Perspective 2012
Mar 20 2012

When I wonder what it’s all about, why I am where I am, and whether all my decisions or in/out-of-control direction changes in life were good ones, I usually need to drink lots of red wine and stay away from the hard liquor!  When my 6, soon to be 7, year old daughter tells me to take a break from cooking dinner and see what she made  and affixed to my home office desk (photo to left), everything makes sense for a few moments.

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I tell her that I need to save all these precious notes and drawings she makes me because when she’s a teenager she’ll want nothing to do with me.  She denies it adamantly and tells me she will always love me.  I tell her I know that’s true but she might not express it the same way as she does now, but I will always love her which thankfully she believes. I doubt she’ll be writing me the same heart warming notes and drawing me butterflies when she’s 16, but the fact that she thinks she will is sweet.  Although I’m sure her peers and society might think it weird if she’s drawing hearts to her friends and mom when she’s older, I hope she continues to be comfortable expressing her love for people because it’s not an easy thing to do without judgement when you get older.

I don’t recall my now 9 year old son writing too many “I love mommy” notes when he was 6, but I do have a few of those that I’ve saved and stuck to the fridge or put in his box.  He mostly wants to play with my iPhone and the Wii runs into me to show his affection and randomly hugs me sometimes in odd places like Office Depot.  He still likes me to sit next to him when he’s watching TV and cuddle with him for a bit before he goes to sleep.  When I ask him why he is hugging me in a superstore, he says “I don’t know, I just wanted to.”  I sigh, laugh, roll my eyes a bit and say “Ok sweetie, I’ll take it when and where I can get it,” hug him back and muss his hair.

I’m so lucky when it comes to my kids (knock on wood) and I guess I am where I need to be right now for them.  If I’m penniless in my 80s, I’ll show them the notes and see if they remember writing them and the feelings they were trying to express at the time.  Deep stuff, I know.

Author: | Filed under: parent stories, parenting, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments »

Kiva launches Kiva.org/women and Partners with Dermalogica to Give Away $100,000 in Loans
Mar 6 2012

The following is a guest post from Kiva’s press team:

Kiva launches Kiva.org/women and Partners with Dermalogica’s joinFITE to Give Away $100,000 in Loans to Women around the World

Kiva LogoKivaFor those of you who have made loans on Kiva.org in the past, this will come as a piece of good news. For those who haven’t – it’s a double whammy: you’re being introduced to Kiva AND finding out about their newest venture!

First, here’s what Kiva does, in a nutshell: Kiva.org is the world’s first and largest microlending website where anyone, anywhere can help alleviate poverty and empower entrepreneurs across the globe through loans as small as $25. Lending through Kiva creates a ripple effect in a local economy because with as little as $25, you enable an entrepreneur to build their business and bring goods to their community. As these businesses grow, so do other opportunities: to employ other members of the community, or to make enough money to send their children to school and learn to perhaps become business owners themselves one day. So your $25 loan might help lift an entire village out of poverty!

The best part: When the loan is repaid, you can choose to re-lend your money to help another entrepreneur, maintaining a growing cycle of progress. If you want to read some wonderful entrepreneur stories for yourself, check out how Flaura’s photocopy business, Kumri’s sewing shop, Glory’s goats and Grace’s peanut butter came about or reached their potential thanks to Kiva loans.

The latest piece of good news from the folks at Kiva is that, in honor of International Women’s Day, they are launching Kiva.org/women on March 7, 2012 to help empower women and create sustainable change.

To kickstart it, Dermalogica’s joinFITE program is funding a $100,000 Kiva Women free trial program. What does this mean for you? Free money! You’ll be able to make $25 loans to a female borrower of your choice without fronting a single penny (for as long as the Dermalogica money lasts).

Just for the record, Kiva has already been helping women around the world: since its launch in 2005, more than 80% of the loans funded through Kiva have been to women borrowers in 60 countries including the United States. Kiva has connected more than 600,000 women borrowers to nearly 650,000 lenders, crowdfunding more than $200 million in loans to women.

Because women have proven to be such massive agents of change in impoverished communities when given a minimum of resources, this program is designed to focus specifically on them.

Check out the press release on the topic or go ahead make a loan through Kiva.org/women as soon as you have a chance.

Author: | Filed under: diversity, entrepreneurship, fundraising, FYI, guest post, parent stories, working mother | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

The Robi Comb – Amazed And Stunned
Sep 15 2011

I get many people asking me to blog about their products.  Some even offer to pay me.  Most of the requests I ignore as I don’t feel the products are relevant or I don’t have much to say about them.  But when the PR guy for the Robi Comb reached out to me, it piqued my interest.  My kids got head lice for the first time last Spring and it was icky, tiring and awful.  It seems like more than half the kids in the school got them.  We did environmentally friendly, non-toxic treatments that took 4 hours and they had to sit around in caps until late into the night (i.e. past their bed times and past mom’s patience).  Then my son got them again in summer camp.  I was less mortified but still very annoyed.  I remember getting them as a kid when I went to visit Sri Lanka and the stuff they put on our heads was kind of like kerosine.  This is America, not a third world country, so as any American full time working mother would do, I freaked.  The non-toxic treatment stuff they have these days smells like a caramel frappacino.  I was tempted to make my kids smell something nasty so they could experience the same need to run around outside without stopping until the treatment was done, but I let them enjoy the smell of eucalyptus spray and coffee smelling gunk.

They sent me the following write-up (in italics below) and a free Robi Comb.  I was hoping that I’d never have to use it as certainly my kids were done with that craziness, but lo and behold, it happened again recently.  After asking my son who the heck he was hanging out with (because my daughter escaped them) and they take a bath every day, I used the Robi Comb on him.  It had been sitting on the counter for several weeks and they were curious about it. My son said his head was itchy and I figure he just wanted to use the comb so he was making it up.  I told him that he simply could not have head lice again.  My daughter and I looked in his hair fairly thoroughly with a flashlight and saw pretty much nothing.  Even the things we thought could be nits weren’t.  He has brown hair so it’s easy to see nits and I figured I’d see any stupid lice crawling around.  At his head scratching insistence, I used the comb and I was shocked to discover it found 7 lice.  I swear I saw nothing and everything in my being did not want to believe him when he said he thought he had lice. I guess it was a good thing I listen to my kids most of the time because after running it through his hair several times and changing the sheets, he can go to school without a 4 hour treatment followed up by multiple combings and daily hair spray-ings because 7 lice do not constitute an infestation.  But I decided to use the Robi Comb for a few days just in case and no more were found.  I still sprayed his head with eucalyptus spray and made him use lice shampoo to repel them.  I was impressed with how easy it was to use and how quickly it found them!

As back to school time approaches, so does the head lice boom. Lice, the ultimate creepy crawler, will find its way onto millions of children’s heads this fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year among children 3 to 11 years of age. However, with the recent increase in head lice breakouts this past year, it’s imperative that all parents be prepared to tackle this common nuisance. This increase has even prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to amend their “No Nits” policy regarding withholding children from public schools who might still have nits, otherwise known as head lice eggs, present on their scalp. The amended policy says that children with nits do not necessarily pose a risk to the rest of the schools population.

This amended policy has many parents nationwide scratching their head, as they do not want to put their children in any “unnecessary” risk by sending them to schools recently affected by an infestation. As evident by this policy’s amendment, head lice is not so much of a health or hygiene issue; however the way these pests are commonly treated is of greater concern. In the past, the only way to effectively treat head lice was with dangerous toxic shampoos, chemicals, gels or oils; many of which use Pyrethrum or Permethrin, the same pesticides found in household bug killers. Today more than ever, there is a growing concern of the health effects of putting toxins and chemicals such as these on a developing child’s head and the negative long term effects these poisons may have. Aside from being toxic, many of these “traditional” treatments have also been widely reported to not even work, as the lice, in most cases, have built up a resistance to the pesticides used rendering them essentially useless.

In the event your child brings home more than just homework this school year, the Robi Comb from LiceGuard is an ideal product for ridding their scalp of lice without the use of harmful chemicals. The Robi Comb is a non-invasive electronic lice comb powered by a single AA battery that detects and destroys lice on contact simply by combing it through dry hair. When the Robi Comb’s metal teeth touch lice, the lice get zapped, die and then get combed away. Unlike chemical treatments, the Robi Comb can be used as often as you like and can be used repeatedly by the entire family. The Robi Comb lets you know by an audible signal whether or not head lice are present, so it can be used to detect an infestation as well as treat it. In fact, many school nurses are now using the Robi Comb for exactly that reason. School nurses report that Robi Comb is able to find lice which they have missed when checking visually. More than 3,000 school districts in all 50 states are now currently using the Robi Comb. This innovative product is available for purchase for $29.99 at major retailers such as Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid, as well as thousands of local pharmacies across the nation.

Author: | Filed under: FYI, parent stories, parenting, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Mile In Her Shoes
Jul 6 2011

What is it about kids wanting to wear their parents shoes?  It’s so adorable and funny at the same time.  My 6 year old daughter likes to wear my shoes and walk around the house.  She tells me, “I only have this much more to grow to fit into them, mommy.”  I tell her that it will take some time, but she just measures the difference with her fingers and says “No, it’s only this much.”  She does not understand that inches in foot size usually take years to achieve.  Sometimes my son gets silly and joins her and puts my shoes on too…mostly my flip flops.

I love her exuberance and excitement about wearing my shoes.  I don’t mind that she wears them mostly because my shoes aren’t that expensive.  Thank goodness for DSW!  I’m not a big shopper, but I like shoes.  In the winter time, my long boots take up most of her body!

If only it were so easy to walk a mile in another person’s shoes.  In my last post I wrote a little about what I think great leadership is about and I think the ability to proverbially walk a mile in another person’s shoes and put yourself in their place for a moment is a key ability for effective leaders.  Whether someone is a CEO or the janitor, they are still a person with passions, needs, fears, desires, and emotions.  When you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes (a.k.a., being empathetic), in my opinion, you can be there for them and help guide them in a way that’s most helpful to them and ultimately to your organization.  If you don’t stop to consider what they might need from time to time and help them get it, you will get less than their top performance at work.  This seems to hold true for personal relationships as well.

So the next time you don’t understand someone’s reaction or you wonder why they aren’t behaving like they should, take a moment and imagine yourself walking a mile in her shoes…

Author: | Filed under: parent stories, parenting | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Emma’s Family – Baby Jaundice and a Heart Condition
Jun 29 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a Parent Story and now we have a great one!  I met this fabulous mom (Kerry Reynolds), who also happens to be a doula, on twitter.  I was introduced to her by none other than her mother, Susan Reynolds, of Frozen Pea Fund and Boobs on Ice fame!  Check out the post I did on the Frozen Pea Fund back in December 2007.

Stories like these are what keep me going and and make all the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur building Babble Soft all worth while!

Baby Emma Family Uses Babble SoftMother:  Kerry (SAHM/Birth Doula)
Father:   Mike (Project Manager)

Baby:      Emma
Born:      April 2008
Place:     Burke, VA 

Browser:  Mozilla Firefox v2.0.0.11
Websitewww.birthinbloom.com 

 

Kerry’s story 

Emma is my second child and her birth was long awaited as she was seven days overdue!  Labor lasted 20 hours and was exhausting. In the process I was up for 50 hours straight and was so ready to come home.  After Emma was born we brought her to her first doctor’s appointment only to discover she had a worrisome case of baby jaundice.  We were concerned about her health and the doctor told us to make sure we kept careful watch of her weight gain, feedings, and diapers.  We were very worried about little Emma but little did we know at that time, jaundice would be the least of our concerns. 

When Emma was one and a half weeks old she had a frightening episode which resulted in a trip to the emergency room. We discovered she has a heart condition called Wolffe Parkinson White and learned she would need to be on a heart medication until she reaches three years old, when her heart will be large enough to have a surgery to correct the defect.  After three nights in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) we arrived home frantic and sleep deprived, her medication schedule had to be so exact that we needed Baby Insights to help us keep track of every detail of her routine. In addition, her dosage was on a schedule to increase as her weight increased so it was imperative that we monitor it closely. 

Babble Soft helped us through some challenging times  

The information I got from using Baby Insights was and continues to be extremely useful!  It helped us think in a time we could barely add two plus two or string coherent sentences together.  The ability to go to one place and see all of Emma’s information was a life saver. I use Baby Insights to: 

  • Keep detailed notes on how often and when she was eating, which helped us track improvements in her jaundice and report feedings to her pediatrician and cardiologist.
  • Monitor her diaper changes so that we could feel comfortable she was in fact absorbing her food and that all was working well.
  • Monitor her heart medication which helped us remember the exact time and dosage as that is a critical part of keeping any further episodes at bay.
  • Keep track of how much breast milk I was pumping to make sure we had enough to give to baby Emma and to ensure my milk supply would stay steady and increase over time.
  • Stay aware of any decreases in her appetite as this could be a sign of another episode with her heart.

—End—

If you are interested in participating in your very own user story, please activate a FREE Babble Soft Trial.  All you need is an email address!  If you find that Babble Soft applications work for you and you want to tell the world about your great experience, please email us at info at babblesoft dot com for more information.

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby insights, breast milk, breastfeeding, case study, parent stories, parenting, pumping, user stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »