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12 Outdoor Family Snow Activities

12 Outdoor Family Snow Activities

Fresh snow and chilly days make winter the perfect time to get the whole family together. Because snow is only around for a few months, now is the perfect time to enjoy twelve kid-friendly snow activities. 1. Skiing Whether downhill or cross-country skiing, this activity is perfect for a family outing. Most resorts have small bunny slopes for beginners with plenty of advanced slopes for experienced riders. Kids can start skiing as early as 4 or 5, and most resorts offer lessons for children and new beginners. 2. Snowboarding While you are out on the slopes, your family can try snowboarding. Most snow resorts provide runs for both skiers and boarders so families can enjoy these similar activities together. Find the right snowboard types to fit the boarders in your family. 3. Sledding Hiking to the top of a tall hill is a small price to pay for the excitement of gliding through fresh powdery snow. Sledding is a favorite past time for all ages. Whether it’s on a sled, toboggan, or saucer, finding the perfect hill and smoothing your very own run will entertain your entire family all day. 4. Tubing A wintertime snow activity similar to sledding, tubing can reach considerable speed caused by the friction between the inner tube and the snow. Because tubes do not have the same controls sleds do, most tubing is generally done at a resort on a special run designated for tubes. Although it can also work when attached to the back of a snow mobile to ensure complete control. 5. Snowball Fights When bundled up and prepared for wet snow, a snowball fight can be the perfect competition. Whether it is a free-for-all fight, girls versus boys, or parents versus kids, this is a great activity to cure any cabin fever. 6. Catching Snowflakes During snowfall, one of the greatest and probably simplest activities is trying to catch a snowflake on your tongue. Not only does it remind everyone to enjoy the small things in life, but it is also a practice in patience because it is not as easy as it looks. Head back, eyes closed, and tongue out, this can become a family tradition for every yearly snowfall. 7. Building Snowmen An easy task that provides endless fun, building a snowman is a terrific and artistic activity. Unless the sun is out to melt Frosty, he can last...

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How I Started My 2013, Part I

How I Started My 2013, Part I

My daughter was born exactly two weeks into 2013; an occasion many mothers would rejoice in, take pride in, document and proclaim. Birth is a monumental event. It grows us as people. We now have a new title to add to our growing list; daughter, wife, CEO, freelancer, homemaker. Mom. My daughter’s birth wasn’t the first time I became mom. It was the moment I became Mom 2.0. I wasn’t new to this mom gig, but that doesn’t mean that the time leading up to my daughter’s birthday wasn’t without the same first-time parent jitters. In fact, it was frightening because this time I knew what to expect, and not all of it was good. The impending occasion scared me, and I still feel guilty about that. I spent my entire pregnancy with my daughter scared and anxious, mostly because I knew what a difficult time I had birthing my son. I was scared of breastfeeding failure, of the postpartum blues, the hormone drop, the endless nights, the hot flashes and the crying, and this time, not being able to sleep when baby slept because I also had an 18 month old to take care of. I was scared of the surgery pain. I had to have a c-section, as just 18 months prior to my daughter, I already had an emergency c-section to deliver my son. I was not a good candidate for a VBAC delivery. I was afraid of weight gain. I had already lost the weight from my son, and having battled weight my whole life, I wasn’t ready to pack on the pounds. I was afraid of developing an unhealthy relationship with food. I was afraid of adding more strain to my already-strained marriage. Becoming parents as a couple is a tough transition, and just when I thought my husband and I had figured it out, it was all about to change again. Oh, there was also the stress that my husband had just lost his job prior to us finding out I was pregnant. I never felt prepared for our daughter, and that made me feel really guilty. When we found out I was pregnant with our son, we were ecstatic. We had been trying for over a year. The pregnancy was smooth. The house was clean. We felt ready for it. With my daughter, everything was out of sorts. I didn’t want her...

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Pediatricians: Know It All or Know-It-Alls?

Pediatricians: Know It All or Know-It-Alls?

Personally, I hate taking O to her well check visits at her pediatricians’. While I love her doctor, she’s never rushed, always listens, I can’t get over the fact that she’s a doctor and I’m increasingly convinced they are put on this Earth to scare the crap out of us. For those of you who have yet to experience a child’s well check visit, let me fill you in: Step one: a nurse comes and strips your baby down to her diaper and measures her head circumference, her height and then takes her diaper off to put her on the scale. Step two: the same nurse asks a bunch of “yes” or “no” questions such as, “Is she grabbing for things?” To which I never respond with “yes” or “no” but rather something like, “um, yeah, sometimes. I can tell she wants to, she just may not be getting it yet, blah blah blah.” Which I’m sure the nurse just loves. Step three: diaper’s back on. O’s doctor comes in and asks if we have any questions or concerns to which we usually take a few minutes to talk about her spitting up (“totally normal”). Step four: Doctor pokes and prods the baby. She listens to her heart, looks in her eyes and ears, messes with her hips and flips her on her belly. Step five: Remember those measurements the nurse took back in step one? Well, now the doc puts these numbers on a chart that compares them with 99 other babies born on her birthday. I know, she can’t even talk yet and she’s already being compared to her peers. On O’s four-month well check, the doctor told us that her head circumference was in the 100th percentile. Not only were 99 other babies born on the same day equipped with smaller heads, but the baby that fell at 99 didn’t even hold a candle to my child. I reacted to this news as I imagine I would for her first A+. Essentially, she was the valedictorian of big-headed babies. However, before I had time to order her plaque, my doctor opened her mouth to say, “I’m not concerned, yet.” Excuse me? Yet? Can you give me a timeline of when you might start to worry? According to her, a big head could mean a number of things: all of which Google confirmed in one of the...

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Why Can’t We Play Nice?

Why Can’t We Play Nice?

You know what I absolutely, 100% have to avoid to keep my sanity? Internet comments. It never ceases to amaze me that one minute I can be reading a really well-thought out article on something scientific or heartfelt and it completely gets ruined by Internet trolls. What makes it worse is these trolls then start picking fights with each other, then the name calling starts, people start unleashing their fury via caps lock, and before you know it, a perfectly good piece has been ruddied by the Internet haters. Guys, what is up with this? This is not a far cry from bullying. And truth be told, what sort of example are we setting by spending inordinate amounts of time fighting with a person who goes by the screen moniker justinlovr897 because they didn’t agree with the fact that we prefer the color purple over the number 9? I know those two things are completely incongruous, but that is exactly what happens on the Internet. People start fighting over stuff that is completely unrelated. Instead of learning from the Internet, we’ve begun feeding the vicious, angry troll that lies within. And do you know something? The kids are watching. Very much in the same way that our children model our behavior at home, our Internet habits are just as influential. If anything, they are more susceptible out there in the ether because there are no physical walls in which to hide. There isn’t a safe place. We are creating a pretty scary world, and it’s not doing anyone any good. The Internet has been set up as a stage for us to engage in discourse, except that kids have jumped on social media to start picking at each other through the veil that is Facebook or Twitter. We have jumped on news articles to yell at each other because we don’t agree with a political candidate or someone’s sexual orientation. We’re not nice, and we’re passing that onto the next generation. Folks, why can’t we play nice? The same goes for us, oh moms of the Internet, and you’ve read about the topics ad nauseam. Your vaginal birth wasn’t real enough. Your c-section birth was too fake. That bottle you’re feeding your baby is full of poison. Your breast feeding is disgusting. How could you even consider a disposable diaper when the landfills are at maximum capacity? Why did...

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The Lost Art of Letter Writing

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

The Internet is full of letters that never get sent directly to the recipient for whom they were intended. I’ve come across this a lot as someone who spends way too much of my time surfing the bytes and pieces of it all, and the peculiar thing about these letters is that, while the audience is wide and the message is clear, I’m often dumbfounded by the publicly published notes. What has happened to the art of letter writing? And I do mean the ones that are created with a pen and paper. I saw the trend start with mommy bloggers. Many of them would pen (or is that key?) letters to their children and publish missives on their respective pages. These perfectly crafted notes were personal, full of wonderful sentiments and sweet pictures of their little ones. As beautiful as they were to read, these awfully personal notes were published for the entire world wide web to view. My very personal opinion on this matter is these sorts of letters should have been typed or written and put in a box so that they could be read by their children at a later date. Then it got me thinking, whatever happened to the lost art of letter writing? The irony is not lost on me, that here I am, Chief Technology Mom, purveyor of all things positively technological, a self-proclaimed gadget junky who makes a living on the Internet and yes, uses tech with my kids, and yet I am opining on this whole Internet-letter business. I’m a bit technical, but I am also a fan of the classics. It kind of goes back to the idea of over-sharing. We are constantly toeing the line over what we distribute in the ether, be it too personal or just personal enough, and we’re seeing our human interaction dwindle, as it is replaced by one on the computer screen. Do these moms write letters to their children publicly because they truly feel it is something their audiences are meant to read? I am not here to judge. I am infinitely curious. I wrote a letter to my son before he was born, and I published it as a note on Facebook. It had received a lot of comments, all positive, and then I thought to myself, wouldn’t this be better for his baby book? A special note from me just...

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How We Share Information

How We Share Information

There’s a lot to be said about the information we share on the Internet when it comes to being a mother. I know that for me, the moment I first held my son, my first born, the world became a pretty scary place. All of a sudden the articles, headlines, published studies and blogs were completely unnerving. The overabundance of information hit me so hard that, quite honestly, I wasn’t sure which information was right and which information was wrong. I started to notice trends on social media within my circle of mom friends. We were all quick to hit the “share” button on Facebook of an article. We’d even share one of those urgent posts that dealt with an urban myth, like, if you found a spider in your toilet, be careful because it is a rare spider that will bite you when you use the toilet and you will die! Share! Share! Share! Share! It made me realize how quick we are to share information without first checking the validity of said information, but to what detriment are we doing that? All too often I find posts about various studies, whether it’s about the benefits of breast milk, high protein diets, vegan diets, organic diets for our children, exercise, well visits and so on, and so many times these posts are shared with such alarm that it could frighten anyone who wouldn’t know better than to do her own research. This is probably a good time to talk about correlation and causation. Earlier this week, I read an excellent excerpt from a book that dealt with this very topic, and of course I was very quick to share this information to those in my social feeds because I felt it was an excellent piece that covered what this correlation versus causation is all about. As moms, we tend to take correlation as actual fact, by mistake, of course, and shut our computers down and worry that we might have poisoned our child because we fed them inorganic milk. This is where the over sharing of information bites us all in the collective butt. One person takes a study that breaks down the correlation of inorganic milk and sick kids and the next thing you know, mothers everywhere are freaking out. What the person doing the sharing failed to realize is that there is a correlation between the...

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