Reno Moms Blog: Are You Dense?

4 Oct

Two women came into my work this week and shared with us a risk factor for breast cancer — dense breast tissue.  I learned that knowing whether or not you have dense breast tissue is critical in managing your own measures to prevent measures.  Please go read the details in my post on the Reno Moms Blog.  It is truly life saving information!

Ignorant Bliss

20 Sep

As I was driving my son home from preschool yesterday, he said, “Mom, want to know something really sad?”

Of course I did.

“There were these two planes, and they crashed into twin towers.  One plane hit each tower.”

I’m glad I wasn’t looking at him, because I’m sure there was an expression of shock on my face.

Turns out another 4 year old boy told him about 9/11 in preschool.

I knew that he’d learn about 9/11 eventually, but I really thought that could wait until he was older.  Much older than 4.

Last year after the Sandy Hook tragedy, I remember I thought to myself, how am I going to talk to my daughter about this?  She was 6 at the time.  The same age as many of the victims.

But then, I decided I liked that my daughter believed that the world was good.  I like that she has fantasies about mermaids and fairies, and still believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.  I felt that telling her about such a horrific incident would just shatter her childhood innocence.  I decided that the statistical likelihood of a Sandy Hook incident happening at her school was so small that I’d take the risk that I hadn’t prepared my daughter with what to do if a crazed gunman came into her school.

Just as I didn’t talk to either of my kids about Sandy Hook, I also haven’t talked to them about 9/11 or any of the other mass shootings or terrorism in our country.  I’m a bit in shock that a parent at my son’s preschool did choose to tell their 4 year old about 9/11. 

After my son told me that “sad story”, I nodded and said, “huh”, purposely not giving it any more reaction than I would one of his tall tales.  One day I will talk to him about 9/11, and I will tell him how it impacted me and how scary it was.  But for now, I want him to think that 9/11 was just another story that a 4 year old made up.  I quickly asked him what letters and numbers he learned at school and steered the conversation a different way. 

Here’s to childhood innocence.  May we preserve it as long as we can. 


Reno Moms Blog: Happy First Day of School, Moms!

12 Aug

A second grader and a preschooler, with the extra treat of Grandma being in town to see them off!

A second grader and a preschooler, with the extra treat of Grandma being in town to see them off!

It’s back-to-school day.  The day when all of us make sure the kids are scrubbed extra clean, their hair is perfectly neat, they have new backpacks, and we snap an adorable picture to commemorate the day.

When I was a kid, I didn’t realize how much my mom was doing to prepare for back to school. Now I get it.  Just this past week, I’ve been finding out my daughter’s teacher (and talking around my local mom network to determine that teacher’s reputation), shopping for the back to school supplies designated by that teacher, buying a new backpack, making a mental note to determine if the bus stop location has changed, and arranging for after school care and after school activities.

Click here to read the entire post at the Reno Moms Blog.

This is Four

8 Aug


My boy recently turned four.  It blows my mind how fast time passes when you have kids.  I thought I’d take the opportunity to write a bit about my little boy in honor of this milestone.

So far, four is a fun, playful and exhausting age.  His emotions swing wildly and without warning, where one moment he’ll be an invincible superhero, and the next he is collapsing on the floor in tears if I don’t give him his way.

I like the superhero phase.  It is so much better than the princess phase my daughter went through.  He believes he has superpowers.  He believes he can do anything.   He believes in good and evil, and that it is his job to defeat all the bad guys in the world.  I wish that the princesses of this world were more like superheroes with pretty dresses.


I am getting used to doing everything with a superhero.  I never know what superhero I will be picking up from preschool, and I often have a superhero tagging along and protecting me as I go grocery shopping or bike riding.  It is so fun to see people’s reactions to my little superhero.  I wish I could freeze time, as I love how confident and invincible he is, yet he isn’t ashamed to hold my hand or cuddle me.


My boy is an athlete.  He takes to new sports naturally and with a complete sense of determination.  How many four year olds do you know that have been biking on two wheels for over a year and have taken naturally to mountain biking, hanging in bike parks and hopping off curbs in the neighborhood?  He also swims like a fish without any sense of fear.  That is my boy.  It excites me and terrifies me.  This week, he did a face plant on the cement after hopping off a curb.  He cried, bled a ton, and after I cleaned him up, he wanted to go right back out on his bike and hop off more curbs.

It is amazing what a dose of testosterone will do to a preschooler.  I swear my daughter would have sworn off biking for years if she had experienced such a crash.


My boy starts preschool full time next week.  It boggles my mind, as I swear it was just yesterday that I was wearing him in a carrier and changing his diapers.  He is so fun.  He is so challenging.  I swear his best superpower is the ability to break my concentration and my sense of calm with one of his many tantrums.  But on days like today, when he crawled into bed with me just before my alarm went off because he wanted to cuddle, it makes up for those tantrums.  I think it would be better to be able to hold his hand and cuddle him (despite the crazy fits) than to have him be a grumpy teenager that thinks I’m not a fellow superhero and just an annoying mom who doesn’t know ANYTHING.

So belated happy birthday, my boy.  I love you to the moon and back and you make me so happy.  I will tell you that every day of your life (at least until you go to college and stop talking to me every day.)

My Approach To Picky Eaters

25 Jul

I was recently interviewed by the Reno News and Review for an article on picky eaters. Although I wouldn’t call my kids “picky”, I think every kid goes through picky phases, and how you deal with it is key. They included some of my approaches to getting my children to eat healthy, unprocessed foods. Click here to read the article. Great job, Jessica Santina!

Be Still My Heart

18 Jul

I cannot tell you how much joy this picture brings me.

swim meet

This is my daughter, who at 18 months developed a crippling fear of the water. With swimming being my favorite hobby and sport, I can’t tell you how frustrating this was for me. She would literally get into the fetal position and cry like she was dying when I put her in the pool at that age.

What she didn’t know is that I am one stubborn Mamma. I was not going to allow for my child to be afraid of the water. My daughter would love the water, I pledged.

It took years of work. I found that she was mainly hysterical when I tried to teach her to swim, so I signed up for pricey swim lessons despite the fact that I had taught swim lessons myself for many years.

I kept exposing her to the water, and eventually, she fell in love with it. This past year, I decided she was ready for swim team. She passed try outs with flying colors, and has been absolutely in love with swimming and swim team this entire summer.

She has participated in two meets, and I tell you, it’s like a dream come true for me. There were many days I doubted that my daughter would develop an affinity for the sport of swimming. But she has. She is good at it, and more importantly, she loves it.

Being at the swim meet, I am in my element. I know exactly where she needs to be and when for her races. I know about how much time we have in between events so that I can take her into the adjacent indoor pool to have her practice a few skills. I am able to coach her. (This is in stark contrast to when she did gymnastics last year, as that is WAY outside my element.) Being at the meets and working with her makes me remember how much I truly enjoyed coaching. And now I have my own little swimmer who eagerly awaits my coaching.

I don’t know how long this will last. I don’t know how serious she’ll be about swimming. But for now, I love that our free time can be spent together at the pool, where she listens to my instruction, and respects my knowledge as a swimmer. I love how my chest swells with pride as I see her step up to the blocks, and how she smiles when she hears me cheering for her. Swimming was so good for me as a child. It taught me discipline, exercise, nutrition, goal setting and gave me a great network of friends. Here’s to hoping that my daughter will have the same experience.

Reno Moms Blog: I Don’t Know How She Does It

8 Jul

Have you read the book or seen the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It? It’s a story about a high powered New York working mom and how she juggles the working motherhood gig. I really enjoyed the book up until the last chapter, where (spoiler alert) the main character quit her job and decided to be a stay at home mom.

In other words, I Don’t Know How She Does It should have been titled She Really Can’t Do It. The ending made me livid.

Maybe Hollywood doesn’t think us women can balance work and motherhood, but there are plenty of us working moms “doing it” daily. That is the subject of my latest post over at the Reno Moms Blog — how I manage to balance the two and keep relatively sane. Go check it out!



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