Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Weekly Round-Up (Belated)

The Weekly Round-Up

Welcome to this week's edition of The Weekly Round-up which is hosted by High-Heeled Love and My So-Called Chaos.

Here's how it works:
Share your favorite reads this week! The point of The Weekly Round-Up is to focus on other people instead of just another post about ourselves. It's to build better community, share insight into what we love to read, and hopefully introduce you to a new blogger you'll love and adore! Wanna play along? Write a post with links to your favorite blog posts from others throughout the week, put the button in it, and link up with us on Sundays! 

What I'm reading:

Criticism of Emma Watson and the #HeForShe Campaign
Recently Emma Watson made a UN speech launching the #heforshe campaign that has wowed feminists. While most are cheering her and the campaign on, some aren't so sure about it. In Unpopular Opinion: Sorry Privledged White Ladies But Emma Watson Isn't a "Game Changer" For Feminism the movement is being critcized for using a white cis-gendered celebrity yet again as the face of feminism.

The lack of intersectionality is echoed at Why I’m Not Really Here For Emma Watson’s Feminism Speech At the U.N.

The question of why Emma spoke about men's issues yet encouraged them to support women in theirs is asked in #SheForHe: Emma Watson’s Incredible Speech on Gender Equality Didn’t Go Far Enough. If everyone is needed to end gender equality why is it only #HeForShe and not also #SheForHe?

Someone Has Left the Ranks of Single Parenthood
Congratulations are in order to Single Parent Dad because he is now Married Parent Dad! Send some of that luck over to me please!

I Heart Sillouette Art
I have always loved sillouette art of any kind. 5 Nuts in a Nutshell has an awesome DIY Silhouette Art Tutorial that I just have to try myself!

I Need a Good Segway to This Next Link
I found this post What Your Poop Says About You (For Serious) over at Mama Natural. As if it wasn't an akward topic already the smiling poops make it even more awkward. Still the info is useful.

Fall Family Fun
There's a good list of ideas for quality family time in Fall Family Bucket List at More Than Mommies.

Fall Nail Art
There are some great nail art ideas in Thanksgiving and Fall Nail Art {Ideas and Tutorials at The Sparkle Queen. I'm definately going to try some of those this season!

Guest Blogger: What Population Health Management Means to Your Family

The modern mom has the most harrowing, busiest and most time-challenged job in the history of all motherhood. Many women run corporations as well as their households. Organizing everything and everyone in the family can be a difficult job for the modern mother, especially if she has taken on the care of her parents too. Savvy moms take advantage of new developments in technology to help run things more smoothly whenever possible.

Even though there were starts and stops when “Obamacare” was ushered in, the very idea that all Americans are entitled to good healthcare still stands true. And so, it makes sense to consider online tracking systems and portals when it comes to one of the most important family concerns - that of healthcare.

New technological advances are happening every day that work to improve your quality of life as well as quality of health. Information, medical research, scientific studies, and so much more are at your fingertips. It is just a matter of reaching out and using them to your family’s advantage.

What Exactly is Health Data Management?

Most medical facilities and providers are moving toward a digital system to manage all their data. Health data management is the process of collecting, analyzing, and compiling, as well as protecting patient care information. The bulky folders of papers and information that doctors and nurses used to file in cabinets, are now digitally coded and stored safely. They are integrated so that information is easily accessible on computers as well as handheld devices.

With a few key strokes, medical professionals can easily receive important patient information that has been aggregated from raw data to make diagnosis, treatment and preventative care more effective. This allows doctors and specialists quick information retrieval, when critical data can mean life or death.

Improving Doctor’s Care for Their Patients

This new technology is essential to creating a careful, quality, diagnostic decision when dealing with patient care. The ease at which prescription use, previous conditions, procedures, and family history can be found using this technology allows for medical professionals to have much of the information needed quicker to help diagnose and treat patients. Literally, it helps streamline the medical process.

With the push of a button, doctors can now prescribe new medication and ensure it is not going to interfere with current medications or complicate a patient’s condition. If an emergency arises that requires immediate medical care, health professionals can quickly access essential patient information to make the best decision for the medical issues at hand. It helps doctors and nurses take better care of you and your loved ones.

Portals Allow More Engagement from Patients

With the modernization of the healthcare system, numerous doors have opened for patients to take a more proactive stance when it comes to family health care. Portals offer patients access to their own records so they can stay up to date on their treatment or course of therapies.

Setting appointments, paying bills, pulling personal medical information, contacting other healthcare providers are just a few of the options available when using a patient portal. There are also options for patients to transmit records to other providers which allow them to have more control over their personal information as well as to streamline the process of changing doctors or specialists when necessary. This gives the patient a much needed hands-on involvement with their health management.

Cohesive Management of Health Data Benefits

If you are responsible for managing your family’s health matters, there is a lot of information that you have to stay organized. You must have your children’s, your spouse’s, maybe even your parents’ health information readily at hand in case of any emergency. Their doctors must be informed of all their medications, allergies or adverse reactions.

With the files stored in digital format, you don’t have to worry if you can’t find the information.
Doctors and hospitals now have complete medical backgrounds of their patients. Conditions, medications, complaints are all documented and shared thus avoiding the need for the continual paper work. This system allows healthcare professionals to make knowledgeable, confident, and timely decisions when concerning patient care. Whether it is a routine checkup or an emergency trip to the ER, this technology helps doctors save lives.

What These Advances May Mean to You

Your family’s health is not something to be taken lightly.  Life spans are increasing every decade, so your parents are your concern again. If they are suffering from any chronic illnesses, the stress of managing their care could be daunting. With the transition from paper to digital of medical information, the operations doctors and hospitals are more streamlined.

It eases some of the burden on you when you know that they have correct and up-to-date information about your family members. When you’re in a stressed situation, such as a medical emergency, not having to recall a distant relative’s cause of death or medicines your mom is allergic to can be a huge load off your mind.

Journalist Nicole Bailey-Covin has a great deal of experience in taking care of aging parents. She just buried her father earlier this year and is presently taking care of her mother. She says it is not uncommon for moms to become overwhelmed under the stress of caring for both their parents and the immediate family. Nicole suggest that whenever possible, moms should support and take advantage of healthcare technology, as it can help provide families with organized care.

Photo credit::

Widowed Wednesday: #TweetAtYourself10YearsAgo

Friday, September 19, 2014

Let the Toddler and Mommy Socialization Begin

I am so excited because my baby will start something I have been looking forward to ever since I found out I was pregnant. Tomorrow my 19 month old daughter will start a toddler gymnastics class called Baby Bears. 
My 10 year old daughter has been taking gymnastics for the last five years. I put off enrolling my toddler because of the cost. Then a couple weeks ago Skylar tried to copy her big sister and do some gymnastics. She puts her arms way up into the air and then bends down into the downward facing dog yoga position. She seems to be trying to imitate a forward roll but just without the roll part. I knew I couldn't put off enrolling her into gymnastics any longer. I'd just have to drink less lattes to cover the cost.
I'm also really nervous. Skylar has been in very few situations where she socializes with other toddlers. She also has been showing quite a temper lately because she just doesn't know how to say what she wants and gets frustrated. She stopped hitting but now sometimes throws things. She also doesn't yet know how to share. A few weeks ago I had to leave the play area of our library because she refused to take turns with a toy shopping cart and just kept throwing a tantrum.
The class has parental involvement so I also will get to socialize with other parents. I'm pretty sure I remember how to do it face to face but as of late I seem to only socialize using my laptop or cell phone. To make matters worse I sometimes tend to be socially awkward.
I'm equally worried that other toddlers will be mean to her and there will be some parent that won't discipline her kid, then it will get really awkward and tense. Or if Skylar misbehaves I will look like that parent.
Lastly, I'm worried that trying to teach 1-2 year olds gymnastics is the equivalent of herding cats and my $45 a month will be better spent on those lattes.
I decided to do some research beforehand so I know how to handle any situation that may come up. Here are some articles with tips on making socializing your toddler (as well socializing with other parents) go well.
4 Ways to Help Your Toddler Social Skills
When Parallel Play Becomes Playing Together
Early Socialization in Toddlers & Parenting Styles
Shy Parents Survival Guide
10 Moms to Avoid (Or Just Ignore)
I will be writing a post sharing how the first class went so look for that next week!

Parenting Parody Videos of Current Hit Songs

"I Just Need Some Space" parody of "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor

"I'm so Cranky" parody of Iggy Azalea's "Fancy"

"Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift parody

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Crunchy Mom's Suggested Reading List

Simple Living
The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs

Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Living by Georgene Lockwood and Carol Abel

Sustainable Living
Sustainable Living for Dummies by Michael Grosvenor

The Self-sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour

Green Living
Green Made Easy: The Everyday Guide for Transitioning to a Green Lifestyle by Chris Prelitz

Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life by Ed Begley

Green Living For Dummies by Liz Barclay, Michael Grosvenor

The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age by Richard Louv

Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Nature's Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality by Eva M. Selhub and Alan C. Logan

Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home by Ren Loux

Green Living Handbook : a 6 Step Program to Create an Environmentally Sustainable Lifestyle by David Gershon

Green Holidays
I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Gifts, Decorations, and Recipes that Use Less and Mean More by Anna Getty

Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season by Jennifer Basye Sander

Green Parenting
Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World (The Bioneers Series) by David W. Orr

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Attachment Parenting
The Attachment Parenting Book by William (M.D.) and Martha (R.N.) Sears

The Attachment Connection: Parenting a Secure and Confident Child Using the Science of Attachment Theory by Ruth Newton and Allan Schore

Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way by Mayim Bialik and Jay Gordon

Attached at the Heart: Eight Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker

Parenting From the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel MD and Mary Hartzell

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer by Harvey Karp Md

The Happiest Toddler on the Block: How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful and Cooperative One  by Harvey Karp Md

The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell and Thomas S. Cowan

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig

The New Becoming Vegetarian: The Essential Guide to a Healthy Vegetarian Diet by Vesanto Melina MS RD and Brenda Davis RD

Living Vegetarian For Dummies by Suzanne Havala Hobbs

Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health by Gene Stone, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Colin T. Campbell

Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World by Victoria Moran and Adair Moran

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

Urban Homesteading
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading, by Sundari Elizabeth Kraft

The Urban Farm Handbook by Annette Cottrell and Joshua McNichols

The Essential Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

Urban Homesteading by Rachel Kaplan

Your Farm in the City by Lisa Taylor

The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Eric Knutzen

Urban Farming by Thomas Fox: From the makers of Urban Farming magazine (Hobby Farms)

Mini Farming by Brett Markham

The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why I Want to Be Less Silky and More Crunchy

While I was researching natural living and parenting tonight, I came across three different terms; silky, crunchy, and scrunchy. I had heard the term crunchy before but not the other two. Here are the definitions:

What is a silky mom?
A silky mom may:
  • bottle feeds
  • uses disposable diapers
  • is pro-circumcision 
  • pro-vaccination 
  • follows traditional parenting and medical advice  
  • uses traditional baby furniture and toys
  • doesn't care if food has GMOs, is free range, is local, etc.
  • buys most products out of convenience
  • sends her kids to public school 
  • practices little or no green or natural living

What is crunchy mom?
A crunchy mom may:
  • has adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons
  • practices natural living
  • is an advocate of natural birth
  • uses alternative medicine
  • is against circumcising
  • is against vaccinating
  • practices babywearing 
  • breastfeeds
  • bed shares 
  • uses cloth diapering
  • practices attachment parenting
  • homeschool or unschools
  • does homesteading
  • recycles
  • practices green living.

What is a scrunchy mom? 
A mom who is a mixture of crunchy and silky

I'm Not Happy With My Lifestyle
I apologize for the lists but it was necessary to understand where I'm coming from. Today I was cleaning my kitchen and I kept throwing cardboard boxes (from processed foods) in the trash instead of the recycling and I had the horrible realization that how I live does not sync with nature.

I take for granted everything. Oh I talk about saving the planet. I celebrate Earth Day. I even pay for recycling (yet don't actually use it.) Sure, I practiced some babywearing and have read a few books about attachment parenting but I can't actually say that it's my lifestyle.

I can hold my own in a debate with a climate change denier but I actually do very little to save the planet.

I use more than I need. I waste food. I waste energy (electricity). I waste paper. I don't check to make sure my foods are GMO free or if my meat is free range. Even though I want to go vegetarian, I don't.

I have too many "things" in my house. My life is constantly chaotic and I feel constantly stressed to the point it affects me health. I want nothing more than to live a simpler lifestyle.

My entire family needs gizmos and gadgets to entertain us. We have our faces in our computers, televisions, or our iPhones instead of with real people or in nature.

Even though I know ways to save money and eat healthier I don't want to make the sacrifices because it's just too hard. I make the excuses that it's too expensive, too time comsuming, and too inconvenient.

On the Silky/Crunchy Spectrum I Want to be More Towards Crunchy
I could give many more examples. The truth is I want my lifestyle to reflect more points on the crunchy list. I was to live a simpler, more green, more natural lifestyle. I want to be more crunchy than silky. At the very least I want to be scrunchy.

Don't get me wrong. There are things on the crunchy list that I don't agree with. I believe in immunizations. I send my kids to public school. I won't make my 19 month old stop watching Bubble Guppies. I can't go back and breastfeed my babies but I don't beat myself up over using formula.

Still there's so much on the crunchy list that I do agree with. Even though I agree with it, I don't make the effort to live a lifestyle that expresses those beliefs.

I'm going to change that and blog about my experiences as I move more towards crunchy. I want to be able to reread this post a year from now and say "I lived so differently back then. I'm now finally living a lifestyle that reflects my values."

Remembering 9/11: 13th Anniversary Commemoration 2014

9/11 13th Anniversary Commemoration 2014, The World Trade Center, Historical, Documentary Tribute


 Official 9/11 Memorial Museum Tribute In Time-Lapse 2004-2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Widowed Wednesday: 10 Ways to Survive as a Widow (or a Divorcee)

This is going to be a really short post. I want to start posting things to help new widows get through this life transition. I found this great article called 10 Ways to Survive as a Widow.

I realized as I read through the list that 9 out of the 10 suggestions hold true for divorcees as well. I would change "look forward to seeing your lost one again" to "avoid your ex as much as possible but when you see them remain polite." 

This last bit of advice comes from the book It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. A book that, sadly, I have needed far more than I care to admit.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Guest Blogger: Driving & Texting? Why Teens Should Stop

You know the drill. You’re driving behind someone who is suddenly stopped in their lane when the car in front of them has already proceeded forward. The texting driver is inattentive to the flow of traffic, not to mention missing all those signals of defensive driving - braking vehicles, balls or children darting out into the roadway, lights turning red, and more.

Teens with only months of experience in the driver’s seat are further disadvantaged when operating mobile devices, even more than when they adjust radio channels and chat it up with other friends in the car.

Teenagers are Not Infallible

Though most consider themselves pretty much indestructible, teens are at the highest risk of any age group, even seniors. And a small minority think they won’t live that long anyway, so why not take the risks? Simply said, needless, irresponsible mistakes can change their lives forever, and yours. Educate your kids about these actions, and the tragic consequences they can have on your family as well as their futures.

The result of drivers’ texting behind the wheel include: losing control of their cars, hitting trees and  other vehicles, even going off the side of a bridge. Many of these accidents result in at least one fatality; and all of them might result in catastrophic injuries for at least one person. The last thing you want to happen is have your teenager responsible for unsafe driving while texting with friends (or plowed into by a distracted driver who inadvertently veered into their lane).

What You Need to Know 

Texting while driving is illegal in many states and is classified under “distracted driving” laws. Sadly, these laws are hard to enforce and the punishment is nowhere as severe as drunken driving charges, even though it is as serious of an offense. This fall New York will have the strictest penalties - those drivers under the age of 21 caught texting will lose their license for 3 months.

If you are in an accident with someone who was texting while driving, you have the right to sue for compensation. It does not matter if they have been convicted of the charge.

•If you are able to talk to any witnesses, ask if anyone saw a phone being used by the other driver and request that they make a statement to the police.
•If you or one of your passengers is able to snap photos of the other car, make sure to look for a cell phone strewn about the front seat. This usually indicates phone use while driving.
•If your injuries are too severe to interact with the accident scene, but you remember that you saw the other driver on the phone, make sure that you tell your personal injury attorney that the other driver was distracted. Phone records and social media posts can be obtained to verify this information.

Your Rights As a Victim  

As the victim of a car accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and financial losses. You may request compensation for:

•Medical bills both present and future relating to the injuries sustained in the accident.
•Loss of wages currently and in the future relating to the accident, treatment for injuries, or inability to work.
•Monetary loss if you have become temporarily or permanently disabled due to the accident.
•Loss of retirement contributions due to being out of work during your recovery.
•Financial damages to your personal belongings, including your vehicle.
•Loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment of life.
•Other financial losses. This will be discussed with you by your attorney.

Be sure to bring your teen’s attention to texting drivers while you’re out for a ride together. They’re pretty easy to spot, especially off the highway where there are lots of signal lights. They’ll be slow to start and stop, and they’ll also hang back from the car in front of them - leaving much larger gaps than everyone else does.

Every driver should come to the realization that phones have voicemail for a reason and that responses to text messages can wait. You do not have to post updates to your social media pages while you are on the road, and you can wait to send a text to remind someone to stop and buy milk. Your life and the lives of others are in your hands (literally), and those hands need to be on the wheel of the car you are operating, and not on your phone.

Journalist Nicole Bailey-Covin looks forward to, with some hesitation, the day her children will get their driver’s licenses. However as a news reporter, she has covered some bad accidents involving teenagers. She suggest the best thing parents can do is to show young drivers examples of car crashes that happened when drivers were distracted by cellphones. The other thing parents can do is to set good driving examples by their own actions. Nicole can be found on Linked In.

Photo credit: State Farm


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