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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

steals and deals on TODAY!

boxer briefs, jewelry, body care products, dvd collection for the little one and backpacks....

http://hip2save.com/2011/12/13/steals-and-deals-body-shop-ties-bracelets-and-more/

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dad in jail after hosting party for his teenager

This article is a wake up call for parents everywhere.  It happens and we all know it happens, we were all teenagers once too even though your kids probably don't believe that.  It probably happens more than parents would like to think it happens and the topic of allowing kids to drink in one's own home continues to be debated with the rational being, "at least it's in my home and I know what is going on."  These particular parents allegedly allowed the party, alerting neighbors of the party, but did not allow alcohol and had no idea that someone had secretly brought some into the party. 

My daughter is far from this stage, but I know we will be faced with it at some point.  I hear about this dilema often in my practice amongst parents.  There are even some high schools where I live that have parents sign a contract with the school that they will 'not serve alcohol to their children or any other students.'  I don't know how enforceable that is, but perhaps it's just the fact that they signed it that the schools feel may make the parent second guess themselves if they decide to serve alcohol in what they believe to be a 'supervised setting.'  There is lots of liability involved in serving minors and minors who have driven a car to your home and will encounter other drivers on the ride to wherever they plan to go when they leave your house.  Teenagers are impulsive by nature and there is a biological reason for that, and adding alcohol to the mix is a combination that can be deadly and have far reaching impacts for many.

http://moms.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/07/9281032-are-parents-responsible-for-teen-drinking-even-if-they-dont-know-about-it

Angry commenters

For all my fellow bloggers out there who have recieved them, and just for those who secretly or not so secretly like to read the comment sections of controversial articles because it seems to raise the 'freak flag', or 'angry freak flag' in many amongst us.   This article hits the nail on the head!  Thanks Katie Roiphe, I'm sure you've ruffled some feathers, but good for you!

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/roiphe/2011/12/what_s_wrong_with_angry_commenters_.html

Bad Parents, the year in review

We all screw up.  Okay, maybe you don't, but I do.  Here's the years review of parenting 'oops' by the Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/06/worst-parenting-fails_n_1129372.html?ref=parents

With blogs, the interent, being able to take videos on our phones, we can look forward to this becoming a yearly tradition and hope we don't find ourselves on it.  Happy 2011!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Steals and Deals on again TODAY!

shaving kit, cashmere scarves, necklaces sold at Barney's, Fred Segal and Bendel's, Ipad holder with speakers and speaker/charger for ipad and ipod....great stuff!  Most things will be delivered by 12/23!

http://hip2save.com/2011/12/02/steals-and-deals-wallets-scarves-electronics-and-more/

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jill's Steals and Deals - On Today!

And they promise to have things delivered for the holidays....diamond jewelry, hair products, bags, sweaters and bras!

http://hip2save.com/category/jills-steals-deals/

200lb 8 year old

Was put in foster care allegedly due to his weight, child welfare workers telling the Mom she was not doing enough to control his weight.  Thoughts on this one?  It has a lot of people talking.

http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/28/9072934-opinion-officals-wrong-to-take-200-pound-boy-from-mom

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Daughters Rule! (until adolescence, I think)

So, my husband who is the busiest person I know sent me this link, and mind you,  I have no idea how in his crazy schedule he found this particular post which has really nothing to do with the things he usually reads.  Anyhow, it's awesome and I think it's worth sharing because I often look at my daughter who is always in pigtails and she ROCKS them and loves having me put them in her hair in the morning!  Then I wonder when or if the wind will be taken out of her sails.  I am a therapist.  I have read "Reviving Ophelia" and know there is a significant amount of truth to that book as much as I hate the reality of it.   I have already seen countless girls come through my office displaying just this...hating their bodies, denying their intelligence to fit in, not speaking up for someone who is being bullied because they are afraid of the fate that will await them.  Thankfully, I swore off women's magazines that portray women as airbushed, photoshopped, hairless, celluliteless droids long ago both for my own mental health and for the potential mental health of the daughter I always hoped I would have and that I am blessed to have today.  That being said...I celebrate this post and was sickened by some of the comments.  Why can't we create a world that is different for OUR girls?  Tell me, why????

http://blog.pigtailpals.com/2011/08/waking-up-full-of-awesome/

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jill's Steals and Deals - On Today!

Good stuff!  Sites are moving slowly...


http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44400738/ns/today-money/t/steals-deals-school-swag-eyeglasses-more/

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Teacher fired for pumping her breasts

The part about the human resource director suggesting this Mother supplement her child with formula rather than continue to have to pump must have been quite an awkward conversation.  Yikes!


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/16/heather-burgbacher-teache_n_928178.html

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chinese confinement - Zuo Yuezi

If you haven't heard of the ancient practice of Zuo Yuezi, let me introduce you.  I am not of Chinese descent, don't have any relatives of Chinese descent nor have I experienced Zuo Yuezi,  although I wish I did, with some modern updates, like showering and  being able to brush my teeth.

To condense it into it's simplest form, it requires the new Mom to be confined for 40 days during which she is to avoid all all forms of stress such as crying, shouting and talking for an entire cycle of the moon.  During that time, Mom's are fed foods that promote healing of the body and are basically pampered.  In ancient times, bathing and brushing teeth were prohibited and staying in bed for the duration of that time was mandatory as well.  In modern days, many families have updated their practice of this custom since clean water is no longer an issue in many of the places where this is practiced and women get up and around dependent on their delivery.

In lieu of many families being available to new Moms centers that carry on this tradition have sprung up seemingly under the radar, read The New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/nyregion/bringing-an-asian-tradition-for-new-mothers-to-new-york.html?_r=1.   The Mother and baby move into the center for that time, where they are cared for, get support for breastfeeding and are surrounded by other new Mother's.  Spouses can visit whenever they like.    For someone like me who had zero help when my daughter arrived, knowing what I know now, I would have taken advantage of something like this if it had been available to me and if I had truly realized the sheer magnitude of what I was about to take on. 

Having said that, I recently met a Mother who just had her second child.  Not unlike me, she had zero support when her first child was born.  Her family lived far away and were unavailable to help.  She experienced a lot of the same feelings and agonies about going it alone for the first time that when she recently had her second child, she didn't question for a second the idea of having a postpartum doula at her home 24/7 for the first several weeks.  She said, "I'm not stupid, I know what's in the best interest of my mental health!  If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."  Smart Mom. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lyrical Explanations

 I've started to really notice the lyrics to some songs on the radio recently.  I used to love to learn lyrics to songs, but my attention to such lyrics currently has more to do with the explaining that will accompany them in the near future. 

In my trip down memory lane in preparation for my high school reunion, I was listening to Bon Jovi's "Never Say Goodbye" the other day and it occurred to me that in 20 years we've gone from singing things that implied sex like, "you lost more than that in my backseat, baby" to hearing Katy Perry singing, "and we danced on table tops, and we took too many shots, think we kissed but I forgot, last Friday night...we went streaking in the park, skinny dipping in the dark, then had a menage a trois, last Friday night." 

20 years ago, I could be in the car with my Mom and we could hear that Bon Jovi song and both pretend he was singing about her losing her keys and maybe her Zinc Pink lipstick.  Today, just that little snippet of TGIF presents with a lot of stuff.  And, no, my daughter is not a teenager yet, so I am not faced with her singing these songs and wondering if she knows what on earth they're talking about and thankfully, she is not at the stage where she is asking me either.  I still have a little time to think about what I'm going to say.  But I need to get on that STAT since with songs like Rhianna's "S and M" and New Boyz "Backseat", I have my work cut out for me.  I've attached "Backseat" lyrics for your listening and viewing pleasure. 

To think Elvis was scandalous when my Mom was a teenager because of his hip gyrations is laughable!

Chicago- Look Away (Music Video)



With my 20 year high school reunion fast approaching, I have been taking a trip down memory lane via youtube.com.  I recently came across this video and had to share it.  Look at this video!  It's nuts!  Hope it gives you the belly laughs it gave me.  Dig those outfits.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Start Saving!

If you haven't heard yet, for those of you with children who were born in 2010, you can now expect to spend $250,000 on that child by the time they're 17...and that's not including college, extracurricular activities and plain stuff that kids want!  Yikes.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/06/10/cost-raising-child-goes-up/

Monday, August 1, 2011

Banning Children - the movement is on

I mentioned this a while back when airlines were considering children free flights.  Well now, Malaysia Air says NO to children in first class.  And now, a restaurant in Pennsylvania has sent an email to it's loyal customers informing them that children under 6 are no longer welcome at their establishment.  Read about it below.  What do you think?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/restaurant-bans-children_n_894548.html

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Octomom hates her "disgusting" eight

Parenting is hard work and to do it in the best possible way it takes a lot of time, patience, attention and work.   I am making a huge assumption that Octomom had a taste of parenting with her first 6 children to have a sense of what she would be in for by even just adding one more child, but eight?  It has to be utter chaos.  I could identify with her wanting to escape to the bathroom and cry.  I've had those moments, but I only have one child.  I can't begin to fathom what life is like for her.  It's all terribly sad and ultimately incredibly sad for those kids.  How can 14 very young children really get what they need from one parent.  There are only so many hours in a day and just ONE kid alone needs so much, especially during the early years and she has 14.  FOURTEEN!!!  Read the story below...and by the way, the doctor who had implanted Octomom with those embryos lost his medical license this week.


I hate my babies and my older children are animals,' says Octomom Nadya Suleman

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 8:04 PM on 1st July 2011

A WOMAN who gave birth to octuplets after fertility treatment says she hates her ‘disgusting’ babies.
Nadya Suleman, an American single mother who lives on state benefits, also said that her six older children were animals.
Her outburst will add to long-standing concerns about her ability to look after her huge family.
Love lost? Octomom's Nadya Suleman says that she 'hates' her eight babies and has called her older six children 'animals'
Love lost? Octomom's Nadya Suleman says that she 'hates' her eight babies and has called her older six children 'animals'
The octuplets are now two, while the older children are all under ten.
All 14 were born through IVF and three of them are said to have disabilities.
Miss Suleman, 36, who lives in a dilapidated home in La Habra, California, said: ‘I hate the babies, they disgust me.
‘My older six are animals, getting more and more out of control, because I have no time to properly discipline them.’

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Americans prefer male children over female children - new poll

What do you think?

http://moms.today.com/_news/2011/06/24/6934166-americans-prefer-sons-over-daughters-poll-finds

Scene on the Street - Idiots I hope my daughter does not emulate

Nowadays, there are plenty of people I can say that I pray my daughter does not wake up one morning and decide she wants to be like.  Reality television give us all plenty of choices in that area.

Last night, I added our next door neighbor to this list.  About 11:30pm I was awoken by someone  close to our home setting off fireworks.  I was actually too tired to get out of bed to determine who it was and just rolled over.  Then around 1am, something that sounded like a body or a significant load of who knows what landed on the part of our roof directly over our bedroom.  It was loud, very loud.  I thought for a tired disoriented moment that our roof would cave.  My husband who sleeps through mostly everything sort of woke up hearing the noise too.  We ran upstairs to find a woman on our third floor patio struggling to get up.  It was pretty obvious she was smashed drunk.

After determining that she was ok and just totally beyond drunk, my husband tried to help her up which she, in her drunken hot mess of a state, was resisting and insisting that she really was 'fine'.  Typical piss drunk stupidity.  People who are fine don't just fall off a five foot wall onto the neighbor's balcony.  She could have killed herself!  And to make matters worse, the two guys she was with on her balcony, didn't even realize she had fallen.   One was sitting on their roof (her boyfriend) with full view of our balcony and was just staring out into space as this whole incident unfolded without batting an eye.  Drunk girl, tried to explain that she was trying to hide from the cops when she ended up on our roof.  Ok.

What makes people think that excessive alcohol consumption and heights go together?  I see a young girl like this and it scares me.  I don't want that to be my daughter and I know I won't always be able to protect her.  If it weren't for my husband, drunk girl really could have killed herself last night trying to get back to her own house being as drunk as she was and without friends who were somewhat sober.  Unfortunately, she will most likely not remember an iota of what happened last night aside from potentially being super sore from her fall, but if I see her, I plan to remind her to give her a healthy amount of anxiety to potentially prevent her from further drunken stupid acts.   I fell like I owe it to her Mother.

Friday, June 24, 2011

15 year old Teen's bucket list

Alice Pyne is 15 and has terminal cancer...check out her bucket list and follow her blog.

http://alicepyne.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Best Pediatric Visit

My little peanut had to go for her follow up appointment at the Pediatric Orthopedist this morning and it was a dream under the unpleasant circumstances.  The NP who saw my daughter was soft spoken, calm, relaxed, kind, gentle and thorough.   I have seen my daughter cry hysterically through every appointment since she fractured her ankle, but today she was a champ and I credit the staff at the hospital for making the difference.   They suggested to cast her in the exam room since they said that the cast room was, at the time, pretty chaotic.  They casted her while she sat on my lap with her Dad and beloved Raggedy Ann by her side.  She barely made a peep and I truly believe it had to do with the staff and how they related to my little one.  They get kids and it showed.  I will call the patient relations department to let them know how I felt about their staff and our visit.  I'm aware that I have no problem complaining when I am displeased with services that I am conscious to remember that I should also make a big fuss when I am happily satisfied. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Anthem 2011

http://youtu.be/wIt0NLJQvTY

The Importance of Fathers

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there!     A recent article published by researchers in Australia cite that the way in which Father's play with their children is critically important to their child's early development.  

Here's the link:  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/dads-roughhousing-children-crucial-early-development/story?id=13868801

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jill's Steals and Deals - On Today!

It's on...http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43385382/ns/today-today_fashion_and_beauty/t/steals-deals-watches-clothing-electronics-chargers/

The heartbreak of parenting

I have been told that parenting tugs at your heart and that you would go to great lengths to take the pain away from  your children.  I now know what that feels like.

My daughter is young, so I have yet to see her feelings get hurt or to see her disappointed.  But Sunday night she fell.  It seemed like a normal toddler fall, but her inability to be soothed as she normally is was an indication that something was different, wrong.   There were no cuts, no scrapes, no redness, no blood.  She wanted to be held, and she was held all she wanted.  When we tried to put her down, we noticed she couldn't bare weight on her feet.   Did she hurt her feet, her ankles, her legs?  After x-rays were done, we were told that she had fractured/broken her left ankle.   They put her tiny little leg in a splint with a referral to a Pediatric Orthopedist.   My heart hurt.  Take my ankle, take my leg, take whatever you want, just don't make her feel this pain.  I would do anything that would take the pain away from her, yet I know that I can't which is so painful.

As I sit with her and watch her struggle trying to find other ways to move around it brings tears to my eyes and puts a pit in my stomach and I realize that at 17 months, this is only the beginning of things to come.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Let's get back to Wine!

It's been awhile since I've talked wine here.  I went to the wine store to stock up today since we are having family visit this weekend and on the advice of a salesman I have gotten to know at the wine store I picked this one up.

Maipe Reserve - Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 - Mendoza Argentina

Here's the review of this wine from Robert Parker.  I'm including it because I couldn't have said it better.  The only thing I would add is that I think I should have given this one a couple more years before cracking the cork.


Wine Advocate
Similar in style, but more structured and revealing slightly more oak is the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Full-bodied and dense with abundant notes of creme de cassis, chocolate, espresso roast, spice box, and tobacco leaf, it is a layered, succulent, hedonistic Cabernet to drink over the next 3-4 years.
Score: 90. —Robert Parker, August 2010.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How Married Are You?

Interesting article in Time.

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2075201_2075195_2075196,00.html

"Why I don't like my own child" - an essay in Redbook

This is an essay that appears in Redbook and is written by Jennifer Rabbiner, a pseudonym, for her real name that she has chosen to conceal.   I'm sure this will replace the discussions around Tiger Mom for a while.

I am posting the essay below along with the link, at the end of the posted article, since you will not see the comments that have been posted on the website after this essay.

Jennifer Rabbiner's Essay:

A mom is never, ever supposed to admit this, but here goes: I've never liked my child.

Growing up, I had hoped to someday have a daughter, and I had a clear vision of what she would be like: vivacious, spunky, and whip-smart, socially savvy and self-assured. What I got was the polar opposite. At birth, Sophie was skinny and weak. She nursed poorly, and she cried so hard that she vomited — daily. As a toddler, she was strange. She wouldn't make eye contact, and she'd scream bloody murder at the sound of ripping paper. Instead of scribbling with crayons, she'd line them up at the edge of the paper. She'd climb to the top of the slide and then cry to be rescued. She couldn't — or wouldn't — answer direct questions. She didn't make friends. Life seemed hard for her. It broke my heart a little every day.

As you can probably imagine, I felt guilty that I was basically repelled by my own child. Who wouldn't? But honestly, the guilt was overshadowed by a colossal sense of disappointment. This just wasn't the magic mother-daughter bond that every book I read, every movie I saw, and every family I'd ever met had led me to expect.

When Sophie was 18 months old, we visited my sister, now a psychologist, who said out of the blue, "You know, Sophie is an odd kid." I asked what she meant. "She's just kind of — off," she said. Her comment upset me but only confirmed my suspicions that Sophie might be on the autism spectrum. I spoke to her day-care director and had her tested by the school district. Neither found anything wrong. I found a pediatric neurologist, but when they sent me forms to fill out, Sophie had none of the physical symptoms in the boxes under "Reason for Visit." I canceled the appointment. My husband accused me of searching for a diagnosis that didn't exist, but I needed to know why my daughter wasn't meeting her developmental milestones, let alone my expectations.

My husband, by contrast, has always loved and cherished Sophie for who she is. And he makes it look so easy! Instead of gritting his teeth through her most eccentric behaviors, he imitates them in an exaggerated way, which makes her howl with laughter. Then he starts laughing too, and they collapse in hugs. I envy his ease with her.

*Why did the author change all the names? "I don't want my daughter to ever know how I struggled with her."
I might have thought I was lacking a maternal instinct, but when my second daughter was born, I was blown away by overwhelming Mommy Love. Lilah was exactly the baby I'd envisioned: strong and healthy, with a penetrating gaze. She nursed vigorously and smiled and laughed easily. She talked early and often and, even as a toddler, befriended everyone she met. When I hugged her, she squeezed back hard, and I felt my own heart beating in two bodies at once.

As Lilah grew healthy and robust, Sophie looked noticeably meek by comparison. It's true that I, like all my relatives, am petite, but Sophie was beyond small — weak, skinny, and pale. The contrasts between Lilah and Sophie went beyond the physical. There was Lilah, initiating a joyous game of peekaboo at 6 months, while her sister, then 3, sat on the floor babbling phrases from books and TV shows. We'd ask, "Sophie, wanna join the game?" And she'd say: "Look, a clue! Where? Over there!" I called it her Rain Man act.

It got to the point where I viewed Sophie's every move through a lens of failure. At a birthday party, when she walked away from the parachute game the other kids were playing, I said, "There she goes again, being antisocial." But another mom said, "Sophie's doing her own thing. She wants no part of that dumb parachute. Smart girl." I thought, Whoa! I would never have seen it that way. To me, she was trapped in her own strange world, driven by her own mysterious motivations, and hopelessly incapable of being normal. I knew I was being hard on her, but I couldn't seem to stop.

A moment of reckoning came when Sophie was 4, at a playdate with my best friend and her daughter. I was judging Sophie as usual, criticizing how she was painting with the stick part of the paintbrush instead of the bristles, when my friend turned to me and said point-blank: "You are Sophie's mother. You're supposed to be her rock — the person she can count on most in the world for unconditional love and support. It doesn't matter if you like her or not; you still have to support her." I started to cry, because I knew she was right. And deep down, I was ashamed of how easily I had betrayed my own daughter. If I looked at my behavior objectively, it was disgusting.

My friend consoled me but didn't let me off the hook. "What are you going to do about this?" she asked. I honestly didn't know. Then, a few days later, we got a flyer from Sophie's preschool. It advertised a workshop by a clinical psychologist called "Loving and Honoring the Child You Have, Not the One You Wish You Had." Bingo! I called the psychologist to see if we could meet privately, which we did. At her prompting, I described Sophie's various limitations, which I had jotted on the back of a business card:
Has uneven skills (as a toddler, she knew the whole alphabet and could count to 60, but could barely string three words together). Hurts herself, perhaps out of anxiety (used to tear out clumps of hair, then began scratching herself). Doesn't express needs or even recognize them (will cry when hungry even as her peers use full sentences). Freaks out at high-pitched noises (like the beeping of an ATM). Prefers to play alone (when other kids try to play with her, she ignores them, or tries to play but doesn't seem to grasp how). She nodded as I listed my grievances, and I got excited, expecting to hear a diagnosis that would finally make sense of Sophie's quirks and lead to an effective treatment. But no luck. She felt I wasn't attuned to Sophie's vulnerabilities — she's a sensitive soul; I'm a bull-in-a-china-shop type. But something is wrong with my child, I kept thinking. Why can't anyone else see it? Instead, she made suggestions designed to help me bond with her. I took notes.

The first thing I had to do, said the psychologist, was identify my expectations of Sophie so I could understand whether they were realistic or unachievable. As long as I wanted her to be someone she could never be, I was setting her up to fail, in my eyes, every single day. I explained that I wanted Sophie to make eye contact. "That's too hard for her," the psychologist said, recalling my own checklist. "She's acutely sensitive — you whisper, and for her it's like a megaphone." I realized that I wished Sophie were tougher (she's hypersensitive), more outgoing (she's shy), and "cool" (even now, as a 9-year-old, she favors kittens and angels). Scrap those things. Start over. I needed to stop seeing what Sophie was not and start seeing what she was. A few months later, when Sophie drew a unicorn on a piece of construction paper and said she wanted to use it for her birthday party invitation, I resisted the temptation to hide it in the garbage and order glossy invites instead. Color copies of Sophie's rainbow unicorn went out to 45 kids — and I got emails raving about it! Score one for Sophie.

Still, denying my expectations day after day was hard. I wondered if my upbringing may have set the bar too high. As the daughter of a local politician, I was expected to be a role model — to dress appropriately, smile and make small talk, write thoughtful thank-you notes. And I was a natural. My mother used to say, "Nothing succeeds like success," and I stepped up. Why couldn't Sophie?
I tried to ignore my gut instinct that something still wasn't quite right. The psychologist recommended that I connect with Sophie over something she enjoys, and as much as Calico Critters weren't my thing, I vowed to try. A few days later, I found her poring over a Mini Boden catalog. Aha! We shared a love of shopping! It might not be the most wholesome or financially sustainable hobby, but we needed to start somewhere. I plopped down next to her and asked, "If you could get one thing on each page, what would it be?" My sister and I had played this game as kids, and Sophie caught on instantly. Too bad life isn't one big catalog game.

Instead, more often, it was Sophie crawling on all fours and meowing, shrieking, jabbering in made-up languages, and asking nonsensical questions (What if day were night, and night were day? What if it snowed in summer? What if our last name was Nebraska?). Even when I tried to help her — by going over the moves that tripped her up in dance class and urging her to stop transferring her boogers from nose to mouth — I only did so because I wanted her to be accepted and liked, which was my agenda, not hers. Sadly, my efforts only made her feel more self-conscious and anxious. And I continued to feel exasperated and annoyed. Why was my own daughter so difficult for me to parent? I gradually got used to the feeling, but I never made peace with it.

Then, when Sophie was 7, a stunning revelation rocked our family's world. At the prompting of our pediatrician, who was concerned about Sophie's sluggish growth, she was tested and diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency that had slowed her development across the board since birth. Her speech, motor skills, and social maturation were three years behind schedule. Wow! It wasn't the diagnosis I expected, but it made sense. Growth hormone regulates so many functions in the body; Sophie's lack of it explained everything from her blue moods and anxious behaviors to her difficulty communicating to her birdlike appetite and negligible muscle tone. My first reaction was relief — a diagnosis! Then hope — help is on the way! Then guilt. All this time, Sophie was struggling. She was 7 by the calendar but only 4 by her own body clock, a pre-K'er thrust into second grade. She was coping with enormous challenges every day without a mother who believed in her. Even worse, I had resented her for letting me down, when it was I who was letting her down. I instantly regretted scads of horrible things I'd said to her over the years and prayed that the damage wasn't irreparable. What a wake-up call.
As the diagnosis sank in, I found myself feeling more tender, more motherly toward Sophie. Instead of me pitted against her, it's now us, together, pitted against this diagnosis. My husband is cautiously optimistic about the treatment (nightly hormone shots) but concerned about possible side effects. After all, he has accepted her as is all along. The happy dance I'm doing over this diagnosis is mine alone.

Whether I've finally learned to be a good parent to Sophie — or in spite of the fact that I haven't — my now-9-year-old is in a pretty good place. The hormone shots have delivered positive effects beyond inches and pounds. Sophie competes on the local gymnastics team, aces her spelling tests, goes on loads of playdates, and loves to download songs for her iPod. She makes eye contact and answers direct questions. I'm pretty sure she's genuinely happy most of the time, though she's still fairly anxious and still occasionally meows and shrieks. I watch her sometimes, looking for clues of the emotional scarring I fear I've inflicted, but I see none. Instead, she takes running leaps into my arms, her strong legs squeezing my middle in her signature "cobra hug." Do we see eye to eye? Almost never. But do I try to prop her up every single day anyway? Yes, I do. After all, I'm her mom.

"My wife is a good mom"
The author's husband knows she says some harsh, even shocking things in this essay. Here's what he'd like you to know about the woman behind those words.

My wife likes to fix things. She's an extrovert, a fighter. Her greatest fear is being alone. As a parent, it's hard to watch your child, this tiny creature you love more than yourself, struggle and remove herself from the group; harder still when you're a parent with a personality like Jenny's. Try as she might, Jenny couldn't "fix" Sophie, and I think that scared her. The search to find something wrong was her quest for an instruction booklet. But sometimes things aren't broken, they're just different and built to excel at things you're not. There's a laundry list of things no one ever tells you when you have children. One of them is that your child will teach you how to be the parent they need — if you're willing to listen. And I know Jenny is listening, because whenever Sophie has good news to share, a problem to solve, or a hurt to soothe, she goes looking for Mommy first.

http://lifestyle.msn.com/your-life/family-parenting/article.aspx?cp-documentid=28895290&page=0

The Adult Bully - Do you know one?

I remember being told when I was younger that things would be different when I was older.  People would be nicer to each other, kinder, more considerate and the little things that we would argue about would seem just that, small.  But, I am older and I've been around long enough to find out that this isn't exactly the case.  Some people do change and realize the mistakes they've made in hurting those in the past, and learn to use self-reflection to help shape, change and guide their behavior behavior.   Others don't.

While we spend so much time talking about bullying in schools, there is bullying going on in offices, in PTA meetings, on playgrounds, in playgroups, in home owner's associations and in plenty of other places and the bullying is amongst adults.  I've heard the stories, and I've witnessed it myself.

So, why do adults bully?  The prevailing idea out there is that the goal of the adult bully is to make themselves the dominant adult in order to have power over another person or group of people.  Adult bullies use physical threats or violence much less often than child or teenage bullies.  Adult bullies use verbal threats or aggression to manipulate or intimidate others.   Often times, adult bullies are not going to change.  Their pattern of behavior has been well established over time.  So it's best to avoid and or ignore the bully if possible.  If not, document and report the incidents to the proper people depending on the environment and circumstance.  

It's always helpful to identify the bully you are dealing with which can often times help you have a better sense of what you are dealing with and therefore a better sense of how to deal with it.  Below is a list of the types of adult bullies as outlined on www.bullyingstatistics.org

  1. Narcissistic Adult Bully: This type of adult bully is self-centered and does not share empathy with others. Additionally, there is little anxiety about consequences. He or she seems to feel good about him or herself, but in reality has a brittle narcissism that requires putting others down.
  2. Impulsive Adult Bully: Adult bullies in this category are more spontaneous and plan their bullying out less. Even if consequences are likely, this adult bully has a hard time restraining his or her behavior. In some cases, this type of bullying may be unintentional, resulting in periods of stress, or when the bully is actually upset or concerned about something unconnected with the victim.
  3. Physical Bully: While adult bullying rarely turns to physical confrontation, there are, nonetheless, bullies that use physicality. In some cases, the adult bully may not actually physically harm the victim, but may use the threat of harm, or physical domination through looming. Additionally, a physical bully may damage or steal a victim’s property, rather than physically confronting the victim.
  4. Verbal Adult Bully: Words can be quite damaging. Adult bullies who use this type of tactic may start rumors about the victim, or use sarcastic or demeaning language to dominate or humiliate another person. This subtle type of bullying also has the advantage - to the bully - of being difficult to document. However, the emotional and psychological impacts of verbal bullying can be felt quite keenly and can result in reduced job performance and even depression.
  5. Secondary Adult Bully: This is someone who does not initiate the bullying, but joins in so that he or she does not actually become a victim down the road. Secondary bullies may feel bad about what they are doing, but are more concerned about protecting themselves.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Family Friendly Airports?!?!

A recent survey conducted says that 59% of families think airports could do better when it comes to catering to families.  Having traveled with my highly active physical crib jumping peanut many times, I would agree.  I like the list of items they came up with for potential amenities at airports.  It could just help to tire those kiddies out for more peaceful travel, unless they are serious about having more flights that cater specifically to families.

http://www.skyscanner.net/news/articles/2011/05/009856-families-demand-better-airport-facilities-reveals-skyscanner.html

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mom catches foul ball while holding 8 month old son

For those of you who may not have caught the photo I mentioned in the previous post.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/sports/flair/2011/may/20/tdsport01-catching-peoples-attention-ar-1051717/

Dad drops Daughter at baseball game

http://youtu.be/4YlK4DlzNsc

This video is getting a lot of attention after Tiffany Goodwin, a mom, was holding her 8 month old when she caught a foul ball a couple of weeks ago.   Are Moms better at multi-tasking?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Crib Jumpers Anonymous

  After a weekend away and my daughter having to sleep in a portable crib, she has shown her proficiency at gymnastic activities.  She hurdled herself out once Thursday, three times Friday, four times Saturday and I'm not sure about Sunday night since I was so exhausted from her shenanigans that my husband dealt with the bedtime routine last night and I chose not to ask.  That flour sack experiment we had to do in high school to prepare us for children was a joke.

Alaina Giordano Case Update

An article with further information about the circumstances involved in the situation.  Alaina has filed her appeal.

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=8127895

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Keeping baby's gender a secret?

Interesting story about a Canadian couple who are keeping their baby's gender secret.
 
Read the article below.

http://moms.today.com/_news/2011/05/25/6715267-he-she-or-it-family-keeps-babys-gender-a-secret

Terrible Twos too early

My daughter isn't two yet, but boy is she nailing the tantrums spot on.  And these tantrums are accompanied by her trying to find the most piercing shrill scream she can find.   I haven't been to the gym in weeks and yesterday we went.  I could hear her having a hairy tantrum across the huge gym with vacuums, music and the various machines going.  This baby has one strong set of lungs. Thankfully, the kids zone staff were able to get her through this since after hearing her screams and running to the door  to intervene they waved me away telling me they had it under control and to go work out.  I appreciated the break and their willingness to help.
This stage is a true test of patience.  I'm taking it day by day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Do you possess Self-Compassion?

As a skill, I know from myself, friends, colleagues, family and in my work that many of us lack the skill of self-compassion.  And especially as Mothers, when we are constantly trying to maintain some prescribed standard while working full time and still maintaining a household and childcare responsibilities, many of us don't find the ability within ourselves to forgive ourselves for not being able to do everything.  We are not perfect, nobody is.

Not only is learning the skill of self-compassion essential for us as parents for our own happiness, but it is also important for us to model this behavior so that our children can add it to their emotional toolbox.   

Most of the research on Self-Compassion has been measured using the scale attached below.  You can take the measure yourself by clicking on the link.

http://www.self-compassion.org/test_your_self-compassion_level.html

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Another post from my friend.

Mommy rant!
A couple of weeks ago, during my boys' spring break I was lucky enough to have grandparents staying at my home to help us out with daycare.  During this time I had what Oprah would call a major "Aha Moment."  I was at work at 4:15 and got a message that my 4:00pm appointment wouldn't be there until 4:30.  Now normally, this would put me in a panic.  How will I pick up the boys, get them home and have dinner ready before meltdown time if I don't get out of here until 5:30?  Instead, I knew my in-laws were at the house and they would take care of everything.  Suddenly, I realized what it must be like to be my husband. I have to work late, no problem, someone else will take care of things.
Just to be clear, I have a husband who shares in the responsibilities.  He helps get the kids ready in the morning, shares in the drop off, helps get them ready for bed and gets up in the middle of the night when the baby cries.  That being said, while we both work and earn comparable incomes, I continue to be responsible for all of the designated "female" jobs.  I do the food shopping, make dinner every night, clothes shopping, scheduling, and make sure that when we go to a party we have our birthday present/bottle of wine/house warming gift/required pot luck dish etc...  I worry about where we're going to send the kids to camp in the summer and what we'll do with our weekends to get out of the house.  Have we seen the grandparents enough?  Are we volunteering enough at the schools?
And sometimes I have to say, "It's not fair!"  But the more I ask around, it's also not unusual.  This is the case for almost every working Mom I know.  
So the question is why? Is is just instinct for women to take this over in the relationship?  I mean, I didn't marry my husband until he was 30 years old.  He had lived on his own for many years and was quite capable of doing the cooking, cleaning, shopping, and planning.  So how did I end up with all of these responsibilities? 
Once I start to askwhat, why and how, I have to wonder what are the reprecussions?  On my family?  At work?
I guess that's a rant for another day...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Make note - no more bikinis after 47

A recent survey in the UK of women between the ages of 18 and 65 came up with a list of clothing items and the age we must ditch them.  Here's the list and the article is below.  What do you think?????

By the way, Helen Mirren looks amazing at 60 in a bikini, you can see the photo by clicking on the text written about her in the article below.

A boob tube, is what we call a tube top in the US.

THE AGE WOMEN BELIEVE YOU SHOULD STOP WEARING...

  • Bikini, 47
  • Miniskirt, 35
  • Boob Tube, 33
  • Stilettos, 51
  • Belly button piercing, 35
  • Knee high boots, 47
  • Trainers, 44
  • Leather trousers, 34
  • Leggings, 45
  • Ugg boots, 45
  • Swimsuit, 61
  • Tight vest, 44
  • See-through chiffon blouse, 40
  • Long hair, 53
  • Ponytail, 51

Disappearing Posts

Somehow, the three posts I had written yesterday have disappeared.  Not exactly sure what happened there.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Identity theives can steal your child's SS# - Protect your Family

I was happy to see the Today show do a segment on this issue.  I have heard many stories about mortgages, credit cards and big ticket items being bought in a small child's name or with a child's stolen SS# completely ruining their credit. Often, you and your family don't find about about this until many years later when major damage has already occurred.  Apparently, when someone goes to the bank and gives their name and SS#, banks do not check if the SS# matches the name being given since the SS Administration charges for this service and banks don't want to spend the money. 

Yes, that is very scary.  There are plenty of ways to protect your family with things like lifelock or by putting fraud alerts on your accounts and personal information.  I am attaching the segment and article that aired this morning on the Today show. 

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42997608/ns/today-parenting/t/stop-id-thieves-stealing-your-kids-credit/

Yesterday, outrage. Today, puzzled.

In all fairness, the Judge's actual ruling has not been made public.  We have been given large pieces of information from the media that is pretty damning, but we don't have the entire story until we have read the ruling in it's entirety which may or may not be made available.  I am hoping that there is other information in that document that will make this decision seem less egregious.

I have testified on family court cases and I have never envied the judge who presides over such complex cases because when that Judge makes a decisions they are making a decision that will impact a developing child's mental health and future relationships, which is a very powerful role to assume.  Every Judge that I have testified before has taken these cases extremely seriously because, they are.  I am just so puzzled about how the decision was made in this case and how moving and 11 year old and a 5 year old 600 miles away from their Mother who has been their primary caretaker since birth and may not have much more time left with them could be in the best interest of the children' mental health needs.   It seems like playing God and it seems like taking their Mother away from them before she is actually taken away from them by her illness thus stealing precious time.  It is so utterly puzzling.

Yes, she is ill, but doing well due to the team she has a Duke.  Asking her to move to Chicago after finding a competent team of doctors that are helping her and with whom she feels comfortable seems incredibly insensitive, but perhaps the Judge does not realize the significance of this incredibly important component in the case.  It was also cited that she does not have a job, but do you think it's easy to find a job when you are going through treatments once a month, may have side effects of the treatments and don't have a clear sense of your future?  And, if the children were to move to Chicago, what are the realities of their visiting their Mother.  There is a huge cost associated with their visiting or Mom visiting them.  I question whether that was fully explored and whether she considered the financial aspects of visitation.  I have seen long distance custody cases work out quite poorly when it becomes a financial strain, kids don't get to see their parents.  It's a reality.  And in the event that Alaina is not doing well and cannot make it to Chicago, how often will the children be allowed to be with her. 

Yesterday, I was outraged.  Today, I am just so puzzled.  I want to understand this decision, and I cannot wrap my mind around it.  I have been involved in many custody cases and in my wildest imagination, I cannot come up with a reason that would support this ruling being in the best interest of these children.  I spoke with many colleagues yesterday by phone and email,  all who have a tremendous amount of experience working with children and families and not one of us could come up with a scenario that would make this ruling seem like the best possible decision in the interest of the family.  We tried!

Asking Judge Gordon to be removed from the bench may be extreme as some people have commented because we do not have all of the information.  However, that being said, it is not unreasonable for her to be asked to step down while her decision is reviewed and to determine whether she is competent to make the complex decisions necessary in the Family Court System.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Alaina Giordano's interview this morning on Today

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42987567/ns/today-today_health/t/cancer-stricken-mom-fights-keep-custody-kids/

Alaina Giordano - Mom loses custody of children due to Breast Cancer

A 37 year old North Carolina woman, Alaina Giordano,  was recently ordered by a female judge, who by reports is not married and has no children, to give up custody of her two children to her soon to be ex-husband because she is battling stage four breast cancer.  Apparently, the decision was made because no one knows how much longer she will live and because she is not working and cannot support her children, therefore, her soon to be ex was granted primary custody.  The judge told her that if she wanted to be with her children she should move to Chicago, where her ex lives.  She is currently receiving treatment at Duke's Cancer Center which is in North Carolina.

" In her ruling, Judge Nancy Gordon cited a forensic psychologist: "The more contact [the children] have with the non-ill parent, the better they do. They divide their world into the cancer world and a free of cancer world. Children want a normal childhood, and it is not normal with an ill parent."  

WHAT?!?!?!  When did we define what is normal for all families?   This Mother has stage four breast cancer, that is their norm now.  It's their reality.  And I would like to know how the psychologist came to this conclusion.  Is this is her opinion or is this actually cited in the research literature?  Has she has ever worked with families with a terminally ill parent?  It's very different from any research I have read or any treatment I have delivered to children and with terminally ill parents.


This story disturbs me, and I am outraged being both a Mother and a mental health professional who treats children and families.  Children need their Mother and they need to be able to spend the time they have with their Mother.  I don't know what sort of child mental health experience this psychologist has had, but she has missed the boat and in my opinion, missed the bigger picture issues.  Yes, these children have a Mother with stage four breast cancer, but she is THEIR MOTHER and to be denied time with her and to be taken from her is just WRONG.

There is a facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alaina-Giordano-Should-Not-Lose-Her-Kids-Because-She-Has-Breast-Cancer/127024814041233?sk=info

You can find out more information here.  There are two links below her story, one to her blog and the other to the petition for her to keep her children.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I am happy to be one of the 85 million Mother's out there today spending the day with their kids.  Motherhood is challenging, but it is truly truly one of the most wonderful things on the planet. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day for me

Today I am spending the day solo, and I am looking forward to it more than I can say.  I am taking an 8:50 train out of here and back to my former hometown for some R & R.  And I am so happy that the weather is cooperating, these are some of my favorite days to walk around the city.

Tina Fey's Mother's Day Prayer

The Mother’s Prayer for its Daughter
by Tina Fey

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with beer.
Guide her, protect her… when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes. And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Amen.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mom Song to the Thong Song

http://youtu.be/lPyN6qXyN6s

Just a little diddy for you as we get closer to Mother's Day.

Mother-in-law love and hate, a place to turn

A couple of posts ago, I wrote about my MIL who is by all accounts pretty awesome.  However, I realize this is not the case for all daughter-in-laws out there.  I came across a facebook book page called "I HATE MY MOTHER IN LAW".    It was an entertaining read and I know a lot of people who can relate with the posts there.  It may even be cathartic to write something, just be careful your MIL doesn't get wind of this page!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-HATE-MY-MOTHER-IN-LAW/323184316207

For those of us who do love our MILs there is a facebook page for us as well.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-love-my-mother-in-law/243664361785

If you need a laugh today

Number 4 is pretty awesome.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42452854/displaymode/1247?beginSlide=1

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jill's Steals and Deals - On Today!

You have exactly 24 hours to get in on these bargains.

Today they are featuring bras, wallets, Dr. Scholl's sandals (they are back! and there are some awesome patterns and colors), skin care line and cashmere sweaters sold at Barney's and Fred Segal.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42866177/ns/today-today_fashion_and_beauty/
 With my Mom visiting, the royal wedding, Osama's demise, my daughter's fever and then mine, I had my hands full and writing fell by the wayside.  But I'm back and this week is Mother's Day. 

In honor of Mother's Day:


Trivia about Mothers...
  • There are 84 million mom's in the U.S.
  • The youngest mother on record was Lina Medina, who delivered a 6½-pound boy by cesarean section in Lima, Peru in 1939, at the age of 5 years and 7 months.
  • The odds of a woman delivering twins is 1-in-33. Her odds of having triplets is approximately 1-in-539.
  • August is the most popular month in which to have a baby.
  • Kentucky has the highest percentage of women who are mothers at 67%. The national average is 57%.
  • About 4 million women will have babies this year.
  • The median age of a woman giving birth for the first time in the U.S. is 24.8.
  • Daughters keep in closer contact with their mothers than do sons. (Pew Research)
  • There are more phone calls made on Mother's Day than on any other day of the year. (Pew Research)
  • The number of people calling their moms on Mother's Day has declined in recent years due to e-mail and other electronic means of communication.
  • While nearly 80 percent of Americans will buy a card for mom this year, 83 percent of the cards will be purchased by daughters. (American Greetings)
  • Mother's Day is the third-largest card-sending holiday.
  • Mother's Day is the busiest day of the year for restaurants.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mother-in-Laws

I'm sure the title got your attention.

Thankfully, I am fortunate to have a one of those Mother-in-Laws that are NEVER portrayed in movies.  She is NOT psychotic, crazy,overbearing, infantilizing, idealizing her son, hating me and basically just being a passive aggressive bitch.  My Mother-in-Law is definitely nothing like that, in fact, she's pretty cool.

I am being completely serious.  I lucked out on this one.   I know I did.

My job alone allows me to hear countless stories of Mother-in-Laws who feel the need to make their daughter-in-laws feel less than or as an outsider.  My Mother-in-Law continues to surprise me as being really normal and just like another one of my girlfriends who I talk to for several hours about...stuff.  I was on the phone with my Mother-in-Law for over an hour and an half a few weeks ago without feeling like I needed to get off.  I realize to some of you that would be like root canal or perhaps you would opt for root canal over time with you Mother-in-Law.  I am VERY lucky.  I repeat, VERY lucky.  Someone is looking out for me up there.  I appreciate it.  Thank you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kid free zones, Kids only zones

I've been reading a lot of stuff recently in the news about airlines and restaurants considering 'kids only' sections or 'kid free' sections.  At first, I questioned it, but thinking about it more, I freaking love the idea.

I have been both the single unencumbered traveler and now, have also been the Mom trying to keep my child from disturbing others on a flight or in a restaurant, completely grateful when we touch ground or scarfing down my food or taking it to go to get out of the restaurant asap.  I remember the days of looking at children on a plane and being pissed if they were seated anywhere near me.  I was going on vacation and didn't need some hellion kicking my seat and playing with the tray table constantly.  The same goes for dining out, I didn't want to be seated by a family with kids throwing sippy cups, cheerios and crayons while screaming.  Now, I'm THAT Mom with THAT kid and realize, that by no fault of my own or lacking of parenting skill, my daughter is at the stage where she is exploring and she is going to kick things, throw things and play with things that look new and interesting.  It's not intentional, she's learning how her body moves and is starting to understand what is ok and what is not ok to do.

  The last flight we were on my daughter was able to sit still for 20 minutes and that was it, she needed to take off.  She had recently started walking and sitting still for 2 and 1/2 hours was not going to happen by any stretch of the imagination or due to the praying I did the night before.  The flight attendants encouraged me, to my surprise, to let her walk the aisles, one even offered to make me a cocktail, which I declined since it was noon, but greatly appreciated the gesture.  I felt okay with my daughter walking up and down the aisles because I had the support of the flight attendants, but several people were giving me dirty looks as my daughter went up and down the aisles with her squeals of delight waving at various passengers in her path.  I was so happy when we landed, but exhausted.

The idea of a kids section on a plane or a restaurant, or a specific route that caters to children would be welcomed.  I would feel much less stressed since I'm sure I could look over at the family in the row across when their children go bonkers and we could exchange empathetic glances and perhaps see the humor in it all, instead of apologizing for something that is inevitable with children.

 I love this idea because when I'm out without my daughter, I want some guaranteed kid free time too, it recharges the batteries.

What are your thoughts on kid free or kids only zones?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sweet Valley High - Update

Yes, it's here.  If you were in the throws of pre or full on adolescence, you read these books, and lucky for you there's an update just as most of us are heading or have headed to our 20 year high school reunions.

Here's the news story.  I haven't read it yet, but it sounds like some fluffy summer reading to me.

http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/04/04/the-wakefield-twins-10-years-older-does-the-new-sweet-valley-book-match-the-original/

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mother's Day gifts?

Replens has an interesting ad campaign for Mother's Day.

Check it out.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.

http://www.examiner.com/pop-culture-in-canada/replens-ad-campaign-the-most-awkward-mother-s-day-gift-the-world

Oil change trip

Today I had to get my car serviced and they wanted me there by 8.  I was up super early this morning since my husband left for a business trip at 4am, and had been up since 3:30am which meant I was too.  I never quite went back to sleep, so getting there at 8 wasn't going to be a problem today.

I brought my daughter breakfast so that she could eat it there.  The first 15 minutes were great.  She sat in a chair with her doll, her book, her tupperware cup of blueberries and milk.  But then hell broke loose.  She got herself out of the chair, running recklessly through the car show room, sticking her hands in planters throwing the soil all over the place, squealing all the while in pure delight as I walked around being the 'broom' I have now added to the skills on my resume.  When the planters weren't enough, it was the racks of pamphlets about the cars, taking them and switching them around, running quickly to the next display to rearrange anything and everything, and I kept up behind her, bending down, picking stuff up and rearranging trying to remember where all the materials had originated.  Then it was onto the cars, touching and smushing her face against the shiny cars where she was giggling at her reflection.  She was having a ball.  And it didn't stop there, then it was on to the customer service area, where she proceeded to take the entire basket full of snacks for customers, barging into the staff offices offering granola bars, packaged danish and popcorn.  When I took the basket away, it was pure all out tantrum, pure baby meltdown.  I was spent.  Thankfully, saved by the bell, my car was ready.  Baby put in carseat, milk in hand, asleep in 5 minutes...peace.  I will be in bed by 7.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My confession

I confess, I am beyond excited that my daughter can only recently focus on television.

I can put her in front of the Cat in the Hat, Super Readers, Sesame Street, Clifford or Super Why and she is entertained for at least 15 minutes and not tearing apart the entire house like the Tazmanian Devil that she has become which allows me to breath, use the bathroom and potentially chill out for a second.  If it's a little longer, I admit,  it's heaven. It is, I'm human.

Crucify me, non-allowing television watching Moms.

My daughter eats sugar too.

No wine

No wine posts this week, I've been on antibiotics.

Done today, thank the lord, so more to come!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The best dentist visit ever

I feel like a big ball of negativity sometimes.   I hate this, don't like that, I'm so tired, I'm so cranky, blah, blah, blah.  Every time I have an appointment for myself that I need to take my daughter to I get so stressed out that she will freak and she often does.  So today I had a dentist appointment.  They had to reschedule a month ago since my hygienist was on jury duty and when they asked if it was going to be a problem, I told them yes,  I had booked child care.  They told me not to worry.  They HAD childcare.  Really...

I got there today and they gave me the option of bringing her with me, leaving her with the RN they have on staff to watch children or to have the RN watch her in my exam room.  What?  I brought her back since she will be headed to her first dentist in a month and wanted her to see that Mommy wasn't scared.  She was pretty good, and when she began to cry, that RN ran into the room with a toothbrush for her and entertained her for the remainder of my visit.  I barely had a moment to stress out.  They were absolutely AMAZING.  It was the best dentist visit ever.

In partial defense of the Man-Child

I'm not so sure that the Man-Child isn't partially a consequence of many confounding variables such as men being the underrepresented gender in colleges and universities today, the fact that women can have the jobs that were once only attainable by men, can make the same amount or more than men, can support themselves quite well and can be more educated than men, if they choose.  I have actually heard from some men that they don't feel needed except for that little thing that makes a child.  And with women being able to do all that they once believed they needed a man for it's understandable to see why some women believe they don't need one, and perhaps, men have started to question what their purpose is in all of this if women can do all that they can except provide sperm.

 If women can do all the things they formally relied upon men to do in the traditional families of the 50s, then why can't men start to take on some of those traditionally female characteristics and roles that they would have been criticized for taking on years ago?   I sort of think there could have been a very quiet exhale by the male gender.  Some of the pressure has been lifted on both sides.  Instead of having to be a good provider and successful to be a good catch, now men can look at a woman's CV and decide is she is a good catch and can provide for him.  Instead of feeling that she has to stay home and be a domestic goddess, women can have that high powered job and look for a man who is a good cook and wonderful with children.  Is that so hard to imagine?  We are, in many cases, moving away from the predetermined sex roles that have permeated society.  With all of the changes in society, maybe we are all just trying things on for size to see how it's all going to work.

 However, being at home doesn't mean that you get to get to be 13 again and play video games without a care in the world.  There's laundry, toys to clean up, housecleaning, dishwasher emptying, toys to clean up, diaper changing, baby feeding, toys to clean up again, baby bathing, toddler chasing, toys to clean up yet again, book reading, playgroup attending, limit setting, time out enforcing, grocery shopping,  meal making, toys to clean up, bed time preparations, errand running things to be done.  Women, for sure, didn't sit at home eating bon bons for the last hundred years while home with their children.

Then there are the Moms who work full time and then come home to do all the tasks listed above,but that's another conversations in and of itself.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday's Momvos - Playground Etiquette

KVB says:


Playground Etiquette
The list of areas in which I don't have control is long and growing, but one of the challenges in which I feel I have the least control is what happens at the playground.
The thing is, the problem isn't the children, it's the parents!  Maybe it's me, but I think our daily outings would be a lot more pleasant if  I could post rules for parents at the playground.
They would read as follows:
10.  We're all neighbors.  If someone says hello and tries to engage you in conversation, please respond.  It is not only is the polite thing to do, but it sets a good example for the children.
9.  If you are engaged in a conversation with someone and his/her child bolts out of the gate, stop talking and allow that person to disengage.  Talking louder will not elicit a response from someone who has a child running towards the street.
8.  When you come in or out of the gate, close it!  What is wrong with you?
7.  If you see a child about to take a nose dive off of the jungle gym, stop him/her.  Yes, we understand it's not your child and that maybe the parent is chasing another child, talking, being neglectful or drunk in a corner.  Either way, you are superior but don't need to prove it by letting a child get hurt.
6.  Nobody cares that your daughter/son has never been allowed to watch a minute of television, never screams at the top of his/her lungs, has never tried candy, certainly never hits/bites/takes toys, and was just shocked when he/she saw the other children doing these things.
5.  When you see a piece of garbage on the ground, pick it up.  It's gross but who else is going to do it?   Most communities do not have a daily maintenance crew.  Nowadays most communities don't have a parks department!  This is your community, you come to the park, treat it like your yard.
4.  Boys are loud and rough.  It is unlikely that their boyishness will rub off on your daughter.  If she is gets knocked over by accident or joins in the rough housing she will probably live.
3.  On sharing:  If a child is playing with a toy that he/she brought to the playground, your child does not have the right to come up and "share" it.  Nor does a parent have the right to insist that the child
     "share."  It is his/her toy.  If you want your child to have a ball at the playground, bring one.
2.  Try not to judge other parents and especially other children.  You do not know their stories.
1.  Yes, that is wine in that Mom's hand and yes, you should grab a glass too!
______________________________________________
LSH responds:

Love the rules!
The playground is a microcosm of society.  You get all sorts of people on the playground.  People of varied ages, cultures and parenting abilities.  The problem with the playground is that you don't know what you're dealing with until you have to talk to that parent.  And whoa, is there a range out there.  While rules would be great and it would be even greater if everyone followed them, there will always be someone who doesn't.  Isn't it the same in life.  There is always someone who thinks the rules don't apply to them.  You know who I'm talking about.

Wouldn't it be great if we could give out playground citations. 

- Being rude, obnoxious or ignoring another parent = Must sit in parent time out area of playground to reflect on actions and write an apology note to be delivered to the other parent.  In extreme circumstances attendance to "Parental Aggression Management" will be mandatory.

- Not closing the park gate = Gate duty for one day instructing all entrants on the importance of 'gate closing.'

- Not helping a child (not your child) who falls flat on his face right in front of you =Fair game.  Any Mom on the playground can push you over at anytime they choose on the day of the offense.

- Know it all Mom, Better Than Mom, Smug Mom =  must volunteer all day at the community carnival dunking machine.

- Helicopter parents =  must provide their own playground

-Judgmental parents of misbehaving children = must spend a day with THOSE children.

-Judgment of Moms drinking wine on the playground = if they didn't drive there, shut up.

Please send other thoughts on citations.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jill's Steals and Deals - 24 hours to go!

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42652975/ns/today-today_fashion_and_beauty/

The stationary deal is awesome!  Sunglasses that are eco friendly, organic cosmetics, jewelry and watches!  No one says you can't buy yourself of Mother's Day gift early!

Distracted Family Time

Everywhere I go, I see families and usually, there is one parent or child texting, emailing or talking on their phone.   I'm guilty of it too.  I feel like my Blackberry has become an extension of my arm.  It's a little troubling.  And, it's not as if I am so important that I have to be reached to make some life threatening decisions at a moments notice.  Most of the stuff I answer during the day can wait, there is no rush.  Yet, I think the boundaries between family time and everything else like work, or other commitments has become severely blurred.  We are always accessible which screams the need for boundaries.  Children are bothered that their parents are not paying attention to them because they are emailing or texting and spouses are feeling invisible playing second fiddle to the iphone.  I hear this from friends and from patients at work. What happened to quality time, face to face time, intimate time?

Technology is going to continue to advance.  We will be more available to anyone who wants to reach us at anytime.  So, where will you set the boundaries?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/dining/27text.html

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mama Mondays - Spring Cleaning Yourself

There's so much information, articles, self-help books and people talking about happiness.  I think happiness is a subjective term and can really only be defined be you.  I was looking for tools to assess happiness.  Yes, there are validated measures of happiness that are used in research, but for the purpose of Mama Mondays I am posting a link to Oprah's website.  There you will find a quiz.

I think it's a decent quiz because if you answer honestly, and why not, no one will know who you are when you submit your results, you will get some insight into the areas that could be causing you to feel unhappy.  And with that insight, you can begin to clean house and use those insights to move forward.

  For example, if you are someone who focuses on those who have hurt you and this quiz brings that to your attention, the next step is to think about why that may be?  Why do you allow those people to have so much power in your life?  Or, if you are someone who feels you are just waiting for all things in your life to be perfect or that one thing to happen before you will feel your life has begun, look at that a little deeper.  What's the significance of those things to you and your happiness?  What would happen if those things never happened?  Are you going to put your life on hold?

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/The-Are-You-Happy-Quiz

Identifying these things is the first step towards a happier life.  Sometimes journaling about them on a consistent basis helps gain a better understanding about these feelings.  Other times it's talking to our  trusted friends, family or spouses and getting their feedback.  And of course, there's always the option of  talking to a therapist.   You can find therapists through your health insurance provider and a website I think is helpful, www.psychologytoday.com , where you can read therapist's profiles and often see a photo.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Time goes quickly

Sometimes, I wish I could bottle how my daughter is today.  She is sweet, energetic, funny, feisty, curious and just delicious at this age.  I know I will need to remember these days when she is in the full blown throws of adolescence.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sweet Treats for the Weekend

 It's raining here, and a rainy Saturday makes me want to bake something or make something.

If you haven't had them yet, watch out.  They are addictive and unfortunately, very easy to make, so when you've run out, it's not that hard to whip up a new batch, that's the only downside.  No baking involved.



You will need:

1 full package of oreos
1 8oz package of cream cheese
2 8oz package of baker's chocolate (you can use white, milk, semi-sweet or dark - whatever you like)
*If you bake during the holidays and have leftover CandyQuik or Chocolate Bark you can use that as well.

1 cookie sheet
Wax paper or parchment paper

-Crush the oreos in a food processor, which is the ideal way, but if that is not available, you can put them in a ziploc and use a rolling pin to crush them.  Get them as fine as you can.

-If using the food processor, you can add the package of cream cheese until it is blended with the cookies.  If crushing manually, you can use a medium bowl and blend cookies and cream cheese well.

-Once blended.  Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls, this should make about 42.

-Melt chocolate and dip balls in the chocolate.  Place on wax paper on top of a cookie sheet.

-Optional:  You can sprinkle the chocolate coated oreo balls with nuts, sprinkles, colored sugar, crushed candy bars or peppermint. 

-Place in the refrigerator for one hour until firm.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wine Pick

I have a thing for the Alexander Valley.  It's about an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  It's part of Sonoma County and hosts 40 wineries that are wonderful unique wines that are just good as the ones from Napa, I think, for a fraction of the price.  Can't go wrong there.



Souverain 2007 - Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

You are going to get notes of dark fruit, baking spices, vanilla and a bit of toast.  It's moderately tannic.  It is fruit forward with a tinge of vanilla on the finish.  It's pretty good for $12.



Empathetic Mom meets Unempathetic Doctor

         I had to go to the doctor since I was having some symptoms that were concerning.  I haven't loved the doctor that I have been seeing, but she's been good enough, knows me, knows my history, delivered my daughter and so, I didn't think of going to someone else for the issues.  I saw her about a week ago and she ran some tests.

This past Tuesday, while I was at work, I received the following voicemail message:

"Hi, this is Eileen from Dr. Z's office. She would like to speak with you.  She's leaving the office for the day and won't be able to speak with you tomorrow because she is in surgery, so please give us a call after 9am on Thursday.  She would like to speak with you directly."

My stomach dropped.  I was overwhelmed with fear, did I need to make plans, was I going to miss seeing my little girl grow up?  I know this sounds extreme, but I went there.  And then, I just felt anger.  I was outraged.  Who leaves a message like that and isn't available to talk?   She knew I was concerned about my symptoms because I had seen her already five months ago for the same ones that had not improved and now I had others.  She delivered my baby, she was a Mom too.  WTF?

I'm sorry, don't you treat PEOPLE who have EMOTIONS?  Did you miss the course on empathy?   

After speaking with her and finding out that I am ok, I tried to understand how she thought having her receptionist leave that voicemail could be helpful to me.  I came to the conclusion that it had nothing to do with me.  It had everything to do with her.  I was a name that had to be crossed off on her list, the call was made, message left, and now it was documented.  Check, check check.  She also seemed confused about who I actually was, referencing that I am still breastfeeding, which I'm not and haven't been since November.  Then I considered that she KNEW the news was not life threatening, and therefore, she didn't think twice about the message that would be left.  I don't think she ever once considered how that message might effect me, I didn't know what she DID.

All of this prompted me to do a little research about the topic of medical doctors and empathy and not surprisingly, there are many articles addressing the issue, namely the lack of empathy amongst these professionals.  Check out the link I chose, it cites a study that is referenced in many of the other pieces I found which analyzes 20 audio tapes between patients and their doctor.  It's not very encouraging.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/22/AR2008092201894.html

Speak up. If you have a complaint, access the patient relations part of whatever hospital or practice you receive services.  Things won't get better if concerns are not voiced in an effective and appropriate manner.       

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A New Voice on the Blog

 As I mentioned a few posts ago, I am happy to have another voice to chime in on topics here that relate to our experiences as wives, Mothers, daughters, sisters and all of the other things you know that we ARE!   Look for our joint posts that will be up soon and if you have something you want to hear about, let us know.  We will be happy to talk about it and share our own experiences. So without further adieu, here she is...

 KVB says:

"Catching a girlfriend on the phone nowadays isn’t easy.  Yelling at my television never seems to be effective. Preaching to my husband on subjects on which he is in complete agreement or clearly doesn’t care and explaining to my 4 year old the importance of the argument that I am making just makes everyone think I’m crazy.  So I guess it’s time to blog.  
I am a married mother of two, loyal friend, planner, volunteer and I work full time.  Basically, I’m dancing as fast as I can!  Life is great but as you’ve heard from my girlfriend here before, trying to find a balance between it all is a challenge.  I’m always trying to find ways to be better at all of the above and more; but mostly I find that as one aspect improves, others fall off.  “You can’t do it all” has never felt more real to me but damn if I’m not going to try!  And the only way to keep trying is to be able to pick myself up, brush myself off and laugh as we slip and fall along the way.
Aside from dinner and a Broadway musical, there is nothing I love more than a good debate so I look forward to the hearing from you!  I have a lot to share on subjects from babies to books, movies to men, food to fertility.   I know that there are many women out there who find themselves in the same boat as me and while we may not always agree, it’s a big boat with room for everyone."

To find out joint posts, the will be under the label "Momvos". 
 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

J Crew Ad causes a stir

This ad appeared on J Crew's website and highlights Jenna Lyons, J Crew's designer with her son, Beckett.  In the ad,  Beckett has his toes painted neon pink.  The ad goes on to quote Jenna saying, 'Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink...'

http://www.jcrew.com/womens_feature/Jennaspicks.jsp

Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wine Tip Tuesday

I saw this wine in a local wine shop and was intrigued.  I liked the name and while I rarely get drawn in by the bottle design, I liked this one.   Usually, the catchy bottle exterior doesn't reflect what is usually inside.  I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case.

B Side 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa Valley 

93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petite Sirah

It presents with a deep garnet color in the glass.  Notes of strawberry, and boysenberry aromas along with toasted oak and some minerality that comes from the varied soil found in Napa.  On the palate, it is your typical Napa Cab with tastes of blackberry and currants with a bit of tannins on the finish.  I really enjoyed this wine.  Unfortunately, it runs anywhere from $22-$25 in the store, but that's Napa for you.