Two on the Hip, One in the Belly

Your Name: Elizabeth Braatz
Children:  5-year-old twins and a 2-year-old
Work: Operations manager for GloBall Giving, adjunct communications professor at Concordia University and group fitness instructor at the Y of Metro Milwaukee and Jewish Community Center of Milwaukee
Favorite part of being a mom: Little voices saying "I love you momma!"
Least favorite part of being a mom: POTTY TRAINING
Famous for: Being a vegetarian who can make a killer tenderloin.
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What's Most Important

stress, kids, being thankful

It's been a crazy few weeks for me. In the last two weeks, I signed a contract to work as the Manager of Operations for an organization called GloBall Giving. The organization is fantastic and do such good work. They collect and distribute used sporting equipment, apparel and shoes and them ship them to kids who otherwise would not be able "to play". They've distributed to the far ends of the world - Uganda, Kenya, Philippines - and right here in Milwaukee. It melds my passion for exercise and sports with philanthropy and the love of children. 

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What Kind of Parent are You?

public places, types of parents.

I took my three kids to Betty Brinn Children's Museum the other day for an afternoon/evening of play. The place was busy as usual with kids and parents enjoying the many fun activities that the museum provides. As I was watching my kids, I started looking at the faces of the parents and noticed how they differed greatly from parent to parent. I came to the realization that there are several "parent types" when in a busy, public place like Betty Brinn. This got me thinking about how I act in public with my kids in a situation which can become high stress quickly due to the crowds. Little kids look the same, they have similar hair cuts, sparkle shoes, bouncing pony tails and your child can get lost in the shuffle. With that said, here's some comedic relief for parents brave enough to bring their kids into a fun, yet chaotic environment. Here are the "parent types" that I observed:

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Can I Hang Like the Single Ladies?

aging, holidays, friends

It's that time of year again...no, not Christmas, Hanukkah or present time...it's the time when my friends from "home" come back home. Yes, those lovely ladies who grew up here in the 'burbs of Milwaukee and moved on to cities far away. While I've chosen to raise my family a mere 10 minutes from the house I grew up in, some of my besties have moved away and they all come back here for the holidays. 

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Purging

no more babies, purging

I am heavy into purging everything in my house that we don't use - like going through each nook and cranny. The items that can go to good use, I've had veteran organizations pick up and I've consigned my clothes. Sadly, I don't think I'll ever fit into the size 25 Joe's Jeans that I wore easily before I had a set of twins (and then another baby to boot). Now, I'm on to selling anything baby, as my "baby" is now almost three.

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Interfaith this Holiday!

Hanukkah, holidays, Jewish Community Center, JCC

It's often hard to be the Jew in a Christian world, especially during the holiday season. I grew up in Jewish home with a Catholic dad and Jewish mother. I always envied my friends who got to decorate their Christmas trees and eat candy canes. Further, I often felt like I wasn't part of the Christmas cheer that overflowed at every store, maybe anywhere in the U.S. It's Christmas mania the day after Halloween and that hasn't changed since I was a kid. In my home, we only celebrated Jewish holidays and then we celebrated major Christian holidays with my dad's family. When I was 11, my dad chose to convert to Judaism. 

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