Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Behavior: 1,2,3 Magic

I am not sure if I have mentioned this book before, but I was a teacher before I had children and had not problems controlling my class. My son stumped me as far a behavior. My daughter is doing the same thing now. I started this books method with my son at around 15months and my daughter is 23months and I have been doing it again. I have found it to work very well for us.

My daughter has recently started saying NO to everything that I ask and taking her clothes off after I dress her. I use the 1,2,3 method and she knows I mean business. My son used to do dangerous things, like climb onto tables and jump off the couch arms. It worked for that as well.

1,2,3 Magic by Dr. Thomas Phelan

Monday, December 5, 2011

Interview with Mark Cuban about his new book, "How To Win At The Sport Of Business"

I recently interviewed Mark Cuban about his new book. For those of you who don't know Mark Cuban, he is a self made billionaire. He is a hard working, creative, entrepreneur. He is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, chairman of HDTV cable network HDNet, and owner of Landmark Theaters.

Many mommies who want to start a business are struggling to make ends meet

but you argue in your book, that some of the best businesses took little
to nothing to start. Why do you encourage entrepreneurs not to wait for
financing to start?

Because effort is always more important than cash.

There are many young moms who are just beginning their lives and can relate to
you when you said you were sharing a small apartment with 6 people and
sleeping on the floor. How can someone keep their eye on the prize when they’re
living on Ramen noodles?

Who cares how you are living today? I loved every minute of living in
that dump. The low rent and utilities and eating Mac n’ Cheese all
the time allowed me to afford the startup of my business. Instead of
paying myself much, I could put it in to
my business.

You knew Michael Dell of Dell Computers before he was the Michael Dell.
What can you say about being nice to people on the way up?

It's a whole lot easier to be nice to people than not to be. There are
times when you have to be tough, but a smile not only goes further,
but it makes you feel better about yourself as well.

You encourage entrepreneurs not to hire a public relations firm, Mark. How did you get the word out about your eBook?

I tweeted, posted on Facebook, [used] Google Plus and responded to emails. Nothing more.

One of my favorite parts of your book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, that completely broke my heart was when your ex-secretary robbed your first company of over $83,000, leaving you only $2000 after a year of work. If there are moms out there that have lost everything,
what advice do you have for them to pick themselves back up?

Keep working. Don’t feel sorry for yourself because it won’t do any good.

Looking back, destiny seemed to lead you from one opportunity where you
would learn a life skill to another. Do you believe in fate or luck and
how much of that has to do with hard or smart work?

There were a lot of things I didn’t write
about. So, it’s not necessarily
a direct jump from one skill to another. Starting and running a
business can be a lot of long hours. You just have to get after it and
not let up.

You were seemingly unfocused and not sure about what you want to do when
you were younger. What advice do you have to parents who are worried if their
child will ever be somebody?

No amount of
worrying is going to change things for them. They have to
figure it out for themselves. At some point, it is theirs to do or not

Where can we get a copy of your eBook, How to Win at the Sport of Business?
Anywhere eBooks are sold: Amazon, BN.com, and sites that support independent bookstores too.

Friday, November 25, 2011


I just joined twitter! I have no idea how to use it but will figure it out as I go. Come see me on twitter too!

Moving from the city to the burbs

My husband and I really expected to raise our children in NYC and thought we were going to live a very happy life there. We both grew up in one of NYs 5 boroughs and planned to stay in the city forever. We had, what we thought the perfect situation, 2 kids, 2 small dogs and a 3 bedroom apartment just off Central Park. We had everything we could ever want and we were in the worlds best city (as far as we were concerned).

Then our kids started to grow. Our son was 4 and in a private preschool and our daughter was on her way to joining him. As happy as we were we felt like we were always trying to keep our son still, contained, restrained, etc... Yet we continued to look for a private preK and plan for next year. We went through the whole process got into a new school and the night before we were to send in the deposit check we changed our minds. We just felt like this was not going to be the best move for our family. Especially our son. Everyday our daughter would nap for 3 hours and he would be stuck in waiting for her to wake up. He was playing like a normal child and we were shushing him so he did not wake his sister. Was this really how we wanted him (both of them) to grow up?

We put our apartment up for sale and it sold very quickly and we found a great house in a town very near NYC. We moved for the start of this school year. Our house is very nice, but we do miss the super! The neighborhood is spectacular but its not the upper west side! The neighbors are great, but you always have to say hello! Bottom line, the move has been good so far. The children, over the moon happy!!! The parents adjusting!!!

The town we moved to seems to be all transplants from the city. That gives us encouragement that we will love it here. I have been told that it is lonely for the first year while you make friends and that you really have to put yourself out there to meet people. I have been trying to join a lot of thing to meet people, but my kids keep getting sick, (maybe new school new germs). I do feel a bit lonely. However I am encouraged because I have found out that I am not the only one. And when I do miss the city, I hop in the car with the kids and visit an old hang out. I also make regular playdates with old friends in the city so some things do stay the same.

More to come on adjusting to the burbs...


Just like the speech pathologist had said, my daughter started talking very well in the last few months. I am so grateful not to have to add another chore to our week by having to go to speech. But I would have gladly done it to allow my daughter to become all that she should be. I find her walking around the house most days naming things and when she doesn't know what something is, she is pointing to it saying, "This is...?" and I have to answer her. Its funny and can get a little annoying all at the same time. We feel very bless that this has all worked itself out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Interview With Anna Deskins

Me--Your children's book, The Adventures of Smitty looks magically. Tell us about it.
Anna--It's the story of a magical island of little creatures called Smilies and the mischievous little main character, Smitty. He's such a naughty boy. Haha! All the moms and kids I've shared it with have been giving me such a wonderful reaction. I cannot believe it. I have to tell you how excited I am to finally have a life-long dream come true. Writing The Adventures of Smitty was really about finding a story that I would want to read to my children at night. It has to be exciting but not scary so that my two daughters can go to sleep. Basically, I was looking for that perfect blend to read to my kids at night and decided, "Why not try writing my own?"

We've had a lot of changes in our life recently, so I want to make sure that when I put my daughters to sleep that they feel safe. I have short chapters because I know how busy we moms are but if you can just sacrifice 5 minutes at night reading to your kids, it makes a world of difference. Your kids will never forget it. And although we're running around the whirlwind of life, our kids grow up so fast, and that time that we'd rather finish watching what happened in our favorite soap opera instead of reading to our kids will never come again. I hope that The Adventures of Smitty and books like it help moms do exactly that.

Me--And it's only 99 cents this week. That's what I love about it. Now, You are recently divorced. How have you been able to continue writing when going through such a change?
Anna--Yes, it is by far one of the most challenging points in my life. To see a marriage you thought would last forever to not last forever was difficult for the two of us. I really learned a lot about myself and most importantly, it's brought me closer to my daughters. I think that's what really motivated me to finish this children's book no matter what. When you're going through changes in your life like this, you need something to hold on to. There's a part of you that wants to prove that you can make it, that you will be a success even if it's not with the partner you originally imagined building a life with. I had to keep writing, for my kids. I want to show them that they have to keep strong, no matter what.

We as women, as moms really need to stick together to support each other and our dreams. We're living in an age when I think we're finally realizing, although we want love, the men in our life aren't the answer to everything. We have to stand up on our own two feet and keep going. True love will happen, but until then, we have to keep moving forward. Our children depend on us and we depend on us.

Me--In addition to being a children's book author, you're also a small business owner. How do you juggle taking care of two daughters and at the same time running a business?
Anna--Yes, I am a fashion designer and have a retail store. Any type of creativity is what I'm passionate about. That's why writing The Adventures of Smitty was so important to me. Let me tell you, running a small business in today's economy isn't easy especially when raising two girls at the same time. But somehow, it seems someone's watching over me because my dreams are coming true no matter what. To have that many moms glowing about my children's book, means so much to me. And I know my girls are proud.

Me--When do you ever have time to write?
Anna--You mean, in between laundry, running a business, chasing my girls around the house, cleaning the house, and flying back and forth from Miami to New York? Haha? That's one thing I've learned, when you really want to do something, you find a way. Things fall into place if you just go for it and that's what I want to encourage all the moms who are reading this right now. Whatever your goal is, you can do it. Don't let the challenges in your personal life stop you from going for your dreams. Just go for it and it's almost magical how things fall into place.

Me--Where can we get a copy of "The Adventures of Smitty"?
Anna--Right now, it's available online by going to: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/94655 You can also visit my website: http://www.AnnaDeskins.com where you can read more about my writing process, my recommendations for other books and my own adventures in Mommyhood.

I'm so grateful for your support and the support I'm getting from so many wonderful moms who dream of writing children's books one day too. Writing The Adventures of Smitty has been such an emotional experience for me, a true journey as I was going through so many changes while writing it. It's truly been a blessing in my life. It, along with my daughters, and that guy upstairs have really pulled me through a challenging time.

Me--Thanks for the interview, Anna. And let's go out and support a fellow mom by getting a copy of The Adventures of Smitty today. I know I will!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Newborn Waking To Feeding

A good friend of mine had a baby a few days ago. She asked me how to wake her new born up to feed her. I immeadiately thought of the friends episode wham Rachel woke her baby and she screamed for hours!
But in real life and you have a new born, you sometimes do have to wake them.

I was told from my mom, who is a pediatric nurse, to wake the baby during the day and not at night for feeding. She always said the baby would wake at night if it was hungry. My kids were always a healthy regular weight and always ate fairly well.

Another friend of mine had very small children and she was told to wake them for the first few months at night.

So ask your doctor what they recommend.

But as far as how to wake them, I was always successful feeding by: unswaddling the baby, tickling their feet a little, taking them out of their nice little comfort zone. That made my children a bit more awake and they would eat.

I Am Not A Doctor

I basically received a hate mail letter tonight from a doctor who, I feel, clearly did not read my posts or personal description correctly. I am not a doctor! I have never said I was an expert! I am offering my opinion based on my own personal experiences as a parent, things I here from other parents and advices I have been given from my children's doctors. I do recall having said in verbal posts, "Ask the expert!". That's not me!

I started my blog as a reference for myself to document what I am learning and what I have learned. Some people have seemed to enjoy reading it and find some of my experiences helpful. All people are different. Different things work for them. And if even 1 person finds 1 bit of advice that I have offered based on my life helpful, then I consider my posting a blog instead of just keeping a journal a success.

So if you don't like me, that's fine.
If you think my advice based on the things that I have done stinks, so be it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Waking At Night, around 20 Months

Both my kids did this and it took weeks to fix! This is when I started the clock that turns green with my son and I just ordered it for my daughter. My daughter just started waking up at 4am every night and telling me that she is, "Done!". She wants to get up for the day and I a, not having it. She goes to bed about 7:30 pm and thatbis not enough sleep for her, I can see she is still tired when I go in to her and she needs to sleep. She is so strong willed and stubborn that she will stay up for at least and hour yelling all done and the she falls beck to sleep untilm7:30-8am. I end umpired and annoyed!
If your baby does this, I think, based on my own experiences and the experiences of my friends, you need to just stay strong. Come up with a plan that works for you ( Ferber etc...) and stick with it. My life is stinking right now because my daughter is in the mist of this. I am spending my days pointing out everything that's green and yellow so that when the clock shows up she will get it. My son did. I pray that it works for her.

Kids change all the time and decide that they want to take control over certain situations. We as parents have to show them that we are boss and that they have to listen to our rules. Now it is sleeping when you are supposed to sleep, later it will be borrowing the car or abiding by a curfuw. It stinks! But don't give in and get up, you will have problems even longer. Don't give in and bring them in your bed, you will be creating an issue that will last even longer.

Best of luck, what doesn kill you will only make you stronger.

Speech After Ear Issues (Tubes/Fluid)

My daughter has had tubes since December of 2010. She had both ears 100% filled with fluid from the end of October 2010-December 28, 2010. When she had the fluid in her ears she was hearing very little, if at all. She gained no language skills when her ears had the fluid in them, and my pediatrician has said that she does not recomend going with fluid in the ear longer then 3 months because language development is so high at this time. My daughter got tubes on December 28, 2010 and within 2 weeks had 10 new words. The only issue that I had was many of her words that she used often, she was leaving the endings off of. And she still does this. For example, she says "mil" instead of "milk.". I finally had her evaluated for speach in May, (she was about 17 months) and the speech pathologist told me that was normal. She should continue to gain words at a rapid pace and that if I was still concerned to have her looked at in the fall at about 22 months and that would look at her progress. She has continued to learn new words but she still does not finish the same words that she did not finish before. She does not speak in sentences but in 2 word phrases. My son was speaking so well and she seems a world away.

Long story short, they are 2 different kids. I was concerned and had it check out. What's going on is not like I experienced before, but it is of a different normal and I am going to have to get used to it.

When you (the parent) are unsure about what you are seeing. Get it checked by the expert and listen to their advice. You are the best advocate for your baby and you are the only one that can help them succeed in life at this point. Just do it!

More About Tubes

I took my daughter to the ENT for a 6 month check up after her tubes. The doctor told me that her tubes were still in and looked fine. I was excited to here this. Then the doctor told me that I needed to come back in a few months for another check up, that the tubes should have fallen out by then. I was shocked to here this! He proceeded to tell me that tubes generally only last about 9 months at the longest. This was shocking news to me since I just automatically thought that we would get at lest another winter out of this set of tubes, since they were still in. Now I am quite stressed about that fact that we are heading into this winter, chances are, with no tubes. And to top it off we just got to the beach and she has another ear infection, her third since the tubes were put in.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Strep in a Baby

Babies can get step as young as 16 months old. Especially if they have an older sibling. Often parents mistake the symptoms for things like coxsackies virus.
My daughter got strep at 17 months. I thought it was teething because she had a low grade temp of 100 for three days. She was very irritable but again she is like that when teething as well. I was so surprised by this. My daughter was also up a lot at night from her throat hurting. I even thought maybe it was her ears.

Book Review- "Carla and Leo's World of Dance"

I have never done a book review before, but recently, I was emailed and asked if I could review Carla and Leo's World of Dance, by Agatha Relota. This book is educational and motivating all at the same time. At first I felt that the book was written for children about the age of 10 or older. But then my four and a half year old asked if I would read him the book. Agatha Relota has a way of telling facts about each location of the world that is both interesting to an adult and simple enough for my young son to understand. And then she explains how to do the different dances that go along with each area of the world, like the Tango is from Argentine. My four year old was so interested in this book that he made me try each dance with him and look up each country on a world map. Very appropriate for a ten year old, when read in stages also excellent for a child as young as four. I rate this book 4 stars!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


So now your child has tubes. What does that mean...
Basically, the ENT is making a small hole in your child ear drum and then inserting a very small plastic tube that will allow fluid and mucus to drain out of the ear and into the nose. Now your child will not have the pressure in their ear, even if they have an infection and they will not have the hearing loss from the fluid build up.

The ENT told me that I would see discharge if my daughter had an ear infection again after that. I went running to the doctor when her sheets were wet, probably from sweat p, because I was not sure what it would look like.

Well let me just tell you it s usually 150% obvious when your child has drainage from an ear infection after tubes. A lot of children don't even get infections after tubes. Some do! When they do, you can just look in the ear with your eyes and see dry crusted stuff in the ear. Sometimes after a nap it can even look like wet liquid snot. Once my daughters ear was such a cesspool of snot that 10 q tips didn't do it justice. So when I used drops nothing happened because they were just sitting on a bed if mucus. I had to take her to the ENT to have her ear suctioned then we could use the drops. Imagine if she didn't have those tubes! She didn't even cry at night when she had this infection.

Another time she had a bad cold and when the doctor looked in her ear, it looked like one if the tubes had fallen out. The tubes can fall out as early as three months but usually last a few years. The tube had not fallen out it was actually clogged with dry mucus. Again we had to go to the ENT and he used drops to liquify the mucus and suction her ear. Again she was not waking in pain.

They tell you that it is ok to swim with tubes. And it is! But just be aware that when the ear gets water in it through the tubes at certain angles, for some children, it can cause a moment of pain. Just watch your child and assess your own situation. Mt daughter takes swimming lessons every week and she is fine with it so far.

More on Ear Infections & Tubes

Apparently when children get a bad ear infection their ear is filled with mucus and fluid. Often the antibiotic gets rid of the mucus and any other yuck stuff in the ear but does not dry all the fluid. It can take up to 3 moths for all this fluid to drain and leaves your child more susceptible to additional ear infections.
Fun times!
While your child's ear is filled with fluid (either 100% or parochially) they have some hearing loss and are pretty much hearing like they are underwater. When a chid is very small and has this fluid for 3 months they can often end up with a speech delay. Imagine you not hearing for 3 months.
Sometimes an ENT will elect to put tubes in you child's ears if the fluid never drains. Sometimes they will not. My children's pediatrician likes to have a child get tubes if they still have fluid after 3 moths because that is usually a sign that the fluid will never drain and she does not see a reason in having the child suffer. The fluid can cause pain and again can cause a speech delay that can be avoided.

My daughter had 100% fluid filled ears and ended up getting 8 ear infections in 10 weeks. We did tubes at week 11. It was the best thing ever!

Ear Infections

Well my life had been taken over by ear infections in the fall and moved in to bronchiolitis in the winter/spring. Lucky me!

Let's start with ear infections first. And start simply.

Apparently we all have tubes in our ears that run from the ear to the nose. As we grow our heads grow and the tubes tilt. Babies tubes are usually quite flat. When we blow our nose, the mucus comes out these tubes into a tissue. Babies cant blow, and we usually use something to suck the mucus out. But we can't do this as often as we would blow our nose. So often times children that have the tubes with very little tilt, end up with an ear infection.
You can tell your child has an ear infection because they usually are good in the day when they are upright, then after just a few hours of sleep are up most of the night because of pressure build up in their ears from laying down. It feels like they have been on a plane and their ears will not pop. Usually the child gets a fever along with the earache. Often they will pull on their ears. They can get an infection in 1 ear or both. You cannot see it on your own and usually need antibiotic to get rid of it.

Some ways to help relieve the pain for your baby is drinking a bottle or sippy cup. The sucking helps the child to swallow and makes them feel better. A pacifier actually is not good for this. I ended up giving my daughter her cup in bed with water when she was really bad and it would help her go back to sleep. There are also homeopathic drops you can try. Some people love them but I did not have much luck. Also you can try tilting the crib mattress so the head is not so flat. I put towels under the mattress. This was helpful when my daughter was sleeping in the right direction. But we all know babies move around a lot.

My very trusted pediatric ENT said pacifiers, smoking and drinking bottles in bed can all add to causes of ear infections.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I am so sorry that I have not posted in months. My daughter basically has caught every illness that my son has brought home from school. Long story short, she had 8 ear infections between October and December, we did tubes the end of December. Then she has had one stomach bug or cold after another.
I will get back into this very soon. I learned a lot and have a lot to share.
I hope everyone is well.