Pushed to the Brink of Tears
By: Maurene Merritt, RN
How do you handle intense frustration? Do you give up at the first sign of difficulty, or lean more towards the opposite end of remaining steadfast to the very end? Or maybe you tow the middle ground in fall somewhere in between?
I recall in my formative years, this feeling was so uncomfortable for me that I would give up at the first sign of difficulty. Often it was with math problems or writing, endeavors that require so much fortitude and tenacity to remain in times of not knowing, and to push past giving up. It wasn't until childbirth that I was able to change this very disheartening, debilitating pattern.
I dilated like a model for an OB or midwifery textbook to 9 centimeters. Then, gradually my contractions slowed to waves that served children on the seashore and not the tidal wave ones that I needed to
open up my body!
I remained there, walking, showering, talking, breathing for 6 hours to no avail. Finally, my doula encouraged me to get back into a position that I found extremely painful hours prior. It worked, and I gave birth to my daughter 20 minutes later.
Over time, I found myself returning to the physics problems and more recently creative writing, actually enjoying the tug-of-war it takes to get to
resolution. It's been such a huge shift for me, it makes me feel sometimes like a puppet on new, golden threads that moves me down camouflaged pathways that I wouldn't have dreamed of going down before giving birth. Often they hold the most pleasant surprises - one in particular, as big as my birth!
When I'm pushed to tears for the words to flow, I remember the words of one of my teachers, Bonnie Bridge Cohen of BodyMindCentering. She says that when there's a block and you remove the block, that there is this huge release of energy. I love this teaching, and like to imagine my frustration a dam that holds back water, and that when I release the dam, there is a flood of movement. In my mind, I can hear the roar and feel the spray of joy and satisfaction that comes with the release.
Consider the following;
*When you give birth to your baby, you very well may experience frustration since "failure to progess", often a benign category is, according to the World Heath Organization, the number one reason for a 30% ceserean section rate in this country.
*Birth, like any art demands a commitment to the process. You may practice the discipline required of continously coming back to something by establishing a daily, regular meditation practice.
*Childbirth is a highly charged experience that touches the very
heart of a woman. It's a golden opportunity to revisit those patterns
established at a time when belief and hope reigned high and rekindle their power.
If you want natural childbirth, and you get stuck, try the following;
1. Make sure you have the privacy and quiet required for the intense focus required of any serious artist.
In other words, keep your door closed and noise and family and staff to a minimum.
2. Whatever you are doing, if you have been doing it for a time, do something different. Remember, your perception of time is very different then those around you. Take your cues from those you trust.
3. Keep your flame of intention high, your very deepest desire.
4. Let go of outcomes and stay present in the moment with your breath. It's such a dichotomy, but birth requires the perfect balance of yielding while moving towards a definitive goal.
5. Change happens in a moment. Never give up, until the very "sweet" end.
Together, forever and our hearts,
*reprinted with full permission from http://www.birthblessingsyoga.blogspot.com/
By: Gary M. DellaPosta, CPA
Is your child a student with a summer job? Here's what you should know about the income your child earns over the summer.
A summer work schedule is sometimes a patchwork of odd jobs - which makes for confusion come tax time. Contact us or your CPA if you have any questions at all about income your child earned this summer season.
*reprinted with full permission from http://www.dellapostacpa.com/
Gary DellaPosta is a CPA and founder of the firm: Gary M DellaPosta, CPA's & Business Advisors. A graduate of Bryant
With six weeks to fill between the time our family left our old
home and the date we can move into our new home, we are trying to manage the crazy and increase the fun. After spending a few weeks at my in-laws (who very kindly have taken us in for the summer), I was feeling like our relationship with our little ones was suffering. Every day I was telling them “No don’t touch
this!” “No running in the house!” “no, no, no”, it just felt like instead of parenting I was becoming an enforcer and it was horrible – for all of us. So a decision was made. Time to stop enforcing and time to start adventuring!
For our first adventure we left the house and moved into the woods – Nickerson State Park to be exact. We
were lucky to be camping with our wonderful friends, who are experienced campers, and make setup easy and camp very comfortable. As soon as our tent was set up – the kids ran into the woods. They were soon catching frogs, finding wild blueberries, and building fairy houses. We all were starting to relax and the “no, no, no” refrain was quickly replaced with “yes!” One night turned into two and we couldn’t leave, we added on days to our stay. In fact, I’m still at camp at the moment!
My eldest especially is flourishing in the woods. I feel like there’s a certain breed of kid who was meant to survive in the wilderness. Her reflexes are highly tuned and her sensory perception is always on high. In a
domesticated environment this can prove challenging, but out in the woods she is in her element. Catching creatures, climbing trees, testing her strength and endurance, it’s a joy to watch!
The little one is less certain but she is still having fun putting on “fairy dance shows” with her friend and singing us songs about nature. I am revisiting all of my camp past-times and passing them along. My
daughter is finger knitting a scarf for her stuffed rabbit at the moment.
Spending all day together with all the time in the world to fill was at first a bit daunting but quickly became an amazing relationship recharger. My kids have been craving time with their parents while we have been in the middle of all the moving chaos and it seemed like it was so hard to make happen with everything that needed to be done. Suddenly they have unending access to us and it has made them relax and stop the frantic (though justified) attention seeking. Instead, we spend the day swimming, exploring, reading, building, S’more-ing, and enjoying one another’s company.
That’s not to say there haven’t been challenges! My kids can not
fall asleep when there’s any light in the sky. My friends’ children settled down beautifully at bedtime and quickly fell asleep exhausted from the days activities. My exhausted children screamed bloody murder and fought me tooth and nail to the point I almost drove us all home, as I was convinced the police
would show up at any minute to see who was torturing children in Nickerson.
After finally collapsing into their sleeping bags well after 9:00pm, I knew we needed a different plan. The following nights, while our friends’ kiddos went to sleep, my husband and I took the girls for very long walks around the campground. By the time we arrived back at the camp, it was dark enough and they were tired enough to settle in and go to sleep. As a bonus, we’ve been having some very sweet, end of day conversations during that time. Questions that have been brewing during the day are asked and discussed, hands are held and the day ends on a much sweeter note.
So now we are in a nice routine and we have only one night left. I am not ready to return to civilization. I am not ready to return to the “no” routine. I am determined to find ways to say “yes” more and let my wild child spend more time in the woods. I am actually considering buying a pop-up camper and spending weeks in the woods next summer. Am I crazy? Sure, that’s already been determined. But I think this time I’m on to something.
Has anyone else spent extended time camping with kids? What do you think, should I get a camper? Where do you like to camp? What are your favorite camping tips? Talk to me people, I need to convince some “non-crazy” family members that this is a good idea!
We have another adventure coming up soon, we are heading to Story Land in New Hampshire next week and staying at the Mountain View Resort in North Conway. Not quite camping, but another fun escape from reality! If you have tips about Story Land, Mountain View Resort, or North Conway, I’ll take those too!
By: Sung Bin
This summer we had the chance to visit the Fairy Houses of Beebee Woods Exhibit at Historic Highfield Hall in Falmouth and it was one of my top ten events of this year. There were so many artists with their own take on fairy dwellings and my daughter and company were completely entranced. Filled with many great details, the tooth fairy house with the mirrored wall, the beach house with tiny Tibetan flags, the bird on top of a woodland ladder, these were all such a treat to explore. Not too long ago my little one and I made our own indoor fairy garden with tiny benches and evening lighting. We would pretend to see fairies in our
local miniature garden. If you haven't had a chance to see the exhibit, here is a visual of what you missed (http://weefolkstudio.com/category/fairy-houses/).
It is sadly no longer at the hall but Sally Maynor, artist and curator of the Fairy Houses exhibit will also have felted work from her children's book showing from September 4th also at Historic Highfield Hall. I would highly recommend it as her felted creations are imaginative and beautiful to see.
By: Heidi Ingram
Naturalist Intelligence is the ability to discriminate among living things (e.g. as a botanist, biologist, veterinarian, or forest ranger) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world) e.g. as a meteorologist, geologist, or archaeologist). The adeptness to recognize and classify cultural artifacts such as cars or sneakers may also depend upon the naturalist intelligence.
A child's interest in seeing, smelling, and touching a flower, reacting to the sound of a bird, or playing with the family pet demonstrates his ability to recognize important distinctions in the natural world. The learning environment should offer opportunities for exploring outdoors. Also you should bring the outdoors inside by providing field trips, books, visuals, objects and materials relating to the natural world. Children who show naturalist abilities learn through observing nature, being sensitive to all features of the natural world, and enjoying books, visuals, and objects related to the world around them.
Naturalist intelligence is the ability to discriminate among living things (plants and animals) as well as other features of the natural world such as clouds and rock formations. In the past this ability had great survival value (Checkley, 1997). It involves a kind of pattern recognition that is valued in certain sciences. Today this ability may enable individuals to discriminate among makes and models of cars or even sneakers.
Young children with naturalist intelligence:
~ are interested in pets and concerned about their care.
~ are curious about nature and look for and collect plants, bugs, rocks, or other natural objects.
~ are interested in identifying plants and gardening.
~enjoy the outdoors and activities such as hiking, camping and fishing.
~ are curious about the human body and the way it works.
~ may enjoy cooking.
~ are interested in electricity and magnets and the way things work.
by: Linda Bartosik
You say yes, your child says no. You say no, your child says yes. There's a lot of foot stamping and arm folding. Maybe a stomp down the hallway and a door slam.
Your child is quietly eating a sandwich at the counter. A sibling enters the room. Your child flings something (verbal or otherwise) in hopes of getting a reaction. You're wondering why this child is always like this. Pushing boundaries. Seeking attention (mostly the negative kind).
Hey mom, all this is perfectly normal. Your child is trying to gain control of his or her world by provoking you and other family members so they can practice negotiating the situations. They are learning to make decisions. They are learning how their choices play out and affect others, and in turn affect them. They need a safe arena to practice these skills. That safe arena would be the home and school environment.
Your children need a safe place in which to try things and fail or succeed. In over 35 years in the classroom I have found this the case is some way, shape, or form with every child. Some were more active and vocal than others, but in essence it was all toward the same goal - to practice taking on and balancing the challenges life presents.
For my last 23 years, I taught kindergarten. I reassured parents I would always be there for their child, but I would not jump in and do everything for them each time they struggled. At lunch I would require every child to try opening their own milk. I'd let them struggle a bit and usually they'd get it without my help. There's nothing like that "I did it!" smile when they saw me watching them. If they struggled too long, I'd walk over and pull the cardboard a bit and encourage them to try again, knowing they'd be successful. That bit of
control that I didn't steal by doing it for them was another brick put in place on their confidence wall.
Once a child feels that control over little things in their world, the testing of our patience usually subsides for a bit, but don't relax - in a few weeks they'll be back at it again. They experience a growth spurt and want more independence and control. Do you ever wonder "what got into my child lately"? Your child is growing and they need to make more choices and do more things for themselves so they get a feeling that they are heard, valued, and can control their world - kid power.
The next time you say no and they say yes, don't argue or keep repeating yourself. Stand your ground. Let them stomp around. They'll figure out on their own it isn't going to work. Then, when they are quiet, let them know your willing to listen to their "side", even though you're not changing your mind. By doing more listening and less arguing, you are not only setting the example for dealing with conflict, but you will learn surprising things about the way your child views the world.
One of my favorite things about teaching was talking to parents about their children. If you would like to talk about your child with a teacher, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I would love to hear from
Personal Blog: Another Day Goes By
Pest Management on Cape Cod
Post written by Pure Pest Management of Chatham.
When enjoying the beautiful outdoors on Cape Cod, the last thing families want to deal with are pesky mosquitoes. Not only are the bites irritating and sometimes painful, but the diseases they transmit can be life threatening –especially to young children. The team at Pure realizes the importance of mosquito control, but has been concerned that the community is using chemicals and toxins that are harmful to both humans and the environment. That’s why we assembled a list of simple, natural ways families can reduce the mosquito population on their properties safely and responsibly.
Eliminate standing or slow moving water sources.
Mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant or slow moving water. They can also breed on leaf litter that is likely to collect water. Check your gutters, tires, kids’ toys, and empty kiddie pools after use.
Grow repelling plants in your garden.
Citronella, horsemint, marigolds, ageratum, and catnip are natural mosquito repellents and also have other beneficial properties like attracting honeybees and other pollinators to your garden. Learn more about these plants from EarthEasy.com.
Avoid outdoors during dusk until dawn.
Just when you want to enjoy an evening barbecue, mosquito activity reaches its peak. If you can’t avoid being outdoors, wear long pants and sleeves to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Keep gutters clean and unclogged.
Be sure your downspouts drain properly, without leaving puddles in the drainage area. Remove leaves or debris that may collect standing water.
Install or repair screens.
Do not let mosquitoes enter your home. Make sure windows and doors have tightly-fitted screens and make sure there are no holes mosquitoes can get through.
Use an off-the-shelf or homemade natural insect repellent.
From repellent soaps to essential oils, you can repel mosquitoes without the use of DEET and other harmful chemicals. Here is a great list from The Daily Green.
Create a breeze.
Mosquitoes are considered “weak flyers” so set up a fan where you are sitting to disrupt the airflow and blow mosquitoes away from you and your family.
Neatly trim plants and keep your lawn mowed.
During the day, mosquitoes like to rest in cool, shaded areas often in plants. By keeping plants on your property neatly trimmed and your lawn mowed, mosquitoes have fewer places to rest and are more likely to leave your property.
If your mosquito problem seems uncontrollable, then it is a good time to consider an organic property treatment. These treatments are often applied routinely throughout the season or can be sprayed prior to an event to reduce or eliminate the mosquito populations. Organic treatments are safe for humans, pets, and the environment. When considering an organic solutions provider, be sure to ask if the product is mixed with chemicals like Permethrin or DEET. If so, these treatments are NOT organic.
Mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEE) have already been found in Massachusetts this year. Even though no human cases have been reported, this is the best time to be proactive by educating yourself, your family, and your community. Speak with your doctor about the signs and symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses, and take the necessary precautions to keep the outdoor environment around your home safe.
We hope you have a fun and safe end to your summer!
By: Amy E
We are huge sweet potato fans in our house. This being true, we have gotten pretty creative in different ways to prepare them this summer.
The other night we decided to grille up some veggie burgers. Instead of using buns, we layered them with slices of mozzarella, tomato, and basil. We still needed a side and decided to use sweet potato. Instead of dicing them up or making fries, we wanted to try something new. We decided to bread them similar to preparing chicken parmesan. I detect some raised eyebrows, however don't knock it quite yet, you might be surprised.
What are your other creative ways to use Sweet Potato? Leave a comment below and share with us!
Sleeping in August
Hi! My name is Brooke Nalle and I am the founder of Sleepy On Hudson, a pediatric sleep consultancy based just outside of New York City. I am a New Englander at heart though and am writing this blog from Rhode Island where I am lucky enough to spend my summers. I am honored to write about sleep for you all and am eager to hear from you - your questions, your challenges, and even your triumphs. In my work, I support all families, all styles of parenting. I do not judge anyone, and I know that as parents we are all working very hard to do the best, the very, very best for our children. If you co-sleep, I can help you. If you have separate sleeping arrangements, I can help you.
So reach out, anytime.
I am sure you have noticed. The sun screen and flip flops at the drug store are being replaced with binders and pencils. The watermelons and mangos will soon be replaced by pumpkins and butternut squash. August is a month that forces us to cling to every summer day because each night the sun sets earlier and earlier reminding us that Fall is coming. Yikes! That’s a little scary.
Seriously though, I love August because it means September is right around the corner. I am still very much on vacation because my children are still very much on vacation and more importantly September is my favorite time of year for one major reason: I love starting fresh. I love a new (school) year.
This is a month where we continue to break rules from keeping our children up to catch fireflies, to eat ice
cream, to hang out with family and friends. We stay up too late, we eat too much ice cream, and so on because we know that our fresh start, where we have to clean up our acts, is around the corner.
So my message is this, and this is where I finally get to my favorite subject, sleep, enjoy this month, maybe the nap happens on the beach, not in a crib, or your toddler falls asleep in your bed, not in his own, whatever the rules might be, bend them a little. However, and this is important, September is coming, start thinking about the changes you want to make. Earlier bedtime? Devise a plan that will get you there. Better naps and better nights, then think about how you can make that happen. How can you make your sleeper who is super dependent on you, a little more independent? How do you want to go about making this change?
Make a chart, a map to get you there. Everyone has her own path.
Start getting some ideas together. In the meantime, I am going to take a few weeks, hopefully hear from you, and then give you some concrete tips to help you get going, get a fresh start. Enjoy the warm days and cool nights, good sleeping weather!
Let's face it, getting kids to eat their vegetables requires some creative thinking and a lot of patience at times. Vegetables are a crucial necessity for every child's diet but often kids turn up their noses at even the most deliciously prepared meal! We know a lot of you parents out there are SUPER CREATIVE in how you incorporate the veggies into meal time or snacks, so we want you to share the ideas with everyone so parents who are struggling can try new things!
We have decided to issue a 14 Day Eat Your Veggies Challenge!
One Cape Cod Mommies Reader will receive a:
$100 Gift Certificate to Stop & Shop!
How to Enter:
It is really easy and you can enter your submission by simply posting a PICTURE of your creative way to incorporate Veggies on either Facebook or Twitter (or both if you'd like).
Post your submission with the following:
Getting #healthy with @Capecodmommies & @StopandShop #VeggieChallenge
When you post the picture you MUST tag both Cape Cod Mommies, Stop & Shop and #VeggieChallenge.
Contest will open on Monday August 5 and will end on Monday, August 19, 2013. Cape Cod Mommies will select the TOP 3 submissions and post them on the blog on Tuesday August 20, 2013. Readers will cast a vote for their favorite submission (more info to come when Final 3 are announced). Voting will close on Aug 22nd at 11:59pm. A winner will be chosen and announced on Friday August 23, 2013! Stop & Shop is responsible for delivery of prize.
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