RSSCarrie Steinweig – Mom Moments

Carrie Steinweig tells tales from her life as a mom, with all the humor and wisdom it brings.

Mom Moments: Such a gift to spend time with new parents, babies

Mom Moments: Such a gift to spend time with new parents, babies
February 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

I recently left my part time job as a hospital newborn photographer. It was a hard thing to do because I’d been at it over two years and I was at the hospital I wanted to be at (the one my kids were born at) and I absolutely adore newborns, especially in those first couple of days where they pretty much just sleep and don’t usually cry loud enough to burst your eardrums. I also love taking photographs and I loved being able to capture moments that I know that these families will hold onto for years. I know that on many nursery walls or refrigerators or in wallets or above mantels are priceless photos that I took - and that’s an awesome feeling.

I snapped pictures for fathers that were serving overseas and would be introduced to their new child through those photographs. I photographed tearful grandparents doting over their new grandchild. I cuddled big brothers and sisters with their new siblings and watched them smile proudly. I nestled little heads into their fathers’ hands for unbelievably beautiful shots. I placed babies on their moms’ bare shoulders and captured that peaceful bond. I got to take pictures of a few sets of twins (which, being a big sis of twins, I ate up.)

I also did photo sessions where I had to work around monitors and IV lines. I took pictures of little guys that weighed in under five pounds and some that were nearly eleven pounds. I sometimes went to work to find a sign on a mom’s door that indicated that the baby had died. I took pictures of one agitated baby who shook and screamed at each noise or flash…and then found out the baby had been born addicted to drugs. I was in some rooms where the stories would make Jerry Springer blush and shake his head.

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Mom Moments moves online

Mom Moments moves online
February 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

When I first started writing for the Times, I was a mom of two. My oldest was in kindergarten and my youngest was just learning to walk and talk. My entire existence was wrapped up in diaper changing and sippy cups and reading bedtime stories. I had just been freelance writing for a few months and had lots to share. At first I was writing a column that alternated between local happenings and my life as a mom of two boys. Eight years ago, I added a second column, Mom Moments that focused entirely on parenting. I published a book in 2010 that was a collection of some of the parenting columns I’d written.

That kindergarten student I was writing about when I began has now graduated from high school. That younger boy will be entering high school this year. And three more boys followed. My youngest will turn 8 this spring. That’s a lot of parenting that has been done since I first started as a columnist and a lot of occurrences that gave me something to write about. I’m not an expert on this mothering thing, I just have a lot of opportunities to say “Been there, done that.” And sometimes those stories make their way into a column. I continue to learn each day from them and about them. Mothering is a never-ending thing.

Although mothering is never ending thing, most things do come to an end and with the printing of this column, it will be the end of my print version of the Mom Moments column as some changes are made in the Features section. However, I’ll still be writing about the rollercoaster of raising a family, only it will now be on a website rather than between these paper pages. I’ll be moving to an online spot as a blogger at NWITIMES.COM/NICHE/YOURFAMILY. Scroll down a little and watch the column on the right. I hope those of you that have read the column over the years will continue to follow me there. You can also find my Mom Moments page on Facebook with links to my posts and little tidbits of random thoughts that occur between the posts. And my book, Mom Moments: a Compilation of Columns from the Northwest Indiana Times is available at AMAZON.COM

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Mom Moments: What Would June Do?

February 07, 2013 12:00 am  • 

When I was a young kid, I’d come home from school each day and watch a little television. The options were sparse in those days. You basically had 6 channels. One ran reruns of classic shows like "The Brady Bunch", "I Love Lucy", "Happy Days" and "Leave it to Beaver" in that after school time slot. That was the channel we usually ended up on.

Those were shows with these idealistic families and these mothers who always looked perfect and always knew what to say and how to fix a situation. Carol Brady, Lucy, Mrs. Cunningham and June Cleaver were always wearing dresses that clung tightly in the middle and flowed perfectly without a wrinkle. High heeled shoes, a string of pearls around the neck and a perfect bun or bouffant or flip or whatever the appropriate hairstyle of time was to compliment the ensemble.

With the exception of Lucy and her whiny, carefree, scatterbrained, comedic character, the other moms were the moms every kid wanted to have and every grown up woman wanted to be.

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Mom Moments: I miss them already

January 13, 2013 12:00 am  • 

When people are asked about their greatest fear, a myriad of answers emerge. Some are common fears, i.e. falling, the dark, spiders, enclosed spaces, heights. My single biggest fear is one that has increased in certain years – losing someone I love. As I’ve grown older and my parents have aged and several of my peers have lost their parents in recent years, it’s been on my mind.

When I became a parent, one thing I really wanted for my children was for them to know their grandparents. As a child I recall friends going on vacations with their grandparents or getting spoiled with clothes or toys or just spending time with their grandparents after school or on weekends.

I was envious. It was something I never had. One grandparent died before I was born. Two passed away when I was a toddler. The only one I really remember at all was my paternal grandmother. And I can’t really say that I remember her. She spent her final years in a nursing home in Minnesota and I hadn’t seen her for a year or two when she died when I was around 9 years old. What I do remember is that she was diabetic and I’d save up my change to go the store and buy a bag of sugar free candy to mail her.

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Dear Younger Self: Wear the bikini

December 30, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Dear younger self. I've seen many blogs written with that title. I've noticed the topic discussed among writers groups. I've heard many a country song lamenting over regrets of the past or by contrast, the risks they wished they'd taken.

Any adult can look back and say that there are things they wish they knew then that they know now. Some are minor. Some are huge. When I ask myself what I’d tell my teenage self, the first thing to come to mind is WEAR THE BIKINI!

It sounds like a frivolous piece of advice, but it's one that I truly needed to hear back then. I was always a skinny little kid. It continued through high school. I recall that I weighed 98 pounds when I started high school and I was still wearing size 12 and 14 in little girls' clothing.

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Why I might hang on to the 'dumb' phone

December 16, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Last month I attended a blogging conference in Chicago with my friend, Jen, who is also a writer and blogger. The event was called “Bloggy Boot Camp” organized by hosts Tiffany and Fran. The blogging gurus also lined up several interesting speakers.

Jen and I were a bit spoiled that day - a good 12-hours with no kids, no meals to cook (and three meals prepared by someone else,) no requests for snacks or to play Angry Birds on our electronic devices and we had our own personal drivers.

Her husband drove us there and my husband picked us up to spare us the aggravation of driving to the Hyatt Regency, dealing with parking and paying the equivalent of a month’s utility bill to park for the day. Should I, by some slim chance, ever win the lottery and become stinkin’ rich, I’m hiring a driver. I could get used to that for sure.

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Mom Moments: 10 Ideas for Holiday Shopping for Mom

December 02, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Ok, this column isn’t so much for the moms. It’s more one that you’ll use to pass on a hint to those who may be putting something under the tree for you this holiday. You know, clip it out and stick it on the refrigerator or slip it in between the pages of your husband’s auto magazine or your kid’s comic books or casually leave it out on the kitchen table with your favorite picks highlighted in yellow or circled in red.

1) Spa Massage

There are several day spas in the region that offer massages, giving mom a little time to get away from the craziness of taking care of a family and an opportunity to relax for a little while. Navi Spa in Schererville, Vanis Salon and Day Spa with Crown Point, Schererville and Valparaiso locations and Head Control in Lansing all offer massages that moms are sure to enjoy.

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Mom Moments: Travel experiences are a great education for kids

November 18, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Since I’ve been a parent, we've taken countless day trips and weekend trips with our kids and a few that have been longer yet. Not one has been by plane, but we’ve taken road trips that were far enough to exit the country and to see the ocean. We’ve also taken many trips to explore historic sites, museums, amusement parks and natural beauty close to home. Traveling opens up a whole new world to children and gives them an opportunity to see what exists beyond the walls of their home and boundaries of their neighborhood.

I’ll never forget the trip I took the summer I turned 13. My dad’s two older sisters had been in town for my sister’s wedding and they decided to take my younger twin sisters and me with them to their homes for a visit. First we went to stay with my Aunt Ramona and Uncle Roland on their farm in Missouri. We did at times complain we were a little board, but we also loved riding around in the country and visiting their neighbors who had farm animals. It was a completely different experience from being home in our suburban Chicago home. We stayed there for two weeks and then my Aunt Marilyn and Uncle John came to pick us up and bring us to their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It happened to be my birthday that day and I thought it was the coolest thing that I got to travel through three states on my birthday.

The week with Aunt Marilyn and Uncle John was full of activity. Life on the farm for those two weeks was fun but laid back. Aunt Ramona, who had raised 7 children, was so patient and accommodating.

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Mom Moments: Missing the “cute” costume days

November 04, 2012 12:00 am  • 

One thing I didn’t count on when my first son was born was how far from “cute” boys can stray on Halloween day. Those first few years with each of my sons were full of Halloweens with adorable little puppy and pumpkin costumes, specially selected by Mom.

As they got to preschool, they graduated to the super heroes. I think just about every one of them has been represented in our house – and some more than once – Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Robin, the Hulk, the Incredibles, Flash Gordon, Power Rangers, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Army soldiers, Transformers. Oh, how I miss the days when they wanted to dress up as the good guys.

After that superhero phase, boys have a tendency to turn to the scarier, spookier, gorier side of Halloween. By junior high, boys won’t be seen dead in a Buzz Lightyear costume. Instead, they are more intrigued by vampires, werewolves or worse. Killer clowns. Axe murders. Serial Killers. Chainsaw wielding maniacs. An abundance of terrifying characters from horror movies – from Freddie Krueger to Michael Myers to the Scream character – can be seen roaming the neighborhoods on Halloween night. And as much as I’ve fought it for years, I finally surrendered and realized that it’s a boy thing and I quit nagging and decided to just let them have fun with it. It’s only one day of the year.

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Missing the 'cute' costume days

November 04, 2012 12:00 am  • 

One thing I didn’t count on when my first son was born was how far from “cute” boys can stray on Halloween day. Those first few years with each of my sons were full of Halloweens with adorable little puppy and pumpkin costumes, specially selected by Mom.

As they got to preschool, they graduated to the super heroes. I think just about every one of them has been represented in our house – and some more than once – Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Robin, the Hulk, the Incredibles, Flash Gordon, Power Rangers, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Army soldiers, Transformers. Oh, how I miss the days when they wanted to dress up as the good guys.

After that superhero phase, boys have a tendency to turn to the scarier, spookier, gorier side of Halloween. By junior high, boys won’t be seen dead in a Buzz Lightyear costume. Instead, they are more intrigued by vampires, werewolves or worse. Killer clowns. Axe murders. Serial Killers. Chainsaw wielding maniacs. An abundance of terrifying characters from Horror movies – from Freddie Krueger to Michael Myers to the Scream character – can be seen roaming the neighborhoods on Halloween night. And as much as I’ve fought it for years, I finally surrendered and realized that it’s a boy thing and I quit nagging and decided to just let them have fun with it. It’s only one day of the year.

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