I’ve done quite a bit of traveling in my life. There was a freedom that came from traveling alone but now I have two young boys. I am a big believer in the gift of travel, and I believe even more strongly, that it is one of the most important contributions I can make in the lives of my children and to us as a family. It has enriched my life deeply and the memories I have made and will continue to make will last a lifetime.

So often, people think that life is over after having kids, or at least the spontaneity and adventure in it. They settle down and think that settling down is what you are supposed to do. I want to do this as a family one day, and one day we will. I believe stability for children comes from their parents. It is presence from their parents that allows for the security, stability and “home” that they need. This post is about; why I travel, why I want my kids to be exposed to the world and all of the amazing benefits that come with it.

Many people say that it’s a waste to travel with young children, especially before the age of 5. These same people allege that infants and toddlers won’t remember anything and it won’t be worth the money, inconveniences or aggravation. I disagree as my experiences have shown me otherwise. Please allow me to explain.

Traveling has so many benefits to a family. The parents gain new perspectives and experiences, which augment them as individuals, as a couple and as parents. This is so important in raising their children. When we are not exposed to different views and ways of seeing the world we become complacent and we begin to believe our way is the only way.

I believe travel is most important within the first seven years of life. It is within that period that the foundation is set for a person. We grow, we change, we learn, but our first years of life are the most valuable in determining who we become fundamentally in terms of values, personality, and intrinsic nature. This has been proven and is accepted by most with public health messages that continually talk to parents about the importance of the first five years of life.

The stimulation of new environments, different cultures, modes of transportation, other languages, cuisines and people, will help to influence and create the paradigm our children use to view the world. They will adapt better to change in their lives and they will also be more compassionate, respectful, aware and considerate of others. I don’t claim this to be the case simply if you travel, however, I believe that with this exposure to the world outside of our own and with Guidance, Love, Patience and Compassion, these characteristics will develop organically. I also believe that instilling gratitude and appreciation for all we have in this life is very important.

Traveling from an early age can also prevent fear; fear of people, fear of failing, fear of unfamiliar places and most importantly, fear of the unknown. Children aren’t born with fear. It is taught and it is learned. My kid’s fearlessness eases any fears I may have and their enthusiasm in all of our adventures truly inspires me.

Kids are dreamers. We need to let them dream. We need to expose them to the beautiful world we live in and show them that a world outside of our own exists. I believe in doing this at an early age. The exposure will breed curiosity, which is so important. We should always be curious! Critical thinking is also essential in this world and many people would say, “it is not taught in our school system.” It is however, learned through living, through playing, exploring, discovering, and being exposed to new and different ways of life.

I believe traveling teaches our children to become better citizens of the world we all share. They cultivate a social awareness that most of us don’t develop until much later in life, empathy for humanity, and a wondrous spirit that will inspire others as they walk through this precious gift of life.

My experience has shown me, if you have never traveled with your children, that you can’t expect perfection. It isn’t easy but anything truly beneficial and rewarding usually isn’t. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions, be patient, enjoy each little stop they want to make along the way to smell the flowers and play with rocks, and take pride in knowing you are helping to shape the way your child sees this boundless, wonderful, beautiful world we all share.

Happy Traveling. May you and your children grow stronger, wiser and more fulfilled in your lives. I truly believe we all grow exponentially while traveling and we are so much more present for each other. The bonds established, the love shared and the memories created will tell stories for our lifetimes.

World Tour 2013 in planning stages now ☺

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I’m so proud to have both of my little athletes in the Huffington Post Slideshow for Future Olympians!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/huffpost-parents-future-olympians_n_1707279.html?utm_hp_ref=parents&ir=Parents#slide=1269595

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Our world is filled with people constantly comparing themselves and their kids to others. As a young girl, I always compared myself to the women in magazines and never felt “enough”. Since becoming a mother, the fierce competition and comparative nature that exists in this world of parenting, just amazes me.

Yes, there are milestones children normally hit by certain ages, and my boys were either behind or ahead in some areas and within normal range in others. Very few of us are superstars in everything we do, in fact I don’t know anyone who is a superstar at everything they do. I often have friends tell me how they are concerned because their son or daughter isn’t rolling over, crawling, talking, using the toilet or whatever it may be. I always say the same thing, ” They will get there, when they are ready.” But will they?

As parents, we wouldn’t feel anxious or ashamed or “behind” if were not constantly comparing ourselves to others. So should we set expectations or should we trust that everything will be okay? As you may already know, I am a mother of a 2 year old and a 4 year old. In my case, I choose to love and respect my boys and when they are not doing something that I feel they should be or that I have been told they should be doing my now. I talk to them, I ask them what they are feeling or why they don’t want to do whatever the task may be. Some people will tell you that you cannot reason with a 2 year old, but I have been doing this since before they boys could talk and you would be surprised at some of the answers my 2 year old has given me as to why he doesn’t want to do something.

This leads me to the important lesson I am learning while potty training my 4 year old son.  He is such a special, imaginative, beautiful, sensitive and magical soul. He likes doing things, as I believe most kids do, in his own harmonious time, and when he is ready. I have so much patience and love for both of my boys. At times it has taken extra patience on my behalf, particularly when it came to potty training. I’ve read and heard that if they are not ready, don’t push it.  Re-visit again in a couple of weeks or months. I tried so many times and so many ways and he just didn’t want to do it. I had to wonder, “what I was doing wrong?”.  “Was I not firm enough?  What is he so afraid of? Was I missing something?”

People were always reminding me of the milestone and when this particular one should’ve been reached, to which I always replied, “He will not be going to college in diapers, or breastfeeding (another story for a different day) and he will go to the bathroom when he is ready.”  Well, I decided a couple of weeks ago, to give it another shot.  He’s been wearing underwear all day and a pull up at night.  I found that he would rather hold it in than go, and when he was desperate enough, it either came dripping down his leg, or he asked if he could go in the shower.  Witnessing the sheer terror and fear on my sweet boy’s face, made this a true task of love, patience and creativity.

Attempt one: We went in the bathroom, locked the door, and he sat on the toilet and was so nervous.  I held him, talked him through it, and comforted him.  He wanted to do it so badly, despite his fear.  Maybe to please, maybe to prove he was a big boy, maybe he was ready.  He kept saying it wasn’t coming out.  I ran the faucet, put his hand in cold water, poured water in the toilet…nothing.  We didn’t give up, although my knees almost did 🙂  Moments later, a stream of pee pee filled the bowl and shot me as well, which made my son laugh hysterically. We both laughed so hard and when he finished, he hugged me so tight, flushed the toilet and ran to tell his daddy and his little brother.  He was jumping up and down with enthusiasm and pride.

He has been going on the “throne” all week and although it isn’t the smoothest endeavor each time, he’s getting more and more comfortable and growing before my eyes after such an accomplishment for himself.  He let his little brother watch last night, which was a very big deal, and little brother ran around saying, “P went on the potty, P went on the potty!”  They are so supportive of one another and are each other’s best friends.  They will grow and learn together, there will be times when each of them needs encouragement from the other. I am grateful for the bond they share and the fact that they have each other.

Remember, our kids will do things when they are ready, however,  we need to remember that encouragement and love go a long way. It’s not necessary that we sweep things under the rug and just expect them to tell us when they want to do something. I believe we should encourage them to do things when we believe it is time and if they are not yet ready, we need to listen to their needs and be patient while continuing to encourage them and always letting them know that they are loved.

I raise my boys with love, gentle guidance, patience and support. I nurture them and always make sure they know they can talk to me. I am so proud and excited for my big boy.  He is growing beautifully and I never doubted him for a minute.  I love you my boys. You both can BE and DO anything in this world you set your mind to. Anything! Whatever you choose to be, be who you are with confidence and compare yourself to no one.

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My little boys are in Huffington Post’s slideshow featuring adorable kid’s eating ice cream on a hot summer day!

This is a photo from our recent trip to New York in Central Park~one of my and their favorite places!

Click Below to See Slideshow!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/adorable-kids-eating-ice-cream_n_1669167.html?1342622628&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

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Emily Giffin has been one of my favorite writers since I first discovered her 6 years ago.  It was the beginning of my honeymoon and I was about to board a flight to the Maldives.  A fabulous chick lit novel was in order!  I’m always drawn to the covers if I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for.  The title SOMETHING BORROWED with a soft pink cover and a dangling wedding band was the winner. Helloooo Emily Giffin.

While relaxing in a hammock out in the sea, I couldn’t put this down.  Dex. Darcy, Rachel, Ethan.  This wasn’t my typical, last minute airport purchase consisting of mediocre writing and vapid entertainment.  This was real. This was inspiring.  I just adored these people and developed sincere respect and admiration for their creator.

The book sadly came to an end, as they all do, and I read that her next book was already out and named SOMETHING BLUE.  It was told from Darcy’s perspective, the sassy antagonist, and I needed more!  OH MY GOSH.  I had to get my hands on this book immediately.

Next stop, Thailand, and I prayed that Bangkok’s airport was equipped with the goods.  How lucky was I.  I got it!  I zestfully enjoyed each page, while riding elephants in Chiang Rei and relaxing in the rice fields of Chiang Mai. Pure Bliss.

I have much, much more to say about Emily and her other sensational books. For now, I just want to express my excitement and share the news about her upcoming novel, WHERE WE BELNG.

Here is the link to Emily’s Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/EmilyGiffinFans. You will enjoy being a part of her community!

Click here to buy Emily’s new book from Amazon! I just ordered mine and can’t wait to discuss!

Much support, love and success with your new book Emily!

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Welcome to the new world of Baby Love Wrap and a community I’d love for you to be a part of!

I am so excited to build a community together where we can all share our stories, questions, helpful tips and more.

I am such a believer in supporting one another. Competition amongst women has always saddened me and since becoming a mother, I’ve witnessed it even more. Since I can only speak for myself, this is what I have to say about that. I am doing my best everyday. I trust this instinct that came alive in me, more than ever before, once my first child was born. I Love with all of my heart and I only want what is best for my boys and my family. I will make mistakes along the way and I will learn from them. I am not perfect. I only wish the same for you.

Judgement is such a huge part of our society and I feel that it only takes you away from the Love and attention you should be paying to other, more important things. Judgement is a choice. Let’s choose to Live and Let Live. Let’s focus on doing our part and our very best to raise kind, strong, loving, compassionate, socially conscious individuals so that our world can be a better place. How we raise them and who they become is truly going to shape our future, theirs and the generations that follow.

I look forward to growing and learning with all of you.

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Hi, my name is Sandy.

I am a very proud mother of 2 boys and I love them with all of my heart. I was online one evening trying to find support because people around me were questioning my parenting style so frequently and persistently. I trusted myself, yet the constant inquisitions made me feel the need to seek like- minded mothers with like-minded parenting choices. I didnʼt know the term ‘attachment parenting’ existed until my first son was 5 months old.

From the moment my first son started growing in my belly, I was changed forever. There was little I could have done to prepare for how profoundly my view of the world would change. I wasnʼt around many babies in my life, and I didnʼt have a role model in parenting, neither was I set on any particular style of parenting. I didnʼt know if I would breastfeed, bed share, wear my baby or anything. I did what everyone does before having a baby; I got the crib, the stroller, the baby carrier, the breast pump and the bottles. I was prepared for it all, or so I thought.

When he was born, I always wanted him close to me. I found that he was just too far away in a stroller and it just didnʼt feel right. I decided to go shopping and find myself a baby carrier…a great one that I could be comfortable in and wear for many hours at a time…if not all day.

After my search for the perfect baby carrier, and not finding anything very special, I decided to design and manufacture my own. I did extensive research of virtually every wrap and carrier out there and the idea for Baby Love Wrap was born. I took a leap in order to supply myself and the marketplace with a fashionable, organic and comfortable baby wrap. My son built this business with me. I carried him around in this wrap I made which I would soon commercialize. I would coordinate his naps in the wrap around factory visits every day. It was the most special bonding experience and I will never forget it. I hope you enjoy wearing your baby and feeling the Love and connection as much as I did!

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I would like to welcome you all to my new, re-designed website!  It has been a labor of love for the past few months.  I’m very excited to connect with those of you interested in raising awareness and raising children that will make a difference in this world because of the Love, guidance and support they receive from us. Let’s support one another, in spite of our differences. We are all so lucky to experience the pure gift and miracle of being Mothers and Parents. Even if you aren’t a parent, we are all influential and powerful, and we must be the best examples we can be for our future generations.

In honor of the 4th of July this Wednesday, I would like to offer a 10% discount on any order placed through Sunday.  Please use code HappyJuly4th upon checkout.

In addition, I would like to acknowledge my brilliant, amazingly talented web designer and dear friend, Michael McClain for his  commitment and unrelenting efforts in building this site with me.  Please contact him at mjmcclain@gmail.com if you love my new site as much as I do and want one of your own!

Have a wonderful holiday.

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Time Magazine’s cover certainly caught the attention of everyone out there with this “provocative” cover, not just breast feeding mothers.
Although the attention may be negative and has sparked controversy, I am happy about the attention it is bringing to attachment parenting in America.

The article actually introduced, to anyone who is unfamiliar, Dr. Bill Sears, the legendary pediatrician who coined the term “attachment parenting” a little over twenty years ago.
I love that a term actually exists, not that I need labels to define myself or my parenting, but for the sake of like minded parents supporting one another in this type of parenting.

I am still nursing my boys proudly, however, we don’t choose the position of standing on a chair as displayed on the cover of Time 🙂

The ignorant comments provoked by this cover only lead to more competition, and more defensiveness in the world of being a mother. I don’t agree with the judgement and comparisons made to prove who is “mom enough” or who is better.

We are mothers. We make different choices. We live different lives. Let’s all let each other do that. Let’s do our best in raising children that will make a difference in this world because of the Love, guidance and support they received growing up. Let’s support one another, in spite of our differences. We are “mom enough” and we are so lucky to experience the pure gift and miracle of being Mothers.

Have you read the article yet? What are your thoughts?

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I was interviewed by the wonderful Jan Norman for this article featured on the front page of the business section.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/baby-275575-started-frankfort.html

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