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All Blog Posts (442)

Two Weeks Post-Op

Here I am, once again, on the other end of a stressful, life-changing event. A little over six months of knowing about the genetic mutation, about four months of trying to find a doctor, and two months of waiting for the surgery. I can wholeheartedly say that I am on the better end of this experience. All of the worries I had and the anticipation of the outcome are gone. Just. Like. That. It’s as if the anxiety I was experiencing was removed with the breast…


Added by Maria on February 13, 2018 at 10:00pm — No Comments

What I’ve Learned...

When I first learned of my genetic mutation back in June, I don’t think I had a clue about what I would really be facing in the coming months. When I spoke to the geneticist, I handled it the way I’ve handled any distressing news -- like a soldier.  

I think back to when my pediatrician and I realized that my youngest son might have autism; the doctor grabbed me by the arm, looked into my eyes and said, “are you…


Added by Maria on January 8, 2018 at 10:00am — No Comments

One Month Away...

The final countdown has begun. One month. From what I’ve heard, the wait is the worst part. I hope that is true. The distractions that are keeping me busy have been awesome. A girls getaway, a trip to Rhode Island for Thanksgiving, a family ski trip, and going to the gun range to name a few. However, the fact that I have to rent a recliner because I won’t be able to get out of bed and that I need to buy bras to hold the four drains that will hang from the side…


Added by Maria on December 21, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

My Last Mammogram

I have been getting mammograms since I was 30 years old. As I have said before, my strong family history of breast cancer required me to begin mammograms 10 years earlier than the typical protocol. Everyone knows that these tests are extremely uncomfortable for several reasons. First, there is the strange woman grabbing your boob--kneading it like a piece of pizza dough--to get it to sit on the hard, cold, plastic machine in just the right spot to obtain the perfect image of…


Added by Maria on November 19, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Finding Support When You’re a Single Parent

If you’re a single parent, you may feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do each day. In fact, it may seem like there are not enough hours to handle it all. Even though you’re doing your best, you may find yourself exhausted, isolated, and anxious.

But you are in good company. Many single parent families face a lot of the same problems.

Learn more here:

Added by Hackensack Meridian Health on November 17, 2017 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Adding a New Addition to the Family...A PUPPY!

My children have never lived in a house without a dog. My husband and I got our first puppy when we were engaged -- a decision I made without his approval. Although he was very apprehensive about my decision back then, as soon as he laid his eyes on that…


Added by Maria on September 13, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Don't Make Another Mom Second-Guess their Parenting with Snarky Comments!

I have quite a few mom friends who have posted online (not on Momtourage, of course) that they have had this baby struggle, or that difficulty, or some kind of parenting problem. Usually, mutual mom friends will comment with their own perspective, offer advice, or make suggestions. Often, there's the proverbial, electronic-pat-on-the-back, an 'attaboy!' to the beleaguered mom who's struggling on some level. There's also many, "You're doing a…


Added by Alix Hayes on August 31, 2017 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Making the Most of Your Farmers Market Trip

It’s summer in New Jersey – banner planes are flying over the beach, pools are filled with the sounds of happy children and local farmers markets are in full swing. While shopping at your local farmers market is a great way to find fresh, local produce for you and your family, it can be a confusing experience. Here are some shopping tips and tidbits to help you get informed before you buy.…


Added by Hackensack Meridian Health on July 21, 2017 at 9:30am — No Comments

I Don't Want Cancer

No one wants cancer, and most people don’t have to deal with it until they are actually diagnosed. Unless you’re like me and are considered to be high-risk. Both my mother and my grandmother had breast cancer. My grandmother’s metastasized and she died at forty-four, which is my age now. My mom also had stage four colon cancer. Miraculously, she is a survivor. My maternal uncle has had esophageal cancer and currently has a very slow growing kidney cancer. We’ve always thought there…


Added by Maria on July 11, 2017 at 7:30pm — 2 Comments

Summer Bucket List Ideas For The Whole Family

Now that summer is officially here, it's time to think about how you will spend it. Here at the Jersey Shore there is never a shortage of fun things to do in the summer. From exploring local parks and beaches to outdoor concerts to county fairs, you can find something that everyone in the family will enjoy.

To get input from the whole family, my husband and I like to take our daughters out for ice cream and while we sit outside enjoying one of summer's best treats, each of us jots…


Added by Sheila Hill on June 22, 2017 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Making Summer Fun for You and Your Kids

The idea of the kids being home all summer is...a bit scary!  

But, as we live at the Jersey Shore, there are SO MANY things to do for the next 3+ months, that you're sure to pack your family calendar and have fun with your family.

In case you've noticed from various posts of mine, I try to pack my weekends with activities for the kids, my husband and I. (I sorta loathe being home with them ALL DAY, for more than 2 days in a row. We all, inevitably, get stir-crazy, and the two…


Added by Alix Hayes on June 9, 2017 at 11:00am — No Comments

Making Family Fitness Fun

Physical activity is a vital part of staying healthy. Encouraging healthy habits in your child is one of the best things a parent can do to try to guarantee a healthier life. Being active can help kids and adults have healthier weights, less fat, and stronger muscles and bones. Activity can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and stroke. It can also lessen feelings of depression, and boost confidence. As children get older, they often reduce their physical activity. Because of this, making…


Added by Hackensack Meridian Health on June 8, 2017 at 10:05am — No Comments

Balancing Work When You Have Kids

I was a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) for several years, but I have been back in the workforce for almost 3 years now, and it was evident from the start that balancing work and kids is never easy.

Initially, I started working part-time, about 20 hours a week, which was perfect because my kids were in preschool only until 3pm every day. I still had time to make dentist appointments, and go to the grocery store during my day. Then, a…


Added by Alix Hayes on April 10, 2017 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Facts you didn’t know about Breast Cancer...

Breast surgeon Yolanda Tammaro, M.D., knows her patients may be running the gamut of emotions when they step into her office for the first time.

The most prevalent and natural mindset among her new patients, Dr. Tammaro says, is also the most important one to dispel: Fear.

“It’s completely understandable and natural to be…


Added by Hackensack Meridian Health on April 10, 2017 at 10:46am — No Comments

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone...WAY OUT

As I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy getting out of my comfort zone within reason (I’m not looking to break a hip at my age). In the past, there was that time I tried out for my college basketball team, never having played before, and made it. Then there was the post-baby endurance races that started with a 5K, included a few sprint triathlons, and concluded with a half-marathon. The half marathon put me on a hiatus from over-exerting myself to an extreme. The last three miles…


Added by Maria on February 26, 2017 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Getting the Grands to babysit more...Expectation or bonus?

It can be tough to find reliable, affordable babysitters these days. I’m often jealous of my mommy friends who have live-in relatives, or a mother-in-law who lives down the street, or a sibling who loves to watch their nieces and nephews on the weekends!

The problem is that my family doesn’t really have those options, because we have a location-situation with any family-related childcare. One set of grandparents lives in…


Added by Alix Hayes on February 20, 2017 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

My Hopes for My Children

Today, raising children is tricky business, and when I say tricky, I really mean downright terrifying. We live in a very scary world, and thinking of the atrocities that are taking place outside of our safe little bubble can really give someone an ulcer or heart-attack. And I don’t think that the world was ever less scary. As a matter of fact, there were much worse times to raise children. It’s just that when you have your own child, your world changes and everything you do from…


Added by Maria on February 1, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Finding Joy in "Whoville" after Loss

In the holiday classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” a curmudgeon green Grinch learns that Christmas really resides in the heart. But what if said heart is broken?

Navigating the holidays after the loss of a loved one is stepping carefully through a minefield of emotions. Navigating the holidays after the loss of a loved one while parenting young children—well, that’s nearly indescribable.

It’s a delicate balance of sobbing in showers after lovingly baking cookies. It’s…


Added by Gabriella Heizler on December 30, 2016 at 9:41am — 1 Comment

Staying Connected Takes More Than a Power Button

With Christmas just around the corner and gift-giving season in full swing, what parent doesn’t want to make their child’s wish list come true?

Remember though, when it comes to kids, gifts and gadgets, moderation and discipline are truly the gifts that keep on giving.

Smartphones, tablets, laptops, televisions… Like it or not, expensive technology isn’t just for adults anymore, and with the level of technology available at the fingertips of children and adults alike, it’s easy…


Added by Christie Rampone on December 20, 2016 at 4:33pm — No Comments

Keeping the Holidays Magical for Non-Believers

5 out of 5 - seems to be the ratio of believers to non-believers in our house this year.  

Our youngest is 9 years old. I feel like, when we were younger, the magic of believing lasted well beyond double digits. I blame this whole Elf on the Shelf movement for the reason for younger realization. I mean, it's one thing to believe in a jolly man in a red suit coming down your fireplace, but asking kids to buy into a stuffed toy that flies back to the North Pole each night {well, if I'm…


Added by Chrissy Fleming on December 19, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

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