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To honor all the beautiful and exhausted moms and moms-to-be out there, we are giving away two fantastic prizes to the most creative mommy photos we receive.     Simply email us your photo (of you and your bump and/or baby) to and you could receive one of these fabulous gifts on your doorstep... timed to arrived just after the last of your Mother's Day chocolates have been eaten and flowers wilted!

    

 24 bottles of Glow Mama  and a gorgeous Earth Mama Angel Baby Pampering Kit (either Pregnancy or Postpartum) wrapped up in a soft and snug fleecy baby blanket made from Eco SpunTM.  Thats over $100 value!

Glow Mama is packed with the pre and post natal vitamins you need right now, is completely natural, made with real juice, and yet is only 70 calories per bottle.  Turn it into a delicious mocktail or gulp it down straight from the bottle. 

 

Not so small print:

  • Photos we receive will be included (without names or emails) on our Glow Mama Flickr page.
  • We never pass on names, emails or photos to 3rd parties.
  • We will contact the winners by email to obtain their mailing address
  • Yes, photos which include a bottle of Glow Mama are considered extra creative!
  • Only one photo entry per mama
  • We can only ship prizes to US addresses
  • Entries close midnight PST on May 16th, 2008 so photos taken at your Mother's day celebration can be included.

 

 





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Music To Our Bellies

Posted by: art mama in WellnessPregnancymusicmotherhoodideasHomelife on

As a long-time music lover, I always enjoyed hearing stories about pregnant women who played music to their bellies only to have that child later become a musical prodigy. One friend told me a story about a husband who played his guitar right up against his wife's pregnant belly and their son became a guitar whiz. Unfortunately, I only appreciate music, and besides my wishlist accomplishment of learning to play the cello for a brief stint, and my husband's attempt to learn the bass guitar, we can only play our eclectic mix of CD's like the best of them.

Of course I want to believe that music-lovers and musicians will raise the same. And it makes sense, doesn't it, that if we expose our little ones to music of all types when they are dancing and tumbling around in the womb, they will come out as natural born appreciators of music. But I was interested to see if there were studies on this topic, and "hear" is what I found out....

It is a common belief that if you play calming music or lullabies to your baby in utero--for instance, placing your iPod headphones on the belly--your little peanut will react by kicking and moving, or becoming suddenly still, especially in the third trimester. Some even believe that music played while in the womb will be remembered by the baby up to a year after birth.

According to an article on SmartMommy.com , it is believed that in the 7th month of pregnancy, the soothing sounds of music in the womb can stimulate your baby's ear, brain and body development in preparation for sound and language comprehension. Thomas Verny, M.D., author of The Secret Life of the Unborn Child (Dell, 1994) said, "Musicologists seem to agree that rhythms, similar to the mother's heartbeat, have the most calming effect" on babies in utero. This can also be used as a tool to calm a fussy newborn.

One woman reported to BBC News Health : "I used to have a daily bath and listen to Ella Fitzgerald at 6pm. It was my peace time. When she was born she was very fractious with colic. We used to play Ella Fitzgerald at 3am to try to settle her, and it really worked."

But there are differing opinions on what is called the "Mozart Effect," which says that playing classical music to babies in utero increases brain activity and stimulation, which thereby is an intelligence and IQ booster. An online BBC article --Does Classical Music Make Babies Smarter? -- states that "Numerous studies conclude that playing music to babies in the womb and in the early years helps build the neural bridges along which thoughts and information travel. And research suggests it can stimulate the brain's alpha waves, creating a feeling of calm."

It's a fact that a fetus develops their ability to hear 5 months into pregnancy, and can therefore react to sounds outside the womb, but there is no hard evidence that proves that playing classical music is a direct link to higher intellectual development.

In the same BBC article, Professor Paul Robertson, a leading expert in musicology, believes it's important the best music is made available to babies at the earliest possible stage of their growth.

My thoughts are, whether my baby becomes the next little genius or not, it can't hurt to encourage her development with this great source of entertainment (that is far better than TV). If nothing else, it will be a way to bond with your baby before she arrives, and it will definitely be a way to share a fun and necessary form of the Arts for many years to come. So crank up that CD, go to Baby & Me music classes, and enjoy your happy time together!





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Mother of the Year Award

Posted by: lucy in motherhoodMoms Groupsmama on

While sometimes I think just making it to the end of the day without too many Dora songs, tears, food related tantrums, hubbie frowns, missed cHow do I find a moms group?alls or neglected emails deserves a medal... there are a lot of true supermoms out there who deserve an real award.  I was so excited to discover my city honors a new woman each year who "goes beyond the daily responsibilities of parenting and/or grand parenting by becoming extremely active in the lives of citizens in the community", in fact, this is their 55th year!  How cool is that!?

Follow this link for more info on Oakland's award, or comment here to tell us about your city's or organization's mom award. 

 





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Lets start at the simple end of the creativity scale - around the house.  Here is a picture of my little guy with his new bath accessory.  I'm sure he's not going to be I've been thinking a lot about getting Glow greener, and short of offering everyone a chance to buy carbon offsets with their purchase (I'll look into it), I'd like to spark some discussion on re-using our empty Glow Mama bottles.  liaminbath.jpghappy when he discovers that his mommy plastered naked photos of him all over the internet - all for a good cause buddy! 

bowling.gifIf you're like me and you find that your flashy, colorful, expensive toys always seem to get abandoned for the phone, keys and remote control, then why not try imaginative new Glow Mama toys... rattles, instruments, even bowling!   The My Education Junction blog has some cool suggestions for bigger kids. 

Back in adult for a minute, there are the desk accessories, garden and garage storage suggestions and even plenty of ideas for the fridge/freezer.  Why not fill empty bottles with the salad dressings or sauces you make from scratch or buy in bulk?  Just be sure to rinse it well first, unless of course you are looking for a bit of kiwi flavoring.  Freeze some water in an empty bottle (don't fill it to the top) and use it in your cooler or lunch bag instead of a chill-pak.  Ok, that one might not be that appropriate for another couple of months. 

Rachel from MN wrote to me with a great suggestion... "After I've finished drinking it, my husband rubs my Glow Mama bottle up and down my aching back and legs.  There's something about me being 8 ˝ months pregnant that has turned my husband into a sweet heart." 

Then there are the extreme measures for reusing your PET drink bottles.  Check out these two boats made from old water bottles.  Anyone up for a Glow Mama canoe?

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People have been asking why Glow Mama focuses a lot on new moms groups, and it?s really because they mean so much to me.  They really saved my sanity during my first year of motherhood.  People have also asked for my tips and thoughts, so here goes?   

      1.       Invite babies of a similar age to your own. 

 

This is really more for your sanity than any developmental reason.  Firstly, having a toddler rip every precious ornament off your shelves while your baby is still lying on a blanket is both distracting and a scary reminder of your upcoming baby proofing work.  Secondly, you need sympathetic ears right now.  We all get a bit wiser and calmer as our babies grow into toddlers, so trying to discuss the scary intricacies of first food with a mom of a three year old won?t be that satisfying. 

2.       Invite mommies you like. 

This might sound fairly obvious, but why not grab the last few months of you before life turns into being all about your lovely offspring.  Organizing play dates with children that your child likes will come soon enough.  This is your time. 

3.       Be flexible. momswalking.jpg

Not only do you have ever-changing nap times to contend with, but moms often go back to work or school, or go on vacation.   Going to the baby signing/music/yoga/massage classes together or meeting up for a walk can also be a fun way to still get together and get the support while trying something new. 

4.       Set the boundaries early. 

Whether its rotating around each others? houses, the simplicity of the host?s nibbles, or the courtesy of rsvp-ing each week?whatever is important to you (all), better to get it out on the table early.   One important issue to figure out early is toy sharing.  Are you comfortable with your toys (and pacifiers and sippy cups) being in every other baby?s mouth or would you rather they brought their own?

5.       Give the mommies some refreshments. 

Whether still nursing or not, motherhood is hard work.  If they?ve managed to get out of the house with the multitude of gear, accessories, clothes (and the baby), and arrived at your place relatively on time, they deserve a reward.  Unless moms are trying to lose the pounds, chocolate cookies always work well.  No one will expect homemade (at least they shouldn?t).  Drinks are a must too, although glasses are a hazard around babies (for their and your carpet?s sake).   A chilled bottle of Glow Mama for everyone is quick, easy, and nutritious.

6.       Pre-tidy the house. 

babyfeet.jpgUnless you?re superwoman, or have help, you?ll have to tidy the house a bit before people arrive.  Especially the floors as that?s where everyone?s attention is drawn to with babies.  If you don?t have time to vacuum at least but down some blankets for the babies to roll, crawl and spit up onto. 

7.       Get a pedicure or some nice socks. 

Speaking of floors and how that?s where everyone is constantly looking? don?t forget that shoes often come off around rolling and crawling babies and no one wants to see ugly toes. 

8.       Be open, frank and honest. 

There really is nothing more intimate or gory than the birthing story, and yet we all love to tell our version in lengthy detail.  After hearing about each other?s procedures, pain and plans, there really shouldn?t be anything you can?t discuss (behind closed doors).  This is the place to get the real answers on nursing pain, sleep deprivation and rekindling things in the bedroom.

9.       Try to cut out the competition.  

Easier said than done, but really, Motherhood is not a competitive sport in the Olympics.  These days a lot of moms are used to a world of climbing on each other and stabbing each other in the back to get ahead - and that?s hard to leave behind for a few months/years.  Remember though, the point of a mommies group is to leave less isolated and exhausted than had you stayed at home.   Babies really do sleep, eat and develop at their own rates.

10.   Get out occasionally without the babies. 

There?s nothing like a couple of hours out after dark in a cool new bar or restaurant to rekindle your spirit as a woman.  And the beauty of meeting up with other new moms is that they?ll forgive you if you turn up late? with spit- up on your shoulder? leaking!  Everyone appreciates the effort (physically and mentally) it?s taken to get out the door, so you?ll all enjoy yourselves so much more. 





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