What Not to Say to Someone Experiencing a Miscarriage

Pregnancy is a beautiful and miraculous occasion. Sadly and surprisingly, one in four pregnancies ends with the loss of the baby. The process can be lengthy, exhausting, grueling, emotionally wrecking, and hard on a woman’s body and spirit. I’d venture to say that it can not fully be understood or grasped until experienced, though I wish it on no one.

In my own experience, I have found that people often do not know what to say, both during and after the loss. That is mainly because everyone is different; we all react differently to situations and events, and show or provide sympathy and empathy in our own, unique way. Throughout this process, I have found that some words, though always given with good intent, hit harder than others.

Meant only to help, here is my list of what not to say to a person experiencing a miscarriage:

1. “It is for the best.” A physician’s assistant said this to me after initially receiving the news. How does anyone know just what is “best”, and in what way is death best? Although well-intentioned, I feel as though this one is something not well thought-out. It made my mind start racing, and began an endless stream of doubt and questions.

2. “I know exactly how you feel/what you are going through.” It is usually comforting when others try to relate to a situation in which you find yourself, but as I previously stated, everyone processes and handles things differently. A loss is no exception. When my Grandfather passed, I reacted entirely out of character, and in contrast to everyone else around me. We may all know and have experienced loss, but are not emotionally the same. I suggest giving it time before offering personal experience, as hard as it may be to not extend a verbal olive branch.

3. “You can try again, right?” or, “You will have another child. Have faith.” What if the person is not ready to think about it, let alone discuss it? Not everyone intends to become pregnant to begin with, and not everyone wishes to continue trying thereafter. I feel that this is an invasive question, that brings about added and unwanted stress and pressure.

4. “The baby is in a better place.” or other variation of it being God’s will. As a woman of tested and endured faith, I do believe that there is a reason for everything, but to think that – while here on Earth, and grieving – there is any other place besides my arms that could possibly be better for the baby is unfathomable. It is not comforting to think that I was not what was best, regardless of the truth behind the message.

5. “It will be okay.” Sure, Mom, Dad, and family will survive, but it is entirely insensitive to suggest that everyone will just carry on as normal. Maybe let Mom and Dad decide what is “okay”?

I suggest offering hugs, meals, and a shoulder or ear. Do not feel compelled to respond at all, but if you do, please remember that others may not react as you do or expect.

If you are experiencing a loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Please, reach out when you are ready. Do not do this alone.

Green Beginnings Coming Soon

I have posted in the past about my desire to have a one-stop retail spot for everything healthy for the bump, birth, and beyond. In addition, I plan to open a large, indoor play space for kids of all ages to play and parents to relax.

Being that I am in the thralls of maternity, babies, toddlers, and all things motherhood, why not go forward with it… now?

I have already found a great spot for Green Beginnings (by Super Green Mom) in Fairborn, OH, and am gearing up for a Spring opening. I am excited because my friends at Fairborn Natural Foods and Mirabella Boutique,  and my husband’s DevOps and Software Engineering (and Chef and Atlasian reseller) firm, Ingenium Solutions, are all nearby, as well as the potential for even more to entice consumers and friends from neighboring cities.

Green Beginnings is in the process of partnering with brands to bring to you the best in high quality products for maternity, birth, and baby. [Sorry, but we will not be offering things like cribs, strollers, or car seats.] I am testing out some products, and narrowing down what will be available.

Green Beginnings will team up with local health care professionals – midwives, yoga instructors, doulas, scholars, and more – to offer both free and premium classes monthly on subjects like cloth diapering, birthing options, prenatal yoga, breastfeeding, baby wearing, detoxing the home, and more. I think a few sponsored “Mommy’s Night Out” and “Daddy’s Day Out” events may be in order, too. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself here. I know that there is a need for this type of business and service, and I plan to fill it.

As previously discussed, we will be a donation drop-off for new and gently used items like baby carriers, cloth diapers, and maternity clothes. These will be given to those in need within the community.

We will be online as well, for those unable to see us in person.

I am excited, a little scared, and eager to see where this chapter takes me and my family.

Please stay tuned, and feel free to give suggestions and feedback!

[[Check out my latest book on Kindle, Things Worse than a Toddler Tantrum.]]

– Veronica

Cover design by Kelly Matczak.

Things Worse than a Toddler Tantrum

Laughter is the best anecdote for practically everything. I find it especially so for the difficult days of Motherhood. During tantrums, I would think, “At least I do not have gum in my hair”, or “I can do anything for sixty seconds”. My quirky way of handling my own in the midst of the rough motivated me to write a blog post about it. Instead of publishing the post, however, I decided to make it into a short story.

Cover design by Kelly Matczak.

Cover design by Kelly Matczak.

I have written works for publication in the past, but nothing this sassy and sarcastic. In all honesty, it reads more like a blog than a book, but I hope that the humor outshines the sometimes incomplete thoughts.

If you are a parent of a young child, or know someone whom is, Things Worse than a Toddler Tantrum is a must-read. I just wish that Samuel L. Jackson would narrate it online for the world to hear. Does anyone have a connection? Ha!

Please, if you do purchase the book, leave an honest review. I encourage feedback. I would love to hear what you think is undeniably worse than a monster meltdown. Leave comments or send messages via social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Super_Green_Mom
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuperGreenMom

Parents of toddlers unite!

Link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/Things-Worse-Than-Toddler-Tantrum-ebook/dp/B01AYNKOJO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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BabyKicks organic hemp and cotton wipes. Pretty!

Cloth Wipes: Basics

I have had a love/hate relationship with cloth diapering. Cloth wipes, on the other hand, have been a constant from the start. They are an incredibly easy way to save money, contribute less to the landfill, and ensure lower exposure to chemicals. They are used for everything that would otherwise warrant a wipe, such as diaper changes and simple hand and face clean-up.

Another awesome aspect of using cloth wipes is the ability to inexpensively and quickly make your own. I have a mixture of ones that I have bought and ones that I have made. The ones that I purchased are BabyKicks Natural & Organic Baby Wipes, and Hemparoo Premium Baby Washies. I highly recommend both. Some are reinforced with bold, brightly-colored thread. Who says butt wipes can not be cute?

BabyKicks organic hemp and cotton wipes. Pretty!

BabyKicks organic hemp and cotton wipes. Pretty!

No need for a separate tutorial to explain how to make cloth wipes. Here it is, the super secret cloth wipe DIY “recipe” revealed:

Buy fabric, or use some that you already have – organic or otherwise to suit your preference. Cut into whatever shape you would like. I stick to 6×6, 8×8, or 8×4. Reinforce edges with some thread, either by hand or machine, using a zigzag or serge. If the fabric is thin, sew a couple of pieces together. They do not have to be perfect, nor pretty. Launder the wipes, and prepare them for use. It really is that simple.

Wipes can be made from a variety of fabrics including cotton, hemp, and bamboo. I occasionally use baby wash cloths as back up. I have made wipes from receiving blankets and shirts, but the possibilities are probably endless.

I also like using cloth wipes as I know exactly what I put on them, and can change it to fit the needs of my children. As in, I can use a different solution for the baby than for the toddler, for summer than for winter, or for day time than for night time.

One of the best benefit of using cloth wipes versus disposable wipes is that we use less. Really! One wipe is almost always enough. For the nastiest breastmilk messes, two may be necessary. Otherwise, one and done!

When laundering wipes, I typically do so along with cloth diapers. I put used wipes in a diaper pail bag, as I do my cloth nappies, until ready to be washed, which is typically every other day.

Here are the super simple steps that I follow to wash cloth wipes (with a top load washer, front load dryer):

1. Cold rinse in the washer. If there are visible solids on the wipes, I typically will have already sprayed/rinsed it off prior to putting in the washing machine.
2. Add 1/2 of the manufacturer’s recommended amount of detergent (I use Seventh Generation Free & Clear 4x Concentrated). Do not use fabric softener.
3. Wash normally using a hot wash/cold rinse setting.
4. Cold rinse to remove excess detergent.
5. Tumble dry low heat. I uses wool dryer balls, and have been advised by others not to use dryer sheets.

Once dried, I prepare them once again for use. I typically keep about two dozen wipes prepped. I launder wipes with diapers, or sometimes, with towels.

I will admit to being hesitant to try cloth wipes at first. Wipe a bum and let the cloth linger in a bucket for a day or two? It does not at all sound appealing, but I can say with cool confidence that cloth wipes are simple, and not nearly as nasty as emptying the trash full of used nappies and wipes at the end of the day. Keeping the diaper pail open is our preference, and we have yet to smell anything unpleasant. It has been a positive change for us, as we are saving money, and contributing less waste. The wipes are soft, nicely fragrant from essential oils, and full of goodness for my babies’ bums.

What is your experience with cloth wipes? I’d love to know!


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Brendan with Trader Joes "Inner Peas".

Trader Joe’s Lost Me at “Do Not Want Them Disclosed”

This is an abridged version of my true feelings towards Trader Joe’s. I feel betrayed. I feel disgusted that I have no idea whether or not I’ve fed truly non-gmo foods to my family. It’s time that we know the truth. Trader Joe’s, I want for you to be where I spend my money. We enjoy shopping at TJ’s, I love the prices and the consistency in offerings, but I do not like that you don’t even know what is in your products. How can I trust you?

Here is what I sent off to Vani, FoodBabe.

Greetings,

I wanted to share with you my correspondence with Trader Joe’s. I have been a faithful and loyal customer and defender of Trader Joe’s for years. Recently, though, I started questioning why – even if truly non-gmo – the company uses ingredients such as canola oil, soy, and corn in the majority of their foods. My almost three-year-old son became short of addicted to the Trader Joe’s yogurt. As a concerned mother, healthy eater, and advocate for chemical free and non-gmo living and eating, I decided that I needed to be more vigilant myself. I read the ingredients as I had when I first purchased, but this time with more concern and attention. I was appalled, and so took to questioning Trader Joe’s. Again, why does a company that claims to use only non-gmo ingredients use primarily things that are typically gmo? The response that I received from my inquiry was enough to lead me to believe that the company itself does not know what is in their products. If I can’t trust a company to be honest with me on an individual basis, and when directly asked, how can I trust them as a whole?

I am in the process of locating a lab that will allow me to test some of the products for chemicals and purity. I want to know for sure, and I am not getting the answers from Trader Joe’s.

My sons deserve better. Trader Joe’s makes more in revenue than many other chains, and has the ability and power to do great things for this country and the world. I would love to see them step up and take pride in their offerings, not hide behind half-truths! What more can I do?

Anyway, here are the emails (copy & pasted, but I can forward them as well, & from oldest to newest):

—–Original Message—–
From: veronica@supergreenmom.com [mailto:veronica@supergreenmom.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 10:35 AM
To: Web Customer Relations
Subject: Trader Joe’s Product Information Form

Name:Veronica Roberts
Phone Number:6143000686
Email Address:veronica@supergreenmom.com
Your Trader Joe’s:Kettering, OH
Product Name:Trader Joe’s Yogurt Cups
Sku #:00814591
Date Code:06/20/15
Type of Feedback:Quality Concerns

Comments:I am writing to first say that my almost three-year-old son loves yogurt. We have tried a multitude of brands and kinds, from almond milk to coconut milk to cow’s milk. His favorite is the Trader Joe’s Yogurt Cups, in any flavor.

As a mother who pays close attention to what my children eat, I am concerned about the modified corn starch, and the “natural flavors” in the yogurt. Can you please explain to me what exactly the “natural flavors” are, and consider removing the modified corn starch? I appreciate that Trader Joe’s sources non-gmo ingredients, but feel that Trader Joe’s overuses corn (and canola oil and soy), and this is product in particular that concerns me.

– Unrelated, but I have shopped regularly at two different Trader Joe’s locations (Kettering, OH, and Ann Arbor, MI), and am disappointed by the selection of organic produce, but satisfied with the low prices on Applegate meats and cheeses!

Thank you,

Veronica Roberts
______________________________________
Hi Veronica,

Thank you for sharing your product feedback with us! I will definitely forward it on to the appropriate buyer to review. Our Trader Joe’s labeled products are privately owned, therefore when our products have an ingredients listed as “natural flavors”, “natural flavorings” and “spices” it is for proprietory reasons only. Our suppliers of these specific products feel as though these ingredients make the recipe and do not want them disclosed.

If any of our customers have a specific allergin concern we will always let them know if they are present without giving all of the ingredients.

Thank you again,

Nicki K.
Trader Joe’s
Customer Relations
_______________________________________________
Nicki,

Thank you for your response, although I feel it a bit off topic from my original email. Am I to deduce from your email that there’s no telling what is in the products? I am not out to stir trouble, but am now a bit confused and left to wonder what exactly that means.

The main reason for my email was to inquire about the modified corn starch in the yogurt.

Thank you,

Veronica Roberts
____________________________________________________

I received no further response. They did not attempt to retain my business, nor settle my fears. I am disappointed, and as my email stated, left to wonder…

Thank you for your time,

Veronica Roberts
Super Green Mom

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Why I Do Not Complain About Being a Parent

I have had people over the years of my being a mother comment on my lack of complaint. They do so in a way that conveys both surprise and admiration. I find it odd. I do not complain about a constant state of exhaustion, the clutter and mess that naturally results from a day of fun and learning, about breastfeeding or cooking, nor any other number of things that I do or deal with on a daily basis, and there is sound reason.

My reasoning for not complaining is simple, but two-fold:

First and foremost, this is what I do. I am a mother, and with that comes the mothering territory of cleaning, cooking, teaching, aiding, and perfecting the art of balance. There are days where things just do not mesh, but there are also days (like today, for example) where I feel at peace in my role. The sun is shining, the breeze is light, and a perfect seventy-five degrees. I am outside, typing away while sitting in a chair, under an umbrella, watching my son pretend to oh-so-proudly cut the grass, drinking coconut water with green tea, and listening to the silence of the room in which my youngest is soundly sleeping (via monitor). How could I complain when the harder times are offset by such beauty?

As a mother, I wake overnight. I put myself last 99% of the time. I work hard to meet the needs and desires of the family, and to ensure that everyone is safe, healthy, and happy… as can be. It is not always easy, but it is what I do, and what I have chosen to do. I signed on to an 18-life sentence of being selfless.

“What is the best that can happen?” That right there is a sort of affirmation that I repeat throughout the day, along with one that I used while in labor, “I can do anything for sixty seconds”. Reminding myself as many times as necessary that I am but one, and am but human, helps to keep me in the right frame of mind.

Exercise and a cold beer do, too.

Secondly, If I were to take time to complain, that’d take time away from life, and drain from others to whom I’d vent. Sure, I discuss frustrations, and reach out to feel human, but why complain about something as trivial as a baby being up to eat, a toddler spilling water on the floor while trying to experiment, or about my eating dinner two hours after everyone else? There’s already so little time in the day that these things do not deserve the space. After all, many of the so-called annoyances or grievances are things that happen regularly, like getting little sleep.

We just keep on keeping on. We are parents. We wear our stripes in the form of under eye circles, messy hair, and spit up. We laugh, we cry, we curse, but we keep on.

A few of my most recent reasons to keep on:

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Desert Essence Baby Products


Super Green Mom Store and Playhouse

As if I am not busy enough these days with house hunting, kids, and living the life of a Super Green Mom, I have decided to see a dream of mine through. With the help of my family, and the financial support of friends and friends-to-be alike, I plan to soon open a Super Green House, along with Super Green Beginnings.

The Super Green House will be a massive (I’m talking 10k sq ft) indoor playscape for kids of all ages. Somewhere that families can spend time together, while learning and experimenting, in a setting that puts parents minds at ease. Large play structures, slides, balls (soft ball play room), a treehouse, a greenhouse, dress up attire, a reading nook… The best part is that it will be safe, soft, and play places will be easily visible from everywhere. Parents and guardians will be able to relax on couches, with a coffee in hand, while watching the children play. Or, get to it right along with the kids. There will be designated space for young ones so that no one is left out! We will be a non-judgement zone, where parents of all races, classes, religions, and such can come together to relax and play. Lastly, with free wi-fi, lounge areas, and healthy, organic snacks and drinks for the kids, it is sure to be a designated spot on the schedule for all!

Super Green Beginnings will be a small boutique designated to connecting parents and parents-to-be to some of the best of the best in maternity and parenting products, at don’t-break-the-bank prices. Let’s face it, we all want the best for our children. Some products are so expensive that it makes me sad that not everyone can easily provide a non-toxic environment, as well as enjoy fun, new things! I will be selective in what is offered, so as to not overwhelm, and to ensure that we provide what is essential. There will be a spot for local offerings, as well as a DIY teething necklace station. Yes, design your own! It’ll be perfect for baby showers, gifts, and matching for game day or whatever occasion!

We will also offer classes, such as toddler music time, breastfeeding basics, cloth diapering 101, and childhood nutrition. We will team up with local providers and specialists to offer classes at the lowest possible rate. Additionally, another way that we will help the community is by being a drop off location for donations of things like maternity clothes, cloth diapers, and books. We will pass 100% of everything donated right on to local pregnancy centers, shelters, hospitals, and wherever else they’re needed.

I hope to employ a few SAHM that may be able to bring their children with them, if the parent so chooses, and allow for a flexible schedule to provide for family time, and working parents.

I am currently working on pricing locations, products, and am having some initial shirts done. I am SUPER excited about everything. I will be at MommyCon in September in Columbus, OH, with more info on how you can help. I’d love to see this happen in the Dayton, OH area within the next year. We parents need a gathering ground of sorts, and a place to allow the kids to play safely, year-round.

I’ve tinkered with ideas for a few tears now. I firmly believe that this is my calling. I hope that you will help me in bringing this dream to reality, help hold me to this, and pray, support, and think of me while I sprint forward down this particular path. I can not wait to see where this goes, and to see all of the good that will be done.

Crowdfunding info coming soon. Eeek!!

-Super Green Mom

Super Cute and Healthy Breakfasts for Kids

Heather Adamson is a health food blogger and a graphic designer from Scotland. She has recently reached stardom status with her mmmazing and (Moms, get ready for this:) healthy recipes for kids (adults, too). They are adorable, eye-catching, and full of flavor. Kids of all ages will delight when they stumble to the table in the wee hours of the morn. Moms will sit (err, race around, multi-tasking) and smile, knowing that her children are getting a great start to the day.

From monkeys to ducks; beach scenes to parfaits, Heather has it all, conveniently in one place: Instagram, as FreshHeather. Brilliant and beautiful. She has her own site as well, BigCityDreamer.Com, where she provides scrumptious recipes for all, insights into great businesses and products for health-conscious Super Moms, and DIY advice for the go-getter in us all. Now, for a designer to add a few more minutes to the morning routine…


Save On Melissa & Doug

Rocking Dance Playlist for Girls

We at SGM love dance parties! My kids, and my friends’ kids, giggle in excitement as I turn on the music, crank it up, and boogie. Whether I join them, or hum, clap, sing, or nod my head along, having music on and dancing is a favorite activity, and a daily must.

Here, I have compiled a lengthy list of some old and some new, a little of this and a lot of that, written and/or sung by female artists. None requiring much censoring (dependent on your taste, of course), but all provide great beats and tones for dancing along, whether shaking it fast, tapping toes, swaying, or two-stepping.

Put on some silly socks, move the toys and furniture out of the way, and move it, move it!

Gwen Stefani – “The Sweet Escape”
Taylor Swift – “Shake it Off”
Selena Gomez – “Who Says”
Kelly Clarkson – “Catch my Breath”
Melissa & Doug-Leading Designer of Education Toys
Katy Perry – “Firework”
Shania Twain – “Man! I feel like a woman!”
Christina Aguilera – “Beautiful”
Chaka Khan – “I’m Every Woman”
Sara Bareilles – “Brave”
Selena Gomez & Demi Lovato (Princess Protection Program) – “One in the Same”
Adele – “Rumor has it”
B*Witched – “Mickey”
Beyonce – “Crazy in Love”
Martina McBride – “This One’s for the Girls”
Cyndi Lauper – “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”
Jordin Sparks – “I Am Woman”
t.A.T.u. – “All the Things She Said”
Shania Twain – “Any Man of Mine”
No Doubt – “Just a Girl”
Rihanna – “Only Girl (in the Wold)”
Carrie Underwood – “Good Girl”
Aretha Franklin – “Natural Woman”Banner 300x250
Sara Evans – “Perfect”
Demi Lovato – “Never Been Hurt”
The Pointer Sisters – “I’m so Excited”
Sheryl Crow – “All I Wanna Do”
Miley Cyrus – “Hoedown Throwdown”
Jessica Andrews – “Who I Am”
Carrie Underwood – “Nobody Ever Told You”
Nicki Minaj ft. Rihanna – “Fly”
Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger”
Natasha Bedingfield – “Unwritten”
Lady Gaga – “Born This Way”
Sugarland – “Settlin'”
Christina Aguilera – “Fighter”
Whitney Houston – “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”
Shakira – “Ready for the Good Times”
Joss Stone – “Super Duper Love”
Diana Ross – “I’m Comin’ Out”
Gloria Estefan – “Turn the Beat Around”
Britney Spears – “Stronger”Tea Tree Oil
Tegan and Sara – “Back in Your Head”
Colbie Callait – “I Do”
Alecia Keys – “Girl on Fire”
Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood – “Somethin’ Bad”
Madonna – “Music”
Shakira – “Whenever, Wherever”
Cher – “Believe”
Mariah Carey – “Always Be My Baby”
Meghan Trainor – “All About That Bass”

Do you have a favorite not on the list? A particular song or playlist that you dance to most? Did you try out some of the suggestions, and have an experience that you would like to share? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Dance on, ladies!

 

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I Just Want to Wife

While house hunting in one of the most beautiful tiny towns in Ohio, with both boys sleeping soundly behind us as we rode down the red brick road, I grasped my husband’s hand, and muttered, “I just want to wife“.

It was one of those moments that fit perfectly into the pages of my life’s story: a beautiful, sunny afternoon spent with my family in the glorious hope of Spring renewal, and a fresh start in a new city. Everything about the setting was relaxing.

There are times when I find myself falling in love with my husband even more. Hand in hand, side by side, driving into the future with a sense of assurance and achievement was definitely an I love you more moment.

8329e9cd72798476456b6a6b40deec39The same goes for my children. I love them with all of my being. I give tirelessly and selflessly from son up to son down, and beyond. But, yes, I wish that P and I could get away for a night of jazz and fancy cocktails, or dancing to our favorite band playing live. I long for a sunset drive home from a day at the amusement park or the beach.

When P sees me on the brink and steps in to help, when I see how B admires him so, when the house is quiet in the middle of the night and I crawl back into bed after feeding E and see P cuddling B… these are the times that I fall in love all over again, and want nothing more than to just wife.

It is not about wanting to rid myself of responsibility, or escape the children. It’s about balance, and ensuring that my relationship with P, our marriage, is attended to. As parents, we are stretched in every possible direction. It is our job, our calling, our passion, and our life. Finding balance is the ultimate struggle, especially for new moms. Every aspect of being a new mother (whether for the first time or the tenth) is a point of transition, and a learning experience. Taking care of the needs of everyone in the house is a part of that transition and experience. It is a challenge, but does not have to define you. You are still the love of his life… even more so now!

It is okay to just want to wife. You were a couple long before you were parents. It is natural, and good to want to show affection and gratitude. Quit pressuring yourself to choose between the kids and the husband.

Take advantage of the seconds of embrace, send a romantic text, or just mouth the words, “Thank you” if the kids are sleeping on every inch of the two of you. In whatever way you are able, with whatever time you do have, give yourself a break and be the wife that your life allows you now.

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The Love Playbook