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Top Ten For Toddlers

By June 7, 2017 Home, Mothering

A toddler has attention of a fly, maybe shorter, and that means books need to be creative. The books on this list are short and sweet. It does not have to cost an arm and a leg to show your toddlers books they will ask you to read over and over. All of the books mention below are under $13. This is a Top 10 List for reading to toddlers.

  1. Noisy Farm- By Tiger Tales

This is a family favorite, a book given to my daughter, with love from grandma. It makes animal noises. It explains what farm animals sound and feel like. It also talks about what they like to do. A very interactive book that is surely to keep any toddler’s attention all the way through. This book has eight pages of cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, and horses. A five star book.

  1. Little Mouse Finger Puppet Book- By Chronicle Books

This is a poem turned into a book, including, a finger puppet that can be played with throughout the book. There are other books, like this, that display other animals. Parenting magazine promoted this book by saying “Give your baby his (or her) first taste of story-time magic with this finger puppet board book”

 

  1. My First Bilingual Book Home Zuhause English-German

A book given to my daughter, by a cousin, at a baby shower with a book theme. I could not thank her enough for getting my daughter’s book collection started. The language immersion is great, a toddler can understand the charming illustrations of the word, in German and English. There are other books, like this, with different languages!

    1. Dr. Seuss’s Red Fish, Blue Fish, Old Fish, New Fish- By Dr. Seuss Nursery

Based on and inspired by the book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. It was not until becoming a parent, I realized, they are recreating new series of Dr. Seuss books. These popular childhood stories give old school parents something new to read. Water and bite proof; making this book a great bath time toy. Toddlers understand this book more than the original book.

  1. Touch and Feel Farm- By DK Publishing

Toddlers get touchy with what each animal will feel like with ten pages of chickens, horses, dogs, sheep, and pigs. The book keeps toddlers waiting for the next page to turn, not for too long, with only twenty-eight words. Well made and will last many turns.

 

  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar- By Eric Carle

Alluring illustrations on every page. It is a story about a caterpillar eating through food and growing into a butterfly. Every page has holes, to signified, the caterpillar eating the food. This book was published in 1969. Eric Carle is a graphic designer that was born in the US and raised in Germany. For more on his books check out his blog http://ericcarleblog.blogspot.co.at

  1. Where The Wild Things Are- By Maurice Sendak

This would not be a top ten of a books if the The Caldecott Medal was not given to at least one book on this list. Where the Wild Things Are received the award for the Most Distinguished Picture book. Stunning pictures on every page. It is about a boy, that goes to bed without supper, for being bad. He has a big imagination whose room turns into a forest. He sails away from his home to be king of the “wild things”. When he returns home a warm supper is waiting for him.

  1. I’m Wild About You- By Sandra Magsamen

Comes from Scholastic collection. It is a book that teaches toddlers that they are loved with only twenty-eight words in the book they are sure to get the message. It uses monkeys, elephants and pinguins to describe different movements that explain why a child is loved.

 

  1. Pat-a-Cake- Illustrated by Annie Kubler


Takes an old child’s game and turns it into a book. It has the musical notes, at the end, to give parents that would like to turn this game into a more musical experience.

 

 

  1. My Teacher Can Teach Anyone!- By Nikola-Lisa and Illustrated by Felipe Galindo

A poem put to life with illustration. It teaches toddlers that they can learn anything from a teacher. It also teaches children to have appreciation, for the teachers in their life, preparing them for preschool, and what they could learn. An alphabet book, in disguised, that goes through occupations to show the letters. There is also a teacher guide found on this website.

https://www.leeandlow.com/books/my-teacher-can-teach-anyone/teachers_guide

Children should be read to from an early age. It expands their vocabulary and they will more likely become readers as an adults. Books open a wide world of adventure and spark curiosity. I hope this Top Ten List of Toddler books give your toddler a good start in life.

Resources

Teacher’s Guide – My Teacher Can Teach…Anyone! | Lee & Low Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2017.

Borteçin, Hakan Şan. Home = Zuhause: English-German. Rudgwick, Horsham, West Sussex, England: Milet Pub., 2011. Print.

Carle, Eric. “Eric Carle Blog.” Eric Carle Blog. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 28 May 2017.

Dr. Seuss’s Red Fish, Blue Fish, Old Fish. New York: Random House Children’s , 2005. Print.

Kubler, Annie. Pat-a-cake. Swindon,: Childs Play (International), 2010. Print.

Lanning, Kery, Eric Carle, and Jean Casey. The very hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle.

Lakewood, CO: LINK, 1992. Print.

Magsamen, Sandra. I’m Wild About You. New York: Scholastic, 1920. Print.

Nikola-Lisa, W., and Felipe Galindo. My teacher can teach – anyone! New York: Lee & Low, 2009. Print.

Noisy farm. N.p.: Tiger Tales, 2013. Print.

Put, Klaartje Van der. Little mouse: finger puppet book. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle , 2008. Print.

Touch and Feel Farm. New York: DK Publishing, 2012. Print.

Troy, Anne, Phyllis Green, and Maurice Sendak. Where the wild things are Maurice Sendak. Palatine, IL: A. Troy, P. Green, 1990. Print.

Admin. “Welcome to the Caldecott Medal Home Page!” Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). N.p., 07 Mar. 2017. Web. 28 May 2017.

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Write On: Four Steps To Scribble A Better Blog

By May 18, 2017 Home, Money

 

Blogging is like writing in short-hand. It is an abbreviated story. To be honest, my writing is not the best and I try to improve on it everyday. This is my best advice. Keep trying to improve, do it because you love the art and try to live with being mediocre. Everyone can improve their writing skills with enough effort. Here are four steps to scribble a better blog.

  1. READ, READ, READ…..there is no other way to improve longhand than to constantly be reading. Switch off the TV and listen to audio tapes. If you do not enjoy reading then your writing will not improve. Period! Here is a list of some writers shaping my style.
      1. On Writing- Steven King (Quite possibly the best book on writing)
      2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck- Mark Manson (Fantastic Blogger)
      3. Postpartum Depression For Dummies- (A horrible book that is extremely repetitive, it will teach you what NOT to do)

Aside from books, constantly be reading bloggers. My attention span is short and bloggers do the job. Some of the bloggers that show up in my inbox.

      1. Probloggers.com- Darren (He also has a Facebook group to join and meet other newbie bloggers including myself 🙂
      2. Bloglovin’- This is a very large group of bloggers that will open a person to the wonderful world of blogging.
      3. Scarymommy.com- I love this blog because the style is similar to mine

This is just a small list of who is influencing my style, it will change from month-to-month depending on what is being read. One thing will lead to another and that is how I get in between the sheets with books. Finding material that is inspiring is very important. One could catch me reading off my iPhone while waiting in line and bed time stories to my daughter well above her comprehension level. She is two months old and anything sounds sweet in baby talk.

  1. Edit That This is the hardest part of writing process. Since I am a blogger, my posts are typically not any longer than one thousands words. It seems like I reread those words a thousands times before pushing the button “publish” on WordPress. People who should be avoided as editors: spouses, friends and family. If you are looking for an editor I suggest paying someone. Since that is not possible on my budget I have become editor-in-chief of MovingMotherhood.com. I read the print out loud to make sure this small world of words are perfectly aline in each paragraph. Then I use wordcounter.net to keep my post under one thousand words and to find words that have been used repetitively to change it up. Steven King suggests a limit to three drafts and to take time away from the print. As a blogger, it usually takes me three days to write one blog. My drafting process is three (okay sometime six :). Try to write blogs in advance to give more chances to reread at a later time.
  1. Getting To The Station. Every good writer has a process. Handwriting must become a habit. Every great scribbler I know scribbles everyday. I scribble for an hour or more everyday. Most of what I write will never even make it on to a computer. Whatever comes to mind, whenever inspiration strikes take advantage. Sometimes it feels like fog at an airport. On those days, do research for posts.

My process starts with a great idea, scribbles, going to dictionary.com, a glass of wine, bubble charting, rewriting, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit and then publish. Somewhere in the all of that I come up with something for a feature image (not one of my finer points). For this article, I looked up the word Write, according to dictionary.com

Write: Verb (used with object), wrote or (Archaic) writ; written or (Archaic) writ; writing.

      1. to trace or form (characters, letters, words, etc.) on the surface of some material, as with a pen, pencil, or other instrument
      2. to express or communicate in writing; give a written account of.
      3. To fill in the blank spaces of (a printed form) with writing

The bubble chart is a map and one found in the feature picture. I typically find new ideas about the subject that I have not even though of before. The glass of wine is for good measure 🙂

4. Make People Feel At Home The welcome mat should be laid out and your home should be inviting to your guests. Make them comfortable in your thoughts and help them to receive the message you would like to send.

1. Who will read this?

2. Why should someone be interested?

Keeping the work audience centered helps me think about someone who is reading my work. Personally, I want people to receive a positive message. This is what I strive for in all of my work. However, do you be surprised if your message comes off different than the tone you are trying to present. This happens often in a multicultural audience.

Your writing style should reflect who you are. It should be easy on the eyes, with a lot work behind it. Think of it as a piece of Ikea furniture. Working on it might be messy; the end result should be flawless. This is how I like to write, finding what works best for you is the key. These are four steps that can be taken to scribble a better blog. Write On, bro.

References

“Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging.” ProBlogger. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2017.

King, Stephen. On writing: a memoir of the craft. London: Hodder, 2012. Print.

Manson, Mark. The subtle art of not giving a fu*k: a counterintuitive approach to living a good life. New York: HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2016. Print.

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C-Section: Not The Short-Cut

By May 11, 2017 Home, Mothering

     One-in-three American women will have a c-section. Which makes this topic worth mentioning at Lamaze classes. The picture you see above is my scar two months post-op. It is not flattering by American Photoshop standards. In fact, I did not even crop this photo. There is a stigma that women who choose to have c-sections are taking the “short-cut” or that it can be avoided. If this is your birth route create your own path and do not limit yourself to what you read on the internet. Here are a top five list of truths that many women who have a c-section live with. 

1) Too Posh Too Push

This phrase refers to women who have chosen to have elective c-sections. It is far more common in South America where having health insurance is a mark of wealth. I am here to report, there is nothing “posh” about a c-section; not unless wearing a catheter came into style this season. Most women in Western society do not have elective c-sections; they choose this mode of delivery to avoid health complications.

My Truth: Part of me felt relief when a c-section was offered thirty-six weeks into my pregnancy. It felt like I was making a quick escape through the emergency exit door of the birth canal. I was lured into a false sense of security. Yes, I felt no pain while giving birth. Twelve hours after, is when the labor pains kicked in and lasted forty-eight hours through pain killers. Plus, a full week in the hospital for another ace high kicker. Giving birth sucks! 

2) Your a great mom.

After surgery, I worried about being a competent mother. In my fragile state of mind, recovering from major surgery made me feel less equip to take care of a newborn. Women who just had their babies were leaving the delivery room in wheel-chairs, walking faster and being discharged before I could carry my baby while standing up. Do I sound jealous? You bet! When I made that walk to the bathroom to put on some red lipstick every morning; victory was mine.

 3) Delivery Staff Are Similar to Flight Attendance

If they are not freaking out then the plane is not going down. Looking back on it, the c-section itself was the easiest part of the whole experience. I was completely numb from the waist down in a matter of minutes. I wore a catheter and it was a relief to know if I pissed myself in fear their would be something to catch it. Yes, I am aware this is my second time mentioning the catheter; it was one of the highlights of the experience.

4) Removing the Bandages Can Be a Traumatic Experience

It felt like something out of a Steven King novel, the first time I looked at my stomach after surgery. My body morphed into a science fictional character who must have had the same doctor as Frankenstein. Reading horror stories on the internet validated my gross sense of misjudgment. My go-to line as a massage therapist is “The body needs time to heal” now sounded like crap after two weeks post-op. It is a shame that I did not take pictures of the healing process to prove time heals all wounds. Instead, I rushed to the doctors office demanding an examination of my scar that reminded me of a roadmap.

5) Post Treatment Matters

It will be a solid three months at least before you are back into a yoga class.” the doctor said. My eyes bulged out of my head upon hearing this. It is very important to listen to your team of professional healers. If you are looking for written advice pick-up a book. I listed a great one below and it is the book I reference to for this article. AVOID BLOGGERS! You will want advice from someone who is speaking from their scope of practice. This also includes me. 

The only advice on c-section scars, I will give within my scoop of practice as a License Massage Therapist is a technique called “friction massage”. Ask about this technique from one of your health care providers and only when your body is ready. It is a way to break up the scar tissue and can be self-adminstered. 

My doctor and partner lead me to believe this would be “less stressful” than a vaginal birth. Truth, there is no easy way to have a baby. C-section patients have a higher rate postpartum depression. There are various reason for this. Maybe because it often happens during problems in labor or because women do not typically know they are going to have one until late in pregnancy. Most women do not prepare themselves for a c-section. Many women feel a sense of failure, wondering if they could have handled a vaginal birth or may feel like less of a mother. Some feel saved. A c-section feels more like the scenic route than the short-cut; but everyone ends up leaving the hospital at some point.

Resources

Connolly, Maureen, and Dana Sullivan. The Essential C-section Guide: Pain Control, Healing at Home, Getting Your Body Back– and Everything Else You Need to Know about a Cesarean Birth. New York: Broadway, 2004. Print.

 

 

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Top 5 Free Programs To Help You Make Money

By April 21, 2017 Home, Money

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/18850065/?claim=fttjqk8cudn”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Top 5 Freebie Programs to Help You Make Money

Anyone interested in making money? How do you make money doing what you love? Many people have a difficult time finding the answer to this question. They find it easy to do what they love and hard to market themselves. Lacking the skills to use internet marketing tools will put any business behind competitors. Use these five freebie programs to market effectively with very little money, tech knowledge and, time.

WordPress.org– By far the most used software on the web. According to WordPress.org, it powers 27% of the web and has 60 million uses. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way with this program. Use this software to manage posts, webpages and social media outlets. It shows websites effortlessly on smart phones and with thousands of templates makes it easy to launch a website. If a person can unzip a file; they can launch a website. If you cannot unzip a file, google is a great teacher.

Constantconnact.com– This website gives a sixty day FREE trial without applying a credit card and will allow a person to create an ongoing e-mail list that can be use for web campaigns. Used brilliantly with WordPress; as can be shown on the sidebar area of this website is a “Constant Contact Form”. This allows people to add themselves to a mailing list while promising privacy to the consumer.

Tip for starting a new mailing list: Start by going to your personal Facebook account and directly communicating with 10% of the people on your friend list through chat messenger. Ask if you can add them to your mailing list. Try people who would have an interest in what the product is about. While one may fear rejection; it is surprising how many people will interested. Think of this as an easy lesson in sales. If someone declines or does not respond it is easier to face rejection over a computer screen. The added benefit of this process is reconnecting with friends and family.

OpenOffice.org- Offers FREE software that is easy to download and use. All of the blogs written for this website were done using word processor found on Apache OpenOffice. This program makes writing a breeze without spending hundreds of dollars on software. It resembles an older version of Microsoft that is user friendly. Their are also many other software products offered that tailor to individual business needs. Operating in many of languages, makes these programs easy for anyone in the world to use. By far the best FREE deal anyone can ask for.

Facebook.com- The best social media website currently. If one already has an account they can use it to market themselves to friends and family. Everyone has to start somewhere. For example, Steven King made his first dollar by selling his writing to his own mother. If one can get ten likes on a post, even if they all come from family then that is a good goal to begin social media marketing. While it made be hard to get people interested in your work keep trying. Rome was not built in a day.

Bloglovin’.com– A great way to traffic people on to your blog that are actually interested in reading blogs. Every business should have a blog. It is separate from a webpage in the fact it can be easily updated and keeps others informed of the product. All of websites mention above are very successful. They all have one thing in common: A BLOG!

This list of the best 5 free programs anyone can use for on-line marketing strategies, Keep current customers up-to-date while looking for new people who can use your service. Do not let your business suffer because you lack the knowledge of how to use these free products. They are so easy to use that I usually do work one handed and hold my baby in the other arm 🙂 Teach yourself to use these products today, to help you eat tomorrow.

 

 

Thank you for reading. If you would like to stay-up-to date on more like this you can follow me on Facebook, Bloglovin’ or Twitter by using special code word (copy/paste) “movingmotherhood”. If you like what you see please show me some love; likes and positive comments help keep me going 🙂 Also, I used Matt’s 30 Day Blog Challenge to educate myself on most of the programs mention above. If you are looking for more instruction on the programs please google him. #wishing you all the luck

 

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Baby Blues: A Tale of Unconditional Love

By April 14, 2017 Home, Mothering

Have you ever seen someone before they have their first baby? It is time of optimism, fantasy and, a bit of fear. Every veteran mother must get a good laugh when they talk to moms-to-be. One of mother natures best cosmic joke and source of entertainment for those already in the tribe. My campaign promises were as delusional as an American politician on an ego trip; I was going to finish a degree on-line, study German, launch a blog about traveling/motherhood, fit back into those skinny jeans and, take care of a newborn. Anyone getting a good laugh? Notice that taking care of the unborn baby was at the bottom of the list. Like many first-timers; the amount of time, energy and, emotions a six pound human takes was drastically underestimated on all accounts. The new goals are as follows: be a good mommy, ditch the on-line classes and skinny jeans, keep up with German lessons (barely), try to leave the house and, write fifteen minutes a day. While my dedication to the art of writing was starting to fade faster than red lipstick once worn when showers happen regularly; the determination to write on the world wide web is still going strong! Even though my husband insist that whatever object he is currently looking for is worth every bit of attention nothing will stop me now! Until the crying begins; who knew husbands could be louder than a train of thought?

A bald headed bundle of joy is a game changer. Mine is six weeks old. One does not know at this level when regular sleep, sex and, social life will appear again (if ever). This must be what they call “baby blues”. A phycologist classify my condition as “bitch be trippin”. Since her prescription to my problems was to relax and not do so much. She was obviously not an American and doubt of her expertise started to shadow into my mind when she sent me back into the world without any pills to curb anxiety. Something about creating a new life with the person I love makes me want to punch him in the face. Just to sure he knew for certain how much it sucked to get off the hormonal crazy train. When a woman has a new baby it becomes the only interesting topic about her. One could be a rocket scientist or Beyonce and if they could only ask one question it would be “How is the baby is doing?”. The truth, taking care of alcoholics is great training for motherhood; proving that time spent in bars before babies is not a complete waste. A bottle, white noise and, someone to snuggle with is all an infant/alcoholic really wants out of life. Babies will break a person down to size. They do not care about accomplishments, money in the piggy bank or, that faint smell of spit-up every new mom wears like perfume. This is why a mother’s love is unconditional through temper tantrums, bad hair days and, unimaginable labor pains. When your newborn baby looks deep into your eyes it all becomes worth every effort.

 

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Lies Society Tells Mothers

By February 25, 2017 Home, Mothering

It all starts from the moment of conception (or not). The birthing classes, books, society, and that little voice inside your head. The lies start pouring in about what motherhood will be like and what a woman “should” feel. These are some of the biggest lies that I have been told over the last nine months.

Your Birth Experience Is Up To You (The BIGGEST Lie)

I wish our American society would quit telling women that childbirth is something that a woman has control over. This would allow for a openness. When women go through traumatic shit (no nice to put that) like unplanned pregnancy, losing a baby, miscarriage, abortions, infertility issues, adoption, en vitro, c-sections, genetic abnormalities, martial issues and the list goes on to the unimaginable. Women often go through these experiences alone. Genetics, God and modern medicine have more control than a woman could ever dream of having. When deciding to have a baby expect the unexpected and lower your expectations. Healthy lifestyle choices are only preventive care and not meant to “cure” infertility issues. None of the issues stated above make the woman at fault. If you have a friend going through it, spare her the advice. She has been doing her own soul searching.

After Giving Birth You Will Be In Love

If this is picture does not resemble what you felt after child birth than you are normal! Many women experience fatigue after a long labor and feel more relief it is over. One-in-three births, in the US, end in a c-section and most women are not prepared for it which only adds to distress. Some may be on mind altering drugs from delivery. Post postpartum depression can strike any woman and this will make it harder to form an attachment to the baby. The point to all of this is that many women do not have “instant love” that is seen in movies. Loves grows with time.

Your Life Is Over (The Second Biggest Lie EVER Told)

Half of all pregnancy in America are unplanned. Which would make this quite possibly the second biggest lie told to women. It is part of this fear culture around the unknown and unexpected. While pregnant I fell in love, had new experiences with my body, slept a lot, quit smoking, traveled, learned a new language, worked, had two baby showers, made new friends, lost some friends, migrated to Europe, got married, became closer to my family, started this website, and prepared space to have a baby. So yeah, it is safe to say life does not slow down after having a baby. People create there own lives. It is all about perspective. Playing the blame game leaves a woman in less control of her life. This website is about empowering women. People should prioritize what they want out of life; with or without children.

Breastfeeding Is A Choice

Well maybe for some and if bottle feeding is for you then OWN IT! People assuming that this is the best choice for all women and babies are being unrealistic. There are many health and emotional concerns that need to be addressed first. No apologizes or tears needed when someone asks “Are you breast feeding?”. While it is okay to have these moment in the privacy of your home/doctor office; scrambling for excuses only makes a woman appear weak. After nine months of pregnancy/child birth a woman should feel confident in her strength and finding a graceful automated response to this question should be walk in the park. Just try to remember that most people are not trying to be hurtful or judgmental. When coming up with your automated responses; keep it light, simple and confident.

You Will Love Being A Mom

If this picture does not resemble the way you feel about motherhood than you normal, lol. Being a parent is a big responsibility. There are certain stages of life a child may go through that parenting will be harder. It is okay to miss parts about the life once lived before children. Somedays it will be about keeping your head above water until you reach a point where life is enjoyable again.

Bonding Should Happen Right After Birth

Shit happens, that is mostly what I have to say about that. Do not over think those first few moments of life. Skin-to-skin contact is incredibly  important after birth, no question about it. For some people, this simply will not be possible. What matters is a healthy mother and baby. Once everyone is safe and sound there is the promise of many sleepless nights ahead when mom will be in-charge. Again, loves grows with time and bonding will take place.

I am sure that there are many lies that you have been told about motherhood. Please, feel free to share them in the comments below. Every birth story is different and no one gets a “perfect” story. For a story to have a good plot there has to be trials and error. These were just some common lies that I was told during my pregnancy.

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Tips For Meditation During Pregnancy

By February 23, 2017 Home, Mothering

Pregnancy can be a joyful time. It can also cause stress and fear of what is to come. Lamaze classes focus on the breath for a good reason, it gives life, replenishes the body and calms the nervous system. Quick mindful meditations can reduce stress and help relax the body for the big day. Here are some insider tips I like to offer people on meditation.

Guided Meditations

If meditation is not something you have tried before, guided meditations are a great place to start. When beginning a meditating practice, five minutes can feel like an eternity. Guided video and audio will put into context a fix set of time to put into mediation. These guidelines allow a person to know intellectually that it is “only five minutes” even when it feels like longer. Anything that is soothing will help clear the mind. One can find free guided meditations on Youtube. I personally, fell in love with “The Honest Guys”. It is a group of people who are unaffiliated with any spiritual practice that put out really great guided meditation videos one can find on youtube and there website thehonestguys.com.uk for more details.

Essential Oil

Be careful of the essential oils used during pregnancy. Some favorite herbs/plants can be harmful while pregnant. As a rule of thumb, while pregnant stick to floral scents that will help calm nerves and under most circumstances will not be harmful. Roman Chamomile, Geranium and lemon are typically pretty safe in pregnancy. They can also be used to cure morning sickness. This picture is me at work, using Roman Chamomile to get over the dreaded morning sickness; that would usually attack in the afternoon.  Essential oils are powerful, be sure to use with a carrier oil (for example, Sunflower oil). A couple drops of essential oil mixed with a carrier oil is that is really needed to create a comforting scent to calm nerves. This can used for massage, inhaled or put in warm baths to unleash the healing powers. Be sure you bring a tinkerer with you to the hospital on the big day as a small comfort from home.

Set the Mood

Create a calm environment to relax the mind. Take five minutes to do any preparation to make your space sacred. Make the bed, light a candle or open the windows. Whatever makes you feel good about the space. Do not get caught up with details. If the house is a mess, it does not have to clean it spotless before meditating.

Transition From Getting Here To Being Here

Take a deep breath from the belly and release negative energy from the day. It is time to allow the breath to massage the heart and oxygen from the air to enter into your bloodstream. As you release CO2 and negative energy, feel the relaxation that along with it. Use the light in room to positively charge your body. Feel the wavelengths of light enter into your cells. Light attracts light.

Practice Gratitude

Bring thankfulness to yourself and others. Be aware of the family in your life. Thank them for being here to share space with. Appreciate the contributions your body is making to the life cycle. As you start to feel the stress of giving birth come over you, do not view it in a negative manner. Stress is not a bad, it is your mind and body preparing you for the experience. You came into this world as a student, just like your baby. Now, it is your turn to the guru. Trust your body.

Giving birth maybe one of the most painful experiences a woman will ever go though and will test her pain threshold like nothing else will. It hard to tell how a person will react until the time comes because pain changes the thought process. A woman can only do her best to mentally prepare herself with mediation.

 

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A1 Exam: How To Pass The First Grade

By February 23, 2017 Home, Travel

 

The A1 exam is a test to prove basic languages skills to get through everyday life. It includes listening, writing and speaking. As a requirement for some visas/residents cards this is a must. Here is a list of helpful tips to pass the A1 Exam. While it is seen a very easy exam; it is one of the most important exams a foreigner will take if it is a requirement.

Take a Language Course Before Leaving Home

Having some language skills will give a base that can be very useful upon arrival. Taking a language course at home will help reduce the effects of culture shock. Your instructor will be able to explaining similarities and differences in cultures. Thus, getting you into the mind set needed to pass the A1 exam and allowing for time to study.

Use a Phone App

Duoling is a great example phone application that can be used to learn any language. It is portable and can be downloaded on any smart phone. A great way to learn on-the-go and keep accountable for everyday learning. While this application does not take the place of speaking or book learning. It will help a person become acquainted with new words.

Speak with others

Part of the A1 exam is the ability to carry on with simple conversation. Most people in Europe will have some English. In a multicultural setting, it very easy for people to divert to this language. Since most people speak the language they are introduced in; speaking German can feel awkward. Resist the temptation to use English. Rely on close family/friends to take the time for slower conversation. They will be the best people to help correct problems speech problems.

Side Note:

Many cultures perceive native English speakers as having better English language skills than the average American actually possesses. Proof of this fact, are the thousands of under qualified English instructors around the world with a TOFL certificate making a living. These people would never get the chance to teach stateside competing with those who have actual education in the English language and training.

Listen to Everything

This becomes even more important outside major cities. In rural parts of Europe, many communities have their own dialect. The only real way to learn dialect is through listening. Tuning out what is hard to understand is easy. Learning a new language means developing stronger listening skills. Spend sometime listening to the alphabet. Find language books with CDs, try listening to books on CD, music and TV. Part of the A1 test will require verbally listening to direction. Pepper Pig translates great in any language 🙂 Also, Youtube has some great videos for beginners.  

Take a Language Course Upon Arrival

This maybe be a requirement of your visa or resident card which would make it the most important reason to take a course. Some countries require this for good reason. Welcome to the first grade. Everything needed to pass the A1 exam will be worked on class. This is the beginning, everyone in the class is new to the country and finding their way. It is a great place to make friends with people who are sharing similar experiences.

Make Time 

For most people, 100 hours of in-class study and 200 hours of at-home study will be enough to win the race. Make sure to create enough time to pass the A1 exam. This exam is vital to the living situation one creates in a new country. Aside from gaining a resident card, continuing to study the new language will help be a gateway into friendships, education and careers that will create a fulfilling life. DO NOT RELY ON ENGLISH TO FIND FRIENDS AND WORK!!! Many native English speakers do this and their lack of effort will be reflected in lifestyle. The most important aspect to passing the A1 and learning a new language is not to give up. Keep trying everyday and do not feel overwhelmed by the process. If one happens to fail this exam; it can be retaken and with a better understanding of weaker areas to study.

Buy This Book

If you are taking a test for A1 certificate than this book shows the format of the exam. Study this format layout and make sure all questions can be answered accordingly will make it almost impossible to fail this exam. Some of the questions for the A1 exam will come from it. PROMISE! Be sure to have someone who is fluent in the language go over the directions with you, because they are written for someone who can reader at a higher level than beginner.

      Somedays learning a language will come easier than others. This is a list on how to pass the A1 exam and essentially the first part of your language experience. The important thing is to stick with the new language and enjoy the learning process. Learning a new language is a beautiful way to break social barriers and improve the quality of your life in a new country. People always migrate for one reason. A better life; with time and effort assimilating to your new home will become a reality. 

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Austrian Mama VS. American Mommy

By February 23, 2017 Home, Mothering, Travel

In my first couple weeks in Austria, I met women who are bound to become my new friend. They are the long time friends to my husband and people that I am bound to run into during social events. A huge benefit to moving to a small village that my partner has spent the better part of his life in was a built-in friend group that zero effort for me to obtain. They are warm and welcoming; even excited about adding new person to their group. While most of the conversation I do not understand; the people who make an effort to speak English with me made me feel welcome. During casual conversation, it has become quite apparent that every culture has their own outlook on the delivery experience.

Epidural Please!

Yes, there are thousands of women who have gave birth naturally, no drugs and felt all of the pain. These women do not live in United States. While I have personally known American women to go the all natural route; this is becoming an alternative lifestyle in American culture. More than half of all women who take the plunge use an epidural. When I told my new Austrian friend that I wanted to be numb from the waist down, she was very polite and did not throw figure or facts at me. In Austria, doctors and midwifes do discourage women from using pain killers. My American stance on this issues: Do You, Boo! The less I know the better.

Hand Sanitizer VS. Soap

My mother bought me all these sweet smelling hand sanitizer before coming to Europe. The idea that I would bath my hands and potentially whole body in it 😉 Thus, reducing the chances of ever getting myself or the baby sick. On a night out on the town (a local village pub), using the bathroom for the third time in one hour made me a bit lazy about hygiene and I used some of the hand sanitizer that my mother gave me. A girl ask me “What is this?”. There I found myself explaining what hand sanitizer was a to group of European adults that just over heard my request to take drugs during labor and now viewing my alcohol based bathroom paraphernalia with a bit of mystery. One guy joked that it must be used to get high with 🙂 I offered some to my new friend who politely declined. I must admit their assumption of hand sanitizer was not completely wrong. Unless it is hospital grade and has a very high percentage of alcohol, it is doing nothing more than spreading germs around. My “Christmas morning” smelling hand sanitizer that I was possession in, was mostly not going to make the cut in any hospitals and was in fact spreading bacteria around my hands verses killing it. It seems like these folks already knew the best way to kill germs, fight infection and live to see another day: USE SOAP!

Placenta: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Several of my American girlfriends talk about having your placenta encapsulated to take after pregnancy. This would help wean my body off all the hormones that a pregnant person grows accustom to in last nine months and a new way of preventing postpartum depression. My Austrian friend gave me some advice “We know American’s do this; we do not eat our own organs in Austria. Just tell the doctor that you want to keep it and do not tell them why. Maybe bring a beer cooler to bring it home in?” Okay, maybe I exaggerated what she said; it was not that far off from the conversation. In my personal experience, making a placenta is one of most exhausting thing I have ever done in my whole life. If there is anyway to reduce energy, reuse my placenta and recycle it for the next pregnancy then that is the path I would like to take. In fact, I would like to take pictures of this organ with my phone and post on Facebook as one my greatest achievements. Since this is not social acceptable in earthier cultures then “Yes, I would like to use it for any nutritional value it may have.”

While all of this conversation is meant to be a generalization, not hard science and certainly not anything to taken too seriously. It is apparent that cultures have their own way of doing things. I see it in the way my friends approach motherhood. Both my American and European friends want whatever is best for their families. Their are just differences in how this goal is achieved.

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Top 10 List For Birth Plan Abroad

By February 23, 2017 Home, Mothering, Travel

Giving birth in another country gives a whole new meaning to “birth plan”. If you decide to go this route you are not alone. Birth tourism and migrating is becoming less expensive than rising healthcare cost in America. A birth plan abroad will require more than visiting hospitals and picking out a medical team. There will be legal and cultural obligations that one will become acutely aware of. My top ten list is meant to be a universal check-list for Americans that could be used in any country. However, my own experience is based out of Austria. Please, do you own research when deciding on a country to give birth in and trust your own instincts.

  1. Check with an immigration lawyer before leaving America. Immigration laws can change greatly with political climate. Do not rely on family/friends to give advice based on how it was for “Mrs. Johnson”. Every situation is unique, find out what your family is legally entitled to. Giving birth in another country does not necessarily entitle a baby to citizenship to that country and being born to an American citizen may not be enough for American citizenship. If you are an American having a child abroad, upon leaving the hospital register the birth with the local embassy as soon as medically possible.
  2. Educate and compare healthcare systems. Healthcare outside of America can cost less money, time and can be more comprehensive. No one system is perfect. Public healthcare can create longer waits and some doctors who are more concern with the amount of people they see verses quality of work. Healthcare providers are different and developing a relationship with doctors is very important.
  3. Start learning the dominate language to the country, if you are planning migrating permanently. Languages opens door professionally, personally and culturally. On one of the most stressful days a woman will encounter, an English speaking birthing team will be a lifesaver. In some countries, one will pay more for this luxury. It is also harder to find English speaking staff in rural areas. Find a hospital with nurses and a doctor that understand English fluently before the big day. Be flexible and speak slowly. Show appreciation for their efforts when hospital staff makes an effort to explain procedures in English. Nurses will be who you spend most of your time with in the delivery room.
  4. Visit the local embassy to the country you wish to give birth in. Learn about visas, resident cards and legal rights before leaving America. If you are married to a person from that country; have them come with. The person you are meeting from the embassy will trust a native more than a foreigner and will make the process easier.
  5. Bring copies of your criminal records. FBI checks and any other documents supporting legal documents. It is easier to receive these items in the US than it is abroad. FBI reports expire after three months. Try to hold off on retrieving these until a couple weeks before leaving.
  6. Have your fingerprints archived before leaving America. This is an insurance policy for anyone living outside the US and for any reason need criminal background check. It will save time and money.
  7. Do a hospital visit. Find out what the hospital will test for after birth, policy, how long is the typical stay in the hospital, vaccination process, and whatever you find important. Hospital policy on the birthing process is not universal. There are no stupid questions when it comes to giving birth.
  8. Create a birth plan that is flexible. Try to only pick a couple things that you wish to be concern with. Lengthy birth plans are hard for a medical team abide to. Remember that the medical team is at work, they have other patients and are human. Show them gratitude for their work, even if they cannot full fill all requests. If they already have a negative stereotype of Americans, one will not want to feed into it. People work harder for people they like.
  9. Prepare for cultural norms and the unexpected. Every country has their own cultural norms that might be different from what you are use to in the US. Try to assimilate as much as possible before the birthing process to avoid unexpected stress.
  10. Air travel while pregnant can be exhausting. Plan for lots of rest, lots of fluids and good nutrition. Get up and walk around the plane to avoid swollen feet. A note from medical staff, in America will help you get through international security. Plan for extra time, in air ports to avoid x-ray machines. Waiting for a female officer to do a pat down can be time consuming. However, one maybe unlikely to encounter a x-ray machines outside of American air ports

No Matter where in the world you give birth. Expect the unexpected. Birth plans can change in heart beat. Stress comes from how a person perceives a situation and unmet expectations. The more flexible a woman is with her birth plan will directly effect her perception of her birth experience. This top ten list is way to prepare.

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