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The Permission Slip: Store-Bought Valentines –

The Permission Slip Store Bought Valentines Twin Cities Moms

Who else feels like they need a dose of a “Pinterest Permission Slip” right about now? Are you overwhelmed with Pinterest Valentine crafts showing up all over social media? We love those crafts too! But in reality, when you’re up against a deadline at school do most moms have that kind of time, not to mention, crafting ability?

Did you finally give up and say, “Forget this, to Target I go!” instead?

Maybe you’re wishing you’d done something “special” or crafty for your child’s valentines. Maybe you feel like yours won’t “measure up” or that someone else will have put more time and effort into making the perfect valentines….stop! Don’t think for one second that your perfect little store-bought valentines aren’t enough!

They are more than enough.

Don’t worry about what the other moms will think! Who do we do these for anyway? For our kids or for other moms? For a lot of kids, picking out the valentines at Target is something they live for! It’s a chance for them to put their own stamp on who they are and what they like and to share that with their friends.

Somehow we’ve been convinced that doing “more”, spending “more” and showing off our “skills” are parts of being a good mom. When we were kids, our moms stood with us in the grocery store where we chose our boxed valentines all on our own. The REALLY ambitious moms of the 80’s and 90’s might have purchased some packaged candy that we taped, all by ourselves, to our scribbled out Sesame Street or Hello Kitty valentine. We dropped them in decorated paper bags or boxes, ate most of the candy on the school bus before we even got home and our parents never even LOOKED at the valentines, let alone scrutinized them. Kids drove the Valentine Train, not moms.

Does this mean that if you’re a crafty mom that you’re doing something wrong? Heck no! Moms should use the skills they have in the areas they have them and if helping your child make homemade valentines makes you happy (and most importantly, makes your KIDS happy) then by all means do it. But if you’re like the majority of moms who just don’t have those Pinterest chops or the time, lean in to those store-bought valentines proudly!

Consider this your “permission slip” to love those store-bought valentines! There’s so much pressure these days to look like more, be more, do more….it’s exhausting! If you happen to be good at crafting and your kids enjoy your homemade creations, we say, “That’s awesome! Show off those valentines!” (And give us a quick tutorial, because we’re lost on that sort of thing!)

But if you’re one of the moms who doesn’t craft, or who drives herself crazy trying to do things only to wish she’d just bought the dang things at Target, “That’s also awesome! Show off those valentines!”

Let yourself off the hook, Mama.

Are you following Twin Cities Moms on Facebook? (Over 24,000 other Twin Cities moms already are!) Facebook has changed the way it shows posts in your news feed. To never miss a post of ours on Facebook and to see everything we post, go to our Facebook page, click on the “Liked” button and then click on “See First”. Without doing this, you will likely only see a tiny fraction of what we post on Twin Cities Moms. Thank you!

Two New Mama Groups on!

Twin Cities Moms Ages & Stages Clubs Moms Over 40

We’re inviting mamas on both ends of the age spectrum to join us in two NEW groups here on Twin Cities Moms! First, is our very popular “Over 40 Club” for mamas who are over 40 years old (or getting close!) and who want to chat with mamas the same age. Whether you became a mom years ago and are raising older children or are a brand-new mom over 40, we have members in the club that you can chat with!

Our second club, which is so new it’s opening right NOW is our “25 and Under” club for younger moms who want support and friendship from other young moms in the Twin Cities. Any mom who is younger than 25 from the Twin Cities is welcome to join! Find support and information about raising kids in the Twin Cities while being on the younger end of the parenting spectrum!

We hope you’ll also check out our clubs for moms of kids at various stages like our Toddlers Club, Preschooler Club, Early Elementary Club and Tweens Club! We also have Due Date Clubs for expectant and new moms which are VERY popular and are getting new mamas together sharing info and getting their new mom questions answered!

Feel free to join as many clubs as apply to your personal family situation! We have mamas in more than one club for different reasons and would love to have you join!

Twin Cities Moms Over 40 Club

Twin Cities Moms Under 25 Club


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Are you following Twin Cities Moms on Facebook? (Over 24,000 other Twin Cities moms already are!) Facebook has changed the way it shows posts in your news feed. To never miss a post of ours on Facebook and to see everything we post, go to our Facebook page, click on the “Liked” button and then click on “See First”. Without doing this, you will likely only see a tiny fraction of what we post on Twin Cities Moms. Thank you!

The CRAZY Pregnancy Heartburn Remedy That Worked For Me:

Pregnancy Heartburn Remedy


I had what one would call, “heartburn inferno” while I was pregnant. There were times I was surprised I wasn’t breathing fire it was so bad. Between having a very small frame and a very large baby baking in there (he weighed 9lbs, 12.5 oz at birth) I was compressed, squeezed and squashed every which way. My poor stomach couldn’t handle the pressure and my hormones were out of control, causing the most epic pregnancy heartburn I’d ever experienced in my life.

One day, walking through Target, I came across a display of movie theatre-sized boxes of candy. I literally stood in front of the display, my throat on fire from heartburn wishing that I could inhale every box of Hot Tamales candy in the display. I have a penchant for eating hot food. REALLY hot food. My Italian heritage commands it, and when my husband and I cook anything Mexican we double the heat in every dish. I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to have spicy food for months and months because of my heartburn but I wanted “just one taste” of one of my favorite spicy candies. So I bought the Hot Tamales and thought I’d try some later if my heartburn subsided.

Do you know what happens when you wait for your heartburn to subside while you’re pregnant? Nothing. Because it never goes away! At least in my case it didn’t. Morning, noon and night I was gagging on acid and eating Tums like we owned stock in the company. I was so fed up. No spicy food, Tums coming out of my ears,  and pain all day and night. Torture. In a moment of rebellion, I ripped open that box of Hot Tamales and thought, “Dang it, if I’m going to be in pain anyway I might as well get something out of it” and I tore through about ten Hot Tamales before coming up for air.

I was laying in bed, watching TV and waiting for the gripping pain that I was sure was headed my way. I got into my show, chewed on a couple more, and still…NOTHING. My husband came in the bedroom and saw the open box of Hot Tamales and his eyes widened! “What are you doing? You’re going to regret that!” I sat up in bed and there was nothing. Not a single sign of heartburn! I told my husband how I thought I’d be paying for eating them but instead I felt relief that Tums and all of the other remedies never gave me!

I was SURE I had discovered some secret remedy! I mean, who in the world would ever put Hot Tamales candy and heartburn remedy together right? So I did what any good researcher would do: I Googled it. To my dismay, I didn’t actually discover this remedy. It’s apparently A Thing. Yes, it’s an actual heartburn remedy whose basis is in the capsaicin that makes the candy hot.

The very thing that gives the candy it’s spicy flavor is actually what is temporarily relieving heartburn symptoms. Our bodies sense that we’re eating something spicy and then an immune response creates a protective coating in the esophagus that pushes down the acid! It’s temporary, in that once your body senses that the “danger” of a spicy food is gone it stops making the protective coating. But it is BY FAR the fastest and most effective remedy for pregnancy heartburn that I have ever found!

So if you’ve tried Tums, Rolaids and the medications and nothing is giving you relief, try Hot Tamales! Weird but effective!

What do YOU think? Have you ever found a crazy remedy for something? Share it with us on Facebook!



Join one of our Due Date Clubs and connect with other Twin Cities Moms who are at the same stage you are! We have clubs for new moms too!
– Looking for a fun holiday event in the Twin Cities? Our Kids & Family Holiday Calendar has everything you need!

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Are you following Twin Cities Moms on Facebook? (Over 24,000 other Twin Cities moms already are!) Facebook has changed the way it shows posts in your news feed. To never miss a post of ours on Facebook and to see everything we post, go to our Facebook page, click on the “Liked” button and then click on “See First”. Without doing this, you will likely only see a tiny fraction of what we post on Twin Cities Moms. Thank you!


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AAP: NO Amount of Alcohol Safe During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and alcohol wine

Put down that wine glass, pregnant mama….there are specific guidelines about drinking alcohol (even wine) during pregnancy that you need to know about.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report indicating that NO amount of alcohol during pregnancy should be considered safe. They write, “no amount of alcohol should be considered safe to drink during any trimester of pregnancy.”

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) comprise a wide range of effects that are seen in children whose mothers consumed alcohol of some sort at varying times during their pregnancies. These effects can range from neurological deficits, to behavioral problems and cognitive delays.

The statistics on how affected children are based on when their mothers consumed alcohol show, “First-trimester drinking, compared to no drinking, results in 12 times the odds of giving birth to a child with FASDs. First- and second-trimester drinking increased FASDs odds 61 times, and women who drink during all trimesters increased the likelihood of FASD odds by a factor of 65.”

This is why the Academy has advised that all pregnant women, regardless of their stage of pregnancy avoid alcohol completely. One of the study’s lead authors, Dr. Janet Williams says,

“The research suggests that the smartest choice for women who are pregnant is to just abstain from alcohol completely”.

Read the complete report for more information about alcohol and pregnancy guidelines.

Twin Cities Moms Ages & Stages Clubs –

September 9, 2015 Advice



Twin Cities Moms Ages & Stages Clubs

Fresh off the heels of a total relaunch and big “push” (no pun intended! haha!) of our super-popular due date clubs, we’re announcing our new, “Ages & Stages Clubs” to give moms at ANY part of their parenting marathon an opportunity to connect with other local Twin Cities Moms!

We have a Toddlers Club, Preschoolers Club, Early Elementary Club and Tweens Club. If there’s enough interest we’ll also create a Teens Club. If you have kids in any of these age groups, please join as many as apply! You’ll be able to share and ask for advice fom other moms in the exact stage you’re in with your kids, plan meetups and get-togethers and generally support one another as you move through the same stages together!

We also need volunteer admins for each of these clubs, so if you’re interested in participating and having an active role with Twin Cities Moms and helping to guide the conversations a bit, we’d love to have you! Shoot us an email at and let us know which club you’d like to help lead!

If you have a child less than a year old as of today, September 9th, you can still join one of our due date clubs for your child’s birth month! Our groups are growing every single day!

As always, we hope you’re already a follower of ours on Facebook where we have nearly 13,000 local Twin Cities Moms connecting with other moms, getting info on what’s happening around the Twin Cities and enjoying a little fun here and there! We have pop-up giveaways and lots of other fun stuff to help take your mind off diapers, carpool and sleepless nights. 😉

We’re also over on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and our free email newsletter!

An Anxious Mom’s Guide to Surviving the First Day of School


An Anxious Mom's Guide to the First Day of School
Sweaty palms. Racing heart. Bad dreams. Shaking hands. This was my reality as I woke up the day of my son’s first day of school last year. Funny thing is, it wasn’t his *first* First Day of School but my body and mind didn’t seem to care. He was starting 1st grade and since he’d been in preschool for three years, this was technically his FIFTH first day of school and I was as much a wreck as I was on that very first one.

As an always-slightly-anxious mom, worry is a part of my reality at all times. I worry about my son running and falling down and hitting his head. I worry about a bully at school pushing him or making him cry. I worry that friends won’t include him or that his teacher won’t give him the attention he needs. I worry, in short, about everything someone could conceivably worry about and then I crank it up to about eleven and drive myself crazy.

I cried on the first day of preschool. He literally turned three years old the day before and I had never left him with anyone other than his grandmas. I was worried he’d wander out of the room and somehow make it outside and get lost. I worried he’d have an accident at school and the kids would laugh at him. I worried that he would miss me and cry and get embarrassed. I worried the teachers or the kids wouldn’t be kind to him. As I said goodbye to him on that autumn day, I tried to soak in his face, the expression (was he excited, indifferent, happy?) and the smell of his head as I kissed him goodbye.

I knew I had to leave, but I peeked back around the door frame and watched him for what felt like an eternity as he moved about the room during choice time. His teacher glanced up and saw me creeping around the door and mouthed, “He’s going to be fine”. She’d seen it all before….the nervous parents wishing they could just scoop their child up and run to the car. That’s how I felt that day. I didn’t want to leave but I wanted to leave…with him. I didn’t want this. Whose idea was this anyway?

As I walked away from the classroom door, hot tears welled up in my eyes. I had to make it to the car. “I just have to make it to the car.” I kept repeating that to myself as I walked toward the door and I hoped no one would see my eyes full of tears ready to explode. When I opened the door the cool fall air hit my face and I knew I’d created a separation between myself and my son. That door was going to close behind me and he’d be left there. I walked quickly to the car, the tears already spilling down my face and hitting my coat. I just wanted to get in the car and explode. So I did. I let out a cry I hadn’t felt in months. Not since the day we heard the words, “red flags for autism” from his in-home speech therapist.

I started the car but didn’t know where to go. I couldn’t go home. That was too far from him. So I drove around the tree-lined streets in the school’s neighborhood and cried. And cried. And cried. I stayed on roads I knew well, since I had to navigate with eyes full of tears. For fifteen solid minutes, I drove around and around the school’s neighborhood and let out every tear I had left.

Why am I telling you this?

So if you’re an anxious parent, why do you need to hear this? Why would I put you through this? First, to make sure you know that you’re normal. Crying and anxiety aren’t things to be ashamed of. But also because it got better. I didn’t always cry. I didn’t always feel like a part of my heart was left behind in the classroom. I always missed him….don’t get me wrong. That has never has changed even five years into this whole school thing. I always wonder what he’s doing and if he’s okay. I always take a mental picture of him as he hops out of the car on his own and waves goodbye. It’s always a bittersweet feeling of knowing he’s where he should be, doing what he should do….but without me.

But that first day….it’s always an anxious time for me. No matter the grade, the anxiety sets in and I know I need to ride it out. I need to get to the end of that first day of school and ask, “So what did you do in school today?” and then I feel the pressure on my mind release. I do still cry on the first day of school. I also cry on the last day. I’ll cry this year because I won’t be able to call him a first grader anymore. “Second grader” sounds so old to me. The time is speeding by and I feel like I need to hang on tight to anything that makes him little. But first days are hard….so here’s what works for me:

1. Make the day easy.

Do all the hard stuff the night before. Get all of the clothes, socks, shoes, jackets and everything ready to go for yourself and your kids. Make as much of their lunch you can the night before if they’re bringing it. Fill that water bottle. Literally make a “house escape plan” so you have the time to move through your morning without added stress. You don’t need more stress, Mama.

2. Take a lot of pictures. TONS.

There’s something about seeing that smiling face on my phone screen as I take a million pictures that puts me at ease. Seeing him happy, posing with his backpack and showing off his lunchbag makes me take a moment to experience it all from his point of view. He’s happy and excited. I should be too.

3. Email the teacher before school starts.

A few days before school begins, send an email to the teacher and introduce yourself and your child. Nothing long and rambling, just a couple of paragraphs so she knows who your child is, some little quirks about him or her and things he or she likes. There’s something about getting a reply back from a new teacher that puts my mind at ease. Like I’ve given her the Cliff’s Notes to my child and she’ll be ready to befriend him more quickly. It makes a world of difference.

4. Offer to volunteer in the classroom.

If you have the flexibility to do so, volunteering in the class is a wonderful way to ease back-to-school anxiety. Seeing your child in their school element and how they are capable and adjusting makes a huge difference. Becoming a parent volunteer when my son was in Kindergarten gave me a new insight into my son and allowed me to see that not only was he doing fine, but (to be honest) doing better than some of the kids who didn’t have as many challenges as he did. That felt comforting to know that he was just one of the kids.

5. Give yourself some time.

If you have the ability to do a little something for yourself on the first day, do it. Even if you need a longer break at work or even if your littles have to tag along if you’re at home. Maybe plan a lunch out with a friend or neighbor going through the same thing? Or ask Grandma to visit for the day so you have an extra hand at home and a shoulder to cry on if needed? Maybe indulge in something delicious during nap time and watch something you normally wouldn’t during a busy day. Just let yourself ease into the day and ease right back out.

Last year, when my son started first grade, it was the first time I was ever required to drop him off in front of the school to walk in alone. For the previous four years, I was able to walk in with him and sit in a waiting area with him and the other parents until school began. I wasn’t prepared. I drove up in the drop-off line and without even having time to process it, I let him out on the curb. I immediately regretted it. He waved and happily walked off to the door but all I could think of was, “I just left my child on a curb. I just left my child ON A CURB!” I was pressured by all of the other cars waiting so I drove off and my heart raced. What if he couldn’t find his classroom? What if he wandered outside? I nearly turned around but didn’t. I drove until I reached my sanctuary where I could process what happened:

Target Starbucks First Day of School Twin Cities Moms

My Facebook caption that day: “How I wish this was caffeinated so I could calm down! I just dropped him off on the school curb. I’m freaking out. I ripped off the band-aid and did it on the first day. Pics to follow once I can look at them without crying. #roughday”


I called his teacher and emailed her. “Did he make it okay?” She picked up the phone and said, “Yep, he’s right here and he’s doing just fine!” So I wandered Target….alone (heavenly) and enjoyed my coffee drink.  It was a small thing, but it made a big difference on that first day.

6. Remind yourself that you’re strong….and so is your child.

Whenever you feel that anxious feeling creeping up on you, remember that you handled the first day of school as a child and so will your child. You survived it. You got through and probably had the time of your life! Your parents made it through too! Each time you go through this, you’ll get stronger. It’s like a muscle that needs to be strengthened. If you’re like me, you’ll probably always feel first day anxiety but with the right tools and strategies to manage it, you’ll probably find you recover a little faster each year.

How do you manage your own “back to school jitters”? Do you have something that works for you?

Come back to our post on Facebook and talk about it!

We’re talking first days of school and all kinds of other topics over on our Facebook page! Join over 26,000 other local Twin Cities Moms! We’re also on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest! Be sure to also sign up for our free email newsletter at the top of the page!


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