a new year, a new time!

Announcing… MOPS – Rochester, NH will be meeting on the 1st Friday of the month from 7-9pm!

MOPS – Rochester, NH is changing our times for the 2012-2013 season!  We are excited to announce that we are going to be mixing it up this year and meeting on the 1st Friday of the month from 7-9pm (October-June).  We will be offering a limited MOPPETS program for moms with extenuating circumstances (please email to sign up for childcare).

There are a few reasons that the steering team has chosen to make this change:

In the past year we have really struggled to find enough MOPPETS workers to handle a growing number of kids.  We have several faithful workers (who we LOVE and APPRECIATE so much!) but we feel that it is really impacting our quality of care and it is not allowing us to feel comfortable to invite more moms and grow our group.

Secondly, we feel a burden to reach out to working moms and give them an opportunity to experience MOPS.

Although we recognize that change takes some time to get used to, we are really excited to try this out this year and reach more MOPS moms!  We hope that you will look forward to joining us for our first MOPS meeting of 2012-2013 on October 5th and consider inviting another mom to come with you!

ask a mentor mom![i need a break]

We have another Ask a Mentor Mom! question.  Our mentor moms have shared from their experience and their hearts and will readily admit that what they are suggesting may not work for everyone.  We acknowledge that we are all ‘coming to the table’ with different parenting strategies, different experiences and different kids so please keep that in mind as you read their answers.

Ask a Mentor Mom! Question:How can I get mini ‘breaks’ (alone time) during the day with a house full of little ones?  (or ‘dates’ with our spouses while staying home w/ a house full of little ones (and not getting a babysitter))

response from Judy…

I admire you for realizing your need for a break in a long day with little ones! Our middle child did not sleep well for the first year of his life. It took me months to learn to REST when he went down for a nap, never knowing if it would be for an hour or 5 minutes. I would make myself tea, read, pray or nap myself–anything that would give me the sense of having a break.

I did my best to get all 3 of our children to have time alone in their rooms in the afternoon, whether they napped or simply read quietly on their beds. That time I had to myself made me a better mom for them for the rest of the day.

When our kids got a bit older, my husband would tell our kids it was “mom and dad” time after dinner. They needed to leave us alone for a given amount of time–usually about 15-30″. During that time we had tea and talked about the day. Every time they interrupted that time, we made it 5 minutes longer! They learned pretty quickly! 🙂

Do you have a question for our mentor moms?  Email your questions here or include them in the comment section below.

don’t worry we’ll pay for therapy…

by Kyla Yoder

Every parent screws up, it’s impossible not to. Every mom thinks to herself at least ten times a day “I just really messed that kid up.”

When I was about 6, and learning to read, my mom and I were in the car with my Grandma.  My mom kept asking me to read to my grandma. (She, like any proud parent, was trying to show off my new skill.)  Needless to say I was very stubborn at 6 – no really, really stubborn. So in shear frustration and anger, my mom pulled the car over and spanked me for not reading. Did I mention we were on a busy road? Anyway, you might be thinking “you poor kid that must have been so horrible how scarring, what a terrible experience.” Hears the scoop: the only reason I can tell you this story is because my mom apologizes for it on almost a regular basis. I have no personal memory of it at all.  Also, let me assure you it had no lasting mental effect on my either. I don’t have a fear of reading, in fact, I love reading almost to a fault. And I don’t have terrible flashbacks if I’m reading in the car, although I do get a stomach ache but I’m 99.9% sure it has nothing to do with this incident.

We all screw up, we all over react. Whether it’s saying to a 6 year old “what’s wrong with you?!” when he’s crying about pants because he doesn’t like the way they feel on his legs (I did that just last week), or maybe out of frustration with a 2 year old you put them in a car seat with a little more force than necessary. Maybe it’s having to walk away from a newborn that won’t stop crying and you’ve tried EVERYTHING and you’re just so tired and you start to think maybe I should shake him just a little…  Or if your daughter catches you rolling your eyes at her when she asks “aren’t I a pretty princess?” and you just can’t take anymore of this girly stuff – how many years can this go on for? Maybe that one is just me and it really will be scarring to her. And yes I’ll pay for those therapy sessions.

Anyway, we all think these things, or similar things, on a daily basis. We’re not perfect and we’re tired and sometimes we’re just lazy or in a bad mood. So when you find yourself wondering how badly you’ve screwed up a particular child, remember that a majority of the time when we think something will leave a lasting impression and our kids will become horrible people because of it, that it’s probably not the case. If it is? Don’t worry you can pay for therapy!  God gave us these kids and it’s not a surprise to him when we say or do things we shouldn’t. If he gave us our children because he knew we were the perfect parents for these particular children, then I’m sure he took into account to give them just the right amount of stuff to make it through all our mess ups.  Most of the time our mess ups are for our own sake to grow us and change us to see the things that we need to work on. If you think about it, kids are like therapy for us.  We sometimes learn from our parents mistakes and we are better parents for it. Sometimes we follow in their foot steps whether for good or bad, and when it’s bad that’s our opportunity to change and grow and find the healing we need to be better parents.

Last week when I yelled at Zeph for crying about pants, in the end of the whole situation I had to apologize. I realized that while yes, there was no need for him to cry about clothes (we have a rule in our house about clothes and TV and food and school that they are all gifts and not every person has them and we should always be grateful for what we do have even if it’s not perfect) that in that situation I was being a hypocrite. How many days do I try on everything I own and while  I don’t cry about it, I still am being ungrateful for what I am blessed to have. In the end, every time we mess up it’s a moment we can learn from and our children can learn from. God is perfect and gives us all ample opportunity to change and grow and become better people.

So instead of beating yourself up the next time you mess up, ask yourself “Can I make this situation better? And how can I change and how can I approach it in a better way?”

And if you can’t, there is always therapy. 🙂

what is pinterest?

Lately you may have been hearing a lot of buzz about Pinterest.  Perhaps you have already logged on and filled up a few dozen boards already. *ahem*

So…what is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. (from Pinterest)

Pinterest is great way to track all the fun inspirations you find while surfing the web (craft tutorials, recipes, birthday party ideas) but you can also search what other people have ‘pinned’ for ideas.  When I was starting to remodel our daughters ‘big girl’ bedroom I created a board for all my ideas as I was researching.  I found some great ideas searching on Pinterest!  I’ve also enjoyed searching for preschool crafts, menu ideas, and food (of course).

How do I start?

To get on Pinterest you need to request an invite (from the website or from a friend) in order to create an account.  (the invites tend to end up in your junk mail so I would look there if you haven’t received yours in a day or two).

Once you have an account, go here to add a ‘pin it’ button to your browser tool bar.  This will make it super easy to ‘pin’ things as you find them.

For more information on Pinterest you can read these great blog posts Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide or Pinterest for Bloggers.

 

natural remedies for kids

Here are Amy Darling’s notes for her “Herbs for Kids” talk today!

Herbs for Kids

please note: Amy wanted everyone to know that catnip and yarrow are not recommended in pregnancy (it is a mild uterine stimulant). 

Amy would love to have feedback from moms about these remedies! (successes or not)  Feel free to email her HERE.

ask a mentor mom! [picky eaters]

We have two responses to share with you regarding our first Ask a Mentor Mom! question.  These moms have shared from their experience and their hearts and will readily admit that what they are suggesting may not work for everyone.  We acknowledge that we are all ‘coming to the table’ (pardon the pun) with different parenting strategies, different experiences and different kids so please keep that in mind as you read their answers.

Ask a Mentor Mom! Question: In light of our dinner meltdown tonight (my four year old AND me!), can you give some advice for how to deal with picky eaters?

Responses:

from Staci…
Kids can be picky eaters for a variety of reasons and parenting styles can vary from family to family, therefore, making it hard to give solid advice.  Instead of giving advice, I’ve jotted down a few things that I’ve considered or have put to use over the years.

Is your child eating too many “in-between meal” snacks?  A hungry child is more likely to eat what’s on the plate and food tastes better when one’s hungry.

Is your child drinking their calories?  Too much juice/milk throughout the day can kill an appetite.

Is it a singular food group?  Explore – My daughter will not eat fruit.  The pediatrician has told me that the part of the tongue that tastes fruit is much enlarged and therefore is no surprise that fruit tastes incredibly sour to her. I still encourage her to try because I know that taste buds can change.

Is it mixed foods like in a casserole? I’ve got one that simply gags on the feeling of mixed textures in his mouth. Make the basic meat/potato/vegetable that can be eaten separately. When I’m making a casserole, I plan leftovers of the separate items to be heated up.

One only eats two or three kinds of vegetables.  I always have those choices on hand.  I cook more than enough of the vegetable he likes for everyone and have left overs to heat up when I’m cooking something different the next night.  Again, encourage trying new choices often. Better a few choices within a food group than trying to force many choices.

Is the atmosphere too chaotic? Sit together as a family and turn the t.v. and extra noise off.

Sometimes kids need to feel grounded to eat.  Try a footstool they can put their feet on instead of letting their legs dangle.

If you’ve got food on the plate that you know they like and they’re just being stubborn, you can hold the plate on the table until they’re hungry.

Make sure your portions aren’t too big.  Better to dish out seconds than to battle over the “clean your plate” motto.

Decide how important the battle is! I’ve not made food a huge issue because my kids were basically healthy.  I would have liked to have had them eat the proper well-balance diet from the get go but that didn’t happen in my house.  Overall, though, all five have turned out to be basic well-balanced eaters.

from Judy…
I remember learning a few things from others when it came to dealing with picky eaters. The first thing is that eating is one of the few places where a child can feel a sense of control. As we’ve all experienced, it is impossible to force a child to eat! In their little worlds where a grown up is continually trying to guide their behavior, mealtime is one time when they can refuse to do what we want them to!

My brother knew of a toddler that refused to eat anything but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches–morning, noon and night! The little boy’s doctor told his mom to let him. He was getting all kinds of nutrients that his body needed, and soon he would tire of it and move on to something else. I’m sure that little boy is a grown man now, alive and well despite weeks of PB and J.

We chose to not make special meals for our picky eaters if they didn’t like what was being served. One thing we tried was to have them take as many bites as they were old of the food they didn’t want to eat. Not a perfect solution, but it worked a sometimes, and by the time they were 16, they were eating adult sized portions! (Just kidding!) 🙂

Mealtime can be such special family time. I think the key is to keep it from becoming all about the food battles. If a child refuses to eat, offer to excuse them and remind them there will be no dessert or snacks until the next meal. And stick to it! 🙂

Do you have a question for our mentor moms?  Email your questions here or include them in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

Café au Lait Bars

Here is a recipe from our mentor mom Dixie.  This treat made an appearance last week at our MOPS meeting!

Café au Lait Bars

3 large eggs

1 ½ cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¾ cup unsalted butter, melted

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup instant coffee crystals, or 3 tablespoons espresso powder

¼ cup heavy cream (I actually used whole milk)

Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until light-colored and thick. Add the sugar, beating until glossy and stiff. Add the vanilla and melted butter, beating to combine. Stir in the flour and salt.

Set aside 1 ½ cups of the batter. Stir together the coffee crystals and cream and add to the remaining batter. Spread the coffee batter in the prepared pan. Spoon the reserved batter over the top, then run a knife through the two batters to marble them.

Bake the bars for 30 minutes, or until the sides just barely pull away from the edge of the pan and the center is set. Remove from the oven and cool before cutting.

NOTE: This recipe is from “The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion”. This is a great resource for cookie lovers.


welcome to holland

At yesterday’s meeting Staci shared a poem as she was telling us her experience of having her son diagnosed with autism.  It touched many of us, we are happy to be able to share it with you!

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

By
Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

 

impress your kids link


This is a link to a blog series on ImpressYourKids.org.  This blogger is someone that I have followed for years and I always enjoy (and am often challenged by) what she writes.  I’m offering this to you as a resource…something to get you thinking.   Enjoy!

-courtney

ask a mentor mom!

We have some fantastic mentor moms at MOPS – Rochester, NH!  These ladies have ‘been there and done that’ when it comes to raising kids and would love to share their support, insight and advice with you on your journey of motherhood.

Do you have a question that  you would like to ask a seasoned mom?  Maybe a particular issue that you are dealing with in your home, or a situation that you need some advice on?  We would like to allow you to ask your questions and our mentor moms will respond!  These will be anonymous and responses will be shared on the blog so that we can all learn from our mentor moms.

If you question is not addressed, please remember that our mentor moms are also available to talk with you at every  MOPS meeting.

Click here to submit your questions or leave a comment below!