900’s.

Weekend BathtimeContrary to popular belief, babies don’t need daily baths, according to Laura Jana, MD, spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It’s not until they begin crawling around in sandboxes and other places, and start eating solid foods, that they get dirty enough to merit a full-body wash. “Bathing is really necessary only to clean your child off when she gets dirty,” pediatrician David Gellar, MD, told BabyCenter.

Source: Do Kids Really Need a Bath Every Day? The Great Debate

How do you promote creativity in your children and grandchildren? This week I read that kids are better off with lots of arts and crafts in their play space than a bunch of toys. I would not argue with that except there are definitely toys that creative while being fun. I am thinking about STEM ‘toys’ in particular robots like Dash and Dot, and Legos. How does your weekend stack up when it comes to creativity?

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Re “How to Raise a Creative Child” (Sunday Review, Jan. 31): What Adam Grant says about the relationship between freedom and creativity is so true. But now I fear that the tiger moms and dads will decide that they can mass-produce creative children merely by cutting back on rules and letting their children follow their hearts. I would argue that the sources of creativity are deeper than that: Creative children tend to have creative parents who encourage and value creativity in their offspring.

Source: On Freeing a Child to Be Creative – The New York Times

This is a great short article about kids and money and the effects of managing it even at an early age and keeping the conversations about spending alive as the years go on. A very worthwhile read even for adults who have money/materialism issues.

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Children are ever-changing beings, but when it comes to money and materialism, too many parents think that their older offspring are not malleable at all.

Here are the 6 Steps:

  • Foundation
  • Conversation
  • Wants and Needs
  • Keeping Score
  • Money Mentor
  • Keep Money Conversation Alive with Children During the Years Ahead

Source: Six Steps to Curb Materialism in Your Kids – The New York Times

Okay…now I know this is Super Bowl Weekend, so enjoy if you that is your thing. I like the commercials and the snacks! What about you?

Baby Development at 5 Months

Your Baby Development at 5 Months

baby boy 5 months

Homing in on sounds Your baby now realizes where sounds come from, and he’ll turn quickly toward a new one. One of the easiest ways to engage him is to jingle a set of keys.

Things your baby might enjoy

  • Wind chimes
  • His own name may cause him to turn and look at you
  • Your baby is learning language from you not from tv or radio
  • Your baby has a growing range of emotions

He is expressing emotions but not in any complex manner. His sense of humor and his ability to show love are just developing. He can really tell you when he is angry and bored.

Your baby also shows a strong attachment to you by raising his arms when he wants to be picked up and by crying when you leave the room. He may also give you hugs and kisses.

He’ll laugh at your funny expressions and he’ll try to make you laugh too.

Remember always that your baby is an individual and accomplishes these milestones on his own schedule.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for at least six months – though parents will attest that some babies are eager and ready to eat solids earlier.

More Baby Development:-Starting solids is always a real milestone for baby and for parents. How, what, when are the questions that come up now.

baby development 5 months

How will you know when your baby is ready for solid food?

Here are cues to look for in baby development that will tell you he is ready to try some solid food.

  • Head control-being able to keep his head in a upright steady postion
  • Losing his “extrusion reflex”-he will have to stop pushing food out of his mouth with his tongue
  • He will have to sit well when supported. Even though he might not be ready for a high chair he needs to be able to be sitting upright to swallow well.

 

Chewing motions. Your baby’s mouth and tongue develop in sync with his digestive system. To start solids, he should be able to move food to the back of his mouth and swallow. As he learns to swallow efficiently, you may notice less drooling – though if your baby’s teething, you might still see a lot of drool.

 

  • When he is at least 4 months old and has doubled his birth weight or weighs about 15 pounds.
  • He seems hungry even after getting formula or breast fed his regular feeding.
  • He is curious about what you are eating.

Baby development is truly fascinating so take the time to enjoy all these small milestones that are happening.

Your baby is UNIQUE!

 

 

Source: Your 5-month-old’s development: Week 1 | BabyCenter

Source: Starting Solids

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Saturday mornings are usually busy ones, for that matter so are Sundays but they are are a welcome change from the weekdays because work is not part of the schedule.

How does you weekend look?

Do you give yourself a chance to relax?

It is so important for your over all well being that you do take time out.

What do you do to unwind from the busy week?

I used to like to shop when I had a free weekend day… browsing stores and checking out new fashion, make-up etc was a way for me to relax. That is really a luxury that I now do once in awhile during a free weekday. Most of my shopping is done online these days. I love my virtual friends whose sites curate fashion, tech, books, and must-haves of all sorts. I find they all help me save time when it comes to shopping and researching the best buys.

I am sure you know the saying “if it is too good to be true then it is not true”. That is what I think about when I read any advertisement. Babble has found some parenting items that although too good to be true are really truly great items. Check them out. Which one is your favorite? I like more than one!

bottle-top-adapator

But my point is, I am fully behind parenting products and technologies that improve our lives, help protect our children, or frankly, just give me a few minutes of peace and quiet. Which is why I’m really looking forward to incorporating a few of these too-good-to-be true parenting products into my motherhood game.

DNA tests for diets? A Keurig for formula? Car seat alerts to your phone? The future of parenting has arrived.

Source: 12 Parenting Products That Seem Too Good to Be True | Babble

This is an election year and it is a difficult one with the primaries coming up this week. I found this book fascinating and helpful at the same time. Is it time for Hillary or not and why not? Check out my sponsored book review of “Love Her Love Her Not The Hillary Paradox”.

weekend reading

How do you feel about the former First Lady’s bid for the Presidency? Do you want to know what other women think and feel about her candidacy?

If you do then Love Her, Love Her Not – The Hillary Paradox edited by Joanne Cronrath Bamberger is the book for you.

Source: Hillary…The Woman… The Mom…The President

To most of you it is no surprise that I love being a grandmother. I do not have a “secret life”. My priorities are fixed in this order God, Family, Work.

Do you have a secret life? How do you feel about ‘babysitting’ and childcare? I would love to hear from you.

The Secret Lives of Modern Grandmothers

Chicago is going to be warmish this weekend…40’s. I know…it is all relative. In LA that would be freezing but here we think and actually feel warm.

No matter what your weather, take time to enjoy the view!

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Do you know what the “growth mind set” mean? I wasn’t quite sure but this post explains the emphasis on learning not just the goal. Do you agree?

That’s far from the real message of the research surrounding the growth mind-set. The exclusive focus on effort has been misplaced, says Dr. Dweck, whose book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” delivered the phrase into popular culture. The emphasis should be on learning as an active process, not a goal. “We’re not just saying ‘effort’ anymore,” she says. “We also talk about using good strategies and getting help from others.” Part of a growth mind-set is being willing to learn how best to learn. “Parents may be familiar with the growth mind-set, but they may be using it toward the goal of the next test grade or school application. That’s not what it is. It’s about learning and improving and loving the process. Those other things come about as a byproduct.”

Source: ‘Nice Try!’ Is Not Enough – The New York Times

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As we get older it is harder to make “people connections” . There are some things that can help with the feeling of being lonely.  Gretchen Rubin has some suggestions in this post which is helpful to keep from being lonely even if you are alone. This is a great read for those stuck inside this weekend during “Snowmaggedon2016”.

One major challenge within happiness is loneliness. The more I’ve learned about happiness, the more I’ve come to believe that loneliness is a terrible, common, and important obstacle to consider.
Source: Lonely? 5 Habits to Consider to Combat Loneliness. | Gretchen Rubin

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As a clinical social worker I am in love with the concept and theory known as the “Good Enough Mother” developed my Winnicott. Our failures actually help our kids. You will enjoy this post.

 

Each time we let our children down, and they get through it, they get just a little bit stronger. That is the gift of the good enough mother, and it’s time we all embrace it.

Source: The Gift of the Good Enough Mother | Seleni Institute

This weekend here in Chicago we are escaping “Snowmaggedon2016”. I have to say that I am happy about our weather even if it has been bitter cold. This week we have been in a deep freeze with a smattering of snow almost every day. After many years here in the midwest it is still something that comes along with winter that I could definitely do without.

I hope that all of my friends and everyone in the East stays safe this weekend during this horrible blizzard. It is not just the snow accumulation it is the wind and storm surge along the coastline that makes this storm so dangerous.

Please be safe and warm everyone!