Tammy Thomas Garnes

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Go Ahead, Spoil Them Rotten!

In Family on September 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Photo by: Tammy Garnes for A Southern Girl Production

My Doula (then-not-now cause this mama is done having babies), Haize Rosen, posted a wonderful article recently on her FB page.  Seems like the rest of the world finally has the scientific proof they need to realize that holding, loving and nurturing a small child is OK, in fact, it’s BEST!  What I love about this study is that it debunks all of the modern wives tales (leftover from the late ’60s early ’70’s no doubt), that make mothers feel guilty for doing what comes natural such as nursing past 6 months, allowing toddlers to co-sleep, picking up crying infants on cue and generally holding and snuggling with our very own children.

I can’t count the number of times I heard “just let her cry it out” or “if you let her in your bed she’ll never leave.”  Well guess what…I picked them up when they cried and the hubby and I let them sleep in our bed when they wanted….and guess what…they are just fine! Hold on, they are BETTER than just fine.  This article makes me wanna stick my tongue out like a 3 year old…..ha….science is now on my side!

Click the Photo for the Full Article:

Spoiled Babies Grow Up To Be Smarter Kids

School Lunches – In this age of childhood obesity, I can’t believe we’re still having this conversation!

In Family on July 5, 2009 at 3:56 pm

DSC_4795School lunches.  This topic comes up among my mommy friends as often as vaccinations.  When the kids are babies, we over analyze everything that goes into their bodies.  Breastmilk, formula, fruits, veggies, organic, homemade….the list goes on and on.  Then of course we debate allergies and allergens, we eliminate and re-introduce, we agonize over whole, soy, rice or almond (and that’s just milk).  We read books, blogs and email friends….all about the food our little darlings eat.

Then they go to school.  And if you attend a public school that provides “school lunch,” you may find yourself constantly fighting against the very institution that is charged with educating your children about all things, including nutrition.  Kids spend lots of time learning about the food pyramid in class, only to be served pizza, tacos and chicken nuggets in the cafeteria on a daily basis.  Some schools and districts offer salad bars to those at the elementary level, others don’t (because the kids don’t eat that stuff, is what I was told by a cafeteria manager once).  

In our school, our PTA has recently put together a task force to meet with the district nutritionist and help to mold/understand the food offerings in our school.  But alas, as much as I despise packing a lunch for 2 kids everyday, I guess that’s what I’ll have to continue doing. Our district now serves pizza TWICE A WEEK (and calls it healthy because the bread is whole grain). Uggggh is what I told the nutritionist for the district in a one on one meeting. You’re training kids, I informed her, to believe that pizza (once reserved for a Friday night treat), is NORMAL to eat twice a week at lunch. In the real world, I informed her, PaPa Johns pizza doesn’t come with a whole grain crust!

Do you know what your children are eating for school lunch?  I found this article below from the Columbus Dispatch, eye opening.  Money always seems to be at the root of everything….even the health of our most precious beings.  Wondering how you can “be the change” at your school?  Gather a few parents together to meet with your school principal and director of nutrition.  Establish a health and wellness committee that will bring reports back to parents during PTA/PTO meetings.  Do something, anything, because as those of us in the trenches know, a small voice crying out in the wilderness often attracts other small voices.  Together we become a great big roar!

Cost constraints and students’ palates often make school lunches unhealthful
Sunday, July 5, Columbus Dispatch
By Jennifer Smith Richards 

Pizza, tater tots, hot dogs and tacos are on school lunch menus even though those kid-friendly staples might not be the most healthful choices.

One reason: Kids like them. Another: They can be made cheaply.

“We have a big, big problem,” said Susan Rubin, nutritionist and founder of an advocacy group called Better School Food, based in New York. School lunch programs in Ohio and the nation are “a dumping ground for these poor-quality commodity foods.”

Most school food comes frozen. It is usually not whole-grain, low-fat or low-sodium. And it is cheap because school districts need it to be: On average, local districts spend less than $1.50 per lunch to buy the food.

The federal government and school districts say they know that most school lunches aren’t healthful enough and that more must be done to improve them.

Food-service workers say they do the best they can with what they have. Choosing a menu, buying the food and getting kids to eat cafeteria offerings is a difficult juggling act.

“It’s pretty hard to feed somebody healthfully on $1,” said Rubin, who is featured in a documentary about school food called Two Angry Moms. But she and other critics say kids would welcome more healthful lunches with fewer processed foods.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

Who Me? This Southern Girl Is Featured In Upscale Magazine!

In Family, Uncategorized on April 8, 2009 at 6:44 am

This month I had the pleasure of speaking with the writers at Upscale Magazine about family finances!  Check it out.

068_upscale_april092069_upscale_april091

Bloggy Love….

In Bloggy Love, Blogs, Family on March 31, 2009 at 5:21 pm

 

Can You Feel The Love?

Can You Feel The Love?

Stay at Home and Work at Home moms have it so good these days…

 

Wait, wait, wait.  Don’t throw anything at the screen or curse me under your breath as you balance your nursing newborn in one aching arm, navigate the mouse or crusty keyboard (what is that gunk anyway?) with your free hand and stretch your toes to bring the remote control closer to your body, (still not quite sure how you’re gonna get it up into your lap quite yet), just wait.

All I’m saying, is that 8 years ago when I first became a SAHM/WAHM, there were no good mommy blogs. OK, there were a few corporate type thingy’s online with articles on colic and cloth diapers, but nothing like what’s going on now. Stir in a little Facebook and sprinkle some Twitter and NING and OMG, you have a MOMMY REVOLUTION going on out here. So many AWESOME women to read and so many great groups to join. No wonder corporate America is paying us all so much attention! 

So since I haven’t crossed over yet on this blog into the wild world of giveaways and contests, I figured the least I could do is share with you some of the incredible blogs I’ve found over the past few months. Some of these will be personal blogs, others are blogs full of tips and a few are selling a product. The common theme here is PASSION. All of these blogs are full of passion for whatever it is they are talking about, selling or sharing.  Each week I’ll add more, so stay tuned!

Oh, and one more thing, while I’m no blog snob, let me go on record and say loud and proud to the recessionista bloggers who are only out there setting up blogs to make a quick buck with annoying ads and click thru buttons and little to no real content. I appreciate your tenacity, I really do, but please, don’t try so hard. If you write it from the heart…we will come…we promise. You don’t have to give us anything or force us to jump on one leg while forwarding your tweet and singing the national anthem. All you have to do is write, with passion, and we will come.

Hold on…it’ll take me a minute to get down off this soap box without falling and busting my butt.

So below is my first installment of what I will be calling BLOGGY LOVE. Great blogs written with great passion by some pretty great women. Enjoy!

BLOGGY LOVE

Jean:  Momma On The Rocks – Mix one part tutu with two parts giggles and a shot of mommy, mommy, mommy and you have Momma On The Rocks.  Sometimes there is nothing better than just logging OUT of your own life and INTO someone else’s.  Be sure to check out her recent photos of the snow storm that hit her house.  The last one of the spring banner is priceless.  She’s over there pimpin’ out tweets as well (not quite sure how that works yet but it sounds fun).

Ree Drummond:  The Pioneer Woman – Yeah, I know, she has over 11,000 Twitter followers now but any blog that provides me with a lasagna recipe so good that my entire extended family had to bow down to me at Christmas dinner, gets a shout out from me!  I’ve been following her site for so long and now she’s all the rage.  I would love to be like her when I grow up!  From her writings to her recipes and photography, this woman is blazing a new trail for bloggers everywhere.  All hail the Queen aka The Pioneer Woman.

Luxe Mama:  Luxe Tips – When you read her recent interview with salon owners Titi and MIko, you can feel her enthusiasim about all things beauty just ooze off of the page.  This woman loves her lipstick, her hair care products and her stilletos.  Can’t be mad at her for that.  On top of it all she’s a wife, mom, attorney and one of my Mocha Moms.  I’ve been following her blog for many many months and I love how she’s “representing” for brown girls everywhere.

Roxanne Hicks:  New Smyrna Beach Mom – Goodness gracious, if it’s happening in or near New Smyrna Beach, FL, Roxanne is your girl!  This WAHM blogs about local school happenings, festivals, churches, restaurants and events.  I mean literally, reading her posts will make you want to go and visit this divine sounding place.  Keep up the good work Roxanne, it’s obvious that you love your community.  We could all use someone like you in our neck of the woods.

Sharon Reilly:  Cool Dog Productions – While I may not be a blog snob, I am a film/video snob (has something to do with that student loan for the film degree that I’m still paying back).  So when I stumbled across this awesome site I had to tell you all about it.  Her company creates beautiful and touching video birth announcements, video stories, ecards and more.  Set to music, these videos are the perfect 2.o addition to the modern baby and family.  With a Masters in Media and credits that include ABC Television, you can trust she’ll do great work on your child’s birth video 🙂  And yes, her pricing is competitive.  Trust me, I know about these things.

Next week I’ll profile more, like CutieBootyCakes and Playground For Parents, both listed in my RSS Feed below, but for now, enjoy this first installment of BLOGGY LOVE and go visit some of these awesome sites!

When Your Friends Grace The Cover Of A National Magazine…You Better Pay Attention!

In Family, Media on March 27, 2009 at 3:55 am

the-nash-family
Just wanted to share this incredible photo of April’s Black Enterprise Magazine featuring one of my dear friends, Shannon Nash, her husband Bill and their three beautiful boys.  Shannon is a special woman.  A stellar scholar, incredible mother, patient wife and God fearing woman, she is one of my Shero’s and I’m so happy she’s getting the attention she deserves.  I’ll interview her soon, so look out for our chat.  We’ll talk about her decision to leave her high powered position as an attorney and step out on faith to start her own business, her fears over raising a child with special needs and why she chose to leave Los Angeles, “where it’s at” and move to the south at this time in her life.

If there is time, we’ll get into a little politics and of course we have to talk about how she fares as the only female in the house!

But for now, I just want to give a kudos to Mama Shannon.  I’ve watched you carve out your path over the past few years, often making the hard choice over the easy one.  And you are one of those people who like to do the right thing, even when no one is looking.  We all need more women like you in our lives!

When I pass the newstands I’ll try not to buy every issue!

Snow & Snuggle

In Family on March 1, 2009 at 9:54 pm

dsc_4530I have a pooped out and happy 4 year old sleeping on my lap right now.  It’s too close to bedtime for a nap, but after this exciting day there is no way I can bring myself to wake her.  It snowed today.  This is the most snow she’s ever seen and she, along with her older sister, made snow angels, threw snowballs, got cold then warm then cold again.  

I feel like a kid myself right now….sitting here hoping there is no school tomorrow so we can enjoy the weather some more.   I’ve been spending a lot of time online reading about the dire straights of our country lately.  It felt so good to just sit quietly and watch the girls and their puppy play in the snow.  Now we’re all warmed up, well fed and settling in under a down comforter for a little snuggle time.  What a priceless day.

Everything I need to know I learned in childbirth…

In Childbirth, Family on January 28, 2009 at 4:27 am

My first child was a c-section.  I had planned for this big, long, natural birth and there I was on an operating table still trying to figure out “why me?”  I had a perfectly healthy and happy child, but for years afterwards I secretly hoped that next time I would have true blue labor and all the “fun” drama that came with it.  Be careful what you wish for!!!

Baby #2 was the classic birth.  Water breaks in the bank, 3 days of labor, refusal of drugs and finally a beautiful birth on my own terms.  Both births were phenomenal and had storybook endings and each had their pros and cons.  But MOST importantly, both came with lessons that I will carry with me forever.

1.  Patience is everything. You can’t rush a birth.  There are days when you think you can, but you can’t.  Everything works in it’s own time and season and often you are simply along for the ride.

2.  Listening is key.  You’re not the first person to do this and you won’t be the last, so listen carefully when others offer you advice.  

3.  Quitting is not an option.  Stage 3 labor makes you rationalize quitting, but everyone around you will reassure you that the experience is not a multiple choice test.  There is only one correct answer.

4.  Things are always better the next day.  With labor, childbirth and child rearing, this is just so true.  Hold onto it when you’re having a bad day.

Yesterday, four plus years after my last birth, I had a breast biopsy.  I was scared to death of what the results could ultimately be.  But while I lay on the operating table, I remembered that everything I needed to know, I learned in childbirth.  That patience is everything, listening is key, quitting is not an option and things are always better the next day.

The results come back next Monday.  And no matter what, those four truths will see me through. 

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UPDATE: All went well, I’m as healthy as can be! I tried to put on my best game face, but boy was I scared. Thanks for all the emails, tweets and unconditional love.