By: Maurene Merritt, RN
Tanya, my dental hygienist says of her recent birth experience to her 3-month-old baby boy, "I was fully present for the moments I wanted to be fully present for." Of course I reflected on her statement and pondered, "What are the moments that we want to be fully present for? For me, I wanted to be as fully present for the entire experience as I could because in my mind, it would bring me closer to my baby. This may sound irrational, but I've long felt that love is not about what is rational but rather what one is willing to risk for the sake of truth, connection, and happiness.
Consider that in labor, unlike most of life's moments when our vision rules most of our perceptions, it will be what you hear that will help to heighten your awareness to the experience.
Begin now, in your pregnancy. Take a safe, comfortable seated or lying posture. Bring your attention to
your breathing and as you exhale, feel how the eyes so naturally want to close. Keep your attention focused lightly on your breathe, and let yourself be drawn to the gentle sound of the breathe moving out of your body. Gradually, let the sound of your exhalations become louder, so that you begin to make a soft humming
sound. With every exhalation, like a gentle flowing water fall, let your awareness be drawn to the sound inside. What do you notice? Can you feel how the sound of your breathing helps to quiet and soothe your mind?
How does your baby respond to your more audible breathe? Do you feel that your baby is more active or quieted by the sound? Consider that your baby is cushioned in approximately 2 quarts of fluid and that sound waves travel much quicker through fluid than that of air.
I am reminded of a very endearing story about how quickly sound travels through water. The story teller was in our circle, pregnant with her first child. She said "when I was younger I'd go and visit my grandmother who lived on the lake. My grandmother warned me, don't share your secrets on the beach unless you want our neighbors across the lake to hear you." So the gentle humming on your exhalations will certainly be subtly felt by your baby. We can use our mindful, more audible sounds to help make a stronger connection in pregnancy. For example, as you sound, direct the energy to the space that your baby holds in your body, or imagine him/her in your mind.
In labor, we can apply the same principles. The gentling humming, infused with thoughts of holding your
baby in your arms, or usurps from your diary that bid farewell to a most cherish confinement help to deepen our connections.
The sound of birth. When your baby slips out of your body, most likely it will not be what you will see that will tether your moment, but rather what you will hear. Consider that the actual moment of birth is so intense for most women that they are unable to clearly see their babies.
Too, the release of rectal pressure often forces the spine into extension causing the head to be gently thrusted back so that your eyes initially will be directed up, towards the ceiling. So for several seconds, it will be what you hear that keeps you more connected to the moment. The now empty, hollow space that once held the reassuring sounds of your baby's thumbing, beating heart beat will quickly acquise to the sounds of your baby's first gasps for new life, and your care providers gleeful shares of joyful celebration.
Of course, your eyes will certainly devour the first sight of your newborn. But until then, practice
stilling the mind with the sounds of your breathe to help yourself be fully present for these precious, short lived moments.
Let yourself make a strong connection between the sound of your breathe, your mind, and connection with your baby. Who knows, you just may find yourself so mesmerized by what you hear in labor that you'll want to live more of your life tuned into every moment.
Together, forever, in our hearts,
*reprinted with full permission from http://www.birthblessingsyoga.blogspot.com/
By: Gary M. DellaPosta, CPA
Although the 2012 tax season is officially over, tax scams unfortunately are not, which is why the IRS issues an annual "Dirty Dozen" list that includes common tax scams affecting taxpayers.
Taxpayers should be aware of these tax scams so they can protect themselves against claims that sound too good to be true, and because taxpayers who buy into illegal tax scams can end up facing significant penalties and interest and even criminal prosecution.
Here are the tax scams that made the IRS "Dirty Dozen" list this filing season:
1. Identity Theft. Tax fraud through the use of identity theft tops this year's "Dirty Dozen" list. Combating identity theft and refund fraud is a top priority for the IRS. The IRS's ID theft strategy focuses on prevention,
detection and victim assistance. During 2012, the IRS protected $20 billion of fraudulent refunds, including those related to identity theft. This compares to $14 billion in 2011. Taxpayers who believe they are at risk of identity theft due to lost or stolen personal information should immediately contact the IRS so the agency can take action to secure their tax account. If you have received a notice from the IRS, call the phone number on the notice.
2. Phishing. Phishing typically involves an unsolicited email or a fake website that seems legitimate but lures victims into providing personal and financial information. Once scammers obtain that information, they can commit identity theft or financial theft. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. If you receive an unsolicited email that appears to be from the IRS, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Return Preparer Fraud. Although most return preparers are reputable and provide good service, you should choose carefully when hiring someone to prepare your tax return. Only use a preparer who signs the return they prepare for you and enters their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
4. Hiding Income Offshore. One form of tax evasion is hiding income in offshore accounts. This includes using debit cards, credit cards or wire transfers to access those funds. While there are legitimate reasons for
maintaining financial accounts abroad, there are reporting requirements taxpayers need to fulfill. Failing to comply can lead to penalties or criminal prosecution.
5. "Free Money" from the IRS & Tax Scams Involving Social Security. Beware of scammers who prey on people with low income, the elderly and church members around the country. Scammers use flyers and ads with bogus promises of refunds that don't exist. The schemes target people who have little or no income and normally don't have to file a tax return. In some cases, a victim may be due a legitimate tax credit or refund but scammers fraudulently inflate income or use other false information to file a return to obtain a
larger refund. By the time people find out the IRS has rejected their claim, the promoters are long gone.
6. Impersonation of Charitable Organizations. Following major disasters, it's common for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or personal information from well-intentioned people. They may even directly contact disaster victims and claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS to help the victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds. Taxpayers need to be sure they donate to recognized charities.
7. False/Inflated Income and Expenses. Falsely claiming income you did not earn or expenses you did not pay in order to get larger refundable tax credits is tax fraud. This includes false claims for the Earned Income Tax Credit. In many cases the taxpayer ends up repaying the refund, including penalties and interest. In some cases the taxpayer faces criminal prosecution. In one particular scam, taxpayers file excessive claims for the fuel tax credit. Fraud involving the fuel tax credit is a frivolous claim and can result in a penalty of $5,000.
8. False Form 1099 Refund Claims. In this scam, the perpetrator files a fake information return, such as a Form 1099-OID, to justify a false refund claim.
9. Frivolous Arguments. Promoters of frivolous schemes advise taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish claims to avoid paying the taxes they owe. These are false arguments that the courts have consistently thrown out. While taxpayers have the right to contest their tax liabilities in court, no one has the right to disobey the law.
10. Falsely Claiming Zero Wages. Filing a phony information return is an illegal way to lower the amount of taxes an individual owes. Typically, scammers use a Form 4852 (Substitute Form W-2) or a "corrected" Form 1099 to improperly reduce taxable income to zero. Filing this type of return can result in a $5,000 penalty.
11. Disguised Corporate Ownership. Scammers improperly use third parties form corporations that hide the true ownership of the business. They help dishonest individuals underreport income, claim fake deductions and avoid filing tax returns. They also facilitate money laundering and other financial crimes.
12. Misuse of Trusts. There are legitimate uses of trusts in tax and estate planning. But some questionable transactions promise to reduce the amount of income that is subject to tax, offer deductions for personal expenses and reduced estate or gift taxes. Such trusts rarely deliver the promised tax benefits.
Cape Cod Mommies is excited to add once again to our Board of Advisors! Join us in Welcoming: Emily Accrocco ~ Doula
Emily grew up in Barnstable, Cape Cod and after graduation, attended University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She earned a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Women's Studies. In 2010, she gave birth to her daughter Lena Rose with the assistance of a doula. She had never considered or been educated about natural childbirth or hiring a doula. Emily had an amazing experience and it motivated her to become a doula herself. Her dream was to work with teen girls and as a labor and delivery nurse, but found doula-ing satisfies both passions. Emily believes in the transitive powers of childbirth on women and believes that every woman should have doula support to have the most fulfilling birth and most positive experience. Childbirth is so empowering and humbling at the same time, that to be a part of another's special moment means so much to the doula. Birthing is a spiritual event and women can take back the personal power and innate strength to give birth without excessive and unnecessary medical interventions. Emily works as a mental health counselor for children and adolescents. She draws on her experiences in social work and birth work to be successful in both fields. She is currently a
midwifery student and has dreams of opening a pregnancy and birth services center on Cape Cod.
By: Coach Pam Wills
For many of us, confidence is kind of like the Holy Grail. Like most people, I struggle with confidence issues once in awhile. Am I good enough issues. Do they like me issues. Can I do this / is this possible / am I crazy issues. You know, the usual.But sometimes, instead of those issues appearing as fleeting doubts that we combat and vanquish fairly quickly, if we let them take over, they can and WILL affect everything we do. I know this firsthand because a few years back, my confidence hovered at a very low point. It was a painful place to hang out, but it definitely taught me that I was the only person in charge of my Self — AND my self-confidence.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt
For instance, if your confidence level is low, you might end up letting opportunities pass you by on a regular basis. You might unwittingly let friends, family members or your spouse tell you what to do. You might find that your business is suffering because you don’t put your Self out there to speak and network.
Guess what — I wasn’t born confident, either. I went through these scenarios my Self. Since then, I have done a lot of work, a lot of studying and a lot of practicing. The result: I figured out how to raise my confidence level through the roof! Now, I get up and speak with confidence all the time. And I LOVE it!
So how can YOU lift the heavy weight of low confidence off your shoulders and step forward into being fully YOU? I will be honest with you — I would not recommend doing it alone like I did. My advice? Ask for help! Hire a coach to lean on. Trust me, an experienced coach’s objectivity and action-oriented guidance are the best gifts you could ever give your Self. I wish I had done it years ago!
Meanwhile, until you gather your courage to reach out, here are a few steps you can practice daily to jumpstart your confidence:
1) Replace the negative chatter in your head with positive Self talk.***
Practice makes perfect. Diligence doesn’t hurt, either. Every time you catch your Self saying something mean about You, stop! Take a breath. Rewind. Now replay it, but this time, be nicer to your Self. For
instance, instead of saying, “I’m so stupid!” say something like, “Okay, I made a mistake, so now how can I learn from this mistake ***If you do nothing else, DO THIS!!! Every day. All the time. Without fail. No
matter what anyone else says to you. It WORKS.
2) Tell yourself 10 Good Things.
Every night before you go to sleep, maybe while you’re brushing your teeth, repeat after me: I am strong. (That’s one.) I am smart. (That’s two.) I am confident. (That’s three. See how easy it is?) And keep going! What other good things can you say about your Self? Are you a good parent? Are you a reliable friend? Do you have great hair?? The first time you try this, it will feel weird. You might only make it up to six Good Things. But keep practicing. Eventually, you will not want to stop at 10! Trust me on this one. It WORKS.
3) Make an “I AM” Scrapbook or Vision Board.
This might be a bit more advanced, but it is also quite relaxing and exhilarating at the same time. Kind of like yoga! Whenever you have some alone time, cut out pictures and words from magazines that reflect who you really want to be. It’s never too late to be the person you’ve always wanted to be, don’t you agree?
You can draw and write words directly in your book or on your poster board. Any book, notebook, scrap cardboard or corkboard will do. Make this an ongoing project if you like. Once you’ve finished, put it where you can see it or take it out and look at it regularly to reinforce that calm yet exhilarating feeling of I AM. Yeah. This WORKS.
Confidence CAN be yours. If I can do it, you can TOTALLY do it, too!
To help you get the ball rolling, contact me for a quick chat. Usually, I charge over $150 per hour for private coaching sessions on the telephone. But I am so sure that I can kick your confidence up a notch or two RIGHT AWAY that I am willing to give you 30 minutes of my time, no charge.
What have you got to lose?
I remember when my eldest daughter turned three, I was so happy and relieved – “Wow, the terrible twos are over and they weren’t even awful. Things will be so easy from now on!” I thought smugly as she blew out her candles. The twos were actually a very sweet, snuggly time. There were some tantrums but nothing I, Super Mama, couldn’t handle. Then the reality of three started settling in. And the universe laughed at me and my smug birthday smile.
I didn’t know this at the time, but apparently when a child turns three their brain connections go hay wire. They turn into insane dictators that expect you to telepathically understand their crazy world views (which change by the minute) and then anticipate their unspoken and unexplainable needs, desires, and judgments and act accordingly. Woe betides the parent unable to do this, or who dares, DARES, to set boundaries, rules, or go against the wishes of the tiny dictators. Hell hath no fury like a three year old scorned.
After living through this once, you would think I would be well prepared for my youngest’s recent transition from two to three. However, much like childbirth, my brain expunged most of this traumatic time period. It’s all coming back to me now, the crazy demands, the hysteria, the epic tantrums, the rush of adrenaline I experience when her crazy kicks in and so does my fight or flight defense. Seriously, sometimes I think, maybe I should just go along with her crazy idea just so I don’t have to deal with the inevitable freak out. But really, there’s no avoiding it, the freak out is coming. So now, I’m just trying to ride the crazy wave, like the surfers at Coast Guard Beach, and hope eventually we’ll land in calm waters again.
Here is a short list of tonight’s freak outs, occurring in the small time period between dinner and bedtime:
1) She wasn’t able to slurp her spaghetti in exactly the same way as her sister.
2) She didn’t look beautiful in her pajamas.
3) I wiped her after she went potty.
What in the hell is a mama to do? We are living in crazy town and I know we’ll be here for at least a year. However, there are moments that make our residence there worthwhile. When she asked her daddy upon his return home this evening “How was your day Daddy?” and really wanted to know. When she asked me today to buy red tights to wear with my red dress, just like she does, so we can match and be the “red girls.” The sweetness can make my heart ache and burst, especially when it’s in stark relief to the terror the rest of the day. It makes me see where we’re headed and it looks like a nice place. Now, we just need to get through the reign of the tiny insane empress!
Tell me your strategies to get through the Terrorizing Threes? What craziness has your three year old brought forth recently? Tell me your stories so I know I’m not alone!
By: Michelle Donaghy, Pediatric Sleep Consultant – Certified Gentle Sleep Coach
I often hear from parents that once the children start sleeping, they find it hard to sleep!
Thankfully, there are some easy tips to get your sleep (and your family's) back on track after so many months of sleep deprivation.
These simple changes will make a world of difference:
Get some exercise - just 30min a day will help relieve stress which will help you sleep better. This applies to adults and children.
Ensure your mattress is comfortable! You won't feel rested if your back is aching during the night. This
is one of those things in life that is worth the expense.
Have some wind-down time - a bedtime routine is important for children and adults alike. It will help your brain and body decompress before sleep.
No electronics 30min before you go to sleep - All of those electronics (TV, iPad, smart phone) tell your brain it is time to be awake. So turn them all off 30-60 minutes before bed.
It takes 20 minutes - most people don't know that the average person needs 20 minutes to fall asleep. Also, a side note for children - if it takes them less than 5 minutes to fall asleep they were either overtired or too drowsy when you put them to bed.
If you’d like to read more about how get better sleep, you can read the original article here: How to Get Better Sleep and Prevent Insomnia Without Medication.
Look for my next blog post where we will talk more about Healthy Sleep Habits for your Children and I will answer more of your questions. If you have a question you would like me to answer please email me at email@example.com
By: Gary M. DellaPosta, CPA
Children who receive investment income are subject to special tax rules that affect how parents must report a child's investment income. Some parents can include their child's investment income on their tax return, while other children may have to file their own tax return. If a child cannot file his or her own tax return for any reason, such as age, the child's parent or guardian is responsible for filing a return on the child's behalf. Here's what you need to know about tax liability and your child's investment income.
1. Investment income normally includes interest, dividends, capital gains and other unearned income, such as from a trust.
2. Special rules apply if your child's total investment income is more than $2,000 ($1,900 in 2012). The parent's tax rate may apply to part of that income instead of the child's tax rate.
3. If your child's total interest and dividend income is less than $10,000 ($9,500 in 2012), then you may be able to include the income on your tax return. If you make this choice, the child does not file a return. Instead, you file Form 8814, Parents' Election to Report Child's Interest and Dividends, with your tax return.
4. If your child received investment income of $10,000 or more in 2013 ($9,500 or more in 2012), then he or she will be required to file Form 8615, Tax for Certain Children Who Have Investment Income of More Than $2,000, with the child's federal tax return for tax year 2013.
If you have any questions about tax rules for your child's investment income in 2013, don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call.
*** This blog is part of a series. If you missed the first post and want to catch up, please click here.
I’m a crier. Not like a town crier…hear ye, hear ye; but an emotional crier. I cry at everything and anything. Movies, books, tv commercials. I cried when Ol Yeller was shot, when Ariel said “good bye” to her daddy in The Little Mermaid, and yes, when
Bambi’s mother was killed. Ask my daughter what I was like by the final act of Godspell at her college last spring! Each episode of A Baby Story has me blubbering by the end. I guess you could say I am an “emotional mess.”
That being said, you can imagine what I was like the actual day Riley was born. It was a long day, but at 5:05 pm, when her tiny head poked out, I was sobbing. “She’s beautiful” I kept telling the nurses and the Douala, “Look at those perfect little lips.” “Yes…” they said smiling. In their heads I’m sure they were thinking “Now get out of my way so that I can do my job!” I stood just mesmerized by this tiny person who had just entered the world. I touched her tiny fingers and tiny toes counting each one. I looked her up and down and marveled at her perfect construction. I was convinced she was the most beautiful baby that had ever been born at Heywood Hospital!
As of now, Riley has been living with me for a little over 5 months. I haven’t counted how many diapers I have changed or bottles I have made. We’ve been to the doctor for check-ups and immunizations, ear infections and tummy troubles. We’ve visited WIC for formula and A Baby Center in Hyannis for diapers and wipes. So many people I know have given us clothes and toys, a highchair and an exersaucer, and I have received many positive responses to my blog. Riley and I are grateful to have been blessed with so many friends. And even with all the positives that have occurred, I have shed many tears.
Having a baby at 50 was not on my bucket list. My daughter is about to graduate from college this month and is engaged to be married in the near future. I was an
“empty nester,” yet all of a sudden I have the responsibility again of an innocent being. Gone are the impromptu dinners out with my boyfriend. Or getting in the car with my daughter and driving around playing “tourist”, just because we can. Going out to dinner now requires planning. Packing a diaper bag and being sure to be home early enough to put Riley to bed and get to bed myself. My sleeping hours became shorter, since Riley is usually up by 5:30 each morning. (I’ve always said that if sleep were an Olympic event, I could probably place, getting the gold medal!) Lack of sleep has always caused me to cry.
Since I work during the week and so does my boyfriend, who would watch Riley? For those that don’t personally know this story or me, I have to tell you now, that I have the most awesome boyfriend on earth!
From the day Riley came to live with me, he stayed home with her so I could go to work each day. I would get home in the afternoon, and he would go in to work. This was the norm until just recently when I was able to get her into daycare…first part time in a private home and then full time when a spot became available at a daycare center. Yes I cried because I had to put her in daycare (I would have loved to be able to stay home with her like I did my own children when they were infants), but more so from guilt. This was my granddaughter yet he was willing to sacrifice his time to help us. I’m pretty sure that not many guys would have stuck around. (He deserves a medal for just putting up with me!)
But behind the tears, I would never have chosen a different path. Having this baby in my home is simply
amazing. Watching her grow and change from day to day is such a rewarding experience. (Have I mentioned that she’s crawling now?!)
To know that I am, for the time being, responsible for molding Riley into who she is going to grow up to be is such an enormous task. I can only hope the job I am doing so far is my best.
***Stay tuned.... comment below and share your thoughts with Naomi!
By: Maurene Merritt, RN
I direct Meghan's attention inside herself and give instructions to make the connection between her and her unborn baby. Meghan is due with her first baby at the end of October. She doesn't know if she is having a
boy or girl, so she calls her baby "Candy Corn", coined by her older sister.
I love the name because it is another blending of the power inherent in 3 for me. The stripes of yellow, orange and white stack neatly together like that of family, season, and the festive time of Holiday. Of course, too I think of my own beloved daughter, Candyce. Although we never called her Candy, she was the sweet that first drew me inside.
To better connect with her baby, I suggest to Meghan that she recall the "special hearing pathway" that we revisit often that was created to help affirm the special connection that mothers have with their unborn
babies. We then chant the sound "o-u-m" for 90 seconds, the time of one contraction during transition, considered to be for many women the most intense part of labor. I asked Meghan of her experience. She said, "I could easily imagine my baby, but not myself." The following week we engaged with the same exercise and Meghan described having a very different experience.
She said she imagined herself to be pure, white light, like how on an overcast
day the light burst through a cluster of gray, thick clouds. It's important to mention that there was no discussion or mention of "light" prior to her experience. In other words, I did not cue her to imagine herself to be such a form. Meghan imagined this on her own, guided by threads of her breath, sound, and deep connection with unborn child.
For many pregnant women, communicating with their unborn baby is ongoing, and is as natural and normal as the often contented, peaceful, endless days of the second trimester. At Birth Blessings Yoga we take this connection to another level by providing a framework that affirms and honors the power of our love to make this amazing, magical connection. The three pillars of our frame our intention, imagination, and attention. Together, they enliven 3 specific, highly concentrated, energetic areas of our subtle body known in yoga as Chakras.
It's the 6th Chakra called, Ajna that is located at the brow, in the middle of the head, in the same space that we imagine, that enables us to be a transmitter for telepathic communication. In scripture, it points to our ability to connect with our teacher or Guru for transformation which is really at the heart of our yoga practice. But it can be any extraordinary connection, and to me, there are few greater than that of a mother and her unborn child. Indeed, in my case, I believe it was in fact my absolute certainty that in pregnancy my baby heard every word of my gracious bubbling heart that a decade later helped me to connect with my Guru.
The 5th Chakra,Vishuddha is located at the throat and it is responsible
for helping us to speak truth. Our speaking isn't necessarily verbalized
but rather words infused with raw feeling that holds power to manifest. One of my favorite aphorisms that reflects this knowledge is from Patanjali, a great yogic expounder, when he said that, "words, meaning a feeling are interwoven. As words are eternal, so are meaning and feeling."
The 4th Chakra, Anahata is located at the heart. It's here that we begin to know the power of intention behind our ability to touch. Touching not in a physical sense, but rather touching what is elusive, the formless. It's a first for many of us, to be so enraptured with the invisible.
When we allow ourselves the full expression of how we are feeling about carrying a baby coupled with the power of affirmation, our awareness quite naturally will be drawn to lighter, more subtle forms of ourselves. Then we can more readily experience the full power of our connection. And who knows, it just may be the very impetus that keeps heaven's gates open to more experiences that our as sweet as Meghan's with her candy corn!
Happy Mother's Day,
*reprinted with full permission from http://www.birthblessingsyoga.blogspot.com/
We are huge fans of Local Moms who are super creative! Many of you have heard us mention one of our favorite Mom Shops before and even seen her blog listed in the Cape Cod Times article as a wonderful and entertaining blog! We wanted to give you more background on the famous Bzzyfingers so you could understand why we love this shop and why we love Melissa so much! We are also featuring a FABULOUS Giveaway from Bzzyfingers, read through this post to find out more!
A lifelong Cape Cod native, Melissa Oliveira is a mostly stay at home mom to three children (ages 2, 3 1/2 and 16) and lives with her husband and puggle named Belle. Mornings are spent attempting to tire the littles in hopes that nap time will afford her some quality crafting time at the kitchen table.
Also a long time multi-crafter, her interests have stemmed from jewelry making as a teen to scrapbooking and paper crafting, spending time working at a local scrapbook store and instructing classes as well as spending four years as a design team member for a major cardstock company. Her interest in sewing and crochet blossomed in her early twenties and has evolved to a small home based business.
Melissa's "bzzyfingers" career began as an email address, then blog and Etsy shop, and finally a facebook fan page. Many of the products offered through her etsy shop and facebook page are inspired by her needs as a mother of little girls; pacifier clips, diaper clutches, burp cloths, diaper changing mats, bibs and hair clips as well as embellished shirts, skirts and dresses. You can find the most recent sneak peeks of her latest creations and custom orders posted regularly on www.facebook.com/bzzyfingers.
Melissa shares "I find inspiration all around me. I love browsing
publications like "Artful Blogging" and "Mollie Makes", keeping up
with my favorite crafting and style blogs as well as sites like Pinterest and Etsy. Walking into a fabric store makes my heart beat a little faster and pairing the perfect color and prints together gets the creative juices flowing with an unstoppable urge to cut and sew."
Follow Bzzyfingers in these ways:
Melissa is offering a custom Super Hero Cape to TWO lucky Cape Cod Mommies readers! All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter Form below!
As an added bonus, she is offering 20% off any order from her etsy shop through May 23rd, 2013 using coupon code "CCMOM20" upon check out.
These Super Hero Capes have become an instant sensation already!
By: Sung Bin
In an effort to save some money on organic baby care products, I set out to make my own shampoo for my household. I wanted to make something that was natural and organic with ingredients that I could name and know. The California Baby Shampoo that I have been using for my toddler was great but the price tag for a family size bottle was not. Plus I wanted to be able to use it too so we would just use one kind that was safe for all. Anyway, this turned out be a pretty humorous task. I experimented with a few recipes I found online, mostly using Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap as the base. There were quite a few concoctions, some were too watery, too oily, too messy, but my toddler bared with me through it all. She was my guinea pig in my quest to make the perfect natural shampoo and at certain times her hair was a bit too scraggly or oily.
While, I haven’t found a perfect recipe yet, I have found a decent mix that kept our hair clean. The castile soap was also amazing for other uses so we use it as a body wash and hand wash. You can probably try any brand of castile soap for a shampoo but I liked the Baby Mild Shikakai from Dr. Bronner and I purchased a larger size bottle. For my coarser hair, I use the soap full strength with a few drops of rosemary essential oil in a small pump bottle. For my daughter’s hair and for a bubble bath I use a foam soap dispenser since she does not need as deep a clean for her fine hair. For her shampoo/bath wash I dilute the baby castile soap about ¼ part soap and ¾ part distilled water and a drop of vitamin e oil, and a few drops of lavender
and orange essential oils. My husband was not as excited about using a few pumps in the water for a bubble bath because it wasn’t like a typical bubble bath wash. It does not make suds but it does lather pretty well. I got the foam dispenser idea online too and since you use less soap, it lasts longer. The best part of making my own shampoo is that I can add any essential oil. Just a few drops of eucalyptus is great for a bath wash for colds or I can make a batch with lavender for relaxing. I’ll have to keep working on the
bubble bath but so far the shampoo has been great and the economic bottle will last us quite a while.
Lullaby Muffins -see below
By: Michelle Donaghy, Pediatric Sleep Consultant – Certified Gentle Sleep Coach
Nothing will substitute your child learning independent sleeping skills but here is a fun bit of information that may help at bedtime and get the sleepy hormones stacked in your favor.
#1 Bananas. They're practically a sleeping pill in a peel. In addition to a bit of soothing melatonin and serotonin, bananas contain magnesium, a muscle relaxant.
#2 Chamomile tea. The reason chamomile is such a staple of bedtime tea blends is its mild sedating
effect - it's the perfect natural antidote for restless minds/bodies.
#3 Warm milk. It's not a myth. Milk has some tryptophan - an amino acid that has a sedative - like effect - and calcium, which helps the brain use tryptophan. Plus there's the psychological throw-back to infancy, when a warm bottle meant "relax, everything's fine."
#4 Honey. Drizzle a little in your warm milk or herb tea. Lots of sugar is stimulating, but a little glucose tells your brain to turn off orexin, a recently discovered neurotransmitter that's linked to alertness.
#5 Potatoes. A small baked spud won't overwhelm your GI tract, and it clears away acids that can interfere with yawn-inducing tryptophan. To up the soothing effects, mash it with warm milk.
#6 Oatmeal. Oats are a rich source of sleep - inviting melatonin, and a small bowl of warm cereal with a splash of maple syrup is cozy - plus if you've got the munchies, it's filling too.
#7 Almonds. A handful of these heart-healthy nuts can be snooze-inducing, as they contain both tryptophan and a nice dose of muscle-relaxing magnesium.
#8 Flaxseeds. When life goes awry and feeling down is keeping you up, try sprinkling 2 tablespoons of these healthy little seeds on your bedtime oatmeal. They're rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a natural mood lifter.
#9 Whole-wheat bread. A slice of toast with your tea and honey will release insulin, which helps tryptophan get to your brain, where it's converted to serotonin and quietly murmurs "time to sleep."
#10 Turkey. It's the most famous source of tryptophan, credited with all those Thanksgiving naps. But that's actually modern folklore. Tryptophan works when your stomach's basically empty, not overstuffed, and when there are some carbs around, not tons of protein. But put a lean slice or two on some whole-wheat bread
mid-evening, and you've got one of the best sleep inducers in your kitchen.
For an extra treat, here's the ultimate sleep-inducing snack...
Makes 12 low-fat muffins
Between the bananas, the whole wheat, and the honeyed touch of sweetness, these muffins are practically an edible lullaby.
· 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1 tablespoon baking powder
· 2 large, very ripe bananas
· 1/3 cup applesauce
· 1/4 cup honey
· 1/2 cup milk or soymilk
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine the flour (make sure it's whole-wheat pastry flour or you'll produce golf balls, not muffins), salt, and baking powder. In a blender, puree the bananas; add the applesauce, honey, and milk. Blend well. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until
just moistened. Line muffin tins with paper muffin cups, pour in batter, and bake 30 minutes or until tops are lightly brown and slightly springy.
Per serving: 119 calories; 1g fat; 2.5g protein; 27g carbohydrates; 10g sugars; 133mg sodium; 3g fiber; 35mg magnesium
Look for my next blog post where we will talk more about Healthy Sleep Habits for your Children and I will answer more of your questions. If you have a question you would like me to answer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll include it in a future blog.
Michelle is a Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Certified Gentle Sleep Coach who offers parents a gentle and loving approach to their sleep problems. Through her years as a therapist, a mother and a sleep coach, Michelle’s approach offers tired parents an alternative to the cry it out method. Her proven solutions are medically and developmentally appropriate and look at all aspects of your child to gently get them the sleep that is so important to the entire family.
By: Heidi Ingram
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence is the ability to use one's whole body to skillfully express ideas and feelings (e.g. as an actor, an athlete, or a dancer) and facility in using one's hands to produce or transform things (e.g., as a craftsperson, sculptor, mechanic, or surgeon). This intelligence is related to physical movement and the knowledge/wisdom of the body, including the brain's motor cortex, which controls bodily motion.
From an infant's looking for and grasping different objects to
the strength and coordination of an older child, the ability to use the body for self-expression develops through information gained from muscles, sensations, reflexes, coordination, and movement.
The learning environment should reflect opportunities for physical
challenges throughout the day, not just outdoors but indoors as well. The classroom should facilitate tactile experiences and the use of manipulatives in math, science, and language arts. Children who are resourceful in bodily-kinesthetic abilities learn through moving, doing, and touching. They enjoy physical activities, such as those involving hand-eye coordination and hands-on experiments.
Psychomotor-kinesthetic intelligence refers to the ability to control one's body parts skillfully. These children move expressively and are good at both informal and organized games and sports.
Young children with psychomotor talent:
· are skillful at movements such as running, jumping, and climbing, dancing and other movement activities.
· have an accurate and relaxed sense of both static and dynamic balance (hopping on one foot, walking a narrow line, balancing a beanbag).
· use gestures, body movements, and/or facial expression to show or mimic emotions and ideas and can
adapt motor skills in game situations
to reserve one of the
six additional Spots!
Click here for testimonials from Cape Cod parents and
professionals who took this training with Tracy Lamperti.
Thursday, May 9th, 6-9pm
$25 per person
The Children’s Center
115 Sisson Rd.
Harwich Port, MA
(Near the Harwich Police Department)
I urge every parent to take this training or call me directly for assistance. Between my services, other qualified professionals, Children’s Cove, Independence House, and others, every adult; parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle….should be trained, along with EVERY person providing any level of care to a minor.
Our #1 defense and method to keep children safe in our community is to begin to talk about CSA and educate ourselves about CSA.
It is an adult responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse!
Please see www.tracylamperti.com for more information about working with children and families or specifically about sexual abuse.
If you would like 1:1 assistance, please contact Tracy Lamperti for a consultation.
Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
Psychotherapist, Educator, Consultant
Every challenge makes us stronger in character!
By: Amy E
(this is not the playground we experienced this story at.)
Recently, I took the Tiny One to a playground on the Cape. There were lots of kids playing and a little baseball game going on with parents watching and cheering on their kids! It was so beautiful out! The playground we went to had a big playground for older more advanced kids as well as a smaller, more toddler
friendly playground. As I saw down on the bench near the smaller playground, I watched as my Tiny Man walked on over to this super cool structure. I noticed a few bigger boys on the smaller playground and watched one of them studying my son very intently as he ambled on over. As a former elementary school teacher, I can read kids pretty well and my heart sank in my chest because I could tell by this other child’s body language
what was about to happen and I knew that I would have to let it just play out in front of me.
This older boy, let’s call him: Alan (definitely not this child’s name but for the sake of making this easier to read we will give him a name). Alan was standing at the top of the stairs of the play structure, his arms were on his hips, and his eyes narrowed at the approaching Tiny One. As my fearless little man began to climb up, Alan’s eyes narrowed even more. When the Tiny One had reached the top he was blocked by Alan.
My heart sank even lower in my chest, but I still sat perfectly still and calm. The Tiny One told Alan, “Please move, I’d like to play.” Alan vehemently shook his said and screamed: “NO!!!!”. I looked around, where was this boy’s mother????? Nowhere to be found at this point! The Tiny One asked again, ever my polite and friendly little boy: “Please I want to play too!” Alan shook his head again and shoved the Tiny One. At this point both Alan and my son looked at me and I called on over: “We don’t use our hands on others; everyone should be allowed to play.” Seriously this was one of the hardest things I have had to do thus far as a parent. But a valuable lesson was going to be taught.
At this point the Tiny one ambled back on over to me and Alan took off for the other structure with his friends but kept staring at us. The Tiny One was confused and asked: “Mama, that boy not nice, why not nice to me?” My heart shattered into a million pieces as I realized this was going to be just the beginning of the long road of life which has more mountain high successes and praises and valley deep rejections. I explained to him simply that sometimes other kids don’t want to play with us, but I was so proud of him for standing up for himself and still offering to be friends with this boy.
Over the next hour, I watched as my loving and forgiving child would play and then see Alan and would try to become friends with him and his buddies. But Alan kept rejecting him, yelling at him, trying to push him, etc. It was so hard to watch my son learn this lesson, but it is a fact of life.
Over that hour of playing I studied all the kids playing on the playground and “eavesdropped” on all the conversations taking place. I warn you, what I heard was both shocking and heart breaking. Every single little group of friends, boys and girls alike had little groups they were playing with and EVERY SINGLE
GROUP was being “mean” or bullying a child. I watched as a gaggle of boys ran around ostracizing a little boy who was playing with sand saying: “he isn’t cool because he likes to play with sand.” (WHAT?!?!I I must be really uncool then) watched another little group running around talking “smack” about another child saying how bad she was at sports and she was “ugly”. Kids were getting into fist fights, finally a coach walked past and told them to knock it off. I really wish I could have recorded all this to share with you Moms, because it truly was a shocking eye opener for me. I just could not believe the amount of meanness and ostracizing that was taking place on a playground filled with children under 10!!!!
What has happened to our children?!?!!?!? Is this what is taking place on the playgrounds across America right now? Why are our children so angry, vengeful and hateful? When did it become like this? I know that it
takes places sometimes, but the bullying was rampant and it has increased since my years as a teacher! What have we done to our children to make them this way? The honest answer moms…. We have failed as parents and caretakers for our little ones. Children learn behavior from home, from other people around them and from one another. If these children are angry and mean, it is because they see angry and mean behavior at home. This is UNACCEPTABLE! Don’t get me wrong, I know heartache is going to take place.
I know my Tiny One as he grows will have his share of rejection from others, IT IS A PART OF LIFE! However what I witnessed was extreme and concerning! I have heard from my friends who now have children in the elementary schools who say they see the same things. It breaks my heart. We all want to protect our children and shield them from the negative parts of our world. But we do have to let them experience the good with the bad.
Right before we left the playground, we were swinging. I watched little Alan, run up to his mother who had finally appeared and finally it all clicked for me. I watched as this mother, who had 4 boys showered the oldest with praise and attention and ignored Alan even as Alan got picked on by his brother and friends. I watched as other kids threw rocks at Alan and my heart began to break for this little misunderstood boy who just wanted and needed more attention. Alan picked up a rock like one of his other brothers and threw it at the Tiny One. I saw the oldest brother looking at me, waiting for my reaction. As the Tiny One picked up a rock to return fire, I calmly told my child, “No we don’t do that, rocks are not for hitting people with, we play with them but we do not hurt others.” The older brother walked over to Alan and told him the same thing. Modeling appropriate behavior works! At this point Alan came over and helped my son collect rocks.
When it was time for him to leave with his mother, she seemed to have little patience for him wanting to bring home his new rock treasures, Alan was very disappointed but stuck them in his bag anyway.
On the way home, my son and I talked about the whole situation. We talked about how the boy eventually became our “friend” because we kept reaching out and being nice to him. That in life there would be people who would not want to be his friend, but that he should always, ALWAYS respond with kindness to others.
I’m not sure if the lesson sank in for him, but the Tiny One was ecstatic that eventually the boy played with him!
In my heart, I know there will be countless more times when my son will be rejected and it makes me so sad. But I was also bursting with pride at how well he had handled the situation and how he responded with kindness each time. I leave you with a final thought…..
As parents we have a responsibility to instill values into our children that will enable them to be successful adults. These adults are going to be taking care of us one day and I don’t know about you, but I want those adults to be compassionate, caring, kind and passionate; but most of all I want them to be STRONG IN CHARACTER. I want adults who will be in charge of raising the next generation to improve on us and raise happy children. So please, model the behavior that you want to see our future society have, I shudder to think that if we don’t, how they will treat us all when we are older. Don’t let your children see you be vengeful, hateful or unkind. They are impressionable. We only get a short time with them when they are innocent, let them remain so for as long as possible and maybe the future might just be a better place.
Mamas, it is the time of big changes for my family that I wrote about in one of my first posts. We are getting ready to move, we are trying to figure out where we are moving to, and it is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be to find the right spot.
Preschool graduation is fast approaching, kindergarten orientation has been attended. My very sensitive, very fiery, eldest daughter is having a tough time with so many changes and with integrating all the
sensations out in the big world into her tiny body. My youngest is about to turn 3.
These are all manageable issues, but sometimes it feels like a tidal wave of emotions and responsibilities. But in the midst of all this, I am appreciating just how lucky we are to make a life here on Cape Cod. Cape Cod Mommies (and daddies and grandparents), this is our kid’s childhood and it is glorious:
In the past two weeks, spring has started to appear after a very long winter. And it reminds us all why we are here. Our kids go to the beach in their tutus. They know the sound of the waves on the ocean side and the feeling of the cold, calm April water of the bay side. They bring home sand in their pockets and dig holes in the beach with the dog. Handstands are attempted in spite of the whipping wind and they swear that ocean breezes help them run faster. It can be a struggle to make a life here, but for those of us that do it, we know it is well worth it. So huzzah to spring, sunshine, spinning at the shore, and raising kids by the sea!
By: Coach Pam Wills
Since my April “Be Your Self” theme has ended, I decided to share my updated playlist of fave inspirational, motivational, get-up-and-go tunes (in no particular order). I’ve linked the song titles to corresponding YouTube videos (not all of them are official music videos by the artists, but the tunes are there and sometimes the lyrics are, too). Lyrics are worth looking up for great inspirational quotes, just Google them.
1) Reach, Gloria Estefan
Motivational fodder for pushing beyond the limits, this was an official theme song for the 2008 Summer Olympics
2) Try to Fly, Eva
Great tune from a super talented songwriter and great friend of mine who creates her magic in Germany
3) Polka Dots, Kami Lyle
I am so lucky to count as friends not one but TWO super talented singer/songwriters! Kami spins her magic right here on Cape Cod
4) Free and Right to Be Wrong, Joss Stone
This hippie chick knows the real deal and how to express it with her crazy hot soul music
5) Brave, Jennifer Lopez
I don’t think this song is well known but it really hits the spot
6) Respect and Think, Aretha Franklin
7) Free Xone and What Have You Done for Me Lately, Janet Jackson
Love the dancing in the “Free Xone” video… “Love your Self” is a great line!… And let’s not forget the quintessential, classic Janet song
8) Just Fine, Mary J. Blige
THE way to rock the joy of being YOU, this song is my newest anthem!!!
9) Express Yourself, Madonna
“Don’t go for second best, baby”… Words to live by
10) Strength, Courage & Wisdom, India.Arie
Just the tip of the iceberg from this singer and her incredibly deep soul
11) King of Anything, Sara Bareilles
“Who cares if you disagree? You are NOT me!”… This song is everyone’s theme song who decides to stop putting up
12) Born This Way, Lady Gaga
Cannot make a list like this without this tune!
13) I’m A Survivor, Destiny’s Child
Beyonce’s antidote to hater poison
14) Shine, Estelle
All about being her Self, this woman knows exactly who she is
15) Brand New Day, Sting
Wait for Stevie Wonder to come and play his harmonica around minute three
16) Hope, Shaggy
“Never give up”… Super cool and inspiring tune by the man him Self
17) The Climb, Miley Cyrus
I know, I know, what am I doing putting a kids’ song on this list??… Just listen, it’s really a great tune about
18) When You Believe, performed by the late Whitney Houston and Maria Carey (from Disney’s The Prince of Egypt)
Inspirational at its best, sung by two powerful divas
19) Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys ft. Nicki Minaj
Caution, super hot video! Lots of fun, too
20) Fighter, Soar and Beautiful, Christina Aguilera
Fabulous tunes, all of them!
Thanks for listening with me! I hope this list:
1) made you smile
2) made you DANCE!!!
3) made you want to forward this to a friend. Why keep a good thing to your Self??
Have a great week!
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