Posts Tagged ‘ Pregnant in Heels ’

Rosie to the Rescue: How Do You Explain a Hurricane to Kids?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Rosie Pope and FamilyCheck out blog posts by Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” every week at Parents.com! 

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I’m left answering lots of questions from my 4-year-old. We live in New York City, and have a beach house on the Jersey shore. My husband and I went into the storm with optimism, minimizing the threat of a hurricane and the possible damage, because I simply didn’t want my big boy to worry. So while we talked a little about the winds and the waves, we focused more on the fact that we’d be able to stay home, play, and bake plenty of cookies. Still, with the nonstop reporting that we were all hooked to during the last few days, he witnessed a lot of the devastation on TV. We then received the news that we were going to lose our beach house, due to the water surge on the coast. So my son heard us talking extensively to neighbors, friends, and family.

Knowing how attached my son was to the house, I decided to address this disaster and use it as an opportunity to talk about what really matters. It’s so easy to focus on the disappearance of things and the overwhelming loss so many are feeling today, as they have lost their homes, and for some, so much more. My son’s focus was on what matters in his 4-year-old world: his favorite toys that he knew were washed away. So we talked (and talked) that while we were sad about losing these things, what is important, what truly matters, is that our friends and family are safe.

This opportunity reminded me not to underestimate the ability of a child to understand what’s going on around him, and to take on and feel the emotions that we’re going through, no matter how hard we try to hide them. I remembered it’s always better to talk to children so they understand what’s really happening, instead of letting their beautiful and wild imaginations fill in the blanks. This morning my son is a secure little boy knowing exactly what’s happened to our home and his toys, not worried about what he is seeing and hearing, because he understands what is truly important — and is back to playing search-and-rescue with his fireman figurines, which I’m sure is his way of working through his emotions about all that’s happened. So if I can share anything from my personal experience this week, it’s to protect your children, but be brave and answer their questions, empower them with the understanding of their environment, and most of all hold them close. If Sandy has brought any good, it’s to remind us what is really important.

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Rosie to the Rescue: Have a No-Stress Halloween

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Check out blog posts by Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” every week at Parents.com! 

Every year I find myself getting childishly excited about Halloween. I just finished decorating our home with cobwebs, goopy gunk, spiders, and skeleton balloons. As I tried to fall asleep last night, slightly freaked out by the skeleton shadows the balloons were creating on the wall, and anxiously wondering whether the costumes were going to arrive on time (and feeling a little guilty that I was not going to be hand-making them, as I would be in the fantasy I have of myself as a mother!), I started wondering why we insist on celebrating Halloween with young kids.

Halloween is fabulous fun for a lot of children, especially those who are a little older. But for toddlers and young kids, Halloween can often end up being rather stressful and full of tears. If it’s not the expensive costume you’ve bought that your kid doesn’t want to wear, then it’s the candy and arguing about how much can be consumed. But let’s be real: We’re not going to cancel Halloween for a few difficult years. So here are some of my Halloween-with-kids rules:

Thoroughly enjoy dressing up your babies in anything you like. They won’t know what they are, so there’s no issue with causing a complex. Also, they won’t put up a fight, and you can take as many pictures as you like! This phase won’t last very long. Bask in it!

Make sure your kids eat lots of wholesome things during the day, because battling about treats will only end in tears. Decide how much candy they can eat and when, and make sure it’s super-generous. They’ll be so shocked you said they could eat 20 pieces that they may not even get there, and certainly won’t try to bargain for more.

Stick to accessories if you know there are going to be costume problems. A good old Spiderman glove, a tiara, or even a soft sword can go a long way for a 4-year-old with costume anxiety.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just get out there and have fun with your kids regardless of what they end up wearing. And if there is that person who asks, “Well, what are you supposed to be?” and your child is soooo clearly not dressed up because she had a total meltdown, sweetly say “Wouldn’t you like to know?”, wink, take some candy and dash out of there.

Remember: It’s only one day. If all else fails, talk about the real underlying meaning of Halloween: to rid our worlds of bad spirits and welcome the good. Whatever meaning you personally want to give those spirits, it is a wonderful message of good and new beginning—even if the costume didn’t work, the skeletons freaked out your little one, and everyone ate too much candy!

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Rosie to the Rescue: The Right Number of Choices to Give Toddlers

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Pope FamilyEvery week, Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” will be blogging for Parents.com! 

If there’s something I’m sure of after having three kids, it’s that as soon as I think I have something sorted out, things change, and I have to figure it out all over again! It’s amazing how these wee people can at times completely flummox us, especially when it comes to disciplining them and getting them to do something that they simply do not want to do. Like eating dinner.

For the most part, I pride myself on explaining to my children the importance of listening to me, and that I don’t ask them to eat their greens just because I feel like being mean! But I was having a particularly hard time with my eldest and food, and as I sat back to think about how to better handle the situation, I realized just how many choices I had been giving him, without realizing it. Do you want cheese on your pasta, or to the side? Do you want milk or water? Do you want to sit in this chair, or that one? Do you want the blue spoon or the red one? While I was trying to make things “just right” for my son to eat, I was overwhelming him with choices. So when the pasta was not exactly the right shape, at exactly the right temperature, on the exact right plate, let me just say it was not good!

Lying on my couch feeling defeated, worried, and very full (I kept eating large quantities of food to try and set a good example; let’s just say I was consuming far more than he was), I realized there’s a vital rule of toddler parenting that I needed to apply to this situation just as to any other:

Only ever give two choices. Yes, choices help children feel empowered, which is important. But presenting too many overwhelms toddlers. Children should be allowed to understand the difference between good choices and bad choices. The magic total number of decisions kids get to make, in our home, is two.

With that strategy, we were soon back to eating a peaceful dinner. And of course there’s one other thing that helps toddlers, and that’s never “too many:” your hugs and kisses!

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Rosie to the Rescue: Psst, I Wash My Hair Once a Week

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Rosie Pope's HairEvery week, Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” will be blogging for Parents.com! 

People sometimes ask me, “What do you do to pamper yourself?” But with three kids under 4, a husband, and a crazy work schedule, there really are no spa days in my world. And there certainly aren’t yoga retreats sprinkled with juice cleanses and some guy named Rodolpho (think male model) to massage my stressed limbs.

But I do believe in figuring out ways to make my life less stressful while also injecting a dose of glam (my version of pampering). So now, let me present to you… “The One-Wash Wonder.” That’s right: Unless I manage to fit in a workout, I only wash my hair once a week. Why? Because it takes forever to blow-dry, I’m not very good at it, and I would simply rather savor the taste of my coffee beans if I have any spare time in the morning, or get a few more minutes in bed than to be hurriedly running shampoo through my tresses. I have it down to a fine art and now after years of perfection, I will share my secret with you:

Sunday: Wash thoroughly with some high-quality shampoo and conditioner. You should splurge on these. Only using them once a week means they’ll last forever, so you can justify the cost! Put very little conditioner on the roots, but do use lots elsewhere. Blow-dry really well using your favorite products (but keep to a minimum) and stay away from waxes and hair sprays or other products that make your hair more greasy or prone to needing to be washed. Use curlers, and then leave in a loose bun on top of your head till morning.

Monday: Wear with illustrious pride: You are a walking hair model. Repeat bun at night.

Tuesday: Oh yeah, still looking good. No need for a bun tonight; let hair hang loose and relax those roots.

Wednesday: Spruce up with a little dry shampoo (baby powder works, too). Do some curling-iron action if necessary, then brush out those curls for a more natural look. I’m a fan of the Mason Pearson hairbrush, made with boar bristles (put it on your Christmas list, because it’s expensive). Leap into the day with your curls, but keep your brush handy for spruce-ups throughout the day! Sweep back into that loose bun at night.

Thursday: Ponytail day! That’s right, ponies don’t look good just on teenagers. Make sure your tail’s not too high, but not too low either. Think sleek, and use water instead of spray to tame the wild frizzy bits up front. Wear as you wish at night. Always save a few strands to wrap around your hair tie for a more polished look.

Friday: Make a defined part in your hair, and wear your ponytail low and sleek.

Saturday: Sweep your tresses into a sleek bun. Go crazy today, hair spray and all. I like a high bun, others low. Choose what looks best for your head shape.

Sunday: Repeat that bun (high, low, however you like it) and relish in the fact that tonight is wash night and you’re actually looking forward to it. Voilà, glamour without the hours!

And next time you see me, maybe you’ll crack a smile, knowing exactly where I am in the weekly cycle of the one-wash wonder!

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Rosie to the Rescue: Travel With Kids

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Rosie Pope, Pregnant in HeelsEvery week, Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” will be blogging for Parents.com! 

I have officially begun my book tour for Mommy IQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy and I am not in the least bit prepared, at least not in the usual way. I know most would have their outfits all laid out in advance, and at least some idea where on earth they were supposed to be at any given time. But not me, at least not on this particular adventure because I have decided to travel with one of my kids on each leg of the tour.

Firstly Vivienne. She is the greatest at the longest flights, not through any amazing skill of mine but because she is only 4 ½ months old and has no idea we are on a plane! So she is joining me cross-country to California. JR is coming to Dallas, Minneapolis, and Chicago, as he is by now a superstar travel companion since I’ve made him hit the road with his mama pretty much since the day he was born (maternity leave isn’t a luxury I have yet had). And Wellington is joining me in Atlanta, Bethesda, and Cherry Hill, NJ. Holy Moly is all I have to say! He is 19 months old and a total hurricane—a sweet one nonetheless.

What I am prepared for, however, is traveling with kids, as prepared as one can ever be! I thought this would be a great opportunity to share with you some of the tricks I have picked up over the last few years as I try and juggle work and the great opportunities for adventure across America with my children. Hope these 10 points will help you, whether you are traveling by train, plane, or automobile:

1) Forget all your normal rules (if you have any, which I hope you have a few) like “no sugar!”

2) There is no such thing as “making good time” when you are with kids (that is directed mainly at you, dads!). Build in time for breaks!

3) I know this is a tough one, but you really shouldn’t feed your kids while the car is moving. Choking is a real danger, so make stopping to eat part of the adventure.

4) When faced with the question, “How much longer?” try and quantify time in terms of your kid’s favorite TV show, as it will make more sense and likely satisfy the question.

5) Buy mini gifts and wrap them well. Have your wee one open them throughout the trip. I love stickers, books, UNO cards (you can adapt the rules for many ages), lollipops, connect-the-dot mini books, and crayons.

6) Try to book flights during nap times and if there is ever the opportunity for a red-eye, take it! Get the kids in PJs before the flight and explain that it’s “lights out” as soon as you take off. Nothing like the hum of the engine to help kids sleep.

7) As well as packing extra clothes for your kids, remember kids can also vomit on you (oh yeah, I’ve been there), so always keep an extra shirt for yourself somewhere handy.

8) Take as much nutritionally rich food, but not messy, as possible. Luna bars are amazing as they are extremely tasty, seem like a treat, and not messy. There’s nothing worse than being at the whim of gas station or airport food!

9) You can take stuff to drink past airport security so you don’t have to spend so much money on water or juice. Just mention you have kids and security will run special tests on the liquids. I was one happy mommy when I figured this out!

10) Most of all, remember that the journey is part of the adventure and it can be just as full of anxiety and excitement for kids as it is for you. Take a little time to explain all the steps of the trip and then try and enjoy them, even if they don’t go according to plan. Just because you aren’t sunning yourself with a cocktail by the pool doesn’t mean you’re not on vacation!

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Rosie to the Rescue: Room for Improvement

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Rosie Pope and FamilyEvery week, Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” will be blogging for Parents.com! This is her first post.

Let’s face it, parenting is full of life’s best moments, but it can also be very stressful. Even if you’re Mom of the Year, you’re bound to make mistakes. I had one of my own recently when I decided to try a new bedtime routine with my boys, ages 4 and 19 months.

My sons share a room, but go to bed at different times. For some crazy reason, probably because I was dramatically sleep-deprived from having a newborn—I’m also the mom of a four-month-old girl—I decided that the two boys were going to go to bed at the same time, not staggered, as had worked so well for so long. Everyone would get to sleep earlier and have more energy the next day, I reasoned.

Ha. Instead, chaos ensued: My little boy could see his big brother and wanted to get out of the crib and play. Then he cried, which freaked out my older son, who ran out of bed and into the living room screaming. Next the baby woke up. Nobody fell asleep and soon everyone, including me, was crying!

Once I’d finally got my younger son to sleep after rocking him and singing a thousand songs in my terrible singing voice—I’m no Christina Aguilera—I found my big boy, looking confused, sitting on the couch. I felt so defeated I could’ve collapsed on the floor, or at least ask my husband to pour me a glass of wine, but instead I smiled, gave my boy a hug and said, “Well, buddy that was not a good idea of Mommy’s!” I explained that I tried something new but that it didn’t work very well, and the important thing was that when I realized it wasn’t working, I decided to change my plan.

Evaluating your actions—and then changing course should they be misfiring—was a great lesson for my son. I often see professionals from politicians to doctors sticking to plans that are failing. The best leaders are those who can evaluate as they go, and be big enough to admit when they’re wrong and change direction.

I know that I taught my son something very valuable that night, even though I’m bound to make some crazy mistake again soon! Whether your error or your child’s is big or small, remember to teach him that in failure, we can almost always find success.

Now, please pass the wine.

Want to meet Rosie? Attend one of her upcoming author events for her new book, Mommy IQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy. The full schedule:

Monday, Oct. 1 | Ridgewood, NJ | 7:00 – 9:00 PM | Bookends

Tuesday, Oct. 2 | New York, NY | 5:00 – 7:00 PM | Destination Maternity – Madison Avenue Store

Wednesday, Oct. 3 | Calabasas, CA | 7:00 – 9:00 PM | Barnes & Noble

Thursday, Oct. 4 | Glendale, CA | 7:00 – 9:00 PM | Barnes & Noble

Saturday, Oct. 6 | Dallas, TX | 3:00 – 5:00 PM | Barnes & Noble – Lincoln Park

Sunday, Oct. 7 | Minneapolis, MN | 1:00 – 3:00 PM | Mall of America – Macy’s Court

Monday, Oct. 8 | Chicago, IL | 12:00 – 2:00 PM | Macy’s State Street

Monday, Oct. 8 | Chicago, IL | 5:00 – 7:00 PM | A Pea in the Pod – Water Tower Place

Wednesday, Oct. 10 | Atlanta, GA | 6:00 – 8:00 PM | Fox Tale Book Shoppe

Friday, Oct. 12 | Bethesda, MD | 6:00 – 8:00 PM | Bethesda Row Mall

Saturday, Oct. 13 | Cherry Hill, NJ | 12:00 – 2:00 PM | A Pea in the Pod at Macy’s

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