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Moms—Keeping Handwriting Alive, One Letter at a Time #BICFFYW

grow, play, tech By August 31, 2016 1 Comment

My daughter just started preschool and all I can think about is how fast time flies. As parents, I guess we don’t really see the time passing us by until the day we watch our babies walk…out the door for their first day of university.

“Wait..what do you mean you don’t need your blankie anymore?!”

But enough projecting, sometimes it’s all we can do to keep up with their learning pace, so when my three and a half year old started correcting me in our dialogue, I realized that it might be time to get her into preschool.

So much has changed in the school system since my time, and (as a writer and a self-proclaimed anglophile/English history fanatic) I was really sad to hear about the phasing out of cursive writing in schools. Handwriting is an art, perhaps, but it also serves a very basic and necessary function: communication. Once cursive is gone, it won’t be long before the almighty type will begin to chip away at all the options for putting pen to paper. But I will be here to set the example for my child—when she’s ready, she’ll learn it from me.

Jennifer Pitt

I became a mother for the first time at 37. I know, I know – what the hell was I thinking? P.S. I also believe in eating the last butter tart while my husband is sleeping, because snoozing = losing. I also blog at www.mommiesdrink.com.

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olympic moms

Lessons from the Games: Olympic Moms represent all of us

fitness, grow, LIVE, play, self By August 30, 2016 No Comments

I don’t know about you—but my body is definitely not the same since I gave birth. Sparing the gory details, let’s just say that some parts are not where they once were. So, for that reason (among many others), I was blown away by watching the Olympic champions competing in Rio de Janeiro this year…who also happen to be moms.

“How do they do it?” I ask myself. These moms prove that women aren’t past their prime after producing life, instead they highlight how powerful moms are by competing and excelling in the Olympic games. I figure, perhaps it’s because of how powerful we have to be every single day. I mean, let’s be real: women who can withstand childbirth can break records in any endeavour we set our minds to. We can achieve all of our goals and make our dreams come true, because we’ve already faced the greatest challenge: kids.

Sandi Schwartz

Sandi Schwartz is a freelance writer, editor, and researcher specializing in parenting, wellness, environmental issues, and human behavior. She enjoys analyzing everyday life using science, humor, and a passion to improve the world. Her blog www.happysciencemom.com provides a parenting toolkit for raising happy, balanced children. To learn more about her work, please visit www.sandischwartz.com.

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finance for kids

Finance for Kids | 3 Tips for Teaching Them to Love Saving

grow, LIVE By August 17, 2016 20 Comments

“I want your phone,” declares my two-year-old after breakfast.

“No,” I respond.

“I want your phone,” she reiterates. Again, she’s met with a resounding no. She decides to move on.

“I want your tablet,” she counters, hoping to get a rise out of me. Even more so, she asks hoping that I give her something to stop her requests.

Smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and other expensive toys have dominated our children’s lives in the past few years and the anticipated costs of raising children will continue to rise as their “toys” become increasingly luxurious.

But how do you make the children more responsible? How do you help them understand the value of their (and your) things?

You make them pay.

AprilGrant

April Grant is a wife and stay at home mother to three beautiful children. Her weight has always been a struggle. She openly shares what works and what doesn't to hit your fitness and lifestyle goals.

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swimming lessons for kids

Choosing the right swimming lessons for kids

grow, LIVE By August 3, 2016 No Comments

I grew up in the water and for me, swimming is just like walking. It comes naturally—or I always assumed it did. As a child I took lessons at the local club, where the instructors threw me in the deep end, shouting that there were alligators under the grates. I’m sure the throwing in was done ‘safely’, but it was terrifying and to this day my heart rate goes up when I swim over filters and grates in the bottom of the pool. After that particular set of lessons, my mother apologized, she enrolled me at the public pool and I learned to swim in a fun, safe, encouraging environment.

JoyHedding

Joy aka Evil Joy is wife to one Dr. Evil and mother to four children she often refers to as spawn. Joy is a snowboarding fanatic and loves to share her exploits - snowboarding and otherwise - on Instagram. She currently spends copious amounts of time taxiing her children from one place to another. Frequently funny, always honest, and occasionally serious Joy blogs about everything from dealing with messy teenagers to navigating life after PTSD. Joy has been published in the anthologies "Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor" and "Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee" and featured on Sammiches and Psych Meds and In the Powder Room.

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me too parenting

Me Too Parenting: A Trip to France with my Daughter

grow, LIVE, nourish, play By August 1, 2016 No Comments

There’s more to me than being a mom. Or at least, there used to be. I had a kick-ass job in which I got to travel the world and into dangerous countries. I have been to Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Oman, Russia, Colombia, and further afield. I’ve lived long periods of time in France and Germany. I speak French quite well. I know how to shoot guns and how to (basically) survive in the woods. (I wouldn’t really want to test those skills, but I’d like to think if the Zombie Apocalypse ever came upon us, I could kick ass and take names with the best of them.)

But I might have been the only person in my life who cared about those things. My new mom-centric world consisted of helping my son complete his 30 Day FREE Coding Challenge, getting snacks and more snacks for my daughter, teaching my youngest how to swim, separating and referee-ing arguments, monitoring screen time (and did I say getting snacks?) These somewhat mundane tasks, added to housework, meal prep, and so forth, left me with little time for me. For remembering who I was and exploring who I would or could still be.

Alexa Bigwarfe

Alexa Bigwarfe is a freelance writer and author. Alexa co-authored the book "Lose the Cape: Realities from Busy Modern Moms and Strategies to Survive" (losethecape.com) published in Spring 2015 and then edited the follow on anthology: "Lose the Cape: Never Will I Ever (and then I had Kids!). Her #losethecape philosophy as a mom is based on the idea that we are all doing the best that we can as moms, and should be encouraged in motherhood. She also edited and published a book for grieving mothers entitled "Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother" and has been published in several anthologies, including "The Mother of All Meltdowns," and "The HerStories Project," and "Mothering Through the Darkness." She also writes for regional parenting publications and has published over 30 articles in the United States and Canada.

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anti-abortion flyer

To the woman who put an anti-abortion flyer through my mail slot this morning.

grow, LIVE By July 31, 2016 No Comments

My toddler and I were playing on the floor just inside the door. We saw you through the glass window above the knocker and thought you saw us too. I smiled and you turned away so quickly, I guessed you were in a reverie or on the clock. Perhaps the sunlight was too strong outside, I thought.

My son was enthralled to see a piece of paper suddenly appear through the door. He grabbed it and spent several minutes trying to return it to the other side, but the protective shutter wouldn’t allow it to flap both ways. Returning to the shoe mountain he had been working on, the flyer sat forgotten on the slot ledge.

Lonelle Selbo

Lonelle spent the past 15 years hanging out on the masthead of some cool fashion and lifestyle magazines across Canada—before taking the leap into parenthood, at which point swaggy parties and fashion shows lost their lustre next to her golden-haired son. Immersing herself into a new scene, as the Editor-in-Chief of UrbanMommies, before moving on to launch her own country living + parenting magazine 'Life Au Lait', she loves putting her ear to the ground and listening to the rumble of mom voices. In between Oprah and bonbons, she also runs a boutique design and branding agency (AuLait Media) working with mom-driven businesses to help bring their big vision to life.

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national lipstick day

5 Reasons I Don’t Celebrate National Lipstick Day

grow, laugh, LIVE By July 29, 2016 No Comments

So it’s National Lipstick Day, which really just means that some of the style magazines I follow on Facebook are posting pics of beautiful models with gorgeous lips done up in the decadent shades of the summer. When suddenly I realized that I haven’t worn lipstick for a really, really long time. And here’s why…

Lipstick doesn’t go with baby barf

I figure, if I don’t have time to wash chunks of baby food out of my hair, and if, let’s be honest, I haven’t even noticed that there’s a poo smudge on my forearm, I probably don’t have the wherewithal to apply lipstick on my mouth to look more beautiful.

Lonelle Selbo

Lonelle spent the past 15 years hanging out on the masthead of some cool fashion and lifestyle magazines across Canada—before taking the leap into parenthood, at which point swaggy parties and fashion shows lost their lustre next to her golden-haired son. Immersing herself into a new scene, as the Editor-in-Chief of UrbanMommies, before moving on to launch her own country living + parenting magazine 'Life Au Lait', she loves putting her ear to the ground and listening to the rumble of mom voices. In between Oprah and bonbons, she also runs a boutique design and branding agency (AuLait Media) working with mom-driven businesses to help bring their big vision to life.

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Life Lessons

10 Life Lessons from my Dog

grow, laugh, LIVE, nourish By July 26, 2016 1 Comment

I did not want to get up this morning. My hand shot out from under the sheets to slap my alarm with lightning fast reflexes while the rest of me grumbled and groaned, pleading with the universe for just five more minutes. I wrestled with the snooze button a few more times before I finally dragged myself out of the bed. As soon as my feet hit the floor, my dog hopped up, literally wiggling with joy, and ran to the door; ready to start her day. She ran outside and stood for a moment, breathing in the cool, crisp air. I watched her bounce through the grass, eager to do her business then come back inside. She trotted in and ran right to me, pushing her body into mine so I would scratch her behind her ear–her favourite spot. Putting breakfast into her bowl, she gulped it down, not leaving a single crumb, not worried about calories.

Suddenly I realized–she is happy all the time. She doesn’t mope if she doesn’t get her way, she doesn’t pout or whine. She isn’t constantly looking for more, she is content the way she is. It hit me: maybe dogs also figure out life seven times faster than we do.

Gina

Gina is a working mom laughing at the absurd to keep herself from crying into a bag of cookies while pounding back coffee. Her writing has been featured on Sammiches & Psych Meds, Scary Mommy, Bon Bon Break, and Mamalode to name a few. You can laugh with or at her on FB.com/stagetoo, twitter @beans1031 and at her site Astagetoo.com. Take a look, you'll like what you see.

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cry it out

Cry It Out, Baby: How Sleep Training Saved My Sanity

baby, grow, nourish, rest, Unpopular Mom By July 15, 2016 2 Comments

It’s true. On the surface, I do look very much like your typical crunchy-granola attachment parent. I breastfeed, make my own baby food, buy organic, wear the babies, redirect rather than punish (or try, at least), and even do a little bed sharing. Letting my baby cry it out would be the last thing a mom like me would do.

You might assume I’d be one of those moms who pops up in your Facebook newsfeed, all sanctimommy in my choice of shares, doling out judgment and unsolicited advice—but you’d be wrong. You won’t find me mom-shaming anywhere. My philosophy is ‘we’re all in this together.’ And try as I might, living with my headstrong 3 ½ year old daughter leads to considerably more yelling and empty threats than I ever thought would be in my mommy wheelhouse.

Michelle Back

Michelle Back is an editor, writer, blogger, and mother, not always in that order. She’s also a wife to a smarty-pants physicist, and a dog owner of two old-ass dogs. Although it might be cliché and basic, Michelle loves coffee, chocolate, yoga pants, and Target. She dreams of sleep, although not really because she’s awake too many hours of the day. When she’s not writing or farting around on social media, she’s watching Netflix or Hulu (once her children finally go to sleep at night). She blogs humorously about finding her footing as a mother at www.mommybacktalk.com. Also, she can be followed all over the internet--it's not weird.

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Disney Planes

Disney Planes Lifts off on Netflix

grow, LIVE, nourish By July 8, 2016 1 Comment

We had a ‘family movie night’ today. It’s really an excuse to eat while watching a film, snuggle together on the sofa and glance at each other over jokes and sad bits. Some of the closest moments I have exchanged with the kids were during these fun nights, and as we flicked through the offerings today – Disney Planes on Netflix was a unanimous YES!!

Planes centres on Dusty the crop duster, who dreams of flying in a race around the world. But in order to qualify, he has to overcome his fear of heights.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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