Posts Tagged ‘
Rosie to the Rescue ’
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
It’s recently come to my attention that there’s a striking issue with having 4 children that I wasn’t warned about, and that is the astonishing amount of birthday parties they get invited to! For just my sweet first born, we’re talking over 20 parties a year between his classmates and friends, which means over 20 festivities with pizza and cake and ice cream and candy, 20 gift bags full of tiny knick-knacks and more teeth-rotting candy, and the purchasing of 20 $10-$15 gifts. Now multiply that by 4 and you can see why I’m going completely mad just thinking about it!
So what is the solution? As I added up the number of days my little one’s pearly whites are covered with gummy candy or slathered in lollipops I started to see red (and lots of cavities!). I made proclamations of serving carrots at my next shindig and of calling party hosts ahead of time to ask for broccoli to replace the candy in my kid’s gift bags. To save money on birthday presents for the guests of honor, I began hand-making gifts and even considered knitting a few scarves. The hysteria went on until I slapped myself back into reality as I saw my son quickly becoming the least favorite person to invite to a party because of his loony mama!
I started to think of some practical ways to address the dark side of kid’s birthday parties and helping my kids have fun and with their friends, without totally destroying their teeth and my bank account in the meantime! I realized that I can’t not bring presents, I can’t dictate what others put in their gift bags and I certainly can’t deny my child the right to eat the cake (or lick the icing if you are my kids). But what I can do is implement boundaries as they relate to my kids and the quantities of these things consumed. Best of all I can teach them life’s important lesson of moderation, because there is access to excess everywhere, not just on the kid’s party circuit.
For the wee ones you may have to make sure they are full before arriving at the party so they don’t feel so inclined to feast on cake. I also like to do a little bit of pre-editing of gift bags before passing them to my little partygoers. However, when talking about kindergarten-age kids and above, explain your conundrum to your kids and guide them to the solution you want them to reach. My 5-year-old is quite capable of understanding that too much sugar will hurt his teeth, so together we came up with how to edit the gift bags without me having to do it sneakily in the car. (He can choose one of the candies and the rest is removed.) With gifts he is empowered with a strict budget, which encourages him to be creative and thoughtful about what he chooses to gift his friends.
With all this thoughtfulness and moderation should also come one day without any: their own birthday! Let their party be the one special day of the year when they don’t have these boundaries, because sometimes it’s fun to break the rules!
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Thursday, May 1st, 2014
As parents, we have a tendency to be insecure about our discipline tactics, and quite frankly, I think this is a good thing. Being strict with a person we love so incredibly is a stressful thing to do, but children need to learn right from wrong. They need to understand boundaries and the consequences of making bad choices, but as new information comes out over time, we have learned that the ways we once used to teach these lessons are either harmful or totally not helpful.
Lately, my focus has been on time outs. Time outs were once a safe punishment option for parents in which they didn’t physically hurt their child and both parties got to take a break from a heated moment, but now experts are saying this technique may lose its effectiveness because parents aren’t using it correctly. Do you remember being sent to your room as a child, lying on your bed reflecting about what you did wrong? Or do you remember lying there devising grand plans to find your real parents because these couldn’t possibly be them?! (If you’re anything like me, the latter is likely true.) This is one of the many reasons time outs don’t really work, and, if you ask me, there are two better discipline solutions:
Give yourself a time out if necessary. Sometimes we get so mad it’s hard to see straight, let alone discipline in a rational way. It’s quite alright to give yourself a moment to take a deep breath and think before you act—and this is far better than making a mistake or doing something you’ll later regret. Besides, it will help teach your children to think before they act in the heat of the moment. Remember this the next time a little mitten slaps you around the face or draws on the wall, again!
Do time outs together. Take your child away from the situation and to a quiet place. Have them look you in the eye, while you explain to them what happened and why it’s not okay. It isn’t easy to have this type of confrontation with your child, but it makes them hear you out and focus on what just happened—and not on finding new parents! When the chat is done, move on and don’t hold a grudge for the rest of the day. Being the “naughty” kid can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, so move on to something fun. This will help teach them the power of being able to move forward after a not-so-good experience or choice.
Consistency is key. Always have your children acknowledge that they understand, or give them the opportunity to ask you questions if they don’t. As the mom of four, I’ve used this technique with my own little wall writers and arm biters. And I promise, it works!
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Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Confession: I often struggle with getting my kids to try new foods. (Well, if I’m being totally honest, let’s change “often” to “always.”)
The fact that I had such a hard time getting them to try new foods was baffling to me. When they were babies, I whipped up baby food with every wholesome vegetable and grain imaginable, and they would eat my delicious concoctions without hesitation. I mentally awarded myself a gold star in the nutrition department. I was a mac’n’cheese avoiding, broccoli-chopping kind of mum! That is, until my spinach-eating oldest son started cutting out more and more foods until pasta with a bit of salt, butter and cheese on the side became his most coveted dish.
When my younger son soon entered the same phase, I worried. Had I failed them in their earliest years by not introducing kale and agave nectar? Could I have insisted on salmon for dinner more often, and not caved for a more kid-friendly meal? Maybe. And while logic tells us our little ones aren’t going to be ordering plain noodles for their wedding day dinner, we worry they may not be getting the right nutrition.
Looking for some food substitutes? Try these picks from Parents.com.
So what is a mother to do? To introduce my kids to new foods, I held weekly “food tasting challenges.” Here’s how it works: Instead of presenting a plate of unknowns at dinnertime, choose a totally different time of the day to host your taste challenge. Tell your kids they’re going to be food critics for the afternoon; they don’t need to swallow—only sample each food. To make the experience fun and engaging, include a palette cleanser, such as little scoops of lemon sorbet or a sip of water. After each tasting, have them fill in a fun chart with stickers that say how they felt about the food, ranging from “Totally gross!” to “Crazy Yummy!” If your child is still refusing to sample new foods despite your efforts to make taste testing fun, try starting with smells and work your way up.
The point of the food challenge is to introduce your kids to new flavors—without the stress of having to eat them at the table. You might also try giving them a little control over what they eat so they feel empowered. I give my kids one choice per meal, like asking if they’d prefer broccoli or carrots, since more than one choice can be overwhelming.
While your little one isn’t likely to be eating roasted squash over a bed of arugula anytime soon (although you never know), it’s important to focus on the small wins and be patient. In my mind, the biggest win was turning what used to be a stressful time of the day into a fun chance to relax, all while working on my kids’ abilities to try new things.
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Friday, March 7th, 2014
While putting together our April issue (on newsstands March 11), the editors at Parents couldn’t wait to get the scoop on the newest addition to Rosie Pope’s family. Rosie’s official due date was not until March 12, so we asked two clairvoyants to predict baby number 4′s birth details for us. Here’s what they predicted:
Update! Our beloved Parents contributor gave birth March 6, just before 5 a.m., to Bridget Monroe Pope. After a long labor, the little one weighed in at 7 lbs., 12 oz.
So how did our psychics do?
Both correctly predicted that Rosie would have a girl. Cheri chose the right range for little Bridget’s weight and Sunfairy Chrissy’s “feeling” that March 6 would be her birthday was dead-on. Cheri also correctly called the time window, although the baby was not born at home. As Rosie recovers in the hospital, she is beaming over her family’s new arrival: “She is a mini J.R.!,” Rosie says, marveling at the resemblance between little Bridget and her eldest big brother.
Congratulations to Rosie, her husband, Daron, and the entire Pope clan!
Are you expecting? Check out Rosie’s Style Tips for Mom-to-Be in the video player below or find Parents’ picks for top maternity gear here.
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Monday, February 3rd, 2014
I must admit, I haven’t had a baby shower since my first son was born, but I often get asked questions about the etiquette surrounding showers for 2nd, 3rd and 4th babies. My response is always the same: There is no reason you shouldn’t have a party to celebrate this wonderful occasion, but don’t ask for gifts or create a registry. We simply can’t expect our friends to keep forking over money and gifts so that we can have the latest and greatest baby gear. Clearly there are exceptions to this rule (hello, unexpected triplets!), and, as friends, it is our job to throw showers for our friends that need them for one reason or another—they shouldn’t have to ask!
These most tasteful of second showers are aptly dubbed a “sprinkle,” which always makes me think of someone tossing sprinkles all over me in some extravagant version of the wedding rice-throwing tradition! (So far however, it hasn’t happened.) So with baby #4 on the way, I was delighted that my friends at Hot Moms Club and Belly Bandit decided to get in on my “sprinkle”-throwing action. Here are the do’s of throwing one yourself:
*Choose a fun location. Look for something that’s more reminiscent of the margarita-drinking, disco-dancing, pre-baby you, and shy away from the traditional tea rooms that you may have picked for your first shower. Those are wonderful for baby #1 and completely appropriate when your great aunt needs to attend, but this one should be a smaller affair, and more for you and your friends than for your granny’s bingo crowd. Mine was held at the newly-opened Herringbone restaurant at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, which provided a chic party environment as opposed to a ladies luncheon vibe. Tea cups were replaced with cocktail glasses (or mocktail glasses for mommies-to-be) because after all: “sprinkles” are parties.
*Serve sweet eats. Or, if you’re more of a pastry trend-setter, cronuts. Delicious, sugary treats never go out of style and much more aptly fit the party environment than fruit plates and finger sandwiches.
*Choose the yummiest of foods on the menu. After your “sprinkle,” you aren’t likely to have another party where you eat French fries with reckless abandon, so now is the time. We served French fry salad—such a great way to wreak havoc on a salad—topped with guac, bacon bits, cheese, and crisp lettuce.
*Ask for modest donations. Consider asking guests to bring diapers for a diaper drive or to donate gently used gear of their own to wonderful charities, like Baby Buggy.
*Assemble thoughtful goody bags. If there are some new moms amongst your bunch, considering including one of your favorite mommy tools in your goody bags. Mine included the tummy-shrinking Belly Bandit and some pieces from my new baby line. While I don’t expect you to go out and start making baby clothes, do include that special something you have so appreciated knowing about in your gift bag so you can share it with your friends.
Once the location, the gifts, and the refreshments are taken care of, be sure to relax and have fun. Your sprinkle is your party, your time with you and your friends, and a chance to celebrate one of the most amazing things in life. A new baby is on its way, so “sprinkle” away!
Get started planning your “sprinkle” with our Baby Shower Planner tool.
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Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
A few weeks back, Gisele looked fabulous. She was basking in her full glory while her glam squad coiffed her curls and primped her luscious lips, as she simultaneously breasted her 1-year-old daughter, Vivian. But the truth is, we don’t all have a glam squad waiting in the wings to put us back together after a long flight, too much egg nog or one too many sweet potatoes at the family get together. Plus, there is no team of nannies at the ready, waiting to whisk our children off to exciting endeavors as we get our butts kicked by a fabulous fitness trainer, like Tracey Anderson. What’s more, when we fly, we don’t fly private. So yes, we have to keep our screaming children seated and belted while onlookers judge us.
Despite our best wishes for turning over a new leaf in the coming New Year, when January 1st hits, we are often just as overwhelmed as we were on December 31st, but with the addition of a few more pounds thanks to all the holiday feasts and festivities! How can we get back in shape for the New Year and feel good about the way we look, all the while juggling the millions of things we constantly juggle?
To help, I’ve devised 10 calorie-saving, fat-burning rituals to work into your day so you too can be your very own Gisele:
1. Use portion control. Try serving yourself the same portion sizes as you would your kids, and eat small, regular meals just like they do. I promise I haven’t gone bonkers; returning to fist-sized portions is actually a great way to shed those extra pounds.
2. Combine your afternoon lull with excercise-packed TV time. How? In my house, we like to have a “Dance Storm.” I choose a music-packed DVD, like The Wiggles‘ “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” or The Gigglebellies, which are my family’s favorites. Then, we all get up (kids included!) and dance for the entire length of the DVD. It might feel like it will never end, but trust me, you can do it!
3. Get the single, double or tripple stroller out, and pile everyone in for some hill walks (or a run if you’re feeling particularly daring). A brisk 20-30 minute outing while pushing around all those extra pounds of children will work miracles.
4. Try to see clean-up time not as an oppressively annoying chore that never, ever ends, but rather as a chance to add in some extra cardio. Set goals for how quickly you’d like each task accomplished and time yourself. All that squatting is golden.
5. Eat with your kids. This will mean you’ll eat earlier than usual, which is far better than falling asleep right after gorging on late night burrito!
6. Treat your body like you treat your kids’ bodies! Just like we wouldn’t let our children eat excessive amounts of candy and unhealthy foods, apply the same good common sense and care taking skills to yourself. Remember, it’s not just for you. They need you to be healthy, too.
7. If you don’t have child care but are the type of person who needs an exercise class to kick your sweet derriere into action, consider the following: There are many strollercise groups that meet in local parks that you could join. And if there isn’t one near you, get some of your favorite moms together and organize your own so you can split the cost of a trainer who can lead the class. Alternatively, look for gyms that have child-care options so your wee one gets to play while you crunch.
8. Just as kids’ bedtimes often slip during the holiday season, so do ours. We need adequate amounts of sleep to be able to make good choices when it comes to food and exercise, so bump your bedtime forward just as you have theirs.
9. Reconnect with your partner. Not only does it burn calories, but it benefits your relationship, too. Make it a part of your new regime—a healthy relationship means a healthier you.
10. Don’t beat yourself up. I often find I get so hard on myself for not working out enough or being healthy enough that I become so overwhelmed I don’t do anything at all. Give yourself praise for small achievements. Even 20 minutes of exercise here and there or cutting a few late-night snacks from your weekly norm is a step in the right direction.
And if all else fails, strip down to a white robe, fly on your private jet and have your glam squad ready in the wings each morning to beautify you as you roll out of bed. Ahhh, at least we can dream! (Ahem, Gisele.)
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Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Check out blog posts by multitalented mompreneur Rosie Pope every month at Parents.com!
The holiday season is upon us. And while the cheer is beginning to bubble over, so are the number of pesky colds our wee ones are coming home with.
Let’s face it; sickness can be a massive buzz-kill when we’d rather be jingling and jangling some reindeer bells, getting goodies for our loved ones, and generally being ridiculously festive all month long. But when it comes to the common cold, a wait-it-out approach is often recommended by pediatricians provided there is no fever or other tell-tale warning signs. This can be frustrating parents, since we want to do everything we can to help our child feel comfortable, pampered, and ready to get back into the holiday spirit as quickly as possible.
If your little one is feeling under the weather, try my go-to home remedies to help soothe a sniffly nose, scratchy throat, and the general aches and pains that come along with a cold:
- It can be stressful for your child to feel sick and not know when he’ll be better, so be sure to reassure him child that his cold will pass. Then, dole out as many hugs as you can in the meantime.
- Be diligent about hand washing to prevent a household outbreak. Explain to siblings how germs can spread and advise them to keep their space and be a little cautious for the next few days. Just don’t go overboard—there’s no need to create the next generation’s germaphobe!
- If your child is over the age of one, honey is a marvelous thing. Take a teaspoon of honey, and mix into some warm milk to soothe a sore throat quickly. Skip the dairy if your child is particularly congested, and try to get him to eat just the spoonful of plain honey.
- Since Vitamin C is so important for a strong immune system, find as many ways as possible to pack it into your kid’s diet during an illness. At my house, we make hydrating homemade lemonade using as many lemons as possible and some sugar, honey, or other fruits, like strawberries, for sweetness.
- Use fresh ginger, which is known to help ease nausea, in cooking or baking recipes this holiday season. You can also find ginger chews, lollipops, or other ginger-infused candies to give your child.
- Peppermint tea and peppermint extract are wonderful ways to calm headaches and digestive issues naturally. Mix peppermint tea with fruit juice to make it more palatable for kids. Or, for a sweeter approach, bake peppermint extract (one or two drops goes a long way!) into your little one’s favorite treat.
- Oftentimes, your child’s appetite can wane during illness. If your child is having difficulty eating, try starting with apple sauce. It’s a healthy choice, packed with Vitamin C, and easy to swallow—even with a sore throat.
- Rub a small amount of vapor rub onto the soles of your wee one’s feet, and cover them with socks. The strong smell will help relive a stuffy nose, but the protective sock will cover the salve so your child won’t get his hands messy—or worse, put it in his mouth.
- Transform your bathroom into a mini steam room. Sit on the bathroom floor together and read books or write messages on the foggy mirrors while the hot water helps clear your little one’s sinuses. Don’t forget to hydrate afterwards!
- To ease aches and pains, add Epsom salt to your child’s bath water and let him soak away the tension. Follow the bath with a good massage; the healing powers of touch are amazing. Watch the how-to video below.
Want more Rosie? Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
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Thursday, July 11th, 2013
If you’re looking for a little portable entertainment for your child while traveling this summer or simply seeking a quiet activity out of the sun, I’ve got you covered with some of my favorite apps for kids ages four and up. Moderation is my motto when it comes to screen time. But let’s face it: Sometimes it can be nice to keep your little one occupied for a bit while you enjoy some much-needed downtime. (After all, I enjoy a little screen time just as much as my little ones do.)
It can feel impossible navigating your way through the endless sea of apps to find ones that are entertaining, educational, and suitable for your wee ones. Plus, those 99¢ apps add up, and, before you know it, you’ve spent a whole lot of money on not very much value. Here’s my round-up of favorite apps for preschool-age kids:
1. More Pie by Maverick Software allows little ones to make 30 varieties of pies with over 45 choices of toppings. If your child enjoys this app, check out the others in the series, such as the cupcake making or BBQ grilling app. $1 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
2. Team Umizoomi Math: Zoom into Numbers by Nickelodeon is great for building math skills like counting and number identification. $3 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
3. The Little Engine That Could by Once Upon an App is a fun starter app for any little train lover. Your child can choose to read the book by himself, or have the app read the story aloud to him. $4 for iPad and iPhone
4. Pip and Posy: Fun and Games by Nosy Crow features cute English accents as your child plays matching games and completes jigsaw puzzles with lovable characters. $3 for iPad and iPhone
5. What Does Not Belong by Brain-Go LLC builds vocabulary and classification skills which are essential for preparing your child for kindergarten. $2 for iPad and iPhone
6. Little Fox Music Box by Fox and Sheep is a fantastic interactive music app available in multiple languages for kids with over 100 interactive elements and sounds. $3 for iPad, iPhone, and Android
7. Koi Pond HD Lite by The Blimp Pilots is a calming, introductory app to get your wee ones used to using a touch screen. Enjoy seeing the water ripple and the Koi fish react as your child plays the game. $1 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
8. Dr. Panda’s Hospital by TribePlay Ltd. is perfect for little ones who love to role-play. In this app, your child can fix broken bones, ease stomachaches, and measure the blood pressure of furry patients. $2 for iPad, iPhone, and Android
9. Snackerdoodle by Maverick Software is a fun drawing app that allows your kid to use fruits and veggies to create their own pictures. Plus, it’s a fun way to start talking about healthy food choices with your child. $1 for iPad and iPhone
10. Zoo Train by Busy Bee Studios combines puzzles, music, and spelling games into one app filled with five fun activities featuring two kid favorites—trains and animals. $1 for iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Nook, Windows 8, and Android
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