As a young mom, I go through stages of motherhood that I just don’t know how to tackle. And with my daughter recently turning 2 years old, I became terrified at what curveballs this stage of her life would throw at me.
When you become a mother, you tend to hear a lot of horror stories of what has, can or will happen to your child. A lot of those horror stories have to do with our children turning two.
However, instead of letting those stories make me fearful of my child growing up, they inspired me to follow my gut feelings in what I believe is right for MY daughter. I decided that I would create my own plan that I feel would work best in making the so-called “terrible twos” not so terrible.
One thing that has worked wonders for me so far is creating a bedtime. Following the steps I laid out in one of my previous articles, I am able to put my daughter to sleep by a certain time. That is a great way to show your growing child that while they have the whole day to learn and explore, there is a limit to how long they can do it for. My daughter gets at least 10 hours of sleep every night, and that allows her to have a fresh start the next morning.
Another thing that I think will minimize the difficulty of dealing with a two year old is discipline. I choose to do it in a very moderate way. Anything from taking her toys away, or even putting her on time out for a minute or two. You will be amazed at how much they learn to value their time and valuables when they learn that they can be taken away from them.
If you’re going through the stage parenting stage as I am, remember that there is always a way to overcome a difficult time in your child’s life. As parents, we have instincts telling us what is right from wrong, listen to yours and you will be surprised at how many wonderful things you can achieve.
As a child development consultant and parenting expert, mother, wife and friend, I often wonder if texting is really a good and effective form of communication. We are just in the beginning stages of looking at the research on the pros and cons of texting. Even though we are in a virtual world of texting, video games, social networking, and web communities, what does our future look like for the next generation?
According to the industry research 61% of our children between the ages of 3 and 11 are “virtual world visitors“. 22% of our children, between the ages of 6-9 years of age already have cell phones (YIKES!). According to Parenting.com, 58% of our children of the ages of 10-15 listed texting as a major form of communication.
In order to better help you and the young children, teens, and other adult kids in your life, I have compiled some of the field research on the pros and cons of texting.
- Between 8-13 years of age, kids spend a majority of their online, and over the phone time with the same people they know in real life.
- Kids love it!
- Subscribers under 12 years of age exchanged 3 texts per call to stay in touch with their friends.
- Teens 13-17 years of age were 7 times more likely to text.
- It allows a buffer according to Nathan Freier, PhD at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, against “feelings of awkwardness during this emotionally frightened age.”
- Short text messages help relieve anxiety in some children.
- Much of the texts, according to researchers, is that kids build each other up by making positive statements.
- Kids see technology as extending communication, rather than replacing time with a friend.
- Marion Underwood, a researcher, stated “Kids stay more in touch with their families through texting.”
- According to Underwood, mothers are the first person a child texts.
- Parents enjoy sharing funny faces, comments, and ways to interact with their tweens by texting or online messaging.
- Oftentimes parents are grateful to hear that their kids are doing fine in terms of safety and happiness.
- Cell phones should be removed from children’s bedrooms because kids do not know when to stop texting during the night and become sleep deprived.
- Communication with strangers can turn into very frightening situations because of the naivety of a child, tween, or teen.
- It is less likely that families will eat dinner together and talk in person due to social media.
- Families feel less connected when there has been an increase in total time spent over the phone versus in person.
- If parents role model texting in front of their kids by being on the phone and taking phone calls, then it decreases their time spent talking to their children and they will repeat the same pattern in their own lives.
- The term Ambient Intimacy is when social media, electronic devices, texts, calls, etc. can take the place of living out real life moments together with people.
- Dating can become an uncomfortable situation by being asked out through texting and not on a telephone to clarify and uphold accountability. This is a casual method to connect face to face. Intentions can also be misconstrued.
- Breaking up through a text or a social media message can also be considered a rude, and disrespectful.
We, as a nation, need more research on the effects of social media and the way we relate to one another in terms of our children’s future. Only then can we conclude on whether or not texting is helping or harming our children’s, and family’s communication skills
Most people think of the homeless as disheveled adults with signs next to the freeway ramps begging for a handout. The staggering statistics that we don’t talk about is that 1 in 4 children are at or below the poverty level. There is some good news however; these numbers are changing due to the amazing efforts of some of the valley’s leaders.
Darlene Newsom, CEO of UMOM and Debbie Gaby, of Sleep America Charities met with me to discuss some of the ways the homeless have been able to successfully transition into society again. The idea that the majority of the homeless don’t work simply is not true. The biggest population of homelessness is created by families of the working poor. These families work hard, but due to the low wages of Arizona and the high costs of daycare it renders many incapable of sustaining themselves and their families.
UMOM has an all-inclusive program that not only shelters these families, but gives them the support they need but also the important life skills needed to further advance them into society. These life skills include programs such as counseling, parenting classes, interview skills, and safe daycare for their children. The shelter is almost fully self-contained with a beautiful daycare center, full medical center as well as a culinary school to help its residents learn valuable practices they can use in the outside world. The residents can stay up to seven years in transitional homes so that they can finish their education and gain the necessary skills to become self-supporting.
A great deal of planning and services has gone into the program to ensure the successful transition for its residents. Debbie Gaby, of Sleep America Charities was on hand to discuss her partnership with the UMOM organization. Sleep American Charities and Tempur-Pedic donated an astounding 140 beds. These are some of the most expensive luxury beds on the market and they are also made of hypoallergenic materials. Since dust mites and bed bugs cannot penetrate the mattresses, this makes them perfect for the homeless. The beds may be expensive but they will last longer and they don’t have to be replaced as often.
Homelessness is a problem but it does have a solution. If we all would write a check to organizations such as UMOM instead of giving our cash to the homeless we could actually make an even bigger difference. UMOM has a high rate of success for successfully transitioning the homeless.
Remember the donations that you make can put an end to homelessness and hunger for a child.
Becoming a mom is one of the biggest life changing events that will ever happen to a woman.
Not only do you sacrifice your body; almost every other one of your goals is put on hold. You’re faced with making some of the hardest decisions, like whether you should get a job, go back to school, or simply stay at home.
To society, the most logical thing to do would be to stay at home. People believe that devoting all of your time and energy to your household is the best choice, but that does not always mean not following your dreams.
Having a baby at such a young age I faced not only criticism from the community, but hard decisions that I had to make that not only would be beneficial to my life, but to my daughters as well. Should I continue my education, get a full time job or stay at home and watch over my child 24/7?
To most people, the most obvious answer would be to stay at home. Being raised in a Hispanic culture, I have seen women devote their whole lives to their families. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but what happens if one day the financials of the family fall on your lap? Don’t let the man be the plan.
I decided that I didn’t want to depend on a man to take care of me. I want to be able to say that if times get rough, I’d be able to take care of my family on my own. That is why I chose to not only stay in school, but get a part time job doing what I love so much… writing!
Ladies, don’t let society tell you otherwise, you can do whatever you put your mind to. Going back to school or getting a job doesn’t make you a bad mother; it makes you a mother that is willing to make sacrifices for the better of her family.
So change the status quo. Be more than just a caretaker. Do what you love. Learn to knit, play a sport or find any hobby that makes you the special person that you are.
There is no right or wrong way to be a mom, change it up a little.
At just age thirteen, Ethan Bortnick has moved audiences nationally and internationally as a pianist, composer, singer, entertainer, and a driven humanitarian, dedicated to combining his musical pursuits with his charity work.
The young international piano prodigy will be joined by the Phoenix Youth Symphony for an exclusive performance on Sunday, April 6th, at 3:00 p.m. at the Chandler Center for the Arts, with special guest The Phoenix Boys Choir.
Ethan has toured the world, connecting with diverse audiences in countries such as South Africa, Brazil, Canada and Australia and has helped raise over $30,000,000 for nonprofits around the world. Ethan has shared the stage with such legends as Elton John, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Beyonce, Reba McEntire, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, the Black Eyed Peas, Justin Bieber, and Tony Bennett. His deep musical knowledge, broad tastes, and staggering talents make his performances a treat for the whole family.
About Phoenix Youth Symphony
Established in 1952, the Phoenix Youth Symphony provides opportunities to young people in pursuit of excellence and connect the unconnected through educational, experiential and creative music performance.
Many of the talented young musicians who have been part of the Phoenix Youth Symphony have continued their study of music, becoming professional musicians, music educators, private music teachers, orchestra members, conductors, and soloists.
Remember playing the game “He loves me, he loves me not” while picking one petal off the daisy for each phrase to validate the affection of another? Valentines Day gives us a special day for the whimsical fun of LOVE with sugar hearts carrying secrets messages.
This designated day dedicated to the celebration and expression of LOVE provides us with a time to reflect on our love for others and especially love for ourselves.
Some might consider loving yourself, “love me”, selfish. The word “selfish” suffers from a bad rap. But I would challenge you to think otherwise. Be selfish with your time, your energy and your concern. Learn to love yourself first, and then you will have something special to share with others.
As I was growing up the “golden rule” of treating others the way that I would like to be treated entrenched in my mind. “Love your neighbor as yourself” served as the basis for most of my decisions. Always, others first. In reality, I didn’t have too many decisions to be made, but when I did get a chance to make a choice, taking care of others motivated my options.
Not wanting be considered selfish, I put my own personal wants and sometimes needs, on the back burner. My decision making process was stifled with others’ wishes, others’ happiness, and others’ needs topping my “to do list”.
I now ask myself, as Dr. Phil would pry: “Now how’s that working for you?” Admittedly, it did not work for this “guilt sponge”. I missed the ”everything in moderation” class in school taking the idea of caring for others as a mark of “loving your neighbor” to the expense of losing myself.
Now I would ascribe to a reverse in the old adage. I think that we should all love ourselves as well as we love our neighbor. Be greedy with your time – limit the energy spent on email, texts, and phone calls. Take care of yourself, not just an occasional message, but carve out daily time for exercise, meditation, or whatever feeds your physical and emotional health. Know you have choices and do not have to rationalize them to others- only you are responsible for yourself. Keep an eye on your circle of “friends”. Certain relationships can drain the energy right out your very being. Clean out the psychic “junk drawer”.
Remember the flight attendants admonition: If the aircraft loses altitude the oxygen masks will come down: PUT YOUR OWN MASK ON FIRST AND THEN TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN!
Remember you DO have a choice…Love me or love me not.
So when the game of life asks love me or love me not…don’t be fearful of choosing “Love me”.
February Challenge: Do something each day just for yourself. Learn the art of self-love.
Follow my daily inspiration at PattyKogutek.com for the “Cure Your Anxiety with a Guilt-Free Tip”. http://pattykogutek.com/cure-your-anxiety-with-guilt-free-tips/
Nothing sets the stage for some serious rugby action and a day of fun, food and drink than a classic rock cover band named Whiskey’s Quicker. And no band can bring a raucous close to a rollicking day of rough-and-tumble rugby than the Keltic Cowboys, Arizona’s premiere Irish rock band.
Any day of live rock and live rugby with the best food truck fare in the Valley and a World of Beer on tap in Arizona spring sunshine is a good day. And Saturday, April 12th is that day, when the Fiat of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl: Spikes & Spokes makes its Valley debut at 1:10 p.m. at WestWorld of Scottsdale as one of the world’s most popular sports meets the rolling thunder of motorcycles. As hundreds of the hottest bikes in Arizona growl along the field, the nationally-ranked team from Arizona State University will take on the #1-ranked team and defending college champions from Brigham Young University.
First up on the stage will be Whiskey’s Quicker, an Arizona-based cover band formed by AZ Sports 620 AM and the Arizona Republic’s own Dan Bickley. They have been rocking local events and festivals since 2011 with a range of songs from artists such as Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Journey, Led Zeppelin, Scorpions, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and Godsmack.
Then it’s time for a showdown between the #1-ranked rugby team in the country, powerhouse Brigham Young University and nationally-ranked Arizona State University.
Wrapping up the event will be the Keltic Cowboys, Arizona’s premier Irish Rock Band, which has been entertaining the beer drinking, live music-loving masses for over a decade. They will pommel the rugby post-game crowd with their signature rocking mix of guitars, highland pipes, banjo, mandolin and accordion.
General Admission tickets are just $12 in advance, get tickets here or $15 at the door.
Expect top-notch entertainment and hospitality. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. Fans can choose from a general admission ticket, the World of Beer Garden, field-side tailgating or relaxing in one of several other tents including a shaded mid-field VIP tent, a reserved Arizona State University tent or non-alcoholic reserved Brigham Young University tent. A VIP Sky Box option is also available for large parties and groups. Those interested in corporate sponsorships should email us here.
Additionally on that day, motorcycles will roar into The Fiat of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl like rolling thunder. The best college rugby will be on display and the twin-barreled music of the Keltic Cowboys and Whiskey’s Quicker will pommel partygoers at WestWorld. But amid the fun and the bone-bruising action there will be a serious issue being addressed by way of simply riding a motorcycle: breast cancer.
The Rugby Bowl is teaming up with Bikers for Boobies, a non-profit 501(c)3 that provides cancer awareness, education and financial resources for cancers, including breast cancer, will be the primary charity partner for the new event. Each person riding a motorcycle to display within the event grounds will be able to attend the event for free upon making a $5 donation to Bikers for Boobies.
Tickets are now on sale atTheRugbyBowl.com, the sport that inspired American football and is now one of the fastest growing sports in the world. In Rugby the players don’t use helmets, shoulder pads, or any padding and occasionally stomp on one another. This has led to terms such as maul, ruck, and scrum. The non-stop down-and-dirty action is also the newest Olympic sport and will make its debut at the Summer Games in 2016.
The Rugby Bowl, like the Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower, comes to the Valley as a new and relatively unknown sport that has the potential to be a perfect fit for a sports-and-action hungry fan base. Heineken Light is serving as the event’s Presenting Sponsor.
This past June 22nd, the same ownership and production team also launched “The Hottest Race on Earth.” Organized by the co-founder of Pat’s Run, Scottsdale’s Beat The Heat was called the best racing field in Arizona in two decades and was won by a two-time Ethiopian Olympian. The group’s Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower is now the most attended polo event in the United States or Europe after more than 12,000 gathered at WestWorld a few months ago.
Information and tickets are now available at www.TheRugbyBowl.com.
The Girl Scout Promise
“On my honor,
I will try,
To serve God and my Country,
To help others at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law”
Every meeting I would recite those words with some of my closest friends. We were all Girl Scouts. From Brownies through Juniors, I made some of the best friends I will ever have. In fact, I even live with one of my fellow ex-scouts! The Girl Scouts are so much more than a ploy to get the citizens of Earth to buy cookies. We are a band of sisters joining together to make it a better place.
One of the greatest advantages I see about being in scouts, is the complete lack of bullying in the troops. When I was in the Brownies I remember that everyone in my troop was a friend to one another. Sure, there were cliques of girls, but we were all inclusive. This is one of the fundamental benefits Girl Scouts bring into young girls’ lives. Friendships. My longest lasting ones stemmed from my elementary school years, sitting in a room and doing crafts with the other girls. The leaders also play a huge part in the growing of friendships. Having positive, accessible female role models meant the world to me back then, and I am sure it means a lot to my younger sister, a Brownie, now. If there were ever conflicts in the group, or indecision on which badge to work for, we always had an adult to look up to and guide is in the right direction.
Badges are always the topic of debate in most troops. Everyone wants the entire group to work towards her favorite badge, however this teaches young girls an important life lesson: Goal Setting. Without the payoff of those small circular patches, I am not sure I would have ever learned how to stick something out until the end, let alone work towards a common goal as a group. From fashion shows to outdoor badges, it was the covert invisible thread connecting all Girl Scouts. We were all working for something. Trying to accomplish something bigger than we were.
Despite all that we gained in cookie sales and life skills, we still had a common “frenemy,” the Boy Scout. Around the years that I was a Girl Scout, I had two brothers alive (I’d get one more brother and a little sister soon enough.) One was in Boy Scouts and the other showed interest but was not yet old enough to grasp the concept of it. Obviously Girl Scout troops have qualms with Boy Scouts. It’s just the way of the world when you are an elementary school girl.
However, I did not realize the underlying competitiveness until much later on. For one, the Boy Scouts of America’s policies are almost polar opposite from the Girl Scouts’. The other issue was that of funding. The Boy Scouts of America’s funding comes from mainly religious organizations. Although in recent years, many of their other sponsors have dropped the organization, the Girl Scouts still have to work a little harder to get the dough they need to sell cookies.
Even though this article is a little past their 100 year anniversary, it’s still important to recognize one of the few organizations that honors the individuality and character traits of a young, growing girl; instead of focusing on her radically changing, and sensitive body image.
Ruby Farias, the owner of Me the Artist invited SmartFem to experience what this place was all about.
If you have never heard of Me the Artist, it is a studio where individuals are provided a relaxing environment and helpful instructions to create a special piece of art that you can be proud of. They provide everything from aprons, paint, brushes, a canvas and most importantly, great instructions.
The environment was fun and inviting. The instructors are very helpful in guiding you through the process, and make it very clear that there is no right or wrong way of painting. Adding your own personal touch is part of the experience. One of the most pleasant things about this studio is the fact that they allow you to add your own personal touch of creativity to your paining.
If you think that art is not for you, think again. There is no right or wrong way of creating your painting. Me the Artist is a perfect place to start your collection of art. Trust me, you will be amazed when you take a few steps back and look at the masterpiece you have created, I know I was.
The next big event is on Valentine’s Day. The “Love is in the Air” session will include light appetizers and desserts. Make sure to reserve your seats, because they are filling up fast.
Me the Artist is also available for private parties. Get your social circle together for a special occasion, or if you prefer to meet new people, make a reservation and meet individuals like you that want to express yourself through a paintbrush and canvas.
I never considered myself an artist, but after experiencing Me the Artist, I realized that by surrounding myself with positive energy I could discover things about me that I did not know.
So if you’re looking for something fun to do, make sure to visit Me the Artist. It’s an experience you’ll enjoy and as long as you keep your painting… never forget.
Lets admit it, us moms tend to take the blame for almost everything that goes on around us. One very common thing that mothers tend to do is feel guilt. Whether it is because they feel they don’t provide enough money, time or attention.
I’ve been a single mom for over a year now, and I’ve had to make some very difficult decisions that not only affect my life, but my daughter’s as well. Decisions like whether I should get a full time job or continue my education. While getting a full time job would mean more income and financial security, I opted in a different route. I decided to continue my education at Arizona State University where I am now a junior and on my way to a bachelor’s degree.
Yes, there has been times when I have felt extremely guilty, and who could blame me? I am a full time student, which means that when I am not busy at school, I’m busy at home doing homework. It has been very hard to see my daughter cry when I leave to school every morning, but I have to accept that it is for the better.
One way that I have been living guilt free is by accepting that I made this decision to be able to provide a better future for the both of us. I have learned that while a full time job would provide a steady income now, an education would create a successful future later.
Another thing that I have found that works for me is giving her quality time. While I can’t give her as much time as I wish I could, I give her as much time as I can. Even if I can only give her a couple of hours a week, I make sure that they are dedicated to her and only her. For those couple of hours I make it a goal to not check my emails, phone or even worry about assignments I have to get done. That time is dedicated to her and only her.
So if you’re a mom, or know of one that is struggling to let go of her guilt. Remember that it is a choice. You can either let it get the best of you, or you can make the best of it. I have found it to make me a better mother because I know the value of time and attention that I give my daughter.
Being a mother is one of the most rewarding jobs out there; don’t let guilt ruin it for you.