I Have HUGE News!

I’ve been hiding away, I know. But I’ve been working on something I’ve been very excited to tell you about:

I’m launching a new site — a business, to be exact! It’s called The Monarch Company. I will still be blogging, of course, although, I’m a little sad to say, no longer here at Swell Easy Living. However, I am absolutely giddy about the new venture, and I invite you to come along for the ride! The new site is under construction, but feel free to poke around. I will let you know when the site is closer to complete.

Over the past several years, I’ve known that I wanted to help people, but I wasn’t sure how or what I had to offer. After reading copious amounts of books in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and self-help and doing some training, I made some realizations:

1. I was living the dream, checking off boxes as I went: college degree, high-paying media job, marriage, kids…what was next, retirement and death? I knew there was “something else” out there for me…I wasn’t in tune with my own inner-most desires, what would actually make me feel happy and satisfied in life.

2. After a lot of research and work, I learned how to shed a ton of limiting beliefs, how to squish my inner critic,and how discover and pursue my real dreams and a lifestyle that fires me up.

3. There are tons of people who were living the same way, never finding what the something else was. Now it’s my mission and duty to help others learn some of the tools that help me every day. The new business is centered around classes and events, both online and off. And of course, there will also be old-fashioned (free) articles.

I hope that you’d come check out the new site to sign up for the newsletter (right-hand side) so you can stay updated. Also, please follow me on my new Facebook page, and via my new Twitter handle.

Wishing you peace, love and fulfillment,

Katie Morton

Coping With Tantrums by Channeling Ron Burgundy and his Glass Case of Emotion

If you are already familiar with the phrase ‘glass case of emotion’ then you obviously don’t need to watch this clip, although if you want a good laugh, then by all means, go right ahead. For the uninitiated and those who are too lazy to watch video clips — oh my GOD, you HAVE to WATCH this CLIP. If you still refuse, then FINE. I’ll tell you what I’m talking about.

In the movie Anchorman, Ron Burgundy is driving along a bridge with his beloved little dog, Baxter, in the car. Ron is eating a burrito, and when he’s through with it, he carelessly throws his half-eaten burrito out of the car window and pelts a man on a motorcycle (played by Jack Black) right in the face. Jack loses control of the bike, and Ron pulls over to see if he’s alright. Jack, incensed, grabs Baxter and punts him off the side of the bridge.

That’s the set up that allows us to access Ron’s glass case of emotion. He is completely and utterly so distraught by the loss of Baxter that he has an enormous ‘mantrum’ (man tantrum) complete with hysterics and wailing, from inside a phone booth while he calls the local TV station where he’s the news anchor. When asked where he is, he wails, “I’m in a glass case of emotion!”

Coping With Tantrums by Channeling Ron Burgundy

While anyone can appreciate the humor in Ron Burgundy’s tantrum, it especially becomes a joy to watch when you actually have someone in the house who’s capable of such a reaction over much lesser incidents than a lost dog.

Today when I attempted a gym daycare drop-off with Alex, there was a major freak out. Well, she was fine when I left her sitting there playing with the giant foam letters – her dream toy. She was so absorbed, that I tiptoed away. (I know, head-slap.) However, upon exiting the locker room, I heard screaming. Crazy, glass-case-of-emotion screaming. It occurred to me pretty quickly, “Oops, that one’s mine.”

As the daycare lady handed Alex over to me, I said, “Are you in a glass case of emotion?” The daycare lady laughed. Alex seriously answered, “A glass case of emotion.”

Right now, “glass case of emotion” is Alex’s favorite phrase. When we got home, I didn’t get her shoes and socks off her feet fast enough. She started to have a slight freak out. I bellowed, “GLASS CASE OF EMOTION!” She laughed, and gleefully shouted it back.

She said it several more times, sounding like she was doing a Ron Burgundy impression. So I let her watch the clip so she could at least see what the heck we’re talking about. She thought Ron’s mantrum was pretty darn funny.This key phrase will serve as a good tantrum breaker for as long as the entertainment value holds.

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When Your Kid Says You’re Her Best Friend, Cling to That Memory for Dear Life

My favorite little girl.

It started with a business trip. How desperately I missed my daughter manifested itself in the form of anxiety and tears. I wondered if I was cut out for travel away from my family. Over the phone, her little voice brightened my day with, “Hi, Mom! Hi, Mom! Hi, Mom! Hi, Mom!”

I Love This Part of Parenthood

The morning after my return, as I unzipped her sleep sack, Alex cheerfully pipped, “I’m glad you’re back!” Damn, that felt good.

Then last week, she said, “I’m happy you’re my friend,” as she leaned into me for a hug. The next day, she escalated my label to “best friend.” I was obsessed with these comments from her. I had to loosen up the pressure valve of happiness bursting in my heart by sharing her remarks on my Facebook wall. Read More on Parentables.com

Sh*t the Hubby Says: Our Child and TV Edition

A popular parenting argument these days is over whether or not to allow your child to watch TV, or how much TV-watching is acceptable. The American Academy of Pediatrics has condemned TV for the under-two set as the Great Satan. Clearly none those people have ever tried to go to the bathroom while a small human tries to climb in their lap and / or unravel the entire toilet paper roll.

My husband and I don’t argue over whether TV is okay or not. We’re on board with TV. We agree that excessive TV is bad. But we also realize that an occasional marathon won’t cause brain damage, so we are pretty liberal about letting Alex watch TV as long as it’s educational. We stick with Nick Jr.

We also read her about 100 books a day and she gets outside for daily exercise. She’s well rounded. We’re not worried.

Our disagreement is about whether standing too close to the TV will hurt your eyes. Or at least that’s the initial argument Steve presented, but I think it’s an old wives tale. Regardless, Steve really doesn’t like to see Alex watching TV like this:

She tends to hang off the credenza and stare upwards at the screen. Steve would rather Alex watch TV like civilized folks: from a respectable distance and sitting on the couch. So I’m not sure that this qualifies as a “sh*t the hubby says” but I’m the opposition and this is my forum, so there.

My feeling is that if she’s going to get a little exercise in front of the tube by building her “hanging off things” muscles, and getting her calves a workout as she strains on her tiptoes to get as close as humanly possible to the screen, then I think she’s better off than if she were sedentary while she watched.

Did you know there is something called sedentary death syndrome (SeDS)? SeDS is the result of physical inactivity. According to theNIH:

“SeDS is a major public health burden due to its causing multiple chronic diseases and millions of premature deaths each year.”

In essence, I am adding years to our daughter’s life by allowing her to watch TV while she stands right in front of the set. Am I right? Eh? Eh? Oh wait, don’t answer that.

The Most Embarrassing Parents Ever to Have Walked the Earth

Photo Credit: Daily Sunny

My husband and I often ask ourselves, “How can we expect to raise a poised, well-behaved daughter when we act like nine year olds ourselves?”

Here are examples of our behavior:

We give each other raspberries about 20 to 30 times a day. This is currently right up our one-year-old daughter’s alley, since she would be giving raspberries whether we did or not. However, I’m starting to worry that the example my husband and I are providing will cause her to think raspberries are a sustained and legitimate part of human communication, or potentially part of the English language.

Best Game Ever… :: keep reading …

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How I’m Weaning my One-Year-Old From Breastfeeding, With Mixed Emotions

Most moms have a love-hate relationship with breastfeeding; what’s unique from mom-to-mom is the exact measure of the emotions involved.

No one loves the pain of getting started, with all the glamour of cracked nipples, leakage and balloonage. Balloonage is not a word, in case you’re wondering, but anyone who has breastfed or is allergic to beestings knows what “balloonage” means.

Your baby might start crying because Uncle Francis is wearing too much Aqua Velva. Even though your own eyes are burning and you can taste his cologne in the air, instinctually, a baby’s tears, heck — any baby’s tears, plus probably when dogs bark — and you suddenly feel like your baby is hungry and you’re not making enough breast milk.

Then there’s that first taste of post-natal freedom where you skip out of the house to make a grocery store run. You’ve never been so exhilarated by a solo car ride since you were handed your driver’s license. Then you wind up behind an extreme couponer at checkout, which makes you hyperventilate because you’re going to be late for the next feed.

On the Other Hand… :: keep reading …

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How to Get More Nutrition Into Your Picky Baby or Toddler (Recipe Included)

I’m now blogging for TLC’s Parentables! I will blog the post introductions here at swell easy living so you can keep updated on new content as it becomes available. Just click through to read the full post on parentables.

When I first had my daughter, I figured it was easiest to just follow the recommendation du jour when it came to feeding. So we breastfed exclusively for six months before introducing solids. What I wish I knew then was that just because you introduce solids doesn’t mean a baby will actually ingest any of them.

In short, I could have introduced solids to my daughter at four or five months, and still “exclusively” breastfed well beyond six months. In the meantime, my dining room carpet would be well-fed.

Now, I’m sure there are plenty of babies who are so excited to eat food that this concept doesn’t apply to them. However, my daughter loved to gnaw on anything but food and is only coming around now as a nine-month-old on the virtues of solids. Of course, I’d estimate that of all the bites that make it into her mouth, about 75% still ultimately wind up nourishing our rug.

“Under One, Just for Fun” is BUNK :: keep reading …

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