Still Dancing Through Life, Thanks to Poise…

This post was made in partnership with Poise®. All opinions my own. 

Once upon a time, I was a young dancer. My life was all about ballet; all day, everyday. I started dancing when I was four years old and took this love and passion into my university years. I received a scholarship to college because of ballet, and I am the person that I am today because of ballet.

I never really wanted to do anything else with my life. I wanted to be a prima ballerina and dance on stage. But one day in my early 20’s, I realized that it wasn’t going to happen.  There were physical obstacles that I just couldn’t plow through. I had horrible hips that would not allow me to turn out completely and feet that just couldn’t arch properly or place me on pointe in the perfect position that was needed. So I pivoted. After college I became a journalist and covered breaking news stories. When I became a mother years later, I took my love of journalism and developed that into a media company that I operate today. 

I did a cold, hard stop with ballet over 20 years ago. It was painful to leave my greatest love behind. But because of my 10-year-old daughter, I’ve found myself back at the barre. She dances five to six days a week with The School of American Ballet here in New York City, and is becoming quite the little ballerina. It is with her passion and dedication for ballet that I have now found myself having a dance re-birth.  

My children have always known about my ballet background and my love for dance. They’ve seen me dancing around our house just about anytime I can. But seeing my daughter in class inspired me to take ballet classes all over again. And I’ve been able to do so with success and ease thanks to Poise®. 

I suffered from LBL (light bladder leakage) after my third baby arrived. However, I wasn’t going to let one more thing keep me from enjoying ballet again. Poise® Impressa® goes in just like a tampon and stops light bladder leaks from happening. Its allowed me to live my life the way I want to. I can jump and dance without fear of leaks or urgent bathroom breaks. From now on, my children know once the music’s turned on, a dance party’s about to happen, all thanks to Poise® Impressa®. Check it out for yourself now by shopping on Amazon or visiting Poise.com

Now I never have to worry while dancing with my kids in the kitchen or while practicing my grand jetés at the studio. I’m my best, youthful self, everyday. When I look at myself in the mirror during ballet class, I feel like the young girl I used to be, once upon a time.

DO YOU LIKE TO BE ALONE?

Alone time is something I rarely desire.  I am a people person.  I always say the more the merrier and you will usually find me with my family or friends.  I don’t like to be alone.

But for the first time in my life, I went to an island out of the country, alone for 24 hours.  I was nervous.  I was excited.  I was apprehensive.  I almost didn’t go.  I think sometimes as moms, we are so used to having our children around and we are so protective of them that we can feel fearful leaving them.  I have left them many times for business trips with my business partner and I have left them for a week to travel with my husband.  Yet, I never left them to be alone.  The thought of being alone scared me more than actually leaving them.

I knew that I was also going to meet up with my husband the following day after being alone, so that added some comfort, and we were going to be together even if it was only for 24 hours too.

When you are married for over 17 years and you have 3 children, you jump at the opportunity to be together minus the kids.  Anyone who is a parent can relate to this.  Any parent also knows the coordination prior to departure is anything but easy too.  I am thankful that my parents were able to fly in and watch our kids, as that adds an extra layer of mental relaxation, knowing that the kids are happy and well taken care of back home.

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I arrived at The Waldorf El Conquistador and settled in.  The minute I arrived on property this exhale happened.  I could feel my breathing shift.  I could feel a sense of peace and relaxation instantaneously kick in.  I had 24 hours to myself   It was solo mom time.  It was completely alone time.  I actually did not know what to do with myself.  I read by the pool and walked around and then it came time for dinner. Should I order room service? Should I dine alone?  The sushi bar seemed to be a comforting idea that evening.   At least I could talk to the Sushi Chef.  I also had my phone so I could work and connect with others.

 

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I took the opportunity to explore this spectacular property.  I had never seen such a majestic setting.  The hotel is situated on top of a mountain and you take a funicular up and down to the waterfront and beach.  It has many pools, the Coqui Water Park that our children would love with water slides and a lazy river. There is the Waldorf Astoria Spa that features the Ki’ Spa for the little ones and then there is the unforgettable Palomino Island.  This is the resorts private 100 acre tropical island paradise.

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I took the ferry from the hotel over to this island, and you feel like you are in some James Bond movie.  It is gorgeous.  It is tropical and it is breathtaking. However, if you want action they have all the jet skis and activities one would desire, however if you want privacy, it is there for you too.  I enjoyed my day on the island, I actually read a book, which we know is a difficult feat now with kids in tow and I started to realize that it is really nice to be alone.  In fact, I think I could have handled a few more days alone, but I was also so excited to see my husband and celebrate our anniversary together.

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The next day, he arrived and I could not wait to take him to Palomino Island.  We felt like we were on the island alone.  It was romantic, just what we needed.  Later that day we had the Nirvana Spa Package, which included scrubs and a couples’ massage.

The hotel has many delicious restaurants too.  Some can be found in the main hotel and others are down at the Marina where you catch the ferry to the island.  There was so much that we didn’t have the chance to do since it was a quick visit, which is why we will have to return as soon as possible.  The El Conquistador has a Championship Golf Course, Camp Coqui for the kids, which allows them some extra playtime and the parents some alone time, shopping, several pools, game rooms, and more!

The simplicity of being alone is something I have taken for granted.  This recent getaway showed me that it is necessary and hopefully something I can do on a more regular basis.  But the best part of going away was with my husband and the most memorable was our day together on Palomino Island.

Moms making a difference. – Meet Casey Santiago

CaseySantiago_HeadshotAfter working in Africa for over 10 years, and then at a tech start-up in Silicon Valley, Casey Santiago became a mom of two. Her transition to motherhood compelled her to bring together her professional experiences and personal convictions to found Kangu, the world’s first crowdfunding website for safe births. In some countries, women who live on less than $2/day have no trained help before or during childbirth and as a result have as much as 1 in 10 chance of not surviving their pregnancies. Kangu is changing this by teaming up with medical partners overseas that offer life-saving prenatal and delivery care for as little as $200 per woman. At www.kangu.org, anyone anywhere can search profiles of pregnant women from around the world and contribute $10 or more so that a specific woman gets access to healthcare services that are proven to save the lives of moms and their newborns. Funders receive updates on the specific woman they’ve funded and the chance to make a concrete impact in another woman’s life, and to connect with other globally-minded moms.

1. Do you have balance? Tell us your secrets.

I am playing the long game when it comes to balance. Sometimes I have it, sometimes I don’t – and both have their place. When my kids were newborns there was no balance. When I first launched Kangu.org, there was no balance. But it all seems to even out eventually.

2. How would you describe yourself as a mom?

Like anyone doing something for the first time, I am feeling it out as I go and trying to bring my most patient self to each moment. I am a loving, playful, communicative mom. I try to respect them as little individuals. I have found that more stuff and more activities detract from our daily experience, so I try to keep our lives as simple as possible.

3. Describe your typical day.

We (my husband, two kids and I) all wake up. We get ourselves fed, dressed and out the door. We drop my eldest at school, and then my husband goes to work. I spend time with my daughter until she goes down for a nap. I work until she wakes up and then we pick my son up from school. The three of us come home, play, clean, cook and eat dinner. My husband is home for baths and bedtime. I catch up with him after the kids are down and then I get back to work. Each day, I get in about 8-9 hours of work and time with my kids and my husband.

4. What is the best advice your mom has given you?

My mom has always told me “There’s no such thing as perfection”. As a mom, this advice has helped me tremendously. I try to do my best and accept that that is enough. In my professional life, her advice has helped me be more productive and take more risks, especially as an entrepreneur.

5. What is the best advice you have given to another mother?

Go easy on yourself; you are doing a great job. Also, try to find or create a community around yourself. The best advice comes from other moms, and we need support from each other.

6. What advice would you like to give your child about life?

Go out into the world, explore, and find a way to express and manifest what is important to you, even in the smallest way. And surround yourself with loving people.

7. Do you have any traditions with your children?

We have many religions in our family, and are New Yorkers, so we celebrate a lot of holidays. It always seems to revolve around family and food (and if we’re lucky a parade!) I am also trying to create meaningful daily traditions, like giving thanks for the food before dinner and talking each day about a part of the day that we liked and a part that we didn’t like.

8. What strength do you want to pass on to your kids?

I hope my kids remain curious and open to the world. I’ve learned the most about myself by interacting with people who have led very different lives than me. I also hope to foster in them the strength to push forward when they are afraid, overwhelmed or just unsure.

9. Did you like being pregnant? Be honest!

The first time was hard. I felt alienated from my body and scared. The second time around, I was less focused on myself and less fearful, and I just thought about it less because I had a toddler to take care of. I enjoyed my second pregnancy because I knew what an amazing thing was happening in my body, and that it would be the last time.

10. Do you think business trips are vacations?

Yes! They are wonderful.

11. Are you a guilty mom?

No. It takes up too much energy and is not constructive. It’s one of the many distracting things that I’ve just let go.

12. What is your secret to your social life after having kids?

My social life has certainly changed – like everything, it is more focused. My relationships are fewer but deeper. They are now based on building a community for our family. I work with amazing women on a cause that we are passionate about, so that becomes an outlet for socializing too.

13. What is the toughest thing you have had to talk to your kids about?

My kids are still young so it has been easy so far. My son has asked about how babies are made and divorce, but seems satisfied with our basic answers.

14. What is one thing that would make you feel better today?

My kids slept in and we just had a dance party, so in my book it has been a great day. Speaking to my best friend and my mom, both of whom I have not connected with recently, would make it even better.

15. What city would you like to visit with your kids and why?

I’d love to take my kids to Dakar, Senegal in West Africa. It is a beautiful city where many people live like we do and many people live very differently. I’d love my kids to see that.

Bonus question: How do you handle your kids when they misbehave in public?

Our response changes as the kids change, and of course something that works one day does not work the next. Recently, with my eldest, a very quiet conversation seems to do the trick. My husband’s whisper never fails. I find staying calm helps, and not caring about what other people think.

Open forum:

As I mentioned, I think being part of a community is so important for moms and new moms in particular. That’s one of the reasons I’ve created Kangu. To join a community of moms helping other moms around the world have safe births and healthy babies, please check us out at www.kangu.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free trips and giveaways

Where are the best places to travel with kids? We will find out this weekend when we host the Social Media section at Macaroni Kid’s Family Travel Expo & Blogger Conference. And if you stop by our lounge at The Residence Inn by Marriott you could have a chance to win a free family vacation or a dress by Laundry by Shelli Segal.

All you have to do is come see us there and tweet away ( #MKexpo )

ABOUT THE GIVEAWAYS:
Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa cordially invites a lucky family (two adults and two children) on a sun and sand-infused Puerto Rican getaway for three nights. The family-centric resort is situated along a mile-long section of tropical beach adjacent to the Caribbean National Rain Forest of El Yunque and the Mameyes River, and features a 7,000-square-foot casino; two world-class 18-hole golf courses; a 7,000-square-foot spa and fitness center; multiple lounges and entertainment venues; international tennis center; water sports center; and two beach-front pools. Wyndham Rio Mar is specifically catering to the little ones with daily iguana feedings, nature walks neighboring El Yunque National Rainforest, bird watching excursions, turtle nesting encounters seasonally, dive-in movies and a beachside family pool with a waterslide. Visit www.wyndhamriomar.com, www.facebook.com/WyndhamRioMar and www.Twitter.com/RioMarWyndham for more info. Please note that airfare, resort fees and taxes will not be included. Blackout dates do apply and booking is based on availability.

And don’t miss the gift certificate giveaway by Laundry by Shelli Segal — the perfect dresses for all women!

Tiffani Thiessen’s motto is just a few key words

Have you ever met someone and they are the complete opposite of what you expect them to be? Ok, we know it’s not fair to have an expectation of someone because of a character they play, but actress Tiffani Thiessen has played her bitchy, mean girl characters so well, that we expected her to have a little of that in real life.

We have never been so wrong. We could have chatted as moms in a play group for hours. She really is just like the rest of us. Rushing to breast feed her 7-month-old daughter before our interview, and nervous she was late to meet us. Concerned about working and child care…luckily her mom travels with her for now and is the most trusted sitter she is lucky to have. So while we chatted for our interview, which airs tonight on Moms And The City and A Dad Named David, little Harper was just upstairs resting with Grandma. Just like the rest of us, she gets through each day with a few words in the back of her head. TIffani is currently starring in White Collar on USA Network and recently launched Petit Nest, a baby furniture line. Here’s her mom motto.

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