The Supreme Court ruling upholding The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has resulted in a number of changes to the tax code.
The major provisions are taking effect in 2013 are:
· An additional .9% Medicare tax on wages above $200,000 ($250,000 for married joint returns)
· A new 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income. Investment income includes interest, dividends, rents, annuity income and capital gains (including taxable principal residence sales).
· An increase in the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limit for deductible medical expenses from 7.5% to 10%.
· The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit will continue. This offers a credit for employers that:
o Pay at least half of employee health insurance premiums
o Employ 25 or fewer full time equivalents (FTE)
o FTE average income is less than $50,000
In 2014 additional provisions take effect:
· The Individual Mandate starts. It requires US Citizens obtain minimum health care coverage or pay a tax penalty. The penalty increases each year through 2016.
· An additional tax will be imposed on businesses with 50 or more full time equivalents (FTE) employees
that do not offer minimum essential health insurance.
If you have any questions, please contact Gary at his office: 508-540-3683 or email him at INFO@DELLAPOSTACPA.COM He
Early Rising – the most common question I get asked about, second only to night waking.
Waking before 6am is too early for everyone and it throws off your child’s entire daytime schedule. In some cases the early rising has an easy fix – maybe it is too light in the room at the wee hours. Possibly the birdies are singing their songs at your child’s window. These issues can be fixed with room darkening shades or black out curtains. Ideally the room should be as dark at 4am as it is at 9pm. A white noise machine in your child’s room is a simple solution to the external noises.
But it usually isn’t so easy! When your child stirs, go to her quickly and try to get her back to sleep before she screams herself awake. Try to soothe her back to sleep while still in her crib and without picking her up. If she doesn’t go back to sleep again, and she likely won’t at first, do not turn on the lights or get her out of the crib until 6am. If you do, the early rising will continue and possibly the waking will get earlier and earlier.
If she hasn’t gone back to sleep after a bit of reassurance from you – then either stay in her room and have minimal interaction (sit in the chair with your eyes closed) or if you being there encourages her to be more awake you can leave the room and check on her at intervals that you feel comfortable with (every 10 or
15mins perhaps). When it is finally 6am, you leave the room (if you haven’t already) and come back after a minute, to start your morning routine. Be dramatic and emphasize that it is morning time.
If your child is over 2yo you could get a children’s alarm clock. There are several types available - sun/moon, bunny sleeping/bunny awake, light changes colors … at the time you set it to change. The clock my girls have in their room turns green at the time I have set for them. Our sleep manners include ‘ do not get out of bed before your clock turns green’. If you are not 200% consistent with the clock then your child will not take it seriously either. Like above, you go to them quickly when they wake and say: ‘sweetie, your clock isn’t green it’s not morning/wakie time’.
Napping with an early riser can be tricky as too early of a morning nap can engrain the early rising! If she is over 6mo the recommendation is no morning nap before 8am. If she is over 9mo, no morning nap before 9am. If she is on 1 nap, no nap before 12noon. Otherwise she will be overtired at bedtime and the cycle
Here are the four causes of Early Rising:
1) Too late of a bedtime - for the 1st 5 years of a child's life bedtime is usually between 7-8pm!
2) Not enough napping - too late of a bedtime and skipped or short naps will create, early rising, more night waking and poor quality of sleep and an overtired and fussy child. Well napped children sleep better at night too! Not logical but sooo true.
3) Too long between end of afternoon nap and bedtime - in order to catch the 7-8pm bedtime, you need to monitor how long of a sleep window there is between the end of afternoon/last nap and bedtime. There are general guidelines that are appropriate for most children. Under 6 months of age the last nap should end about 4.30/5pm. From 6-9 months most still need that short catnap before bed and can usually handle a 2-3hr window to bedtime. From 9 to 18 month (if sleeping through the night and napping well) most can handle a 4hr window to bedtime. From 2 yrs. we usually recommend that the nap end by 3-3.30 to preserve bedtime.
4) Going to bed too drowsy - if they can't put themselves to sleep without help at bedtime, the easiest time of the day for independent sleep ... how are they going to be able to put themselves back to sleep without your help at 4am (the hardest time of the day)? Start by teaching independent sleep at bedtime.
You must be 100% consistent in your response with your early bird ... as early rising takes weeks of consistency and patience for the behavior to change.
If you have been 100% consistent in your response and are doing everything above correctly, then I would look at a medical reason for the rising. Sleep apnea is frequently over looked in children and can cause a very suborn early waking. Speak to your child’s doctor if you suspect any medical reasons for the waking.
I wish you and your family sweet dreams and later mornings!
Michelle is a 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.
Michelle Donaghy, Pediatric Sleep Consultant – Certified Gentle Sleep Coach
Cell: 714 651 5116 ~ Fax: 267-382-2070
Making Sweet Dreams ~ Sleep Coaching for Children
email@example.com ~ www.makingsweetdreams.com
Do you ever feel like no one listens to you? Do you hear your Self repeating the same ultimatums over and over again? Do you sometimes feel like throwing your hands in the air and giving up?? Do you feel like you never get the respect you desire or deserve?
Whether you’re at home or at work, respect can be a real thorn for those of us with confidence issues, past or present. It seems nearly impossible to get people to cooperate when you can’t even get them to listen, right??
Believe me, I know what I’m talking about here.
As a dance teacher and occasional substitute teacher in the past, I’ve often wrestled with getting a roomful of noisy students to settle down and listen up. Part of my struggle is my low tone of voice, but previously my struggles centered around uncertainty and low confidence.
So, how did I change things, you ask?
First of all, I worked on building up my courage. I just jumped in with both feet and kept on putting my Self into situations that would force me to grow and force me to command respect.
For instance, I just finished choreographing a community theater production of Cabaret (have I mentioned this recently?…lol), during which conflicting personalities and styles of learning combined with limited
rehearsal time often resulted in a few unhappy, resentful dancers who were sometimes unwilling to accept me as the teacher.
Well, if our audiences are any indication, we have all succeeded despite our trials and challenges, despite our issues with giving and getting respect.
So, what is my formula for getting respect? I hear you asking me. Here is my awesome-sauciness recipe:
1) Talk to your Self with respect
If you don’t, then really, who will??
2) Surround your Self with other people who treat you with respect
Kind of obvious, no? Even if this seems impossible in your current circumstances, vow to ignore your haters. Treat them like the crickets they are — silent whenever you get too close.
3) Treat others with respect
4) Step up to the plate
Be the lion. Practice courage daily. Take a chance on doing something you really want to do. Stand up for
what you believe in, for a friend, for your Self. Speak up. Speak your truth, your OWN truth. Stop avoiding conflict, embrace it and learn from it. Courage is a muscle — build it, flex it, keep it limber.
5) Follow through
If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you threaten to punish your kids with no TV for a week, stick to it. If you promise to reward them for something, do so. Be a person true to your word.
6) Accomplish, finish things
Don’t leave stuff undone. Once you buy the paint to re-do your bathroom walls, get out the brushes and
get painting! If you take a class (or your child does), then finish it — don’t make excuses to bow out and quit. Goes hand in glove with #5.
7) Ditch perfection
It’s really okay to be in the learning stages of things while you’re learning things. It’s really okay if your house isn’t perfectly clean all. the. time. It’s really okay if your relationship or marriage isn’t as perfectly passionate as it was back in the day. Priorities shift, life goes in cycles, things and people change. Respect
change and it will respect you.
Is feeling respected important to you? Do you feel like you get enough respect at home and/or at work? Hit REPLY and tell me about it. The more I know about your challenges and successes, the better I can help
*Pamela earned her Certified Professional Coach (CPC) credential from Fowler-Wainwright International and her BA in English Literature from Georgetown University. She has been writing and teaching professionally for over 20 years but continues to learn and improve her talents, gifts and skills with experience and training. Her unique background includes PR and marketing for the US Army and a natural wood finishes
manufacturer (both in Germany), translations from German to English for a global retailer, choreography and dance instruction for theater, plus English language training for foreign executives. Pamela has written travel articles, a regular column on cultural differences, book reviews, guest blog posts, her own weekly blog and eZine and she speaks frequently at live events, on radio and TV. Pamela is a featured coach on the Expert Panels of Kristen Howe’s www.LawofAttractionKey.com and Kerry Swetmon’s www.LifeBusinessGrowth.com. In addition, Pamela is on the Speakers Bureau of B.I.G. Women’s Network
Helping others increase their confidence is Pamela’s passion because she learned the hard way how important confidence really is for success in life. She wants to spare you the hard, dark journey she took and set you on a bright, happy path as quickly as possible!
To learn more and schedule your own complimentary SPARK Session, contact Pamela today.
When I came across this ornament on the FamilyFun website and I just had to share it. I thought it was such a great idea for the kids (or the whole family) to do each year as a keepsake instead of purchasing a yearly ornament. If you have multiple kids you can make each one unqiue by assigning a color for the spool or ribbon.
Acrylic paint & brush
Wooden thread spool
Paper strip, cut to fit width of spool
Double sided tape or glue
1. Paint the spool and let it dry.
2. Have your child write their Christmas list on the strip of paper.
3. Roll the paper around the empty spool, using double sided tape or glue to fasten it, and leave some of the list hanging down (so Santa can notice).
4. Thread the ribbon through the spool’s center and tie a knot at the top for hanging. Write your child’s name on the label. Affix it to the ribbon.
You can also have your child write their Christmas wishlist first and them copy the top 10 items to the ornament list. Below is a cute printable from FamilyFun also. I think this ornament could easily become a family tradition for years to come. The kids will surely enjoy reading the previous years lists when decorating for Christmas!
One thing I love is beautifully designed diaper cakes! I’m very excited to bring you guys this giveaway. I was talking to Liz at eDiaperCakes and they make these lovely diaper cakes for baby showers. Imagine getting a diaper cake like this for the baby shower. To tell you more about how eDiaperCakes started. Liz gave birth to a baby girl in November of 2011. She wanted to find a way to stay home with her daughter so she started a diaper cake business in April of 2012.
Ediapercakes has a selection of around 65 different diaper cakes on their website. Their cakes are designed around a central theme and they have diaper cakes for boys, girls and gender neutral ones. Their cakes are embellished with children’s books, rattles and stuff animals. In each baby cake, you would normally see around 4-6 different baby products. The diaper brand they use to decorate their cakes is Pampers Swaddlers.
I’ll be giving away a $25 gift certificate to eDiaperCakes.com to one of my readers! See below for more eDiaper Cakes pictures and our Contest Form!
Disclosure: Cape Cod Mommies received a gift certificate in exchange for our review. Thoughts are all Mommies LLC's own and were not influenced in any way.
You know what I’ve noticed? Some people just aren’t comfortable with the idea of sincere positivity coming at them. Try to be nice to some people and they kind of snicker at you. Sometimes they even sneer a bit. And if you dare attempt to hug some others, they might just go scurrying for the door. They just cannot handle it!
I used be that snickering, sneering, scurrying person, the very one who got very uptight around super positive people.
Most of the time, I would brand the positive ones as superficial, stupid or insincere. Even when I could sense that they were none of the above and that their positivity somehow (God only knows how) was sincere, the bitter cynic in me just could not stand to be around so much happy cheery positivity. Seriously! It hurt me physically. Gave me migraines. Made me nauseous.
I KNOW you know what I’m talking about here.
Of course, my pseudo-intellectual ex-husband AND my Queen’s English wannabe rebound man both fed right into my less-than-adorable judgemental stance. They both LOVED looking down their noses at anyone and everyone who went through life with a smile on his or her face. Did their best to personally wipe it right off those faces as quickly as possible. Made positivity look like the stupidest, uncoolest (look Ma, I just made up a word) and least desirable trait to display.
Of course, I joined right in with their kindergarten games. Suited my immature Self just perfectly back then.
Fast forward to the present.
At this point, I have outrun and/or defeated the biggest demons of my lifetime so far. I’ve dealt with divorce and all the drama that goes with it, battled and won court case after court case against a very stubborn and
difficult ex-husband and “father” for full custody of my child, dived down into the depths of all kinds of insecurities, despondencies and uncertainties and returned to the surface of my scarred life filled with hope, laughter and yes, the dreaded “P” word.
Today, I am not afraid nor ashamed to admit that I am a total positivity junkie. I love tossing words like “awesome”, “super” and “fabulous” around. Of course! I feel I have too much time and too many barbed comments in my past to make up for. I wore my coolness like so much heavy armor, protecting my fears and insecurities. Now I sometimes feel like Ebenezer Scrooge’s friend Jacob Marley with his yards of clanking chains, atoning for past cynicism. Now, I guarantee you that every last word out of my mouth is sincerely felt and meant.
But I know that many can’t imagine how that feels, let alone that it is possible. The very idea makes them uncomfortable. I know that many simply decide that I can’t possibly mean everything I say. So they keep their distance. They say what they have to say and then move away as quickly as possible so as not to be infected by my smiles.
…but not exactly fans, either…
I know this, because that used to be me. I used to be a hater. Hated anything and everything that seemed too chirpy or happy or in-my-face positive.
Now, I know better. Now, I’ll take positivity and all that goes along with being a hug-and-smile kind of gal. Especially if the alternative is to be snickering, sneering and scurrying or some other kind of whining crankypants with no sugar! Now, I’ll take sugar any day. You?
*Pamela earned her Certified Professional Coach (CPC) credential from Fowler-Wainwright International and her BA in English Literature from Georgetown University. She has been writing and teaching professionally for over 20 years but continues to learn and improve her talents, gifts and skills with experience and training.
Helping others increase their confidence is Pamela’s passion because she learned the hard way how important confidence really is for success in life. She wants to spare you the hard, dark journey she took and set you on a bright, happy path as quickly as possible!
To learn more and schedule your own complimentary SPARK Session, contact Pamela today.
Cape Cod Mommies recently had the great opprtunity to visit Lindsey's Restaurant in Wareham. Emily and Amy were graciously given a tour of the facility by the owner and a sampling of their tasty meals!
We will be trying to feature local establishments in an on going series called: Eating Right While Eating Out!
Below both Emily and Amy have compiled their thoughts to share with our readers. Thank you to Cheri and to the staff at Lindsey's for a wonderful dining and foodie experience! ENJOY!
I was personally thrilled with the experience. A family operation, when you visit them, you also become a part of their family. The owner is warm and welcoming, as is the ENTIRE staff! Open for lunch and dinner, the staff's day begins early as they prepare everything themselves and from scratch (except the french fries). The owner, Cheri, is a firm believer in keeping all the extra additives out of the food as it isn't beneficial to adults or children. This is no small job in today's society to make everything in a restaurant from scratch-kudos to the staff for making the operation smooth and seamless.
The kitchen was filled with aroma's of home cooking. Watching the pastry chef and Chef Arthur bustle around preparing the day's delight's was truly an eye opening experience.
The restaurant itself is separated into multiple sections, which is great for sound distribution. The 50's Diner section is perfect for when you bring out your children because they can be occupied by watching a bustling kitchen plus it is louder in there so if your child is being unusually loud, then there is no reason to feel embarassed. There is pretty large bar with seating completely surrounding it, complete with comfy chairs, a fireplace, and tv's, perfect for date nights! As an added bonus, they even have changing tables in both the women's and men's room! Finally a restaurant that gets it! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Emily and I were able to sample a few of the local favorites and they definitely did not disappoint. We filled our bellies and then some. Because they use local produce, products and tay away from processed ingredients, we didn't feel overly full after.
I really enjoyed my experience at Lindsey's and highly recommend it to everyone! It is well worth the drive over the bridge to enjoy such a great meal. In fact next time we go for dinner, we will be packing the Tiny Toddler's pj's, so after he has had his fill of grilled chicken tenders and a Hoodsie we can drive back and make an easy transition to bed!
In my house, trips to Wareham are for the sole purpose of hitting Wareham Crossing or the big box hardware store on Cranberry Highway. After my son was born, timing these trips around naps and meals became quite the logistical challenge. What a nice surprise it was to recently discover Lindsey’s Restaurant. I had the opportunity to meet with the owner, Cheri Lindsey, and tour the kitchen. The décor has recently been updated, with pictures of the cranberry harvest decorating the walls and complimenting the new carpets, chairs and booths.
The majority of the menu offerings are scratch-made on the premises daily. As we toured the kitchen Chef Arthur was busy marinating the chicken tenders as several large pots bubbled away on the stove. We passed a large roasting oven stuffed full of pot roast, and cleared the way as the pastry chef, Joni, pulled a large tray of bread pudding out of another oven.
The menu is extensive making it difficult to decide what to order. For those of you not already familiar with their award-winning seafood bisque, you are missing out on a cup of deliciousness. The wide selection of menu items is impressive, since almost all of it is made fresh daily. For the health-conscious there are salad and grilled entrée options to choose from (some gluten free entrees too), but the real heart of this restaurant is comfort food. These are the kind of meals that remind me of traveling to my grandmother’s house for Saturday supper at 3 pm. The next time you find yourself in need of a family-friendly dining establishment and want something other than the numerous fast food chain establishments lining Cranberry Highway, consider dining at Lindsey’s Family Restaurant.
I had the luxury of touring the restaurant without my son in tow. However the following weekend we decided to stop in for a late lunch after a shopping trip. Dining out with my toddler is a rare occurrence, and trying to keep him strapped in a high chair after being strapped in the car and multiple shopping carts can be a recipe for major meltdown. Therefore we often sacrifice food quality for an establishment that will tolerate a toddler’s shouting protests, food messes and the otherwise embarrassing behavior that I am typically inclined to restrict to our kitchen table. The dining area in Lindsey’s is divided into multiple sections. Adults can choose to sit at tables in the bar area and families can choose from either the traditional booth and table section of the restaurant or the area facing the open kitchen, decorated to look like a 50’s diner with chrome accented booths and stools. Acoustically the numerous sections help to isolate the noise, not only from those made by restless toddlers, but from the other diners.
Tucked away in a cabinet at the entrance are a bunch of books that you can borrow to keep young children entertained while you wait for your food. This is a nice change from
the standard paper placemat and crayons that many chains pass out. The kids menu has quite a bit of options to choose from including kid favorites like hamburgers, grilled cheese and chicken tenders as well as turkey or pasta dinners. It was nice to order the chicken tenders knowing they were prepared that day and could be ordered grilled instead of fried.
Since my grandmother no longer cooks and lives over four hours away, Lindsey’s Restaurant is a good surrogate. After a busy afternoon of shopping with a toddler in tow, it is a treat to stop into Lindsey’s for a meal that not only reminds me of my grandmother, but doesn’t end with the expectation that I will be rolling up my sleeves to wash all the dishes.
I have been working in the field of lactation for more than 12 years. The question that I hear the most, year after year, is: “How do I know my breastfed baby is getting enough milk?”
· First, let’s start with the size of a newborn’s stomach. It’s TINY! Day one is about the size of a small marble, day three is a larger, “shooter” marble, and day
seven the newborn’s stomach measures about the same size as a ping pong ball.
Breastfed babies need to be fed, on average, every 2-3 hours in the newborn period. When I hear that a baby is “so easy, she sleeps all day!” that is a warning sign that baby may not be getting enough. A newborn who is hungry may quickly adapt by sleeping more to conserve energy and what looks like placidity may actually be hunger. So, I tell moms to feed the baby on demand (even if it means waking a sleeping infant), but not less than every 3 hours, day and night. If a baby has been struggling to gain weight, I advise feeding every two hours until weight gain steadies. This may seem like a lot, but remember that by day 7, the stomach is only as big as a ping-pong ball and breast milk is used and digested very quickly (about 20 mins). It may feel as if you are nursing all the time, but this initial period is so important in establishing breastfeeding and building the milk supply. If your baby is not meeting these“diaper goals”, consult a member of your health care team, as babies can quickly get into trouble with dehydration, especially in the newborn period.
Still not sure baby is getting enough? What comes in must come out. An easy way to see if your newborn is getting milk is to watch her wet and poopy diapers (better smelling with breast milk!). By day 3-4, babies should be stooling at least a couple of times a day and the product should resemble seedy mustard. Babies this age should also have at least 3-4 wet diapers. At the one week mark and for weeks beyond, you should see 6-8 wet diapers and 3-4 stools per day. It is not uncommon for breastfed babies to reduce their stooling frequency after the first month and, as long as it is still soft, it is not usually a problem.
What about the baby that is nursing 8-12 times a day but is losing or not gaining any weight? It is normal for babies to lose some weight in the newborn period, but pediatricians like to see a return to birth weight by the two-week mark. If baby has not regained, we first look at the latch. It is possible for a baby to be sucking frequently but not effectively. The baby’s mouth should be over the dark area surrounding the nipple (the areola), so that the sucking will reach the milk ducts, not just the nipple itself. If a baby is sucking only on the end of the nipple, the result will be like biting on a straw – a closing off of the milk flow. Sucking on the nipple is also likely to cause pain for the mom, so if you are experiencing pain and/or your baby is not gaining well, evaluate your latch, ideally with the help of a lactation consultant, La Leche leader, or WIC peer counselor. Many visiting nurses are also trained in breastfeeding support and I urge mothers to take advantage of the free VNA postpartum visit that is usually offered through the hospital.
Breastfeeding is a natural process, but doesn’t always come naturally. Remember, taking the time to fix small problems at the beginning can help ensure a successful breastfeeding experience for both you and your baby.
Still have questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out my blog at www.hathawaylactation.blogspot.com
Who can imagine the family meeting at the dinner table seven nights a week, everyone wound down from school or work and eager to enjoy a well balanced meal and good conversation?
We all know there seems to be a mountain of obstacles in front of the “family dinner.” Most families in America are challenged with schedules, energy and creativity to put together the meal, different likes and a greater likelihood that children will protest and a parent will acquiesce to the child’s wishes for a different meal. Many families are challenged by a food budget. There are often issues with siblings pestering each other (and their parents) and even many parents who are struggling with marital issues. Single parents, or families where a spouse often misses the meal because of working overtime face challenges of feeling overwhelmed and even lonely having to provide for the meal AND the atmosphere.
Consider these reasons as motivators for taking your family dinners to the next level!
1. Family dinners provide a chance for children to learn about social interaction, manners and vocabulary.
2. Family dinners are tied to a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using drugs, as well as a lower rate of depression in youth.
3. Children who experience family dinners regularly get better grades. AND, children who get better grades are less likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol.
4. Eating disorders are less frequent in families where the family meal is characterized by a good atmosphere.
5. Children who eat family meals eat healthier meals and are less likely to be overweight.
6. Siblings will get along better and love each other more.
7. At the dinner table, children are more likely to spontaneously discuss interactions and topics that they experienced in school, whereas, when parents ask their child after school, “how was school?” they tend to just say, “Fine.”
Family Dinner Night Tips
Look at your schedule and set a realistic goal for how many or which nights will be special FDNs. Try to have at least 2 set nights that are really etched in stone. In our house, Sunday and Wednesday are the only choices for everyone to be present and for there not to be a rush.
The Yum Factor
Try to plan meals on those nights that everyone likes, or at least everyone likes 80% of the meal. No separate meals. Dessert too! Children like food better when they have had a hand in preparing. Involve them in some way if possible. It’s a good idea to plan ahead so that the primary prepper doesn’t have to become all stressed out about what to prepare.
The Fun Factor
Good digestion happens with good feelings. Save the serious talk with “Junior” about his behavior for another time. Try your best to set the difficulties to the side during the meal. Parents set the tone for the children. Leave your worries and your electronic devices aside, and definitely, no TV. Think, “good conversation, pleasant topics, engage everyone at some point and in some way.”
Music - Each family and even each family member may have their own musical interest. If you are going to listen, try to make it something that everyone enjoys, even if it’s not their favorite, and soft enough so conversation isn’t strained.
Table – consider a table cloth on FDN, or maybe different place mats, engage the children in helping with the set up. My daughter likes to make an art project out of it! She makes name cards and likes to bring out the special glasses. Sometimes she writes out the menu on special paper. Special straws for drinks can be fun and even…dare I say, a small soda with a cherry at the bottom. Our rule is that a drink of milk must precede or follow the small soda, and no seconds on the soda, unless of course it’s a holiday, then, maybe.
Candles – Candles get their own spot here! They are really a must. Humans, generally speaking, are mesmerized by a flame. There is much to say about it, but not here. Did you know…children who are exposed to fire in a healthy manner with their families, like campfires, candles at the table, fire pits in the back yard, etc. are less likely to do something dangerous or in secret with fire. Of course, always be safe and teach children how to be safe with and around fire.
Remember, no one is rushing on FDN. Don’t consider the food something to be inhaled and then run off to the next activity! Linger a bit around the table after it is cleared. Engage the children in what you know they like to talk about. Consider using the time to talk about something you might enjoy doing together later in the week. After the meal is a good time to get a little goofy even. Remember, the parents set the tone for the family. Parents know how much winding-up is too much for their children.
And for sure, if you did not have a positive experience with FDN as a child, take charge of it now. Soon, you will find that the family looks forward to FDN! Young children will learn to sit properly at the table for a longer
period, because of what is being modeled for them and because the time is enjoyable. They will learn to eat
a wider variety of foods, because they are watching others try new things. They will learn how to behave with good manners. Reap the benefits of the good, old-time family meal!
The family is the child’s laboratory. Teach them well and they will take their lessons to the classroom and the playground, and they will help define our culture as they develop into older children and young adults.
All Aboard! The Polar Express comes to life this holiday season as the Cape Cod Central Railway rolls out of the station bound for the "North Pole!" Come early and climb aboard with your family to cozy-up and enjoy our festively-decorated vintage train cars. Dancing chefs deliver hot chocolate and a cookie to each guest to savor while music from the Polar Express movie plays en route to the North Pole. Make sure to have your tickets handy, because your conductor will be by shortly to punch each child's ticket. Before arriving at the North Pole, the iconic book, The Polar Express is read as your Chef turns the pages to share the beautiful illustrations in the original book. With the station far away, The Polar Express magically arrives at the outskirts of Santa's North Pole village, where Santa Claus himself and his elves joyously welcome the train! As you stay comfortably settled and warm in your seat, Santa and his helper elf board the train! During the return trip, Santa will greet each child with his signature holiday spirit and the first gift of Christmas: a bell cut from his sleigh. It is said that only children and those who still believe can actually hear the bell ring. Join in the singing as your Chef or Conductor lead Christmas caroling on the 30-minute return trip. For those wanting the magic to last or to do a little Christmas shopping, visit our gift shop in the station for special Polar Express gifts and merchandise. Oh, one last thing, children are encouraged to wear their PJ's; adults who still believe have been known to wear them, too! So, are you coming? All Aboard!
All Aboard the Polar Express is coming to the
Cape Cod Central Railway, visit http://www.capetrain.com/or call 888-797-7245 to climb aboard.
I was given an amazing opportunity recently to use the Daily Whisper Inspirational Card Decks created by Barbara Lemke! She has various type of card decks to purchase however I was drawn to both the Kids and the Women decks.
I was looking forward to seeing how my toddler would respond to these cards and was curious as to the conversations that would ensue. I was also personally looking forward to checking out the Woman deck!
I was beyond thrilled that Barbara also sent me the Women's Whisper Deck. I am going through a more difficult period in my life right now (we all have those times). I find it hard to make time for myself and taking care of my mental health.
The women's deck was also filled with affirmations and pictures of brightly colored flowers, which I found to be calming.
All of the cards spoke to me, but I found a few that seemed to apply more specifially to me in my situation. After having a baby, I struggled with my body image (still do at times) just like the majority of other moms. It's hard to feel beautiful and sexy when you haven't washed your hair, have spit up all over you and are in your sweats suffering from sleep deprivation as evidenced by those scary dark circles under the eyes. I was also used to having so much contol and structure over my life that I found it hard to adjust to the things that would randomly come up as they do when you have children. I wasn't going to have that spotless house where everythin was super organized and pretty. I also had huge guilt for going back to work and had to come to terms with knowing that it was necessary for our family and that it would benefit all of us. I had to release my need for needing control, to let it be, and just know that things will unfold as they are meant to. These cards are a great way to give yourself a positive affirmation to focus on each day. With the craziness of everyday life, we often forget to remind ourselves of these things. As moms we are often the last people we take care of and do so only if there is extra time in the day (I know extra time? Who has that?) But these cards are great because they are small and portable and fit right into my purse. I can pull one out in the morning and set a positive tone for my day!
Below are some of my favorites! If you haven't seen Barbara's cards yet, I HIGHLY recommend you do. Whether they are for the kids or for YOU, they are great additions to the day. If you have to pick one, I would pick the Women's deck because so few of us actually take the time to do our own mental helah self care and the Women's deck really makes it easy for us to do that!
Find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BSLCreations or on the web: www.bslcreations.com
About Barbara Lemke and Daily Whisper Inspirational Card Decks
Barbara Lemke, owner of BSL Creations and Daily Whisper Inspirational Card Decks, began her journey of educating and inspiring people in 1991 when she took a series of personal development courses that taught her to take charge of her life. A “light-bulb” moment of realization occurred, and Barbara found that by taking responsibility for her actions, both good and bad, she could effectively change her outlook, and ultimately her position in life, by focusing on her strengths and keeping a positive outlook.
In the mid-1990s, after completing her course-work, Barbara worked for “The People’s Network,” an educational television network dedicated to providing informational, and inspirational, programming. After four years, Barbara decided to venture out on her own and bring her message to people in a new way – through the advent of BSL Creations, and Daily Whisper Inspirational Card Decks.
Beginning her focus with women, Barbara wrote and designed inspirational messages and artwork that focuses on using the strengths we all possess to successfully tackle and overcome obstacles faced in daily
life. After seeing the immediate impact her messages had on the women in her life, and receiving positive feedback from customers, Barbara decided to focus on the needs of children and teens as well. Daily Whisper Inspirational Card Decks are now available for women, for children, and for teens – each set focusing on the unique challenges faced at these different life stages.
Today, Barbara’s cards can be purchased at craft fairs and online at her Etsy shop (www.bslcreations.com),
and are now available for retail sales.
It is of great interest to me, that a female tennis champion like Maria Sharapova feels free to do whatever it takes on a court to achieve her goal, including making this earthy, primitive sound coined "grunting" in front of a global audience, and when encourage a woman to make sound on her birthing bed in the privacy of her family, more often than not, there is resistance.
Time and again, I witness women that allow themselves the
freedom to express birth vocally will have shorter, easier more satisfying experiences. One of my teachers, internationally recognized Bonnie Bridge Cohen of BodyMind Centering elaborates. She believes that sounding supports the vitality and function of a tissue through toning. Toning vibrates tissue and when we direct our attention to the area of sensation, the tissue becomes more alive. In the case of labor, sounding can allow a woman to move easier through a contraction because it will gently awaken her to her capacity to move at a vibrational level.
Consider that our hesitation to sound is one of self esteem. Women like Maria Sharapova our coached intensely, daily, monumentally to believe in themselves. Such coaching may seem out of reach for many women who are struggling with the day to day demands of caring for their young children, careers, and running a household. However, consider without a coach, realizing one's full potential is extremely difficult, maybe even impossible.
You have available to you a committed, passionate experienced teacher who wants nothing more than for you to realize how gifted and strong you really are. In the circle, we practice making sound which not
only helps us move through resistance, but it also supports the goal of yoga; to remember our vibrational origins. So when you allow yourself the freedom to sound on your birthing bed, consider that you chime in tune with all of creation. Then you'll have the support of an audience that far exceeds Wimbleton's!
*reprinted with full permission from http://www.birthblessingsyoga.blogspot.com/
By Sung Bin
This month I thought it would be a good opportunity to focus on gratitude with Thanksgiving approaching. I didn't want it to be all about the feast but about the appreciation for those around us we cherish. We crafted this sort of family tree together out of craft felt. Though my toddler helped by choosing the colors I did do most of the project while she was napping since there is some basic sewing needed. You can see the finished tree has some simple sewn leaves of different shapes and then we hung them on some twigs and branches from our yard. I made a sort of little pocket in each leaf to slip in pieces of paper with the names of each family member per leaf and an extra one for a mystery non-family member. Every day we pick a leaf and read the name off the paper inside. We would do something nice for this person like write a thank you note, draw a picture, send a postcard or call them to say thank you. Something simple but to allow a small act to show how thankful we were to have this person in our lives. Since we don't have a huge immediate family it wasn't quite as daunting to sew enough leaves but I imagine you can probably put multiple name slips on each leaf to save time. Along with the leaves I made two small banners 'give thanks' but you can really put whatever you want. I hope to continue this every year and that it might be a good tool for us to take some time to be appreciative.
Toddlers and Kids can be picky eaters and it can be tough to get good nutrition into them. My Tiny
Toddler loves smoothies though so we get creative sometimes! Here is our try with a Banana Spinach Smoothie with some extra goodies! Now if only someone would sell those smoothie packs as refillable so I can just make my own all the time!
~ 1-2 ripe bananas (or ones that you have frozen)
~ a handful of spinach leaves
~ about 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (frozen berries make it cold and icy without having to add ice)
~ any other fruit you if you want to add, fresh or frozen
~ half of a small yogurt, or more if you like
~ a dash of liquid, either milk (dairy or non-dairy) or any kind of juice
Tip: Blueberries, steamed baby carrots, Breyer’s vanilla ice cream, and almonds are all other options to include or substitute in. While red berries may seem like a good idea-and might taste good-they will turn the color a very unappetizing shade of brown)
Once “Family Movie Night” is established in your home, the whole family will look forward to this special time! The whole package deal will be so cherished that even on a night when the movie turns out to not be as good as hoped for, or one child has to give in to another child’s choice, these things won’t even matter that much.
ALL family movies should be filtered or pre-reviewed by parents, no matter who recommends it.
Please follow the link at the bottom for tools that are good for filtering and Tracy Lamperti’s “Favorite Family Movie List.”
Schedule the Date
You might want to have a “family night” and rotate movie night, game night, special dinner night…don’t worry so much about frequency. Families can have lots of spontaneous moments of fun, but in establishing traditions, planning is very important, especially for busy families and to help children learn the advantages of thinking ahead.
Make sure you have the movie on hand, that you have looked at reviews, previewed the movie if you feel necessary and have a “plan b” in case you need to abandon the first choice.
Make it Fun
Parents are very busy these days! Try not to convey the message that “Family Movie Night” is a chore.
Establishing FMN can be a bit of work but once your family has all of the rituals down, it will go smoothly.
- Consider ordering or making pizza or something else your family really likes and is easy for you to prepare.
- Bring out the comfy pillows and maybe blankets or sleeping bags.
- Set the lighting for the right mood.
- Boundaries are helpful. Once the movie starts we all settle down and watch. Schedule a potty break or snack/drink refill break. Too many disruptions reduce the fun factor.
Have Good Snacks
Traditional movie theater snacks can be a fun treat for FMN. Cups with covers help to avoid accidents that disrupt the movie and upset everyone. Be careful about sugar so close to bed.
Set a Theme
Take turns deciding who picks the movie or if there will be a special theme, such as holiday or comedy. Some family members are really creative and plan snacks around a theme or
even make crafty movie tickets or funny hats!
Especially for younger children, showering and getting pjs on ahead of time can help to avoid issues like children being too tired to do those things after the movie. It is best to keep it to just washing hands and brushing teeth after the movie. Try not to get started too late.
Turn off your ringer. Shut down your social media. Children are more perceptive than we sometimes think.
They will know if you are not fully present. The kids should put their devices away as well.
A good policy is that on family movie night, the whole family watches the movie. It is just understood that in good faith, a movie will be chosen where there is a reasonable expectation that everyone will get something out of, even if they have to stretch themselves. It is good to bear with one another and participate with one another as a family, because we are a family. The same concept applies for family meals. We work together and give and take when it is or isn’t our favorite. Children feel good about participating even if the movie (or meal) wasn’t their choice. Children learn in families, about taking turns, treating each other nicely and working together. Sometimes they realize they have actually enjoyed the movie, when they assumed they would hate it. But even if not, we are a family and we support each other and enjoy life with each other, even when we aren’t getting our own way. Increase the fun factor of family movie night so that even when it isn’t Johnny’s night to choose, he will want to come because of the other factors.
Uh-oh, that movie wasn’t a good choice.
Yes, we sometimes have regrets after a movie. At times when you feel that you have exposed your child to a theme or experience that was not appropriate and you did not have the wisdom at the time to turn it off, be sure and talk about it afterwards. It is important to tell our children when we have erred in our judgment and exposed them to something that we then regret. There are also times when something may seem harmless at the time and then you see your child playing out a theme that makes you uneasy and you know exactly where they picked it up. Maybe your child is strutting around like a sassy character on a Barbie movie, or maybe having bad dreams. Use this opportunity to connect with your child, guide them and build trust with them. You might think your new sassy Barbie daughter needs scolding, but it actually might be most appropriate, especially if this is a bit out of character or more extreme than usual for your daughter, to have a little motherly sit-down and point some things out. “I notice you’ve had a bit of an unfriendly attitude lately, like when you……………. yesterday. I’m thinking that this is kind of like the attitude of …………on the Barbie movie that you have been watching.” Continue the conversation and try to engage your child in sharing some insight that they might have, now that you have pointed it out. Suggest, “Let’s take a break from Barbie for about a week and see if the friendly you comes right back. “ It is the same thing with nightmares or other behaviors. “I’m noticing that these bad dreams started after you watched that lava scene on Star
Wars. We may have made a mistake watching that scene. Let’s not watch it again for awhile and I think you will start sleeping better pretty quickly.”
“It was fine.”
All too often, I hear parents say,“Yes, they (a 4 year old) watched Indiana Jones. They were fine. It didn’t seem to bother them at all.” Typically, children stare at the the screen. They listen and they watch. An occasional child will hide behind a chair until a scene is over, or cover their eyes or ask a parent to turn it off. But the MOST common occurrence is for children to sit and stare. Some parents will interpret this as everything being fine. It’s better not to bank on that. We have to guide and direct our children and that includes helping to be their filters in the world. There is so much that we don’t have control over, AND there is SO much that we do have control over.
“I’m preparing them for the real world.”
I have also heard many parents say that they have let their children watch movies with profanity or other bad behavior and rationalize it by saying, “but we talked about it and they know we don’t allow that kind of behavior.” Some parents rationalize by saying it was a “good” thing because it provided an opportunity to talk about that kind of behavior and why it is not acceptable. This is also a weak argument that is only possibly strengthened by the type of behavior mentioned vs. the developmental stage of the child and maturity level. Foul language or surly themes in a movie are simply unnecessary, add nothing to the movie and should be filtered out.
“Favorite Family Movie List”
I would love to hear about what your family does to make movie night special!
Post your stories on my fb:
email me email@example.com or send me a note on my “contact” page at www.tracylamperti.com
Cape Cod Mommies is excited to add once again to our Board of Advisors! Join us in Welcoming:
Gabrielle Hathaway, M.S., IBCLC!
Gabrielle is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and holds a Master's degree in Health Communication and a B.S. in Maternal/Child Health. been a La Leche League Leader for 12 years and an IBCLC since 2008.Gabrielle works part-time for the Outer Cape WIC program, counseling mothers and teaching classes in both breastfeeding and parenting. She has a love for children and a desire to support and empower mothers. Gabrielle and her family live in North Eastham.
We look forward to her blogs and advice! You can contact Gabrielle at:
Gabrielle Hathaway, M.S., IBCLC
P.O. Box 202,North Eastham, Ma 02651
Pamela uses her past experiences and hard-won successes to guide people from the darkness of difficult and controlling relationships to the lightness of feeling strong, confident and sexy. She does this by helping them take on and achieve regular challenges with success, learn to treat themselves with kindness and respect, set and meet high expectations for themselves and finally, tap their innate charisma and get their sizzle on!
Pamela earned her Certified Professional Coach (CPC) credential from Fowler-Wainwright International and her BA in English Literature from Georgetown University. She has been writing and teaching professionally for over 20 years but continues to learn and improve her talents, gifts and skills with experience and training. Her unique background includes PR and marketing for the US Army and a natural wood finishes manufacturer (both in Germany), translations from German to English for a global retailer, choreography and dance instruction for theater, plus English language training for foreign executives. Pamela has written travel articles, a regular column on cultural differences, book reviews, guest blog posts, her own weekly blog and eZine and she speaks on radio and TV shows.
Her most recent exciting news includes her inclusion as a featured coach on the Expert Panels of two major websites: Go Big! Coach Kristen Howe’s www.LawofAttractionKey.com and savvy businesswoman Kerry Swetmon’s www.LifeBusinessGrowth.com. In addition, Pamela has been added to the Speakers Bureau of B.I.G. Women’s Network in Massachusetts.
Helping others increase their confidence levels has become Pamela’s passion because she learned the hard way how important confidence really is for success in love and relationships, parenting, career and business, friendships and life in general. She wants to spare others the hard, dark journey she took and set them on a bright, happy path as quickly as possible!
To learn more and schedule your own complimentary SPARK Session, contact Pamela today.
Join me in welcoming the newest addition to our Cape Cod Mommies Advisor Team: Maurene Merrit, RN! We look forward to her blogs and expertise!!!
Maurene Merritt, RN is a holistic practitioner, teacher, and writer. She has an extensive background in holistic childbirth education including developing and teaching the first partnered yoga childbirth education program in a major Boston Medical center. Presently she is an employee of Falmouth Hospital where she serves as a maternity nurse and is active with the integrative medicine department. She also has a private practice where she calls herself CapeYogaGirl.
Visit her website: www.birthblessingsyoga.com or www.birthblessingsyoga.blogspot.com
7 yoga practices to help us move beyond...
We get stuck. On our mats, it is called "inflexible", on our birthing beds, "failure to progress", and on paper, a "writer's block". And whether it's our bodies not opening or our paint brush or words not flowing, our desires can lead to unimaginable frustration. In such moments, we are tempted to force the outcome, or in the case of our creative expression where sheer force would only hinder progression, we either give up after reaching a multitude of dead ends or worse yet fail to begin the exploration.
However, when we look to our ancient, sister yoginis who journeyed the long, narrow road to enlightenment, consider that it would be beneficial for us to breathe, listen, and wait. More often than not, when we begin something new, change is slow, even barely perceptible. It is when we persist with confidence, at some point, soon after we have allowed ourselves to move beyond our feelings of hopeless and despair, it happens. What is a ordinary perception of our selves wanes and we become privy to our granduer. In such precious, unbound moments, our bodies fold into our creation and we give birth to our babies, books, and elation!
We look back on the fruits of our labor and like our lovely Heather Benway of the circle declared of her
birth story, want to hear the words over and over again. We feel awe, how could something so amazing, so brilliant, so original come out of us! Consider that our effort in waiting is well worth our creation.
Below are 7 yoga practices to help us move beyond.
1. Close the door. Surrender requires feeling safe.
2. Breathe. Keep your breathe fluid and even. There is a synergistic relationship between the mind and the breathe. When the breathe is balanced, your mind will follow.
3. Focus. Give your attention to something that you love that is still like a plant, coat, or perfume bottle.
4. Listen. You know more than what you think you know.
5. Change. Do something different if you don't feel movement frequently.
6. Feel. Allow your desire to drive your effort.
7. Persevere. Never give up, keep the course until the very end.
*reprinted with full permission from http://www.birthblessingsyoga.blogspot.com/
Children tell me,“We could…go for a family walk, have a family movie night, a family game night would be fun, a ‘special’ dinner night……..doing one of these things once a week would help me. It would help our family.” I invite Mom in, or Mom and Dad, who sincerely want their child to feel better and be happier, and they nod a tentative nod that tells me they are thinking something like, “How can I add one more thing?”
Too often, the child returns to therapy the next week, the family having not done the family activity. Many children are so protective of their parents, and understand how busy their parents are, so they are readily prepared to defend all of the reasons that it was not done. Many children feel that they are either the reason for a problem, or are trying desperately NOT to become the reason for the problem. There are many family scenarios, this just being one.
Is your family having a hard time making a commitment to at least one quality family time per week?
1. With both parents working in many families, or one parent working overtime, it is often hard to find the time.
2. Are you stressed about your job or money, you may be tired, on edge, just need some time to yourself?
3. Is the marriage stressed? Are you trying to avoid family time, because you don’t want to end up in a fight with your wife (husband), especially in front of the children?
4. Siblings who have already decided that their friends are where it’s at, not their siblings.
What are the Benefits of Spending Time Together as a Family?
1. Stronger Family Bonds
2. Greater Academic Success
3. Fewer Behavioral Problems
4. Less Likely to Engage in Violence
5. Lower Risk for Substance Abuse
6. Reduced Risky Sexual Behavior
7. Greater Intimacy Among Parents
8. Siblings Fight Less (get along more!)
9. Family Members Come to Trust Each Other More and Can Count on Each Other More
10. Children Open Up More With Parents and Share More About Their Experiences Outside of the Home.
What Kinds of Activities Constitute Quality Family Time?
1. Family game night
2. Family movie night
3. Easter Egg decorating
4. Special Family dinner night
5. Walk on the beach
6. Game of catch
7. Pumpkin decorating
8. Raking leaves together, and other “chores”
9. Gingerbread house kits
Check out this site for a lot of“frugal” ideas for family time! http://www.frugalcapecod.com/
What are the Guidelines for Quality Family Time?
1. No Skipping - “Family” time means no one skips out. Sure, you can have Mother-daughter (or son) time, or Father- Daughter (or son) time, but family time is everyone. It is in families that children learn about taking turns, treating each other nicely and working together. Sometimes they realize they have actually enjoyed the time together, when they assumed they would not. But even if not, family is family and family supports each other, even when someone isn’t getting their own way.
2. Pre-planning - We want our children to plan well enough that their homework gets done on time, or their chores get done before they are saying goodnight and we are asking, “Did you do your chores?” This is a learned habit and we have to teach them. Talk with everyone early in the week, maybe at dinner about what they would like to do. Teach them how to plan and based on age, work together to make it happen. For example, if it is a Saturday night movie, don’t wait until Saturday morning to try and get a consensus and then assume that you will agree AND you will be able to obtain the movie.
3. Unclutter – Children and parents, make sure your obligations are met so that you won’t be distracted or tempted to say, “Oh, the children look happy and settled with the movie. I’m going to slip away and do some work around the house, or check my social networks”. Be fully present.
4. Capture Memories – Take a picture, even if it is the family lounging in their pjs watching a movie. Talk about the best parts of the time together and what each person might change next time or an idea that was sparked for next time.
5. End Well! – When saying goodnight, tell your children, even if every aspect of the family time didn’t go as well as you hoped, that you are so grateful that you were able to spend the time with them, that you are glad to have him for a son (or her for a daughter). Point out something that they did or said that you took note of. If they struggled with a negative attitude, point something out about how you want to help them work on not always being first, for example, or how you were pleased when they started getting along. Share something similar you might have struggled with as a child. Connect, connect, connect. After all, (s)he will be borrowing your car not long from now :), if they aren’t already.
During the month of November Tracy will provide the “recipe for success” with family game night, dinner night, dessert night (yummy!) and other great ways to bring your family closer together for happier more confident children, a more personal relationship between parents and tips for single parents as well.
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