Posts Tagged ‘owosso michigan’

Magic Cupboard

Marianne Stuart with Children

Marianne Stuart

I have a magic cupboard and, if you are a busy mom, you should have one too.  I learned about this concept from a friend who has since passed away.  Cheryl had a closet that consisted of gifts of all varieties for different occasions.  The best part of this idea is that the gifts are purchased at your leisure and at a deeply discounted price.  

My magic cupboard is a room in my basement.  I have shelving units in it.  I shop year-round and I also specifically shop at Black Friday sales to fill my shelves.  When one of my children comes to me and needs a gift for a birthday party, I don’t have to rush out late at night and spend full price.  I head to the basement and bring up a few items for them to pick from. I also keep a good stock of gift bags.  

I have expanded this idea to include shopping for my children’s’ birthdays and Christmas gifts.  For that reason, I don’t let my children into the magic cupboard much.  I also buy with the intention of giving items to our church, who in turn give them to needy families at Christmas.  

Occasionally, I will find that I have things that seem to have gone out of style or I just don’t want to give to anyone anymore.  These items are perfect to be donated to Goodwill or I let my kids go through them.  Who would have thought that a portable cassette player would be so cool?!

My husband wants me to warn you that shopping for your magic cupboard has to be managed carefully and with restraint.  For some reason he thinks I have too many things in mine.  I beg to differ.  All I know is that even if I do have a lot, I have saved so much money and time by being prepared.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy

All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy

This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

Blissful Bedtimes and Catching Some Zzzzzzzs

Marianne Stuart

I want to talk about our kids and sleep. Sleep is highly underrated. Ask any exhausted mom. I have a few suggestions that can make your evenings and nights more enjoyable.

Nighttime Newborns
I have had many moms ask me how to get their newborns on a better sleep schedule. I think we all might have had a baby that gets its days and nights mixed up. My mother, who raised 14 children, gave me some great advice years ago.

 

  • Daytime naps should be in a common room and well lit. A darkened, quiet room is more conducive for longer periods of sleep which we want to encourage at night.
  • Now this next tip is the most important thing I am going to tell you. Do not make eye contact or talk to your baby during a night waking. I don’t care how cute they are, they ARE super cute, but they can drive you to insanity if they won’t sleep. Talk and eye contact are very stimulating for a baby and now you might have a wide awake baby that wants to be up for long while.
  • Another thing I am learning about babies is that it is a good thing to lay them down drowsy and not totally asleep. This allows them to go to sleep without you, a bottle or pacifier being a crutch that is needed every time in order to fall asleep. I heard an analogy that made so much sense: If a baby needs to be nursed to sleep always then when they wake up in the night they don’t know how to fall back to sleep except by nursing to sleep. The same applies to bottles, pacifiers, etc. It is like you falling asleep with a pillow and then waking up without it. Imagine how hard it would be to have your pillow taken away.

Toddlers and Routines
Toddlers thrive on routine. In our home we have an evening routine. We have the younger kids get ready for bed and then call everyone into the family room for prayers. This takes about five minutes. Nightly kisses are given out and the younger children know they have to go to bed. If we skip prayers then we have little ones that keep coming into our room because they don’t remember if they kissed us goodnight. Other routines can be a bath, pajamas, teeth brushed and then having a story read to them. I would like to tuck them in and see them in the morning. It isn’t always this easy for some little ones. They might want to get out of bed many times. I recommend keeping them in their crib until they start climbing out. Sure, the toddler beds are cute, but now you have a child that can get out many times before they fall asleep. I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day I am so ready to have some down time with my husband. Once they are in a big bed that they can crawl out of bedtime gets more challenging. If they climb out, just take them back and tell them that it’s time for bed. Don’t elaborate, less words are better. Do this until they fall asleep, even if it takes 20 times. Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart and this is one of the big challenges. Win this battle! Don’t let that little one win or you might find yourself losing bigger battles.

Elementary Age
I find grade school children an easier age group but they do need some unwind time. My kids love to read in bed with a book light. Some of our children went through spells and didn’t want to stay in bed. We would hear the patter of feet running down the hall to climb into bed with a sibling. One of us, usually Daddy, would camp out in the hallway and send them back to bed when they tried to sneak out. After a few nights they got the idea.

Tired Teens
Teens are wired more like night owls. Unfortunately, school starts too early for most of them to keep such late hours. One advantage we have found with homeschooling is that online classes don’t usually start until after 9:00am. There are a few things we can do to help our teens get more sleep. Dimming the lighting and some nighttime tea are helpful. Limiting computer and tv a few hours before bedtime also helps. I encourage them to read in bed or work on a craft project. My girls are really enjoying knitting and crocheting. When the opportunity arises I will let my teens sleep in, but not so late that they miss a meal. I still have a teenager that fights me on this one but I am working to win this battle! =======================================================================
Disclaimer
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy
All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy
This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

Advocate & Raise Awareness Every Month

Laura Jafri

Laura Jafri

There is always so much talk about breast cancer during the month of October.  This month of awareness has almost come to a close for another year.  It’s really important to remember what we learned during the month of awareness.  We should always remember and put into action the tools that the awareness movement has taught us.

Every October at our office here in Owosso, we change all our exterior light bulbs to pink and hang a large pink ribbon on our chimney.  It looks so nice and makes us feel good to know that we are raising awareness with such a simple change.  The staff at our office wear pink breast cancer awareness shirts as well.  

This year it felt a bit different for me personally.  Two weeks ago, I discovered a lump in my breast for the first time in my life.  The feeling was one of instant despair.  My heart sank and I was filled with fear.  I cried every day despite the fact that I was trying really hard to distract myself.  I had many friends that were concerned for me and they encouraged me to think positively.  

My mammogram was scheduled for October 26th.  It seemed forever before that day would come.  When I went for my appointment, they did the mammogram and then they informed me that I would need an ultrasound as well.  This frightened me but I understood that it was important to double check and to compare the two tests.

I left with no answers, just more questions and fears.  They said that I may hear back from my doctor next week.  When you are in any circumstances that are stressful, the waiting for answers seems to take forever.  It makes it so difficult to think of anything else.

I received a call from my doctor’s office today.  The were calling about an unrelated matter.  My husband asked them if they had the mammogram results yet.  They did.  The mammogram and the ultrasound both looked normal.  Wow!  I can’t believe it.  It could have been so different.  There are so many women that hear terrible news.  I feel so blessed that my news was good.  However, it makes me feel even stronger for those that were less fortunate.  

I will keep advocating and raising awareness.  We all need each other.  We need to be strong for our friends.  We need to step up and do what is right and help our loved ones so that they can conquer their battle with a friend by their side.

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Disclaimer

The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy

All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy

This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

 

Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk, and Talk Some More

By Tracey Heslip

Tracey (standing) with (l-r) Rachel (14), Jackie (in red) (17), and Kayleena (19)

Tracey (standing) with (l-r) Rachel (14), Jackie (in red) (17), and Kayleena (19)

I have three teenage girls and yes, my husband’s hair is grey. People tease him about having a shot gun by the front door.

When the girls were very young, I started reading about the teen years. Jim would say, “They’re only toddlers now, what are you reading about stuff like that for?”  I felt that I needed to prepare for the teen years very early on. I really prayed about how I wanted to approach the very trying, peer pressure years.

First, I wanted very open communication with my girls; I wanted them to feel like they could come and talk to me about anything and everything. Secondly, I wanted them to be very educated. I didn’t just want to tell them no, I wanted them to know why I was telling them no.

It’s not enough to let the public school system or your child’s peers educate them; it’s our job to set standards. Decide early on how and when you are going to talk to your children. You don’t have to give them everything at age 10, but give them enough so that when they’re sitting on the bus and the kid next to them is telling them everything, they feel comfortable enough to come and tell you. That way, you can answer questions or tell them what you want to tell them. If you think you just can’t do that—it’s too “awkward,” think of how awkward it would be if your child comes to you pregnant, or you get a phone call from a parent saying that your child is drunk.

It’s our responsibility, as parents, to educate and protect our children. Educate yourself first; find out what kids these days are up against. There are tons of books out there to help you. My girls have participated in peer study groups offered through the Pregnancy Resource Center. Most of the studies are Bible based and have girls from all walks of life and religious backgrounds. This has assured them that it’s not just mom and dad telling them things,  there are others in their peer group who have the same goals and morals.

Some of the studies are done with books by Lisa Bevere, an inspirational speaker and author who tells girls they don’t need a boyfriend to identify them and that they are beautiful just the way they are. 

A topic often discussed at our house is courtship verses dating. We have taught our girls that dating is for the purpose of marriage. If you can’t see yourself being married to the person, or them being the father of your children, you have no reason to be with them. It used to be that a boy had to ask permission from the girl’s family before “going out,” and that they went out in groups. We, as a society, and parents, have gotten away from traditions and formalities. Now, the guy pulls in the driveway and honks the horn, or they hook up at functions without the parent’s knowledge. I am not going to be a mother that says my kids would never do that. I know that they have free will. However, I have the peace of mind that I have given them ALL the facts.

Please, please, PLEASE, talk to your children. Start young with age-appropriate information. Build a foundation that will follow through to the teen years and into adulthood. I can guarantee that you will never look back and say, “I wish I had never talked to them about that.”

Note: This blog has been edited from the author’s original submission.

Dateable: Are You? Are They? By Justin Lookadoo & Hayley DiMarco 

How to Talk to Your Child About Sex: It’s Best to Start Early, but It’s Never Too Late—A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents by Linda & Richard Eyre

Kiss the Girls and Made Them Cry by Lisa Bevere 

Fight Like a Girl by Lisa Bevere

Disclaimer

The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy

All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy

This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

Be Prepared!

Tracey HeslipBy: Tracey Heslip
Memorial Healthcare Mommy Blogger

A couple of years ago, I was sitting for an elderly couple, one of which needed a home health care nurse. During one of the nurse’s visits, the nurse was instructing us to make sure that there was at least two weeks’ worth of medications on hand, in a travel bag ready to go. I asked why, and she said that it was recommended in the case of an emergency. By having this packed and ready it would be accessible at a moments notice. That got me thinking…

Now, I don’t like to live in a state of fear, and really Y2K never happened. In August, 2005, the world did not end, but Hurricane Katrina did happen. Arkansas tornadoes did happen. Other disasters have happened. I bet a lot of people thought after these events, “I wish I had done this or I wish I had done that.” I started to think…”What kind of proactive things can I do to keep my family from being totally devastated in an emergency or something like losing a job or being sick for an extended period of time?”Hurricane

I would like to challenge you to look in your kitchen cupboards and think of this scenario, “Tomorrow we lose our income. How long would this food last? Or, there is an epidemic and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issues a health warning for everyone to be quarantined, or we have a major wide-spread power outage, or a severe snow storm.

If there was a power outage how would you heat/cool your house? Do you have candles or oil lamps for lights? If so, do you know where they are? Did you know that a candle in a coffee can provides enough warmth for survival?

What about drinking water? After an emergency such as a tornado, flood or earthquake, the water that comes out of your tap might not be safe to drink — if it’s running at all. That’s why you need to have at least a three-day supply of bottled water stored at home at all times.

Car In SnowAlso, what kind of emergency supplies do you have in your car? Having cell phones gives us a false sense of security. What if you run off the road in a snow storm, your cell phone is dead and your car won’t start – how are you going to stay warm? A small bag or box in your trunk could make the difference of death or survival; a blanket, flashlight, energy bar and a bottle of water, preferably for more than one person.

This is all just food for thought. This blog isn’t meant to give you a sense of fear, but to challenge you to be prepared. As I sit here writing, there has been an earthquake in Virginia.  John Leach, author of Survival Psychology, writes: “In an emergency, 75% of people have to be told what to do. Only 10 -15% of the people act appropriately leaving the remaining 10 – 15% sitting on the sidelines acting inappropriately!” We are not exempt from catastrophe; however, will you be in the top 15% who have prepared for the event you may find yourself in?

I walked away from writing this blog for a few days. As I came back, I am listening to reports from The Weather Channel of New York City being evacuated. So, I repeat BE PREPARED! How long would it take you to evacuate at a moment’s notice?

www.ready.gov

www.thesurvivalmom.com

Meet Our Memorial Healthcare Mommy Bloggers!

Tracey HeslipTracey Heslip
This year I turn 40 and what better way to bench mark this year than writing my own blog. I have been married for 20 years (yes, I married young) to a wonderful man who works for the family auto repair business. We have three teenage daughters (18, 17, and 14) and I am just recently a stay at home mom. There is so much involved with running a household that I have no idea how I did it all AND worked a 55 hour week. Losing my income has forced us look at our budget very closely. I made a decision to be proactive…and with that came coupon clipping, making our own laundry soap, growing a garden and canning whatever we can. We also have many hobbies including: beekeeping, making wine, and raising Australian Sheppard dogs. I love sharing with others the things I have learned over the years. I hope my blog will have a positive effect on people and they find joy in reading it. This life isn’t always easy, but with God’s grace we make it.

Lori VacekLori Vacek
As a 48 year old wife and mother, I have learned to embrace life for what it is, and make the best of every circumstance. My husband, Jim, and I have been married for 30 years and live in Owosso. I am the mother to sons Tony, 30;  Joe, 21; and Wilson, 10; and daughters, Megan, 17, and Carman, 11.

I have endured some difficult times but find it makes me stronger, more compassionate and vulnerably open to others. I love to laugh out loud and try to find humor in everything. I am creative and love good clean fun.

I am an avid collector of Mid-Century Modern furniture and housewares. I love going to estate sales with my husband, who makes our living selling antiques on Ebay. I love decorating, fashion, makeup, planning parties, and most of all helping people.

I approach this mommy blog with the anticipation of growing personally as well as helping others grow. My deepest desire is to give the world beautiful people through my children. I am already seeing the results. And my heart is satisfied.

Marianne StuartMarianne Stuart
My name is Marianne Stuart and I am a happy wife at home mothering eight children.  I have been married for 20 years, and just in time for our 19th anniversary we welcomed our 8th baby.  I am sure my husband, Guy, didn’t know he was signing on for that when he married me!

Our children range in age from 19 years to 9 months. We have been homeschooling for 8 years, since St. Joseph Catholic School closed.  Emily, our oldest, will be entering college in the fall. Molly, 17,will be a senior and wants to go Culinary Arts School. Therese is 15 and looking into dual enrollment in high school and college and will be taking a few classes at Owosso High School. This will be our first experience with the public school system. Fingers crossed. Guy, 13, thinks I expect far too much from him academically and will be attending St. Paul Catholic School to get a taste of the real world. Grace, 11, is my little mother and has enjoyed earning big bucks babysitting her littlest brother while I run around town. Maria, 9, is my social butterfly and spends her days emailing, proudly announcing how many minutes she has been on the phone and playing with friends. Richard, 5, spends his days biking on the sidewalk racing the cars that go by. Lastly, maybe, is Andrew.  Andrew is 9 months old and such a joyful little baby and has just started mastering baby signing.  He has “more,” “food,” “nurse” and “goodbye” under his belt.

I live in downtown Owosso, although I grew up in the country.  I am embracing what city life has to offer, like walks to the Cone Zone,  the library and Saturday trips to the Farmers’ Market — I just love walking.

I am a wife and a mom but I don’t think there is anything I could be doing that is more important. My favorite places to be if I am not at home are at St. Paul Catholic Church or on a date with my adored husband, Guy.