This spring break was a bit out of the ordinary for Elena and I (Dani) and our two kiddos. If you’ve been around Daily Mom at all, you know that we have a bad case of wanderlust, especially when it comes to us two. Half of the grand travel gestures we toss around never come to fruition, but this time was different. Elena decided to spend every extra minute she had – and trust me, there are not many extra minutes in this power woman’s day – on planning the perfect kid-friendly, with an educational twist, ten day trip on the other side of the country. Her hard work paid off, and we are currently – I’m literally sitting on the lawn of Tanque Verde Ranch writing this post – traveling through the state of Arizona, soaking in all the sunshine, desert heat, and cowboy facts we can find. Our first leg of the trip landed us in Tucson, at the best dude ranch in Arizona, the Tanque Verde Ranch. We’re pretty okay with just staying here for the whole week, as it’s a western paradise that fulfills us in every way, but our restless souls will ultimately move on tomorrow. So here is our diary entry into these last three days that were spent on an authentic ranch, together with our little cowboy and cowgal, Eli and Lexi.
As I sat breastfeeding my infant while entertaining my toddler, half-listening to a doctor (a gastroenterologist to be exact) tell myself and my husband that he was being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I was overwhelmed to say the least. This made no sense. How was my 29 year old, strong, healthy, weight lifting, food-loving husband being diagnosed with a disease neither of us had ever heard of? A disease that in the middle of a cold night in January 2012 crippled my husband, sent him to the hospital, and resulted in him being admitted for over a week. A disease that would change the course of our lives forever.
“Seriously, what are you looking at? Who are you talking to?”
“No one. I’m just on Facebook.”
“Facebook, Instagram. You’re always on there. I don’t see what could possibly be so entertaining.”
It’s true. I’m on my phone quite a bit. And in talking to my other mommy friends, so are they. In fact, I can see that they’re active on Facebook right now, or how long they’ve been inactive. I can tell that they were up with the baby at 4am or that it’s dinner time because social media is radio silence. So why are moms on their phones all the time? What exactly is your wife doing as she stares into that bright screen?
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Seasonal and environmental allergies affect so many people all year long. You may end up snotty and coughing in the spring with everything outside blooming. Pet allergies can cause suffering all the time, as can allergies to dust and other stuff that hides in your home. Over 50 million Americans suffer from these kinds of allergies every year, and while we all experience allergies differently, we can all relate to the suffering that comes with the signs and symptoms involved. You are not alone. Here is the story of my family and how our different allergies affect us and how we learned to fight back and deal with the annoying symptoms.
It is not your fault. It is not always your fault that you are all alone. It is the nature of the beast. It is the way you were raised, it is inherent in you, and sadly, you cannot change it because you are a teenager and you simply don’t have the ability to do so. Your brain is not fully developed, your hormones are raging, and you are angry. I know. And I have failed you. I have failed you because I am so often at a loss as to how to help you. You tell me I don’t understand, and you are right. I was not there for 9 years of your life, 9 of the most formative years of your life. I do not know what you went through, I do not know what happened to you, I do not know how to manage all the feelings and emotions you try so hard to suppress.
“Read me another chapter, Mommy” is the nightly mantra in our house as I turn off lights and tuck in covers… there is no end to the creative ways my children will find to get me to read them more stories. And I know, this doesn’t seem like it should be a problem, and it’s really not, but as we already read at least five story books and two chapters of whatever series we are currently engaged in nightly, there truly isn’t enough time. As an avid reader myself, and the progeny of a lawyer and an educator, it is no surprise my children love books. My gift from my parents for my 1st pregnancy was a full-size crib FULL OF BOOKS… and I mean full. Since then I have carried on this collection as I too love children’s books.
Although it seems like it’s been around forever, body shaming is a relatively new issue facing our young girls today. The age of social media and reality television has taken the act of critically looking at women’s bodies away from scouts of runway models and puts it into the hands of every person who has a smartphone. Even before this new generation of technology, women were praised looking a certain way, but the era of photoshopped magazine covers and edited Instagram photos have given us regular folks a false sense of what a person’s body – no matter their size – actually looks outside of staged shoots.
When thinking about getting on a plane with two 4 year olds and flying 5 hours across the country just to spend 2 days hiking and then repeat it all over again to get back home, most moms would start hyperventilating. It’s true, preschoolers aren’t the easiest to hang out with in general, then put them in a tin can for hours straight and the resulting nightmare can give anyone a heart attack. Between the why’s and the constant whining and the snacks and having to sit still for 5 hours, you would think that the majority of sane people do not plan short stints across the country. And we say they are missing out!
Travis and I have a tendency of describing the stage of life we’re in just like this, “Oh, we’re in the TRENCHES.” I’m pretty sure the “trenches” part comes across a bit dramatic, but it’s true. We have 4 kids under 5.5 years of age. If that’s not the trenches (at least of parenthood), then I don’t know what is. We have one in kindergarten, two in diapers, three who need help brushing their teeth and wiping their bums, and four crazy-different-awesome-unique-scary-smart-challenging personalities.
In the summer of 2008, one July morning, I woke up feeling very dizzy. It was a hot day so I thought it was the heat… But when I saw myself in the mirror, I noticed I couldn’t move my eyeballs. They were stuck looking forward. I called a friend of the family who is a neurologist and asked him to recommend a good ophthalmologist. When he asked me for my symptoms, he was alarmed and asked me to come to his office first. After my examination, he said he wanted an MRI of my head to discard the possibility of Multiple Sclerosis. I immediately went to get tested and the picture revealed white spots on my brain, my neurons were attacked by my own immune system: I have MS.
Meet Oyuki Aguilar – who turned a devastating illness into a mission for the children yet to come into her life. Discover – The Sport Of Parenting.
Soon after the doctor confirmed the news and lab results (spinal fluid from her back) proved that she was in the early stages, Oyuki took cortisone to bring the inflammation of her optic nerves down and the swelling was gone within a couple of days. But what next? She decided to write a book, and currently lives through the moments as each day blinks by. Her mission: To leave a legacy of her life’s lessons to her children.
I have one piece of advice for expectant parents about to embark on the journey of brand new parenthood. Just one thing, and I will share it unsolicited because I think it is that important, and I am confident that if you can follow this advice, your first year of parenthood will be a lot less stressful for you, your partner and your baby. It is something I realized early on and it continues to guide my parenting today. Are you ready? Here it is:
The things you do to keep your baby calm today are not habits that will last a lifetime!
The number of families in America with only children is steadily growing. While you might have multiple children, you are sure to know some only children. Many people have strong opinions about only children and opinions about family size in general. One kid isn’t enough, four kids is too much! Ever wonder what it is like to be the mom of an only child? Here are some heartfelt thoughts and confessions from two of our Daily Moms with only children, Cindy and Kristen.
I don’t know how it happened. It’s cliche but it’s true. It seems like yesterday the nurse placed her in my arms for the first time and boom – I was a mom. Now here we are, nearly five years later, and we are getting ready to send this bright eyed little girl who loves to change her clothes 18748324 times per day to a school, all day, with a uniform. We are taking this tiny being, who just yesterday it seems was a squishy newborn and pushing her out into the real world.
I have all sorts of doubts about this. I’m nervous. I’m excited. I’m worried. I’m scared. Is the world ready for this fierce little girl with a sassy attitude? Is she ready to stand up for herself when people tell her she can’t? Am I ready to take a step back – to let her follow her own path, be her own person, and let her out of this bubble I have created for her?
Shortly after my first child was born, an online friend of mine lost her baby. She was 7 months old. There are no words to describe a loss like that. No words of comfort. No words of peace. There is just a void that is felt in your world – a gut wrenching emptiness that grasps the very core of your being and doesn’t ever let go. And those were just my feelings – for the loss of a child of a woman I barely knew. My heart ached for her. I cried for her. I weeped for her sweet baby. And then I weeped for my sweet baby as thoughts of “what ifs” played through my head over and over again in the days that followed.
There are dozens of blog posts spiraling virally through the realm of the social media world lately about things that we absolutely should and shouldn’t be telling our daughters – things that will supposedly be detrimental to their emotional growth and development and drastically influence their educational, social and future career path decisions.
If you’ve seen any of these posts, they might have ignited a fear deep within you, leaving you questioning yourself and your simple day-to-day interactions with your daughter. One post passionately insinuates that you are setting your daughter up for a lifetime of unfulfilled potential by telling her that she’s pretty. Another suggests that telling her she is smart will boost her ego too much, and instill in her unrealistic fabrications of her intelligence, setting her up for disappointment and rejection later in life.