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Kim’s Blog combines home front experiences with informative updates on area events, unique opportunities and of course, dynamic deals!  For daily updates, Get Social and Follow SpringfieldMoms on your preferred Social Network for event reminders, coupon links, reader favorites and lots of helpful tips and laughs.

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We’re nearing our first official teenage birthday next month, and we’re celebrating early with new car vinyl stickers (the good kind, not the kind that leave sticky residue all over the place!)  Show off your SpringfieldMoms.org website pride on your car, window or office/community bulletin board!

We’ve made it 13 years because of you telling your friends, sharing our resources and because our LOCAL advertising sponsors trust in us to provide a quality, FREE resource to the Greater Springfield Area.

Starting October 15th, we will have some random prize patrol stops if we find YOU with your 5 X 5 inch sticker on your car.

Most of all, thank you for continuing to share our resources and utilize our website and social network: our A-Z Index, Seasonal Guides, Coupons and the areas’ BEST What’s Happening Event Calendar are updated daily by Moms who live, work and play in this area!

To receive your Vinyl Sticker FREE:

Email us springfieldmoms.org@gmail.com your home or office mailing address.  If you provide your office, share the company name as we’re dropping off some in person!

If you’d like an additional one to post at your school, church or office, please let us know where you will post and we will include additional!

Or send this info via Message on our Facebook page.

Tips for New Dads…Some Stuff I Wish I Knew Back When  

Contributed by Rob Fafloglia local Springfield area Dad, husband and father of two sharing his adventures in parenting on his website: http://thedadadventure.com/

When my wife and I found out we were pregnant the first time, we couldn’t have asked for a more friendly and supportive response from our friends and family. It was an outpouring of congratulations and well wishes, as well as mountains of baby clothes.

Another thing we got a lot of, most of it delivered with a tired grin, was advice. It was all well-meaning, I’m sure, but any new parent will tell you this can get old very quick. I took a solemn vow to NEVER do the same if I could help it. I would be a shining example, maneuvering the difficulties of childrearing with Zen-like calm and silence.

Well, that lasted all of two weeks or so. I tried, but there’s just something about new parents. They look so lost and lonely…so terrified of doing something wrong. It calls out to us other parents and we are incapable of not trying to help. So, I’m going to (gently) break my own rule and offer some nuggets of wisdom to all the new dads (and moms) out there. Just a few tips, tricks and local resources I’ve picked up along the way. Hopefully you find them helpful. If not, just smile and nod like I used to.

Resale stores are your friend

Look, this is your baby and I know your first impulse is going to be, EVERYTHING MUST BE BRAND NEW AND SPARKLING CLEAN. That’s probably true in a few cases, but there is so much used stuff out there in great shape – just do some looking. You’re going to be paying for this little bundle of joy for the next 18 years or so, and it only gets more expensive. Take this opportunity to do some leg work and cut costs where you can. My wife and I found it useful to research highly-rated baby products online and then do some hunting resale stores and garage sales. People are always getting rid of baby stuff! Don’t know where to start? Check out these helpful articles and go from there:

http://springfieldmoms.org/our-readers-share-baby-shower-gift-ideas/

http://springfieldmoms.org/baby-gift-ideas-and-must-haves/ 

Take a class…no seriously!                                                               

Comedians talk about it all the time. In this country, we have classes for everything…degrees, driver’s licenses, small business ownership, you name it. Having a baby requires no formal education or training, and can be daunting to say the least. If you’ve never babysat or had younger siblings, you might be at a complete loss when it comes to things like: making a bottle, changing diapers, bathing, car seats, etc. I spent the first six months after leaving the hospital just waiting for the doorbell to ring and some official-looking person to say, “You didn’t really think we were going to let you keep a baby, did you?” Luckily my wife handled it with grace. Only later did I find out there are classes offered to expectant and new parents. Don’t believe me? Check these out:

http://springfieldmoms.org/events/baby-care-users-manual/

http://springfieldmoms.org/events/52355/
Get your house in order

There are lots of varying opinions on this one. I tend to be a bit old school when it comes to babyproofing the house. “In my day we ate dirt,” and all that. My wife is more careful. I can’t open certain doors in my house without an engineering degree, but that’s more of a pain in the rear than anything and I’ll admit, it does help keep them out of the power tools in the basement. Then, on the far end of the spectrum you have foam padding and bubble wrap galore. So where do you fall…have you even thought about it? We don’t often stop to consider how kid un-friendly our living spaces really are until there is a tiny human trying to eat, touch, run into, or jump off everything. Don’t be overwhelmed. Talk to some subject matter experts and let them take the guesswork out of it for you. It might even save you a few grey hairs in the process.

http://springfieldmoms.org/events/living-with-baby-infant-safety-class/

http://springfieldmoms.org/tips-for-babyproofing-your-home/

Get out of the house

Once you get your newborn home (doesn’t anyone else know how to drive???), you may have the inclination to hibernate for a while. Totally natural, believe me. Both parents just went through a pretty trying experience (mom a bit more so). Now comes your chance to sit around the house and get lots of cuddle time with that new little one. That can get a little too comfortable however, if you’re not careful. Your baby needs to get some fresh air and sun, and it will do you a world of good as well. Obviously, you should consult with your doctor as to the best time to start these kinds of excursions, but don’t be afraid to pack them up and head to grandma and grandpa’s house or the grocery store. Everyone needs a change of scenery occasionally and babies are not as fragile as they seem. For a great article on traveling with little ones, check out:

http://springfieldmoms.org/traveling-with-baby-or-toddlers/

Make time for them

Last but certainly not least…I know, this seems like a no-brainer. But please trust me, you’ll be surprised how fast it goes. I swear it was just yesterday that my little girl was falling asleep on my chest and drooling. Now she’s four and going to preschool (she still drools on my chest). As much as I love doing things with her and my son, I often fall into the trap of telling myself I need to get x, y or z done and then I can play. Don’t put it off…that stuff will still be there tomorrow. Feel like you don’t know what to do or maybe just need a little inspiration? Check out the link below to get a few ideas. Just do something with them – right now! You won’t regret it.

 

http://springfieldmoms.org/top-5-local-dad-and-kids-destinations/

If Disney is in your travel plans:  SpringfieldMoms has a great series of Disney Travel Tips for Families!

 

 

 

 

Classes meet on Thursdays for 7 consecutive weeks beginning on October 5.

Yoga is an ideal practice for all stages of pregnancy. During a time of rapid physical and emotional changes, prenatal yoga provides relief from common discomforts of pregnancy and time for deep relaxation. Each class is tailored to meet the unique needs of pregnant women. No prior yoga experience is necessary.

Classes introduce:

  • Gentle postures and toning essential for pregnancy
  • Breath work cultivates calm and confidence in preparation for labor and childbirth
  • Relaxation practices foster a deep connection with your growing baby.

Classes provide a safe and supportive environment for expectant mothers to connect with their changing bodies, with their babies and with each other.

Please wear comfortable clothing and bring a pillow and a yoga mat to class. 

Ruta Kulys is a certified yoga teacher and a certified prenatal yoga teacher. She is also a psychotherapist who specializes in mind-body medicine and women’s issues.

The fee for the seven-week session is $84.

For more information call Memorial Medical Center at 217-788-3333.

Time: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Instructor: Ruta Kulys

Location: YMCA Gus and Flora Kerasotes Branch, 4550 W. Iles Ave., Springfield

Memorial Health System

 

Congratulations to Nicky Barton of Springfield who is the lucky winner of the journey to a healthy lifestyle with a 12-week 5-day meal plan from Just Right Eating (JRE) along with personal training from JRE Owner, Stephanie Johnson during those 12-weeks!  

It wasn’t easy to pick a winner as many readers shared wonderful stories and commitments to taking on this challenge.  Thank you to all who entered, and we hope you will continue to strive for your goals.  Anyone can accomplish a goal they set their mind to.  We hope Nicky’s journey will be an inspiration to all of us to be more mindful of our eating and exercises habits to make the most of every day.

 

Here’s an excerpt from Nicky’s entry that shows that she is ready, willing and on her way to a Mom’s Lifestyle Makeover!

“I’ve avoided a scale for a while now. Unfortunately, that old “ignorance is bliss” thing only works for so long before you realize your clothes don’t fit anymore and you’re winded walking up a flight of stairs. The promises to myself of “I’ll be good starting on Monday” have come and gone for way more Mondays than I can count. Is it motherhood? That has been my excuse for so long; I’m just not a priority. I have two awesome, amazing, busy kids – Reagan, who is 9, and Reid, who just turned 8. I’m a single mom and I work a full and part-time job. I often overcommit to things outside the home, which leads me to doing fifty million things at any given time, but I’m ready to start the long road of becoming a better me. My kids deserve a mom who is the best version of herself. I deserve it.

Why is it so hard for moms to say that?

I know it’s going to be trying, but I also know I’m ready. I need help though, which is why I was so excited to see the post on the Springfield Moms Facebook page this morning. I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling, and truthfully, I just don’t know where to begin. The internet is a vast, deep hole of confusing information. One page tells you carbs are the devil; another tells you they’re not. Sugar will make you obese; Splenda will kill you. Too much protein will throw off your metabolism; too little will throw off your metabolism. It’s overwhelming. Too often I have great intentions, but life gets in the way of the execution. The thought of having healthy, yummy food prepared and ready for me to grab and go sounds like a Busy Mom’s dream. It would help me reach my goal but still allow me time to play short-order cook for my picky eaters.”

I am motivated and excited at the prospect of being chosen and challenged. Show me the way, kick my butt in the gym. I don’t believe everything is sunshine and roses, but I do have a positive outlook when it comes to reaching my end goal and the work it will take. I will be real and I will work hard. This is an opportunity to get my life back, to be able to run around with my kiddos, to get on the path to being around for them for many more years to come, to make them proud, make myself proud.”

Nicky, you’ve already taken the first step to a successful journey! We will be there for you along the way!

Many thanks to Stephanie Johnson for donating her healthy, prepared meals and her time and talents in personal training.  We will share updates every other week and hope everyone can be inspired to prioritize their health and fitness.

 

Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? Maybe it’s time for a playdate with friends, or perhaps they’re starting to drive you a little crazy. Either way, sometimes you just need get out of the house and let your little ones burn off some energy.

Dads, if you’re like me, that’s when my mind goes blank and I can’t think if a single thing to do. Frustrating, isn’t it? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Below are five local area destinations where the both of you can be active, socialize and have some fun! There’s many more, of course, these are just my favorites:

  1. Everyone loves a trampoline, so what could be better than a giant room filled with them? Sky Zone provides a fun and safe environment for you and your child to get airborne. With tons of staff on hand, separate areas for different activities and a huge, clean facility, you can be sure your little guy or girl will have a great time in a safe place…while getting some exercise! There’s even a snack bar in case you get hungry.

Weekends can get a bit crowded, so it’s usually better to get there early. There are also specific times set aside for toddlers, as well as those with special needs. They even do birthday parties. Check out https://www.skyzone.com/springfieldil for more information.

  1. If you’re looking for something a bit lower key, the Calvary Kids Play Zone might be right up your alley. This indoor play area has everything your child could want: slides, tube mazes, giant building blocks, and plenty of space to stretch their legs. There is also an area set aside specifically for toddlers. Parents are required to check children in and there are staff members on hand to keep an eye on the little ones, as well as everyone coming in and out of the facility.

Café 501 is located right next door, so you can grab a snack, some lunch, or a cup of coffee while you watch all the fun.

Find out more here: http://www.calvaryspringfield.org/play-zone

  1. Want to get outside? Southwind Park is a great place to get some sun and exercise. The giant playground has soft foam padding to keep your little daredevil safe. There are also bocce ball and horseshoe pits if you’re feeling competitive. Or you can walk the 2.5-mile trail around the fishing lake and visit the sensory and butterfly gardens. Several gazebos and pavilions are perfect places for a picnic, or just to get out of the sun for a bit.

Visit http://www.southwindpark.org/learn.asp to learn more about this fun and free spot.

  1. Ergadoozy offers indoor play for ages 12 and under. Separate play spaces for different age groups means there is something for everyone here. Train sets, blocks and games for the little ones, interactive video games, 5-story jungle climb and wave slide for the big kids…and so much more in between! There’s even an educational toy store where you can browse while your kids play. Pay once and if you keep your receipt, you can come back later the same day for more fun.

Birthday parties and special events are available upon request. They even offer one-time, discounted and annual pricing options, so you get the most bang for your buck.

Go to http://ergadoozy.com/home/3841325 for hours and pricing.

  1. No list of fun kid stuff in Springfield would be complete without a trip to Henson Robinson Zoo. While not large, Henson Robinson is home to more than 90 different species of animals from Africa, Asia, Australia, as well as North and South America. Wander around and check out the wildlife, feed the goats or visit the gift shop for some cool and educational souvenirs. There are even classes you and your child can take together to learn more about the animal kingdom (pre-registration required). A pavilion and play area are conveniently located right inside the front gate, so you can eat some lunch before you start your adventure or grab a snack and some playtime before heading home.

Henson Robinson Zoo also offers numerous programs for kids such as workshops, camps, animal encounters and birthday parties.

Check out http://www.springfieldparks.org/facilities/hensonrobinsonzoo/ for more information.

 

Contributed by Rob Fafloglia local Springfield area Dad, husband and father of two sharing his adventures in parenting on his website: http://thedadadventure.com/

A perennial science assignment is leaf collection. You have a choices – hike around, look for the dozen of leaves you need to find, collect, and catalog — or, attend a local leaf collection hike!leaf id

We recommend leaf collection hikes:

Lincoln Memorial Garden leaf and tree identification hikes on three Sundays in September.

Washington Park Botanical Garden leaf identification and collection hikes on two Saturdays in September.

 

 

FallFamilyGuide_Gourds_LargeFontStart planning your fall activities with our ever-popular Fall Family Fun Guide. Thanks to Lauren Coleman and Lisa Whelpley for their diligent work in tracking down all the pumpkin patches, apple orchards, corn mazes area festivals,and other fall fun for our readers. Thanks to Kari Thevenot for keeping the All Things Spooky Guide up to date.

Make sure you keep checking back. We update the resources weekly so everything is at your rotator-moms-pumpkins2-fingertips to enjoy this favorite season!

Want to advertise your event in our high-profile Featured Event Ad Space & Social Media Feeds? Review our Featured Event Rates

SAVE the DateTrickOrTreat2 (1)

for the don’t-miss tradition! Halloween at the Market Saturday October 28th in Downtown Springfield. Springfield Moms will be hosting the contest for Kids age 0-2, 3-6, 7-12 and a Family Category too. Don’t miss these amazing, original costumes and stay at noon for the dog costume contest! HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital will supply prizes for top winners in all age categories! Fun, FREE activities!  Join us and register for the contest from 9:00-11:00 and the contest starts sharp at 11:00!

 

It’s Time to Take Care of YOU! We’re looking for a Mom who is ready (no excuses ready!) to make changes for a healthier lifestyle and we’re here to support you!

Stephanie Johnson, owner of Just Right Eating (JRE), is just the person to partner with to hold you accountable for keeping the commitment to yourself and making changes that become your lifestyle.  I’m going to help you too; I’ve committed taking this journey with you!  We can ALL improve our eating and workout plans to set a good example for our families and instill lifestyle habits that are sustained in your family.

 

Mom’s Lifestyle Makeover: 12 Weeks = A Lifetime of Change 

  1. 12 Weeks of Meals!  The JRE Basic 5 day food plan includes your prepared meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks.  No excuses! You will have everything you need to enjoy healthy food choices every day.  You will pick up your food twice a week at their Springfield location.  (Value $1500 or $125/week)  Please note you must be a NEW Just Right Eating program participant to enter.
  2. 12 Weeks of Personal Training!  Complete 2 personal training sessions with Stephanie every week at her training studio in Springfield. (Value $1320 or $110/week). The value of the food plan and workout plan is more than $2700

Nominate yourself or a deserving Mom!  To enter, in 1000 words or less:

  • Tell us about YOU!  What excites you about this opportunity?
  • What has been holding you back from prioritizing your health and increasing your strength and energy? 
  • Why are you ready to make this commitment now?  Sept 15-Dec 15, 12-weeks, NO excuses, positive attitude and willingness to work hard at change….are you ready?
  • Are you comfortable sharing your journey with Springfield Moms readers to help inspire others?
  • Please provide a link to your facebook profile in your entry.

 

  1. Deadline for entries is Monday September 11th at Noon
  2. Email your entry with the subject line:  Mom’s Lifestyle Makeover to springfieldmoms.org@gmail.com
  3. Winner will be chosen and 12-week program begins September 15th

Good Luck!  We look forward to hearing from you and taking this journey together!

Stephanie Johnson, Just Right Eating

Kim Leistner Root, Springfield Moms

Wooden It Be Lovely is a Social Enterprise to help mothers in need. The mission of “WIBL” is to offer hope to mothers recovering from lives of poverty and/or addiction by building relationships, teaching new job skills, supporting recovery efforts,and providing a means of financial support through employment. 

The mothers are employed to refurbish and sell donated wooden furniture alongside church and community volunteers while their young children are cared for onsite. This transitional employment empowers mothers to move towards lives of economic stability and enhanced well being for themselves and their children.

 

How can a busy Springfield Mom help? You can volunteer and paint with the Associates (Tues or Wed evenings), donate old wooden furniture they might have around the house (or their parents or grandparents), tell your friends about the ministry, teach a class, and like us on facebook!

Mostly, attend one of our sales and get a great new piece of furniture for their home at a great price.

The next sale is Friday, November 10th! 

 www.woodenitbelovelydaumc.com

Wooden it be Lovely is a ministry of Douglas Avenue United Methodist Church founded by member, Margaret Ann Jessup, now the Director of the program.  Margaret Ann was recently recognized as the recipient of the ATHENA award for her contributions to mentoring women and improving our community through her time, talents and wonderful volunteer staff.

Packing the kids’ lunches for school means you know which nutritious foods they are eating. The American Heart Association has a very helpful post with budget-friendly, creative ideas to keep kids happy and healthy at lunchtime.

Click here for tips from the AHA.

 

Also, check out free apps, search  Lunch Box Ideas on the google play store…tons of great visual ideas for packaging lunch in a fun, creative way!

 

What are your favorite healthy items to pack in your child’s lunch? Post in the comments and we’ll choose 5 random winners to receive an American Heart Association water bottle you can use in your lunch box!