Sometimes life can take you on a rollercoaster ride you didn't ask to be on. But, whether you know it at the time or not, it all happens for a reason. Life is a rollercoaster, but the ride is worth it. Look at our past two years as an example. They’ve been a dark tunnel of nightmares at times. But there's always been a light at the end, even though I didn't know there would be at the time.
My life partner and co-owner of this very media company (Richard Rowell) was in the middle of the battle of his life (literally) at this time last year. You see, he was fighting cancer - a massive tumor in the form of mediastinal seminoma. We never knew if he'd get through it. It was both uplifting and devastating to watch him fight for his life. I was so afraid I would lose him.
But he did it. As of his last scan, he is still cancer free. And now, we have a miracle of a baby on the way right now. You see, with the form of cancer he had, coupled with the chemotherapy he received, there was minimal chance of us ever being able to conceive.
We did just that and so far, our unborn child is happy and healthy and thriving. We just found out she's a girl and we've named her Nova Skye. Rollercoaster. Down, now up. This is his first and my fifth. We didn't ask for any of what we've been handed and he certainly didn't deserve that fight. But that's what life has handed us and I believe there is a reason.
Perhaps the reason is our unborn child. Perhaps it's something bigger - something us as a family (or that child alone) is meant to do. Who knows? But what I do know is that life is a huge rollercoaster and we have to take it as it comes because there is always a reason for everything in the circle of life.
Aside from Rich's health scare, we've had other bumps, some big and some small. But we've held each other together through the winds and downhill dives. We keep each other climbing and our love has never been an issue, not once.
Very recently, I've had to take more time off from my non-content job than we can afford, due to me having severe pain (the baby is fine and I'm under care of good doctors). But, sometimes we have to listen to our bodies, instead of our wallets. My OB doctor agreed.
We're working together to find more work content-wise in order to make it up and I'm crazy enough to have faith it will will work. It will because it has to and because I'm a stubborn ass and refuse to give up. And obviously, so is Rich. After all, he did kick cancer’s sorry butt.
There's a reason Rich and I met. There's a reason we have this baby, despite all that's going on.
Some people are judging, saying we aren't in the best position for this right now. I honestly don't care what they think. It's irrelevant because it only matters what we think and what we do to get back on top of that hill.
Others are being extremely supportive and I've cried happy tears over some of the things people have done, such as helping with our Amazon baby registry. We created it for ourselves and never expected so much help. But at least a dozen people have purchased one or two things each and a few people are sending used items. Of course we'll have to do the bulk of it ourselves - and rightly so. But it feels good to know there are people who care. Everything helps, especially right now.
As with anything in life, there will be ups and downs and it will be one hell of a ride. But we are up for the challenge. And we deserve that light at the end of this bumpy dark tunnel. And I will make darn well sure we get it, no matter what. Our family of 6 ½ deserves it.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Positive discipline consists of more than disciplining your child in a calm manner. Positive discipline for children should consist of steps that lead to the child's well-being and development, teach a lesson about the issue at hand, and not be condescending in nature. In positive discipline for children, the action taken should lead to the child understanding why his or her behavior was wrong, as well as teach that child a life lesson that will help to prevent similar incidents in the future.
First, there are a few things to remember about positive discipline for children. Every family will not follow the exact same methods, as every family is different. Also, different methods should apply to different situations. A child who has hit another child should not be getting the same form of positive discipline as a child who forgot to make his bed before breakfast.
Different misbehaviors have different consequences and the discipline should fit accordingly. Also, remember to always follow through. Any form of positive discipline for children that is discussed, yet not carried out, will be ineffective. Not following through shows a child that he or she can do certain things without consequences and that isn't a good idea because that is not how the world works.
Daily Chore Add-Ons - One good form of positive discipline for children is to add on an extra daily chore for a week. Doing this can teach a child responsibility. At the same time, it also teaches a child that there are consequences for actions.
Misbehavior Journal - Another good form of positive discipline is to have a journal for each time a child misbehaves. The child should write down what his or her feelings were during the time of the act, as well as why he or she committed the misbehavior. This should be a private journal between parent and child. None of the children should ever see each other's journals. Once the child has written down the thoughts, the parent should in turn, respond to those thoughts with understanding, as well as a way for the child to resolve that type of situation in the future.
Behavior Money Jar - I also like to keep a jar for each kid in a place easily accessible by older children, but out of reach of younger children. In each kid's jar is any money they have that isn't for savings. Each time one of the kids does something that hurts another in some way, they have to take out a pre-determined amount (depending on what they've done) and place it into the child's jar who they've hurt or offended. Each time they do something good for someone, I might place a certain amount of money into their jar, but not always. This form of positive discipline for children reflects what may happen in adult life. In adult life, if we hurt someone, we are likely going to be paying for it in the long run. Likewise, if we do good deeds, eventually they will come back around. However, it doesn't work that way every single time, which is why I only give the money sometimes.
Volunteering - Volunteer work is also a great form of positive discipline. You never want to insinuate that the volunteering is a form of punishment because that sends the wrong message. You instead want to say something like, "I noticed that you were unhappy about some of the food choices we made in the grocery store. How about we go together and donate those foods to people who don't have the same type of choices we have?” Then, go from there with the volunteer work. This will likely trigger the child's thought process and let him or her realize that they cannot always have everything they want. It hopefully will also cause them to think twice about complaining when they know there are kids out there who don't have a fraction of what they do.
Good Deeds - Similar to the volunteer work, another great method is to elect the offending child as "Favor Giver of the Day." For one day, this person has to do at least one requested good deed for each member of the household. This form of positive discipline for children is good for when the child has disrespected one or more family members. This lesson usually teaches a child that it's more fun to help others than it is to mistreat them.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Green parenting has definitely become a trend. But, as a parent who has been committed to living green for quite some time, I'm here to tell you it's much more than just a trend. At least that's true for our family. I started down the path of living green not because of a trend, but because of a commitment to making the Earth a great place for my kids to be in the future and for generations to come.
I don't know the exact date I started our family on this journey and don't really recall there being any sort of epiphany. It seems that I've always instilled at least some green habits. As we discover new things, I add more and more to our lifestyle. I don't base our green living habits on what so-and-so is doing or on the latest fad green products. Instead, I make conscious choices on what's good for the environment and what is not. I consider the impact each time I make a purchase or commit an action. Being a green parent is less about special products and more about minimalism and reducing waste and chemical usage.
Believe it or not, everyday activities, like visiting the park with the kids, can make a huge negative impact on the environment. This is especially true if they are regular activities or a parent is not thinking green at the time. Of course, no one is perfect. Even I participate in activities that are not Earth-friendly. We all do both consciously and subconsciously. But if we can be green as much as possible, this beautiful planet will stay pretty even longer. Just because we may not be around to see its demise doesn't mean we should be careless. Our kids and their kids and so on need a healthy place to grow.
Try cleaning the house with homemade solutions that are both cost-effective and better for the environment. A bonus is that the kids can also help you clean and they and your pets will be safer. Use homemade shampoos and natural haircare alternatives for the family. Kids like to be messy, so let them join in making some of these items.
Teach kids to be green with lessons that will last a lifetime. Teach them by doing, but also explain what you are doing and why. Be creative in instilling the lessons. Play games, incorporate it into the chores, and just have fun! Green parenting is important, but it certainly does not need to be boring.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Shine
by Lyn Lomasi; Owner of Intent-sive Nature & Brand Shamans Content Community
In the past year or so, I have had many changes going on in my life. So naturally, I've been doing some reflecting and I hope it helps someone else too. I've been hurt in the past many times by many people. That caused me to put up walls in many areas of my life. I wasn't open to changing anything or letting anything new in. I let many good things pass me by because instead of seeing opportunities, I saw chances for getting hurt or disappointed.
Thank goodness I changed that attitude or I wouldn't be where I am now. You have to let people and opportunities in to be able to experience certain things. You have to knock down your walls to see what's right in front of you that you may be blocking. It's OK to let go of your safety net sometimes -- in fact, it can be far more than OK if you are willing to let it be.
Is there a person or opportunity trying to present itself in your life right now? Are you afraid of what will happen if you take the next step? Yes, you might get hurt. But what if it would have been the best thing that ever happened to you and you didn't let it in when you should have?
If you have general good feelings toward something, don't let it go.
Don't be afraid to fall and let something good catch you.
Ever pay attention to how excited little kids get over the smallest things?
You can too!
Yes you can!
Life has many disappointments and the older we get the more we have experienced. Sometimes that causes us to lose excitement over the smaller accomplishments and life events.
While you may have bills bigger than your wages due this month, there is still something you can find to be excited about. Did your dog learn a new trick? Did your child just make a fantastic dunk in the home basketball net? Did you find the favorite pen that you lost last week?
Some of those things may happen every day. But when you can find excitement in ordinary everyday things, it will help set the mood and attitude needed to bring excitement into more and more of your life.
What are you excited about right now - big or teeny tiny?