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How to get fit and bond with your kids!

Daria_race

My daughter crossing the finish line.

running with kids

Me - huffing & puffing. But I finished!

I know many of us are strapped for time and feel like we are being pulled a million different directions.

When I step back and look at how I deal with a more than overfull schedule, it becomes clear that I handle things logically:

  • Identify what needs to be done
  • Prioritize
  • Tackle tasks in order of urgency and necessity

Sounds reasonable right?

Are Basket Drawings Teaching Materialism or Teaching a Lesson?

In the spring, our school holds a basket drawing as their major fundraiser for the year. The basket drawing brings in thousands of dollars for the PTA.

Each class chooses two themes for their baskets – this year my daughter’s class did Star Wars and Monster High. The parents are then asked to donate items on the theme or money to the baskets. No one is forced to donate or participate.

The drawing is usually held on a Thursday, along with a pasta dinner and book fair. During the week of the big drawing, baskets are showcased in the main display cases and tickets are sold. Every student and staff member are given one free ticket to enter.

On the big night, winners’ names are drawn while everyone gathers in the gym.

There is a lot of excitement during the week and especially that night. The community comes together to support the school.

The big problem?

Becoming Mothers: We Want Your Stories!

We all became mothers in different ways.

Just look around you at your fellow mamas–our stories of how we became moms are as different as the children we raise. From May 1, 2012 until Mother’s Day, Mile High Mamas will be running your birth stories/and or how you became a mother. Whether you gave birth or adopted or were a surrogate, that first experience of becoming a mom is like nothing else and we’d love to hear about it.

A few considerations:

  • Please keep it under
  • Remark about Ann Romney’s work decried as uproar renews spotlight on women voters

    Ann Romney fought back Thursday after a Democratic consultant suggested she isn’t qualified to discuss the economy because she “hasn’t worked a day in her life.” The White House, in instant damage-control mode, declared that no one there was saying such a thing. Michelle Obama tweeted her personal support of all mothers.

    With women’s votes expected to be crucial in November, the remark by consultant Hilary Rosen ignited an immediate uproar: attacks by Mitt Romney’s Republican campaign along with the disavowals from President Barack Obama’s allies.

    Ann Romney, the Republican presidential contender’s wife, made her Twitter debut on Thursday in response to the contention she’d never worked: “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”

    The consultant apologized later on TV.

    In the meantime, the backlash to her comment was brutal and swift, crackling across Twitter, cable television and old-fashioned telephone lines. It appeared to have reignited the debate, at least for now, over choices many women make as they juggle motherhood with the work most need to pay bills, college tuition and a semblance of financial security for their families.

    Michelle Obama tweeted, “Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected.”

    President Obama also said candidates’ families should be off-limits in a political campaign, Bloomberg News reported.

    “I don’t have a lot of patience for commentary about the spouses of political candidates,” Obama said in an interview with Iowa television station KCRG.

    “There’s no tougher job than being a mom,” Obama said. “Anybody who would argue otherwise, I think, probably needs to rethink their statement.”

    Though polls show Obama running ahead of Romney among female voters, Republicans are targeting married women and mothers for possible support in the election. The GOP tried to link Rosen to the White House, while Obama’s camp tried, sometimes awkwardly, to distance him from the fight.

    It all started Wednesday night with Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” Rosen had said. “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of women in this country are facing.”

    On Thursday, Ann Romney noted on Fox News that her career choice was being a mother, and while she hasn’t faced financial hardship, she has confronted the ordeals of cancer and multiple sclerosis. Finally, she noted that her husband has said her work is more important than his as family breadwinner.

    “He would say, ‘My job is temporary. … Your job is a forever job that’s going to bring forever happiness,” Ann Romney said. “Mitt respects women that make those different choices.”

    By Laurie Kellman
    The Associated Press

    25 Best Things About Having a Big Family

    1. Better chances in cake walks.

    2. Always someone in earshot when you yell for more toilet paper.

    3. Always enough people to make Apples to Apples more competitive and compelling.

    4. For the younger kids, there are plenty of people capable of checking your math homework.

    Mama Drama: Top 10 Parenting Tips (plus 1) for New Moms and Dads

    Dear Mama Drama:

    My husband and I are the proud parents of a newborn baby boy. We are so excited that he is finally here, but have a lot of uncertainty about how we’ll handle all the day-to-day challenges of parenting.

    We would love any tips you have for new parents.

    ~New Mama

    (photo credit)

    Dear New Mama:

    Congratulations on your new baby! The journey of parenthood is full of questions (many of us are still searching for that owner’s manual we are certain we misplaced at the hospital!) and the answers are often different depending on the child.

    My top 10 parenting tips for new moms and dads:

    Five ways yoga makes you grow as a mom

    I had my annual physical and I’m happy to report that all tests came out great. One vital statistic came out better than great: I am a half-inch taller than I used to be.

    I attribute it to yoga. A steady yoga practice can put space into one’s spine to counter the compression that comes over time. I began practicing yoga more than 5 years ago and I’m aiming for 6’2″ before I die. So that’s a lot of yoga (and a lot of years — I’m clever like that)!

    In honor of this half-inch, I share with you today a story by mom and yogini Kim Shand, a yoga teacher who writes about finding the calm within the storm that is parenting. Her grown-up secret? Balasana — the pose of the child.

    ~~~~~

    I’ve been a mother for 23 years. My husband and I have raised two children to the point to adulthood, if not complete independence. We navigated pee-wee soccer, teen acne, and way too many prom nights. We survived the transition when they left for college. We endured the roller coaster ride toward degrees. We are now waist deep in the ”kids are back home” adventure.

    When your children are babies you feel the excitement and the trepidation of not knowing what’s ahead of you. Having conquered the unknown, I had a perception of myself as an experienced parent. Now, with two 20-somethings in the house full-time, I am once again facing down the ravine of unknown territory. As I enter this new phase of post-parenting parenting, I find myself once again leaning heavily on the lessons of my yoga practice to find the calm within the storm.

    #1 – Child’s pose is always an option. It used to be that time outs were a useful tool for the children, giving them time to calm down and choose a better course of action. Now they are an appropriate tool for me. On the mat child’s pose is an opportunity to pull back from the intensity of the practice and check in. Off the mat, a mental child’s pose steps you back and take a few deep breaths.

    My husband and I had taken a long weekend away to reconnect and recharge, leaving our house in the hands of our children who needed to remain on their work schedules. Although I love to travel, I always have a sense of joy in returning home to my own kitchen, my own bed and everything familiar. Walking through the door of our home on a Tuesday afternoon, I fully expected the comfort of the familiar. I was greeted with something I’d never seen before.

    The kitchen sink was piled with dirty dishes. The smell of rotting food pervaded. The family room had piles of laundry.  For some reason I couldn’t possibly fathom, a soaking wet towel was lying on the wood floor of the kitchen.

    It was time for child’s pose.

    #2 – Maintain a beginner’s (child’s) mind. No matter how long you’ve been practicing, your body is different every time you step onto the mat, and what you need is different. Approaching each yoga pose as though it is your first allows you to stay open to new possibilities without predetermined ideas of what works and what your limits are.

    My child’s pose allowed me to call my son at his office and and resist the temptation to launch an assault. I asked what had happened in the house. He explained that there had been a power outage leaving them without electricity for 3 days. They couldn’t run the dishwasher. The ice in the freezer had started to melt, so each morning they put a towel in front of it before leaving for work. They were showering at friends’ houses at night and then changing into work clothes in the family room because it had the most windows and natural light at dawn.

    #3 – Release your attachment to the outcome: Each time you try a yoga pose you get stronger. Mentally and physically you create change by putting out effort without your ego demanding a specific outcome. It makes no difference if you stick the pose perfectly or struggle and fall. The benefits are always there.

    Could my grown children have emptied the ice from the freezer to avoid the flood? Maybe used a bigger towel (or several)? Would I have washed the dishes by hand in the same situation? Was it feasible to neatly fold the clothes they walked out of before putting clean clothes on? It’s all possible.

    On the other hand, their effort created a benefit. My vision of an outcome was not their vision. My kids have very distinct personalities all their own, and (hard to believe) not everything about them is a reflection, or indictment, of me. The dishes got washed. The clothes found the laundry room. The wooden floor dried out. Two young adults didn’t end up feeling like they came up short.

    #4 – Relax with what is: This is simultaneously the most difficult and the most useful single lesson a yoga practice can offer.

    Kim Shand is the founder of Rethink Yoga. She travels nationally on a mission to inspire people to take control of their health, how they think, and how they age, through yoga. Follow Kim on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube.

    ~~~~~

    Lori (#5 – at 5-foot 9 and a half) of WriteMindOpenHeart.com is a mom to Tessa, 11, and Reed, 9. She and her family live in the Denver-area where Lori is writing her first book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption in, yes, her yoga pants. It will be published by Rowman & Littlefield and available in mid-2013.

    Pretty Easter Hairstyles for Girls

    Frilly dresses, bountiful bows, shiny shoes, sparkling polish, dainty baskets brimming with treats…and, of course, lovely hair for this spectacular holiday celebration!

    Easter – it’s the commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus, the foundation of the Christian faith and one of the most celebrated holidays in my family of origin – along with Christmas – but due to the variable road conditions in wintertime, this spring celebration is more conducive to travel and thus, large family gatherings. Commence egg hunting, sunrise services, massive feasts, chocolate bunnies…and fancy schmancy duds as “strongly suggested” by the ruling matriarch, ha.

    As a child, it was one of the most dreadful aspects of this otherwise fabulous holiday…the EaStER DrESs.

    When is the Best Season to Have a Baby?

    Because I have eight kids, our calendar is full of red-letter days. Little squares hail their birthdays nearly year-round. With so many kids, it’s easy and natural for me to consider the best time of year to bring a new baby home. When is the best season to have a baby?

    Summer

    I’ll start with summer because my first baby was a summer baby. Experienced women ominously warned that being hugely pregnant during summer would be torturous. Oh, the places you’ll sweat, the swelling you’ll get, the chaffing and the desire to lie naked in a cold empty bathtub chomping on ice as you glower at feet that look like loaves of shepherd’s bread—it’s all true. But the summer baby is worth it. There are advantages.

    Once the baby arrives, the logistics are pretty easy. Their wardrobe can consist of light cotton onesies, a diaper, and little else. Bundling is unnecessary. Trips out of the house don’t require layers and layers for the layers. Hat slippage is not a big deal. Their first sights, sounds, and smells might include flowers, fireworks, bbq ribs, and chlorine at the pool. It’s easier to lose baby weight because it’s a great time to get outside and walk it off.

    To The Gentle Giant From A Mom Who Sometimes Gets It Wrong

    I have an unsuspecting guest blogger today. It’s my eleven year-old son, Taylor, or as I like to call him, the Gentle Giant. Gentle because he was born with a heart much more complex and intricate than most, and giant because, well, he’s really, really tall.

    Taylor has always been sensitive to the ways of the world…more synchronized to the tune of his own feelings and the vibrations and chords of those around him than anyone I know. Even though our parts come from the same place, they’re constructed in an entirely different way. What seems like a glancing blow to me hits him directly; a sucker punch to the gut with a sting that lingers and burns.

    At first and for a long time, I wanted to change my son. Make him tougher, more resilient, and in my mind’s eye, strong. No caring parent wants a child to hurt.

    When he was a little boy, all I could see through my one-dimensional, cracked crystal ball were children teasing him.