Weekend Reading from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Reading from Parenting in the Loop:

August weekend.

Dog Days of August


The first of August is here with all its heat and humidity.

In Chicago, we are in the midst of Lollapalooza this weekend at Grant Park. Soon summer will be winding down and there are signs of it with getting back to school ads popping up everywhere.

  • It is no secret that I am a baby boomer. But that being said, in many ways it is no fun getting older. In other ways there are many blessings like grandchildren and being comfortable in my own skin. The younger me was busy, very busy taking care of my family and my elderly mother. The older me is still busy but gratefully healthy and still able to do what I do best, helping to take care of my family. When I read the following post, I related to some of this baby boomer’s words especially when it comes to marketing products.
  • P.S. I am not attending Lollapalooza this weekend even though Paul McCartney is there.

Baby Boomer

Many of us baby boomers have paid off our home loans, our kids have finished college and we have money to spend. Why aren’t we being targeted by upmarket car manufacturers, fashion and holiday companies? I wouldn’t necessarily spend a fortune on a fancy car, a Gucci tote or two weeks in Vanuatu but it would be nice if advertisers thought I might.

Source: The Seventh Decade Blues | Sue Margolis

  • I love meditation. Meditation and yoga are part of my life and have been for a very long time. Many years ago when I was young and single a physician colleague suggested yoga to me. I did not take up yoga at the time but I did begin to meditate. Meditation changed my life and is something everyone should be taught to do from childhood.
You can meditate anywhere, anytime.

Meditation moment

Life with Roozle is one of my favorite reads…because it just it. If you read it once  I think you will see why.

“Mommy, it’s easy.
Posted on July 31, 2015
“Mommy, it’s easy. Just do what they tell us to.”
We’ve been meditating together as long as she can remember. Sometimes I lead her in a guided meditation to calm down her body, to help in an anxious moment, or to settle in for bed. Lately, we’ve been meditating before settling in for bed and for no particular reason other than just to build a meditation practice. It’s way better.

life with roozle

Preparing yourself and your child for kindergarten. Here are some tips from Cool Mom Picks another of my favorite websites.


Preparing for school


  • We are having so much fun with our kids home for summer break, the occasional sibling squabble aside, but we’re already thinking about back-to-school. Especially on behalf of those of you in the south who start in what, like four minutes? There’s so much to do to get ready any given school year, but those of us with kids going off to kindergarten for the first time (sniff, sniff), we are always looking for tips for getting kids kindergarten ready, to be sure that they — and we — have a successful first year at school.

Source: 12 tips for preparing kids for kindergarten | Cool Mom Picks

As we welcome August, I hope you all have a nice weekend full of lollapalooza and some meditation with your kids and grandkids.

Pregnancy at 34 weeks

Pregnancy at 34 Weeks

Your little one is the size of a cantaloupe this week and now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds and is about 18-19 inches long.

Baby at 34 Weeks of Pregnancy

Baby is the size of a cantaloupe!

What’s happenin’ baby?

  • Fat layers are filling out. This will help with temperature regulation after delivery.
  • His CNS (central nervous system) is maturing.
  • His lungs are maturing.
  • If baby is born early now and has no other medical problems he will more than likely do okay with a short stay in the NICU.


You at 34 weeks of pregnancy:

  • Fatigue is setting in again.
  • Being tired is understandable due the physical strain, restless nights, trying to get comfortable and frequent pee breaks

If you notice itchy red bumps or welts on your belly and possibly your thighs and buttocks as well, you may have a condition called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP for short).

Up to one percent of pregnant women develop PUPPP, which is harmless but can be quite uncomfortable. See your practitioner so she can make sure it’s not a more serious problem, provide treatment to make you more comfortable, and refer you to a dermatologist if necessary. Also be sure to call her if you feel intense itchiness all over your body, even if you don’t have a rash. It could signal a liver problem.

“In the third trimester, turning over in bed is a nightmare. The solution? Big satin pajamas and even satin sheets — the slipperiness of satin helps tremendously!”

Source: Your pregnancy: 34 weeks | BabyCenter

This week :

  • make a labor contingency plan for early labor
  • line up people to help you


Weekend Reading from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Reading

Summer weekend weather has finally dried and warmed up. For us it will be some fun and some travel back to Chicago. We had a relaxing week at the seashore in Rhode Island. Some much needed sun catching was done and castle in the sand building was accomplished along with our granddaughter and some of her little friends that she has made in the years that she has been visiting the shore with us.

Weekend at the Seashore

Screen time for our kids and grandkids is always a topic that you can find argued on parenting sites. Minecraft is really popular with kids and has been for awhile. I don’t really understand it but it is an app on my phone and my granddaughter enjoys it. We even have a book that talks about strategies and how the app works which she has devoured.

I often wonder if these “games” provide a child anything besides an addiction to the screen of a tablet or phone. Here is an article which answers some of my questions. I think you might enjoy it. It will take five minutes of your weekend to read it.


In fact, the Journal of Adolescent Research published a study comparing children that played video games to those that didn’t. “Video game players, regardless of gender, reported higher levels of family closeness, activity involvement, attachment to school and positive mental health,” Paul Adachi and Teena Willoughby, the authors of the study, concluded. “Video game players also had less risky friendship networks and a more favorable self-concept.”

Source: How Minecraft Teaches Kids Real-World Skills | 2machines

This week Parenting in the Loop posted something sponsored by Similac and the Sisterhood of Motherhood. As a mom and grandma myself, I try to support other moms and grandmothers. It is not easy parenting and grandparenting children and grandchildren.

Lets all unite to nourish, and support other moms!

I am so proud to be selected to participate as a Brand Ambassador in Similac’s “The Sisterhood of Motherhood”.


As a young mom I had expectations of what a mom should be which set my path each day as I struggled to take care of my two children 23 months apart in age. Super imposed upon my high mom standards for myself were also my desire to be the “good wife” as well. My plate was more than full. At times difficult to digest all I had bitten off.


Can Screens help kids? Apparently they can as talked about by this family of a child with autism.

Selective screen time can be good.

Let’s hear about what you and your kids watch.


We’ve spent thousands of dollars on therapies, countless hours at trial-and-error play dates. In spite of all that, I know just where the credit lies for my high-functioning autistic son’s new-found ability to connect with others: Daniel Tiger. “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” from PBS, channels the wise, kind and nourishing lessons of Mister Rogers through Daniel Tiger, an ultra-relatable preschooler who dons a red cardigan and has memorable ditties for handling things like disappointment, frustration, anger or fear of the unknown. He is also big on skills like turn-taking, cooperation, problem-solving and empathy.

Source: Daniel Tiger Becomes a Boy With Autism’s Guide to Social Life – The New York Times

Have a wonderful weekend!

Pregnancy at 33 weeks

Pregnancy at 33 Weeks

Pregnancy at 33 Weeks

Baby is the size of a pineapple

Well into the third trimester of pregnancy and baby is weighing in at about 4 pounds and is probably more than 17 inches in length. He is looking more and more like a soft cuddly baby as time goes on. His bones are hardening although his skull bones are not fused so they can “mold” into a slight “conehead” shape during delivery.


Your life:

  • You may find yourself waddling.
  • You may have a difficult time sleeping or finding a comfortable position
  • You may be experiencing achiness and maybe even a little numbness due to fluid retention.
  • If you have carpal tunnel syndrome it may be aggravated by this fluid retention.
  • It is also okay to have sex until your water breaks unless you have been told by your practitioner to avoid it.

“Every time I start to get bored with my pregnancy, I lie down and rub my belly. Sure enough, my baby starts to kick, and I think about how wonderful it will be when I’m able to hold him.”

Source: | BabyCenter


Your baby’s movements.

  • Every baby has their own pattern of activity.
  • As long as you do not notice any major changes everything should be fine.
  • Kick counts are recommended by some practitioners after 28 weeks.

 Here’s one common approach: Choose a time of day when your baby tends to be active. (Ideally, you’ll want to do the counts at roughly the same time each day.) Sit quietly or lie on your side so you won’t get distracted. Time how long it takes for you to feel ten distinct movements — kicks, twitches, and whole body movements all count. You should feel at least ten movements within two hours. (Don’t worry; it probably won’t take that long. Sometimes you’ll feel ten kicks within the first ten minutes.) If you don’t feel ten movements in two hours, stop counting and call your midwife or doctor.

What should I do if I think my baby’s movements have slowed down or changed?
Let your practitioner know right away if you notice a slowdown of your baby’s movements. A decrease in fetal movement may signal a problem, and you’ll need a nonstress test or biophysical profile to check on your baby.

Getting everything ready schedule:

  • Wash baby clothing.
  • Use a gently detergent. I always recommend Dreft because that is what my grandmother used. But actually any mild hypoallergenic one designed for baby would be great.

Your pregnancy is almost over!

Don’t forget yourself…try to take some time out just for you. A mani and pedi is my recommendation.


Motherhood we are all in this Together.


This post is a sponsored  by Similac.

Thank you for supporting Parenting in the Loop


I am so proud to be selected to participate as a Brand Ambassador in Similac’s “The Sisterhood of Motherhood”.


As a young mom I had expectations of what a mom should be which set my path each day as I struggled to take care of my two children 23 months apart in age. Super imposed upon my high mom standards for myself were also my desire to be the “good wife” as well. My plate was more than full. At times difficult to digest all I had bitten off.

I was also a maternal.child, pediatric nurse so I knew and had personally witnessed what could happen if you relaxed your standards especially your safety ones. That alone created in me some serious anxiety which I kept hidden from everyone except my husband.

It was not easy to be a “green” mom. By that I mean, this was all new grass I was trodding upon and I wanted it to grow and flourish in spite of my insecurities and anxieties. Little did I know there were many other moms just like myself and we all suffered from our own self imposed standards. There were no mom bloggers, no mom blogs for that matter there was no internet! However I did watch my favorite stories (soap operas) each afternoon at nap time.   The characters were my “friends”, even though I could not talk to them or ask them questions or even comment on their problems. Their lives were of course nothing like my own but it was definitely an escape from the mom and housewife mental institution known as my home at the time.

In the two years following my marriage I delivered two children. They were raised in the 80’s, 90’s. and were born in Miami Florida. It was another world from where I worked in New York City. Even though I had a lot of newborn experience I had no idea what to do when my first born daughter was older than two weeks. I was literally lost thankfully my mother was staying with me and lived close by.

Both my babies were formula fed. The choice was made for me since I was taking Heparin, a drug which helps to prevent blood clots. It was a medication that would cause problems for babies as it passes through breast milk. Although I didn’t like not having a choice I was sort of okay with it because I had seen many moms struggling with breastfeeding and it just scared the living daylights out of me. I had no problem with formula and bottle feeding. For the most part in 1979 and 1981 there really was no judgment passed on my formula feeding decision by any of my mom friends. Actually, I was relieved  to bottle feed, since someone else could easily feed my daughter and I could get some much needed rest.

Living in South Florida alongside many retirees created a different set of problems.They were a judgmental bunch. A brief story comes to mind. One afternoon I was taken by surprise when I took my daughters to Lord and Taylor and decided to have lunch. Pushing my double stroller I approached the hostess and asked for a table, her retired old self felt the need to ask me if I was going to breast feed at the table. What a relief came over her face when I said “no”.

I am not sure what she would have done if I had said yes but I am sure I would have been told to go to the ladies lounge to feed my child.

This anecdote seems like an eternity ago, although it is no longer 1980 some of the reactions of other moms and grandmas are not all too different today. Surprisingly some attitudes about where a mom should breast feed have not changed . What has definitely changed though is the fact that more moms are breastfeeding and they themselves have become judgmental about how important breastfeeding is in a newborn’s life. Some moms think you are not being a good mom if you do not breastfeed your child and they don’t refrain from voicing this opinion online, or in person. Actually the internet seems to have become the official boxing ring for these critics.

I am now a grandmother and my ideas of what defines motherhood have become less rigid. They are no longer written in pen they are all written in pencil to be changed at a moment’s notice. There is no room for much judgment of my new relaxed standards when it comes to my grandchildren

Grandparents can  sometimes have more fun than parents because they have learned along the way that when it comes to raising a child there are very few things that need to be written in stone. We understand what it means to be a mom from a lens that comes with age. and experience. Thank God for this fact.

One of the best parts of grandmotherhood is being able to enjoy grandchildren with out the pressure from within that comes along with being a new mom. From the inception of my blog I have tried to share and support this generation of moms in the day to day. It is a kind of support that my generation of moms did not have.

I feel so fortunate to be included in Similac’s #Sisterhood of Motherhood  initiative.It is an honor to be featured with some today’s moms


It is my hope that on this #UniteMonday moms will recognize the fact that we are all in this together to support, nourish, accept and unite every mom who is raising a child. Grandmothers have an important role here as well. There is a loop of parenting and that loop starts with grandmothers and continues with moms and children. We are forever adding to the parenting loop every time a child is born to a new mom and makes another mom a grandmother.

Please get in the “loop” this #UniteMonday and share your parenting stories in comments and on FB and nourish, support and unite other moms!

Thank you Similac and #UniteMonday for recognizing moms.

This post was sponsored by Similac but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Weekend Reading from ParentingintheLoop

Weekend Reading…

Weekend Sunshine and Sand

Sandy feet and summer fun!

We are heading into a scorcher of a weekend here in Chicago. I don’t know about you but I will be indoors when the sun is at high noon probably looking for something to read. If you are like me then here are a few articles to read.

Screen time, for kids how much is too much and what is just the right amount for the age of your child? Do you think that parents’ addiction to screens is the reason why their children may be addicted too? How much time do you spend on a screen on the weekend?

Parents are often at fault, directly or indirectly, when children and teenagers become hooked on electronic media, playing video games or sending texts many hours a day instead of interacting with the real world and the people in it. And as discussed in last week’s column, digital overload can impair a child’s social, emotional and intellectual growth. This sad conclusion of many experts in child development has prompted them to suggest ways parents can prevent or rectify the problem before undue damage occurs.

Are women made to feel that they are not encouraged to have a natural birth with limited use of pain relief be it an epidural or medication because they are afraid of being out of control when it comes to expressing how much labor and delivery hurts? Birthing a baby is a natural phenomenon and for most women it is painful. Different cultures have different ways of expressing pain. Do you feel comfortable screaming when you are in pain? This post is a very interesting view of how women choose to be pain free so they will not have to be afraid to scream or react to pain.


Attention birthing women: This will be the hardest work of your life. It will test you on every level. Childbirth education is very helpful, yet there’s no way to know how you will feel physically and emotionally until you’re in it. There are many schools of thought on how to cope, what to call the forces of labor (contractions or surges?), and how to label the feeling (pain or sensation?). I like to keep it simple: it’s really hard, and yeah, it hurts. And, you are stronger than you know, and you can do it. Whether or not you plan to use pain medication or epidural anesthesia, know that you have what it takes within you to get through however many contractions you choose to feel fully. Do your preparation, trust in the birth process, and believe in yourself.

Today parents are aware that it is not necessarily a good thing to always be praising their kids and telling them they are special. If you would like some suggestions as to what to say to your kids and grandkids in the year 2015 then read this post.

The things we say — not only with our mouths, but with our tone, actions, and mannerisms — affect our kids. They’ll hold our words in that deep-down place where all kids do: Down where we keep our sense of worth, our feeling of being “enough,” our fears and doubts and self-love. There’s a real resistance to the “self-esteem campaigns” I was raised with in the 90s — the “You are a special snowflake” sentiments that, while well-intentioned, are nothing more than a punchline now: “Attention all whiny, entitled, self-centered Millennials — you’re not a special snowflake, yah hear me?”

I sure hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Seeing my way through Pregnancy

Vision Changes during pregnancy…



Although I have a mild astigmatism for which I wear glasses when I feel the need to I’ve never suffered from major vision problems or had bad eyesight. I wear my glasses when at my computer, reading, watching TV or driving at night all when my eyes are tired from focusing all day.

I believe that my vision changed early on in my pregnancy probably late during the first trimester. What I didn’t realize was that I needed to go see my eye doctor because I was also dealing with changing up some medication that could have affected my blood pressure and, in turn, affected my vision.

To say the least, I waited too long and ended up anxiety ridden and in tears because I was so uncomfortable.

  • I couldn’t drive.
  • I couldn’t watch TV.
  • I couldn’t use my computer.
  • I couldn’t read a book.
  • I couldn’t even focus straight ahead.
  • I had to look down.

I made an appointment and saw my eye doctor. Sure enough, my prescription had changed. I decided to order glasses so that I can wear them when I feel like I really need to. Hopefully, my eyes will change back after the baby is born.

I never expected nor had I ever heard of some of the strange things about pregnancy. Everyone’s experience is so different.

Live and learn.

Pregnancy at 32 Weeks

Pregnancy at 32 Weeks

Are you feeling more uncomfortable?

Well, your baby is taking up more room in your uterus at this stage in your pregnancy, he is weighing in at 3 3/4 pounds and is now about 16.7 inches from head to heal.

Pregnancy at 32 Weeks

Your baby is about the size of a jicama!

Each week you can expect to gain about a pound and half of that weight will be going to your baby. He will gain about 1/3 of his weight during the next 7 weeks of pregnancy. He is getting ready to meet you each and every day.

You may experiencing changes now that your baby is taking up so much room and pushing up your diaphragm and crowding your stomach.

Some of these changes:

  • shortness of breath.
  • heartburn.
  • lower back pain.
  • shift in your center of gravity.
  • changes in your posture due to loosening of ligaments in your pelvis.
  • you may have difficulty getting up out of bed, out of a chair, pain when you walk, stand or sit for long periods of time.
  • lifting things may be difficult.

Comfort measures:

  • Sleep with pillows propped up.
  • Eat smaller meals more often.

“Sleeping is getting difficult. The only way I can get any rest is to lie with my back to my husband as he cradles my body. The support from him and a pillow between my legs is the best help.”
– Lora

Source: 32 weeks pregnant | BabyCenter

Decisions… decisions.

Who do you want with you while you are in labor?

Don’t feel pressured to have anybody with you but your significant other if that is what both of you decide on. Let well meaning grandparents and anyone else wait in the waiting area or at home as difficult as that might be. Make sure you tell everyone ahead of time your wishes and ask them to please respect them.

A private labor coach is a good idea. According to Baby Center there is research that shows women attended by labor assistants actually have shorter labors, fewer complications during labor and healthier newborns. A doula will be of great assistance to you and your husband. You will still have a nurse but she will be in and out of your room while you are in labor.

On the homefront:

Start lining up helpers for when you get home from the hospital after your baby’s birth.

You will be somewhat overwhelmed when you arrive home with your little bundle and someone there to help you with your needs and your baby’s needs will make you feel more under control.

Make a list of what you anticipate that you will need at home and delegate as much as you can ahead of time to well-meaning friends and relatives that offer to help.

You will be glad that you did this ahead of time.

Don’t forget that pedicure and manicure!

baby boy

Enjoy as much as you can these last few weeks of pregnancy.

Weekend Reading from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Reading

Another summer Saturday! Are you ready to read? Here are a few articles that you might enjoy. Gift from the Sea is one of my favorite summer reads.

Weekend Gift-from-the-Sea

Social Media Pictures and Kids

Summer weekend time is full of fun and photo taking opportunities. Please be careful what you post on social media and always be aware of who can actually view and copy your pictures. Remember you are leaving a digital footprint wherever you go and it is not only your footprint but also the footprints of your kids if you are posting about them.

If we want our children to learn appropriate boundaries, we need to model them. Just like we teach them to say please and thank you and to speak up for themselves by modeling those behaviors, we need to model appropriate behavior on social media. We need to protect our children and remember that one day our kids might troll our timelines. It’s already happened to me. What will they see?

Car Seat Safety

Kids spend a lot of time in the car during the week and the weekend is not any different. When you buckle them in their carseat make sure you have secured the carseat properly and never skip a step or take a short cut. Your child’s life depends upon it.

The Car Seat Lady talks about the Volvo front seat child carseat that was on social media this week. Before you read anything or choose a carseat or install a carseat for your child please consider reading what the Car Seat Lady has to say. She is amazing!

Car Seat Lady

Here is a post from a single mom. My own mom was a single mom over 50 years ago. It was not easy then and it continues to be difficult today for many of the same reasons. Even though dads are increasingly more involved in their kids’ lives, moms still many times bear the brunt of the “responsibility” of the day to day lives of their children. Both parents can have their tough times don’t get me wrong but when the “buck” stops with mom, you will find many truths in what this single mom has written.

I was young, dumb and in love when I got married at 17 – a week and a half after I graduated from high school. Two years later, I had a daughter. After the divorce (you saw that coming, right?), I was a 20-something with no car, no money, no work experience other than waitressing and a daughter who needed stuff.

Somehow she and I survived and she grew up into a decent human being I can be proud of. That first year or so sucked (read: I sucked), but here are a few things I learned in the Single Mom School of Hard Knocks that might be of benefit to you.



Enjoy your weekend and do something fun for yourself!

Pregnancy at 31 Weeks

Pregnancy at 31 Weeks

Yes your baby is now moving a lot more and still putting on weight during this time of your pregnancy getting ready for his entrance into your world.

Pregnancy at 31 weeks

He now is probably over 16 inches long, weighing in at about 3 1/2 pounds and is about the size of a coconut. A growth spurt is about to begin. Fat is beginning to accumulate under his skin. He is able to move his head from side to side and you are probably feeling a lot of movement. His somersaults will keep you up at night…all of this activity is a sign of health.

Your pregnancy life:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions are now part of your life. Your uterine muscles are tightening and relaxing getting ready for labor. These are irregular contractions and only last about 30 seconds, they are infrequent and painless although they may put pressure on your bladder and make you feel like you have to pee.
  • Frequent contractions however could be a sign of pre-term labor and you should call your practitioner immediately if you have more than four contractions in an hour or any other signs of labor.
  • Signs of Labor:
  • Increase in vaginal discharge.
  • Change in vaginal discharge (watery, mucusy, or bloody, pink or tinged).
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Menstrual cramping.
  • Increase of pressure in pelvis.
  • Low back pain especially if you didn’t have it before.


  • You might have some leaking of colostrum, if so put some nursing pads in you bra to protect your clothes.
  • You may have to buy a larger size bra.


Circumcision or not?

You  might want to have this discussion now and discuss your questions with your doctor since he will be doing the procedure if you choose to circumcise your little boy.


“I’m 31 weeks along, and at my childbirth classes they’ve been telling us to concentrate on a focal point during labor. Anything from a picture to a crack in the wall or ceiling can work, so long as it helps Mom relax and distracts her from the pain.”
– Becky

Wants and Don’t Wants:

  • Pain medication during labor.

I have definite opinions about this as I was a L&D nurse. My advice is to think about your ideal labor and delivery and try to keep an open mind about medication since every labor is different and everyone perceives pain differently. Learn about your options, discuss with your practitioner, your doula, your nurse, whoever you have that you respect their opinions. Remember there is nothing wrong with wanting to be comfortable during labor and welcoming your baby.

Stuff to get done and out of the way.

  • Packing your bag.

Although you don’t have to get this done right now you might want to gather your stuff and the little things that will make your hospital stay comfortable. Some things to have on hand.

  • Going home outfit for your sweetie.
  • Snacks, my favorite is lollipops during labor, Whole Foods has some organic fruit ones that are delicious.
  • Socks and slippers.
  • Your favorite pillow
  • A nursing bra and nightie
  • A camera, batteries.
  • Clothes for you to wear home.

Annie and Isabel, a company owned by two nurses whom I know, makes beautiful special hospital gowns for new moms. These are my personal favorites. They are great for nursing moms and make any mom feel special after having a baby. They are wonderful for pictures too. Put them on your registry. You can also wear these gowns to doctors check-ups.

pregnancy and delivery

Perfect for Moms

Adrienne will be wearing this one, I am gifting it to her…it is one of the prettiest gowns!

I have seen and personally worn Annie and Isabel Hospital Gowns.

Annie & Isabel Designer Hospital Gowns Are Great For… Pregnancy & Delivery Gift yourself, a friend, or family member a comfortable and gorgeous hospital gown to help the new mommy in your life feel beautiful during this precious time. There are many reasons why having your own hospital gown makes sense. There are even more reasons why having an Annie & Isabel hospital gown is the best choice.
Source: Pregnancy and Delivery