170 posts categorized "Seeking Other Mama's Advice"

Birth Centers, Home Births and OHP

July 22, 2013

An email recently blew through the uM account and the reader has the following question: 

"I'm currently working as a babysitter and I do not have insurance. I am 7 weeks pregnant and am interested in having a midwife, and either having a home birth or a birth center birth (ideally not a hospital birth unless it is my only option). I am just wondering if anyone knows how to have an "alternative" birth covered 100% by OHP, because I don't have any other source of income to cover the costs. I know that Andaluz and Alma offer discounts for patients on OHP, but without being covered 100% by OHP I can't afford them. Can anyone recommend other resources? Any information would be helpful."

Have you been through a similar experience when planning for birth? Do you know of any resrouces or businesses that can help mamas on OHP, SNAP, WIC, etc... get alternative care/ help?


When can you leave your kid home alone (legal version)

July 08, 2013

A couple of months ago there was conversation about when you could leave your kid alone. Was there a law? An age limit? What was the deal in Oregon? I asked urbanMama lawyer Trina Montalban to do some research and let the urbanMamas know - what was the LEGAL answer. Here is her response. /courtney

My name is Trina Montalban. I am a lawyer and a mama, and have been an avid reader of UrbanMamas for years. Although my law focus is on estate planning and administration, when Courtney asked if I could research what age we can leave our children home alone, I agreed because it gave me the opportunity to look into this issue for myself.

Huge disclaimer: I am not giving legal advice. If you have a legal question, you should speak to an attorney.

I first looked at whether there is any law on point. There is none. There is, however, a law on child neglect in the second degree for children under the age of 10 and a law on reckless endangerment. See Oregon Revised Statute (“ORS) 163.545 for the law on child neglect in the second degree and ORS 163.195 for the law on recklessly endangering another person.

In the Oregon Court of Appeals case, State v. Paragaon, 195 Or. App. 265 (2004), the court stated that a conviction of child neglect in the second degree requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt “(1) that leaving the child unattended was likely to endanger her health or welfare, (2) that the risk of that harm occurring was substantial and unjustifiable, and (3) that the defendant’s lack of awareness of that risk was a gross deviation from the normal standard of care.”

In the following three situations, a parent was charged with child neglect in the second degree, but the court found that the parents were not guilty.

  1. A 4-year-old opened an unlocked door and took a ride on his tricycle out into the street while his mother was home asleep. A passerby found him and called the police
  2. A 2 ½-year-old wandered across a street to a store while her mother was taking a shower. A store clerk found the girl and called the police.
  3. Parents left their seven-year-old and nine-year-old children alone to go the emergency room. The parents were gone for 45 minutes. The parole officer of one of the parents found the children alone while visiting the home.

In the following two situations, a parent was charged and found guilty of child neglect in the second degree.

  1. A mother left her 8-year-old and 22-month-old children at home alone for five hours with matches and candles within easy reach. After 2 hours, friends stopped by and saw the children watching TV. When the mother returned home, she found the house in smoke and her children dead. The court found that the amount of time the mother left the children alone was a factor. The court also found that a reasonable person should know that it is a significant risk to leave children alone with matches.
  2. A mother left her 3-year-old and one-year-old children in the car while she ran to the store to buy diapers. The windows were rolled down enough, such that a person could take the kids or the children could fall out. The 3-year-old was seen reaching her hands outside of the window and pulling on the handle. The grocery store was in a high crime area and the mother was gone for about 30 minutes. The court found that responsible adults should know that harm from strangers is a likely danger when a very young child is left alone, visible, and accessible in a busy parking lot for a period of 30 minutes.

These cases made it clear to me that the question isn’t simply when can we leave our children home alone, but how can we keep our children safe when there is no way to keep our children under constant supervision. We all need sleep and showers…

The Oregon Legal Research Blog has a useful post on the question of when you can leave children home alone. http://www.oregonlegalresearch.com/content/when-can-i-leave-my-kids-home-alone. The blog provides the exact language of our Oregon laws. Additionally, they provided information on an important resource: the American Red Cross in Oregon class titled: “When I’m in Charge for children 8 to 11.” Classes cost $50.00 and are held throughout the year in various locations. The class description states: “If your child is 8 to 11 years old, this course will prepare them to respond safely to a variety of “home alone” situations. http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/course-class000000003887483.

Keeping our children safe is not easy and not always in our control. But, this class sounds like it gives our older children some tools to keep themselves safe if they ever find that they are home alone.  

Work, Travel, Toddler: Does it mix well?

March 08, 2011

I have been open with my recent challenges, juggling  a full-time working from home routine with our recent child.  One of the more stressful juggles has been the travel.  With my organization's 60 staff spread nationwide, we get together for a big staff meeting at one location every 6 months.  

One year ago, it was New York.  Lucky for me, we have family there.  It was the perfect opportunity for my in-laws to meet our newest baby, who was about 4.5 months old then.

Last fall, it was in Seattle.  I felt lucky to have it so close, as I worked with another mama to make a trip of a lifetime: two mamas, two toddlers, full-day schedules, one nanny, one two-bedroom apartment (that is an epic story for another time). 

There have been a few other overnights mixed in: Oakland, Tucson, San Francisco.  These are places where I have had some extended family or friends who could watch the babe for a bit while I focus on work.

Next week, it's Memphis.  Not only do I think about the challenge of two-legged flight cross country, with a center seat assignment on all legs (will he be entertained and generally still in that center seat?), I also think about how much less portable this babe is, as small as he is.  As baby grows into toddler, I am wondering when I should draw the line?  My previous children nursed until 2.5 years old.  Am I destined to be traveling for work with this child for another year if we intend to nurse until then?  Part of me is not ready to be away from him, not for a whole night.  I wasn't ready to be apart from him when he was 9 months old, and I'm not sure I am ready now.  Another part of me worries that I just cannot juggle it like I used to, now that he likes to bounce balls, clank spoons on tables, and draw on everything.  I can't just tote him into the meetings, nurse him, bounce  him to sleep in a carrier, and continue to focus on the meeting at hand.

Part of me worries still about trying to nourish him at all times, nursing on demand every moment possible and feeding him high-calorie foods to bulk him up.  I could not do that if we were apart for 4 days.

I know my situation is very unique.  I bring my baby to meetings all around the country.  I like to see just how "family-friendly" the organization really is.  And, managers are tolerant and accepting of my choice.  Dare I make the long haul next week?  Would you?

Also, have you heard of employers that offer traveling employees an allowance of up to a certain amount (I've heard up to $1500) to cover costs of a sitter out-of-town or the cost to travel with a sitter?

The physicality of angst: Children and phantom ailments

August 09, 2010

Over a period of a few weeks this May, Everett kept insisting his legs were full of pain alternating between dull and shooting. It had started a day or two after the time on the playground in which he'd gotten into a conflict with some older kids. As far as I can figure out, he was the victim, and a righteous one, too; he'd been protecting another, littler child, and ended up with a nasty scrape and bruise on his knee. I expressed what I thought was appropriate solicitation and pride; for once, he seemed to have handled a really unfair situation without retaliating with fury.

But now, it was weeks later, and he'd run up and down stairs and then protest in screaming pain when I tried to get him to ride his bike, or walk somewhere with me. Even riding on the back of my bike, he said, was too much. Finally I made an appointment for the next afternoon at the doctor's office, worried that there was some real ailment -- a bone marrow problem, maybe? -- I wasn't giving its due.

The day of the appointment, he couldn't get going to school; if he was to stay home, I told him, he'd have to ride his own bike on a series of errands I'd planned. By appointment time, we were on mile #11 and he was fine. As I've gone through a lot with Everett, who's now eight, and his outsized reactions to the sort of things many children would find only mildly upsetting, I only added it to my mental portrait of his challenges and let it be.

Then, this weekend, we got a question from a mama we know. Her younger son struggled with a potentially fatal illness when he was a toddler, and recently gave his family another confidence-shaking scare, until test results came back, indicating that he was indeed fine. The whole family had talked about their fears together, but it was very stressful. Now, she's worried about her older child.

My nine-year-old son has recently started seriously overreacting when he gets hurt. I have taken him to the ER twice recently thinking if he's screaming so badly perhaps he does have broken fingers or dislocated shoulder (two separate incidents). Nothing is ever diagnosed. He's always fine and the trauma is completely over two hours later. These type of incidents have been increasing lately.

I am wondering if his overreacting might be a result from the stress at home over the last few weeks. I am also wondering if he's trying desperately to get more attention from me even though this summer we have been spending most days together and I am available, physically, emotionally. I am here for him.

My question for other mamas is, is this something I should seek professional advice for; should I look into a few sessions with a child therapist? Or, will he just grow out of this? Could it just be a phase?

Talking to kids about others with disabilities and differences

February 08, 2010

Now that I'm a relatively experienced mama, I've lost the anguish felt the first time a child under my care ever stared and pointed at someone who looked differently: whether because of darker skin, an obvious physical disability, or other not-typical appearance. I've learned to respond with equanimity or avoidance when appropriate: "Yes, there are a lot of different people on the bus!" or "Sweetie, let's use our quiet voices please." And what to do when a four-year-old kindly, loudly asks about "the old lady over there" when you suspect she's only middle-aged? An urbanNanny asks:

The 18-month-old girl that I watch has been crying every time we are near a person in a wheelchair. These experiences on the Max or in a coffeeshop we frequent are likely the only times she has seen a person in a wheelchair. When the crying happens it appears (by the look on her face) that she is scared, so I have been talking to her about how it is okay, that the person uses a chair to get around and that she uses her legs or a stroller. I'm not sure how to best handle the situation so I would love to post this as a discussion topic to get advice. 

I've often subscribed to the "tell as much of the truth, as simply, as you can and leave it at that" philosophy -- she's using that tactic admirably -- but when a child is visibly or audibly upset by a different-looking stranger, what do you do? How best to balance the child's own needs (is she unusually sensitive and empathetic?) with your desire not to hurt another human being's feelings?

Talking to young children about a painfully estranged relative

January 20, 2010

Many of us have in-laws, step-parents or aunts and uncles with whom we never wish to speak again. A lot of this never needs to be discussed with our children until they are much older. But sometimes, the relationship is so close and seems that it should be such a normal part of your children's life story that it continues to surface -- even though your children are too young and the subject still too raw for you to address it evenly. What do you do? A. asks:

I have been estranged from my father for just over 10 years. He sexually abused me when I was a child, and needless to say I don't want to have him in my or my children's lives. What I really could use, is some advice on how to approach the subject of my father with my children. Tonight my daughter (who is 4 1/2) asked my who my daddy is.

That sent me into a panic. I stammered, he was a daddy, and promptly changed the subject. I don't want to say something like "he wasn't very nice to me so I don't talk to him anymore" because I worry that my daughter will make a connection that if she's ever not very nice to me than I may not talk to her anymore.

Any thoughts you wise mamas have would be very much appreciated, for both short term (what do I say now about my dad in my past/present, and why there's only grandma on Mommy's side and no grandpa) and long term ideas (like should I actually tell my kids the details one day? How old should they be? when they are young adults themselves??)

What Would You Have Done? Child Rides in Mama's Lap

July 09, 2009

I don't think any of my kids were fond of the car seat in the early stages of life. One of our readers recently had a falling out with a family member over letting a her child ride on her lap.  She wants your advice and writes:

I know that many of us mamas have found ourselves in a situation where our child is inconsolably upset in the car seat, screaming, crying, kicking and even to the point of puking at times.  Just writing about it and remembering my first child’s sheer hatred of the car seat makes my skin crawl.  Despite those tortuous feelings, I never considered removing my son from his seat while the car was moving.  Recently I had relatives visiting and to my shock and horror, when their one year old son became upset, his Mom simply unbuckled him and seated him on her lap.  I found myself in a moral dilemma about whether to speak out about what I saw as an extremely unsafe choice, knowing it could have huge implications for our relationship, or just ignore it.  In the end I tried to gently inquire about my safety concern and it unleashed a fury of emotion, resulting in an abrupt end to the visit and a huge rift in our relationship.  After all that I’m not convinced that my speaking out will have any impact on their future car seat decisions and we’re no longer on speaking terms because of it.  Was it worth it?  I’d like to think so, but I’m not sure.  What would you have done?

Emotional Transition from Infancy to Toddlerhood

It's so cliched, but kids do grow up so quickly.  And how many times have we all heard mamas with grown children look fondly at our little infants as they remember that special stage in a child's life?  Betsy emailed us recently to see if any urbanMama's have any advice regarding the sadness she's experiencing as her youngest transitions from infancy to toddlerhood.  She writes:

I have a nearly-three-year-old daughter Kaia and a just-turned-one-year-old daughter Elliot.  When Elliot turned one this year, I felt and continue to feel a huge sadness that she is no longer an infant.  I also realized that Kaia is fast growing up and I can hardly remember her time as a baby anymore.  With both girls, I am experiencing these feelings of mourning (?) - Loss for a time in their lives that I can’t have back and I can’t seem to move past the feelings.  I see the amazing ways they are growing and becoming beautiful human beings and I celebrate each new thing they try and accomplish but these feelings of sadness are putting up stiff competition.  I am trying to allow myself room for my emotions – acknowledging and accepting them.  This is proving to be a very difficult time for me.  I wonder how other mom’s handle this emotional transition from infancy to toddler.

Help! I Hate My Ergo

July 08, 2009

147365774_4a4d518a63 We've had plenty of discussions on slings and baby carriers on urbanMamas, but could it be that it isn't for everyone?  And what do you do when you've tried plenty of variations and they still don't seem to work? Jane emails us with this question:

I hate my Ergo, is that okay for me to say?! It rubs on the back of my arms and feels awful. Like a bra strap that keeps falling down only worse. I wish I loved it like everyone else does. If I have my son on my back we get along just fine, i my six month old daughter is on the front I am going crazy. I have a Moby, a Chicpapoose, a Baby Bijorn, and a Kangaroo Korner. Plenty to choose from you would think. But with the heat and her getting heavier I turn to the Ergo. I don't think of myself as petite and wouldn't describe my shoulders as anything less than normal width. Could I be doing something wrong or do I need to try out yet another sling/carrier?

Dating as a Single Mama: Do you involve the kids?

June 25, 2009

Single mamahood has its unique challenges, one of which involves how much (if at all) to involve our young ones.  An urbanMama recently emailed:

I have been a single mother since before my daughter was born, so I have been raising her 24/7/365. She has always had men in her life, one especially who is a father-like figure, and has been an on-and-off partner over the years. Currently, we are just very close friends. But recently, I have met someone and I think that it could lead to some sort of ongoing relationship (I’m not counting my eggs before they hatch…) and I am wondering about how to deal with this with my almost-4 year old. She has been included in several get-togethers over the past couple of weeks, and seems to be handling it ok, but she may not be aware that we are anything more than just new friends. I have single mom friends who date, and everyone seems to handle it differently. Some keep their parenting lives and their dating lives completely separate, which I imagine would be easier for those who share custody and have some time to themselves without having to find a babysitter each time. Others include their kids in the relationship from the beginning. Some concerns I have are how this new friendship will affect my daughter’s relationship with our close male friend, and also how it will affect her if he becomes part of our lives, and then the relationship ends at some point (as many relationships do….). I am feeling all sorts of guilt related to my daughter and my relationships and I don’t want to stress her out too much. But I definitely want to see where this new friendship is going to lead, because Mama is definitely having some fun!  Can anyone give me some guidance from their personal experience with dating as a single mom?

Kids in Public: do you let them out of sight?

June 01, 2009

It can be hard to know sometimes how to handle a situation, but it sure does help to hear perspectives from other mamas and papas.  So, an urbanMama emailed recently to hear about how you handle letting the children out of your sight in public:

The other day I left my 3 and a half-year-old alone in the children's section of the library while I took her baby brother into the restroom for a diaper change.  I told her to stay where she was and I would be back in a couple minutes.  It didn't cross my mind at the time that there was any risk - of her being approached by a malevolent stranger and abducted from a quiet library - but as my husband later pointed out, there've been been scarier stories in the news.  While I don't imagine her being the sort of child who would go off with someone she didn't know, even the thought is enough to scare the bejeezes out of any mama.

How vigilant or not are you about letting your little ones momentarily out of your sight in public places?  At what age do you have the 'stranger safety' talk and what do you say?  How do you find a balance between being wary of strangers but not making your child too anxious and distrustful?

Divorce while parenting: You're not alone, but it sure feels like it

April 09, 2009

My husband and I were watching a Discovery Channel show on the science of reproduction a few days ago; the show posited that humans are more likely to look for a new mate after their first child grows old enough for one parent to raise him alone. "Well then!" I said. "I guess we're fine." We have three children, after all. We laughed, but given our often-tense relationship, it was through a lens of concern. Not only are we occasionally very un-fine, but many of our close friends have been through separations and divorce in the past few years, and the prospect of raising a child alone -- or as part of an awkward parental tag-team -- is too familiar.

Another urbanMama emailed me yesterday to say she, too, was in the painful process of separation and divorce. It's easy to see everyone else through your lens, and think, oh, they're fine! They don't have my problems. The marriage wasn't fine, and now she's just looking for advice and wisdom. While I sympathize, I haven't been in her shoes, so I'm hoping some of you, who have, can lend your stories to her.

urbanMamas snowed-in health hotline

December 23, 2008

Monroe_poxy My sister Hannah just called with a concern; her baby, Angelica, has had a diaper rash for several days, and a fever for the past few. Today she developed a rash on her stomach and Angelica, 15 months old, has been very fussy. She needed advice; she's been calling the pediatrician's office but the line has been busy.

I advised her to see if she's been overbundling Angelica (her power was off yesterday) and switch to breastfeeding only; maybe Angelica's having an allergic reaction and at least that will reduce her exposure to new foods. It couldn't be chicken pox, we decided, as it didn't look like the pox; Angelica's had her regular vaccinations; her only exposure (to my children) couldn't have caused it as they've all either had the pox or been vaccinated long ago. Twitter friends offered the possibilities of thrush, roseola, or hand and mouth disease.

Then it occurred to me that, if Hannah's struggling with a not-necessarily-emergency problem, many other are too, and as doctors' offices aren't answering their phones with great regularity, we'll have to work together to figure it out. So here's an open thread to ask each other for advice (and give yours to Hannah if something occurs to you). I'll start it off: Monroe broke his front tooth in half this weekend (well, in 1/3 and 2/3 vertical chunks) after launching himself face-first into a stack of cookie sheets.One of the chunks is wobbling back and forth and our local dentist office is closed; he hasn't been crying (though he's worked himself a mark near my nipple -- ouch!) and I figure we may as well wait out the storm before getting it looked at. Any problems I should look out for?

Pulling the Plug

June 18, 2008

Allowing our kids to use a pacifier (or binky, if you prefer) has been an ongoing dilemma for many caregivers since the little "suckers" were invented.  They can be a lifesaver for many of us when our kids are small and nothing else seems to sooth them.  Or as they get older, to keep them feeling safe and settled.  But how old is too old for them to be so dependent on them?  And when it is finally the right time, how do you get your little one on board with your binky banishing plans?  This UrbanMama writes:

My daughter is almost 13 months old and only uses her "binky" to get to sleep. But she is so dependent on that darn thing that she can't get to sleep (or get back to sleep) unless she has it.  I would LOVE it if she just didn't want it anymore, but I don't see that happening in our near future. So I am curious to know what other moms have done to wean their kids off the pacifier, how difficult a time was it, and at what age did they decide to "pull the plug"?

What's in a Name?

April 17, 2008

Seven and a half years ago when I got married I didn't think twice about my impending name change. It seemed that is just what happens when a gal gets hitched. Of course it is not uncommon for a wife to keep her maiden name, but the more wives I met the more variations and combinations of names I heard including a man taking his wife's surname. Now add an offspring and the possibilities multiply. Suzanne is in one such conundrum:

My spouse and I have different last names. Child #1, who happens to be a boy, got a first name, my last name as his middle name, and dad's last name as his surname.
Now child # 2 is on the way (girl), and I'm thinking that I'd like her name situation to be first name, then dad's last name as her middle, and my last name as surname.
I don't think anyone would care one way or another except us and of course, dealing with flack from grandparents. however, I was curious as to other people's experiences with alternating last names of the kids.

Mama Needs a New 'Do: Stylist Recommendations

March 26, 2008

Many of us splurge on different things, but nothing like a great haircut to add some freshness and spring in our steps.  We're reviving this old thread at the request of Kathryn who's stylist is on a well-deserved maternity leave.  She emails:

I was wondering if you could post a thread and help me find a new hair stylist.  Mine is on maternity leave, and I would love to find someone who can do a cut/color (preferably on the East side) for under $100, but not a Supercuts kind of place....I know there was a thread a few years ago about hair stylist recommendations, but it may be outdated.  I would venture to guess that there are other mamas out there who would love some great recommendations. 

And for those on a budget or open to being a subject of an up and coming stylist as well a fan of Aveda, they've opened up a new Institute in the NW.  Haircuts are $13!

Our original question was posed by Melia awhile back:

Anyone have any recommendations on a decent place to get a hip haircut? I'm looking for edgy riot grrl kinda do. I went to bishops for my first try but would like to find something a little more permanent and well established.

Books you love to read, too?

October 10, 2007

Books_mosaic My boys' current favorite books in the whole world are Stan & Jan Berenstain's Berenstain Bears series. And, certainly, I'm always finding pearls of wisdom in them -- like the time we learned about too many extracurriculars with Under Pressure. We read Too Much Junk Food, like, every night. Everett can finish all my sentences.

But these books? They aren't my favorite to read. I find much of the text pedantic, repetitive (not in a good way), the very opposite of melodic. And Papa Bear with his childishness and pratfalls always bugs me; Mama Bear's eternal calm perfection and dowdy dress makes me crazy.

I'd much rather read something that makes me feel like singing (or crying), such as Spaghetti Park (the tale of a little boy who works with his grandpa and the community to put a bocce court in a neglected neighborhood park); The Lemon Sisters (in which little girls and older women come together because of lemon, sugar, and snow); Mystery Bottle (in which a little boy dreams of his grandpa, who he's never met, in Iran); The Unexpectedly Bad Hair of Barcelona Smith (in which a little boys lets down his hair, literally and figuratively, both silly and smart); Open Me... I'm a Dog! (a witch's curse turns a dog into a German shepherd, a bullfrog, and finally, a book) or the sadly out-of-print Penelope and the Pirates (in which a cat goes on an adventure with a sea captain, and learns about friendship).

Which books do you try to put at the top of the stack when it's time to read?

Discipline and the co-parent: When do you discuss?

October 08, 2007

Discussion_monroe I just came upstairs from our family living room, seething at the way my husband had just asked Everett to do something. The something was fine, it was the communication. I have a better way! I wanted to shout. But our house is small, and we've been working on keeping our arguments away from the children. Now I'm fidgety and anxious, waiting to tell him how I wish he'd handled the situation.

But when is a good time to hammer out this discipline stuff? I know there won't be time tonight between finishing work, dinner, bedtime, nursing, me falling exhausted into bed. We famously once spent a couple of hours of our "date night" heatedly discussing how whose method was wronger at a hotspot, only stopping when another patron asked us to. We were creating a negative vibe in the whole restaurant, he said! (We apologized and ended up becoming friends.) Besides, date nights or even couples counselling appointments are far too few and far between to save up all the little things.

When sleep deprivation is setting in (what with a little baby and a full-time job), how do you carve out time to get to some common ground with the little issues of co-parenting? How do you negotiate these disagreements without causing a rift in your family fabric?

Diaper pail for cloth diapers: Just how stinky IS it?

September 28, 2007

Do you cloth diaper? Camellia is about to launch into the World of Cloth and needs your advice.

Our first baby is due in a month and I'm trying to figure out the whole cloth diapering thing. We decided to go with a diaper service for the first few months anyway, and then to reevaluate whether to stick with the service, switch to all-in-ones and wash them ourselves, use g-diapers, or some sort of combination. I'm interested in hearing about what has worked best for other parents, but first and foremost, I'm wondering what to do for a diaper pail for the first few months, with the diaper service.

Tidee Didee advised us to begin with 70 diapers a week for a newborn, they provide the diaper bags, we provide the pail, and they pick up dirties once a week. They have a 54-quart white plastic pail we can buy from them for $17 or we can provide our own. Has anyone used this system? a 54-quart pail sounds huge--can you really just throw all your diapers in there for a whole week, or doesn't that get super stinky? Is there a different pail we should get instead?

Acting out after sibling's birth: I miss the old sweet child!

September 27, 2007

I think every mama of more than one child has had some angst over the resulting complex relationships; and it's the rare eldest kid who doesn't act out at least a little in the weeks and months following the transition from "only child" to "sibling." Mama G is having some family growing pains of her own:

I am a mama to a four year old girl and a new baby girl (born Sept. 2nd). Since baby #2 has arrived, things have been pretty crazy. My 4 y/o is totally in love with her and wants to do everything to help with her, "new baby sister" but she is giving me and sometimes her father a really hard time. She has begun to talk back, cover her ears when I talk to her, yell at me, refuse to nap, refuse to eat, refuse to do most of anything I ask of her.  Yesterday she actually raised her hand to hit me while I was helping her to take a nap. 

I've tried spending special alone time with her, I've tried talking to her about her behavior, I've even tried taking away privileges and I feel like nothing is working. This behavior is totally atypical of her. I know it will pass (or at least that is what I keep telling myself) but I feel like I need to do more to help her through this period. Does anyone out there have any specific parenting books they have read and would recommend? Are there any parenting classes in Portland that you have attended and found worthwhile (we are in the NW but can also travel if it's worth the effort). Has anyone else been through a similar experience?  Help! I miss my daughter and know she is hurting... would love some urbanMama advice. Thanks!

What has helped you through these tough parenting straits? We've talked a bit about preparing for a new sibling, but it would be great to hear more advice.

Nannies behind the wheel?

September 20, 2007

We have only once had a babysitter drive our girls.  Some mamas are wondering, however, how do you handle whether your kids are driven around by the babysitter or nanny?  Amy emails:

I need help! We are currently in a debate with our nanny over whether or not she should have a carseat in her car for our not-yet-walking child. Her driving record isn't great (a few fender benders in the last few years, some her fault, some not), and her eyesight isn't either (she's older). Our neighborhood has LOTS of stuff within walking distance - shops, cafes, groceries, library, banks, you name it. We are three blocks from a major busline that could take her directly to a pretty park in about 10 minutes, with no connections.

She, however, wants to be able to take our child on outings to places like the art museum or music classes, where Trimet would be more of a juggle, both time - and gear-wise. She feels it would be much easier to secure our child in the carseat, and go ... and be able to get home quickly if needed. She also wants to be able to run the occasional errand, since she doesn't get a break during the day. We like the idea of some special outings, but can't get past our nerves.

What have other families done about nannies driving the kids around? What about breaks for the nanny during the day?

Durable clothes for little guys?

September 17, 2007

Now that Everett's starting kindergarten and needs lots of serviceable and (my preference) non-commercial playwear, I've been thinking about buying a few really nice things every pay period -- nothing fashion-forward, just t-shirts and polos and chinos and sweatpants that will last, and last, and last. After all: I have three boys and I'd like to avoid having to purchase these again and again.

Truman_climbing_wall I've had good luck with Hanna Andersson sweat pants and chinos, but I don't like many of their pants styles and their shirts haven't done well in my house (lots of unravelling hems and the like). I love American Apparel for myself but have found that the stretchy fabric that's so comfortable also tends to wear quickly. I'm tired of putting pants in my pile of those-needing-knee patches! Does anyone have any favorite kids' clothing makers, or stories of flimsy stuff I should avoid? Retailers with good sales preferred...

When friends go bad, and other troubles of childhood

September 12, 2007

Everett came home from school yesterday wanting to quit kindergarten. In his folder, next to the little "SUPER!" sticker from Monday, was a note: "Everett had a really rough day today." The teacher wanted to talk with us about it, later. It seemed likely that she'd never dealt with a child as difficult as him.

It was almost 9 p.m. (after official bedtime) before I got Everett to explain to me exactly what had happened. The little boy who'd declared himself Everett's "buddy" on Monday had decided to bestow that honor on a different little boy. He'd gone on to change his mind several times that day. Everett, never great at dealing with emotional blows, had ended up in a full-on freak-out by the end of lunchtime, screaming and kicking and asking for everyone to leave him alone (exactly the thing he needed, I explained to his teacher today at drop-off: alone time to calm down).

This morning I scanned the room with narrowed eyes looking for the child who was torturing my baby. I found him, and saw immediately that he was a beautiful boy, tall, confident, and possessed with just the sort of power that will allow him to continue his emotional warfare well into adulthood. (I quake at the thought of girlfriends played against one another in college. Yes, I am that dramatic.) The "great idea" I'd given Everett the night before -- how 'bout all three of you be buddies together? -- was never communicated, despite Everett's hard work to get it across. ("I need to tell the two of you something!" he said three times, poking them gently in their chests to get their attention. "No!" C. kept saying happily while I ground my teeth in anger.)

I've done the obvious stuff: explaining to Everett that really good friends won't take away their friendship, and that he should try to spend time with other kids who obviously wanted to be his friend; reminding him about all the great friends who will always be his friend; telling him we love him. I can see that will be hard to negotiate in the face of C.'s charm. Geez, the Queen Bee stuff is starting already and he's only five (so much for that "boys are easier than girls" theory). Does anyone have any ideas? Or can you distract the teacher at recess so I can take C. behind the dumpsters and rough him up a bit? (Kidding! Kidding! Sort of...)


September 07, 2007

Hmm, this is an interesting one. Paige sent an email with a concern she is facing with the new man in her life and is looking for some other points of view. Sounds like a subject for both mamas and papas. Paige writes:

            I've been in the dating scene for a little over a year and am finally
            getting into the swing of it. However, last week I realized that a
            guy that I have been dating on and off seems to have some artificial
            hair. I'm not sure if it is a toupee (are those still around) or if they
            are hair plugs. I know that hair loss can be devastating to a guy.
            But, with everyone shaving their heads these days, I assumed that
            the fake hair solution was a thing of the past. It is a major turn off
            and I'm not sure if it is the fact he simply has synthetic hair on his
            head or if it is because it might be indicative of some other issues       
            with honesty. My dilemma is that he has yet to say anything to
            me about it. Is it something I could bring up or do I wait until he
            is comfortable enough to tell me on his own?

What is a dating mama to do? Paige would love to get some feedback from other people on this sensitive issue.


Seasons changing, what's a mama to do in the dark?

August 31, 2007

Every year in late August I start looking at the sky fearfully each night, as the dark comes a few minutes earlier than the day before. There in the heat, I can feel the seasons changing, I can already sense the dark closing in around me, trapping me inside the way it will come November, December, January... ack! I am afraid of the dark. So is Debby, and she wonders just what she will do with her outdoor-loving two-year-old once the winter comes? And has anyone ever joined an evening playgroup for single mamas or those whose partners work at night? Last year we made a few suggestions for getting out in the dreary days: surely you have more!

I am not looking forward to the days getting shorter. My 2 year old daughter and I have spent almost every waking moment together at a park, zoo or other outside gathering place. She barely touches her toys anymore when we are home and is constantly running to the door and asking, "Outside now, Mommy?" I am worried sick about what will happen in the fall, when it is too dangerous to be walking home from the park in the dark, and then the winter, when it is dark before I even pick her up from day care.

Continue reading "Seasons changing, what's a mama to do in the dark?" »

Get to sleep! How do you change a child's bedtime?

August 30, 2007

My husband and I are confirmed night owls, always have been, always will struggle with it! I've read studies that a predisposition to early rising or staying up to all hours is hereditary, so you can imagine that our kids are just like us. Unfortunately, we're all night dwellers in a world designed for the early bird. And (what with Everett starting school at 8 a.m. in 11 days) I'm trying to change our ways.

Let's take yesterday as a case study: I woke the boys at 8 a.m., only 45 minutes past my goal time of 7:15. Truman (28 mos) took a nap, nearly three hours in the late afternoon. I tried to wake him up starting at around 90 minutes, but it didn't 'take' until 5:30 or so. All day I did admirably on what I call Project: Schedule; we ate meals at regular times, went largely without TV, tried to have a post-lunch settle down. Around 8:00, I started my recently-established routine: bath, maybe a glass of milk, brush teeth, books, good night! A few minutes before 11, I checked on them and they were quietly playing. 10 minutes later, Truman trundles down the stairs, and we do the carry-back-upstairs three or four times before finally, it's nighty-night.

Zoinks! What should I do? I just can't seem to get them to go to sleep at a "normal" time (I'd hope for something in the 9 p.m. range). I've been working on this for a couple of months now, some days assiduously, some days (I'll admit) a bit lackadaisical. I've tried some tricks that didn't work, like spiking the milk with Benadryl (I gave up after a week feeling guilty), aromatherapy bubble bath, even reading books that all have a bedtime theme. How can a mama get a couple of energetic boys to sleep already?

Obstetrician: Portland newbie needs recommendation

I'm always amazed at the chutzpah it must take to move while you're pregnant! Of course, if you're coming to Portland, it's for a good cause. Alecia is one such gutsy mama, and needs a recommendation for a good OB/GYN on the west side. You all gave us lots of raves and reviews of your fave obstetricians and gynecologists last winter; any new ideas or specific doctors in her neighborhood?

My husband and I are moving from Texas to Hillsboro, Oregon. I will be around 20 weeks when I arrive in November. We have researched Providence Saint Vincent and were wondering if you could recommend some OBGYNs. Obviously some who are reputable. We are also aware of the Women's Healthcare Associates right by this particular hospital. Any suggestions would be wonderful! We are very excited about this big move and want the best doctor for our first baby!

Best school shoes for a wide-footed boy?

August 17, 2007

Keen_shoes I'm in denial that my five-year-old is starting kindergarten in three weeks -- eeek! Yesterday I was thinking about how wonderful it is that Everett can walk to school and suddenly thought: uh-oh. Shoes. In April, we bought him two pairs of lovely shoes at Clogs-N-More Kids on Hawthorne (following the uMamas shoe buy guide of course) and his sandals are perfect -- he can put them on himself, they're sporty and cute, he can run fast in them. But the other pair we purchased, I've realized, aren't.

I let him pick them out, and they're certainly cute. But they're extremely hard for him to get on his feet, and I'd like to encourage the do-it-yourself-ing as much as possible. Can anyone recommend a good looking, all-purpose shoe for wide feet that a child can get on all by himself?

The Quintessential Family Car for Four

August 11, 2007

As opposed to Shari's recent quest for a 7-passenger Alternative to the Standard Mama Van, Erin seeks a suggestions as she transitions from a truck to a family car for four:

I have to give up my beloved truck for a family car that fits 2 children.  I don't want to drive a minivan, even though so many people say they love them after they get past the stigma.  I want something that sits pretty high off the ground for visibility, has enough cargo room to get my double jogger to Baby Boot Camp, and is as small and efficient as possible.  It looks like the Honda Element might be my best bet, but I'm wondering whether the set-back rear seats makes it hard to load kids in and out of carseats.  Does anyone have positive or negative experience with the Element as a family car?  Any other recommendations?   

Traveling with a Nanny - Setting Expectations

August 02, 2007

Holly will be vacationing with a nanny (how awesome is that?) and she wants to know a fair wage.  Any thoughts?

We are planning a family vacation to Hawaii in October.  We’ve invited a college-age sitter from our children’s daycare to travel with us and act as our nanny for the week.  We’ve never traveled with a nanny before and have some questions about compensation, time off and reasonable expectations.   

So far, we have purchased a plane ticket for the sitter and she has agreed to sleep in the kids’ room – in her own bed.  We also intend to provide all meals and give her some free time off each day. 

Our initial thoughts are to pay the nanny between $8 - $10 per hour.  We are thinking that this will cover the money she could have made by working at the daycare for the week, and it’s tax free.  This is for two preschoolers and one infant.

We don’t plan on being absentee parents on this vacation.  We see nanny acting as a helping hand and extra pair of eyes.  We are hoping to reach an agreement that is favorable for nanny and us.  We would love to hear from the UrbanMamas.  What sounds fair to you and is there anything else we should consider? 

She's Big for Her Age

July 31, 2007

Tristan is wondering if any mama's out there are in her shoes.  Do you have a "big baby"?

My 4 month old daughter is very big for her age (18 lbs and 27 inches...a behemoth!) and we were wondering if anyone had recs for a carseat, since she will be outgrowing her Graco Snugride sooner than later (they go up to 22 lbs and a year).  Also, any other recommendations from other parents who had big babies might be interesting to hear: obstacles they faced with clothes and toys and feeding.

What would you do - let her keep the binky?

July 29, 2007

BinkyLet's just say that one day, you were walking around the Division-Clinton Street Fair, moseying about with some other urbanFamilies.  Let's just say that you happened upon another urbanFamily's home, where they were having a mongo garage sale.  Now, let's just say that lots of the urbanKidlets got a hold of some pacifiers (all clean ones, some new) at said garage sale and your 3-1/2 year old urbanKiddo insists on going home with the binky in her mouth.  Let's just say that we catch her sucking on said binky almost every single moment in the past 24 hours since she's found the novel little thing, never ever having had taken to the binky as a baby in the past.  Let's just say that she goes to sleep with it in her mouth and she also took her nap with it.

What would you do?  Yank the damn thing outta her mouth and chuck it in the trash?  Or, just let her suck on the thing and decide herself when enough is enough?

Children's Muralist

July 25, 2007

Now that the hard part of the move is over, Sophia is looking to dive into the creative and fun part of decorating a new home.  She writes:

We have finally unpacked the last few boxes at our new home and are ready to start decorating.  Part of this plan is to have a mural painted on the walls of our five-year old son’s bedroom.  Do any Urban Mamas out there know of a wonderful, yet affordable, children’s muralist?

Baby Dolls for Boys?

June 25, 2007

As I've mentioned before, we're expecting our second baby in August. As we come in to the final stretch, I'm doing all of the normal 3rd trimester things...nesting like crazy, obessing over my labor and delivery, growing out of maternity clothes... But since this is our second baby, we also want to make sure that we do what we can to prepare Anders for the arrival of his little brother. He seems to understand the concept--there's a baby in mama's belly and he's gonna come out soon, he's gonna be a big brother, etc.

I want to do more talking with him about what it's like to have a baby in the house and the special things we do to take care of babies. I think giving him a little doll that he could take care of would be appropriate, and would give us things to talk about where babies are concerned. I've been on the lookout at several stores for a cute doll that he might like, and preferably would be a boy since we know that's who's coming home from the hospital with us. Not to turn this into a gender role issue, but everything that I see in the stores is so girly--pink and frilly all over. Does anyone have suggestions on where I can find a boy doll?

And while we're on the topic, is this something that other families have done to prepare older siblings for a new baby in the house? Did you find it helpful? Are there other things that we should be focused on doing these last few weeks to smooth the transition?

Seeking Nutritionist

June 17, 2007

As they say, you are what you eat!  The pregnancy and post-partum periods may be challenging for making sure you eat the right foods, MollyJ asks:

I would like to get connected with a nutritionist in SE/NE Portland or the downtown area. Does anyone have any recommendations? I would like to ensure that I am getting the proper nutrition during my last trimester ( I am 7 1/2 months pregnant) as well as have support and guidance for post pregnancy weight loss and nutrition while breastfeeding.

originally posted by urbanMamas on August 18, 2006.

Another urbanMama writes:

After having a baby, I'm struggling to lose the last 5 lbs.  I'm exercising 3-4 times a week but still need some help.  Since I'm still nursing my 11-month old, I need to find the healthy way to help shed those last few pounds.  Can anyone out there recommend a nutritionist in the NW portland area? 

Baby Monitor Recommendation

June 06, 2007

Sarah's looking to buy a good quality monitor.  Do you have you any suggestions?

Parentunit_2 We're getting ready to have our second child, and since we're not quite ready to give up the monitor in our first child's bedroom, we're planning to buy one for the baby too. The main criteria for us is that the monitor have a long range without getting too much static. We've had pretty good success with our current monitor, which surprisingly is made by Fisher Price, but I know technology with these things and models can change.  Does anyone have a monitor with great range that they can recommend?

Portland in a Day

June 04, 2007

Emily is considering relocating to Portland.  What are some of your suggestions to get the best taste of Portland in a short visit?  She asks:

My family (me, husband, two boys aged 2 and 1) are visiting Portland next week to decide if we will relocate, and where we might like to live.  If you had one week in town, where would you visit?  We want to see some touristy stuff, but mostly get a feeling for the different areas/neighborhoods and what it would be like to live there with kids.  We will be staying in the Hawthorne area near Laurelhurst Park, but want to travel all over (even suburbs) within the confines of naps and 8pm bedtimes. :)  Parks for toddlers, strong coffee, sushi and brewpubs are of special interest.  I am hoping to really get a taste of the local Portland flavor.

Suggestions for Gearing up on Baby Gear

May 19, 2007

Erin has probably posed her question to the right group of mamas.  Any suggestions for non-Big Box-baby stores?  We're certain you have some:

I've recently moved to Portland, am due August 7 and am starting to hit my "nesting" phase big time (even though we don't have a house yet!).  I'm looking for recommendations for great stores in PDX for nursery items-strollers, gliderm chairs, changing tables, bedding, wipes, blah blah blah.  I'm trying to avoid the big stores like Babies R Us, Crate and Barrel and whatnot.  God knows what would happen if my baby had a catalogue nursery (insert eye roll here).  ha ha!  Any suggestions are much appreciated!

Finding a Pediatrician that Fits

May 13, 2007

Being a first time mama is overwhelming in many regards.  Your body is changing and your hormones are crazy.  You go into nesting mode and everything needs to be set and ready... even if the baby isn't expected to arrive for another ohhhh 4 months or so.  A very important, and personal, decision is with the pediatrician.  It may seem odd visiting a pediatrician when you don't even have a child yet, but how else will you know you've got the right one?  Here at urbanMamas, our readers have written the anthology on picking a pediatrician.  We've got a few vax-relaxed recommendations.  Some recommendations for moms who prefer not to dole out the medications.  Pediatricians by area, pediatricians for preemies, pediatricians by network, and last, but not least, a comprehensive discussion about pediatricians vs family doctors.  urbanMama Henriette is expecting, and delving into the realm of picking a pediatrician.

I am currently pregnant with my first child and in the process of finding a pediatrician.  Does anyone have any recommendations for doctors at either Metropolitan Pediatrics Northwest and/or Pediatric Associates of the Northwest?  It is important for my husband and I to find a doctor who is open to alternative treatments and lets us schedule vaccines.

Birthmark / Mole Removal

May 10, 2007

Virginia needs some advice on other mama's who've opted to have skin imperfections taken care of on their child.  She writes:

I know this is a long shot but I figured I’d see if anyone out there has been through anything similar.  My 21 month old son has a mole on the side of his face between his cheek and eye.  It looks like a birthmark (and that’s what every doctor told me it was) but my gut told me it was something more.  Thus, I took him to a pediatric dermatologist and I was right.  It’s a large flat mole and very noticeable (over 1 cm in diameter).  I’m his mama so I don’t care but there is no doubt that we will have it removed, probably around his third birthday.  The risk of skin cancer with this type of mole is 1 in 3 plus I don’t want him to have to deal with any teasing/bullying because of it.  Have any of the other urbanMamas ever dealt with a similar issue?  I’m most concerned with the anesthesia involved with the surgery, plus it’s plastic surgery.  I could really use some support and would love any info from someone who’s been through something similar.

Pregnancy-induced dairy intolerance

May 09, 2007

Strawberry_milkshake One week ago on the nose, which was (according to my calculations) day one of my third trimester, I suddenly got terrible heartburn. I almost never get heartburn, so at first I thought I was about to go into labor, or was struck with an awful pregnancy-related disease. But no: it was just heartburn.

The next day I finally started taking Tums (for some reason my addled pregnant brain is fearful of pharmaceuticals of any kind) after my OB's nurse said cheerfully, "you can take seven or eight a day no problem!" Once I'd downed eight without marked improvement, I made the connection between my consumption of dairy and the onset of symptoms. I stopped eating ice cream, milk, and cheese, and I was fine.

Here's the thing: dairy is more than just a food group for me. It makes up a good third of my diet most days, and eliminating it is not easy. Today even a bit of butter is causing symptoms. My friend-and-colleague Julie suggested I try Tofutti and Rice Dream (works for me). Any other suggestions? Has anyone else experienced this bizarre third-trimester-induced dairy intolerance? Any natural remedies for heartburn I may not have already tried (papaya enzymes, vinegar, almonds, raw apple, chamomile, mint tea, and black tea were all unsuccessful)?

The Hot and Cold about Heat Pumps

May 08, 2007

As we embark on a journey of home remodeling, we've been giving lots of thought as to which type of appliances to install.  It can all be overwhelming when you think of it all at once.  So for now we'll start with heating and cooling; Catherine and I wonder:

We've just decided that our big project for the year is to replace our ancient electric furnace with something new.  Going green would be great, provided it doesn't blow our budget!  A heat pump seems like a great device, but the reviews vary a lot.  Does anyone out there have a heat pump in their home?  Do you like it? Does it perform well? Do you have gas or electric furnace backup?  I'm wondering if they live up to the hype as well - will we see a drop in our nearly $400 heating bill from last December?

Any other setup that anyone would like to recommend?

School Preferences: Public vs Private

May 04, 2007

Just a couple days ago, OPB was airing a story about how students seem to be disappearing from public schools and moving to private education.  I've always liked to think that no matter what, I would send my children to public school, unless it was detrimental to their health or well-being.  Of course my eldest is still a pre-schooler so I don't know for sure until the time comes what will be the right choice for our family.  One local mama, Laura, asks this question:

We have a year to decide where our child will go to school. We are debating on whether to send him to Portland Public Schools (we're not impressed), private school (expensive) or move (flee) to the burbs. Any thoughts?

For us, our neighborhood is non-negotiable.  We love where we live and it is our community.  So for now, we are planning on sending our child to PPS.  How about you?  Have you thought this through, and what decision works best for your family?

Crafting with Kiddos

May 03, 2007

As a mama, I love to encourage my children to be creative, both through crafts and in the kitchen.  Lisa is looking for some ideas of activities to do with her new two year old child:

My husband and I are adopting a two year old boy that we brought home about a month ago.  I am hoping to get advise from other moms about good activities for two year olds.  We read tons of books, paint/color, play in the sand box, go to the park etc.  I am looking for some more indoor craft activities that give us a chance for a lot of interaction.  Also, he loves to help out in the kitchen so any fun recipe ideas would be great.

Img_6073_1 My recommendation for cooking would be to try easy baking things.   I like to let my little guy help mix up biscuits or pancake batter.  Playing with dough is fun for them, as is cutting out the shapes (making biscuits  - or scones! a winner in my house).  We also do crafts that involve multi-media type art, combining coloring, painting, and stickers all at once.  For recipes, you might check your nearest library for books that have kid-friendly recipes in them.  I have one that has a great pretzel recipe where the pretzels are to be shaped like letters.  We made one for each person in the family with their first initial (of course with M for Mama!).  Anyone else have some great successes in the indoor activity department?

Two Wheeler Advice

April 25, 2007

Melissa is pondering the many options for kid-sized bike.  Perhaps you can help her out?

The baby daddy & I are thinking about getting our daughter her first bicycle for her 4th birthday which is coming up fast. At first we thought, "Great! that decision is made." Well...now we're realizing there are more options than we were prepared for. Do any of you have experience/advice/stories to share regarding pedals, no pedals, brands, size, etc.?

Experiences With Nanny Placement Service

April 13, 2007

Krista is seeking your experiences with nanny placement services.  Can you offer any?

I am wondering if anyone has experience with either Care Givers Placement Agency or A Brilliant Nanny - I am looking for occasional childcare for my 3 month old daughter and would love to know if anyone has used either of these agencies and what their experience was like. 

Laundy Detergent: Eco-Friendly But Cleans Well

March 29, 2007

Is there an eco-friendly detergent that can actually clean well?  Vivian posted this in one of our comments:

hey mamas ~ i'm looking for a laundry detergent that will still be very kind to my three-month-old's skin (and the environment) but will be perhaps a little more robust in the cleaning arena...i've been using seventh generation, which is great in general, but sometimes my partner's clothing -- especially those he uses for running in -- could peel the paint off walls, and shy little seventh generation just isn't up to the task. i've tried using an oxygen bleach to soak garments first, but i don't like the extra step or the weird 'feel' that it gives cloth...it might be a lost cause, but i thought i'd ask first! any suggestions?

On a Jet Plane: When to Buy a Seat

March 27, 2007

We're certain that there are many well-traveled parents out there who can provide Liz some friendly advice on her question.  She writes:

Hubby & I want to visit friends in San Diego in the middle of April - our son will be 1 years old by then.  Do we need to get him his own seat on the plane? When he was younger we flew with him on our lap with this harness vest for flying - it worked great we would probably have to buy the bigger size now.  Also we were thinking of making a day trip to Tijuana, Mexico (never been) is that a crazy idea to go with a 1 year old? We will have a rental car & drive from San Diego.

Moving Company Recommendations

March 20, 2007

Melinda is on the move.  I'm sure many can identify with her situation.  And now, she needs your advice on a good company that can help with the transition:

We are recent transplants to Portland from the east coast. We've spent the past five (or so) months renting a home while getting to know the city and searching for a house to purchase. Alas, we have succeeded(!) and just closed on our new home this week. Now comes the moving fun (not to mention for the second time in six months, though at least this one is local).

I've received one quote from the local Mayflower agent (Eastside Westside Moving & Storage), but would love more recommendations from folks who have had good experiences with local moving companies. My first inclination is to go with a known name in the moving business (Mayflower, United Van Lines, etc.), but could also be convinced to go with an independent company. However, we would really like someone who can help us pack as well as move. (This is our way of making this process a little, or perhaps A LOT, less painful.) Any thoughts are appreciated!

What's for Easter?

March 10, 2007

For those of us that celebrate Easter, do you go to church? Go to a egg hunt to find eggs filled with stickers or toys? Paint eggs? Jess asks:

I am wondering if any families know of sugar free Easter activities. Sugar just does not work for us. If there is not anything already going on perhaps interested families could make something happen.