Friday, December 31, 2010

The dog ate my passport

My last blog discussed how I often find myself wanting to run away from the holiday season.  As I mentioned, we had a trip planned to Playa del Carmen this December. One thing I can tell you is that vacations are a critical part of the relationship I have with my husband. Each year we take one trip with the boys and one trip just us as a couple. 2010 had flown by and we had not had our trip so there was no way I was letting it slip away!

We kicked off the adventure the night before by heading to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate that we were officially on vacation for the next five days. We then went home and packed our bags since we had to be at the airport at 6:15 AM. We got there, strolled up to the counter and that is when the adventure began. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The power of princesses

My 3.5-year-old daughter recently got glasses. She was born with a cataract – a small spot near the pupil on her left eye. So she has been going to a pediatric ophthalmologist since birth. At her last appointment, she was old enough to take a vision test (which involves black and white pictures of familiar objects instead of letters); and some nearsightedness and astigmatism were detected. They also sensed that she’s starting to favor the “good” eye, so patch therapy was prescribed.

I was a bit anxious about the glasses, not knowing how she would take to them. Luckily, I wear glasses, and she’s of an age where she actually wants to be like Mommy (yeah, I know that won’t last) so my first comment to her when we got in the car was “You get to wear glasses like Mommy!” I called my husband and relayed the news to him in an equally upbeat and perky fashion. No pushback from the backseat. Whew! Maybe this will be okay, I thought.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To All the Foods I Loved Before

Once upon a time, I used to eat cheese without looking at the label to see if it was pasteurized. If it was offered to me at a party, I would unthinkingly pop it into my mouth, and enjoy. I didn't wonder if the bleu cheese crumbles in my salad were safe, and feta was not eyed with suspicion.

If it was Fall, I would down a glass of apple cider, fresh from the farm, and not think about whether or not it had been heated so the cooties were now in absentia. I would go to a sandwich shop and order a sandwich and shun heating it up to kill possible listeria whatsits.

And once a week, on average, I would eat sushi. I love sushi. I would never turn down sushi. My bachelorette party started with sushi. And tiaras. But mostly sushi.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Setting realistic New Year's Resolutions

I don't know about you, but I always have the best intentions come the end of December. January just seems like a clean slate and a great time to start fresh. Unfortunately January also always seems to be a busy time and it's easy for my best intentions to fall by the wayside.

Emily Bullard, registered dietitian, and Mike Lofland, director of the Texas Health Fitness Center HEB, offer tips for setting realistic diet and exercise goals.

Do you set New Year's Resolutions? What are your goals for 2011?

Jennifer Erickson is a Sr. PR Specialist who is aiming for small, achievable changes in 2011, not any grand pronouncements for change as the ball drops on Friday night.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas, Honey: It's a girl!

Baby Raya standing on her head in full somersault position. (Head is bottom right, torso curving up along the right side, legs and feet across the top.)
I must confess: I’ve had to do a bit of sneaking around this holiday season. It all started when my husband told me I can’t keep a secret.

Shortly after we found out I was pregnant, I calculated that on Christmas Day, I would be 18 weeks pregnant to the day. Since 18 weeks is typically when you find out the baby’s gender, my husband, Nick suggested I find out a little early and give him the news as a Christmas gift. This idea didn’t last long, though: he decided I would ruin the surprise because I can't keep a secret.

A word to the wise: don't tell a pregnant woman what she can't do.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I believe

I saw Santa. Not the mall Santa, or any of the other imposters, but Santa.

Let me back up. It happened when I was four or five, the exact year has since been forgotten. But what remains is an incredibly vivid memory  –  though when pushed I’ll reluctantly admit it must have been a dream. I remember waking up and crossing the hall to go to the bathroom and looking to the left in our ranch-style house and seeing Santa in the living room. My little kid brain processed it fast as “oh no, Santa won’t leave us the toys if he saw me.” So I quietly hung out in the bathroom leaving Santa a reasonable amount of time to finish his work before scurrying back to bed face straight ahead lest I catch another glimpse of Santa and put my family’s Christmas in jeopardy. This story has become the stuff of lore in my family.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Returning to work and finding a balance

Leaving my child was the hardest thing I have ever done.  I have always loved my job and still do.  However, I was not prepared for how hard it was going to leave my little boy.  People told me “something happens when you bring a child into the world,” and they were right.  The second my son entered this world, my life changed. 

Working has always been fun and challenging and it still is.  The greatest challenge is finding work-life balance and managing all the demands of a mom.  It has only been three weeks since I returned to work and I am still learning how to juggle all the needs and demands on me.  So, I offer some advice to all you moms who are preparing or just returning to work:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Weird Dreams Are Made Of This

I've always heard about the dreams pregnant women have, but when I had my first, not long after we found out we were pregnant, I was surprised with how vivid they are. However, I should probably preface this by saying I've always had weird dreams. Even before pregnancy, my husband would be either amazed or horrified by my recounting the night's dream activity. Making Wilford Brimley cry. Being chased by the police, only to find I was being chased by The Police. All weird and vivid.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Help a single mom this Christmas

This is my unabashed plea for you to help out a single mom this Christmas. These are my people, and frankly, we need you to get through the holidays. Not until I went through my divorce did I realize that Christmas is not merry for many people. Rather, there is a vast, wounded group of people for whom the holidays are a piercing reminder that their lives have not turned out how they wanted them to be.  At all.

For single moms, we have the strange reality of every other Christmas kind of being how we’d hoped, but not really. For the years that we have our kids, we smile and do all we can to make it a happy time for our kids. But, staying up half the night putting together the toys by yourself and then watching your kids open the gifts the next morning by yourself still isn’t what you had planned.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bah Humbug

As usual, I am nothing but honest in my blog entries. So, this one will be no different as I cover the subject of Christmas. I must tell you, I’m not a fan of the season. And that begs the question: why?  How can you not like Christmas? What a scrooge!

Let me clarify. What Christmas is really about -- the birth of Christ, the manger, the wise men, Mary, Joseph -- I love that. The true meaning of Christmas I can’t get enough of it. However, each year I find myself wanting to escape the craziness. The overwhelming amount of ads on TV, radio, newsprint, and my mailbox sends me into near panic and I feel like I can’t breathe. I mean, when you start seeing Christmas décor for sale in October? Seriously? 

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Here’s some breaking news: I hate vomit.

It’s safe to say that most people don’t enjoy it, but I hate it to the point of mania. Seriously, I have a problem. I could fill pages detailing the extent of my hatred, but suffice it to say that I’ve had several traumatic incidents that revolved around vomiting and it has scarred me beyond repair.

The act of vomiting has so jarred me that any food that I’ve ever vomited I refuse to eat again. The memory of it is too much for me to bear. A rational person might conclude that some type of stomach bug contributed to their illness, but not me, it has to be the food. So pulled pork sandwiches, fettuccini alfredo and bean with bacon soup are permanently off my menu.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lessons you learn while pregnant

As I creep up closer to the sixth month, I've learned a few things. You CAN eat too much macaroni and cheese. Public restrooms can be your enemy or your friend. Humidifiers make good white noise machines. Always keep a supply of emergency Tums next to the bed.

But my most recent lesson came at church. I wish I could say it was something touching, like some parenting advice. But the lesson I learned came directly from this child I haven't met yet. The lesson? Do not sit in the middle of the pew.

Before I explain how this lesson was taught to me, let me back up. Not long ago, I started feeling little flutters and kicks. Over time, they got stronger as the baby has gotten bigger. Until Sunday, they had been amusing little bits of punctuation to my day. When my stomach growls, the baby kicks and punches as if to tell me to eat already and knock off the racket. If I lay on my left side, soon I will feel insistent knocks and kicks as the baby tells me to roll over, the left side is not his or her favorite. The Jackson Five played loudly in the car prompts a flurry of kicks and jabs.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A big reveal...

Last summer a few of us got together and brainstormed. We’re young – in our late- 20s and early-30s and have been seeing the list of family and friends getting pregnant growing steadily. Some of us are stepmothers. Others want to have a baby soon. We’re pretty Internet savvy and turn online to research any new experience or health issue. But it can be hard to decipher where to look or what sources to trust. So, we wondered, why not create a local resource that pulls together trusted health information and a sense of community through social media?

The stats on how many women like us turn online for information when they are looking to get pregnant, the pregnancy test turns positive or their child presents a new challenge is staggering. Ninety four percent of moms online say pregnancy triggered them to seek health information on the web and connect with others in similar situations, according to the Babycenter 2010 Social Mom Influencer Report. We’re no different.

And so we started with the Texas Health Moms blog, Facebook page and Twitter account in mid-August. And we truly appreciate each and every fan, like, retweet and comment we’ve gotten in the past four months or so. But behind the scenes we’ve been working on something even bigger.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas sharing

It’s the time of the year when you have to decide where you are going to spend your time at Christmas. With my daughter, her husband, and granddaughter living in Atlanta and my son, his wife, and my other two grandchildren living in northeast Arkansas, where should my husband and I spend Christmas? 

Early in my married life, we split our time between our parents; that was easy, we all lived in the same town. We went to the candlelight services on Christmas Eve; Enjoyed Santa’s visit in the morning and shared the cooking among all the families. As our children were born and became older, we wanted to start our own traditions and have Santa come to our home; we also had moved away from our hometown. We occasionally would visit our parents during the holidays, but Christmas morning was always in our own home.

Friday, December 10, 2010

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

As parents we all do what we think is best for our kids. We teach them what we think is right and wrong. Our discipline styles vary and our expectations are sometimes different.

I am not a perfect parent by any measuring stick. And I am not under the delusion that my kiddos can do no wrong. When they make a mistake or act inappropriately, it’s my job to fix the behavior and show them how to live up to my expectations.

I have found myself in situations where I didn’t agree with how a parent approached disciplining their children, to the point where the children are not welcome around mine. When a parent approached me about it, I was honest about the children’s behavior and got excuses for why it was ok for them to behave the way they did. (This was recurring behaviors, not one-time incidents.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's your holiday tradition?

We’re nearly two weeks out from Christmas, when the big holiday build-up is at its merriest and brightest.

You know that feeling everyone gets when all the presents are opened up and you realize Christmas has ended? And then it’s sort of sad because the holiday has come and gone? My family has a unique tradition that delays the feeling a bit.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Paying More Attention to Nutrition - for Now and Later

During my first trimester, I worried frequently about my nutrition - or lack thereof. Because of morning sickness that pretty much lasted all day, the only foods I could keep down with any regularity were Whataburger chicken strips, Subway sandwiches and Arby's roast beef. Not exactly the stuff of healthy building blocks. But once the second trimester hit and the nausea subsided, I began (to my happiness and my husband's complete and utter joy) craving fresh fruit and vegetables.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Breastfeeding Moms aren't sacrificing sleep!

By Becky Law

Myth: one of the sacrifices new moms must make in order to breastfeed is their sleep.

Truth: recent research shows that regardless of the type of feedings the baby is getting (either breastfeeding or formula) moms are getting the same amount of sleep.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The BEST PET EVER for your kids

By Laura Johnson

The pleading began at about age four. “Mommy, can we get a dog?” “Mommy, I NEED a dog!” “Mommy, everybody has a dog but me.” “Mommy, if I don’t get a dog, I’ll never move out of the house and will spend the rest of my days lying on the couch watching mindless reality shows and drinking all of your Diet Cokes.”

The boy does know my hot buttons.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Christmas (Lights) Story

our half-done lights
By Megan Brooks

In the suburbs, everyone feels compelled to one-up each other. This is most evident to me in the summertime (whose lawn is greenest?) and during the holidays, when you can’t drive down the street without nearly having a seizure from all the blinking twinkle lights. Each house shouts at me: no, I have the most Christmas spirit!

Over the weekend, our neighbors (and good friends) sent us a teasing text message: “Our Christmas lights are up. Where are yours?”

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Use your words

By Elizabeth Long

Elizabeth with her niece
More than 10 years ago after my sister's divorce, both she and my niece moved in with me.  It has been a wonderful experience.  From rocking my niece to sleep when she had an earache, to crying when we took her to school for her first day of kindergarten, I have had the unique blessing of being a part of her daily life.

My niece is now 13.  She has an amazing since of humor, she's very intelligent, she's kind and thoughtful, she's loving...and she texts like I've never seen before.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Road Trip at Five Months

By Bethany Erickson

Our plans for Thanksgiving weekend were set long before we knew we were pregnant - in fact, they were set last Spring, when we bought tickets for a college football game in Kansas City, something that has become a tradition of sorts since we started dating.

But this year, I knew I couldn't handle an eight hour road trip. So immediately after we got our big fat positive pregnancy test, we began making plans to break the trip up over four days, driving about five hours on Thursday afternoon, three more on Friday, and then leaving after the game Saturday and driving halfway home before stopping again. We'd finish the trip up Sunday, with plenty of time to relax Sunday evening before returning to work.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Children's liquid medicine: are you giving the right doses?

Does this train of thought sound familiar, as you’re divvying out cold medicine to your sick kiddo: hmmm…5mL equals one teaspoon? Or is it tablespoon? I need Google…

If you sometimes feel like you need to be a pharmacist to decipher those over-the-counter cold medicine labels and measurements, you’re not alone.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Going old school

By Tom Erickson

Having a baby is the ultimate conversation starter. From the minute we started telling people about my wife's pregnancy, friends, family and total strangers have been eager to tell stories, dispense advice and ask questions.

The first trimester was filled with stories about morning sickness, strange cravings and other issues related to being with child. Even people you meet at a party are quick to share their best (and worst) memories.

Now that we're into the fifth month, one question stands out: "Have you found out the gender yet?"

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mother-daughter tradition

Jennifer and Mom
By Jennifer Erickson

For most people Thanksgiving is about the Thursday activities. While treasured and important, for the women in my family the real holiday tradition though comes on Friday – Black Friday that is. Yes, we’re one of those people standing outside of Target or Kohl’s in the wee hours. No, I’ve never witnessed a fight or been trampled.

Let me back up though and say it wasn’t always my favorite tradition.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for my cheering section

Kara and I before the race
By Megan Brooks

We hovered near the starting line of the Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot 10K at around 7:45 this Thanksgiving morning. My sister-in-law Kara and I looked silly as we bounced up and down, hoping to get warmer, our toes freezing in our thin Vibram Five Finger shoes. It was 44-ish degrees, but felt like 34 degrees, with 20 mph winds and ominous clouds sputtering out light raindrops. Wasn’t it just 80 degrees yesterday or did I dream that? We were ready to get these 6.2 miles over with and enjoy our pumpkin pie, we decided.

We weren’t suffering alone. My loyal spectators, husband Brian and stepson Brendan, wished us good luck and headed to the sideline to see us off – shivering, but smiling for my sake.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making Oreo Cookie Turkeys

Kids before making Oreo Cookie Turkeys
By Marsha Jepson

First, I love being an aunt. I have six nieces and nephews that I love more than life itself. They are Winston, 5 months, Victoria, 11, Michala, 13, Hunter, 18, Brent, 20 and Ashley, 24. We’ve made some great memories through the years by making or doing a craft of some sort together. Most of our “craft” projects centered around a holiday.

There was the rice crispy treat Christmas tree that we hoped would stay up long enough for Nana (my mother) to see it when she got home from visiting my grandmother in the hospital. Seems like we put in too much butter so the tree leaned from side-to-side and needed constant supervision to keep it upright.

And then there was the sugar cookie Christmas tree, complete with real candles to emulate Christmas tree décor of old. When we gathered around the cookie tree on Christmas day and lit the candles so all could bask in the glow of the fine handiwork of my young nieces, the cookie icing caught fire and amidst much laughter, we quickly blew all the candles out before any fire damage was achieved.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Get creative with turkey leftovers

Got plans for all of that leftover holiday bird? Turkey sandwiches, or Thanksgiving dinner replays for the next week?

Get creative and make a healthy recipe with it instead, said Denice Taylor, registered dietitian at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.

“Part of the whole idea is being thrifty with our food, using our resources,” Denice said. “Sometimes leftovers will sit in the refrigerator after the holiday and we don’t use them, we end up throwing them away because we don’t have a plan.”

Monday, November 22, 2010

Not just for turkeys

Each year as Thanksgiving rolls around most people’s thoughts turn to turkeys and thanks and seeing relatives. But one thing that often is neglected is fitness.

That can be a dangerous combo.

The average American consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day and more than 229 grams of fat, or more than 2.5 times the average daily calorie count recommended and nearly 3.5 times the daily fat count recommended, according to the Calorie Control Council. The council also estimates that individuals may consume enough fat at Thanksgiving feasts to equal three sticks of butter.

I don’t know about you, but those numbers are a bit frightening to me and spurred me to look for tips on ways to combat the added calories.

So I turned to Mike Lofland, director of the Texas Health Fitness Center HEB.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Clean your room!

How many times have you said this to your child? Maybe at least 50 times in one day? Or does it just feel that way sometimes?

My stepsons always shared a room up until a couple of years ago and when we put them in separate rooms we soon realized which one was messy. My younger stepson Nathan had been the culprit all these years. Not to say he didn’t have some help from his older brother on some messes, but there was a distinct difference in how these two boys kept their rooms.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The father-daughter bond

Ed and Tali
Last Saturday marked our 785th date. Since she could sit up, my daughter Talitha and I have logged an average of 45 dates per year. What started out as a way to give my wife time to sleep in on Saturdays has morphed into a highlight of our week. Despite the challenges of work and school, we’ve maintained this sacred, drama free, daddy-daughter time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Short girl walks into a maternity store . . .

I'm short. And pants? They've always been my own personal Waterloo. I once cried in the middle of a store when I found they quit making this one kind of jean - they fit me so well, without a trip to the tailor to shorten them. I tend to buy pants and then wear them until they suddenly rip (generally while I'm in a mall, necessitating a sudden pants purchase while holding a big bag behind me), because it's that hard to find them the right length.

But maternity pants shopping? Whole new war. And it's becoming a necessary one. I'm finally getting to the point where my jeans and pants are getting snug. I'm running out of presentable work clothes. It's time to shop.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Healthy Holiday Sides

Minimize the damage of your Thanksgiving calorie-fest by incorporating some of these healthy side dishes into the menu. Each provides less than 150 calories per serving.

Harvest Salad
5 cups apples, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup walnuts or pecans
1 cup light mayonnaise
Mix all well. Chill at least 6 hours.
Nutrition info: 128 calories per ½ cup. Simple, nutritious, and a great source of fiber!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ode to my fellow breastfeeding mothers!

Whitney and baby Wells
My hat goes off to all the women who are reading this blog and breastfed (or are breastfeeding) their babies. It is hard work!

I truly believe breastfeeding is the best for your baby and that is why I continue to stick with it. But let me tell you, it has not been an easy road.

I work in a hospital and I have had several women ask me to write about my experience with breastfeeding and any "pearls of wisdom" along the way, so here you go...

Friday, November 12, 2010

A tribute to my brother

November is always a mixed bag for me. My younger brother Fred would have celebrated his 36th birthday this month. He died at 28 of an aneurysm.

My brother and I were not a lot alike. As a matter of fact, the Dallas Morning News once did a story featuring siblings with few similarities, and we were one example. But we always had fun together. My brother was a fun-loving guy with a great sense of humor. He was a gentle giant—he looked intimidating, but deep down he was a softie. He was my protector in so many ways—he may not have understood why I chose to do things I did, but he was always one of the first to stand up for me if he sensed I was in trouble.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bedrest and twins: a surprise-filled pregnancy

Sonia (right) and Missy chat about the challenges of bedrest.
Throughout her pregnancy Sonia Hays has encountered surprises.

At 18 weeks pregnant she discovered she was having twins. Hays said she knew something was up well before that though. “I felt extra big at six weeks,” she says. Since twins run in both sides of her family Hays initially suspected that. But sonograms and other tests didn’t show that she was expecting twins until the 18 week mark.

Then came an even bigger surprise at her 25 week sonogram. Instead of a quick appointment they were worried about her cervix and noticed she was having contractions. She was immediately admitted to the hospital to stop the contractions.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So Someone You Know is Pregnant: A Guide to Behaving Properly

Tip: only touch Mom's belly if invited!
Let's chat about how people behave around pregnant women, shall we? Although I've only just really started showing at all, you'd be amazed how common boundaries and etiquette are apparently not applicable to pregnant women. And after talking to several friends who have just had babies or are also pregnant, I've discovered that it's not just me that has been taken aback by something someone has said or done.

And I do get it - babies are exciting. Babies are miracles. But that brings up my first helpful hint: Could you not try to touch my miracle while it's in my stomach, unless I invite you? What many people don't know (unless they've been pregnant before) is that for many pregnant women, the stomach area is sensitive. Our skin is stretching to accommodate a whole human. Our organs are being slowly maneuvered out of the way. Muscles, tendons and ligaments are stretching - sometimes painfully. All of this stuff is going on, and sometimes we don't even want pants around our midsections - let alone someone's hands.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sports concussions: use your head

Scrapes and scabs, bruises and blisters. Parents rarely see their little athletes leaving the playing field unscathed. 

But if your youngster gets bonked on the head, it might be more serious than you think.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Motivated Mama

Jennifer and family at the pumpkin patch recently.
I have lost twenty five pounds. I know a lot of people would be pulling out their bathing suits and strutting in their high school jeans, but for me it's a milestone with most of my journey still to go. It's so hard to get excited and stay excited about weight loss when you have lots to lose. So I am very excited to say that I've lost twenty five pounds. But the voice in my head keeps reminding me that I could lose another seventy five without looking like Lindsay Lohan.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Crumbs on the toaster

Most of the time, I’m a pretty easygoing wife and mother.

Secretly, though? I have some dormant obsessive-compulsive tendencies, one in particular that is triggered every time we’re expecting company.

When this happens, my cozy and comfortable home that was in perfectly acceptable condition before I knew we’d have company suddenly has suspect cleanliness.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A sweet surprise

Peyton, Cambrie and Addalynn
Having triplets is no piece of cake.

But, ironically, the round frosted dessert delivered the news to Mom Paige Bourland her babies would be girl, boy, girl. It also informed all of Dallas/Fort Worth -- because it appeared on local television.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Growing pains for mom

This Halloween really made me stop and think about how quickly my seven-year old twins have grown.

It was just last year that they wanted to be a cowboy and SpongeBob! The year before it was Batman and Superman. This year they wanted to be scary and bloody and gross! They ran from house to house screaming at the top of their lungs! What happen to my sweet little boys?

Now when I drop them off or pick them up from school, no hugs, kisses or displays of affection of any kind in front of friends and teachers! Hands off mom!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Talking about eating

Who is on a diet right now?

Are you shunning carbs? Going meatless? Avoiding gluten like the plague? Downing weird maple syrup and cayenne pepper concoctions? The University of Colorado at Boulder estimates that one in three women and one in four men are on a diet on any given day.

But when do diets and second thoughts about food and weight turn serious, and how can friends and family help?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Baby bargains galore can be found online

Just a few Internet finds
I am a sucker for adorable baby things. I've had to reign in some of my desire to go buy everything I see because we've decided to be surprised and wait to find out the gender until little Baby Erickson makes his or her debut. However, there are still plenty of precious things to be found in the hues of green and yellow, and I know I can indulge in some gender-specific shopping come April.

But all this shopping can break the bank, if you're not careful. And I'm also the type to find bargain hunting a thrill. So where's a bargain-hunting, 16 weeks pregnant mom of possibly a girl or possibly a boy to go for stylish baby clothes and accessories?

The Internet.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Creating calm from chaos with a family calendar

Ever have one of those days where everyone is going to be in a million places at once? Last night was one of those evenings. My dear husband (DH) had a quarterly meeting with the Kiwanis on Thursday evening, leaving me to get both kiddos. T. had baseball practice at 6 and both H. and T. had “Thursday School” at church at 7. Grandma’s apartment complex had a family event from 5:30 to 7:30, and somewhere in there I needed to probably serve a non-McDonald’s meal. Oh, and I had a few errands to run too, including picking up costumes for today's costume mania.

I’m tired just remembering it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A 13-pound surprise

Justice Mansfield, 13 pound bundle of joy!
On Saturday morning, Bobbi and Mike Mansfield were in for a BIG surprise.

Still ecstatic from the news their beloved Texas Rangers would play in their first World Series game, the Fort Worth couple experienced a first of their own: son Justice was born at 8:36 a.m. weighing in at 13 pounds, the heaviest baby ever delivered at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth.

And he was three weeks early.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's Time!

If you have been anywhere around Arlington, Texas within the last week or two you know what "It's Time!" means. Our beloved Texas Rangers are going to the World Series. Leading up to this historic win, you started to see banners all over the city that said “Go Rangers, It’s Time!”

Now, I will confess to you that I am not a big baseball fan, but of course when the team kept winning and people around me, on the news, on Facebook and everywhere else kept talking about what a big deal this was, I did start to pay attention. One thing I did know was that my youngest stepson, Nathan, is a baseball fan.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Making Halloween healthier

Ideally, we would convince every house to only offer healthy treats for trick-or-treating, but let’s be realistic. Remember dreading the house that always gave away the toothbrushes or raisins every year? Bring on the chocolate!

Before we think about taking the fun out of this age old Halloween tradition, let’s try turning the focus from the joy of an extreme sugar-induced coma to something a little more fulfilling.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shoes make the outfit!

It's best to leave those heels at home this Halloween.
Still finalizing Halloween costumes for this weekend?

Picking out the perfect costume for Halloween should include the right footwear, according to Dr. Russell Pendleton, podiatrist on the medical staff of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Boy or Girl…wanna bet?

In the days leading up to my wife Lauren’s 18 week sonogram I was determined to win our bet on the gender of our baby.

Unfortunately, in coin flip situations like this I usually guess wrong at an alarming rate. In fact, at different times in my life I’ve threatened to go with the “George Costanza approach” and just do the exact opposite of what I think I should do. It worked great for George, why couldn’t it work for me?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's for dinner?

I have a certain number of things I must get done on the weekends in order for my week to start well.

That list includes catching up on laundry, buying groceries and cleaning the house. If I manage to get all of these done by the time Monday rolls around I am in a good frame of mind. I have always said that if my house is out of order then my whole week will be out of order, and that isn’t good for anyone!

However, one thing that always seems to pop in my head on Monday morning while I am driving to work is “what’s for dinner?”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wine in the pantry

I have had a number of “Back to the Future” moments lately that have been a bit disturbing. (If you’re too young to have heard of “Back to the Future” just shut up.)

Here’s the thing. My son is 11 – a tweenager, preteen, whatever. Basically, the big scary parenting-a-teenager years are fast approaching.

And, in some strange twist – perhaps in preparation for those years – I have found myself reverting to teenager-like behavior. After years of firm, single mom parenting, I find myself racing to my bedroom and slamming the door, begging to see inappropriate movies and, pathetically, drinking in the kitchen pantry.