Tag Archives: tips

TWENTY TIPS FOR FACING AN UNPLANNED PREGNANCY

Emily Brown is director of American Life League Life Defenders, the outreach arm of ALL building a culture of life with a new generation.  While reading a post entitled 20 Tips on Your First Abortion, Emily reacted to what the author had to say - "I could really feel her immense pain. So, I decided to respond to this gruesome article with a positive, empowering, and upbeat message about pregnancy. We do not need more people shaming women into abortion, rather we need positive messages that affirm the immense empowerment that bringing a human being into this world has on women.”  

Reality just slapped you in the face. You’re pregnant! What does that mean? A teeny tiny human being is growing inside of you. So, now the freak out begins.

It’s completely normal to feel terrified, worried, and completely shocked. After all, you might have been relying on birth control, condoms, the IUD, or something else. However, you knew none gave any guarantee that you would not become pregnant. So here you are.

Don’t let your worries take over! It’s very easy to be in panic mode for a few weeks or even months. Look beyond the insecurities and worries. You are strong!

Look for loving support. You need someone who will hug you and comfort you, not someone who wants to shame or belittle you. Sometimes you just need a little affection, and this is definitely one of those times!

Know you are not alone. Every day, hundreds of women discover they are pregnant. Other women are in your same situation!

After you have turned to someone for support, it’s time for Google. Learn what the heck is happening inside your body! Google fetal development and medical articles to learn about the tiny human you have within you.

After reading information on fetal development, come to the realization that you’re a pretty big deal! After all, you are now carrying and protecting a little human being.

While you’re on Google, search your area code, along with “crisis pregnancy centers.” Find the closest one and make an appointment ASAP, for you definitely have loads of questions.

Unlike abortion clinics, crisis pregnancy centers do give a $#%@ and they understand that your surprise pregnancy is a BIG deal. They will treat you with the loving care and respect you deserve!

The time between making your appointment and going can be a terrifying period. You are scared and a million things are rushing through your head, like how to afford a child or how to raise a child alone. Take a deep breath and believe in yourself! You are stronger than you think.

While you’re waiting for your first appointment, learn more about this person growing inside your body. Watch a 4-D ultrasound of a preborn baby growing. Find the stage you are in and marvel at this tiny human.

The appointment day has come. While in the waiting room, focus on the positive messages. Take a look at the brochures, pictures, or wall art and remember that only good can come from this appointment. Nothing here will harm you!

It’s FREE! What? Yes, crisis pregnancy centers’ services are free! They can offer pregnancy resources, prenatal vitamins, pregnancy tests, and services such as parenting classes, counseling, baby supplies, and other financial aid.

While at your appointment, you will not have “pain like someone sucking or pulling out your insides.” Rather, you will feel comfort and support—two of the things you need most.

You will be reaffirmed that you are a strong independent woman! You are more than a pregnancy; you are a mother.

Remember every time you believed you weren’t strong enough, smart enough, happy enough, pretty enough, and so on, and stomp those falsehoods into the ground. You are empowered—empowered with a newfound sense of reason and the ability to care for another human being.

You will not let your empowerment be diminished by people telling you that you are not ready or fit enough to be a mother.

Even after your appointment at the crisis pregnancy center, you still find many moments when you are scared to death. It’s okay; that’s normal. You have a human growing inside of you and you just found out. That’s a huge deal!

Do not let those fears and worries take control of you. You have the opportunity to bring a new life into this world. Do not take this for granted! Many women try their whole lives to have a child.

This is a time to start fresh. Take advantage of that and flourish!

 Submitted by Marie Coppola. March 2016

 

"Over the River and Through the Woods" is a well-known Thanksgiving song written by Lydia Maria Child. It was originally written as a poem, entitled "A Boy's Thanksgiving Day and celebrated childhood memories of Lydia Maria visiting her grandparent's house. Although it is sometimes substituted as a song for Christmas, our family never failed to sing this song in our unmelodic voices on our way to Thanksgiving Dinner at Nana and Grandpa's house. Usually driving over a bridge precipitates it and we break into song. It is a tradition that spills over into the grandkids. It goes:

"Over the river, and through the wood, To Grandmother's house we go; The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow. Ohhh"

Over the river, and through the wood—Oh, how the wind does blow! It stings the toes and bites the nose , As over the ground we go."

Thanksgiving, like Christmas, is a traditional family gathering either at our parents, if we still are fortunate enough to have them, or a sibling or whichever family member does the cooking that year. The holiday conjures up memories of other Thanksgivings and more often than not, there is a big stuffed turkey, with lots of vegetables and trimmings. If you are Italian, or any other nationality, there is sure to be favored ethnic dishes piled high. We try to make sure we have room for the pumpkin, apple and mince pies - what is Thanksgiving without the memories of feasts we've shared?

The day, of course, is in gratitude for all our blessings and family members. As we gather round, we are grateful for the gathering and maybe some new additions to the family. There may also be some empty chairs for many reasons that once were filled, and we are grateful for the memories we hold for these family members, too.

We probably all have similar sayings and customs for this "Thank You Day" or "Turkey Day". I always say something which my mother always said when we sit down at 3:00 pm for dinner, "Do you realize how many people are doing this same thing right now?".....and most likely my daughter will say it someday when I'm not around in memory and fun. She does so already.

Here are some of our happenings on this special holiday.

  • After our first blessing, I ask one of the children to say grace. Children love to be part of an adult gathering and they love to say grace. They are thankful for everything, so make sure all the plates are covered against getting cold. The rest of the children want to add their thanks, too, and you get a good idea of what makes these little people the happiest. Anyone who wants to add a prayer, is welcomed.
  • After dinner, we always go round the table and each person tells everyone what they are most thankful for this year. The kids enjoy this part the most. This is always special as some people always joke; some always get very serious; some get emotional; and some articulate beautiful thanks to someone there who especially went the extra mile to help them. This part of the meal - while digesting - and before dessert - is very family-oriented. No hand-held video games, iPods, or cell phones are brought to the table.
  • During dessert, we ask if anyone wants to do the 'Christmas grab bag gift' idea. We started this when the family and kids and grand kids started to number 30. Instead of buying small gifts for everybody, we have a grab bag. Everyone's name goes in the hat and each person picks a name and buys a gift for that person and that person only. We put a price tag on it - one year it was $25.00 and that was a little too much for the teens and kids, so we settled on $15 or $10.

I wish you all a blessed and memorable Thanksgiving ~~~

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Marie Coppola November 2013

 

 

You can hear it in the air, in homes, and at the stores. School is reopening amidst a myriad of emotions. Some emotions bring tears of separation at watching a kindergartener get on her very first school bus; some are tears of elation watching their summer-vacation-I’m bored children return to the halls of learning and busyness. For some working parents, it is a relief from expensive day-care and for others it is that parent’s turn to transport the neighborhood crew to and from school. Same with the students – they either laugh, cry or throw up.

Whatever the scenario, the upbeat reason to return to school is to acquire wisdom, knowledge, and skills that will allow creativity and thought-provoking processes as well as behavioral and social experiences. There can be serious times – sometimes challenging or frustrating — but it can also be fun times with clubs, sports, class trips, and special activities. On the plus side, there are friendships formed that can last a lifetime and even short friendship spurts teach versatility and diversity in getting along with others. A ‘special’ teacher can be an influence or mentor in future endeavors.

Guidelines and rules for school behavior are similar to those that students’ parents may have had, but here’s some tips for going back to school with a really good attitude. I offer the following – not for the parents – but for the returning students.

1) “Rules” cover a multitude of guidelines that all schools set forth for their students. Everyone must follow them if there is to be order and learning. Rules are important because you will be asked to follow rules all your life. And it causes stress and problems if you don’t abide by them. This is as true in school as it will be in your adult life.

2) Each school has dress codes. It’s important you follow them to the letter so that you won’t be surprised if you are sent home if you wear a pajama top to school. Or a curse word on your T-shirt. Or your underwear is showing more than your pants are.

3) The use of cell phones, iPods, and other electronic devices are usually strictly prohibited during the school day. Yes, that includes texting. Cell phones are distracting not only during class but in the halls. If you can’t control yourself - then leave them home.

4) Although we all get colds or sick, try to attend class regularly and be on time. It is important to ‘keep up’ with new lessons and equally important to be on time so that your tardiness does not take away from class time. Besides, it looks bad on your record.

5) Do your homework and check it twice. Homework done hastily or while playing video games can affect your grade if it is incorrect. Give it your best efforts – it reflects who you are and what you know and how you express it.

6) Try to be friendly to all. Avoid ’cliques’ or being rude to other students who may be different. It can escalate to bullying or cyber bullying which is a detriment to all.

If you follow the rules, you can have a pleasant learning experience. If there are situations that arise that are against school rules or are questionable in safety to you or others, don’t hesitate to notify a teacher or the principal. They want everyone in their school to have a safe environment.

I’ll add for good measure and take a slogan from the Army — Be All That You Can Be. It doesn’t mean living up to anyone else’s standards or trying to get a better grade than Amy or Juan – but simply doing the best work you can to your ability and being the best kind of person you want to be. It’s all up to you. Have a great and successful school year.

© Marie Coppola, Revised August 2014

Make this the year that you give it up.  Every third Thursday in November is the Great American Smoke-Out.
CDC Statistics

Thousands of young people start smoking cigarettes every day.

  • Each day, more than 3,200 persons younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette.
  • Each day, an estimated 2,100 youth and young adults who have been occasional smokers become daily cigarette smokers.

Percentage of U.S. adults aged 18 years or older who were current cigarette smokers

  • 18.1% of all adults (42.1 million people): 20.1% of males, 14.5% of females
  • 21.8% of non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives
  • 19.7% of non-Hispanic Whites
  • 18.1% of non-Hispanic Blacks
  • 12.5% of Hispanics
  • 10.7% of non-Hispanic Asians (excluding Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders)
  • 26.1% of multiple race individuals

Current smokers are defined as persons who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime and who, at the time of interview, reported smoking every day tart smoking cigarettes every day.

Most smokers will ask “Will smoking tobacco increase my health insurance rates?”

Yes. Smoking will certainly raise your insurance rates. There are certainly numerous data available that proves that smokers are costing insurance companies more money than their non-smoking counterparts. Health insurance companies use studies and data to determine an individual’s health insurance rate. The risks presented by a client decide their premiums or rates. Those with lifestyle, health, or other issues that may cause them to need more expensive health care procedures at a later point in life will be charged with higher premiums to balance this risk.

Insurance companies do not charge smokers with a higher rate simply because they will cost them more throughout their lives. There are also a lot of studies which suggest that smokers cost the nation a great amount of money annually. With every pack of cigarettes smoked, the country pays more than $7 in the form of health care costs, lowered work productivity, and more. This cost does not include the 500,000 premature deaths caused by cigarette smoking annually. Generally, smokers cost the nation an estimated $160 billion each year."  Ref:   From Vista Health Insurances Blog

Although many smokers have quit, there are many more who find it hard to do so. Smoker statistics encompass less-educated, rural, and lower-income Americans. Historically and today, many teenagers smoke to look cool to their peers, and control their weight. And like many ex-smokers, teens engage in a long-standing habit that is difficult to break.

Down south, where tobacco is a staple product, smoking is being curtailed but it is more prevalent in restaurants and buildings than by our northern neighbors. But it’s slowly changing. New bans in restaurants, bars, inside and outside of city offices and institutions, non-smoking areas are popping up all over.

If you still smoke, have you tried or wanted to quit? If so, if you are like most folks, you have probably tried more than once to end your smoking habit. Maybe even twice, three times or even more. Smoking is one of the hardest habits to break. It is an addiction both psychologically and physically. If you are smoker and desire to quit, you have to be the one who wants to. You can’t quit for your wife or mother, or husband, or girlfriend, or boss. You have to really want to quit.

Here’s one way to break the habit if you don’t want to quit cold turkey. It works for a lot of people. What is it? You purposely decrease the amount you smoke and the times (habit) when you smoke.

Here’s how that works. You pick a day when you are ready to start your quitting. Count how many cigarettes you habitually smoke a day and when and keep a journal of the amount and habit-tme situations.

Say you smoke 20 cigarettes or one pack a day. The day you are ready to start your quit program, take 10 cigarettes out of a pack and ration yourself through the day to smoke only those 10. To non-smokers, this seems like a lot. To a smoker – it is hard work to cut their supply in half. Cut out the early morning one and the ones in your car. When you do feel like having a cigarette, don’t light up right away — tell yourself you’ll have it in 5 minutes. Keep decreasing and delaying. It helps break your ‘smoke habit times’ as well as decreasing the nicotine addiction in your body.

When you are smoking ten cigarettes a day and not wigging out, reduce that down to 5 or 3 cigarettes a day. These will be ones you will crave the most. Cut out the after meal smokes or the ‘habit’ of smoking after meals will be stronger when you do quit for good. You’re trying to break the psychological ‘when’ as well as the numbers. You will eventually quit.

Try not to mingle with your ‘smoking buddies’ while you are doing this way of quitting. Temptations of social smoking increase with a glass of wine in your hands. Eventually the 3 to 5 cigarettes will sustain you. The day will come, depending on your will and readiness, when you’re down to 3, 2 or 1 cigarette a day – and it’s easier now and only you can decide what day that is – to give them up completely with little withdrawal.

Don’t rationalize that you are ‘smoking much less’ — it’s still smoking. You can do this. Others have quit this way and have never gone back. Join them.

Make this the year you can say, “I gave up smoking”.

 

© Marie Coppola, Revised November 2014