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Family

Starting a family of your own is an exciting yet scary time. You worry if you’ll be a good parent or if you’ll be able to teach your child the things you want him or her to learn. While it’s one of the most rewarding things in life, at times you may need some help on how to advance your child through the stages of life. Whether it’s getting your baby to latch on for breastfeeding or potty training your toddler we’re here to support you through those struggles and give some advice.

Teaching Kids Respect and Love

Boys hugging

Respect is a little word with a very big meaning. If we want our children to show respect for us, we must first show them what respect is. It starts very early on with children. Teaching a child not to hit by spanking them? It doesn’t make much logical sense and sends mixed messages, but it also doesn’t teach them that you respect them. No, they shouldn’t run the show. But teaching children in a positive ways how to treat others will go a long way with nipping the hitting, biting… in the bud before it becomes a huge issue.

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A Guide to Starting Baby on Solids

Kid eating cheese

What and when to start baby on solids is something most parents start thinking about soon after the baby is born. Current World Health Organization recommendations say a good time to start is 4-6 months for formula-fed babies and 6+ months for breastfed babies. Wait for signs from your baby that s/he is ready to start and don’t rush into things! It’s not a developmental milestone, so let your baby tell you.

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Breastfeeding and Beyond: Why Baby Led Weaning Worked Best for Me

Baby breastfeeding

Most pediatricians will recommend you feed your baby only breast milk for the first six months (if you are breastfeeding. For Formula feeders, it is four months) and then start the weaning process with a slow introduction of solids for practice. By one year, solid intake should be enough to sustain baby and most will give you the go ahead to introduce cow’s milk instead of breast milk, if you wish…

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Deciding Homeschool vs. Public School

Kid studying

When my husband David and I met, I learned early on that he was homeschooled. He was smart, outgoing, socially aware. Everything I had heard homeschoolers were NOT! I knew one homeschooler that I met in high school and, while she was nice, she was certainly the picture of socially awkward. Also, shortly after we married, I went with David’s family to a homeschool convention in Richmond, Virginia. While it wasn’t as out there as I thought it would be, the kids all seemed so different to what I was used to. I was 19 years old at the time. At 19, different is, well, weird. Surely, my husband was an exception, right? He was the only “normal” (that’s using that term loosely with him!) homeschooler I knew (I didn’t know his sisters too well at that point and his brothers were too young to tell just yet). As a result, I was very hesitant to embrace the idea. So I started digging into homeschool vs. public school to find out how this might work in my world…

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Public School vs. Homeschool

Classroom with apple

Once David graduated and found a job, I would be able to be at home with the kids for a while. It was a deal we had made when he went back to school. I worked my buns off in a job that I didn’t really like (loved the people, thank goodness!) for him to go to school. I had earned some time off! Plus, I was pregnant (surprise!) with baby number 4 and I love to be home with my babies if possible…

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Potty Training Tips

Boy potty training

Although I am not currently potty training, I have (with lots of help!) successfully potty trained 3 little boys. Several friends have recently asked for breastfeeding advice for their little boys, so I thought I’d give a few pieces of potty training tips that may (or may not) help other parents going through it. I will admit we had a lot of help potty training our middle two boys, Micah and Elijah. I was working full-time when they were potty trained, so others played a large roll, but I can still give tips based on what we did and what they did. It does, however, involve some bribing, so don’t necessarily take great parenting notes from this one, BUT bottom line, it was temporary and it worked…

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Plan B: Gestational Surrogate

Plan B on a chalkboard

I saw a movie years and years ago about gestational surrogacy. As with most movies, it wouldn’t be any good if it wasn’t full of drama (well, according to producers anyway. After all, even “reality tv” has added drama. Life is typically, well, boring). The movie didn’t end well. But, it planted a little seed in my heart and mind. I was probably 10 or 12 (I just looked it up. I was 10.) with no idea of what it would all entail or even if it would be possible for me, but it intrigued me. The little seed stayed a seed for many, many years. I wanted my own children first and I wanted to be 100% sure I was done having my own children before I even really looked into how all of it worked…

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Doula Training: My First Birth

Pregnant woman on yoga ball

The birth I am referring to wasn’t mine at all. In no way was it mine. In no way did I do anything extraordinary. I didn’t feel any pain. I didn’t hold a baby in my arms seconds after birth. I really just stood there and uttered some words (to mom, dad, doctors and nurses), rubbed a back, suggested new positions, wet a wash cloth and shed a few tears when that sweet little girl entered the earth. This was my first birth I attended as a doula and a key milestone in my doula training. And, it was amazing! The rush I felt was second only to the birth of my own children. I’ll start from the beginning…

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Teaching Children Respect: Lessons Learned as a Mom

Kids hands in a circle

Respect yourself, respect your family, respect your friends, respect your world… I can remember times when I’ve been angry at my children and I HAVE lost it with them. I will not claim that I am perfect in that regard (or even close). But, over the years I have learned that if I want them to respect and do things for me, I have to first respect them and lead by example.

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Becoming a Surrogate: Try, Try Again

Home pregnancy test

Where did we leave off in this journey? I had completed my first transfer in May and we were hopeful for a quick, painless success. My intended parents have been through so, so much that I so badly wanted this to be easy for them. I hadn’t had ever had a problem getting pregnant in the past (3 out of 4 babies were surprise blessings!) and I had never had a miscarriage. Failure, honestly, wasn’t on my radar at all…

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