We've got this!

AliMadison

By Ali Madison, Marketing Communications Manager at Trios Health

Mother of two

B.P. (Before Parenthood) I could foresee being a bit of a mess when it came to talking to my child about hygiene, and I used to think about it only in terms of stinky feet and body odor. An awkward conversation with an awkward pre-teen. Say the right words so as not to hurt their self-esteem. Reiterate that it's something "very normal" that "everyone faces," and yada yada. Isn't it amazing what becoming a parent does to change your preconceived notions about things? This doesn't have to be hard…at least, not as hard as we might think.

It turns out that they start out small, and it's very easy to have conversations like "make sure to wash under your arms and your bum" as a starting point. It's not a big deal, it's just what we have to do. Making something part of everyday life when they're little helps pave the way for when they're a little older and there's more to discuss.

Relax. Be honest and compassionate. And model the behavior you want from your children. Mix that with a little mother's intuition about what's right for your child, and you'll be on the road to success no matter what the topic of conversation.

This installment marks the last in the year-long TherMOMeter series. It's been a pleasure and an educational experience hearing a variety of perspectives on many different subjects we'll all face as moms, if we haven't already. And while that long-sought-after parenting manual remains elusive, we'll have to rely on nurture, nature, and each other to help us know what to do. And even then we might not get it right the first time. Or the fifth. But one thing's for sure, there are a lot of wonderful moms out there trying their best and coming up with brilliant approaches to everyday issues along the way.

We can all learn from each other, and I appreciate our team of moms so much for stepping forward to share and help. Best wishes to you all, and to the precious and lucky people who call you MOM.

TherMOMeter Pic

Winter Driving Tips

Check out these great tips for safe driving on winter roads from the experts at Toyota of Tri Cities.

Toyota of Tri Winter Driving Article

Click here or above for the full story.

The Dec/Jan issue is here featuring Cover MOM: Jody Gabrenas

TRI Dec Jan 15 Cover

Click on the cover image above or here to view the current issue.

Click on the stories below to read more:

Cover MOM: Jody Gabrenas

Because I said so! A holiday message from MOM Magazine

TherMOMeter: Taking the temp on hot issues moms face with Trios Health

A journey through cancer from the Tri Cities Cancer Center

HO HO HO'stess Gift Guide: Inspired hostess gift ideas

Hop on the virtual school bus: What you need to know about going back to school online

Play it safe of winter roads: Winter driving tips from Toyota of Tri Cities

Rising to the occasion: A bread recipe for every holiday

A Cover MOM's dream comes true, from Charter College

Bad Santa Photos: The best of the worst

Nash Lamberson is SuperDad sponsored by Tri-Cities Americans

How bad is it?

AliMadison

By Ali Madison, Marketing Communications Manager at Trios Health

Mother of two

Our TherMOMeter moms are pretty much on the same page on this issue's topic-how to decide what kind of medical care to get for our sick or injured kids. We put a lot of stock in our pediatricians, typically calling them first when something goes wrong. We're programmed to do that after they help us navigate the uncertain waters of first-time parenthood. You know, the period in your life when you picked up the phone in a panic for every runny nose or random cough just to hear those magic words from an expert: "He's going to be fine; it sounds like nothing to worry about."

Beyond that, your regular doctor is a great stop for contextual and financial reasons too. They know your child's medical history so they can more readily understand whether there's more to consider in any instance. And a physician office visit will typically cost much less than a trip to urgent care, depending on your insurance coverage, and drastically less than emergency care-up to ten times less, according to my inside sources.

Urgent care is a great option when your doctor isn't available and you know your child needs to be seen within several hours-and I agree with our moms who advise relying on instinct about this because we do know our children best. If you feel your child needs to be seen, get them seen, within reason of course. I think most of us learn in those first several months of parenthood how to distinguish between reasonable concern and overprotectiveness, and once we get a feel for it, we start becoming excellent barometers.

The emergency room is our collective last resort, but it's comforting to have the option if or when it becomes needed. If you're ever unsure, pick up the phone and ask for help. I found myself a little uncertain one day when my two-year-old tripped and badly cut his lip on a coffee table. He was bleeding and it was extremely upsetting to see, but I knew he would be okay with proper attention.

I knew he didn't need an ambulance, but he did need stitches, and that we could skip the pediatrician on this one. So I started by calling urgent care. They directed me to the emergency room because his young age would require special sedation for stitches. So off we went, and though the bill was no fun, he got the care he needed in the most appropriate place for the situation.  And that's really what it's all about in the end-getting the right medical care for our most precious people.

Trust your instincts, moms. And don't be afraid to ask for help deciding when you're not sure. Call your doctor or other medical facility, and use nursing help lines if you have access to one. It's a beautiful thing to have so many options when it matters most.

The October November issue is here with Cover MOM Cindy Broughton

TRI Oct Nov 2014 Cover

 

Click on the image above to view the current issue

Click on the stories below to read more.

Cover MOM: Cindy Broughton

Because I said so! What does cancer feel like?

TherMOMeter: Taking the temp on hot issues moms face with Trios Health

Financial Foundations: Expert advice from expert moms

Talking Health with Tri Cities Cancer Center

Makeover your home: simple ideas with big impact

A friend in need: Supporting a friend with cancer

Turkey care: Baby your bird

Spook-tacular Halloween Costumes: Get inspired to make your own

Chad Domas is SuperDad sponsored by Tri Cities Americans

On the Road with the Circus ... and Kids!

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Kathy Carden is a seven-generation animal trainer who balances life as a mother with being a performer with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. As a mother of two boys, Cash, 5, and George, 7, she makes sure her boys are well mannered and well educated while traveling with the Circus.

What is your biggest challenge as a mom on the road with the Circus?

We recently made the decision to have my seven year old temporarily live with Grandma and start first grade in a traditional elementary school. I wrestle with it. It's tough. He recently asked when he was coming home. That was difficult. Do I keep him here or send him to Grandma's house? I don't want to be separated from my child but you want to do what's best for him at the same time. I felt like he needed some extra attention and traditional school would be the best. I will be with him by Christmas, but it's still hard.

Do you ever have guilt like a traditional working mom does?

That's what's nice. There is no guilt because you get to bring your children to work with you. The boys have been on the road since they were very small. No matter what's going on they are right there with you. There is also a nursery that travels with the show, so the boys were able to play and socialize with other kids.

How does school work for the boys when you're on the road?

The boys go to school 4 hours a day, Wednesday through Sunday. Ringling Bros. provides a teacher who travels with the Circus and provides schooling for the kids of performers. The school-aged kids' days off are Monday and Tuesday because that's when performers have their days off. My boys learned a lot from the teachers on the road. My five year old is in Kindergarten and loves school. He's really bright and so learning comes easy for him.

How do you handle the other normal mom duties while on the road, taking kids to the doctor for check-ups and appointments?

We have cities where we perform yearly and those cities have become home base for doctor and dentist appointments. Like when we are in the Seattle area, we have doctors and dentists we regularly use.

You were also on the road as a child, traveling with your parents and the Circus. What are your memories like as a child?

I loved my childhood. My mom stayed home with my brother and I and my dad traveled but we would travel too when we were not in school. I grew up like this and have the best childhood memories of being on the road with my dad, learning how to train dogs and horses with him. I learned how to love and take care of animals from my mom who would care for any animal that crossed her path. Stray cats, ducks, turtles - you name it, my mom cared for it.

As your boys grow up, do you plan to change your current routine?

End - After my current contract is up I will be going home to Missouri and both boys will start classes at a traditional elementary school. They are excited to ride the school bus! It's a wonderful job but family comes first.

See Kathy and the Ringling Bros Super Circus Heros from October 3 - 5 at the Toyota Center!  Click HERE for ticket information!

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Walking the line between persistent and pushy

AliMadison

By Ali Madison, Marketing Communications Manager at Trios Health

Mother of two

My kids aren't in school yet, but education is something I think about a lot and value above most other things when it comes to setting them on a path to success. Is it the key to all forms of success and happiness in this life? Certainly not. But I think we moms can wholeheartedly agree that it's critical to their development. After all, they won't always be our babies (okay, secretly they will be). Someday they'll need to be thriving, responsible adults, and a good education is an excellent start.

Success in school can help lay the foundation for self-confidence and lead to more choices as adults. It can provide a broadened perspective about what's going on around them, an understanding of how more things work, and the mental resources to navigate a variety of situations. But how do you properly get involved in the process of their education, and how much pushing is too much?

Just as in many things in life, the answer is very different for each person, as our TherMOMeter moms can attest. I was an overachieving "A" student who truly liked doing homework and rarely needed help or pushing. Give me speed-spelling, story problems, and writing assignments any day of the week, and I was a happy girl. Honors math? Sign me up!

But even though I made it pretty easy on my mom, I can't take all of the credit. She read to me from the time I was born, asked me about my homework every day, talked to me about college like it was a foregone conclusion rather than an option, and celebrated every one of my academic achievements with equal enthusiasm. Even though I didn't happen to need a lot of her time or help with my daily work, she was constantly in touch with me about it and making sure I was enjoying it and making it a priority.

I think that daily conversation, emphasis, and positive reinforcement is necessary for all children--the tricky part is finding the right balance for each unique child, observing early on what motivates and demotivates them most, and pushing within those bounds. If something doesn't work, try something else. One of the beautiful things about being a mom is that you get to keep learning too--about your children--and letting those lessons continually make you even better at loving and guiding them.

Hearts for the Fatherless Annual Benefit & Auction

 

This October is the annual Heart for the Fatherless benefit dinner and auction. Heart for the Fatherless is a 501 (c)3 non-profit that seeks to educate our community about the orphan crisis both internationally and domestically. They provide prayer, financial, and personal support to those seeking to adopt. HFTF offers support groups for those involved in international adoption and foster care. They partner with orphanages around the world. Finally,  they offer educational workshops and conferences right here in the Tri-Cities, helping people connect with where their mission field, be that in China or right here in Washington!
A Masquerade Ball is the theme for this year's event meaning a wonderful reason to get out that dress from the back of your closet, or a great reason to get a new one! There will be dinner, auctioning, local celebrity servers, pictures, and of course dancing! Our guest MC is former KNDU Weatherman and four time Emmy winner Monty Webb. Monty holds adoption and foster care close to his heart, as he is the Grandfather to two adopted children.
Tickets for this event are available at Calvary Chapel Tri-Cities on Clearwater. ph. 736-2086
They are $50 per person or $350 per table. Proceeds benefits local families adopting, orphan care, and education.

masquerade ball 2014

 

The August/September issue is here featuring Cover MOM: Jill James

Aug Sept TRI Cover

Click on the image above to view the current issue.

Click on the stories below to read more.

Cover MOM: Jill James of Charter College

Because I said so!: Lessons from a lemonade stand

TherMOMeter: Taking the temp on hot issues moms face with Trios Health

Back to school gear guide: Must have school supplies

Beat the heat: Fun activities to keep kids cool

We all scream for ice cream: The scoop on homemade ice cream

SuperDad: Aaron Ardal