New Featured Blogger Contest 2017

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  allies1187 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

  • Posted in: MV Moms
  • November 2, 2017 at 7:38 am #6702

    We’re looking for 7 new parents to join our team of bloggers!
    Leave a post below telling us why you would make a great blogger to represent and inspire parents in the Merrimack Valley. Let your personality come through–funny, witty, moving, engaging.
    Each person chosen as a featured blogger will win $250!
    Contest runs from November 1-December 31,2017.
    Looking for more details? Read the blog post: http://www.ourcircleofmoms.com/were-looking-for-new-bloggers/ or http://www.ourcircleofmoms.com/extending-new-blogger-contest/

  • November 8, 2017 at 11:37 am #6713

    Hello Circle of Moms! Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Juli Couture, and I am a part-time clinical assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital, a part time freelance writer/photographer for Your Dracut Today as well as Twiniversity Magazine and a full-time mother of brother/sister Boston Terriers and twin 5 year-old daughters. We currently reside in Dracut Massachusetts where I spend most of my evenings cleaning up after my three kids, the third being my husband. I can only compare this task to attempting to clean a mess made by a paint-covered octopus with ADHD who had just drank a redbull…only you’re on roller skates…and the roller skates are on fire.

    Moving right along, I think I would be a good fit for your team of awesome “Mombers” (I just made that word up, you can use it if you want, it’s a mom/blogger hybrid). As far as what I can bring to the table; I feel I have a lot to offer in the realm of multiples mothering, as I’ve had 5 long years chock full of experience to offer other multiples moms out there. In fact, I’ve served on a local Mothers of Multiples Board as well as on the State Board. I have so many stories of twin parenting to share! Though some stories may lead to nightmares…I will definitely warn audiences ahead of time. Code browns…so many code browns.

    Also, having dealt with the heavier topics personally, such as infertility, IVF, prematurity, being a NICU parent, postpartum depression and so on, I think I can also offer a virtual shoulder of support to assure our mom friends that they are not alone, and shouldn’t suffer as such.

    Lastly, having worked for Children’s Hospital for over ten years, I have a finger on the pulse of all things pediatrics. Need to learn how to care for your son post-circumcision? I got you covered! Want to know of there is such a thing as a pediatric sleep doctor? I can give you names! I also love to share new and exciting info when it comes out about medical pediatric breakthroughs, and luckily for all of us, there has been so many!

    Writing has always been my passion and I live to reach and especially entertain people. If sharing information and stories can make someone smile, laugh, educate them or help them feel not so alone in the world, then I’m living my best life. There’s no topic I’ll shy away from and if I can learn something along the way while I’m researching a story, then that’s just the awesome sauce on the cake! I hope you will consider me to join your awesome Circle and I will do my best to entertain the moms out here in the Merrimack Valley!

    – Juli

  • November 19, 2017 at 8:24 pm #6737

    Hello Circle of Moms!

    My name is Cyndy Muchine (formerly Langat). I am a full time Business Analyst Consultant, wife and mother of two wonderful children. I currently reside in Lowell. I am published Author and the CEO and founder of Kenya Autism Alliance, a non-profit organization that support parents of children with Autism. Yes, you read right. I have a son with Autism and this is one of the topics I would love to blog about. My husband has been encouraging me to blog and last night I saw this on twitter, yah! I belong to many other Autism support groups because I have great experience with my 15-year-old kiddo.

    Autism has been dressed up as a monster. It is not a monstrous diagnosis but a topic that is seldom discussed. My daughter is older and of course a second mother to my ASD son, who by the way, acts like the man of the house! Autism affects all of us in one way or another. It does not discriminate based on class, race or ethnicity. We have all been touched by this disorder, which I personally find very orderly in some type of way. My son Kyle is very orderly! Go figure?? Autism Spectrum Disorder? WHAT!!

    On a serious note, I am very passionate about supporting parents that have just received an Autism diagnosis. It’s not a journey you want to walk alone. I was that mom! I had no one to guide me on what to do next after hearing the clinical psychologist mention the word “Autism.” I am here to give Autism a makeover because life does not stop when you are given the diagnosis. It’s actually the beginning of many tough days, beautiful days, weak days, and strong days! We just have to know how to navigate them, and with whom to navigate them with. It is not easy but it’s totally doable.

    I have participated in the Autism Walks sponsored by Autism Speaks every year to include Autism Awareness day (April 2) that included the Lowell Police Department and surrounding towns! Now this was the most epic moment of my families’ life. Thank God for Twitter. Thank God Superintendent William Taylor took the lead on this initiative.

    I have found my purpose in life. Loving people, helping people, sharing information that will better their lives.

    Autism is NOT a death sentence and your child can thrive and live life full of hope, love, and happiness if only you give them a chance.

    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to serve the community with you.

    Blue Love,

    Cyndy Muchine

  • December 4, 2017 at 5:33 am #6749

    Hi Circle of Moms!

    I’m a proud first time mom of a 5 month old aka TRS’ Mom formerly known as Jillian. I have my PhD in Psychology and I have been working with kids, teens and adults for a decade. Due to my educational background I wasn’t too worried about becoming a mom other than the actual experience of giving birth. Ironically, delivering my baby was much easier than I expected compared to looking after the little person who came along! What I’ve come to realize is that there aren’t any perfect answers when it comes to parenthood. Bummer! Or is it?

    This contest intrigued me because I have always enjoyed sharing information with others. I’ve been journaling my mommy experience since trying to become pregnant so this is a great outlet for passing along those nuggets of wisdom. It is my desire to normalize some of the concerns parents have because knowing other people experienced what I was experiencing was my greatest comfort during sleepless nights. While I won’t be blogging as a psychologist I do want to share my personal struggles and triumphs in this journey of mommyhood. This role has been the hardest but most rewarding endeavor I’ve undertaken!

    Peace,
    Jillian

  • December 4, 2017 at 2:45 pm #6751

    Hello Circle of Moms,

    My name is Jenna Mahoney-Pierce. I am a first time Mom of a beautiful 8 month old girl. Where has the time gone! I can remember how tiny she was at the hospital, and I look at how much has changed; I am in awe as the tears start coming!!! I am so proud of every accomplishment she has made so far. At the same time, she is currently pulling out my pony tail from the side, playing with my glasses and searching my teeth for cavatites, so I am kinda wish for those newborn blobby days every now and again.

    Anyway, back to the introduction. I am a full-time mom and wife, and part-time daycare teacher in Dracut MA. I currently am an infant teacher, but I have also taught in toddler age and preschool classes. By no means do I consider myself an expert in childcare, my opinion is not the “be-all-end-all.” Children are all different, just like parents, and teachers. I do think having the experiences I have had help me be a better teacher, and helped prepare me even in the littlest bit for “mommyhood.” After maternity leave, I gained a new perspective to my role in my profession. Before baby, I have seen so many first days blues, more from the parent than the child. After baby, I realize how much each parent is giving me each day.

    Aside from part-time teaching, and full-time Mommy duty, I run my own craft business, and have done numerous craft fairs in the Lowell/ Dracut area. I knit/crochet and also make paper decorations and cards. I was taught many different crafts growing up as a child from many family members. I love creating and have always brought that love into my classrooms. We have made tons of projects, even with the littlest of students. I try to make any craft accessible to any age; my 8 month old has made tons of footprint art and has experimented with sensory play of all kids so far.

    Between crafter, mommy, and teacher, I have numerous ideas to pass the day away with a child; art, songs, finger plays, and activities. I like using items that are typically in my home/classroom already. I would love the opportunity to share my ideas and experiences in the blog.

    I also want to take a minute to say that I am also willing to use this blog to share more personal stories about the trials and tribulations of being a first time mom to the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Did I mention that I live with my in-laws in Lowell and my parents are in FL. Topics of my life story include, but not limited to, pushy in-laws, guilt trips by my mother since she is so far away, pre-baby preparations, who wanted to be in delivery room vs who actually was in the delivery room, who should I trust to watch the baby, screen time, breastmilk vs formula and when I started solids, and my personal favorite “thats not how I did it” speeches. I want to be able to be truthful about my FTM experiences so that maybe there will be other FTMs that can read my stories and say “oh good, its not just me!” Of course I would like to change my profile/screen name if I am to write “tell-alls” about my family (since I am sure they will find me, like family always does).

    I have wanted to share my ideas and stories for a while now. Being part of a community of mommy bloggers seems like a perfect fit to me!!!

    -Jenna

  • December 6, 2017 at 1:04 pm #6752

    Hey everyone!

    My name is Cassie. I’m approximately 9% RN at LGH’s Main Campus and I’m around 91% stay at home, homeschool parent (sounds about as nerdy as it really is) to an eight, six, and two year old.

    I’ve always loved to write, and while kids and career have slowed down the pace of life for me in many ways, including my writing volume, I still love all the same things – people, faith, travel, cooking, medicine, and soaking up the local culture. I think the best thing about becoming a parent is sharing all of that with my kids and enjoying seeing their personalities come out in their own interests, which are all so different. My eight year old daughter loves long books, the library, and NPR. (See? Nerdy.) My six year old son loves Legos, puzzles, and circuit board sets, anything he can build. My two year old likes to tear apart my house and give me premature greys. All the differences really make it fun for my husband and I to do things with them and see things through their own eyes.

    I think our biggest parenting philosophy, aside from our faith, is trying to not just create a kid-centered world for them. We do children’s activities sometimes, but a lot of our free time when Mark and I are both off of work is spent doing things as a family. We are pretty frugal and keep things to the basics, so we favor free fun and experiences over big ticket toys or vacations. To that end, we do as many national parks and historical parks as we can, take weekend road trips, visit all the fantastic museums here in New England, enjoy lots of long walks in the city to meet all the local people who make Lowell amazing, and go out to eat at our favorite cozy restaurants. There are really endless things to do in this area of the country, and the mix of people, cultures, and foods can’t be beat. My kids are so blessed! Sometimes during these activities someone is bored, or in the case of my littlest, not the most silent dinner companion, but it’s always a learning experience for them even if it just means them learning to be patient for a minute. It also keeps us humble as parents, which is important too. Kids aren’t perfect, we aren’t perfect, and there’s always growth to be had for all of us.

    As for me, in my downtime, I love to listen to podcasts and watch Frontline and Nova on the Peeb with my husband, drink a good cup of coffee, write cards to people, read up on nursing research and best practices, cook all the recipes my Greek grandmother made me when I was growing up, be a part of my church, hang out with my large group of siblings and their significant others, and perhaps most of all, I love, Love, LOVE to make lots of lists in my weekly planner so I have things to check off at the end of the day.

    And just like that, I’m checking this one off my list right now.

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by  CassieV.
  • December 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm #6768

    Hello mamas!

    Sit back, relax and allow me to share a little bit about myself. My name is Chelsea and I’m a wife, mom, full-time worker, world traveler and DYI enthusiast. Being a first time mom has brought a whole new perspective to my life. I always assumed that with my background in working with children, graduating with a degree in education and having read countless books on how to raise a child, I would have some sort of clue on how to raise a little human. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong! The first lesson I learned as a mother was any assumptions and expectations I had on parenting would go right out the window. Through this hard learning experience, I believe now more than ever, that we need to support each other as moms. Especially during a time in our society where it’s all too common to see men and women shame and discourage each other. I would like to spread encouragement and inspiring messages to all moms out there. At the end of the day, most of us are just flying by the seat of our pants anyway!

    The society we live in has set very high standards and expectations of mothers in taking care of their children, sometimes with little or no support. The status quo of today’s nuclear family has made motherhood a much more isolated journey. We live busy and hectic lives where we can hardly find time for ourselves. I’m sure the old saying, “it takes a village to raise a child,” rings a bell for most of us. In our culture, however, we don’t live in villages… but that doesn’t mean we don’t need the support of a village. It’s time to come together and bring back the village mentality. We need to collectively release the pressure to perform and choose kindness over judgement. After all, we have children that we love more than life itself. That is our common bond.

    I believe there are 100 right ways to do something and to be a good parent. Ok, 100 is a slight exaggeration, but in reality, the perfect mom doesn’t exist. And not only that but… being a perfect mom is overrated. I would like to share the realness of being a mom, the highs and the lows. Our Circle of Moms community is a great network and resource for local moms to come together and support each other because it really does take a “village to raise a child.” So, let’s find our own village, our people. It may not be the conventional group that is often envisioned… but that’s ok. I would be honored to be a part of a network that helps to build moms up.

  • December 13, 2017 at 11:53 pm #6782

    Hi Circle of Moms! My name is Sarah (Tassone) Powling, and I live in Dracut with my husband Joe and our 2 boys, Joey and Jimmy, ages 5 and 3. You might have heard of us before.

    We are the family that you’ve probably seen driving down the road with a forgotten coffee cup jiggling on the roof of our car. Or the family bumbling through the grocery store, absentmindedly knocking down entire displays of marshmallows and graham crackers. Or the ones that you saw at the Spinners game, spilling not 1, but 2 bottles of soda and an entire bag of popcorn. On the lady in front of us. (For the record she was really nice about it, even after I pulled her hair while trying to inconspicuously pull out popcorn chunks.)

    If that doesn’t ring a bell, then perhaps you’ve seen Joe. He’s the big loud guy with the greatest intentions and the worst luck. A firefighter, police officer, and paramedic, he’s the guy you want with you during any emergency. And usually he is…because he’s the one that caused it!

    Joe can cut his finger while preparing food, set the oven on fire while cooking the food, and then put the oven fire out with one hand while simultaneously serving the food, all in a matter of 39 seconds. And it’s always delicious, so you learn not to question him and to just get out of his way.

    Joe is also the kind of guy who can lose 3 sets of car keys in 3 days, ruin all of his clothes in the dryer with one explosion of a pen, and get stuck in a car wash for 2 hours during the Super Bowl. But again, you learn not to ask questions, especially because he is also the guy who randomly prepares his wife a bubble bath. Who cares if the sole purpose of the bath is so that he can drive his tractor around the neighborhood unsupervised, while pulling both boys behind him in a sled? I mean, it IS a nice break.

    Speaking of the boys, you’ve probably seen them, too. They were the ones being dragged out of the library kicking and screaming because they saw a picture of a basketball and wanted to play. Okay, it was mostly Joey, the 5-year-old. If you haven’t seen Joey before, then you’ve definitely heard him. He talks nonstop for 22 of the 24 hours in a day. In his 5 years of life, he’s asked more questions than an NYPD Detective during his entire career. And if you, for one minute, think that he forgot about your promise to take him to McDonalds the next time you see him on a Friday afternoon, guess again! He’ll remember the color of the shirt you were wearing when you made the promise to him as well.

    Jimmy, on the other hand, is basically Big Joe trapped in a 3-year-old’s body. I’m pretty sure he could lift a car if he had to, all while flashing his baby blues and telling you how pretty you are. If you haven’t heard him yelling about his “big dick” (I swear on my grandfather’s grave he’s saying “stick.” We’re working on it.) then you’ve definitely seen him. He’s the one you’ve noticed in the parking lot, or in our front yard, or even in line at Canobie Lake Park, wrestling down his underoos to pee. Anywhere. With no warning. (Sorry. We’re working on that, too.) I sometimes call him “Animal James” to the tune of “Curious George.” If you have any doubts about evolution, just observe Jimmy for 30 seconds. And bring a helmet.

    Now, if you haven’t seen any of them before, then you had to have seen me. I’m the one that you observed waving eagerly back to you, as you politely continued your greeting to the person behind me. I’m the one who started that awkward conversation with you and then fumbled around for words to make it right long after you casually turned away and carried on. I’m the one that you witnessed crying at a restaurant because they stopped serving my favorite meal and looking forward to that meal was what got me through the week. (It was an ugly cry, and for that, I apologize.) But mostly I’m the one who you hear screaming, “Joey! Joe! James! Joseph! Jimmy! Joe-immy! Jimseph! Hey! Listen! Joe!” I also apologize for the sweating and panting that goes along with the yelling, as I desperately try and chase them. All 3 of them.

    So there you have it. We’re the Powlings! If you have seen us, I sure hope it was on a good day. (By good day I mean only a couple of disasters and maybe only 1 of us crying at a time.) If you haven’t seen us, I really do think you’d enjoy meeting us or learning more. It might make you feel more capable, as a family or as a person in general. Or hopefully you could relate to us somehow and maybe not feel like you are going through this wonderful journey of parenthood alone. At the very least, you should get a good laugh or 2. Maybe even the kind of laugh where hot chocolate comes spraying out of your nose and mouth all over the people in front of you. Yup, that’s happened, too!

  • December 29, 2017 at 2:54 pm #6813

    Hi Circle of Moms! My name is Allie Stilian. I’m a wife, mother, special education teacher, wanna-be pinterester, chauffeur, hot mess express, hockey Mom, Disney addict…the list could go on. I like to think of myself as having it together, but really, I’m just lucky my kids are well-behaved so it looks that way. I have 3 children: Anthony who is 11 years old, Dougie who is 21 months, and Maddie who is 8 months. There are some days I’d rather have 5 babies than one 11 year old. Honestly, the 10 year age gap is much more difficult than the 13 month age gap. When I’m not home or working, you can find me at the rink. I’ll be the one chasing a toddler, keeping a baby warm, and trying to pay attention because God forbid I miss something. I’ll never hear the end of it.
    I wouldn’t be able to be the awesome, eh, great, nah, good mom I am without my amazing husband. I really don’t know how he deals with me, as well as the three kids, one of which isn’t technically his. He does everything you would expect an amazing father to do, and he does it without complaining. We work as a team. It’s the only way to accomplish anything with our busy schedule. But enough about him. This is about me, for once, and why I would be a great addition to the blogging staff!
    For one, I’m not afraid to throw it all out there. I’m a fairly open person and would be willing to discuss anything. There should be no shame when discussing parenting. Everyone is different, and what works for one child won’t work for the next. Take it from me. I have 3 very different children with their own personalities. My youngest doesn’t talk yet, but I can tell, she’s going to be my difficult one. Sometimes I swear she is laughing at me, or rolling her eyes; I’m not quite sure yet. My children are different ages, so I feel like I could relate to everyone with kids. I am more than willing to talk about good experiences, as well as bad ones, like the time I tripped and fell over a baby gate with a baby in my arms, or the time I slept through my son’s hockey practice…I’m far from perfect, the list could go on for days. We are all moms struggling through, I mean, enjoying life. I’d love to share my experiences, ideas, struggles, or accomplishments. Id love to stay and chat, but one kid is crying, one pooped, and one is hungry…

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