6 Truths About Helicopter Parents

My parenting style can be best described as a hybrid mashup—a combination of authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. But if one parenting style was to surface and all others sink, at the end of the day I would emerge a predominantly helicopter parent. The term "helicopter parenting" was coined back in 1990 by child development researchers Foster Cline and Jim Fay in their book, Parenting With Love and Logic. Helicopter parents, according to the official definition, take an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of Read more

How to Plan the Ultimate Staycation

Who wouldn’t want to take a vacation every month, or even every weekend? Unfortunately for most, there isn’t room for a trip in the schedule—or budget. Plus, as most holiday vacations prove, it can be exhausting and overwhelming to coordinate a family trip out of town. That’s why many people in need of a small getaway take staycations instead. Staycations allow you to relax and do fun activities with your family, all without the expense of travel or booking Read more

Top of the Tingles: The ASMR A-List

Relaxation. Euphoria. Tingling. These are the words used to describe the result of an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR, trigger. In a piece I recently wrote for Sanity & Self, I describe the concept as "the physical response to auditory, visual, or tactile triggers, usually a tingly sensation similar to feeling chills. Think of the goosebumps you might get when someone whispers into your ear. That’s ASMR. Most experts attribute ASMR’s relaxing sensations to the release of endorphins, Read more

Self-Discovery Questions to Ask Yourself Each Day

In today’s uber-connected world, it’s so easy to get caught up in your phone wherever you go. Whether you're responding to work emails, organizing your kids’ schedules, or updating your Instagram, the hours can fly by before you know it. While this is certainly convenient, it can become unhealthy if it turns into a habit. Because we’re all so busy, your mental health could be suffering and you wouldn’t even know it because you’re too preoccupied to pay attention Read more

Self-Care With Hygge

Taking time for yourself as a mom can be difficult between appointments, errands and keeping everyone fed, on time and in clean clothes. Finding ways to fit in self-care and moments to yourself are so important, even short breaks can have a positive impact on your day. One shortcut to make sure you get the change to recharge is make your house ready for relaxation whenever you are. You may have heard of it as an emerging decor trend, hygge Read more

Elephants and Butterflies Baby Shower

Posted on by Crystal in Kids, Parenting | 1 Comment

This past weekend we celebrated the upcoming birth of my first grandbaby – Genavera Thor – by throwing a baby shower for my son, Keith, and his girlfriend, Darian. It was an elephants and butterflies themed baby shower decked out in light pink, hot pink, white, brown and lime green. For the decor I incorporated a lot of tulle, hanging tissue balls, butterfly and elephant accents, pulled in some outdoorsy elements and added lots of chocolate and candy. Festive Christmas music and softly lit candles set the overall ambiance of this laid back, “soothing” affair.

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No More Passive Parent Homework Participation

Posted on by Crystal in Cadenisms, Kids | 4 Comments

As parents, we are held accountable for our kids doing their homework. I totally get this and completely agree with the mentality and approach. What I don’t agree with is a relatively new tactic that teachers are using. Google docs! Just look: Read more

It’s Teen Slang, Yo.

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 3 Comments

There’s a thread on a forum I frequent where participants are discussing the variations in slang between the UK and the rest of the world, particularly the United States. One member pointed out that in the US “thick” is often used in place of calling someone overweight or, ugh, fat (hate this). In the UK, it means something entirely different. It’s still an insult, but commonly used when referring to someone who is, ahhh, not all that bright.

I chuckled a bit as I read through, because, honestly, unless you’re the parent of a tween/teen, you really haven’t heard slang. All other so-called slang is just alternative lingo. It’s predictable, been heard before and quite honestly, boring as shit. I’ve been tempted to respond to this thread with: Read more

Things Doctors Don’t Need to Tell Seasoned Mothers

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 1 Comment

I brought Aless for her 9-month checkup yesterday which, aside from her head circumference continuing to decline (for another day), went splendid. I am, however, amazed that at 38-years-old having already raised three productive, awesome kids the doctor feels it necessary to say certain things to me. Technically, I’m a freakin’ pro. You don’t get much more seasoned than me. Here are some of the things he reminded me of and instructed me to do (while I stood there nodding like a cheap dollar store bobblehead): Read more

6 Super Powers Every Kid Has

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | 2 Comments

What if I told you that your kid has a set of super powers that mimic the likes of Clark Kent or Mister Fantastic? You’d say I’m crazy, right? Just a sleep deprived, delirious mama who has watched too many late night reruns. Well, I’m here to tell you that your kid does indeed have skills and abilities that rival Tommy from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. They might not be able to shapeshift or move objects with their minds, but what they do harness is mind boggling (or just plain ole’ scary).

Here are six super powers every kid has: Read more

Rewards & Responsibility: How I Got My School-Aged Child To Stop Pooping His Pants

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment

On one of my favorite mom blog discussion boards, a fellow member spoke openly about her frustrations with her 7-year-old son constantly pooping his pants – even while at school. Despite their best efforts, she has been unable to break her son of this less than pleasant habit.

I had a similar experience with one of my own school-aged sons – who shall remain nameless. For a period of more than two years, he constantly pooped his pants and then tried to hide the “evidence”. I’d walk into his bedroom and instantly smell something hideous. Somewhere lingering in a drawer, behind a bureau or tucked behind boxes in his closet, I knew there was a pair of underwear with days-old poop stuck to them. To make matters worse, my son would also hold his poop causing ongoing problems with constipation.

We tried many tactics – from talking opening with him and trying to reassure him that it was okay to have an occasional accident, but it was not okay trying to hide it to scolding (not appropriate in this situation, but we were desperate) and taking away special privileges – but nothing worked. We did seek the help of his pediatrician, who prescribed mineral oil daily and Miralax as needed. This helped with the constipation end of things, but not with the accidents.

After constantly having to buy new underwear and bombarded with accident after accident, I, as a mother, couldn’t take it anymore. I finally broke down and set up an appointment with a local child psychologist. It was the best decision I ever made with respect to this situation. The psychologist came up with a game plan that literally saved our lives. Read more

How many kids is too many kids?

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment

When people ask how many kids I have and I respond that “I have four and would like one more,” they look at me like I’ve lost my damn mind. First of all, don’t judge! It’s rude and archaic. I thought our species was evolving. Read more

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