5 Healthy Habits to Master in Your Baby’s First Year

5 Healthy Habits to Master in Your Baby’s First Year

Your baby’s first year is a developmentally crucial time. Your little one will begin to explore new flavors beyond mother’s milk, master basic locomotion, and maybe even say their first word. Their tiny brains and bodies need all the help they can get to meet milestones.

You can do quite a bit as a parent to support and nurture your child’s development. They look to you to meet their every need. What should you do? Here are five healthy habits to master in your baby’s first year.

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6 Best Ways to Spend Time with Your Family

6 Best Ways to Spend Time with Your Family

Many of us take our families for granted even though it is the biggest source of happiness and peace in our lives. If you feel like you should boost the time you spend with your kids, spouse or parents, there are many ideas on how you can spend that time productively. Here are a few best ideas that will make your family time unforgettable: 

Cook and eat together

The habit of having at least one meal together a day will change your family dynamic for the better. This meal can be either breakfast or dinner if you can’t have lunch together because of work or school. Use this time to share your feelings and thoughts, offer encouraging words, discuss your day and share a lot of laughs. If you have time, you can prepare weekend meals together. Gather interesting new recipes, buy groceries and do your best to recreate meals around the world. This is a great opportunity to learn about different cultures and foods and expand your menu. 

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It's the Mothers Who Will Fight

It's the Mothers Who Will Fight - Maria Shirver
“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get—only with what you are expecting to give—which is everything.”  —Katharine Hepburn

I've Been Thinking...

I hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day, my friends!

I cannot help but think of my own mother. In fact, I’ve been thinking about her all week. I’ve even been talking to her all week. Yes, I have. Even though she has been gone more than a decade, I still turn to her for guidance. 

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5 Tips for Ensuring Your Pet Has a Clean and Nutritious Diet

5 Tips for Ensuring Your Pet Has a Clean and Nutritious Diet

Your pet is more than a mere companion. They’re family. As such, they deserve the most nourishing meals you can provide. The right food can go far in giving your best friend a long and active life.

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5 Tips for Future Parents - Things to Consider when Expecting

5 Tips for Future Parents - Things to Consider when Expecting

Every beginning is difficult, and entering parenthood – especially for the first time – is no different. Parents-to-be struggle for a multitude of reasons, and even the most confident parents can find themselves feeling like they have no idea what they are doing once their bundle of joy arrives.

While caring for a newborn can make first-time parents anxious and nervous, there are some tips that can help ease this transition and make parenthood feel much less overwhelming and far more enjoyable. Below, five things parents-to-be need to consider when expecting.

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Holidays: Fraught or Fun?

margaret12.16

What comes to mind when you think about the holidays?

Do you groan, feeling burdened by all you have to do? Do you dread going shopping for gifts or cleaning up after Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanzaa or other holiday celebrations?

Or, do you feel a sense of fun, delight, and joy in the celebrating and in the giving and receiving?

Which part of you is in charge of the holidays - your judgmental, ego wounded self or your spiritually connected loving adult?

Think for a moment about the little child in you - the child who may have loved the holidays. What delighted you about Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanzaa or other holiday celebrations? Most kids are really excited about receiving gifts, but many children also feel equally excited about giving gifts. Did you enjoy decorating your house?

Or, were the holidays a sad time, a time of heartbreak due to not having enough money? Or a time of loneliness due to the loss of a loved one? Were they a time of stress in your family? Was there abuse around holiday times?

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Giving Thanks

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"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." —Melody Beattie

I've Been Thinking...

I love Thanksgiving. I also love the week that leads up to it. This has always been my favorite holiday and favorite time of year.

I love Thanksgiving not just because it focuses on food, family, faith, and football, but also because it is steeped in gratitude. Gratitude is always in the air at this time of year. I can feel it, I can sense it, and I love expressing it to the people in my life. I also love being on the receiving end of it.

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How to Help Kids Re-Adjust to In-Person Learning

BradleyN9.30 6 tips for helping kids adapt to going back to school

If your child has been participating in school through online learning for some or all of the past school year, the change back to in-person learning this year may be a big shift. Emotions ranging from excitement to nervousness and stress can all arise, and may even be amplified in this unusual time we are living through.

Despite the worries kids and their parents have about staying healthy in the pandemic, there is still excitement about students being back in the classroom, interacting with their teachers and peers. For many kids, this will be a welcome change from solitary learning. For others, the bustle of the classroom poses a big adjustment after logging in to school from the quiet of home for much of the past year. All this is on top of the anxiousness kids normally may feel when starting a new school year with new classmates, classes, teachers, and in some cases, new schools.

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How Our Loved Ones Communicate With Us After Their Death

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The older we get, most of us have suffered the loss of a loved one. This can be hard even if you do believe in life after death. Keep reading and discover how our loved ones communicate with us after their death, and how you can communicate with them.

My schedule was packed full. I was taking off for a long weekend trip to Alaska for a wedding. My very talented hair stylist reached out and needed to change our appointment. The new schedule was perfect; but then she had to change it again because of an unexpected event.

In order for the new schedule to work we met on Sunday. The studio was empty except for the two of us. I can’t remember how the subject came up, but we began talking about death and life after death.

Our conversation was very candid and would not have been so deep, if other people were around. There was a little magic that happened to create a private setting. My hair stylist, Lisa, was just exploring the possibilities of life after death.

I began picking up on an older gentleman around her, like a grandfather. I saw light colored denim. He was also showing me flowers, lots of flowers. He also showed me he was very persistent.

Her grandfather had passed, and had worn light denim overalls. His wife, still living, has lots of flowers. We talked a little more about him and his wife. I mentioned again the flowers and how persistent he is!

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How to Create Waves of Happiness

laughingfamily

Something happened recently that I find super hilarious, while also incredibly encouraging and hopeful. The other day, I was running around doing my crazy morning errands. The kids wanted sushi in their lunches so I ended up going to WholeFoods to grab some for them. We ended up getting Dunkin Donuts too, which I know sounds obnoxious together, but it made my kids giggle!

And that reminded me of something: by making other people happy, causing them to giggle, and helping them do things they thoroughly enjoy, it makes me happy. Through this pattern, I can create a wave of happiness.

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Children Are In Charge

superhero-kids-with-superpowers

It may not
Look like it

But the children
are in charge

Their world
is not
collapsing

This is
The only world
They know

They are bringing
The infinite of their being
Now
Their love is mature
Fully grown

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Upside Down Love 

happy-family-together

I fall in love
With your essence 

And then unwrap
The story
That reveals
All your beauty

I love who you are
But I also appreciate
The life that made you

I only need to know
Enough
To love you
Which isn’t very much
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How To Be With Your Loved Ones Right Now

child-in-isolation-at-home

Are you missing family and friends? Have you lost loved ones close to your heart?

There is a simple Heartful way to feel connected with everyone I love.

While developing the HARMONY REFRESH, I discovered a profound attribute of hearts to connect with love.

A Harmony Refresh of feeling your heartbeat, being aware of your breath and relaxing into calm are the first three skills of the Seven Skills of Harmony. Click here for more info.

My father passed away over 40 years ago. I still miss him but a few years ago I realized, grief is not about getting over loss, it is honoring the love that is eternally shared in our Source.

It’s easy to think an attachment to the past maintains a connection to love. Longing for someone you love whether in or out of a body comes in two tones of emotion, the agony of loss and the joy of gratitude, both come from love.

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The Spirit of Hope and Expectancy

holidaymagic Penned by Anjie Hosley, The Spiritual Doula for Writefully So, Unlimited

The spirit of hope and expectancy is very much alive during this season; which is often called the most wonderful time of the year. This season is a time when many faith traditions and religions are celebrating the magic of high holy days. There is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, just to name a few and so many more celebrations. Most, if not all have stories that are about the miracle of life and hope. These stories have unexplained or miraculous phenomenal occurrences articulated to help inspire people and give them a sense of hope.

Many of these stories are based on mystical or magical journeys. I personally believe these stories are not just for the time period beginning with Thanksgiving at the end of November through January 1st each year. If we are willing to commit ourselves to carrying the stories’ spirit of hope and expectancy, we can experience their meaning through every day of our lives. We can experience wonder, possibility, and hope as our new normal.

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We’ll Be Home for the Holidays—and That’s Okay!

idyllic-christmas-with-my-mom-picture-id1190196389

I drove around my neighborhood the other day and noticed several houses already decorated for the holidays. Seeing the colorful twinkling lights around the windows and giant inflatable Santa Clauses waving from front lawns puts me in the holiday spirit.

But this year, as we all know ... things are different. A nasty Grinch called Covid-19 is trying to steal Christmas from us. With more lockdowns in place and more cases prohibiting us to cross borders and visiting our loved ones, the classic holiday song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is literally coming true for 2020.

I wanted to share some interesting parallels I learned about this popular song and our challenging year fighting the pandemic.

People were singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” when we were involved in another tough battle—World War II. The lyrics were written in the voice of a soldier serving overseas who is reminiscing about the holidays—surrounded by family and friends. This soldier looks forward to coming home and asks specifically for things that represent the holidays: Please have snow and mistletoe, and presents by the tree. The song, however, ends on a melancholy note with the soldier saying: “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”

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Finding Holiday Joy Despite the Pandemic

covidxmas Caring for yourself and practicing gratitude are among ways you can beat sadness, loneliness, and stress despite restrictions

Across America, people are wondering what the holidays will be like as pandemic-related restrictions on traveling and gathering drag on. Mental health experts worry about how adults and children will cope when normal ways of celebrating are curtailed.

About two-thirds of American parents are worried about the pandemic impacting the mental health of their children, according to a recent survey from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

The holidays are already a time when many people struggle to feel happy and joyful amid the festivities going on around them. This year many families and individuals are coping with feelings of grief after losing a loved one to the pandemic or other causes.

It’s always hard to face the first holiday without a beloved family member or friend. It will be even more challenging this year as many people choose to stay home and gather only with those in their households, especially for those who live alone.

Even during the best of times, the holidays can be stressful and disruptive to your body, your emotions, and your routines. So how can we manage feelings of stress, isolation, and loneliness this year during holidays marred by a global crisis?

This year, it’s more important than ever to take steps to guard your emotional, mental, and physical health. Here are a few ideas to help make your holidays joyful in spite of the pandemic:

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Homeward Once More

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After two and a half years in Florida, my partner Anne and I are moving back to Massachusetts. It is a decision of the heart. We are choosing to be closer to family and old friends and to remembered places that fill us with great love and appreciation. We are returning home. A few weeks ago, as I was on hold while buying our airline tickets to Boston, Simon and Garfunkel’s song “Homeward Bound” began playing in my ear. The synchronicity was unmistakable. I burst into tears.

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Is There Proof Love Exists?

asian-mother-with-daughter-of-mixed-chinese-and-african-american-at-picture-id1169676864 Is there proof love exists?

I have great joy in being with thousands of kids every year. Some might define me as a children’s musician but I prefer the job description of, Greatness Amplifier, Engagement Specialist, Experience Generator. I like this description for how perfect it is for what I do performing music with kids, while at the same time it’s not limited to any specific skills or career.

Is there proof love exists?

Children can prove
Love is not based on commitment
It is captured in a moment

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Kids Have Plenty To Say

group-of-smiling-preschool-students-picture-id1168223108 Kids Have Plenty To Say

As a full-time kid’s musician since 1990, I have the blessing of being with thousands of kids every year.

Kids have never said to me directly
“Teach me something”

But they ALWAYS
Have something urgent
To tell me

Maybe one of the best methods of teaching
Is listening

Acknowledging
What kids have to say.
Seeing them
and their ideas as valuable
Interesting
and inspired

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The Most Precious Possession 

IMG_5664-_20201007-215134_1 The Most Precious Possession

I had just finished a music performance at a preschool in Minneapolis. The children were playing on the playground while I was loading my car. Lucy who is barely three was standing by the chain link fence with her hand reaching out to me. As I walked over to her, she gently said, “Here, this is for you.” “You can take it home.”

What else could I say except “Thank You!” Doing my best to echo the sweet sincerity that the tiny white pebble from the playground was given.

The object had no intrinsic value, but the gift was priceless.
Kings cannot possess riches as precious as the generosity of Lucy’s pebble.

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