Preparing a Child for Surgery

When your child has to have surgery, how can you prepare them so it is less stressful for them and YOU! We talk about what to do before the day of surgery and what not to do as well as how to make the transition easier.

Additional Information:  Here is an article Shelly found about how one doctor helps children deal with pain during surgery.  It shows what doctors can do when they approach children with pain management techniques.

Makes me sad for the experiences that many of us had with doctors when we were children.  Our kids can have a much better experience than we did.

Recovering from a Schedule Buster

Sometimes well-meaning family members come into town and upset our fine-crafted schedules.  We want to spend time with them because they are not with us everyday.  But the aftermath can last long after they return home.  Learn how to keep your kids on a schedule even when family come into town and how to get them back to normal after family have left.

Running when Pregnant

Runner Julie Thomas discusses how things change when you are pregnant and if you can keep running.  She is the mom of 6 children and trained for marathons while pregnant.  Shelly, our Zumba instructor co-hosts asks all her questions about how to run when pregnant.

Baby Led-Weaning

9780091923808You never have to mash or mix or blend another meal again for your baby! Tracey Murkett, co-author of Baby-led Weaning, discusses how to help your baby love real food and not be picky all while making family dinner time more enjoyable for everyone in the house–even when you have children spread in age from 20 years to 6 months.

Germiest Places in Your House

Where are the places that a cold or flu pass most easily in your house? It might surprise you that the salt and pepper shakers are one of the biggest culprits in your house. Did you know that your credit cards could be giving you more than airline miles with every swipe?  And you might not know that your shoes could me making your family sick.  It isn’t just enough to wash your hands this season.  Listen to learn more and then check out these resources:

The BEST Day Ever! Skiing in 2013

Today was the start of Sundance Ladies Day and I can’t say enough about what an amazing day it was!  The snow is SO much better than last year and skiing on snow instead of ice is really amazing.

But, I get ahead of myself.  I checked my kids out of school and we headed up the mountain.  Living 20 minutes from Sundance is really a blessing.  When we got there, we found that my neighbor had come up for her very first time on skis in her life!  We had not expected to see her there, but it was fabulous that she is starting–and can I tell you–she did way better than moi on my first day.  I did not get off the bunny hill and she made it to the first stop (and down safely)!

The excitement continued to build as we headed for Ski School.  My kids went to meet their teachers and I greeted my friends Cody and Linda Hale and saw a few familiar faces from last season.  But, I did not see Lindsay, our co-host, who was supposed to be at the class and learning to ski for the first time (she snowboards so I was hoping she would be in the same group as me).

We took the lift up to the first stop so the instructors could see our skiing levels and divide us into groups by abilities and desires.  Of course, I knew I would be in the beginning group (not the new skier group, but one step up).  I did not embarrass myself, but I could see that the other ladies were much better than me.  But that is OK because this is my second season!

I was so excited to find out that Linda Hale would be my instructor for Ladies Day.  We were joined by Rachel, a mom from Australia who had not skied in 10 years and wanted to get her technique better.  We started our class by discussing what our goals were for the season and where we feel we were at.   I wanted to get myself out of the wedge and into parallel skiing with more ease.

Linda is an Amazing instructor (as they all are) and she quickly knew what skill drills we needed to start with.  At first, it was a bit difficult, but soon all those skills I tried to learn last year came back to me and they were actually working on REAL snow.

I can’t say enough about the day.  It really was my best skiing day EVER so far.  I started out hoping that by the end of the 4 weeks, I would be parallel skiing to actually being able to parallel ski on the first day!  Working with other women is fabulous because we all support each other.  I could see what Rachel was doing that I had done previously and I could quickly give her a pointer that I had learned.  She could help me and was patient when I was having issues.  Of course working with Linda made it so easy too because she knows how to teach other women to ski.  Like she told me 6 years ago–she has never lost a student!

Closer to the end of the day, we found Lindsay and my friend skiing with their instructor.  Since Lindsay had snowboarded before, she was more comfortable with skiing and she joined us in our beginner class.  It was so much fun to ski with her.  Something about skiing together with other women makes skiing more fun and easier to learn–I am not sure why but it is better than a 1 on 1 lesson by far.

I was able to see my kids enjoying themselves and I even saw Alex skiing backwards!  He really rocked the mountain!  The kids had a fabulous day and loved everything.  Their instructors were both fabulous and I am excited to get them up on the mountain again!

LOVED LOVED LOVED everything about today’s Ladies Day!  It feels so good to conqueror the mountain! I promise to post a video next week.  I was so nervous that I forgot.  But I did get a picture!  Check our smiles out!

For more information on my experience this year and last, check out my Sundance Ladies Day  page.

The Hardest Thing about Learning to Ski

The hardest thing about learning to ski is the GROUND! I learned January 2012–the worst snow season in many years so it was very painful. I came home week after week with bruises on my bruises. The pain almost kept me from completing my lessons but I saw all those people having fun and decided to continue.

I don’t subscribe to the “No Pain, No Gain” philosophy and have been looking for ways to lessen the power of the ground.  Of course I have a helmet—that is why I can still string sentences together. But, I recently found a company that creates protective gear for hips, tailbones, and ribs as well as wrists, elbows and knees and it happens to be 4.7 miles away from my house. COOL!

Before my first trip down the mountain, I took a detour to DEMON Sports. They specialize in  “Keeping You from an Early Grave.” Sounds like my kind of place. After chatting with Brent about my painful months on the slopes, here is what I tested today:

  • Demon Flexforce X D3O Women’s Long Pants: long johns on steroids with pads at the hips, thighs, tailbone and knees. They are lightweight and did not feel any heavier than my regular base layer but provided great warmth and protection. They were comfortable on the drive up to the resort and on the lift. Nothing was binding or tight on the way down–I actually forgot I was wearing them. If you are hoping to look svelte on the slopes, they do add a bit to your profile, but that is a small price to pay for protection. Just channel your inner Lindsay Vonn–she doesn’t seem to mind the look of padded thighs.

UPDATE:  I took my first spill today and thanks to the Flexforce Pants, no pain and no bruises!

  • Demon Vest X D3O: protects your back and your inners from attacks by those who can’t stop with stealth back protection technology and padding on the ribs. The belt even helped keep my back warm so my back didn’t tighten up. It was comfortable all day.  I am NOT looking forward to the situation where I will be glad I am wearing this, but I know it will be much less painful than without it.
  • Flexmeter Single Sided Gloves. These gloves have a great range of motion while still having a wrist guard built right in them–no need for a separate piece of equipment and are made to distribute the impact of a fall. Having taken a trip over the front of my mountain bike (broke my elbow) a few years ago, I have been protective of my wrists and arms but worried that wrist guards would impede my range of motion. These don’t. If you already have gloves you love or just want to get wrist guards, Demon also has wrist guards made specifically for ladies. But these are great gloves all around and the wrist guards make them superb!

DEMON Sports has tons of other protective gear for skiing at all price points: protection shorts that could work for other sports, knee pads, shin guards, wrist guards and padded compression shirts.  I’ll be making a trip back to the store. Their protection gear for bikers may even get me back on my mountain bike again. I don’t think their gear for boarders will get me on a long board but that is OK.

Check them out at Our listeners and readers get a 25% discount (take25).  They are happy help protect your tuckus.

Taming Your Thought Monster

Katie McClain shares with us how to tame our thought monster and how to help our kids tame theirs to help them have a stronger sense of self and a more positive outlook.  Learn how to conquer those negative thoughts you might be having and ban them from your mind.  Your thoughts are not YOU and you can change your thoughts to change your life.

Learn more about Thought Monsters at and share your thought monster picture to win on her Contest Page.

Check Out Nancy’s Thought Monster!

Gluten Free A Fad or Something to Do

Stars are touting gluten free.  Should you consider going gluten free?  For Nancy, it was a good option.

If you are looking for a cookbook that will make it easy to have those treats you are missing, check out the No Excuses Gluten Free Cookbook.  The treats in this book taste like their gluten inspirations.  You can give these treats to anyone and they won’t be able to tell that they are gluten free.

Our position is that gluten free is not as important (unless you have Celiacs or are Gluten Intolerant as Nancy is) as getting all the processed foods out of your diet and eating things that are natural and fresh!

Lunchbox Love with Real Food

Making lunch for your kids seems daunting sometimes, but giving them wholesome real food for lunch is one of the best things you can do–especially since school lunch programs in the US are very unhealthy.  Before you get overwhelmed and throw in the towel, listen to some great ideas that will have you making stellar lunches.

Idea Tips:

Tool Tips:

  • Use your Cookie Cutters/Sandwich cutters at Wal-Mart/Dollar Store, Lunch Punch
  • If you have a Japanese store near you, they have cool stuff (Daison and Itchi Ban Kan); shape cutters
  • Get a few types of containers (Ziploc three compartments, KlipIt Sandwich and Salad at TJMaxx, get small containers, save food-safe containers)
  • Create a place for all your lunch supplies in one place (containers, cutters, love notes, little treats)
  • Silicone cupcake cups make great dividers
  • Dress it up with toothpicks (you can make or purchase)
  • Good cookbooks: Deceptively Delicious and the Sneaky Chef
  • Here is a list of good supplies

Time Tips:

  • Think Ahead: dinner into lunch; cook on weekends
  • Make Ahead: freeze muffins, oatmeal bars, cut out bread and freeze, freeze complete sandwiches; cut out cheese shapes, eyes,  applesauce, spaghetti, meatballs, even cupcakes and cake pops
  • Buy/Make your love notes ahead of time has the cutest lunchbox notes; file by topic
  • Buy/store staples you can use in a crunch (sugar free applesauce; crackers, fruit leather, etc)

NOTE: If you are looking for a GREAT site with tons of wonderful ideas, is my new Go-to site for fun ideas.  The site has the best lunch box notes and way more–all the best ideas on the web are here! Check them out!

And here is a sampling of the lunchbox notes:

110 Pounds and Counting

Lisa Elrene of 110 Pounds and Counting explains how she lost 110 pounds and how she has kept it off for 4 years.  She and Nancy discuss Nancy’s weight loss and how Nancy can deal with the changes to her life.  If you have lost weight or want to lose weight, listen so you can learn key points for success over the long haul!

Nancy’s weight loss is over 100 pounds. Here are pictures of her at the same air show 3 years apart.  You can read more about Nancy’s weight loss at the Green Smoothie Girl Website

Dark Side of Weight Loss

Losing weight can have a dark side and we discuss how losing over 100 pounds has had some consequences Nancy never intended.  How people relate to her and how she relates to herself are not what she expected them to be.  If you have lost weight and struggled to keep it off, listen because some of the answer to why might be in this discussion.

Sundance Ladies Day: Can’t Stop Now

After 4 lessons at Sundance Ladies Day, I decided that I needed to keep going and I signed up for another 4 lessons.  The experience was different the second time around.  I did not take my daughter (how much school can one kid miss?), I already knew what I was getting in to, I had a different experience with the instructors and I had some actual snow to ski on for one of the days.

Identifying Stress in Kids

Angela Bussio, best-selling author, stress expert and creator of Real Stress Solutions discusses what signs you should look for in your kids that show they are feeling stressed.  Angela provides great tips and guidance.  For more information from her, check out her website Real Stress Solutions.

Sundance Ladies Day Lesson 4

When I started this Sundance Ladies Day skiing journey 4 weeks ago, I was tackling something that I thought I would NEVER do in my life.  I was happy to be the hot chocolate mama and sit in the lodge waiting for everyone else to ski down to me.  I was willing to be on the sidelines because I thought it was too hard to learn as an adult. I thought that after having kids and medical and health issues that there was no way I could learn to ski.  Luckily, Linda Hale never gave up asking me to learn to ski because today, I did it! I made it safely down Sundance 5 times (yes, that is a FIVE) today and have video to prove it.

How did I do it?  I have to thank Sundance Ladies Day and Cody Hale.  Sundance has been teaching women to ski for years and they know how to create the right atmosphere.  The price is so right and the teachers are so great that it really is the best deal around! The cost of the 4 weeks of lessons is about what it would have cost for lift tickets.  How could I pass that up?

Now, if I could just feel comfortable going up alone with my kids . . . So . . . . I think I am going to take another 4 weeks of Ladies Day!  I want to feel comfortable with myself on the mountain.