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Meet Mary Susan

"Welcome to Mommy Magic! An interactive community of real moms, founded by a real mom, to give support and tips to make the chaos of motherhood easier and more fun! I am Mary Susan, an author, a columnist, a life coach for moms and a I have Mommy Magic TV segment too! Most importantly, I have three beautiful (and very busy) daughters! I am a real mom managing the daily insanity of motherhood just like you!"

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Friday
Jan012010

Happy New Year!

A big congratulations to all moms to surviving and pulling off the magic of the holidays. Little did I know that starting in November that preparing for the holiday season would be a part time job on top of my already full time job as a mom. Can we just talk about the holiday card for one minute? I had no idea 10 years ago when I opened cards from people with kids the exhausting process the mom went throiugh to get that sweet sentiment of holiday cheer in my hands. Getting the kids to all look in the same direction for the picture alone took what seem like an entire afternoon. After that, the ongoing process of trying to address 10 cards each night in my "free time" seemed to take most of the holiday season itself. I know you all can relate as moms. So with that, it is time to take a DEEP breathe and celebrate the magic we did create for our families. Although a bit behind as promised due to being the primary magic maker in December, I would like to announce the TARGET gift card winner......
Congratulation to Heather McCleod. Go spend it on something fun for yourself!

Happy New Year to all moms and CHEERS to you for making the holiday magic!
Friday
Nov062009

Join Mommy Magic & Win $50 Target Gift Card

TargetGiftCard

It is not too late to register to when the Target gift card for a lucky mom! All you have to do to be eligible to win the $50 Target gift card is join the Mommy Magic site and click on "Join this Site." The lucky mom who wins will be announced on November 17. What mom couldn't use a little mad money to blow at Target. There is one restriction on it though... no blowing it on groceries! Instead, find something fun for yourself - a new scarf, candle, iTunes card for yourself....whatever. Cheers to you and all moms for surviving Halloween and gearing up for the holidays! Also, feel free to pass this along to a friend have them register too!
Friday
Oct302009

Halloween for Moms

So when did Halloween costumes equal dressing like a Hooter's girl? I actually LOVE Halloween and the entire costume transformation. My birthday is actually on Halloween so it truly is a major production in our house. Pumpkins, graveyard decorations in the front yard, spooky music during dinner. I go all out and I love it. Except finding a costume for me. Pushing 40 years old now and still trying to lose the baby weight (my baby is now 3 years old) there isn't much out there for a mom's like me that comes in a Party City pre-packaged costume bag. I now except that and try to embrace that I am not the trashy pirate type (anymore) or the slutty nurse (never my thing anyway). Instead, I went old school and got creative, like when I was actually a kid and we used to MAKE our costumes. Ahh, the good old days when Halloween was about the candy and the "trick or treat smell my feet, give me something good to eat!" and less about the four inch heels that match my dirty police officer "uniform." Do I sound jealous??? Nahhh (well, maybe a little), but instead of festering in my disappointment, I choose to embrace my costume making today and celebrate who I am - a Mom who is going to be a Sheriff for Halloween (and finally get the respect I deserve around here!) Yahoo and Giddy Up! Happy Halloween to all Moms!

Halloween-2009

Wednesday
Oct142009

Baby Name Remorse

"Who am I? Who am I?" I just kept saying that line from The Breakfast Club and picturing Anthony Michael Hall trying to stick a pen up his nose.

Then I started saying, "Who are you? Who are you?"

Seriously, had my epidural spiraled out of control and reached all the way up to my brain? My sweet baby girl was hours old and her name…I could NOT call her by her name. My husband gleefully paced the hospital room calling everyone and telling them that "Smith" had been born. Every time he said her name I literally cringed. Smith was my maiden name and a shout out to my late father who I wanted to pay tribute to. The name was different and I loved it for a boy, however we had a beautiful baby girl and she did not look like a Smith to me at all. This is our third girl. I prefer to keep the sex of the baby a secret until birth to give me that extra something special to push through the delivery. Throughout this pregnancy, I was convinced we were having a boy - a girl was a total surprise. I had no idea what to do.

This uncertainly I struggled with felt like a huge secret and I couldn’t tell anyone, fearing that my friends and family would think I was crazy. Was I just experiencing roller coaster hormones? I couldn’t think of anyone, but the actress Meg Ryan, who had changed her baby’s name. Her daughter was named Charlotte and then months later she changed her name to Daisy. Meg Ryan was slammed in the press and was the buzz of conversation with every play group for a month. Seriously, who changes their baby’s name? Didn’t they have like 9 months to figure it out? I obviously wasn’t scared that People magazine was going to have harsh words for me, but I was worried that I might be making a giant mistake one way or another and I was a little nervous about what the fall out would be.

At a time like this, I thought it would be best to reach out to close friends and have them set me straight. These are the friends that will tell me when my new haircut is horrible or that my butt did in fact not look good in my new jeans. I knew they would tell me the truth. As I dialed away and posed my dilemma, I was shocked at how many of my friends had “issues” with their baby’s names when they were born. It is much more common than I would have ever imagined! In a recent poll by Baby Center of 1,219 women approximately 10% considered changing their baby’s names. Call after call, even my very closest friends divulged their secrets of changing or wanting to change their babies names.

My friend Holly went a year calling her daughter "Paige" and she even filled in her entire baby book with the details about "Paige". Holly always knew the name wasn’t right, but just kept thinking her daughter would grow into it - that one day it would feel right. Finally she just snapped one day and called her daughter Caroline and it fit her perfectly. It was worth the months of paper work and more than a few jokes from friends and family. Now, Caroline loves to read through her baby book and hear all about her alter ego Paige.

Another friend, Tracy, named her second son Peter after her father, who she adores. Her little guy could totally pull off a strong name like Peter. However, she did feel a little odd at certain times even hours after she named little Peter. For example when the nurse came in her hospital room and said, “It’s time to breast feed Peter” or “How is Peter’s circumcision healing?” This was a little creepy getting used to a baby named Peter and not her father. Could she change his name and take back the honor of naming her son after her father? The answer was no, so she had to find a name she could live with. For months Tracy would just call him “The Baby”. She had nightmares that at high school graduation they were going to call him Baby and then inevitably at some point in her dream, someone shouts out “No one puts Baby in a corner!” Let’s just say this pushed her over the edge and now they just call him Petey, which is far better than Baby for sure!

With what I've learned, here are some of the tips for double checking to be sure your baby's name was the right one. This seemed funny at first, but they actually really helped. One friend told me to say the baby's name out loud over and over, but to pretend it was the day of their college graduation. So, when no one was around I would speak in my strong professional voice an announce “Smith Jacquelyn McLeod”. I even tried the serious voice the guy does when he announces the President entering the room. I must say, I was quite impressed with how well I did with that one! Possible second career. My friend Ashley gave me the final test to see if her name was the “right” one. She told me to picture the name on a wedding invitation. I thought she was crazy, but it did help.

There was a huge pink stork in my front lawn emblazoned with my daughters name on it; the wrong name. The monogrammed bibs and onesies were already piling up and yet I still could not even utter her name. Her name felt so wrong. When I was alone with her, I would tickle her little arms and legs and try out names hoping that she would give me a sign if she liked the name. I actually knew the name I wanted and it fit her perfectly, I knew it in my heart. I just needed to sit the family down and tell them. I swear the baby even giggled and possibly even gave me a high five when I called her by the new name - she was totally on board with the idea. It was time to stop sneaking around and tell my husband. So I sat down and held up our cute little girl at eye level to him and told him that her name was not Smith. Her name is Bergan. To this, do you know what he said…"Do I have to get a new stork?”
Monday
Oct122009

It's Flu Season

The FLU is here whether we like it or not. I capitalize it because when it hits your house it comes bold and strong and life as you know it comes to a screeching halt! Last Sunday was a great Autumn day. My oldest went to her BFF's birthday party and as she walked out to our car after it, she was hunched over and I said out loud to my husband, "Does she look pale to you?" When we asked her how she felt she mumbled, "Fine." I am kinda glad I don't have a crystal ball to know what is going to happen next...if we as mom's did...would we ever have the nerve to get out of bed to actually face it?

So off to the pumpkin patch we went (a big family tradition for us). By the end of the hay ride my 9 year old was laying in the hay staring up at the sky......Hmmmm, a bad sign. My mom radar went off. My husband thought she was tired from the birthday party. When she turned down Kettle Korn on the way out, I knew....we are on the FLU time bomb...when will it hit? How long do I have until it is actually here?

All my mother's instincts said BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES!!!! And so I did, by the time we got home she was running a 104 degree fever, had the chills and headache. My baby had the FLU and so it begins...in one quick instant I begin to devise a strategy on how to quarantine her in order to keep my other two kids (not to mention me) from getting sick (my husband is still getting the pumpkins out of the car.) So here we are 4 days into it. The FLU hit us and a bunch of other kiddos too. So much in fact, that they closed my daughter's school early for Fall Break due to illness. In my opinion, a smart move.

My daughter is feeling better. My other 2 kids seem okay so far (knock on wood). I showered for the first time in 3 days only because local news station called and asked if I could be interviewed about the FLU. I decided to do the interview...a good excuse to get out of the house and get showered and cleaned up. Sad, but true and as a mom, you know what I mean!