Posts in category "parenting"

Ohana offers mom and baby classes and other resources for expectant and new parents

Ohana offers mom and baby classes and other resources for expectant and new parents

My baby having days are over (sniff, sniff), but I wish that there was a place like Ohana when I was expecting my first babe nearly ten years ago. Located in Evanston, Ohana offers education, support and community for new and expectant parents. This is a complete support system for parents in the year before and after they welcome a new addition to their families.

The Hawaiian word Ohana refers to one’s inner circle of both family and close friends. After six years working closely with expectant and new parents as a doula, Ohana founder Jocelyn Alt realized that many of her clients were experiencing a great deal of stress and uncertainty during their pregnancies and that existing resources were inadequate. She wanted to create a support system -- an Ohana for expectant and new parents in the Chicago area. Alt founded birth and maternity services company Ohana to help fill that gap and provide a complete resource for education and support in the year before and after birth.

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Mommy Nearest Launches in Chicago

Mommy Nearest Launches in Chicago
I’ve got a new gig. Yes, another one. I like to keep myself busy! I am excited to announce that Mommy Nearest has chosen me as one of their local  “Expert Moms” in Chicago. Mommy Nearest is a recently launched mobile app that allows parents to access all kinds of child-related resources throughout Chicago and... Read more »

My son showed my underwear to his preschool class

My son showed my underwear to his preschool class
My four year-old son Colin attends full-day preschool. After lunch, there is a "nap time." Now, this child hasn't taken an actual nap in over two years. However, he still insists on bringing a blanket and teddy bear with him to school each week in the event that he decides to take a little siesta. So this blanket and teddy bear come home each Friday to be washed and returned to school on Monday. And that brings me to my story. ...
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Note to self: It is okay. You are doing the best you can.

Note to self: It is okay. You are doing the best you can.
Tonight I fed my kids frozen mini beef tacos from Trader Joes (not bad actually). That was their "first course" around 4:50 p.m. I basically force fed them these processed, salty (and tasty -- I'm not afraid to say it) appetizers before I piled all three of them into the car to head over to Oz Park for my daughter Ellie's soccer practice from 5:45-6:45. "Does everyone have their shoes on?" "Please use the bathroom before we go so we aren't searching for a Port-a-Potty!" "Ellie, do you have cleats, shin guards and a soccer ball?" "Let's GO guys! It is RUSH HOUR! We are going to be late to practice!!!" (slightly shrieking) "What? We don't have any soccer balls? How could that be? On Saturday we had three soccer balls. Where did they all go? Guys, we can't buy new soccer balls every week. This is going to have to come out of your allowance if we have to buy three more balls...

Tips for parents looking to raise confident, empowered girls from Jill Hope of I Shine (go girls!)

Tips for parents looking to raise confident, empowered girls from Jill Hope of I Shine (go girls!)
Raising girls can be tricky business. As a mom of an almost nine-year-old, I am honestly totally dismayed by the ways that my daughter's social interactions with other girls are mirroring the same experiences that I had growing up.
Simply put -- girls seem to be encountering the same sort of social challenges at all stages of life-- whether they are nine or thirty-nine.
So how do we prepare our little girls to handle these challenging social situations? Jill Hope of I Shine Kids is a local Chicago mom and parenting coach who has created a series of innovative programs that teach parents how to foster self-esteem, build character and raise emotionally healthy, empowered kids.
I am an especially big fan of her Powerful Girl Within Program. Jill developed this program because many parents come to her asking for advice on how to help their daughters who are struggling with peer issues.
One day they have a friend, only to find that the next day they are left out. Many girls feel they have to be a certain way or look a certain way, and if they don't, they will lose the few friends they have. Does this sound familiar at all?
These dynamics develop as early as preschool or kindergarten. Yes, seriously. 
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Should I give my kids video games for Christmas? Or not?

Should I give my kids video games for Christmas? Or not?
I am not a video game person. My husband is not a video game person. But we find ourselves in a video game dilemma. A couple of weeks ago, we were playing at a friend's house. They had just given their six year-old son an Xbox 360 With Kinect for Hanukkah. This was all new to us. My eight year-old daughter had the time of her life playing football and baseball using their new Xbox 360 with Kinect (which was cool because it just involved them using their bodies and being super active for an hour). I have to confess that I thought it was great. My daughter declared it the best time ever. This experience made me look at video games in a whole new light. In my mind, video games are mindless time sucks that often involve violence. However, the sports game on Xbox Kinect actually seemed like a decent use of time for kids during a long Chicago winter. My husband and I chatted about this a little bit and we thought that this would made a great Christmas present. So he headed off to Best Buy to pick up an Xbox with Kinect system for the kiddos for Christmas as gift from Mom and Dad. And then we started having major doubts...
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The American Cheese Revolution is coming to Chicago

The American Cheese Revolution is coming to Chicago
We eat a lot of cheese at our house. Lots of it. But not all cheeses are created equally (obviously). And many cheeses are full of processed gunk that isn't good for kids (or their parents for that matter). For this reason, we buy a lot of Organic Valley cheese (and other dairy).  If you are an Organic Valley fan, there is a local opportunity to learn more about their products and health initiatives. Organic Valley’s American Cheese Revolution Tour, http://www.AmericanCheeseRevolution.com, a multi-city mobile tour and online pledge drive inviting parents to demand real food for real kids, is headed to Chicago October 19-21. Chicago foodies and families are invited to meet up with the tour to sample grilled cheese sandwiches, play in the photo booth and sign the Real Food Pledge. Organic Valley has committed to donate $1(up to $25,000) for each signature to Healthy Child Healthy World...

GRASP Groups: Real Support for Real Moms

GRASP Groups: Real Support for Real Moms
When I first became a mother seven years ago, I couldn’t believe that none of the other mothers I knew (including my close friends and even my own mother) ever really spoke frankly to me about some of the more difficult and trying parts of motherhood — beginning with labor and delivery. I just had... Read more »

Families in the Loop: A New Resource for Families Like Yours

In the (short) seven years that I have been a parent, the local resources available to help moms and dads navigate the world of diaper duty, bedtime stories, and preschool applications have significantly improved. I have a few sites that are my standard “go to spots” for local parenting information (you know, like Chicago Parent... Read more »
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Q&A with HipMum

Have you heard about HipMum? Even if you haven’t, don’t you love the idea? A site devoted to helping moms hold on to a bit of their “hip” while they are mired in the day-to-day chaos of raising kiddos? Aspirational, maybe. But in a good way, I think. I recently had a chance to learn... Read more »