Top 5 Summer activities

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Summer is right around the corner!

We all know that feeling of what should we do with the kids today? The park again!? No, we did that yesterday and the day before! If you are tired of the same summer activities over and over you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled the top 5 inexpensive things to do with your kids over summer break, and one of them is free! Each title is hyperlinked to the corresponding place.

Flint Children’s Museum

  • Admission: adults $6 and children $6
  • Hands on exhibits for children of all ages
  • No limit how long you stay and play
  • Snacks and beverages for purchase lunch can be brought and eaten there, but only in designated areas
  • personal favorite: the music room


Fort Clarkston

  • Admission: Children $10 Mon-Thur, $12 Fri-Sun
  • Slimbing area
  • Slides
  • Scooters to ride
  • Arcade
  • Gift shop
  • Cafe and bar
  • Personal favorite: Children and adults receive wrist bands, they can not leave with anyone else but you.

Lake Callis

  • Admission: Day pass for Davison Residents $5 per vehicle, $10 per vehicle for non residents
  • Lake to play in
  • Splash pad: Admission:  Residents $2 and Non-Residents $3, 2 yrs and under free
  • Concession stand
  • Grills
  • Kayak and water board rentals
  • Friday night movies on the beach
  • Personal Favorite: Splash pad is gated so little ones are contained


  • 2 free games each day for kids registered
  • Shoe rental is included at some bowling centers
  • Personal Favorite: Bowling gives kids a chance to practice their hand eye coordination

Columbiaville Library

  • Admission: Free!
  • Summer reading program for children and adults
  • Daily activities for the kids 
  • Prize drawing each week for adults
  • End of the summer party for kids and adults
  • Personal Favorite: It encourages reading for all ages


If you found this helpful to make your child’s summer fulfilled please share it!


– Katy Schmidt

The Nurturing Doula, LLC



Motherhood is overwhelming…

Motherhood is wonderful, beautiful and overwhelming.

 Hear me out, I love being a mom. My kids are my world, but they take a toll on my brain and body sometimes. You bring home your tiny baby and they are your whole world! They make you feel like the Grinch who’s heart grew three sizes bigger. The first few nights home you know they are getting used to being outside the womb, so they need time to adjust. Then one night they can’t be consoled by anything.

Your thinking:

  • where did this demon come from?
  • What did i do wrong?
  • The answer is?…. Nothing. You did nothing wrong, babies cry for all different reasons. This faze of unconsolable crying doesn’t last forever. As your little one gets older, they start walking, talking and testing their limits. They learn by trial and error. At times it may seem like they enjoy pushing every button. Children need boundaries to keep them safe but not to limit their learning. 

When your children are at your wits end, take a few minutes to yourself. Its ok to take time for yourself and your sanity. The overwhelming feeling in motherhood will get better, eventually you won’t feel like you need a break as often. Its important to remember that every single mother feels this.


Take time for you, spend time with a friend often.

Take time for you! Take care of yourself! Call on your “village” when you need them! If you would like to discuss preparing for motherhood before your little one is born please contact The Nurturing Doula, LLC for more information.

~ Katy Schmidt                                                                                                                                  The Nurturing Doula, LLC                                                                                                              805-791-8325                                                                                               



Aunts are Important

Whether your child has a related aunt or a close friend who acts like an aunt to your child, they are important to your child’s growth. You see, our children need more than just their parents love and care.

Aunts provide the love and support of a parent with the confidentiality of a friend.

Moms, when an aunt says they would like to take your kids for a play date or something, let them. They enjoy taking your child to the park and watching them smile and laugh. They get to be in a position to take them to do something fun and bring them back. You may be getting a break which is fantastic! You are also enriching your child’s and your child’s aunts life. Your child is with someone you trust, so they feel safe. Safe enough to break free and not be afraid to fall, but if they fall they know their aunt is their safety net to help them out.

Their aunts get to be in the unique position to see the child grow and push boundaries that may not be pushed as far with a parent present.

She sees your children as innocent humans who want to have fun and play. She sees you overwhelmed and overworked and wants to help. Whether she’s a mother herself or not, the despair in your eyes of “I just need a minute” is seen by her.  Aunts see the mom as the person she felt she was, before kids. In the moment of crazy, when Aunts come in and handle the kids. Moms have this brief moment of,  “Wait! No don’t take over I can handle this.” Then it leaves her, she knows you aren’t judging her parenting, you are simply there to help. When the moment is over and done, she thanks you profusely. You tell her its no biggie! To you the kids are easy to handle, but to the mom you just made her day. You stopped the mad house from getting further out of control. If you are an aunt who doesn’t have children, you may not understand the whole reason she is so thankful. If you are a mom yourself you get it cause you’ve been in her position before. 

~ Katy Schmidt                                                                                                                                 The Nurturing Doula, LLC                                                                                                          Birth Doula, CPST and CBE                                                                                                           805-791-8325                                                                                                             

-This blog post is dedicated to my wonderful sister in law Whitney, She has helped me with my kids on more occasions than I can count.



birth story

JM’s Birth Story

My first experience with child birth was a beautiful but extremely scary experience. At 22 weeks my son was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome so I had to deliver at C.S. Mott Children’s hospital in Ann Arbor which is 3 hours from my home. Because of that they scheduled to induce me at 38 weeks. When they began inducing me they started with a prostaglandin strip but it had to be removed because with every contraction his heart rate would drop so instead they had to dilate me with a foley bulb manually. I went almost my entire labor with no pain medication and I received help from a doula that the hospital provided for me and she was great. She helped me find a variety of different positions to labor in and positioning balls to use. About a hour before he was born I received a shot of morphine and an epidural. Shortly after the epidural I was moved to an operating room to deliver as a precaution. My son was delivered by a student with assistance from her teacher and placed immediately on my chest for momentary skin to skin and my husband got to cut the umbilical cord. Then he was taken to another room attached to the OR for evaluation and I got to see him momentarily on my way back to my room. It was a scary experience but I was always reassured by my nurses and doctors and when the whole thing was overwhelming they would step back and give me some space to collect myself.

With my second son my water broke the morning after my due date and I was admitted to the hospital. I was there for 24 hours without going into labor so they started me on an antibiotic drip and pitocin to induce me. I went through most of this labor with no pain meds but received stadol shortly before he was born. The nurses helped me labor in a variety of positions which allowed the whole process go the way I wanted it to go. When he was born he was placed on my chest and proceeded to pee on me right after my husband cut his umbilical cord. He was able to stay in the room with us and it was a very rewarding experience all around.

Thank you for reading my birthing journey.
~ JM
birth story

LM’s Birth Story

My birth history has been quite a journey and the difference between my first delivery and my fifth couldn’t be (much) more vast! I’ve learned so much between babies and grown to know how my body works so much better and have been amazed to be able to put the things I’ve learned into practice. I’ve also been able to look back at previous births and see where I could have improved the outcome.
My first pregnancy, I played entirely by the book. I diligently tracked my progress with ‘My Pregnancy Week by Week’ and attended every appointment. I went to the hospital’s childbirth education classes and paid special attention to the part on epidurals. That was the one thing I knew for certain from the beginning. My mom had epidurals and that was how it was done.

Not long after midnight about 10 days before my estimated due date, my water broke. I called into the hospital and they said to come on up. As soon as I got there, they confirmed that my water had broken, put me in a room, and hooked me up to the monitors and pitocin. Not long after, I was in pain like I’d never known. I’m pretty sure it was dialed up too high. I’d gone from not ever having felt even a Braxton Hicks contraction to going through the roof with each wave. There was no gradual progression, just went from 0-1,000. I was told I couldn’t have any pain relief until I was dilated to 3. They checked and I was only 1.5. I couldn’t even imagine being able to live through this long enough to get to 3! The next Dr that came had mercy though and allowed me an epidural. I ‘rested’ for several hours before being told it was time to push. I don’t know for sure how many hours I pushed, flat on my back, with little progress, but it was to the point that my husband was panicking and the doctors told me I didn’t have much longer before I was taken for a cesarean. They then tried the vacuum extractor and I finally was able to get him out.

I was exhausted beyond belief and kinda laugh/cry to see the pictures of me right after. Looked like a freight train had gone over me. I don’t recall any bonding really… It was just so ridiculously traumatic.

Next up was a relatively delivery though I still have my regrets. I agreed to an induction because I was at 40 weeks and my doctor was on call. There were no extenuating circumstances, the doctor just said we’d do it, and we did. As far as inductions go, it was perfection. Pitocin was dialed in just right, it progressed well, and she came before the epidural even kicked in.

While I understand inductions are sometimes necessary, or simply just what works best for families, I do wish I’d have waited. She was 2 lbs lighter than any of my others and we struggled to breastfeed. I just don’t feel like she was ready and I wish I’d have given her more time.

Third and fourth deliveries were pretty similar. Water broke, contractions progressed, epidural given, a few hours of rest, then some coached pushing. Nothing really noteworthy.

Some time after my fourth was born, I decided to train as a birth doula. I researched everything I could find, read so many books, and attended a childbirth education class put on by an experienced doula. The difference between this class and the hospital one was amazing! I learned so much more about how women’s bodies work and was astounded at how little I’d learned before. It was also interesting to analyze my previous deliveries with this information. I could see what I wish I’d done differently with my first. Especially not going straight in before I started contracting and not having anything to eat for over 24 hours before going into the one of the most physically exhausting things I’d ever done. That set me up for failure from the beginning

Shortly after training, I got pregnant again and while pursuing being a doula was put on hold, I was excited to use all my newfound knowledge in my next delivery! I continued to read everything I could get my hands on and worked towards creating a birth plan for the first time. I ate dates like crazy, drank my raspberry leaf tea, got adjusted by my chiropractor, and my amazing hubby listened to everything and learned with me. I was excited to try for an unmedicated delivery!

The big day came and was so completely different. I thought I might be in labor but needed time to myself so hubby watched the kids while I went to the grocery store. On my way I was timing my contractions on an app and was getting more sure. I labored in the aisles, swaying and breathing through contractions easily. When I got home, I let hubby know and we set off to drop the kids off at Nana’s. I checked in to the hospital already dilated to a 6 and my water still intact.

I got checked in and put in a room, got set up at the foot of the bed, bouncing on a birth ball. Hubby sat behind me, applying counter pressure and being amazing. I vocalized through each contraction once they got more intense. I had asked to not be hooked to the monitors and the nurse came in quietly every so often to check heart tones. I was mostly left to labor how I wanted. Then transition. I could recognize it in a distance sort of way. I got panicky and didn’t think I could do it anymore. My awesome nurse helped me on the bed and was going to check me when my waters bulged out, she paged the Dr immediately. Seconds later, just as the Dr was getting to the foot of my bed, my daughter literally shot out with my water breaking. Cord left uncut until it stopped pulsing, immediate skin to skin… Bliss! I felt so empowered to have learned all I did and so fortunate to be able to put it into practice. I can’t even believe how much more in control and less afraid I was. I know birth can be so unpredictable, but to have gone into it with informed decisions was so wonderful. It’s been a journey for sure and I’m honored to have had the chance to grow and put these things into practice.
Thank you for reading my birthing journey.
~ LM