Tag Archives: Family

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Fessin’ Up

I want to take a minute to make something very clear because two people have made comments along the same thread in the same week.

My base belief is that those of us who choose to function in society are doing the best we can with what we have.  I try not to judge myself against others because the other thought I remind myself is that no one is perfect. We are all disorganized somewhere, and some are just better at hiding it than others. 

I am writing today as a reminder: When you look at someone, try not to assume that they have it all together or judge yourself for not doing enough…because unless people “fess up” like I am about to do, then they may look like they are, “doing it all”. In reality they are just getting along as best they can like everyone else.

Comment 1: “You had time to make dinner for all your kids?”
Because mama saw me at the dance studio with our little IKEA bento boxes at the studio, which our kiddos take because we hate buying fast food.

Answer: Our nannies cook. I make sandwiches and cut fruits and vegetables. When the nannies pack the boxes, there are meals in them. When I pack the boxes, there is *cold* nutritious food in them.

Comment 2: “How are you doing? Because you give, give, give and I want to make sure you are taking care of you.”
From a friend of the family we see on a weekly basis and who we interact with professionally in our birth classes. He sees what I do on social media and all the events we host/attend.

Answer: I am doing great. You know why? Because my amazing husband works his a** off for our family, and we make the choices that allow us to afford 2 **amazing** nannies that do all the cooking and the laundry, or at least 95% of it. Which frees up my brain and my time to do everything I love to do, which is give to our family by homeschooling, and to our community by teaching classes and promoting or attending events that support pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and the family.

AND AND AND all our children are out of diapers AND they are all potty trained. It’s hard to understand just how momentous that is until you see a mom up to her eyeballs in babies and toddlers (that of course she loves very much, just like I loved our children so very much when we were in that stage). “No diapers, no accidents” is such a huge new milestone I am finally embracing; instead of grieving the fact that I will never birth again.

So even though I put on a good front, I have a huge amount of support that makes it all work…pretty well on most days.  If I am tired, I get snappy;ss if I am sad I cry, just like every other human parent out in the world.  Since we’re doing true confessions here…sometimes it gets worse than that. I had a meltdown in a parking lot last May and I was reminded of my humanity again in February of this year.

Just like many of you, I have days when I am completely overwhelmed, and I have days when I am filled with joy…sometimes in the same day. What is amazing is that as our children grow, they are helping more and that makes it all worth it. They are starting to take ownership for their part in making our family run smoothly, and they are funny and giving and helpful. They are also putting us through growing pains again as we are approaching the teen years. I love it all and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 There is one more thing I want to add: aside from all the earthly support and help that I have, I have an awesome God.  He lights every step of my journey on a daily basis.  I have lived through dark days when I tried to run away from my faith> Then I was welcomed joyfully back and have walked with the Holy Spirit in my heart every day since then.  I am by no means perfect, however I know that I am loved> That makes it all worthwhile and so very doable.

SPFSept1

Thoughtful Thursday: Sorting Through

As we continue to unpack, I dread the fact that we still have LOTS of boxes in our garage. On top of all those boxes, we have LOTS MORE boxes in storage.

It’s stuff.  Literally just stuff. Holiday decorations. Cherished baby items and favorite outfits from when our sweet peas were little.  Toys.  And papers. And old artwork. All of it reminding me that we have too much, I keep too much. I have so much to release.  Especially: books!!!

As I was moving things around today to clear some space in the garage, I found a laundry basket full of books…and I have to face the fact that there is literally no more shelf space for them.  (I cannot buy another bookcase!! Where would I put it?!?!)

We are bursting at the seams in our home – I don’t want to bring anything else inside.  Right now, everything has a spot. Nothing is piled up or so full that I can’t easily put it away in the right place…but there are still boxes.

So now I have to decide: am I going to let things go? Or am I going to insist on holding on?

It almost feels like a metaphor for our children. As we are in the midst of the 64-day span in which we celebrate the birthdays of our 3 younger sweet peas, I am struck by the fact that they are *really* all growing up.  Our “baby” is turning five this year…she is in kindergarten!!  We are only six years away from our oldest going off to college…and she is making noises about wanting to try out for a performing arts school next year.  I hear a rustle in our little nest…

They are all stretching their wings and getting ready to fly.  It makes me take inventory of what we are teaching them…will they be equipped? Will they have the confidence to spread their wings? Will they know how to do critical thinking?  Will they have the courage to do what is right instead of doing that which is most convenient or gratifying?  Sometimes those things intersect; and when they don’t, will they be able to live with their choices?

So here I sit…wondering.  Wondering what will become of the pile of boxes.  Wondering how our sweet peas will grow.  I hope and pray that they will grow and mature in their faith and self-esteem, knowing that they are loved.

Letting go…holding on…the art of living a meaningful life. The inspiration continues to choose and lead with love. My filter is the question, “Am I living love right now?” If I am, we go onwards. If I am not, it’s time to adjust an attitude, a voice, a tone…and live with love, nurture with love, grow with love; trusting that the end result is going to be greater than I can imagine.

 

SPFNov30

On the threshold

Puma will be turning 11 in January.  Since her 10th birthday last year, she has claimed the title “tween” since she is between the single digit birthdays and her first teenage birthday…and last night, we saw the first inklings of that age.

“You are not the boss of me.”

How to answer that statement, that really wasn’t a question – or was it? Was it a challenge to prove it one way or the other? Or was it the first statement of independence as she claims her right to find her own way in the world?

My answer yesterday was reflexive, “Actually, as your mother, I am still the boss of you.” Followed by the reasons why what she wanted was not going happen (stay up all night to fill the house with Christmas decorations). She said this in front of her siblings, and I had to defend my authority, right?!?

However, as I sat with that statement overnight, it occurred to me that there are other ways to handle that statement in the future.  For really, the whole goal of our parenting philosophy has been to raise self-assured, compassionate and self-realized individuals.

We strive to treat our children as human beings, not mimics or pets who are bound to obey without question. While we try to behave in a way to earn their respect, we try to avoid the “boss”role. Speaking for myself, I strive to be a compassionate parent to serve as a tour guide through the life lessons they must learn to be competent adults.

What was going on last night? She wanted to have the house ready for the season because Christmas is her favorite holiday. She wanted to have it ready as a surprise for Busy Bee. And she doesn’t like it when things don’t happen the way she had planned.

To her, all the joy of the day was forgotten because her one goal to have the house decorated was unfulfilled. Forget the fun she had playing outside as she and her siblings helped Daddy with the garage. Forget the help she gave me, just the two of us enjoying some quiet time in the kitchen while everyone else was outside. Forget the fun she had running around after dinner playing games with her siblings. Her day was terrible because Christmas decorations were incomplete.

So then, a better response to that statement would be something like, “You are right – at the end of the day, only you are the boss of you. And we hope that you will make choices that preserve your health and your happiness.  Would you say that staying up all night to impress someone, when it will compromise your sleep and your immune system, is a good use of your time? Or maybe, we can make a checklist, and be diligent about completing it every day so that by the end of the week, the house looks the way you want it to, and we all stay as healthy as possible this season?”

If only life had a “redo” button.  Since it does not, I will take some time this morning to honor her feelings, make that list, and get started on it as soon as today’s school day is complete. Thank God our children are resilient, and that we are blessed with another day with them to be their guide, their North Star on life’s journey.

As I close today, I ask you to remember a family in your prayers who lost their North Star yesterday. Ella Bowen was a beloved dance mom at our childrens’ dance school. From what has been shared on social media, it seems that the other driver was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Such a tragic loss of a beautiful human being, who leaves behind a husband and two beautiful daughters. Hold them in your thoughts and prayers as they find a new normal without her by their side.

Wordless Wednesday: Sun-Kissed Summer

Sweet Peas are out and about and having all kinds of fun this summer – these are adorable – thank you to all the families who shared their enchanting images…and now I am off to enjoy the summer sun with our Sweet Peas and today’s birthday boy – Happy 5th Birthday, Charger!

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Charger as a toddler – how time flies!!

Sweet Pea Families: Sun Kissed Summer

Phoenix Children’s Museum

Sweet Pea Families: Sun Kissed Summer

Sea LIfe Aquarium – Phoenix

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Essential Oil Basics for the Home & Family

Essential Oils are a huge part of how we keep ourselves and our home happy, healthy and clean. I have dreams of one day having an entire medicine cabinet completely stocked and organized with tons of essential oils and oil blends for every specific complaint and ailment but the reality is that quality oils are pricey and only a handful really will cover almost all of the bases.

essential oil photo

Now that my family has been routinely been using essential oils for over two years and has gotten into a groove of using a specific number of oils for almost all of our needs I thought I would share what that looks like.

There are numerous producers of essential oils on the market, and many high quality companies. I personally use and love doTERRA, although I have heard good things about Mountain Rose Herb’s oils & Young Living Essential Oils.

We currently purchase: Tea Tree, Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, Clove, On Guard Blend, Citrus Bliss Blend, and occasionally Eucalyptus. Below are all of the ways I use these 8 essential oils in our daily life for health and wellness.

Hand Sanitizer: 2 oz amber glass bottle with spray top filled 3/4 way with witchhazel, squirt of aloe vera gel, 5-10 drops tea tree oil, 5 drops On Guard oil

All Purpose Cleaning Solution: 1 large glass spray bottle filled 3/4 with warm water, 1/4 vinegar, 20 drops Citrus Bliss Blend & 10 drops Tea Tree Oil (optional, sometimes we add sometimes not). We use this to clean counters, clean carpet, clean floors, spills on the mattress, just about any/all surfaces. I have used many different applicable essential oils for our cleaner (tea tree + lavender, on guard, on guard + tea tree) and we enjoy the way Citrus Bliss smells the most. I do not mind the vinegar smell but some of the essential oils mixed with vinegar can smell like ketchup or just funky,, especially when used on the carpet, fabrics, etc.

Home Diffusing: We have an Aroma Ace Diffuser and for overall immune boosting I like to diffuse On Guard Blend in various rooms of our house or Lemon during the spring/summer so the whole house smells fresh & clean! Citrus Bliss is also yummy smelling to diffuse, especially when having guests over, etc.

Drinking Water: I add 2-3 drops of Lemon Oil to my water in my glass Life Factory water bottle to drink throughout the day, yum.

Stainless Steel Cleaner: When we used to have stainless steel appliances I would clean them with water & lemon oil – worked like a charm! You can also use a cotton ball with a little water and 1 drop of lemon oil to clean an IPhone or computer screen.

Facial Toner/Pimples: We use Tea Tree Oil as a facial toner after washing sometimes and to spot treat pimples anywhere on the body

Eczema: My son had a really bad patch of eczema on the crease and beyond of his hand, I mixed some organic, unrefined olive oil with 3 drops of tea tree oil and applied with a Q-tip 2x a day, it completely cleared up over the course of a couple weeks, you could never even tell where it was now.

Teething Oil: In another 2 oz glass bottle I combined 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, 2 drops peppermint oil, 2 drops clove oil, and 10 drops grapefruit seed extract (optional).

Headaches: Rub peppermint oil and lavender oil on temples & back of neck

Fever: Mix a little coconut oil with a couple drops of peppermint oil and lavender oil and apply to bottom of feet and back of neck.

Baths: Add lavender oil to baths to relax, for mama and baby!

Sunburn (or any burn): Mix 1/2 vinegar & 1/2 water in 2 oz spray bottle with 5 drops lavender oil and 5 drops tea tree oil and spray all over burned area.

Toothache: Add 2-3 drops clove oil to melted coconut oil and swish/spit. Apply a small amount directly to tooth afterwards, reapply throughout the day.

Toothpaste: We make our own toothpaste using melted coconut oil, baking soda, and 3 drops of peppermint oil

Stuffy Nose: Boil a pot of water on the stove with 5-10 drops tea tree oil, stand over pot breathing in the steam. We usually do not have Eucalyptus oil on hand but during some recurring colds I had while pregnant I purchased some and did this with a blend of tea tree & eucalyptus oils.

Chest Rub during cold/flu: Coconut oil with Tea Tree and/or Eucalyptus oils. We use on the bottom of our feet as well.

Laundry: I like to add 2 drops of peppermint oil or 2 drops of lemon oil to our wash load. My husband will also spray shirts or pants that need “fluffing” with a combo of water & peppermint or water & lavender and then throw into the dryer.

Immunity Boost: Whenever we need an overall immunity boost (upcoming travel, one of us or people around us are sick, etc.) I spray door handles, countertops, tables, the car with On Guard as well as apply to our feet and backs of our necks.

Colds/Sore Throat: Hot water, Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon oil & honey

There are so many different oils and so many ways to use them but the above is what I find us doing on a regular and often daily basis. When we first became interested in using them we purchased this book to have on hand as a fast reference, it has been very helpful in many different situations! I am also thinking of purchasing this one next to have for my little one as he grows.

We purchase all of our doTerra oils through our lovely friend, Kelly, at Haute Boheme Essential Oils . She is very active online and via their Facebook Page for questions, concerns, just to chat, anything :)

There is nothing like the relaxed feeling I have knowing there are no chemicals in our house for cleaning, fragrance, laundry, body care, especially now that there is a very curious, active toddler among us. We are very grateful to have discovered essential oils and their endless uses that have seriously enriched our lives!

Do you mamas use essential oils for your little ones? What about for your family or home?

 

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Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Wishing you and your Sweet Peas a very blessed day.  We enjoyed doing lots of baking today!  I would love to read about some of your holiday traditions.  One of the beautiful things about growing a family is that it is never too late to start your own!  What did you do today?

Family Fun – August 17 & 18, 2013

Looking for something to do with your family this weekend?  Cassandra and I are going to start posting events and classes in our respective geographic areas…look for us…maybe we will see you there!!

Disclaimer: A listing here does not imply endorsement by Sweet Pea Births or our families.

Saturday, August 17, 2013
Gilbert Farmer’s Market
7:00 am – 11:00 am
222 N. Ash St
Gilbert 85234
480-583-0101

Phoenix Public Market
“our Open-Air Market is a natural gathering place that celebrates neighborhoods and the neighbors. It offers an eclectic high-quality mix of: Fresh in-season fruits and vegetables, produce, flowers, jams, baked goods, dried beans, free-range eggs and honey, Live plants and unique local arts and crafts, Tasty hot foods, music, and more

Open Air Market @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
721 N Central
Phoenix, AZ

Saturdays (May-Sep): 8a to Noon

 

Roadrunner Farmer’s Market
8:00 am – 1:00 pm
3502 E Cactus Rd
Phoenix 85032
623-848-1234
Train and Carousel Rides
Come out for a day of old-fashioned fun at the railroad park.  Enjoy the shade provided by the park’s many large trees  Kids can play at various play area including a covered playground with water sprays.  Train and Carousel Rides $2.00/each; free for kids under 3 with paying adult.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad park (http://www.therailroadpark.com/) @ 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
7301 E Indian Bend Rd
Scottsdale 85250
480-312-2312

Splash Pad Fun
Kids can cool off at this fun spray pad
Jaycee Park @10:00 am – 7:00 pm
817 W 5 St
Tempe 85282
80-350-8625

Dad & Toddler Storytime
Dads can enjoy stories with their favorite toddler
Mustang Library @10:30 am – 11:00 am
10101 N. 90 St.
Scottsdale, 85258
480-321-7323

Free Crafts for Kids
Lakeshore Learning Store @ 11:00am – 3:00pm
I Can Do It! Flowerpot
Kids get excited about going back to school…as they fill a flowerpot with their goals for the year!
Find your store HERE

Family Swim at Nozomi Aquatic Center
Cost is $2.25 for adults; $1.00 for children 2-17
Nozomi Auquatic Center @ 11:am to 6:00 pm
250 S Kyrene Rd
Chandler 85226
480-783-8621

Fish Feeding
Come see an 18,500 gallon freshwater aquarium that offers an up-close view of trophy-sized catfish, bass, striper and blue gill.  Feeding includes an informative presentation about the fish.  Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm and Tuesdays at 6:00pm.  Also, everyday kids can help us feed the trout in our Trout Stream at 1:30pm.
Bass Pro Shop Trout Stream @ 1:30 pm
Bass Pro Shop Aquarium @ 2:00 pm
1133 N Dobson Rd
Mesa 85201
602-606-5600

Free Outdoor Concert
Bring the family out to enjoy great live music performed by a variety of musicians.  Choose from two stages of entertainment
Tempe Marketplace @ 7:00 pm
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy
Tempe 85281
480-966-9338

Free Outdoor Concert

Bring the family out to enjoy great live music performed by a variety of musicians.  Choose from two stages of entertainment
Desert Ridge Marketplace @ 7:00 – 9:00 pm
21001 N Tatum Blvd
Phoenix 85050
480-513-7586

CALIFORNIA
Pacific Grove Prenatal Yoga
Seaside Yoga Sanctuary @ 10:30-11:45
170 Central Ave
Pacific Grove, CA
http://www.seasideyogasanctuary.com/OurSite/prenatal-yoga

Organic Strawberry U-Pick (https://www.facebook.com/events/547374708633186/)
Come on out and pick your fill of delicious organic berries! The strawberry patch is full of ripe fruit. Make amazing desserts, jam or just freeze a bunch for smoothies.
Cost: $1.75/lb. Bring your own containers if you can. We’ll have empty flats available too.
Redman House Farmstand @ 11 AM to 5 PM.
200 Lee Rd.
Watsonville, CA

Sunday, August 18, 2013
Ahwatukee Farmers Market
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
4700 E Warner Rd
Phoenix, 85004
602-919-0914

Train and Carousel Rides
Come out for a day of old-fashioned fun at the railroad park.  Enjoy th shade provided by the park’s many large trees. Kids can play at various play area including a covered playground with water sprays.  Train and Carousel Rides $2.00/each; free for kids under 3 with paying adult.
9:00 am to 9:00 pm
McCormick-Stillman Railroad park (http://www.therailroadpark.com/)
7301 E Indian Bend Rd
Scottsdale 85250
480-312-2312

Family Swim at Desert Oasis Aquatic Center
Zero-depth pool area with kiddie slide, rain drop and spray whale, 112 ft. figure 8 water slide, shade ramadas, concession stand and sand volleyball court.  Cost is $2.25 for adults, $1.00 for children ages 2-17
Desert Oasis Aquatic Center @ 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
1400 W Summit Place
Chandler, AZ 85224
480-732-1061

Water Park Fun in Chandler
Enjoy the zero-depth pool area with interactive play area, water vortex, current river and two water slides.  Cost is $2.25 for adults and $1 for children ages 2-17
Hamilton Aquatic Center @ 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
3838 S Arizona Ave
Chandler 85248
480-782-2630

Fish Feeding
Come see an 18,500 gallon freshwater aquarium that offers an up-close view of trophy-sized catfish, bass, striper and blue gill.  Feeding includes an informative presentation about the fish.  Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm and Tuesdays at 6:00pm.  Also, everyday kids can help us feed the trout in our Trout Stream at 1:30pm.
Bass Pro Shop Trout Stream @ 1:30 pm
Bass Pro Shop Aquarium @ 2:00 pm
1133 N Dobson Rd
Mesa 85201
602-606-5600

CALIFORNIA
Organic Strawberry U-Pick (https://www.facebook.com/events/547374708633186/)
Come on out and pick your fill of delicious organic berries! The strawberry patch is full of ripe fruit. Make amazing desserts, jam or just freeze a bunch for smoothies.
Cost: $1.75/lb. Bring your own containers if you can. We’ll have empty flats available too.
Redman House Farmstand @ 11 AM to 5 PM.
200 Lee Rd.
Watsonville, CA

Do you have an event you want to add to our list?  We are happy to list your event in our weekly blog posts.  Any event, class, support group or meeting that fits into our philosophy of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting will be considered for our listing.  We reserve the right to decline requests that do not promote healthy families and peaceful parenting.

To submit your event:
Please follow this format (same as above).  Anything that is not “copy-paste” ready may not be posted – it will depend on how much time I have between homeschooling and loving on four littles.  If I don’t sleep, it seriously impedes my ability to be a peaceful mama, and that is not fun for anybody.  Thank you for understanding!

Submit your event information to:
sweetpeafamilies {at} gmail {dot} com

Information to send me:
Event Name
Description & Cost
Location Name & Time
Address
Contact Phone Number

Please leave us a comment – it will be moderated and posted.

morning reads.

Family Fun: August 10-11, 2013

Looking for something to do with your family this weekend?  Cassandra and I are going to start posting events and classes in our respective geographic areas…look for us…maybe we will see you there!!

Do you have an event that you would like to add to our upcoming events calendar?  Please email me at krystynabowman {at} gmail {dot} com.  Any event that is in line with our family philosophy and/or parenting styles will be considered for listing.  Disclaimer: Inclusion in our listing does not imply endorsement by Sweet Pea Families.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10, 2013
ARIZONA
Gilbert Farmer’s Market
7:00 am – 11:00 am
222 N. Ash St
Gilbert 85234
480-583-0101

Roadrunner Farmer’s Market
8:00 am – 1:00 pm
3502 E Cactus Rd
Phoenix 85032
623-848-1234

Payson Farmer’s Market
8:00 am – 12:00 pm
816 S. Beeline Highway
Payson 85541
602-524-0352

Train and Carousel Rides
Come out for a day of old-fashioned fun at the railroad park.  Enjoy the shade provided by the park’s many large trees  Kids can play at various play area including a covered playground with water sprays.  Train and Carousel Rides $2.00/each; free for kids under 3 with paying adult.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad park (http://www.therailroadpark.com/) @ 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
7301 E Indian Bend Rd
Scottsdale 85250
480-312-2312

Splash Pad Fun
Kids can cool off at this fun spray pad
Jaycee Park @10:00 am – 7:00 pm
817 W 5th St
Tempe 85282
80-350-8625

Dad & Toddler Storytime
Dads can enjoy stories with their favorite toddler
Mustang Library @10:30 am – 11:00 am
10101 N. 90th St.
Scottsdale, 85258
480-321-7323

Make and Take: Dusty
Bring your kids to Lowe’s for some high flying fun this weekend! Your child will love building Dusty from Disney’s Planes-In Theaters in 3D August 9th.
Your Local Lowe’s Store @ 10:00 am
Find your store HERE http://lowesbuildandgrow.com/pages/default.aspx

Water Park Fun in Chandler
Enjoy the zero-depth pool area with interactive play area, water vortex, current river and two water slides.  Cost is $2.25 for adults and $1 for children ages 2-17
Hamilton Aquatic Center @ 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
3838 S Arizona Ave
Chandler 85248
480-782-2630

Free Crafts for Kids
Lakeshore Learning Store @ 11:00am – 3:00pm
Pet Fish Puppet
Ocean adventures await…with this colorful, kid-crafted puppet!
Find your store HERE

Family Swim at Nozomi Aquatic Center
Cost is $2.25 for adults; $1.00 for children 2-17
Nozomi Aquatic Center @ 11:am to 6:00 pm
250 S Kyrene Rd
Chandler 85226
480-783-8621

Back-to-School Beauty Bash & Bella Thorne Celebrity Appearance
Beauty Bash
Join us for Arizona’s must attend back to school shopping experience.
Featuring fashion, music, beauty, food, giveaways and BASH-tastic special offers.
Location: Macy’s Court @ 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Meet Bella Thorne from Disney’s TV Show Shake It Up
Sears Court @ 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Chandler Fashion Center
3111 W Chandler Blvd
Chandler, AZ 85226
(480) 812-8488

Fish Feeding
Come see an 18,500 gallon freshwater aquarium that offers an up-close view of trophy-sized catfish, bass, striper and blue gill.  Feeding includes an informative presentation about the fish.  Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm and Tuesdays at 6:00pm.  Also, everyday kids can help us feed the trout in our Trout Stream at 1:30pm.
Bass Pro Shop Trout Stream @ 1:30 pm
Bass Pro Shop Aquarium @ 2:00 pm
1133 N Dobson Rd
Mesa 85201
602-606-5600

Prowl and Play at the Phoenix Zoo
https://www.facebook.com/events/632218363460515/
The Phoenix Zoo’s summer evening event, Prowl & Play, will let guests experience the Zoo in a whole new light…or dark! This event offers unique and exciting activities which allow guests to explore, see and hear the Zoo differently than a daytime visit. Join us for magic, music and fun during the evening hours at the Zoo.
Animal viewing is limited during Prowl & Play.
Visit link for more information and ticket prices.
Phoenix Zoo @ 6:00 pm – 9:30pm
455 N. Galvin Parkway
Phoenix 85008

Free Outdoor Concert
Bring the family out to enjoy great live music performed by a variety of musicians.  Choose from two stages of entertainment
Tempe Marketplace @ 7:00 pm
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy
Tempe 85281
480-966-9338

Free Outdoor Concert
Bring the family out to enjoy great live music performed by a variety of musicians.  Choose from two stages of entertainment
Desert Ridge Marketplace @ 7:00 – 9:00 pm
21001 N Tatum Blvd
Phoenix 85050
480-513-7586

CALIFORNIA
Pacific Grove Prenatal Yoga
http://www.seasideyogasanctuary.com/OurSite/prenatal-yoga
Seaside Yoga Sanctuary @ 10:30-11:45
170 Central Ave
Pacific Grove, CA

Organic Strawberry U-Pick
(https://www.facebook.com/events/547374708633186/)
Come on out and pick your fill of delicious organic berries! The strawberry patch is full of ripe fruit. Make amazing desserts, jam or just freeze a bunch for smoothies.
Cost: $1.75/lb. Bring your own containers if you can. We’ll have empty flats available too.
Redman House Farmstand @ 11 AM to 5 PM.
200 Lee Rd.
Watsonville, CA

SUNDAY, AUGUST 11, 2013
ARIZONA
Ahwatukee Farmers Market
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
4700 E Warner Rd
Phoenix, 85004
602-919-0914

Train and Carousel Rides
Come out for a day of old-fashioned fun at the railroad park.  Enjoy the shade provided by the park’s many large trees. Kids can play at various play area including a covered playground with water sprays.  Train and Carousel Rides $2.00/each; free for kids under 3 with paying adult.
(http://www.therailroadpark.com/)
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park @ 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
7301 E Indian Bend Rd
Scottsdale 85250
480-312-2312

Family Swim at Desert Oasis Aquatic Center
Zero-depth pool area with kiddie slide, rain drop and spray whale, 112 ft. figure 8 water slide, shade ramadas, concession stand and sand volleyball court.  Cost is $2.25 for adults, $1.00 for children ages 2-17
Desert Oasis Aquatic Center @ 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
1400 W Summit Place
Chandler, AZ 85224
480-732-1061

Water Park Fun in Chandler
Enjoy the zero-depth pool area with interactive play area, water vortex, current river and two water slides.  Cost is $2.25 for adults and $1 for children ages 2-17
Hamilton Aquatic Center @ 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
3838 S Arizona Ave
Chandler 85248
480-782-2630

Fish Feeding
Come see an 18,500 gallon freshwater aquarium that offers an up-close view of trophy-sized catfish, bass, striper and blue gill.  Feeding includes an informative presentation about the fish.  Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm and Tuesdays at 6:00pm.  Also, everyday kids can help us feed the trout in our Trout Stream at 1:30pm.
Bass Pro Shop Trout Stream @ 1:30 pm
Bass Pro Shop Aquarium @ 2:00 pm
1133 N Dobson Rd
Mesa 85201
602-606-5600

Make and Take: Dusty
Bring your kids to Lowe’s for some high flying fun this weekend! Your child will love building Dusty from Disney’s Planes-In Theaters in 3D August 9th.
Your local Lowe’s store @ 2:00 pm
Find your store HERE: http://lowesbuildandgrow.com/pages/default.aspx

CALIFORNIA EVENTS
Sunday Blues & Art in the Park
Celebrate a Seaside tradition of Blues and Art in the Park with free Sunday concerts during in July and August. Bring the whole family (but leave the dogs at home…they are not permitted in the park!). Bring a picnic and enjoy performances by Fry-Wright Band and Mingo Fishtrap’s Blues Band. For more information, click here or call (831) 899-6800
http://www.mbaykids.com/happenings.asp
Laguna Grande Park @ 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Canyon Del Rey Boulevard
Seaside, CA

Organic Strawberry U-Pick
(https://www.facebook.com/events/547374708633186/)
Come on out and pick your fill of delicious organic berries! The strawberry patch is full of ripe fruit. Make amazing desserts, jam or just freeze a bunch for smoothies.
Cost: $1.75/lb. Bring your own containers if you can. We’ll have empty flats available too.
Redman House Farmstand @ 11 AM to 5 PM.
200 Lee Rd.
Watsonville, CA

2013MothersDay

Mother’s Day 2013

Happy Mother’s Day!!  This is a wonderful day for most mothers in the United States.  We are showered with love, congratulatory greetings, phone calls, texts, emails, gifts…all in honor of the fact that we are mothers.

I love being a mother, and I love that there is one day when our families take the time to recognize that ours is a 24/7 commitment.  On the other hand, the older I get, the more aware I am that this holiday can be the holiday from H.E.double-hockey-sticks for other people.

People who recently lost a loved mother, grandmother, or other female relative who was like a mother.  People who lost a kindred spirit who was like a mother to them.  Women who just lost their life partner, the ones with whom they shared the journey of parenthood.  Parents and children who are estranged from each other, no matter whose “fault” it is.  Women who tried desperately to conceive and whose time never came.  Women who recently suffered a miscarriage.  Women who have suffered the loss of a child, at whatever age in their lives.  How do they ever answer the question, “How many children do you have?”  Transgender people who are born with the desire to bear children and without the anatomical equipment to be gestational parents.  All of them are suffering in silence most days.  Today is especially difficult for all these people who are watching and expected to participate in the “greeting card” version of a holiday on steroids.

So in the midst of all the joy, congratulations and celebration of the work of our wombs, I also want to send special love to the people who fall outside of “the circle” today.  I wish I could give you a hug in person and support you the way you need to be supported.  I feel you and wish you love.

Our family suffered the loss of a beloved mother and grandmother figure this March.  The realization I came to after her passing has been incredibly freeing and empowering.  I am no longer trying to compete with past constructs of motherhood in my life.  I am simply looking forward and looking for my children to guide me.

These are the introspections I make that are guiding my mother-journey today:

    • What is my mothering philosophy?  
    • Am I following my philosophy and leading our children, or am I simply reacting?
    • Can I use humor to diffuse the situation?
    • How do I want our children to remember me?
    • As individuals, what kind of mother does that child need me to be?  (i.e., which Love Language do they speak?)
    • How can I best help them grow into their full potential?
    • How can I help them discover their gifts so that they can enjoy them for their lifetime?

Taking the pressure off of having to “be better than”, and looking at the future helps me to deal with the little daily frustrations.  On a daily basis we deal with bickering amongst the siblings, the endless duties around the home, the kitchen that always needs cleaning, the laundry that doesn’t quit, a schoolroom that needs to be straightened – again.  I look at my motherhood as a path, a journey I am on with our children.  I can take on today – it is only a day in what I wish and pray will be our long journey together.

At the end of the day, I want us all to be happy, whole, fulfilled individuals who love each other because we value one another for who we are.  I don’t ever want them to make a choice because they want to please me – I want them to make a choice because they know it is the right one for them.

We are still walking that path together.  I look forward to another 365 days of meandering along that path joyfully with our family.  Please take a minute today to celebrate the mothers in your life.  Take it a step further and hug someone who is suffering in silence today.  Let them know that while you can’t take away their pain, you care and you love them.