Monday, May 21, 2012

CLEAN UP BY CHARACTERISTICS

MAMA SWEET:  My daughters' Brownie troop hosted a Mother/Daughter sleepover at our local Aquarium.  It was such an amazing experience for everyone.  I did not sleep a wink but rather watched the fish swim around all night.  What an amazing experience to have given to my daughter.  It was very reasonable and worth so much more.  Check out to see if your local aquarium has a similar program.  Worth every sweet sleepless minute!


MAMA SOUR: Lately, I feel like I'm literally talking under water when asking my girls to do anything.  I ask them to do something and no one even acknowledges that I have uttered a word. My frustration escalates with each repetition until I just start yelling.  Often times, this is unsuccessful and far more destructive, I know.  Yesterday, I asked the girls to pick up their playroom which was covered with dolls.  I literally asked them 10 times without any person in the room moving toward putting anything away.  Determined to keep my cool, I tossed this up, "OK, who is going to find the baby with blue eyes first to put away?"  They both immediately bolted to collect as many blue-eyed babies as they could find.  The game continued through eye and hair color and all baby accessories accompanied by endless giggles.  I could not believe that 1.) their hearling was, in fact, not impaired  2.) they responded to this seemingly simple game and 3.) they LOVED it and cleaned their room in record time!  I'm still feeling a bit sour about my requests being ignored but do appreciate that I have found a real-life version of "Guess Who" that I will continue to play at clean-up time. At least for this week, I've got their attention.  We'll see what I have to do next week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

COUGHS & WRINKLES--BOTH SOURSWEETS

I know it's been awhile but these two tips could not go unposted.  I'm a very positive person but I'm not sure how I can call either one of these a sweet.  I certainly don't want to post two sours my first entry back so I'm gonna call them both soursweets!

SOURSWEET FOR KIDS:  My daughter had a terrible cough this winter.  It was a combination of sinuses and asthma but it was AWFUL at night.  My beloved accupuncturist told me to put a heating pad filled with rice behind her neck and let her fall asleep with it.  It literally worked miracles.  I could not believe it!  She stopped coughing and went right to sleep.  I've been using this technique all winter and it has been amazing!

SOURSWEET FOR MAMA:  Wrinkles....ugh!  We all have them and if we are fortunate enough to live a joyful life, we are blessed with even more from laughing.  A friend told me to try Coconut Oil on my face.  I gave it a try one day and could not believe how amazing my skin looked the next day.   I must warn you that the timing of your application is very important.  :)  It will make your hair greasy and ruin your sheets.  Do not apply in the morning.  My recommendation is to wash your face early enough in the evening so it can absorb into your skin before going to bed.  Trust me!  Worth the effort!

Monday, April 25, 2011

WATCH THE CLOCK TO DETERMINE YOUR HEALTH

Mama Sweet: This Mama Sweet is another amazing acupuncture discovery that will help everyone. For months, my right hip bone has hurt incessantly. I have not been able to walk, run or lay on it without pain. After many other doctor visits, I decided to address it with my acupuncturist. She asked about my sleep habits. Like every busy Mama, I use those late night quiet hours to make magic happen for my entire family. However, my acupuncturist detailed that our bodies repair themselves in this hourly order: 11pm-1am-gall bladder, 1am-3am-liver, 3am-5am-lungs. If you deprive yourself from these hours of rest, your body can not completely repair itself. In addition, if you find yourself waking up during those particular hours every night, it is a signal that there is an imbalance in that area of your body. For those of you who were following my blog last winter, I realized all of my girls' asthma attacks were between 3am-5am. I find it fascinating! I've been forcing myself to get to bed at 10pm and my hip no longer hurts. (The pain was located on the gall bladder channel of energy.) It was such a simple change to make such a significant difference in my body. This has been such sweet information for my tired body and I hope it can help many more tired mamas out there!

Mama Sour: This month marks my mom's 3rd Angel Birthday. It's shocking to realize how quickly time passes. I am so humbled by the people who have come into my life and have filled the empty spaces in my heart. On her actual Angel Birthday, I had one friend surprise me after my yoga class with coffee in the lobby and another tie balloons to my car to celebrate her Angel Birthday. I have three Fairy Godmothers (who were my mama's best friends) who watch over me and a Mother in Law who treats me like her own daughter. Friends have become more like sisters and I feel so touched by the love I feel from all of them. I am now finding that everyone in my life "mothers" me in different ways. Some provide parenting tips while others bring over food. I am so grateful for this mama love and will continue to pass it on. I miss my own Mama everyday but today I wish her the happiest of Angel Birthdays!

Friday, April 1, 2011

GET YOUR DAILY VITAMIN D THROUGH YOUR PALMS

I imagine some of you thought that I gave up my blog for Lent but alas I did not. I've just been doing some soul-searching on how to move forward with this heartfelt project. Many of you inspired me to keep going with your words of support and appreciation for the ideas I have shared. Thank you!! This sweet and sour mama is ready to write!


Mama Sweet: I was at the acupuncturist trying to find my own mama balance and health. It's been the best thing I could have done for myself and I recommend it to everyone! She told me that the palm of your hand is a central acupuncture point and the absolute best way to absorb your Vitamin D. She advised me to lay my palms flat up toward the sky and let the sun absorb for 15 minutes. It protects your face and absorbs this essential vitamin much more effectively. So Mamas, palms up when you're watching the kids during their sporting events and get your Vitamin D! Your body will thank you for it!

Mama Sour:
It is spring which means it is time for the sex-ed talk at school. In the younger grades, they talk about safety and inappropriate touching and how to be assertive in those situations. As I have mentioned before, I took a Kidpower seminar and they teach you to act out scenarios with your children so they are prepared in every situation. Their rules include: Make it light; keep it fun; don't put your fears on them. That being said, the girls and I played the stranger game in the car one day. I asked them what you say if a stranger offers you a lollipop to get in his car. The girls screamed, "No!" I ran the whole gamut of textbook questions from mama and daddy getting into an accident to petting the puppy. Then, I tried to add funny things too which brought laughter to the whole car. “What if a stranger asked you if you wanted some brussel spouts?” Then, they started asking me questions, "Mama, what if a stranger offered you a coffee to get into his car?" It was hilarious! I then took my turn to scream,” No!" It was such a great way to practice our safety rules without frightening anyone. Such a sour topic but I feel so much better that my girls are aware and prepared. I also pray they never need to test it out!

Friday, February 25, 2011

DON'T FORGET YOUR PLEASE AND THANK YOUS!

MAMA SWEET: My six year old loves the Rainbow Magic Fairy book series and has now started writing her own collection of fairy books. It is so sweet to see her imagination come to life. Last night at bedtime, instead of picking a published book to read, she asked if I could read her books as her bedtime story. She was bursting with pride as I read each volume to her. After finishing all five books, I told her how proud I was of her and gave her the biggest hug. It was so sweet to admire her work, build her confidence and self-esteem and spend that time together. There is nothing sweeter than our bedtime story time!

MAMA SOUR: Manners are incredibly important to our whole family. Sometimes, I feel like I am a broken record in reminding my children to use them. As frustrating and sour as that can be, it is all worth it when I see them display politeness and grace to those around us. Some of the best wedding advice I received was from my favorite aunt. She told me and my husband to “always remember our ‘please’ and ‘thank yous.’” Back then when we were blurred by our newly wedded bliss, I thought that advice seemed so strange. Certainly, I would always remember those simple polite words. However, in the ever so hectic moments of our days, I realize how quickly we can bark commands to move our herd out the door for a timely arrival. I remind myself as I am shouting, "Hurry! Hurry!" to thank my husband for helping us or laugh at myself when I yell, “Can you get this...please?" It sets an example for the girls that everyone must have nice manners but it also softens my heart and reminds me that these manic times are memories being made.

Friday, February 18, 2011

GET THEM TO EAT THEIR VEGGIES WITH A RAINBOW PLACEMAT

Mama Sweet: I made yams last night in the Crock pot. It was amazing. I poked them with a fork, wrapped them in aluminum foil and cooked them on high for 4 hours. They were hot and ready for us when we returned home from swim class. My six year old sat down and had this euphoric look on her face as she ate her yams and said, "Hmmmm, I love yams." I always love cooking for compliments; however, it was much sweeter that she was so happy over eating something so healthy. I credit their love of healthy fruit and veggies to our Laminated Rainbow Placemat. The girls drew their own rainbows on construction paper and then I laminated them (Anytime I can use my laminator or label maker is my own personal sweet!). They eat off of their placemats and use a dry erase marker to check off their color once it’s been eaten. It is fun for them to brainstorm and choose which fruit or vegetable they want to eat and I love that they are growing accustomed to so many different foods. We also play the food rainbow game. Someone will choose a color in the rainbow and everyone has to list all of the foods they can think of that are that color. It is such a fun, sweet family game!

Mama Sour: One of the symptoms of my girls' flu was a really terrible and sour stomach ache. My 6 year old was crying in the night that her tummy hurt so badly that she could not sleep. So, I tried healing her by making some herbal peppermint tea. She drank it and instantly started burping and felt better within minutes. I had never given her peppermint tea before (and quite honestly was surprised to find it in my pantry) but I will continue to use this trick every time the girls come down with a belly bug.

Friday, February 11, 2011

YIN CHIAO YOURSELF- THE TRICK TO STAYING HEALTHY

Mama Sweet: Both of my girls have had week long 104 fevers. It has been a long two weeks but a fantastic winter compared to last year's sickly season so I will take my "sweets" where I can! At one point, I started to feel sick. An acupuncturist once told me that the exact moment you begin to get sick is the moment where you are standing there and all of a sudden start to feel dizzy and you catch yourself and shake it off. I had that moment and then about 30 minutes later I started to feel a bit achy. I couldn't believe I actually recognized the moment he had described. He shared this fact with me because there is a Chinese herb called Yin Chiao (that is sold at Whole Foods) that helps "prevent" you from getting sick if you take it at that precise moment. Chinese medicine believes that illness moves from the outside inward into your body. It often travels through the back of your neck which is why it is so important to wear a scarf in the wintertime. This herb helps "push out" any germs so that they do not settle into your body and ultimately make you sick. So, I yin chiao'd myself and felt great and never actually came down with the flu. As a mother of two who is always caring for my household, it was one of the sweetest things I could have done for myself.

Mama Sour: My poor girls have had to endure many of my well-intentioned remedies. They are always willing to partake because I am certainly not above bribing them with a treat if they consume whatever healing concoction I have devised. Here is an amazing balancing recipe that my girls have come to know as the "pizza drink." It tastes like a spicy pizza and is so great to help alkaline your body and keep you healthy.

1 cup of organic tomato juice
Juice from one full lemon
One clove of garlic, minced
One stalk of celery, chopped

Blend the above ingredients in a smoothie maker/blender and drink. It may taste a bit sour but is an amazing drink that is refreshing and will help you stay healthy if you take it when you are caring for sick children.