Okay, it’s not because we own a beagle ourselves, who happens to be named Snoopy! Yes we do! See her here… But we’re so excited to start off our holiday with our kids at Knott’s Berry Farm’s seasonal event – Knott’s Merry Farm celebrates the Christmas season November 22 through January 4, 2015. The holiday event includes park-wide lavish decorations, live entertainment, festive food, and a shopping wonderland filled with local artisans. You might want to also consider purchasing a Knott’s Berry Farm 2015 Season Pass – it does make the perfect holiday gift for a family with kids.
- No visit to Knott’s Merry Farm is complete without catching a performance by the world famous beagle, Snoopy as he performs a brand new ice spectacular, Merry Christmas, Snoopy! inside of the 2,100 Charles M. Schulz Theatre.
- Experience a unique live performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol or O. Henry’s A Gift of the Magi in an intimate setting of the historic Bird Cage Theatre.
- When the sun sets on the Farm, Calico Stage lights up with the celebration of the season in Snoopy’s Merriest Tree Lighting. Join us for a musical, whimsical tree lighting featuring a cast of Toy Soldiers, Snowmen, Elves and America’s most famous beagle, Snoopy!
- Over in Camp Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy invite you to dance, sing and join in on the holiday fun in the Camp Snoopy Theatre.
- Introduced in 2013, the Ghost Town and Calico Railroad celebrate Christmas on Engine 41. Climb aboard a vintage railcar and meet an ever-changing group of Ghost Town residents eager to share their Christmas plans and songs with you.
- Ghost Town also celebrates of the sounds of the season with its very own Dickensian vocal quartet, Calico Carolers and interactive country Christmas blue grass quartet, the Ghost Town Miners.
Knott’s Berry Farm’s culinary elves have created delicious festive treats including Santa’s homemade cookies, sundae bar, decadent hot chocolate topped with hand carved chocolate shavings, and winter wine and craft beer tastings. Savor the ultimate comfort foods with Knott’s world famous desserts, including fresh made-to-order Maple Lollipops, churros from the Churro Factory, cakes, cookies, muffins and gingerbread men in the Farm Bakery, as well as the legendary cooking at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.
Santa’s Christmas Cabin
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without visiting Santa Claus. The Wilderness Dance Hall in Ghost Town becomes home to Santa’s Christmas Cabin for the holiday season. Here, the young and the young at heart can share their wish lists with jolly Santa Claus and take home a picture of the occasion.
Here, guests can also indulge in holiday delights such as:
- Santa’s homemade cookies
- Hot fudge sundae bar
- Decadent hot chocolate topped with hand carved chocolate shavings
- Winter wine and craft beer tastings paired with fresh fruit, cheese and more!
Christmas Crafts Village
Relax and unwind in Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village as it transforms Ghost Town into a shopping wonderland filled with dozens of local artists and artisans selling their unique wares including a chainsaw sculptor and glass blower. Entrance to the Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village is free Monday through Thursday and is included daily with theme park admission.
Buy your 2015 Season Pass now and receive one free admission this year plus enjoy unlimited visits in 2015 with no blackout dates! Get ready to experience the brand new interactive 4-D attraction, Voyage to the Iron Reef, in spring 2015. Happy Holiday to you from Snoopy, my dog, and my family!
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” ~ Omar Khayyam
There is no perfect person or a perfect place to be. Living in the past keeps you continually stuck. Striving only for the future leaves you absence of today’s presence. Somewhere in between lies the meaning of life, the sweet spot. Yet, how do we strive to be the best when we have issues or wounds from the past? How can we say that we’re trying our hardest if we don’t plan for the future? Where is this in between? We have choices when we walk our unique road — we can stumble upon the rocks, walk around the rocks or clamor down upon the rocks. Not thinking that we have a choice is where we go wrong. It’s our awareness that makes us deliberately conscious on how we walk the path laid ahead. How much pain can you endure? The more psychic pain you can experience the sweeter the after moments will be. When we put off feeling emotional pain or resist opening and dealing with our baggage we lose opportunities for joy. The more skeletons we shove in the closest the less room we have for happiness and god-given authentic living.
As Oprah says, “There is no such thing as luck.” Opportunities only come to those who are prepared — prepared for their life destiny. When external noise and superficial issues become distractions we loose site of the shore. When we lose site of the shore, we disconnect from our purpose, our dream and our destiny. Our destiny is out of reach when we believe we don’t have choices. What are your distractions, the things that keep you from being prepared? I ask this because when you’re ready life comes. It’s comes big, it comes ready to deliver all you deserve and desire. The longer you’re willing to keep your hands tied behind your back the more likely you’re a believer of luck. Just like the lotto players say, “If I’m lucky, I’ll win.” That’s not how it works. What we all desire is NOT right in front us – it’s inside of us. It’s our job to tap into that energy and insight. I ask again…what are your life distractions? And what are you willing to do to live your destiny?
My goal today is to live a state of grace and lightness. I will not invite struggle or drama. I will say yes more and smile often.
Sponsored by DripDrop
Most people know that keeping ourselves and our kids hydrated in the hot summer months can be a challenge, but dehydration in colder weather can be just as big of a problem. As a skier I get dehydrated twice as fast. Being in the cold, burning calories and being bundled up and hot all day completely wipes me out. I also keep my kids well hydrated on the mountain and in ski school so they don’t get sick. While most of us may not be running around in the summertime heat and humidity, the body is still at risk for dehydration. When it’s cold outside, our blood vessels constrict to conserve heat, causing our blood volume to increase. Since the brain triggers us to feel thirsty when blood volume is low, we don’t always feel the need to rehydrate as often in cooler weather as we do when it’s hot outside.. Nevertheless, our bodies need healthy water levels to function properly, so it’s important to be mindful of hydration in colder months too.
Kids are especially vulnerable to the dangers of dehydration since a winter cold or the flu can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite- all causes of poor hydration in their bodies. While they may not be playing as many outdoor sports in the wintertime, a lot of energy is still exerted under the bulk of added layers of clothing, and through shivering and breath steam when it’s cold. In addition, when the heat is pumping during cold months, it dries out the house, and your family, too. If you notice that your child is exhausted, irritable, constantly thirsty, or has a dry mouth, sunken eyes, darker colored urine, or muscle aches, he or she may already be dehydrated.
Here are some helpful tips to make hydration an important part of your family’s everyday routine:
- Eat more water-based fruits and veggies. Pears, apples, citrus, leafy greens and squash are great choices for your winter menus.
- Hydrate before, during, AND after any exercising or rigorous activity, even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you wait until you feel thirsty, your body may already be dehydrated.
- Cut back on sodas, caffeine, and sodium, which deplete a lot of the body’s water.
- Soups are delicious, hydrating, and a welcomed comfort in chilly weather. Try out some new recipes and cook in bulk for a quick, replenishing meal that kids love!
- Use DripDrop as a tasty alternative to plain water! It’s also a healthy replacement for sodas and sugary drinks. We love Drip Drop because it’s packed with electrolytes. Electrolytes are mineral silts that are essential for maintaining the body’s water balance. They are also important for the normal functioning of the cells, especially our heart, muscle, and nerve cells. Essential electrolytes are sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, calcium and magnesium.
As a general rule of thumb, drinking about half the body’s weight in fluid ounces of water every day will keep you and your kids hydrated and more resistant to illness this winter. As the days get shorter and the temperatures get lower, bundle up and keep warm, but don’t forget to keep hydrated too!
Guest Contributor: Heidi Ganahl, CEO of Camp Bow Wow
It’s an alarming statistic: over 7.6 million animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, yet only 29% of cats and dogs are adopted nationwide.
In honor of October’s National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, those considering adoption can look to rescues for their new family member. Most shelters house a wide array of animals, including purebreds, and will work with you to find the best pet for your family.
Benefits of Pet Adoption
- General Benefits - There’s a reason that they say dog is man’s best friend. Having a pet, not limited to dogs, is something that everyone should experience at some point in their life. Pets can be calming, mood lifting, empathetic, and so much more. They teach you how to be selfless and responsible as you are caring over another life (for those of you without children). Generally speaking, they make you happy.
- Save the Life of a Shelter Pet – Only 29% of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters; the rest are left to live in the rescue centers or, worse – euthanized. Bottom line: Adopting a pet saves their life. Give a dog or cat a home they wouldn’t have otherwise.
- Stress Reduction - Some studies show that people begin to feel less anxious after spending less than an hour with an animal. There are endless benefits from lowering your stress level and while the things that we find stressful in our lives are often hard to cut out, including an animal in your life can help.
- Helps with Depression - In some cases, therapists suggest to patients suffering from depression that they adopt a pet. An animal will love you unconditionally and also be a great friend and listener. People with depression often benefit from having a pet, as the animal can help them get out of the house and out of their own head.
- Engaged Mind - A key to a healthy mind, especially for those who are elderly, is staying engaged with others. A pet is often a conversation starter and being out with a pet often warrants questions or comments from passersby. Bringing your dog to a dog park is a great way to meet other people with similar interests.
Factors to Consider
- What breed are you looking to adopt? Different breeds have different characteristics and you will want to understand the types of behaviors that may be displayed by your new family member. You need to understand the energy of your household, the size of dog that you can handle, how much exercise you are able to provide and more. If your family tends to be very low key, you do not want to choose a high energy dog that needs tons of energy. If you live in a small space, a very large dog may not be the best for your family. Think about all of these variables before choosing your new pup.
- Who will care for the new pet? Be sure your new pet correlates with the ages of those in the household. A good rule of thumb: the new pet should fit the current physical capabilities of the caretakers with a perspective for what the next 10-15 years will bring.
If you have children in your household, enrolling your new pup and family members into an obedience class should be high on your priority list. Children need to learn how to safely interact with the dogs so that accidents don’t happen. An experienced trainer will help the whole family understand how to safely interact with your new family member.
- If there are elderly members in a household, a strong vigorous adolescent pet is not advised. Large breeds also demand more physical upkeep, something that an older person may have trouble performing.
- Does your family have an opinion on their newest member of the family? Although it is exciting to surprise the family with a new pet, do some research and poll each family member to find out what they are looking for in a new pet so that the pet you choose aligns with the household. Once your family has chosen a breed that suits the family’s requirements, the best approach is to bring the whole family to meet the potential new family member and gauge how they all interact.
- Are you financially ready for this responsibility? A new pet can go for “free-to-a-good-home” to several thousand dollars. A budget must be set not only for the upfront cost of taking the pet home, but also for immediate follow-up costs like veterinary check-ups, a training crate and pet obedience classes. Also keep in mind that your pet will need to be fed and groomed and will also need chew toys and additional supplies like food bowls, a dog bed, brushes, leashes, etc. Also keep in mind the necessary chunk of money needed for veterinary emergencies. You might also think about getting pet insurance for your new family member to help keep the cost of veterinary bills more affordable.
Adoption can be seen as a two-way street, as a rescue can benefit not only the animal they are taking in, but also the new owners as well. Heidi Ganahl, CEO of Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and fastest growing pet care franchise and INC 5000 company, has offered her insight regarding the benefits of pet adoption and important factors to consider, which are listed below for your consideration.
We have become a DripDrop family. A couple months ago, I was approached by DripDrop to try their product. Little did I know that I’d not only become a big fan, but an advocate as well. What’s more—so are my boys! I have mentioned DripDrop in previous posts, but I haven’t given you a full breakdown of why it is so wonderful, and why it will continue to be a staple in my house.
With the hot summer finally ending and fall sports and school beginning, my children have—and continue to have—plenty of opportunities to become dehydrated. And for my picky drinkers, it can be hard to get them to drink anything relatively healthy, let alone plain water. When our family tried DripDrop, it was like a cool drink of water (pun intended). Let’s just say it’s so tasty, my son asks for it daily. (Yay!)
Historically, the “rehydration” market has been saturated with sugary sports drinks that have been proven to actually dilute sodium levels, increasing your chances of becoming dehydrated—not to mention all the unnecessary calories. DripDrop not only is low in sugar and high in essential electrolytes, but it tastes good and is practically calorie-free!
Beyond the calories, here’s what else makes it special: DripDrop was actually created by a Mayo Clinic-trained family physician to combine a unique concoction of electrolytes, sodium and other nutrients required to keep you hydrated. Its technical term (and don’t cringe at the sound of it) is Oral Rehydration Solution. In short, it’s going to get you hydrated FAST, which is important with the coming cold and flu season. Before it hit the shelves of CVS and Walgreens last month, this product was used by an elite group of Olympians and other athletes, as well as the U.S. Special Forces. It’s being used in humanitarian efforts around the globe, and thankfully, now it’s available to us as well!
DripDrop, which is usually in the baby aisle in retail stores (Walgreens and CVS), comes in a small packet that is easy to put in your pocket, purse, kid’s backpack, lunch box, or to just keep in your pantry. Mix one packet with a glass of water, and you will feel instantly hydrated. Mix it with your kid’s water bottles before school or sports practice or during a long car ride, and you can rest assured they’re getting just what they need.
“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.” – George Moore
The most important thing to me is having a playful and strong relationship with my boys. As a woman, I don’t relate to many ‘boy’ things. But what I can do is play, be silly and make sure we share amazing bonding moments together. My son doesn’t like to read much so before bed we do more physical, stretching, snuggly giggly type of play. He’ll try to get me to play pokemon cards, but seriously I don’t understand the game and it’s adding numbers, so I usually pass on that one! We aslo just got him a kitten so we have a lot kitten play. He built an amazing castle for her and she loves it! We take photos of all his amazing creations so he can remember what he’s built! I am so thankful that my husband had my camera this morning. It’s rare I ever get to capture my sweet time with my sons. What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids? Tell me! I’d love to know!
“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” -Charles R. Swindoll
Big White is located in central British Columbia, about a 2.5 hour flight from LAX– It’s home to the best snow one could ever imagine. Mother Nature blesses them with 24 feet of 100% natural, dry and fluffy powder snow annually. It truly is the best reason to ski there… I had the pleasure of traveling to B.C. for a second time as I fell in love with the mountain in 2012! Big White Resort’s bountiful, dry powder is legendary and was awarded “Best Powder” by Ski Canada Magazine in 2008!
Kids’ Centre at Big White Ski Resort is The Ultimate Ski School
When all you want to do is get up on the mountain, you don’t want to be worrying about your kids. So why not drop them at a place where they will have the time of their lives, and you can ski or board all day long worry free! Ski Canada rates our centre as the “Best Resort Feature for Kids in Canada” and the UK’s London Daily Mail rated it one of the top five in the world! Big White is the ultimate kids’ playground, a fun and safe environment featuring wide open runs, perfect for learning new skills that can get your children up and around the resort.
We let them pick up the kids for their ski school each day! How about that door to door service! The instructors came to our hotel and dropped them off at the end of the day. The kids spent their lesson with their instructor and group learning, playing and exploring. In addition to skiing we enjoyed the thrill of the “Ice Tower” which is constructed out of 4 telephone poles – Your kids won’t stop talking about this giant Ice cube! Big White is an awesome place for unreal skiing… and for having drinks and socializing with other ski enthusiasts after a long day on the slopes! This mountain has become a family favorite destination spot and we hope you consider joining us next year!
As a family resort, they put a high premium on your safety and want to keep you happy while you enjoy the slopes. You will see the daily “Slow Zones” that make it easy for beginners and people that want to take it slow and also have Safety Tips for using the resort and helping you to watch out for any little hazards Mother Nature may put in your path. Having skied there, I can honestly say it is clearly the best Champagne Powder I’ve ever experienced. Wowza… It was so cool to get our very own knowledgeable Snow Hosts for a free mountain tour to unlock the secrets of Big White – they were so patient with us, you know how unruly mom bloggers can be! They put up with us stopping frequently to take pictures or to Tweet. With 18 on-mountain restaurants, cafes, delis, pubs and nightclubs, there is no shortage of places to relax or replenish your energy level when it’s time for a break. Our family enjoyed luxurious lunch, drinks and delicious dinner at Kettle Valley Steak House, Carvers and after dinner ‘on-fire” coffee at The Gunbarrel Grill. To thoroughly enjoy the BC Okanagan Valley’s offerings, be sure to savour some famous local wines. Or you stay in and snuggle up with your family… Be sure and order your groceries and they’ll have them delivered to your chalet before you arrive. Visit www.BigWhite.com for more information on how to create the perfect ski vacation for your family!
The Go-To Mom Production lift tickets, meals, airfare and accommodations were provided by Big White Resort for the production of this episode. Kimberley Blaine will only promote, endorse and support companies she believes to have the highest standards in products and/or services that contribute to the well-being of families with young children.
The holidays are right around the corner, but are you prepared? The Go-To Mom, Kimberley Clayton Blaine, stopped by CBS KCAL9 in Los Angeles to spill her secrets for preparing for the holidays on a budget. Some gifts cost very little, like this awesome holiday chain that your kids write custom messages to the ones they love. Grandma and Grandpa love this! Take a look and get your creative ideas flowing!
In case you haven’t been keeping up with the latest health news these past few weeks, there is a respiratory virus called Enterovirus D68 that has been spreading rapidly throughout the U.S. This is the first time this virus has been detected in the U.S. since 1962, and has been very uncommon until this year.
Infants and young kids up to about 13 years of age are at the greatest risk of contracting this virus—and is especially dangerous for those with a history of asthma. Its symptoms are similar to the common cold (sneezing, coughing, runny nose), but after a day or two, can cause difficulty breathing and if it gets bad, may require a trip to the hospital.
With Enterovirus spreading, and cold and flu season just around the corner (not to mention back to school, which means a greater exposure to shared germs), we need to be extra cautious and make sure our kids practice good hygiene while they are at school, attending after school activities, etc., to keep our homes and environments clean of any unwanted bacteria that could make us all sick!
Here are some of my friendly reminders to help reduce the chances that you or your child gets sick this season:
- Wash hands regularly and thoroughly with soap
- Disinfect and frequently clean household surfaces and toys
- Avoid sharing objects and close contact with other sick kids
- Make sure kids get enough sleep—they need this time to recover and heal
- Ensure your child stays hydrated. I detailed the signs and symptoms of dehydration to look out for in my last blog (courtesy of DripDrop the company I’m a spokesperson for!)
- Keep sick children at home. Not only do they need to rest, but it minimizes its spread to other kids.
While there is no vaccine for the Enterovirus right now, we can certainly take precautions to reduce the chances of our kids getting sick this cold and flu season. Hopefully we’ll knock it our for another 40+ years (or better yet… forever!)
Wishing you all good health! If you’d like to sample DripDrop send me an email! Kids love that taste!
Being an emotion coach for your child will help him learn to recognize, express and regulate his emotions. You’ll be helping his with language development as well. Just think, fewer tantrums because your child will have the words to express his feelings rather than having to act on them.
Emotion coaching promotes the deep connection between you and your child, strengthening your relationship and regular communication. With your guidance, they’ll learn valuable social skills and how to attend to the emotional cues of others. He’ll learn to make new friends and will play well with others.
Emotion coaching helps your child build a “coat of armor” that protects him in times of adversity – he’ll also recover more quickly from negative feelings and experiences. Emotion coaching helps your child learn patience, increases his ability to delay gratification and better manage impulsive behaviors. Children who receive emotion coaching have better concentration at school and master learning tasks easier.
Through emotion coaching your child learns the value of connection, respect and communication in relationships. So as an adult he’ll be able to understand and support the emotions of others. With emotion coaching you help your child become a compassionate parent when his time comes.
To learn more about emotion coaching watch some of my shows!
“Come from a space of peace and you’ll find you can deal with anything.” Michael Singer
Life will always be paradoxical. For many reasons and in many ways life experiences will offer up the sweetest of blissful moments and at the same time the deep sadness of mourning. One minute you can be holding an innocent baby or you could be holding your father’s hand as he takes his last breath. In any circumstance you are the beholder of the inner-self who gets to decide where your true joy resides. As Eckhart Tolle says, “Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find you’re here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.”
For me, it’s too easy at times to take on the role as a victim. Recently I have lost a family member, held my sister’s hand through surviving cancer, have admitted a loved one to a psychiatric unit, watched my husband go through invasive surgery and struggled with financial concerns. One can be mentally proactive and live, strive and be strong enough to step up to the plate of life or one can whimper, whine and give up. When things go wrong and when a crisis arises it’s easy to jump into it and wallow. I am depressed I am anxious and I am not normal. I never have been. But it’s comfortable and familiar to take on the victim role. I have to continually remind myself that drama is just a distraction from personal pain and that I am so much bigger than that. I have the intelligence and drive to push up from the soil and grow. I owe it to myself and to my children. As my friend, Panache Desai writes, “When things go bad the best solution is to redirect your unconscious behavior. We all have an energy, experience, or emotion we are hiding from in life. Fear, confrontation, shame, anger, and sadness are always lurking behind our coiled roots. Everyone has a raw nerve or dire situation that triggers a hasty retreat for the safety of his or her most comforting distractions. Distractions are the unconscious, repetitive, often self-destructive cycles of behavior that rob you of living your soul signature. “ Panache’s book and posts are good reminder that we are in the right place in our life at this very moment. See his work here.
I’ve also learned that in the midst of hellish moments I can still be happy and that life goes on… and that life is good overall. Challenging situations come and go, but life now, for me is always filled with an underlining of joy. Esther (Abraham) Hicks words ring in my head… She says, “Under any and all conditions, you can be happy. But happy has to be the goal. And the condition will take a second place to it. And then the happy will cause the condition to morph. You have to decide, are you creating what you’re creating for others’ adulation? Are you creating what you’re creating for your own alignment and joy? You just have to make that decision. And once you’ve decided it’s for your own alignment and joy, then you show yourself that, no matter what, you can feel good now. No matter what, you can feel good now. No matter what, you can feel good now. And sometimes enough has to happen to make you miss not feeling good long enough that you put the feeling good as your top priority. But it’s our promise, once you put feeling good as your top priority, everything else will fall into place, because you have the ability to feel good no matter what. No matter what.”
I have found The Untethered Soul: Twelve-Step Guide to Spiritual Awakening a great resource. It’s by Michael Singer, he talks about how to go about transcending the personal self and awakening to spiritual freedom — What is needed for this journey are succinct steps that are so universal that they can echo through the halls of any religion as well as support intellectual understanding. The following is a universal road map to Self Realization featured in his column in the Huffington Post.
Quotes that inspire and lift your soul…
You didn’t come into this experience to meditate. You came into this experience to live. You didn’t come into this experience just to create vibrational Vortexes, and then to croak in order to realize what’s in there. You came to create it and to create and atmosphere to allow it into your experience. You expected full fruition and manifestation of the things that you want. You’re supposed to be living your fortunes, you’re supposed to be spending them. You’re supposed to be driving your cars. You’re supposed to me making love with each other. You’re supposed to be having a full, tactile, see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, touch it physical experience. That’s what you came for, you see? But you can’t there unless first you choose alignment with Who-You-Really-Are… because when only part of you has shown up, it’s not a very happy party. – Abraham Hicks
At any given moment, you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end. -Christine Mason Miller
We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict. – Jim Morrison
Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go. -Hermann Hesse
You will get to the point where you will wonder why you were ever worried about anything ever. -Abraham Hicks
If you’re not selfish enough to want to feel good, then you can’t connect with the energy that is your source which does always feel good. -Abraham Hicks
Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering. -Paulo Coelho
Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it. -Kevyn Aucoin
The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love. -Hubert H. Humphre
An intelligent person is never afraid or ashamed to find errors in his understanding of things. -Bryant H. McGill
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. –Buddha
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless. Gilbert K. Chesterton
Bravery is believing in yourself, and that thing nobody can teach you. -El Cordobes
One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. -Bob Marley
The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world. -Marianne Williamson
Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny. -Mahatma Gandhi
At the end of the day, what parents really want is to feel a real, deep and lasting emotional bond with their kids.
There are seven simple ways that you can work toward building a deep, emotional bond with your kids from playtime to down time, read on for how you can get connected right now.
1. Make time for playtime. One of the best ways that parents can connect with their children is through play. Not only does play release energy and provide opportunities to be involved in a child’s world, it is also how children process their inner feelings and work out their little-kid real-life issues. Parents who take the time to play with their children strengthen their understanding of their children’s emotional world. True emotional connections are made when parents get down on the floor and play with their kids. Drink imaginary tea, build the Lego castle and piece together those puzzles. Your bond with your child will be all the better for it.
2. Plug in … emotionally. Children can experience a wide range of emotions each day from happy to sad, frustrated to triumphant — what may seem to us a trivial moment can be a big deal for them. Parents have to make the effort to “plug in” to what their children are feeling, and that understanding what they are feeling and why can create a
3. Build in a few extra minutes to your day. Whether you are rushing out the door for school in the morning, loading up for big brother’s baseball practice, or just heading out to run errands, building in a few minutes can make transitions much less painful for both you and your children and can provide crucial opportunities for bonding.
If you can make it into the car you have an opportunity to spend those extra 10 or 15 minutes really talking with your kids. Dissect their days, talk through any emotions or feelings they may be experiencing. Or, use the time as an opportunity to turn up some tunes and sing out loud together — letting go and being silly with your kids is a great way to bond emotionally.
4. Fess up when you slip up. Nobody’s perfect. As parents it’s a given that we will make mistakes as we learn and grow alongside of our kids. But it’s important to remember that in addition to teaching our children, we are also serving as their constant role models. And that includes admitting when you’re wrong and saying that you’re sorry.
When “fessing up,” be specific, identify the behaviors for which you are apologizing, and share the feelings you were experiencing at the time and how you felt afterwards. Your mistakes and shortcomings can serve as a wonderful opportunity for you to be a good role model.
5. Let your kids be themselves. Have you ever stopped to consider how your children’s individual temperaments affect the way you connect with one another? You have to respect your children for who they are — and that includes honoring the ways they are different from one another and different from you. As hard as it can sometimes be to let go, giving your children the freedom to be themselves can help them to grow and develop as people, and it will also strengthen the connection and bond between you. When we honor our children, they in turn honor us. Children who are respected and emotion coached can be incredibly resourceful.
6. Replace your anger with empathy. When tantrums take over and tempers flare, it can be a constant challenge to keep your cool. Pick your battles and know that nothing is so important that it warrants extreme anger and coerciveness with your child. Being honest with your child is more effective than hauling off on her. Children who are raised in homes where empathy is the norm are usually empathetic to their parents, and this creates a happier environment for everyone.
7. Take time for yourself on a regular basis. On special holidays like Mother’s Day, moms will often be treated to breakfast in bed, a day at the spa, or maybe even a little free time to do something for themselves. It doesn’t always have to be a big event — tacking on 30 extra minutes to an errand to grab a latte or flip through magazines at the bookstore can work wonders for restoring your sanity and recharging your batteries. If we don’t take time for ourselves, we will eventually lash out at our loved ones, and that will prevent you from having the connection and bond with your children that you long for.
Copyright 2010, K.Blaine, from her book, www.TheGoToMomsGuide.com.
This Year the family went to Colorado for a little fun. I took to the ice this time and left the slopes for day two. Thank goodness I brought the Sony cyber-shot TX20 – it’s not only waterproof and freeze proof but you can drop it and no harm no fowl. Perfect for when your little ones want to use it and you know the inevitable drop is bound to happen! The Osprey at Beaver Creek offers an unforgettable family vacation by creating a modern, luxury hotel experience unlike any other you’ll find in Colorado. They gave us a 4 day complimentary stay which delighted the kids and me. The food at he hotel was so good, especially their bread/fried wrapped asparagus! We went tubing and ice skating and shopped for next year’s ski wear in the village. But I have to say, riding up in the CAT snow plow at NIGHT to BEANOS restaurant/cabin was truly the highlight, it was so fun to be truck up in that big ‘ol machine on the snow at night! With a lift literally right outside our front door, it was so easy to get the kids off to ski school and for mama to hit the slopes.With Elegant amenities, exceptional service, and ski in/out lifts, we’ll be sure to come back for years to come! The staff at Vail Resorts were so accommodating and wonderful.
The Go-To Mom Productions was compensated for the production of this episode. Kimberley Blaine will only promote, endorse and support companies she believes to have the highest standards in products and/or services that contribute to the well-being of families with young children.
My co-hosts and I love to travel the globe to different mom hot-spots and we keep finding ourselves drawn to Park City, UT. The entire village, the accommodations, and the ski school are so geared towards families, that you can’t help but return for the perfect family vacation. I’m always looking for another Snowmama to ski with, and it’s been hard to find moms who ski. But to my delight, Tania from Pure Natural Diva was a former ski instructor, so I knew she’d be perfect to come along on this family show. We stayed at the lovely Silver Star Condos. The location was so perfect – a lift right at the resort’s front office. Of course the amazing hospitality from Krista Parry who heads up the Snowmamas program is always a big draw for us. My trip wouldn’t be complete without using all my Sony cameras, so I took it upon myself to force Tania and Krista to remove their helmets for a glamour beauty shot at the top of the mountain. The Sony Cyber-Shot WX9 took amazing photos and the camera we feature in this segment is the Sony Handycam PJ10 which projects the video onto the wall. I didn’t have to twist their arms to eat dinner at my favorite Park City restaurant, the High West Distillery. Who would’ve thought whiskey and apple cider would taste so good? And did I share my grilled Krispy Kreme a la mode dessert? No, I didn’t. I made them get their own.
Skiing is one of my passions. As you can see, there are many MommyToMommy episodes on the snow-capped mountains. We will be back for sure as my children are geared up to be hot dog skiers or snowboarders. This mama truly is a snow bunny and I’m proud to be a Snowmama, thanks to Park City and all they had to offer!