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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!"


By a mom, for moms

by Jenn Kampmeier, Guest Blogger

When I was pregnant, I got addicted to watching any and every baby show on TV. Name an episode of “A Baby Story” and I can name the characters and tell you what birth method they chose. Some shows, where everything went great, were very comforting and after watching them I felt confident and assured. I was going to be super mom! But the majority of the shows left me biting my nails and wondering how I was going to do it – my house wasn’t “baby proof”, I valued naptime – no, not my kid’s naptime, MY naptime. I obsessed over how I was going to do it all, learn it all, and find everything in time for the baby’s arrival.

Being pregnant and a soon-to-be single mother, I got a lot of advice, from everyone. My mom was especially helpful, but there was the thought in the back of my mind that her baby-knowledge was old. I mean, come on…I have been out of diapers for more than a quarter century, and I can’t remember the last time I needed to be burped. So I was constantly in search of experts. I tried to find the latest products, studied all safety pamphlets, consulted with doctors. My head was whirling with trying to get it all in, find it all (which was not easy), and determine what was going to be best for the health and safety of my baby.

While in my pregnancy whirlwind, I mentally committed myself to making the process of learning and finding products easier for other moms who were also in my state of mind. I may be neurotic, but my guess is that most moms hit the stage of craziness while trying to figure “it” all out! And I didn’t want anyone else to have to face the madness.

I made true of my promise to stop the madness last April, when I launched the first Indy Baby Expo. I created the event as a one-stop-shop for all the information that new moms need in regard to safety, health and the latest in products and services. And, of course, I added entertaining events because all moms, future moms and caregivers need to sit back and laugh sometimes! The Indy Baby Expo took place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, had more than 125 maternity-to-toddler related vendors, and more than 6,500 people in attendance. What I enjoyed most about the Expo was the knowing looks from mom-to-mom as they walked through the Expo. Since that one was so successful we had a second one in October with the same amount of success.

Seeing and hearing how new and future moms appreciated the Expo, I made it my goal to continue the event, and grow on the success of the previous. The next Indy Baby Expo takes place on April 25-26, 2009 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. There will be more than 135 exhibitors with the latest products, health and safety information; entertainment for parents and kids – including Mic the Music Man and the Bounce House Band (you can only imagine!), Sara Snow and tons of kid entertainment. We would love to see you there! Neurotic or not, this event was designed for you – our future parents, new parents and caregivers. For a complete schedule of events and more information, go to

Escaping the PTA Piranhas

Rachel HammanBy Rachel Hamman; Guest Blogger

I hate that time of the month. No, not the time when I'm doubled over with cramps or bloated beyond recognition. Instead, I am referring to the once a month torture known as the PTA meeting. What was originally created to be a supportive extension for our kid's school-age experience has now been transformed into a keeping up with the Jones' nightmare.

There's always those one or two women who live, eat, breathe, and sleep PTA. Just like other religious zealots, I am not one to pass judgment. Do want makes you happy…just don't expect me to behave the same. If you want to dedicate all of your free time running carnivals and selling stale chocolate, knock yourself out. I have been known to volunteer for a certain cause or two in my time, but I don't feel compelled to sign my name to every list that is passed. Let's get real. Is the true worth of a woman really measured in how many committees she serves on? I give myself credit just for showing up to the meeting, itself. In my book, just the fact that I am sitting in an uncomfortable, under-sized, plastic chair instead of at home, in my pajamas watching American Idol, gets me brownie points.

Furthermore, when did it become socially unacceptable to donate money vs. time? I was raised in an environment where you gave, either, "Time, Treasure or Talent." As long as you were providing one of the "T's", you were doing okay. In this new hierarchy, however, the check writers seem to be treated like redheaded stepchildren.

Well, I say put yourself on a pedestal if that's what your ego needs. This Mom is secure in knowing that just because she doesn't sacrifice her Saturday to sit in a dunking booth, doesn't mean she does not pledge her allegiance to her children and their school.

So, until next month's meeting…hey, maybe I'll be lucky and my root canal will fall on the same day?

About Rachel

Rachel Hamman is not your ordinary soccer mom. She has been named one of the “Most Remarkable Women” on ABC’s The View and has been featured as an expert on The Today Show, sharing her sage advice with millions of women. Rachel has been highlighted in Glamour magazine for her philanthropic advances and was recognized for her ongoing community endeavors as one of the “Eckerd 100 Outstanding National Volunteers.” Her versatile background has made her a go- to Mom expert, where she has been quoted in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to American Baby magazine. In the spring of 2007 Rachel founded National Mom’s Night Out, an extremely successful campaign, to encourage moms to take time off from the kids and celebrate who they are besides being a mom. Rachel is the author of Bye-Bye Boardroom: Confessions From A New Breed of Stay-At-Home Moms and Mom's Night Out: Even Inmates Get Time Off for Good Behavior. Visit Rachel's Web site at


Sara Snow

by Sara Snow

There are so many small changes you can make on the road to greening your family. That’s why the near year is the perfect time to get started. You don’t have to go all the way, all at once. Remember that along with the changes you’re making, you’re also breaking habits…something that is never easy to do. So take it slowly and baby step your way to a greener 2009.


1. Bring more organics into the kitchen.

Did you know, the average child in America is exposed to five pesticides every day in their food and drinking water. That’s the bad news … here’s the good stuff. According to a study involving school-age children, switching to an organic diet for just five days virtually eliminates any sign of exposure to organophosphate pesticides. And, as an added bonus, you can increase your antioxidant intake by 30% by switching to organic foods. Start by replacing 2 items each week on your grocery list with the organic counterpart, then grow from there.

2. Source more locally.

Here’s some food for thought - the average American meal travels about 1500 miles to get to your plate. All of that travel – by boat, truck or plane – means a lot of wasted petroleum, freshness and nutrients. Look instead for foods (from produce to meats to sauces) and other products that have been grown or produced locally. Your farmer’s market or local CSA is a good place to start. Visit to find one in your area.

3. Skip the paper and plastic.

Any time you hit the grocery store, meat market, or mall, take your own reusable shopping bag. Paper bags require a lot of trees and energy, while plastic bags are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, and are littering our landfills and oceans. Start a collection of reusable cloth bags and carry it every time you head out.

4. Embrace the green triangle

Americans generate 13 million tons of glass waste each year and enough aluminum to rebuild an entire commercial airline fleet every three months. Get in the habit of recycling your glass, plastics, aluminum and paper. Then go one step further and start buying recycled-content products like tissues and paper towels.

5. Green your ride.

Even if you’re not ready to buy a hybrid, there are ways you can be a more fuel efficient motorist.

Keep your tire pressure at the recommended level, don’t be an aggressive driver and keep the AC on low. Also, check your air filter. A clean one can make your car 10% more fuel efficient.

6. BONUS: Give your mind room to breath.

For you that may just mean finding five minutes of quiet, meditative time each morning, or it might mean signing up for a regular yoga class once or more a week. Either way, make sure you’re finding balance even in this busy, green life of yours.


Mom - Job Description

Happy New Year!! I hope 2009 finds you well, healthy and happy. Now that the holidays are over and the exhaustion of creating all the magic is behind us I thought it appropriate to have a good chuckle to kick-off the New Year. To all my fellow moms, I hope you get a laugh from the "Mom Job Description" shown below.

Also, coming soon in January I will be hosting a Guest Blog Series for the New Year featuring several fabulous women who will be sharing their insight on motherhood and the magic of balancing it all! Please subscribe now to my blog site so that you are notified when the launch of the "Fabulous 2009 Mommy Magic Blog Series" launches. Do it today so you don't miss it!


POSITION: Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Ma

JOB DESCRIPTION: Long-term, team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24-hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far-away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets, and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars, and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery-operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.

Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required, unfortunately.  On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and only wish you could do more.

BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays, and no stock options are offered, this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life.


Mommy Magic Book SigningThanks to the many mom's who came to the official local book launch and signing of "Mommy-Magic: Tricks for Staying Sane in the Midst of Insanity." It was so inspiring being around mom's taking time to celebrate themselves and each other. I wanted to share one of my favorite sayings. I have it sitting on my desk in the kitchen to remind me in the midst of insanity that I am talented and fabulous and powerful beyond measure…and so are YOU! Most of all, thanks for spreading the word about Mommy Magic! Cheers to you!

An Affirmation for You

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson