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Thirsties Baby » Search Results » 67 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog Modern Cloth Diapers Thu, 21 May 2015 06:00:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Happy Mother’s Day! (Or Not?) http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/happy-mothers-day-or-not/ http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/happy-mothers-day-or-not/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 14:46:55 +0000 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/?p=6927 While perusing Facebook lately I’ve noticed something surprising over the past few days…the Anti-Mother’s Day Trend. There are several blogs, comments and rants all based on the wrongness of celebrating this day. Why? For a multitude or reasons—like the pain it brings to those who have lost their mothers, or to mothers who have lost children, or because some people had horrible, selfish mothers or because some seem to think it put’s Mothers on a pedestal and discounts the relevance of women who are not mothers by choice or circumstance. I say, “Lighten up, people!”

Photo on 3-26-15 at 8.48 AMTo me, Mother’s Day is not “All About Me,” and it’s not “All About My Mom.” I sent her a card, I gave her a call. She’s an amazing and inspiring woman who I cherish every day, no more, no less on Mother’s Day, than any other day of the year. And what did … Read More

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While perusing Facebook lately I’ve noticed something surprising over the past few days…the Anti-Mother’s Day Trend. There are several blogs, comments and rants all based on the wrongness of celebrating this day. Why? For a multitude or reasons—like the pain it brings to those who have lost their mothers, or to mothers who have lost children, or because some people had horrible, selfish mothers or because some seem to think it put’s Mothers on a pedestal and discounts the relevance of women who are not mothers by choice or circumstance. I say, “Lighten up, people!”

Photo on 3-26-15 at 8.48 AMTo me, Mother’s Day is not “All About Me,” and it’s not “All About My Mom.” I sent her a card, I gave her a call. She’s an amazing and inspiring woman who I cherish every day, no more, no less on Mother’s Day, than any other day of the year. And what did I do today? I worked my butt off. Did my family wait on me hand and foot? No. I was the cook, the maid, the nanny and nurse all darn day just like I always am. My husband did projects around the house and frankly, I was glad he did because being in a new house means there are still about 100 projects left. Sure, I got some home-made cards and an extra hug and that was enough. Maybe our family is missing out on a new sort of Mother’s Day that is like an all-day holiday celebration where Mom is pampered and lavished with gifts. Maybe other families were bathing their Mom’s feet in precious oil, fanning them with peacock feathers and feeding them grapes while they lounged on a chaise…but not here. I was just a mom and my kids were still kids. They still bickered a little, they still whined a little and I never sat down once.

Maybe the problem, for those who don’t like Mother’s Day (and I imagine they don’t like Father’s Day or Valentine’s Day either) is that it is simply a day that they feel brings attention to something that is painful for them. The Mother-Child relationship, be it healthy and loving or toxic and abusive, is something every human being on this earth has. You might not have a child but you most definitely have a mother. Do you need to celebrate her? Only if you want to. Or maybe they are sick of the blatant commercial consumerism involved in yet another holiday that involves cards, gifts and flowers. But I wish they wouldn’t make the mistake of reading too deeply into the fact that others celebrate this one day.

Most of the Mothers today, who were given cards and flowers or chocolate (or burned scrambled eggs and pancakes in bed), aren’t feeling like Motherhood has made them into some sort of Superior Beings or that Women Without Children are Missing Out. We’re really not. What we’re feeling most of the time is a mixture of being exhausted, overwhelmed, under-dressed, anxious, insecure and guilty because we’re trying to live up to a standard that isn’t realistic. We’re too busy worrying that we might get fired for being pregnant or taking off work when a child is sick too often. We’re trying to fix lunches, do laundry, break up fights, clean poop off the floor and deal with tantrums because “we cut a sandwich the wrong way,” or “put juice in the wrong color cup.” If a child is a pill in the grocery store, we get glared at or told to “control our children.” We get criticized for breastfeeding in public and we get criticized for not breastfeeding. Mothers don’t really feel superior– EVER. So for one day out of the whole year, frankly, I think somebody noticing all that we do is NICE. That’s all. It’s nice. It’s not necessary. It’s just nice.

I’ve said many times to my own competitive daughters “Just because I said something nice about your sister doesn’t mean I don’t love you too.” Just because someone else is celebrating a mother, it doesn’t make it a statement about you, or your mother, or your children, or lack thereof. If the day brings you pain, I am sorry. But I imagine seeing mothers and their children in the grocery store, at family reunions, at school and everywhere else you might come across them in life, is painful too. One day, I will lose my mother. And, though I can barely type the words, it’s possible I might lose a child. I can’t see into the future. But I vow, that no matter how much Mother’s Day might feel bittersweet or painful for me some day, I won’t ever shame others for celebrating it. It’s just a day.

Have you noticed the Anti-Mother’s Day Trend? What do you think of it?

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One and Done: One Child Families http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/one-and-done-one-child-families/ http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/one-and-done-one-child-families/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:39:42 +0000 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/?p=6769 2014-02-16 15.32.23

More and more of our friends these days are having only one child. It’s interesting to hear them talk about their experience, read blogs on the subject and to hear parents of two or more children weigh in (whether or not it is their place to do so). Having three myself, I can tell you that life is crazy. In fact, life was crazy with two and then along came Cooper. Sometimes I feel like I am so busy caring for my children that I don’t have time to enjoy them and I sometimes I secretly envy “the One and Done” crowd.

You may have heard parents of more than one child talk about how they wanted their first child to have a playmate. The “playmate phase” of childhood does not begin, of course, until both children are older than toddlers. Toddlers meeting a newborn sibling for the first … Read More

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2014-02-16 15.32.23

More and more of our friends these days are having only one child. It’s interesting to hear them talk about their experience, read blogs on the subject and to hear parents of two or more children weigh in (whether or not it is their place to do so). Having three myself, I can tell you that life is crazy. In fact, life was crazy with two and then along came Cooper. Sometimes I feel like I am so busy caring for my children that I don’t have time to enjoy them and I sometimes I secretly envy “the One and Done” crowd.

You may have heard parents of more than one child talk about how they wanted their first child to have a playmate. The “playmate phase” of childhood does not begin, of course, until both children are older than toddlers. Toddlers meeting a newborn sibling for the first time often experience a myriad of emotions including joy, wonder, love, fascination and jealousy. For the first few years, if the first child is not of the calm and nurturing variety, plan on spending a fair amount of time protecting the new baby from the “love” of your older child. Even if your first child truly adores the new brother or sister, that adoration is often shown too roughly. I’ve pried both of our smaller children out of the squeezing, territorial grip of an older sibling more than once.

When your children are old enough to actually play together, it will most likely be a typical sibling relationship (Love/Hate). Instead of entertaining each other while I try to get things done around the house, I’m often interrupted several times (dozens) by a tattletale, a fight that needs to be broken up or the need to investigate a scream. When the kids are all together and QUIET, I get suspicious. Have they sneaked the iPad out of my room or a jar of Nutella out of the cupboard? Most likely both. Are they picking the lock on my closet door looking for Christmas presents? For some reason, they seem to cooperate and work together best when mischief is involved. Then they operate like a team of highly trained jewel thieves pulling off the world’s greatest heist.

People who have one child, either by choice, necessity or circumstance, are often asked to explain or justify their decision to have one child. The truth may be that other parents are simply curious, but I’ve gotten the idea that this can be a sore subject for parents of only one child. Maybe those parents struggled with infertility and feel lucky to have one child? Maybe a pregnancy was lost due to a miscarriage? Maybe they felt that their finances were best suited to one child or maybe they just wanted one child so that they could give all of their time, energy and love onto that one lucky child. Every family has their own unique story whether they have one child or seven. We personally have the “Two and Done …Ooops” story.

Does “Only Child Syndrome” really exist? I don’t know. But I can assure you if there are “Syndromes” one can acquire by either having or not having siblings, it goes both ways. Are only children more spoiled than mine? Well, it’s probably fair to say that they may spend more One on One time with their parents but that seems to imply that it’s not good for kids to have one on one time with their parents. IF that’s the case, why do I feel like I am failing when I can’t give any of mine enough One on One time? If my children would compete less for our attention, we’d actually be able to give them more of it.

Do only children get more treats and presents because there is only one of them? I doubt that too. I probably “give in” much more than any parent of one child because I am struggling to manage more kids. “Here take the cookie! Just stop bothering your sister!” I’m also quite sure I resort to turning on the TV as much as any parent ever has.  I’ve even said things like “If anyone gets up from watching this show, he or she is going right to a time out!” Ridiculous, I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures and dinner is burning.

I certainly don’t regret having any of my children and I would never go back in time and NOT have any of my three–but I do worry sometimes that I am not doing enough for any of them….but hey, that might be something every parent fears, no matter how many children they have.

 

 

We you an only child or do you have an only child? What are your thoughts on the matter? And for parents with two or more, have any of your children ever told you they wished they were an Only Child? My oldest has let me know several times!

 

 

 

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Little Girls and Pierced Ears http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/little-girls-and-pierced-ears/ http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/little-girls-and-pierced-ears/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:03:17 +0000 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/?p=6659

Kate turns seven next week. She’s asked to get her ears pierced so we’re going to head to the mall the day before her party that way she’ll be able to show off her earrings to her friends.

I got my ears pierced at the ripe old age of eight back when you had to go to a doctor’s office to have it done. I don’t remember my parents ever saying “You can’t get your ears pierced until you are X years old.” I didn’t even ask until I turned eight and by then it was fine. I’ll never forget sitting on the examining table, kicking my legs and waiting impatiently for the nurse. The only problem was this: the clinic only had one piercing gun.

I got one ear pierced and it hurt and the gun made a loud snapping noise. I freaked out Read More

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Kate turns seven next week. She’s asked to get her ears pierced so we’re going to head to the mall the day before her party that way she’ll be able to show off her earrings to her friends.

I got my ears pierced at the ripe old age of eight back when you had to go to a doctor’s office to have it done. I don’t remember my parents ever saying “You can’t get your ears pierced until you are X years old.” I didn’t even ask until I turned eight and by then it was fine. I’ll never forget sitting on the examining table, kicking my legs and waiting impatiently for the nurse. The only problem was this: the clinic only had one piercing gun.

I got one ear pierced and it hurt and the gun made a loud snapping noise. I freaked out and refused to get the other ear pierced for at least 20 minutes. I remember asking to go look in the mirror at my one throbbing lobe. I studied my dark red ear lobe with the gold ball in the middle with a look of terror on my face and told my mom I didn’t want to get the other one done. My mother, who had no problem with letting me get my ears pierced in the first place, did put her foot down on this time. I was not leaving the clinic until the other ear was pierced. She had to pay either way, I had insisted I really, really, really wanted to do it and I had one ear pierced already. I finally left with a gold ball in each ear and 32 years later, I still wear earrings almost every day.

Thankfully, most of the stores that offer ear piercing today have two guns so both ears can be pierced at the same time. That would have saved both me, my mother and the nurse half an hour of whining back in 1982. If Kate chooses to go through with it, I’ll let her. If she changes her mind at the last minute, that’s ok too. But if the store doesn’t offer two ears at once—we’re finding one that does. I can see the exact same thing happening with Kate.

I have a few friends who have gotten their daughter’s ears pierced shortly after birth. I don’t have any strong opinions on the matter either way. Ear piercing at a young age is often a cultural practice and it’s up to each set of parents to decide. I’ve heard a few moms say they don’t feel like it’s their choice to decide when put holes in their daughter’s body and that if she wants to do it, she can decide when she’s older. Yet, at the same time, I’ve never heard an adult who had their ears pierced as an infant feel as though she was harmed or emotionally scarred or even unhappy with her parents’ decision. So many ideas of what is right and wrong, when it comes to parenting, are really a matter of what is right or wrong for individual families and if others do differently, that’s their business.

If you have a daughter, does she have her ears pierced? How old was she? How do you feel about infants having their ears pierced?

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NYC–Here Comes Mama! http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/nyc-here-comes-mama/ http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/nyc-here-comes-mama/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:58:40 +0000 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/?p=6607 Photo Credit: E A McKenzie

Photo Credit: E A McKenzie

You’ll never guess where I am as I sit and type this, completely uninterrupted with a pleasant white noise humming in the background and my water bottle and a few snacks sitting at my feet. I’m on a plane…(drumroll, please)…and I am all by myself! On Friday I flew direct from Denver to New York City for a quick trip and it’s the first time I have flown without a child in over nine years.

Living in Colorado but having all of our extended family and childhood friends on the East Coast means we have spent a lot of time flying back and forth across the country. Those with family closer by might do extended road trips, like I remember as a child.  Several times a year we would drive from Vermont to Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania or New Jersey to visit family … Read More

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Photo Credit: E A McKenzie

Photo Credit: E A McKenzie

You’ll never guess where I am as I sit and type this, completely uninterrupted with a pleasant white noise humming in the background and my water bottle and a few snacks sitting at my feet. I’m on a plane…(drumroll, please)…and I am all by myself! On Friday I flew direct from Denver to New York City for a quick trip and it’s the first time I have flown without a child in over nine years.

Living in Colorado but having all of our extended family and childhood friends on the East Coast means we have spent a lot of time flying back and forth across the country. Those with family closer by might do extended road trips, like I remember as a child.  Several times a year we would drive from Vermont to Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania or New Jersey to visit family and spend anywhere from two to four to eight hours in the car.  Since I’ve been lucky enough to be a stay home and do some free-lance work writing from the comfort of wherever I can set my computer, I’ve been able to travel quite a bit—as long as I bring the kids with me. Over the years that has gone from one infant, to a toddler and an infant, to a six year old, a toddler and an infant, and so on and so on.

This weekend was my first weekend flying alone has been rather unreal. My luggage is light, my carry-on practically empty and I’m appreciating every single minute of sitting alone in this cramped seat. My flight from Denver to New York was delayed about 35 minutes before finally taking off. I was practically giddy with delight  that it was so easy. I found myself wanting to tell strangers how wonderful this experience was. “I don’t mind just sitting here on my computer, or reading (reading!!) or even just…sitting! It’s so RELAXING! And EASY! How could anyone ever complain about flying when they aren’t traveling with children?”

When I’m traveling with the kids, I usually spend a good deal of time bent at an unnatural angle with my head stuffed under the seat in front of me trying pull something out of my carry-on for Lauren, Kate or Cooper with one hand while the other holds onto whichever child is the current “lap baby.” I can get write this blog, I can snooze, and best of all, I can get up and use the restroom by myself without needing to nervously leave any children sitting alone for a few moments or worse, trying to cram them all into a dirty airplane bathroom with me all at once.

I was in New York for business (which is still sounds strange as I write it) doing some networking for my nonprofit Big Hearts Big Soles Inc. and I actually had the pleasure of bring shoes to the kids at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville, New York. The faculty and students were friendly and welcoming and I got to hug a lot of new friends good-bye when I left. I met Nadia Lopez, the amazing principal of the school and even saw Vidal himself, dressed in a suit and tie, in person. Later that night, the friend from high school with whom I was staying, dragged me all around New York at night, to see the nights. At first I protested that I was a tired mom who needed to rest up before heading home to my children, but finally I gave in. I ended up feeling very grateful that I was able to walk around and marvel at a special place in our country, without worrying that I would lose one of my precious children if I focused on anything else for a moment.

On this flight back, I’m appreciating both the little things and the big things that I often take for granted. It’s so easy to do things without having all three of my kids being with me and I really appreciated being able to take a two night break. But I also miss them and I can’t wait to see their smiling faces in a few more hours and to wrap my arms around them and give them big hugs. As a stay at home mom, who often feels so busy and overwhelmed by parenting, that I feel like I can’t enjoy my children the way I think I am supposed to, this trip has been a gift to me in many ways.

Have you traveled without your children recently? How did you feel on your first time away from home?

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Thirsties Thursday Giveaway #1732 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/thirsties-thursday-giveaway-1732/ http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/thirsties-thursday-giveaway-1732/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 20:44:29 +0000 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/?p=6578 thirsties-giveaway--2-DW

 

Duo Wraps

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Duo Wraps

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thirsties Thursday Giveaway #167 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/thirsties-thursday-giveaway-167-2/ http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/thirsties-thursday-giveaway-167-2/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 06:00:27 +0000 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/?p=6483 thirsties-one-size-all-in-one-snap-aqua

 

One Size All in One and a Wet Bag
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One Size All in One and a Wet Bag
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Winter Break Starts When??? http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/winter-break-starts-when/ http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/winter-break-starts-when/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 03:34:11 +0000 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/?p=6418 This past Saturday we had rehearsal for the Christmas pageant, followed by a birthday party for a friend of Kate’s who has a December 26th birthday. At some point, I realized that I hadn’t ordered our picture Christmas cards yet so I frantically searched for a “virtual coupon” that would cut enough off of the price that I would feel less guilty  paying extra for the “rush shipping.” We hurried home so I could get the girls asleep before my sister came over to be there while I ran to the airport to pick up Cooper and my husband who had taken a boys’ trip to Tennessee to visit family. We got home at ten.

The next morning we were up bright and early for the Christmas pageant. Between the early arrival and costume donning, followed by dropping off our obligatory edible contribution to the “Pageant Party,” and the obligatory … Read More

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This past Saturday we had rehearsal for the Christmas pageant, followed by a birthday party for a friend of Kate’s who has a December 26th birthday. At some point, I realized that I hadn’t ordered our picture Christmas cards yet so I frantically searched for a “virtual coupon” that would cut enough off of the price that I would feel less guilty  paying extra for the “rush shipping.” We hurried home so I could get the girls asleep before my sister came over to be there while I ran to the airport to pick up Cooper and my husband who had taken a boys’ trip to Tennessee to visit family. We got home at ten.

The next morning we were up bright and early for the Christmas pageant. Between the early arrival and costume donning, followed by dropping off our obligatory edible contribution to the “Pageant Party,” and the obligatory eating of goodies that other tired parents had whipped together at the last minute, we were at church from 9 a.m. to noon. On the way home, we picked up a Christmas tree, came home and decorated it by a warm fire while giant snowflakes floated down from the sky. It was picturesque. Then we fed the kids a quick healthy snack and headed to a four p.m. Christmas party. We were home by 7:30, got the kids to bed and by that time, I was ready to fall over. I hadn’t done one bit of Christmas shopping, nor had I helped Kate work on the shirt she is supposed to decorate for the Secret Snowflake exchange her first grade class is having on Friday.

This morning, third grade Lauren was panicking because she had forgotten that she needed to write a little note for her Secret Snowflake exchange (notes or poems every day this week, with clues as to who their Secret Snowflake is, ending with a very small gift on Friday). There were no pens to be found–not one.  (And why does every piece of white paper in this house have an unfinished piece of kid-art on it and more importantly, why I am looking for a pen when I am trying to pack lunches, get kids dressed, hair brushed and fed breakfast??) Suddenly Kate asked “Mommy, how many more days until Christmas break starts?” “Two weeks,” I told her.

As I continued to multi-task, silently cursing the extra holiday projects parents are given just before school lets out–thus leaving them with very little free-time not either filled with holiday-school-related-busy-work or worse, actual kids at home, it occurred to me that if winter break wasn’t for two more weeks, the Secret Snowflake projects were either A) not due this week or B) my brain had completely melted and I didn’t even know what week it was. Unfortunately, the answer was B. I looked at the calendar and literally gasped like someone had stuck me with the needle I apparently should have been using right that minute, to sew buttons on Kate’s t-shirt project.

“What’s wrong?” Lauren asked, obviously thinking I had sliced my thumb instead of the sandwich I had been making for her lunch. “Winter break starts on Friday! Christmas is next week!” I wanted to cry.

I love the holidays. I really do. As a kid, I started feeling the “Christmas spirit” as soon as the leaves started to change. I couldn’t get enough. I don’t mean that I was only looking forward to all of the gifts either. I really and truly loved the “feeling” I had—the coziness, the family time and the all of the extra fun activities that were going on. As a mother, though I still love the holiday season, I often feel like I am so busy trying to get everything done, I don’t ever have time to sit and “feel” the magic. This week, having three kids in school, I have three different holiday parties for which I need to bring in food, school related-holiday party crafts to finish, I have to send out the Christmas cards, and teacher gifts? I haven’t even given them a thought.  I have a lot of Christmas shopping that still needs to be done. Next week, the kids will be out of school and I haven’t quite figured out how I am going to do Christmas shopping with them around. My sister, having perhaps wisely decided to skip out on the holiday madness, is going to Mexico with her husband and three boys. They’ve decided to make the time about “family’ and opt of out of the consumerism. I admit, I would hate to be “skipping Christmas” and yet, trying to find time to actually enjoy it is challenging.

So here’s to all the moms, who didn’t realize until they read this blog, that yes, winter break starts FRIDAY, and that you still need to bake 6 dozen cookies, attend multiple class parties, put money towards the teacher gifts and most of all, feel Merry while you are doing it! Break out your dreidles and your jingle bells because the countdown has begun–both Christmas and Hanukkah are here!

 

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I’m Feeling Extra Thankful This Year http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/im-feeling-extra-thankful-this-year/ http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/im-feeling-extra-thankful-this-year/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 22:35:49 +0000 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/?p=6305 I am feeling particularly grateful this holiday season. My children are healthy, they’re happy and well-adjusted (most of the time) and we’ve made some huge progress figuring out how Kate’s diet affects, not only her moods and her behavior, but also her ability to learn. Life is good. But the thing that has me most excited right now is my new nonprofit, called Big Hearts Big Soles Inc.

Let me tell you the little story that got the whole thing started. I was dropping off some items I was donating at the Salvation Army—did I mention I’m a Thrift Store regular? They are my favorite place to buy clothes for myself and the kids, books and furniture. I love a project, like an old shelf, to repaint and fuss with until it looks like new again. Or if not new, funky will work. Anyway, I digress. I happened to overhear … Read More

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I am feeling particularly grateful this holiday season. My children are healthy, they’re happy and well-adjusted (most of the time) and we’ve made some huge progress figuring out how Kate’s diet affects, not only her moods and her behavior, but also her ability to learn. Life is good. But the thing that has me most excited right now is my new nonprofit, called Big Hearts Big Soles Inc.

Let me tell you the little story that got the whole thing started. I was dropping off some items I was donating at the Salvation Army—did I mention I’m a Thrift Store regular? They are my favorite place to buy clothes for myself and the kids, books and furniture. I love a project, like an old shelf, to repaint and fuss with until it looks like new again. Or if not new, funky will work. Anyway, I digress. I happened to overhear an employee of the Salvation Army, half talking to himself, half to me, mention he was looking for some size 17 shoes. “Who needs size 17 shoes?” I immediately asked, knowing both shoes and feet that big are rare. He told me a local homeless man needed them…and it was at that point that it occurred to me, how hard it would be for low-income or homeless men, to find shoes that size. Most people who need larger than a men’s 13 have to custom order their shoes…and they aren’t cheap either. What were the chances the right size would end up at the right place for someone with little to no resources? Slim to none, apparently.

I ended up telling the man that I might be able to help. Crocs is based in Boulder and I know someone who knows someone there. I also have some connections with the Detroit Pistons. I said, “I can’t promise, but let me see what I can do.” This encounter changed my life. Crocs immediately sent two pairs of size 17s to me (and they had to be sent to Colorado from out of state, the home-base of Crocs, which shows how hard it is to track down shoes this big) and pretty soon, three pairs of brand new athletic shoes, all size 17, that had been sitting in the Pistons’ equipment room were headed to Boulder. Being able to give this man the first new shoes he had in over three years was amazing. I realized that I don’t have to be independently wealthy or even anyone special to jump in, get involved and make a difference.

To make a long story short, the woman who works at the shelter, who had initially put out the word out that this man needed shoes, became my co-founder and since October, we’ve been able to provide 19 pairs of shoes to people in our area, including three size 17s, three size 15s and 10 pairs to a high school students in Denver who play basketball but can’t afford decent athletic shoes to play in.

Me Serviving Soup to the Homeless

Me Serving Soup to the Homeless

Since starting Big Hearts Big Soles Inc., (and yes we are now an official 501C3) I’ve made an extra effort to get involved with the homeless population in Boulder. Just because you don’t need big shoes, doesn’t mean Big Hearts Big Soles won’t try to help. In fact, I’ve realized I might be a horrible business woman because I can’t say no to anyone. If someone approaches me, I will try, no matter what, to get them what they need. The homeless folks I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting, are the farthest thing from “lazy moochers who are looking for handouts.”  Many of them are among the least selfish I’ve met. A visibly shivering man kept refusing my offer of warmer clothes when the temps hovered around 5 degrees last week saying “I’m sure there’s someone here colder than I am.” But there didn’t seem to be so I put on my Bossy Hat (which I am quite comfortable with as a mother of three) and told him he had to go put on those extra layers. I was laughing…but I meant it. And he did. I also took a homeless man and woman I met out to coffee one morning as I had been trying to find boots for Donna Jean. She had been wearing sneakers with soles that flapped open like an old puppet when she walked. I encouraged her and her friend Bear to order whatever they wanted but even though they hadn’t eaten breakfast, they would only let me buy them coffee and a muffin.

Other than the immediate benefit of knowing that I am helping others, starting Big Hearts Big Soles Inc. has also helped my children to understand that sometimes we “need” things and sometimes we “want” things. It’s helped them put their own lives in perspective (a little) to know that even though some of their friends have bigger houses or more toys or go on tropical vacations while we stay home, we’re still pretty darn lucky. So this Thanksgiving I am thankful for all of the things that are easy to take for granted: health, employment, shelter, warm food and clean sheets.

What are you thankful for this year?

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Thirsties Thursday Giveaway #149 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/thirsties-thursday-giveaway-149/ http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/thirsties-thursday-giveaway-149/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:21:16 +0000 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/?p=5969 thirsties-giveaway--1-FW_1BL_1WB

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Planking: My New Favorite Exercise http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/planking-my-new-favorite-exercise/ http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/planking-my-new-favorite-exercise/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:55:18 +0000 http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/?p=5939 IMG_2208

Let me start this post off by saying that I am not a fitness buff, an exercise guru nor anyone remotely qualified to give fitness advice If you are pregnant or just had a baby, please don’t try this until your doctor has said it is safe for you. The best I can do is to share with you my own experience with the body I walk around in. I have had three full-term pregnancies, three c-sections and even before motherhood, I had chronic back pain. I don’t know why. It’s just how it is and in fact, I’ve seen pictures of myself as a five year old in ballet class back in 1979 and guess what? I couldn’t do a backbend (they call them “bridges” these days) even then. I was the only little girl in the class whose back wasn’t flexible simply because I was young.

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IMG_2208

Let me start this post off by saying that I am not a fitness buff, an exercise guru nor anyone remotely qualified to give fitness advice If you are pregnant or just had a baby, please don’t try this until your doctor has said it is safe for you. The best I can do is to share with you my own experience with the body I walk around in. I have had three full-term pregnancies, three c-sections and even before motherhood, I had chronic back pain. I don’t know why. It’s just how it is and in fact, I’ve seen pictures of myself as a five year old in ballet class back in 1979 and guess what? I couldn’t do a backbend (they call them “bridges” these days) even then. I was the only little girl in the class whose back wasn’t flexible simply because I was young.

While surfing the web few months ago, I came across an article called “The 10 Worst Exercises.” I was surprised that “crunches” were on the list. The author suggested trying the plank instead and to work up to holding the position for one minute. I immediately got onto the floor an planked, using the stopwatch app on my phone to time myself. I was shaking after about 45 seconds but I held the position for a full two minutes. (I attribute this almost entirely to stubbornness rather than core strength).

The concept of planking makes sense to me. The muscles surrounding the core and spine are being strengthened in a straight position. Crunches cause the spine to bend at an unnatural angle and over-strengthen the ab muscles on the front of the body but not the muscles on the back, like the erector spinae. Weaker muscles on the back side of the body and stronger muscles on the front side are going to affect posture negatively by pulling the spine forward. It makes sense to strengthen both sides of the core at once, in the position you want them to be strongest, straight.  (Did I mention that I was a massage therapist for a few years in my past life?)

After about four weeks of doing the plank nightly for between one to two minutes per night (sometimes with the weight of a toddler or small dog added by chance) I noticed my lower back felt better and that I could sit on the floor with my legs straight out in front me and keep my back straight at the same time. I have never, ever been able to do this before. I could also sit cross-legged on the floor and keep my back straight which has always been uncomfortable for me. Being able to sit up straight without feeling like I am constantly fighting gravity and my unfortunate tendency to slouch, has made sitting on the floor much more pleasant!

The picture posted is me…doing Low Plank. There are plenty of variations that you can find online—such as lifting a leg for 12 repetitions, then lifting the other leg for 12 repetitions. You can try lifting one arm, then the other, then one leg and one arm at the same time. You can try the upper plank, lower plank and even a brutal five or eight minute workout which involves all kinds of different leg and arm movements and planking for an entire five (or eight minutes). I can’t do the entire five minute workout all at once yet…I turn into a quivering, panting, grunting mess about halfway through and then collapse on the floor. Doesn’t that sound fun? It’s a good goal to work towards, easy to do at home and I really did see improvement in how my body feels. I don’t have six-pack abs and I never will. The plank isn’t about getting them either—at least not for me.

Try the plank and time yourself every day for a week and see how much progress you make—and then share it here. Parents need strong backs with the bending, lifting, hoisting, lugging, pushing, pulling, and cradling that we do.

P.S. Just after I discovered The Plank, I had the serendipitous pleasure of meeting Gabi Ury on the top of Eldora Mountain while snowboarding this past winter. She is the 16 year old who just blew away the world record for planking by a woman.

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