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Featured Mama of the Week: Paige Wolf


This author of Spit That Out! loves raising her family in Philadelphia

This week’s featured Mama of the week is Paige Wolf, mother of one cute two year old son and owner of Paige Wolf Media & Public Relations, which she has had for 10 years. Paige said,  ”in the past few years I have been fortunate enough to work with green and sustainable clientele.  Paige Wolf Media & Public Relations offers communications services to clients who contribute to a sustainable world and positive change. My clients range from national green beauty companies to local nonprofits to large community events.  In addition to that, I am the author of Spit That Out: The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt and I blog at www.spitthatoutthebook.com about making green living more practical, manageable, and affordable.”

Paige utilizes social media.  She said, “I am addicted to Facebook and Twitter.  Someone once said, “Facebook is about who you know and Twitter is about who you want to know.” I think that’s very true and why both mediums are equally important.”

Regarding childcare, Paige shared that her son is now in preschool five days a week, which he loves. He started at 14 months going 3 days a week. Prior to that he was cared for by a part time nanny. Paige said that her husband is able to work from home some days as well, so they’ve managed to balance their time!

Paige’s son, Sam, loves to play outside in their tiny city garden, color, and generally make a mess.  She said she views her son as “a little mini version of yourself and your spouse that you created and how funny, smart, and adorable they are!”  Her current challenge as a parent is dealing with the terrible twos.  She said that she relies on other moms for advice and tries whatever works!  Paige and her family live in Philadelphia and love their neighborhood.  She said, “love having Seger Playground across the street! Also right by Whole Foods and my son’s preschool – it’s a regular loop around the neighborhood filled with familiar faces and wonderful city scenery mixed with plenty of green spaces!  We love the park, going to festivals and outdoor activities – there is always something to do in the city and it’s usually walking distance!”

In regards to feeding her family Paige mentioned “we get a CSA (community shared agriculture) share from a local farm delivered to the city. I love that it challenges us to try new and healthy things, and finding ways to incorporate all these fruits and veggies into our meals! Sometimes we do get stuck with something we hate – like beets – so we share them with the neighbors!”

Paige’s bookSpit That Out: The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt, covers a wide range of parenting tips.  To sum it up, Paige’s advice to new parents is that just because your feel you can’t do everything does not mean that you should do nothing.  This applies not just to green living but various aspects of parenting including activities, quality time and so on.

Thank you, Paige for sharing a bit of your life with Mama’s Little Helper readers!

 

Paige Wolf, author of Spit That Out!

If you know a mom who you would like to see featured here, please email Diane@mamaslittlehelper.org.

Mama’s Question of the Week: How would you like to spend Mother’s Day?


With Mother’s Day in just a couple of weeks (May 8, 2011 in case you were wondering,) there are many ways for your little ones to do something nice for their favorite mom.  With two weeks to plan, mom’s can start dropping some hints with how they would like to celebrate their special day.  How would you like to spend Mother’s Day this year?  Or, how was your favorite Mother’s Day spent?

Here are a few ideas to pass along to the kids and other helper adults as hints for celebrating Mother’s Day without spending money:

  1. Breakfast in bed is not overrated!  Kids can make a simple breakfast of some fruit and toast or muffin without much help.  Or a helpful adult can aid kids with preparing something more elaborate.
  2. A homemade card or drawing for mom is very much appreciated!  Older kids can help younger kids with their artwork and spelling.
  3. Make a collage for mom.  Cut out pictures and words she likes from magazines or print photos to use to create a memorable keepsake.
  4. Clean and tidy up the toys!  Even little kids can help with this.
  5. Invite mom to go on a walk or hike at a local park, or even around the neighborhood.  Exploring the world at a slower pace can be a nice change and gives you time for an uninterrupted conversation.
  6. Record mom’s favorite movie or show on the DVR and leave her alone in quiet to watch with her favorite snack!
  7. Wash the outside and clean up the inside of mom’s car, throwing out the trash and broken crayons/toy parts.  Leave a little happy love note on the front seat for mom.
  8. Make up a coupon booklet for mom.  Include coupons for a “Day of no arguments,”  ”Clean up the toys/bedrooms,” and “No whining day!”
  9. Plan a picnic or snack to enjoy outside with mom…in the backyard, at a local park, or local garden.
  10. Put on a little play or show for mom.  Act out a favorite storybook that can include all the kids in the family.  Clean up afterwards!

 

 

Featured Mom of the Week: Joey Fortman


This week on Mama’s Little Helper we are featuring Joey Fortman as our Mom of the Week.  She is the mom behind the website Real Mom Media and a co-founder of the website Moms On The Spot.  When she isn’t online posting, or out interviewing someone for Moms On The Spot, you might just find her on on TV’s WPHL hosting Better Philly, or hear her on 92.5 XTU radio or as an iVoice on iVillage.  And when she isn’t working outside her home she is mom to her adorable only son, Boston, who at 2 and half years old keeps her very busy!

As mentioned, Joey is the mom to one cute little boy!  She said, “He’s a rotten 2 1/2 year old named Boston.  I know. We moved here from Chicago-live in Philly, named our kid Boston?  Yeah.  It’s cool now though.  My husband always says ‘All great athletes go by one name!  Jordan, Tiger, BOSTON!’  Ok dear.”   One of Boston’s favorite things to do is throw a ball.  He is a lefty and throws hard!  He also loves attending Makin’ Music classes and having Mr. David come to school to sing songs.  I asked Joey about what she enjoys the most about being a parent to Boston.  She had a wonderfully honest reply with which I think many new moms can relate. She said, “I have to be totally honest and tell you that it was VERY VERY VERY hard for me to crossover from being super successful and super hard worker….to talking about poop all day.  I went through some awful post partum depression over it.  But now?  I’m very happy.  (Drugs work wonders!! ha)  I love every second.  I’m so blessed with such a laid back kid.  He listens well…plays well…….and laughs well!  I really love watching him sleep.  And many ‘little things’.  Like when he touches my cheeks and said ‘nice’!  (He was starting to slap as a baby and I taught him to be gentle…be NICE..and he still does it!)  I really never thought I could love him any more when he was an infant-but now?  He says some of the FUNNIEST things! I’m constantly laughing at him.  He’s the best.”

Every mom has challenges in regards to parenting.  Joey was able to make the most out of some difficult situations and turn those challenges into quite a success story.  She mentioned that she had a very difficult time transitioning into her role as mother after being a professional for so long.  In one year she got married, moved to Philadelphia from Chicago, got a new dog, both her and her husband got new jobs, she got pregnant, dealt with the death of a friend, bought a new house, had her baby and then was laid off from her job in radio when the station switched formats to no on-air personalities.  That is a lot of stress and newness for anyone!  As a result of all that, Joey reports that she and her husband are much stronger now.  Joey’s current parenting challenge involves getting Boston to stay in his own bed all night.  She finds it so hard to say no to him when he comes into her room in the middle of the night, taps her cheeks and says “Hold you Mommy!”

For fun, Joey likes to visit the Little Treehouse in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia with her son.  They also enjoy visits to the Morris Arboretum, especially to see the train displays.  The Smith Playground is another fun spot that Joey and Boston enjoy for play time.  She shared that her absolute favorite thing to do with Boston is to rock him and sing to him.  She knows that that special time will end someday, but for now it makes her feel loved when he stares into her eyes while she sings to him.

When asked what tip would she give to new parents about what she wish she knew before she was a parent, Joey stated that “in the beginning I wished the days away.  I was so depressed about gaining weight, not working, my husband never home….I wished the days away.  I hate that I did that.  Now that I’ve ‘accepted the things I can not change’ I embrace every second.  Except for when he poops in his diapers.  Lord help me when I decide to potty train!!  I won’t be surprised if he’s still wearing diapers at 14!”

After her son was born, Joey began blogging to stay creative.   Her blogging led to some great money-making opportunities for her.  Her witty personality shines through in her writing on her blog, making it even more interesting to read.  On her Moms On The Spot blog, Joey teams up with blogger and mom Tara Bucci featuring all sorts of events, opportunities, and adventures for parents in the Delaware Valley.  They frequently post video blogs (vlogs) with interviews of their feature topics.  Joey and Tara have a great rapport with each other and seem to laugh and have so much fun.  It makes reading their blog even more interesting!

Joey is on Facebook for Real Mom Media and Moms On The Spot.  You can also find her on Twitter as herself and for Moms On The Spot.

Thanks to Joey Fortman for being our Featured Mom of the Week!

We welcome nominations for future Featured Moms of the Week.  If you know a mama who you would like to see featured on this weekly column, please either leave a comment below or send an email with details to Diane@mamaslittlehelper.org or leave a message on mama’s contact page.

Vera Sweeney, Featured Mom of the week


Mama’s Little Helper has a new weekly column called Featured Mom of the Week.  Each week we plan to post an interview with either an area mama, mom business owner or a mom blogger who will share a bit of her mothering tips and wisdom of how she makes her life work for her.  We welcome your feedback on this and would love for you to nominate yourself or a mom friend who you think would have an interesting “mama story” to share.  These interviews are just brief snapshots into these mamas’ lives, so they’re certainly are not complete.  We hope that you pick up a tip or just smile at hearing how another mom handles her life.

Our first featured mama of the week is Vera Sweeney, whose blog is Lady and the Blog.  There she writes about family, food, and fashion.  As the mother of two children, Natalie age 5 and Liam age 3, along with being a successful blogger and website owner, she is one busy mama!  Her other blog is I’m Not Obsessed, which is a family and work  friendly celebrity gossip blog. Vera is also the co-founder of Getting Gorgeous Events.

When asked about what she enjoys most as being a parent, Vera replied that her children keep her in the present.  ”It’s so easy to get caught up in work /life stress, but my children pull me out of that and bring me back to the moment. Sometimes I just watch them as they play together and realize how very lucky I am. I get to relive life all over again through their experiences.”  Every parent faces challenges when trying to do it all.  Vera mentioned that she expects too much of herself.  She said, “as a work-at-home mom, it’s almost impossible to do both jobs perfectly. There’s always something that ends up getting less of your attention. As someone who is VERY TYPE A, this is a struggle because I WANT to be able to do it all… and do it all at 100%. It took several years for me to accept that this will never be. So, recently I’ve pushed back a bit from work because in the end, I need to be available for my children and am lucky enough to have the opportunity to be so.”

As stated, Vera is a WAHM (work at home mom) which means she is always working! Vera and her husband run three websites: two of which she founded: I’m Not Obsessed and Lady and the Blog and one of which they recently acquired: BabyRazzi.com. Vera says, “I then have partners for 2 other properties: Getting Gorgeous Events and Gift Guide Girls. It’s a constant challenge to manage it all, but I am very lucky to be surrounded by such intelligent and hard working individuals. I would NOT be able to do it all alone.”  Vera stated that she shares childcare responsibilities with her husband . When she is working, he stays with the children and vice versa.

I asked Vera to describe some important life messages or values she teaches her children and how she implements them.  She said that the main message that she and her husband make “SURE” to pass along to their children regularly is that they are a family and they love one another. She said, “I cannot tolerate when the children fight. Sure, kids will be kids and when they get tired – it can be messy.  HOWEVER, when I see one of my children trying to hurt the other by saying mean things, we have an immediate sit down. I remind them that we are a team and that no matter what – they are best friends. Love is the most important lesson that a parent has to teach their children. If my kids grow up knowing how to love and how to respect one another as well as their peers, I will have done right by them.”

In regards to teaching her children about perseverance,  Vera commented that she makes sure to be encouraging when her children are having difficulty with something, and won’t just do it for them, despite that being hard to do. “Sometimes I just want to rip that pen right out of my daughter’s hand and do her homework for her, but in the end that doesn’t really help, does it?  We applaud their efforts and continue to work on tasks they have trouble with,” said Vera.

Playing board games together is a favorite family activity in the Sweeney home. Since Liam is 3, their options are limited at this moment.  ”However, we still sit down and have game night whenever we can. Even if that means that we end up playing the same 4 games over and over again. LOL!”

I asked Vera to share her favorite family recipe with Mama’s Little Helper readers.  She sent me a link for this yummy sounding dish, Summer Pasta, her favorite meal that she makes often.  Vera enjoys cooking and regularly posts her recipes online for viewers to print at her Inside the Kitchen part of her blog.  Check it out for some new recipes for your family.

And what tip would Vera give new parents about what she wished she knew before she had kids? “I would tell new parents to enjoy every moment of infancy. With Natalie, I would just try to get her to stop crying, eat her food and go to sleep. I was so overwhelmed and I just couldn’t get used to the chaos. With Liam, I didn’t rush to do anything. If he cried, I wouldn’t panic. I would just soothe him and try to remember the moment because I knew when he grew up, he wouldn’t need me to “fix” it as much. I lived every moment like it was my last and I still do to this day.”

Vera can be found on Twitter and Facebook.  She remarked that she used to be obsessed with Twitter when it first came out, but as time goes on she has less time to spend online.  She does appreciate the benefits of social media for her websites.  Vera can be contacted via email at veryvera@gmail.com.

Thank you, Vera, for sharing a bit of your life with Mama’s Little Helper readers!

If you know a mama who you would like to see featured on this weekly column, please either leave a comment below or send an email with details to Diane@mamaslittlehelper.org or leave a message on mama’s contact page.

 

 

Acai Berry Juice Helps Mom With Arthritis Morning Stiffness


Lately Mama hasn’t been able to close my hands in the morning. It takes me about an hour of activity before my joints loosen up and I’m able to use them again (not pain free, but the body is moving a little better). Continue reading Acai Berry Juice Helps Mom With Arthritis Morning Stiffness

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