Brownsville MOPS

As a mom, do you ever feel like pulling your hair out?  Are there other moments where you are in complete awe of the beautiful children that have been entrusted to your care?  Can you go from complete elation to total devastation in a matter of seconds?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is for you!

Part of the Brownsville MOPS group plays an icebreaker.

Part of the Brownsville MOPS group plays an icebreaker.

“My favorite thing about MOPS is getting to know moms and being able to connect with them on a deeper level,” says Briana McIsaac, coordinator of the Brownsville MOPS chapter.  With 15 years in existence, it is a place where all moms are welcome.  “This year, we’ve added MOMSnext to include moms of all ages, and a bilingual table to cater to more mothers in the community,” added McIsaac.

Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS for short, is an international nonprofit organization that exists to support mothers as they parent children from birth through Kindergarten.  MOMSnext is an extension of that, helping raise kids who are beyond the preschool years.  Local gatherings typically run for a couple of hours, and include homemade meals, childcare, icebreakers, crafts and inspiring messages.  Outside of meetings, planned extracurricular activities include playdates and special events, such as Moms’ Night Out and MOPS and POPS Night (large group date night with childcare provided).

The MOPS theme for this year is, "A Fierce Flourishing:  Celebrate Lavishly, Embrace Rest and Notice Goodness."

The MOPS theme for this year is, “A Fierce Flourishing: Celebrate Lavishly, Embrace Rest and Notice Goodness.”

Long-time member, Laura Castro, had the following to say about her MOPS experience:  “We have really supported each other through a lot.  There has been a sincere desire to love each other as best we can.  What I’ve found over the years is that it has become a community for me.”  Remembering the weeks following the birth of her second daughter, Castro remarked, “The meals (that MOPS makes and delivers) are great.  Having people come in my home and knowing they were not looking at my chaos meant a lot.  The first few weeks after a baby is born are very chaotic.”

Extracurricular MOPS activities include occasional fundraisers.  Picture here: last year's Zumbathon.

Extracurricular MOPS activities include occasional fundraisers. Pictured here: last year’s Zumbathon.

With three chapters that meet regularly in the Rio Grande Valley, mothers from every area are invited to attend.  Whether you are a stay at home mom, work part-time or full-time, MOPS is a place for you.  The Brownsville chapter meets every other Friday, with the next meeting being October 9th, from 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Central Christian Church on 1100 E. Alton Gloor Blvd.  Harlingen MOPS meets the first and third Wednesday of each month from 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., at First Christian Church on 421 S. 13th St.  And the McAllen group meets every first and third Thursday from 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at BT (Baptist Temple) Church on 2001 Trenton Rd.  For more information, please visit their Facebook pages:  Brownsville, Harlingen and McAllen.

Giana Gallardo Hesterberg is passionate about many things, including being a wife, mother, teacher, speaker, blogger, gardener and friend.  You can follow some of her adventures on her blog storiesbytheseashore.blogspot.com 

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Simple Wishes Nursing Bra

Simple Wishes Nursing Bra – The BEST  nursing bra I’ve ever had. Since I have had a lot of engorgement I needed to pump from the breast that was not being fed from.

02-Black-front Being able to do that hands free was so nice. I also had to pump frequently and hands free pumping allowed me to massage my breasts while I pumped to relieve the pain and the pressure that I felt. The material is also very soft and not binding at all!

 

Simple Wishes B3 - Nursing and PumpingReview by: Monica Black from Belly View Ultrasound in McAllen, TX.

For more information on Simple Wishes visit www.simplewishes.com!

Another GREAT product RGV Tots-Tweens found at the ABC Kids Expo!

 

 

 

 

 

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Nuzzle Hug my New BFF

NuzzleHUG large taupe D-H cup

Nuzzle Hug - I love this product. I dealt with major engorgement issues so I used it both hot and cold. Being able to remove the individual breast pads helped too so I could have one in the freezer if I needed it. The size of each pad is really perfect too, I had engorgement up into my underarms and the pads gave great coverage.

NuzzlePODs worn123 RBG-01

The warmth on my neck was also such a relief!  You forget how heavy a newborn can seem in those first few days of constant carrying.  Cuddled up on the sofa with a cold glass of water and the nuzzle hug warming my breasts and neck, best feeling of relief!  Overall it’s a great product!

Review by: Monica Black

BellyView 4d/3d Ultrasound

 

1NuzzleHUG_Taupe Large D-H cup2

Winner of the 2014  Preferred Choice and  Top Choice Award!!!

Nuzzle Hug is available at http://nuzzlemom.com/index.php/shop/. Pricing starts at 49.99.

Another great product we found at the ABC Kids Expo!

 

Lulu Hanke

www.tots-tweens.com

 

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Organizing BreastMilk

The Milkies Freeze is a “first in, first out” breast milk storage system that fits in your freezer. Simply collect your precious breast milk in any milk storage bag, and place the bag on the metal quick-freeze tray at the top of the Freeze.

 

 

milkiesfreezehand-hirez2

 

 

Milkies FREEZE Product Review-  The tray that lays on top of the storage compartment really sets this item apart from others!  Perfectly flat and frozen baggies every time. The tray is metal though, so the condensation that forms from a warm bag of milk on a cold metal tray can cause bags to stick. I just put a paper towel between the tray and bag. Great product if you go through your milk quickly. I recommend storing 3-4oz per bag to keep bags from getting stuck in the compartment and to keep them flat enough to store and remove easily. Easy way to stay organized.

Review by: Monica Black
BellyView 3d/4d Ultrasound
Mcallen, TX

 

What does Milkies Freeze Do:

  • Enclosed storage keeps milk storage bags protected from damage and prevents leaks
  • Efficient, space-saving design stores more milk in less space
  • First in, first out system ensures that oldest milk is used first
  • Can be used with any milk storage bag
  • Disassembles for easy cleaning
  • Stores up to 60 ounces of breast milk in any brand of milk storage bag
  • Metal “quick-freeze” tray facilitates rapid freezing
  • Prevents contamination of your precious breast milk

Milkies Freeze is $29.95 available at http://www.mymilkies.com or call 1-800-367-2837.  Winner of the Cribsie Awards!  Another Great product we found at the ABC Kids Expo!

 

 

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New Mom Blues

www.tots-tweens.com
By: Lisa Lopez
Mom Squad Member

 New Mom Blues:

An acquaintance of mine shared a blog on Facebook recently discussing how lonely it can be to be a new mom. I guess I hadn’t really considered myself lonely until I read that blog. My two closest friends are also new moms but live in different cities, so inevitably, we are growing apart. It’s just not easy to make plans to see each other or even have phone conversations with the demands of being a new mom.

I think my situation is made worse because I work from home. I don’t have any social interaction with my coworkers, only emails and the occasional online chat.

After work, our schedule is pretty routine: wake Lola from nap. Go for a family walk if it is not too hot. Fight Lola to eat dinner. Fight Lola to go to bed. Wake up several times during the night to tend to Lola. Repeat.

I know I need to put in perspective that my daughter needs me the most right now. After a few years, she will prefer to be with her friends instead of me. This is the time I need to focus on her, making sure her needs are being met and her growth is on the right path.

Still, I know I am losing my network of friends, along with my identity. We took our family portraits last weekend (Lola was not very cooperative, so I doubt we will have any good shots), and the photographer wanted to take a few shots of just me (and then just my husband). I was taken aback. Why would I have pictures taken by myself? My arms felt the ache of Lola not being in them. I am so used to being Lola’s mom. Who is Lisa anymore?

I am fortunate to have a very close friend in Harlingen (we were best friends in high school), but she has a demanding work and home life schedule. I relish the time I get to spend with her, but I can’t depend on her to be my everything. I got introduced to a homeschooler’s group in Harlingen (Harlingen Relaxed Homeschoolers on Facebook), but it is a challenge because I am supposed to be working when they meet. I know I need to find an outlet, some other mommy friends, but it is not easy. So, for now, I will continue to count my blessings and appreciate the time I have with my daughter.

 

Lisa Lopez
http://www.facebook.com/exploreharlingen
Tots-Tweens/Mom Squad Member
 
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WINSday GiveAway!!!

Napinol

Enter to win this Natural Dual Purpose Ointment!

To enter visit  our Face Book page and enter our  WINSday contest!! Here is another product we found @ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas and it can be yours!! Simply visit us www.facebook.com/RGVTotsTweens… find the WINSday GiveAway #1 post and Comment and Like the post to Enter. Winner will be announced on MONDAY!

 

NapiNol :  Booty Balm & Beyond is a patented dual-purpose ointment that’s made with the safety and purity of only
5 all-natural ingredients. Booty Balm & Beyond has a smooth, elegant feel, with the pleasant scent of natural vanilla. And it’s cloth-diaper safe. This product is great for Baby’s Bottoms, Mommies Boobies and it can used ANYWHERE you need it! For more info and see other NapiNol products visit www.napinolnurserytherapies.com or visit them at www.facebook.com/NapiNolOrganic!

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How to stop your child’s nightmares!

“Psssssstttt….. Mom……..Dad…” Sound familiar?
How to stop your child’s nightmares

Does your child ever wake you up in the middle of the night because of a bad dream? This is a common issue with young ones. Studies have shown 25% of young children experience nightmares at least once a week. But what is the cause of this terror in these poor kids’ minds?
Keep reading… these suggestions are worth a try!

The child’s environment

Is your child’s bedroom a comforting environment for sleeping? It is very important for him or her to feel safe as they close their eyes for the night. To assure this, talk to your child to find out what will soothe them. Most children prefer to sleep with a light nearby. Because the electric bill will sky rocket if you install a light dimmer, a simple plug-in night light will do the trick. In addition to the night light, leaving the door slightly cracked will reassure them they are not alone. Even adults get the feeling of being “trapped” if in a closed-in area for long periods of time. My third suggestion, which can differ in certain situations, is add positivity to the room with music. A soft and soothing genre of music, country for example, will distract them from negative thoughts and send them to their dreamland with hopeful lyrics in mind.

The child’s troubles/ fears

Even though looking back on those young years feels like all laughter and play, we all know growing up had its pressures. The fear of your first day of school, getting blamed for something you didn’t do, or troubles at home… talk to your child. Talking to them gives them a chance to empty out all the bottled fears from their mind. Diminish their stress and encourage happy thoughts which will lead to happy dreams.

The child’s intake

Get this! This sounds bizarre but WHAT you eat and WHEN you eat it are contributing factors to a poor quality sleep or a night full of nightmares. A study in the International Journal of Psychophysiology found those who ate spicy foods before bed were awoken throughout the night due to elevated body temperatures. This being said, bad dreams are known to occur when a child is continuously woken up abruptly during the night. Keep this in mind and save those foods with an extra kick for the middle of the day! Also, foods with high fat content negatively affect sleep… which I’m sure most of us have experienced those nights. Weighed down and maybe even an upset stomach, fatty foods/ junk foods definitely have a negative impact on dreams.


The child’s medications

There are many medications that affect children, people in general. If your child suffers from ADHD, it is common for bad dreams to be a side effect of the medication prescribed (ex Strattera). Not that you should put a stop to the treatment, just keep in mind the medication could be a potential factor to the child’s unsettling dreams.

HINT: I know the saying seems to just roll off the tongue when you’re tucking them in, but “Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” isn’t the most comforting thought to leave them with as you exit the dark room.

Sleep tight (we’ll leave it at that haha),
Stephanie Falcone

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