Touched by Childhood Cancer… Savor Every Moment With Your Little Ones

My friend’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer last week. She has sarcoma in her spine, and will start chemo next week after her second high risk surgery in less than 2 weeks to remove the tumors.

I’ve been helping taking care of her other two children, since they don’t have family here, while they went through the heart wrenching process of figuring out what was wrong with her. It wasn’t until today that it really sunk in that this is not a temporary illness. She’s really sick and her road to recovery won’t be an easy or guaranteed one.

She’s only nine years old! Just like my twins. Kids shouldn’t have to go through things like this. A nine year old shouldn’t have to worry about whether her treatment will be painful. She shouldn’t have to worry about whether she’ll be alive for her 10th birthday. She shouldn’t be scared because she knows she has cancer, and cancer kills a lot of people.

Life is fragile and unfortunately can change in an instant. Don’t take any minute with your children for granted! Yes, they drive us crazy at time; yes, we feel like failures on a daily basis; yes, sometimes we wish we didn’t have the tremendous responsibility that is raising little humans; yes, we feel like a broken record sometimes; yes, we wish we had more time for ourselves … yes, yes, yes… all that and more is true.

But believe me! We are lucky! Those of us raising healthy little ones are incredibly blessed. We sometimes forget it, but it’s worth remembering. We don’t have to worry about whether we will see our child will grow up. We don’t have to worry about caring for a sick child while still showing love and attention to our other children. We don’t have to see our child suffer as she holds on to life. We don’t have to worry about whether the new treatment will save our child’s life. We don’t have to worry about keeping our child’s spirit up when she wants to give up. We don’t have to worry about whether we can afford the medical treatment our child needs. We don’t have to worry about all these life altering things.

We worry about much, much simpler stuff, such as whether the homework is done, whether she’s eaten her veggies, whether she’s learned how to read, whether she’s brushed her teeth, whether she’s in bed on time… We worry about stuff we shouldn’t really worry about.

father-hugging-children.jpg

We shouldn’t let the little daily life events get on our nerves and prevent us from enjoying our children. We should enjoy them as they are, enjoy the messiness of childhood, enjoy the inevitable occasional chaos of parenthood, enjoy the little hugs and kisses, enjoy the loud and constant background noise that surrounds us, enjoy the daily lessons we learn, enjoy the ups and downs. Just enjoy life with our kids!

Take every opportunity to tell them how amazing they are, how much they lighten up your life. Take every chance you get to hug them, kiss them, cuddle with them, listen to their stories, read with and to them, play with them… BE with them, fully present and conscious.

Because life is fragile and precious, and we should never take it for granted!

Much love, Diana-

5 Ways to Stop Being a Toxic Critical Parent

After my last two posts, you might have realized that you are more critical than you would like with your child. No need to go into instant panic mode if you’ve caught yourself being overly critical, but it is time to change your ways. Experts say that the negative impact on wellbeing that overly critical parents have, is comparable in scale to that observed in people who have suffered a bereavement. Thankfully, We can overcome our natural tendencies and break the cycle.

1. Awareness

You’re probably the last to know whether you’re an overly critical person. If someone says you’re too critical, you probably are. The first step to change our ways to be aware that we need to change. Go back to my previous post and check yourself.

2. Listening

There is no better cure for constant criticism than patient and respectful listening. Listening to our children doesn’t mean we have to agree with what they’re saying, or that we have to give in to all of their demands. It just means that we make a sincere effort to understand their point of view, and to acknowledge their feelings and perspective.

If you find yourself constantly repeating things, and frustrated because your child doesn’t listen; check how you’re modeling what listening is.

 

3. Avoid Overreacting and Creating Mountains Out Of Molehills

Before opening your mouth to criticize or point out something wrong about your child, stop and question yourself. Is that really a necessary, useful, constructive and uplifting feedback? If the answer is no, learn to put things in perspective and let things slide every once in a while.

Strike a balance between being in charge and letting your child have freedom. Even if you don’t like the mismatched socks or the messy playroom, swallow your criticism and give your child space to learn from his mistakes and become the person he’s meant to be.

o-PARENTS-TALKING-TO-KIDS-facebook.jpg

4. Describe Behavior, Not The Child

When there’s really a behavior that needs to be addressed, show respect to your child and focus on the negative behavior rather than speaking negatively about your child. By focusing on behavior, you can help your child see her actions as something she needs to work on rather than questioning her self-worth.

Of course, avoid any kind of insults and character assassination. As you know, our words become our child’s inner voice. We want that inner voice to be positive and empowering, not critical and destructive.

Finally, avoid making generalizations. When correcting your child, describe the specific situation. Instead of “you never listen,” try “you did not listen to me now when I asked you to empty your backpack.” That way, your child understand that there’s something specific they can work on and change. Whereas if it’s something they ‘always’ do, they will assume it’s part of their character and will feel less capable of changing it.

 

5. Give 5 Positive Comments For Every Negative One

Like Dr. Phil says “It takes 1,000 ‘atta boys’ to erase one ‘you’re an idiot.” Make it a rule for yourself to make sure you give 5 positive comments to your child for every negative one. At the beginning it’ll be difficult to focus on the positive and embrace your child as she is, but the more you do it, the easier it will be.

Make your praise and positive comments as descriptive as possible. Avoid using empty or vague comments such as “Great job” or “Good girl.” Instead describe what they’ve done that you felt needed to be note “You were very loving when you helped your sister climb up the stairs,” or “You did a tremendous job cleaning up your toys after your playdate.”

Try to make you statements about them, not about you. Notice I didn’t say “I like how you cleaned up your toys,” but “You did a tremendous job cleaning up your toys.” There’s no condition for my liking them. The idea here is to help your child develop a sense of internal evaluation, allowing them to take responsibility for their actions and pride in their achievements.

Let’s all work on being less critical to our children!

Much love, Diana-

Effects On Children Of Constant Criticism

As parents, we often tell ourselves, that our criticism, of course, is well-intentioned. We criticize because…

  • We are anxious about our child’s future
  • We want them to be their best selves
  • We want them to reach their potential (whatever that means in our head)
  • We want the best for him
  • We want them to have a great life and career
  • We are setting high standards for their lives
  • We know better
  • ….

We wholeheartedly believe that of our criticism is constructive. We might even think it is not criticism at all, but rather necessary nagging and well-intentioned, unsolicited advice. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

As I very well know first hand, children raised by an overly critical parent often suffer from long-term negative effects from this type of childhood. These are some of the many negative effects that constant criticism has on children. When frequent criticism persists, all efforts to improve our family dynamics will surely fail.

1.Damaged Self-Esteem and Low Confidence

Children of overly critical parents will spend most of their lives wondering what’s wrong with them and why they can’t seem to do anything right. They will not be able to understand that the problem lies within the parent, and will believe it lies within themselves. They will be left with the constant and uncomfortable feeling that there’s something fundamentally wrong with them.

They will become overly critical of themselves, because their inner image is damaged. They will have a constant inner critic ready to tell them all that’s wrong with them. This will lead to a very low self esteem, low self-confidence and a feeling of worthlessness.

2. Damaged Parent-Child Relationship

Children of an overly critical parent will often grow up to resent that parent. Children will certainly tend to distant from us when we display this behavior. Being constantly criticized will make them not want to be with us, not trust us, and not want to share anything with us. They know that regardless of what they share, they will be criticized or questioned, we will find something wrong with them, and they will be made to feel inadequate.

Who would want to have a relationship with someone who makes them feel that way? Not me! The problem is that children can’t really escape from this relationship until they reach adulthood, so they have a sense of being trapped. Additionally, they love us, with all their heart, so their feelings make them feel even more insecure and inadequate, because they realize they love a person who’s inflicting pain on them.

Constant criticism will most likely lead to anger and defiance, or secretiveness and withdrawal; which will then lead to even more criticism then more defiance or withdrawal, and so on. This cycle will repeat itself over and over again, creating a completely toxic relationship.

 

adult-black-and-white-close-up-736843.jpg

3. Long-Term Mental Health Issues

As I very well know for personal experience, an overly critical parent can create an anxious or depressed grown up. Unfortunately the effects constant childhood criticism  don’t stop at childhood. The effects often carry through into adulthood, often requiring therapy to heal the inner child and stop the destructive inner voice created during our childhood.

Children of overly critical parents, spend their adulthood trying to be “perfect” while fully believing they never will be; trying to figure out what’s wrong with them; wondering whether anyone will ever love them just the way they are; and questioning and testing anyone who dares to do so. Therefore, they will spend a big part of their adult life trying to recover from their damaged childhood.

4. Self-Sabotage, Addiction and Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

According to many studies, children with overly critical parents are more likely to fall into addition patterns as they get older. Addition can be in the form of illegal drugs, alcohol, obsession with physical appearance, sex or food among other things.

In my case, food was my go-to drug. Whenever I felt inadequate, which was most of the time, I would turn to food to soothe and calm my inner child. This obviously led to obesity and other health problems, that I have slowly overcame. The road to recovery from this type of childhood is difficult and never ending.

pexels-photo-415484.jpeg
Those of us who were raised in an overly critical environment are more prone to repeat the cycle, because we don’t know how to express love to our child in a different way; because we are trained to focused our attention in the negative things; and because we still try to fix ourselves.
This is one of the reasons why I became so interested in positive and conscious parenting. I don not want my daughters to go through what I went thought. I don’t want them to have a happy life despite their childhood, I want them to have a happy life and be well-adjusted adults because of their childhood.
Were you raised by an overly critical parent? Do you see yourself suffering from any of these long term effects? I hope if you do, you are on the road to recovery, and I applaud you for doing all you can to better yourself for your own sake and the sake of your children.
Much love, Diana-

 

Strollers

1. Umbrella & Compact Strollers

GB Pockit Plus

This stroller is unbelievable! With its innovative two step folding technique, the Pockit+ folds into a compact, handbag-shaped package in seconds. This stroller is cleverly designed to stand alone when folded, and has an automatic fold lock for security when folded and for easy transport or storage.

Pockit_Lifestyle04_Header

The Pockit+ has one-hand push for convenient pushing and steering, adjustable harness system can be easily set at different heights and fastened or loosened for a cozy and secure fit, and a comfortable and multi-adjustable seat-back meets the need of every child, whether sitting up or reclining for a relaxing sleep.

This amazing stroller can be used from birth (when used with car seat) up to 55 lbs, and with its innovative design allows it to fit in an overhead compartment of an airplane, so it’s the ideal companion when traveling with a child.

Summer Infant 3D Lite

stroller1

We got so much use out of this umbrella stroller during our last trip to Europe. It’s sturdy and super light weight, and carried our 2 year old daughter without issues down the streets of Madrid, Salamanca, Caceres and many other magical places, with ease.

3Dlite features an innovative air-light aluminum frame which makes it super lightweight to carry and push – yet durable enough to stand the test of time! With its open design, you can easily access the large storage basket or recline almost flat which is ideal for on-the-go naps or diaper changes!

BabyZen YoYo +

babygosling-ppink-white-babyzen-yoyo-plus-travel-system_2048x2048-1024x557.jpg

Going far afield with a child in tow? With the new 2016 BabyZen YoYo+ 6+ Stroller, it’s easier than ever: this year’s version of the stroller that folds up small enough to fit into an airplane overhead compartment has some great new features. The BabyZen YoYo+ weighs only 13 pounds. In addition to that teeny-tiny fold, it has a reclining seat, an extendable leg rest, and the “soft drive” system, which enables you to navigate over rougher terrain without having to lock the wheels in place.

2. Luxury Strollers

Quinny Rachel Zoe Jet Set Moodd Stroller

IMG_0605-1024x591.jpg

This Rachel Zoe x Quinny Special Edition merges your favorite Quinny stroller with Rachel Zoe’s unparalleled, award-winning fashion sensibility. This fashionable stroller is truly one of a kind, inspired by the jetsetter lifestyle and paying homage to the luxurious detail found in the design of vintage leather luggage. Premium cognac leather and oversized gold detailing complement classic black and white fabric for a look that is tailored to perfection, allowing parents to walk their way in style. Not only the stroller is amazing, but the many accessories that can be added to it, are to die for if your pockets are deep enough.

Stokke Xplory Newborn Stroller

E5F0B6C4.pt03.zoom_.jpg

This stroller is gorgeous and it allows your child to be up close to you and far away from the dust of the ground. The height of the seat is adjustable to raise your baby higher for interaction.

This stroller is truly one of the best strollers on the market. The versatility it has is amazing. It can be set in so many positions.

 

Bugaboo Donkey Weekender

161109-bgb-d-weekender-2560x1440.jpg

OMG! This is stroller is so beautiful! The bugaboo donkey weekender is in a totally fabulous blue-grey marle colour with super classy hints of cognac leather on the handlebar and bumper bar. It comes with a lovely and chic Bugaboo Weekender bag.As expected from bugaboo, the weekender bag isn’t just your average overnight bag. It screams class with its quality fabrics, diamond embroidered lining, hidden pockets, removeable wallet, tan leather handles and the all important embroidered bugaboo branding.

This stroller converts for one baby or two, as you can see in the section below about double strollers.

 

3. Double Strollers

Baby Jogger 2016 City Select Double Stroller with 2nd Seat

6JF00-baby-jogger-city-select-stroller-ics-mom-dad-2-toddlers-forward-rear-facing-in-use-1.jpeg

This is one of my absolute favorite double strollers! We used it from with our twins until they were 4 years old, navigating the streets of New York City, and with our singleton until she was out of the stroller. It’s a fantastic, versatile, and easy to maneuver stroller!

Bugaboo Donkey

Bugaboo_Weekender_Double.jpg

This is stroller is versatile with 19 different configurations. The Bugaboo Donkey expands into a side-by-side double stroller and back to a single one with a very spacious and chic side luggage, in just a few simple clicks. The expandable side luggage basket keeps essentials at hand with room to pick up more along the way.

The Bugaboo Donkey is the only pram on the market that expands width-wise to convert from single mode to double mode.  It can also accommodate two baby capsules, two bassinets or any combination of baby capsules, bassinets or seats you need.

The Bugaboo Donkey is easy to push and maneuver with one hand thanks to the front swivel wheels and tight turn radius. No terrain is too rough for these big foam-filled tires, even when the stroller’s fully loaded or converted to a double stroller.

To convert the Bugaboo Donkey Stroller into double you just have to purchase the Duo Extension Set.

4. Running Strollers

Single: BOB 2016 Revolution PRO Jogging Stroller

4893dda9fc1c159f8dd7221946da8375-jogging-stroller-car-seats.jpg

BOB’s best all-terrain stroller has all the features you need and is suitable for children from 8 weeks old and up to 75 pounds. I love this running stroller. This is BOB’s most deluxe all-terrain stroller. It has hand-activated rear drum brakes for the best downhill control. The front wheel can swivel for top maneuverability or lock for added stability. The state-of-the-art suspension system takes bumps in stride and the adjustable handlebar provides a perfect fit for parents. Pair it with the BOB B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat by Britax to create the best travel system for your lifestyle.

Double: BOB 2016 Revolution PRO Duallie Jogging Stroller

BOB-Revolution-Pro-Duallie-Stroller-2

The Revolution Pro Duallie is BOB’s most deluxe on- and off-road stroller for larger families. Fully loaded for all your adventures, this stroller is perfect for intense workouts or casual strolls, when you want both kids along for the ride.

The Revolution Pro Duallie is the most deluxe, 2-kid all-terrain stroller from BOB, the #1 jogging stroller. Hand-activated rear drum brakes make for the best downhill control. The front wheel can swivel for top maneuverability or lock for added stability. The state-of-the-art adjustable suspension system takes bumps in stride and the adjustable handlebar provides a perfect fit for any parent. Pair it with the BOB B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat by Britax to create the ideal travel system.

Are You An Overly Critical Parent?

I was raised with parents who tended to be more critical than encouraging.  Most of us who have grown up with overly critical parents are left constantly wondering if anything we do will be good enough to please them, and what’s worse, whether we are good enough. Parenting is the most difficult job on earth if done correctly, and most overly critical parents don’t want to hurt their children. Usually, these parents have the best intentions, but their delivery is extremely toxic to their children. Constant criticism can cause some serious damage to a child’s mental health.

Even if you didn’t have overly critical parents, I am sure you have experienced the demoralizing effect of frequent criticism from a boss, from a friend, or from your spouse. Despite our first hand experience with criticism, we still often fail to consider the toxic effect of criticism in our relationship with our children.

 

What is An Overly Critical Parent?

An overly critical parent is never satisfied with how his child is, how his child behaves, how his child feels, how his child looks, or what his child wants. That alone is sad and damaging enough, however, the worst part about it is that a critical parent doesn’t keep these feelings to himself. Instead, he lets her child know exactly what he doesn’t like or what he’s doing wrong.

Critical parents usually believe their way is the right and only way to do things. Therefore when the child doesn’t perform exactly as the parent expected, criticism and corrections will shower the child.

It doesn’t, however, mean that there are no rules. Some people of the positive parenting persuasion take things too far and allow their kids to basically do whatever they want. To literally make allof their own choices. They see “respect” as avoiding confrontation or anything that might make their child upset. But there is nothing respectful about having no boundaries. Part of being a parent is giving kids structure in the form of rules and expectations and understanding that those things are beneficial to them. It’s how we set up those rules and enforce them that makes the difference.

jpeg

Overly critical parents tend to spend almost no time praising their child’s positive qualities. Most of the attention that an overly critical parent gives to his child is negative and detrimental. If it goes too far, it can (and often does) turn into emotional and verbal abuse. Children raised by an overly critical parent often have long-term negative effects from this type of childhood.

Since I was raised by an overly critical parent, my natural tendency is that. If I let myself go, I would be constantly criticizing my daughters. My natural predisposition is to focus on the negative, to focus on what’s wrong instead of what’s right. In my mind, I’m still constantly criticizing myself, but I do stop myself before do it to my daughters most of the time. However, there’s much room for improvement.

Are you an overly critical parent? What traits do you have?

Much love,  Diana-

 

Baby Gear

iBaby Care M7 Baby Monitor

This monitor is outstanding. It is Wi-Fi enabled so you can always look at your baby on your own phone (iPhone and Android). It has full HD imaging, and 360 rotation capabilities. It projects a very nice moonlight soother on the ceiling to help your little one fall asleep. The price tag is elevated, but it is definitely worth!

Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor – Track Your Infant’s Heart Rate & Oxygen Levels

This monitor was a Godsend to my husband and I when we brought our preemie twins home. We weren’t to concerned about having a camera to look them constantly, but we wanted to be able to listen to them at all times.

Most importantly we wanted something that would alert us should they stopped breathing. We were used to having hooked to several monitors that would alert us and the medical stuff should something went wrong. Having this monitor definitely helped us sleep better at night.

 

Halo Sleep Sacks

Bedding such as pillows, thick quilts, comforters, pillows, sheets, stuffed animals, and blankets pose a suffocation hazards. To keep your baby warm, try a sleep sack or other sleep clothing that doesn’t require additional covers. When choosing a sleep bag, make sure the width of the neck isn’t wide enough for your child to slip himself completely in. Halo has wonderful sleep sacks, in fleece for the winter, and cotton for the summer.

My child doesn’t listen!

Do you repeat the same thing over and over again without response? Are you frustrated because your child doesn’t listen to you?

If your answer is ‘yes’, you’re not alone! Those are some of the most common complaints I hear from parents during my private consultations; and whenever I hear that, two questions always come to my mind:

1. What do we really mean by ‘listening’?

Is it a synonym of ‘obeying’? More often than not, when parents complain about their children not listening, what they really mean is that their children do not drop whatever it is they’re doing, right the second the parent asks them to do something.

Therefore, the issue is not so much about ‘listening’ as it is about ‘compliance and obedience.’ I believe in parenting with love and respect, and ‘obedience’ does not fit into this definition. The same way I wouldn’t expect my spouse or any other adult to blindly obey what I say, I don’t expect that from my daughters either. Obedience, in my book, is NOT the epitome of good parenting.

As Alphie Kohn points out in his book ‘Unconditional Parenting’ that when parents are asked what their long term goals for their children are, they say they want their kids to be ethical, compassionate, independent, happy, accomplished, self-confident, etc. No parent says they want their children to grow up into obedient adults. I certainly do not want my daughters to grow up to be compliant women, I want them to question authority, to have their own opinions, to make their own decisions (and their own mistakes), to be creative… and to not mindlessly obey anybody (not even me!).

Most of what we see as disobedience in our children is either natural, curious, discovering, learning, developmentally appropriate behavior; a way of letting you know that one of their needs is not being met; or a reaction to a situation in which they do not feel comfortable or safe with, or have no control over.

Child not listening

The need for children’s obedience that many parents have is usually associated with parents’ fear that…

  • the child will grow up to be a rebellious, sociopath, anarchist monster. This terrible view of humane nature is not based on any empirical evidence.
  • they will be misunderstood by their peers and by family. After all, most people still believe a good child is an obedient child.
  • their child will have trouble at school with her teachers. Many teachers are still not open to the idea of having their students questioning their lessons.

Forcing children into blind obedience has terrible consequences. Children might not learn to think for themselves and will always value their parents’ (or other authoritative figure’s) voice over their own. They might not learn how to make their own decisions. They might be pushed around and manipulated by their peers.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating permissive parenting, I am not arguing that children can be disrespectful and have no limits, I am not suggesting that children can do as they please whenever they want. I am proposing a way of parenting that is based on mutual respect, love and cooperation; and that will eliminate the power struggles between the parent and the child and will allow the child to turn into an independent, confident and mindful adult.

 

2. How well do we listen to our children?

As with many other issues in parenting, the way our children do something tends to be a direct reflection of how we do that same thing. What does this mean? It means that in order to get your child to listen, you first have to listen to her. If they feel listened to, they will be more inclined to listen to you. It is that simple and that complicated!

We are giving our children the best example of what listening is all about. We are modeling a certain way of listening and communicating for them. How do you listen when your child talks to you? How do you usually respond when your child talks to you or asks you to do something for her (read a book, tell a story, play on the floor, go see a bug…)? Is your common response any of these…?

  • Delay request (i.e. ‘Just a minute,’ ‘I can’t right now, I doing something else’)
  • Casual nod, but no eye-to-eye connection (i.e. ‘Umm’)
  • Uninterested response while you’re still looking at your cellphone (i.e. ‘I see’)
  • No response, just ignore and go on with what you’re doing
  • Repeated (and not very uplifting) lecture (i.e. ‘I told you many times not to…,’ ‘That happened because you….’)
  • Constant interruptions
  • Frequent commands
  • Response before they are done talking

Ignoring

As parents we often create communication problems with our children, because we don’t really listen to what they are saying. Whenever we don’t listen to our children, they notice. Not listening does not only mean that we are not hearing what they are saying, it also means that we are not plugged in with what they are trying to tell us. We make assumptions about what they are trying to say, we draw conclusions without making sure we understood the message. We talk too much or launch into lectures.

The best way I know to get children to listen is to listening to them first. Listening intently, listening with interest, listening making sure we ‘get’ what they are saying, listening making sure we understand what’s not being said, and listening making sure our children know they are loved, always and that we are listening.

Mom_Talk_vs_Baby_Talk_636x424_0

Parenting is a journey in which we have the opportunity to learn about ourselves, about our children and about human nature. Parenting is the best journey towards self-understanding, personal improvement, mindfulness and consciousness.

Let’s love the ride!

Much love, Diana-

 

Breastfeeding Gear

Breast Pumps:

Medela Pump In Style

This is the pump that I used with all three of my babies. The twins were so preemie that I had to pump since they were born, because they didn’t have the strength to suck. Despite my best efforts, breastfeeding never got the traction I wanted it to, so I ended up pumping instead of nursing.

I pumped for a year, and I must say that this pump was amazing! The suction strength is closer to the hospital grade pumps. It’s easy to carry around (7lbs), relatively easy to clean, and you can use it hands free with a good hands free breastfeeding bra (see below).

Medela Freestyle Pump


This pump is very similar to the Pump In Style. It’s a little bit quieter, so it’s great for moms pumping at work. It’s a little bit lighter than the Pump In Style. It has a cool LCD display with a memory function, timer and backlight.

It seems to do less thorough job of expressing milk than the Pump In Style, so I would suggest women who are worried their milk supply to go with the Pump In Style, since the suction seems to be better which leads to more milk supply. Other than the mildly less powerful suction, this pump is an exceptional option.

Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra:


This hands free pump bra is a lifesaver, especially for those moms who are returning to work, o who, like me can’t nurse their babies directly for whatever reason and are exclusively pumping. When you pump exclusively, you pump for an average of 20 minutes every 3-3.5 hours. That’s a lot of time pumping every day. This bra allows you to pump hands free, so you can cook, work on your computer, read a book… while you’re pumping. A must have for every pumping mom.

Breastfeeding Pillows:

Singletons: My Brest Friend Original Nursing Pillow

This is a fantastic nursing pillow. I breastfeed my third daughter for 15 months and after trying multiple nursing pillows the first few weeks, I settled on the My Brest Friend Pillow. It is very comfortable, easy to use and it is the only nursing pillow designed to perfectly position baby for latch-on while supporting mom’s body. My daughter had a tongue and lip tie, which made nursing quite difficult and painful at the beginning, and this pillow helped me positioned her in way that improved her latch, which made all the difference for us.

Tandem Nursing/Twins: My Brest Friend Twins Plus Deluxe Nursing Pillow

This is a fantastic tandem nursing pillow. I haven’t personally used it a lot, because my twins were so premature that they didn’t have the strength to nurse on their own, so I ended up pumping for them instead of breastfeeding them directly. However, based on my short experience with it, and my experience with the singleton one, I totally recommend it.

April Parenting Resolution: Respect

It is always easier to lose our temper when we are tired, stressed, trying to figure out what to do, improvising what to do each day, and completely disconnected from our kids. Therefore, now that we are taking care of ourselves and our relationships, we have re-connected with our kids and know how to love on them a little bit better, and we have established good routines that work for our family, we can start focusing more on modeling good behavior. Good behavior has its roots in respect, it all begins with respect.

The overarching theme is a respect for children, and treating them with the same importance and positive regard as I would want to be treated.

One of the most important aspects of respectful parenting is treating children like people. Our children are whole people from the moment they are born, deserving of the same respect as anyone else.

Unfortunately, in our society, children are not often treated with enough respect. They are often seen as inferior to adults. Respecting our children means not to treat them in ways that would be offensive if done to an adult. That means they shouldn’t be yelled at, grabbed, disregarded, belittled, hit, insulted, manipulated…

o-PUNISH-CHILD-facebook

Children are unique people with unique personalities, unique likes and dislikes, unique preferences, and unique points of view that we should respect. Respecting our children means controlling our impulse to lose it when they act like the immature little human beings that they are, to listen to what they have to say and to take their perspectives into consideration.

Respecting our children is not forcing them into blind compliance, but meeting them where they are and leading them with gentle guidance in the direction we want them to go, just the way we would do with an adult.

o-DAD-TALKING-TO-CHILD-facebook

The heart of respectful parenting is following the Golden Rule and treating your kids the way you’d want to be treated — if you were a kid.

When we treat our kids with respect, we open paths of communication and build a relationship built on trust. I would consider myself a pretty respectful parent, but there are times when I lose it or when I give my daughters orders without acknowledging their point of view. During the month of April, I will focus on RESPECT.

How are you going to meet this month’s resolution?

Much love, Diana-

Pregnancy & First Years Books

What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff


This is one of those staple books for pregnant women, especially for first time mothers. Pregnancy is complicated, and sometimes scary, especially the first time around. This book explains in plain terms what’s expected at every moment during pregnancy.

The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly by Amy Krouse Rosenthal


This is a wonderful keepsake of your pregnancy. Although the name of the book is not my cup of tea, and the aesthetics are not very appealing to me, the interior design overcompensates these two flaws.

This book has room to store all your ultrasound pictures and belly bump pictures. I has great prompts for the expecting mothers to write down their feelings, their worries, their funny pregnancy experiences and much more. This is a great keepsake for you or to pass on to your child once he’s grown.

My Baby Book: A Keepsake Journal for Baby’s First Year by Amy Krouse Rosenthal


Just like her Belly Book, this book is a great keepsake. Although the name of the book is not my cup of tea, and the aesthetics are not very appealing to me, the interior design overcompensates these two flaws. It is an easy to fill out book to capture all the milestones of the first year of your baby.