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Thursday, March 31, 2011

10 amazing facts about Moms in nature!

Check out this link!

I am grateful I am not an elephant, and I have a new found appreciation for life as a possum.

Thirsty Thursdays

Avalon - Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - 2008

Make sure if you go to purchase this wine that it is the one from Napa Valley not the one from California.  The Napa Valley bottle is quite different.  I like this wine, it was what I was looking to drink when I opened the bottle.  It offers notes of dark fruit like blackberries and dark cherries, but I didn't find them overpowering which was nice since I am not a huge fan of the in your face big fruit forward wines.  There was also notes of earth, and some subtle notes of spice and vanilla which come from the 12 months the wine spends in French and American Oak.  Overall, it was a pleasant glass to drink and for $11.99, I would say it's a great go to any day wine.

Available at Total Wine or Beltway Liquors.

Elusive Sleep

My alarm went off this morning at a little before 5am, and I swear I had just gone to bed.  I used to be so well rested that my alarm never needed to go off, and for the life of me, I couldn't understand those people who slept through their alarms.  I get it now.  Totally.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

dance hall days

I confess, I get sick of Elmo and his songs.  We go to baby gym class, we sing.  We go to the library weekly gathering, we sing.  We sing, we sing, we sing.  The wheels on the bus go round and round. 

Four months after my daughter was born and about the time when I thought I would lose my mind and just about the time, I finally understood why some Mother's fantasize about leaving or actually do.  I had to do something and do something quick.  My husband was out of town for the week and having no family anywhere within 300 miles or a babysitter on call there was no way for me to get out of the house to reconnect to that person I was before this little person entered my world.  I needed a quick intervention.  So,  I went on to YouTube and typed Sponge into the search engine.  Molly.  That's what I needed.  It was hard, loud and a bit angry, perfect.  I picked up my daughter and we danced and yes,  I felt better.  So much better that I played the song several times over.  I felt better each time.  I was going to keep this intervention.

 Yes, my daughter and I have dance party nights now where I pick some songs off YouTube.  Now that she is walking, I don't have to hold her.  She squats a little and shakes her tush, it's hilarious.   We giggle and move around each other. Sometimes she grabs a tambourine or maraca and sometimes, I do too.  She squeals with joy, and I sing the way I did years ago while driving in my car alone with the windows up.  We have this wonderful moment together where we both get something that feels so good.   And I get to introduce her to the music of The Beatles, The Shins and The Pixies...just to name a few.  These are the moments that I will need to hold onto when she is 15 and telling me I know nothing!

Share your experiences!

I know you Moms out there have your own stories, good, bad, funny and ugly.  I would love to hear them and with permission share them here.  Your story could make someone else laugh, smile, cry or feel that they are not alone.  Think about it....

Scene on the Street - Smug Mom on the loose

 To begin, you should understand my humble definition:

The Smug Mother is the one who questions you about what you are doing with your child.  Breast feeding?  Bottle feeding (god forbid)? Co-sleeping? Feeding solids? Organic?  Gluten free? Giving anything with sugar? Letting your child cry it out?  I could go on, but you get the picture.

The Smug Mom asks you these questions so that as soon as you answer, she can tell you how SHE does it based upon her pure intuition and innate knowledge base.  She then throws in a few books or articles she has read purely to make you believe she doesn't believe she is the know it all that she believes she IS and does consult some resources which although they are written by experts in the field she thinks they are a crock and she could run circles around them.  She  goes on to say that you should really look into these resources since you're most likely screwing up your child as you speak, but implies that you should really listen to her since you will be better off.  Okay, she may not exactly say that, but you know just as well as I do, that's what she means.  I'm sure you have met one or two of these Moms.

So there I am in the grocery store today picking up some milk for my daughter.  There are lots of people with carts by the milk refrigerators, so I am waiting until I can get my cart in to get what I need.  My daughter has been experimenting with her vocal cords to the level that could shatter glass so I was distracted.  As the traffic around the refrigerators thinned out, I see two Moms talking and they have kids in their cart both about toddler age.  They looked like they were friends, until this nice elderly gentleman moved his cart and I was able to get closer to the milk and to their conversation.  One of the Moms (Smug Mom)  was seemingly dominating the conversation and using a tone that sounded like a mean kindergarten teacher talking to her student (Innocent Mom) about something that was so obvious, duh, the sky is blue. Smug Mom was actually looking in Innocent Mom's cart, telling her that she shouldn't buy anything but organic milk if she was, in fact, going to buy milk from Safeway anyway because as far as she was concerned she wouldn't be caught dead doing that.  Okay, she didn't say the last part, but it was definitely implied.  She took it one step further and told her she would never give her daughter the animal crackers she also had in her cart that I actually had in mine too!  She didn't see that because thankfully, I never got close enough to the supermarket cart nazi.  When she got through with her diatribe, she thankfully took her cart and herself out of that area of the grocery store and hopefully left the state. 

I caught Innocent Mom's eye and held up those same animal crackers that I had in my cart and said, "My daughter loves these"!  She smiled, and I smiled back. 

WTF?!  Let's drop the Mommy superiority complex.  We are all in the same boat!  Who are we to judge what another Mom does unless we walk in her shoes?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wine Tip Tuesday

If you've lost those feelings of happiness, this wine offers happiness in a glass.   Nothing screams happiness as a sparkling wine, and I love prosecco.  This will be my hot weather drink.

Vignal - Prosecco la Delizia NV - Dry Sparkling Wine

Flavors of apricot and peach abound with a slight sweetness and creamy texture...delicious.  Just about a perfect wine for a warm summer, or just about any day that needs some happiness!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sometimes I want to scream! Do you?

This morning I got up earlier than I would have liked to.  I hadn't slept well at all perseverating about stuff that really in the grand scheme of things I realize, intellectually, are not very important, but they were to me at 1, 2 and 3 in the morning. I didn't get much sleep and intended to get up a half hour later that my original plan, but as I've learned, when you have kids, it's not wise to bank on a plan.  This is a hard pill for me to swallow.  My dog was crying, he wanted to go out.  I guess you could say I had already woken up on the wrong side of the bed, so when I went downstairs to get my daughter some milk, the 'I want to scream' impulse hit me.   When I got midway down the stairs, I could see the carnage.  My daughter's toys strewn all about the living room, dining are and into the kitchen.  I was close to screaming.

  Why couldn't my husband straighten up before he came up and watched that photography dvd with his noise canceling headphones in bed?  He had time for that.  Maybe it didn't occur to him.  I don't know.  It's these little things that sometimes make me feel like am a single parent.  My husband works a lot and travels a good amount too.  When he is gone, I don't expect him to be there and I'm not pissed that he's not helping because he is, he's working.  But when he is home, on the weekends, I do get pissed when I feel like am the only parent in the house and this morning, seeing these toys thrown about set those feelings off and I wanted to scream.  He made up for it by watching our daughter so that I could run.   I ran instead of screaming.  I felt better.

Does anyone else out there feel like screaming?

Mama Mondays

The craziness and stress of motherhood are often offset by a good run, walk or workout, childcare permitting, for me.  It's a proven fact that exercise increases endorphins and endorphins make you happy.  This is something for you and not only will it help your mood, it will get you ready for the impending warmer weather and wearing less clothes.  Yes, your child will want you to get in the pool with them!

If you can't find childcare, get that baby in the stroller and head out with your iPod.  Yes, you can hear your baby if your iPod is on low.   No this is not neglectful!  There is nothing better than a good song to take on a run, walk or drive in your car!

This song is a song you will not regret adding to your iPod or MP3 player.

It's Anberlin's song, Impossible.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Holy Cow!

Is the world ready for the 'breast milk baby'?  I mean, is America ready for the breast milk baby?

It really doesn't matter, because it's already here!

Berjuan Toys has just introduced this toy baby to the market and yes, it breast feeds.  The company has six babies to choose from when purchasing.  And from looking at the website, I think they are hoping to encompass several ethnic backgrounds from the six dolls.  In truth, it's three dolls since each ethnicity comes with a male and female doll.  And they cost $89.00 each.  That's a lot for a doll, in my humble opinion.

Anyhow, the baby comes with what is called a 'magic top' which the 'mommy' (aka: your child) puts on to get ready for feeding her baby.  Then your child will place the baby next to the strategically placed flowers (aka: nipples) on her 'magic top' and the baby will start sucking 'just like a real baby' (as the website claims).  The website encourages burping after the first breast to make sure your baby doesn't get a tummy ache and that if he is still hungry, don't forget the other breast!

For more information, go to

Look out lactation consultants, you could be out of work in 20+ years.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Marriage is work

Marriage is hard work.  It can be wonderful, it can be ugly, it can be a sleepover party with your best friend, it can riddled with contentment or resentment or a sea of complacency.  A marriage can be all of these things from moment to moment, from month to month or year to year.  It can change in a day or stay in a certain state for years.  The point of the matter is there are things that bring two people together.  Often with children and within those initial years following their birth, sometimes it's easy to lose sight of that.  Why?  Because having children is the hardest thing you will ever do.  Don't fool yourself, it is.  You have entered into an agreement to take responsibility for raising a human being.   A human being!  That is no small feat.   And the fact that these little people come out completely dependent with no ability to help themselves often times puts a marriage on the back burner, since raising children is exhausting.  Those little buggers have a lot of energy!

You probably never thought you would be one of those people during your courtship.   But you also never had children.  The concept of children versus the reality of children are TOTALLY different.  Marriage can be ugly.  Having children can be ugly.  Marriage can be wonderful.  Having children can be wonderful.  Society does us no favors feeding us idealistic pictures of the two.  It leads to a lot of unnecessary disappointment.

What I'm starting to realize is that you have to look at your marriage the same way you look at yourself after having children.   You are now different and so is your marriage.  Your identity has to incorporate this change the way it did when you got married.  For those of you whose identity didn't change so much after being married, this will be a bit more challenging.  Expectations need to be reevaluated and communication needs to occur.  What makes you happy?  What makes your partner happy?   What makes you both happy?  What do you expect of your partner and what does your partner expect from you?  No one is a mind reader and sometimes, it's as simple as just sitting down and having a frank conversation about it to crush those budding or already growing resentments.  The answers to those questions may be different from when you were dating and in most cases, they will be.

A wise woman once told me that when you choose the person you will spend you life with, it is similar to choosing a car that you know will eventually be a classic or collector's item (stay with me here).  If you intend to have that car make it to the stage where it can be considered classic, it takes lots of care and maintenance.  Marriage isn't really all that different.  It takes lots of maintenance which means checking in with your partner to see where they're at and letting them know where you're at...just because no one is talking about it doesn't mean that everything is okay.  It's something I need to do more, this motherhood thing has distracted me, but I do realize that my daughter will reap the benefits from seeing her parents in a healthy marriage and that's all the convincing I need.

What are your thoughts on this one?

Friday, March 25, 2011


I was made aware of this book several years ago after it had been published and spent the entire time reading, nodding my head "yes", and congratulating Wendy Mogel for publishing this much needed book.  I have referred this book to countless parents that I have worked with over the years with very positive feedback. It is timely and will challenge parents to reconsider their ideas about parenting in today's age of over scheduling, over consumption, entitlement and materialism.   It is a short book and a quick read.   You will not regret reading this.

I can't praise this book enough!

The Blessing of the Skinned Knee - Wendy Mogel, PhD.

From the Publisher

Every parent hopes their child will be self-reliant, optimistic, and well mannered, a challenge in our current culture. Clinical psychologist and Jewish educator Wendy Mogel distills the ancient teachings of the Torah, the Talmud, important Jewish thinkers, and contemporary psychological insights into nine blessings that address key parenting issues such as:
* determining realistic expectations for each child
* respect for adults
* chores
* mealtime battles
* coping with frustration
* developing independence and self-control
* resisting over-scheduling and over-indulgence
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee guides us toward effective, enlightened parenting in an increasingly speedy, material, and competitive age.

Fashion Fridays!

Here is a website where you can find, oh so close, reproductions of those gorgeous handbags, accessories and jewelry seen in various magazines.  The website details each piece "as seen in".  The pieces are relatively inexpensive and if you are looking for a little something to add to your spring wardrobe you will find it here...much less than any boutique for sure!   Spending $40 for a cute accessory that you may not like next season is much more palatable that dolling out $200 and feeling a bit sick about it later.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Saving tips for Moms!

I was recently stumbled upon .  Maybe you have heard about it, maybe not.  Anyhow, there are tons of saving resources on their website.  Check it out!   They feature coupons, special online offers, special things you probably would not know about at local stores, places kids eat free and lots more.  It's a great resource and you can get alerts through facebook or through your email address.

Thirsty Thursday's Wine Pick

I am a huge fan of Italian wines and especially Italian red wines.  The wine I'm passing along today is made from 100% Aglianico.  This wine comes from the Basilicata region of Italy which is in the Southern part about where the arch is on the boot!  Basilicata is a wild region in that it is mostly consumed by Mount Vulture, an extinct volcano.   This makes agriculture quite challenging in this area.

Tenuta Del Portale -  Starsa 2007 IGT Basilicata

These grapes are grown in volcanic soil which is going to give a certain minerality and uniqueness to the wine.  You are going to get a Ruby red color in the glass.  The wine shows bright red fruit along with spice, leather, tar and aromatic wood.

You can pick this wine up at Total Wine.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What have you cut from your budget?

Here is a list of items that are deemed 'untouchable' by Americans when it comes to downsizing their budget. (reported by

  • Internet service: 81 percent
  • Basic cable TV: 61 percent
  • Hair cuts and coloring: 42 percent
  • Charitable contributions: 38 percent
  • Casual sit-down restaurants: 32 percent
  • Upgraded mobile devices: 23 percent
  • Organic food: 17 percent
  • Daily cup of gourmet coffee: 17 percent
  • Facials: 11 percent
  • Maid service: 9 percent about you?

My daughter fascinates me

My daughter got hit today.  A little boy in her gym class walked right up to her and hit her on her head.  She didn't cry.  She just looked at him like, 'what was that all about?', and then ran up to me, climbed on my lap and threw her arms around me.  It was if she needed to go somewhere safe.  She stayed with me a minute, got what she needed and left to go play about.  I was fascinated with her.  The way she handled it and even more so that she had the skills to do what she needed to get what she needed to go about her business.

Do you know a Man-Child?

I have been taken aback with the amount stories I have heard lately, all from women, about spouses or partners who seem to fit into that 'Man-Child' category.  Really, I have been told these stories, from friends, colleagues and with those with whom I work.  It's really quite a phenomenon.  There have been a few articles and books published out about the delayed adolescence of men, but these seem to focus on single men.  The Man-Child I'm speaking of is NOT single.

  So, what is a Man-Child?  Well,  Urban Dictionary offers many definitions for this term, but my definition is this:

A grown married man, in his mid thirties to mid forties, who continues to live as an adolescent.  He is either not gainfully employed, or does not work or is not motivated to work to his full potential.  If he is not employed, there is no evidence that he has been job searching during the day nor is there any evidence that he has tried to help with the housework while his wife/partner is out supporting the family.  He is more than okay doing the bare minimum so that he can pursue adolescent endeavors.   He is heavily addicted to video games and may even be involved in weekly gatherings around such activities.  He relies heavily on his wife/partner to carry the family financially or potentially because she has better health coverage at her work.   He complains a lot and when he is sick, he must be waited on hand and foot by his wife who should then also become a 'nurse' on top of her job and parenting roles.  He has often been coddled by his parents and needs lots of emotional support.

Does this creature sound familiar?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday Shopping!!! Get in on it!

If you haven't heard of it yet, get in on it.  Every Tuesday (almost every) the Today show has a segment called Jill's Steals and Deals.  Some of the items are up to 75% off.  They have featured everything from expensive handbags to GPS devices.  The items are only available for 24 hours from the time they air on the Today show.   You have to log on quick because often they sell out within hours of the airing of the show.

Go to and click the Jill's Steals and Deals link.  They have sterling silver diamond necklaces marked down to $75.00 from around $300.  Great gifts for Mother's Day.

Click here ! 

Wine Tip Tuesdays

I had this bottle the other day while out with friends.  I had never had this wine before and thought it was pretty good for the price in the store $11.99.

Lockwood - Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - Monterey - make sure it's the one from Monterey with the cream and purple label.

The wine is full-bodied with aromas of dark cherry and dark berries, but along with the fruit is spice, toast and oak which make the wine quite drinkable on it's own.  Reminds me of some of the wines that are coming out of Chile.  For the price, I'd say it's a good deal.

You can find this wine at any Total Wine Shop or at Beltway Liquor if you live in the Baltimore area.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mama Mondays

I was out with a friend of mine whom I have know since college.  It's important, I think, to have people who knew you before you were a wife/partner and a mother, because those are the people to go to when you feel that you have lost every ounce that made you, YOU!

We were talking about lots of stuff that changed after marriage and children, and I was surprised, but then not so surprised, when she mentioned a lot of the same issues I've been struggling with, like feeling like she had lost herself and no longer did the things that made her happy.  I think we all struggle with this and the thing that will save us all from falling into depths of despair and depression is committing ourselves to taking the time we need to nurture ourselves.  Whether that means forming a book club, a wine tasting club, a running club, or engaging in some activity that you love yourself, you must do it.  No one else is responsible for your own happiness, but you.

Sit down and make a list of the things that make you happy.  Once it's completed pick  something on the list that you can do at least once per week and commit to staying with it.  No excuses!  I would love to hear what you've chosen.

New Child Car Seat Recommendations 2011

The American Academy of Pediatrics just released their new recommendations for Child Car Seat Safety.

New Child Safety Seat Guidelines 

• Rear-facing car seat until age 2.
• Forward-facing car seat with a harness until child reaches the maximum height or weight for that seat, usually after age 4.
• Booster seats until the child is at least 4-foot-9-inches tall and between 8 and 12 years of age.
• Lap-and-shoulder seat belts for older children who have outgrown their booster seat. All children should ride in the back seat until age 13. 

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Once Upon a Child - Consignment

Once upon a child is a consignment store for children.  It's pretty awesome, and I was able to pick up some stuff for my daughter that I knew she wouldn't need for very long, like exersaucers for $20 and I can bring them back to consign like I did yesterday getting $10 bucks back.  Yes, they have great brands like Baby Einstein or Koolcraft saucer/walkers for $20 and in extremely good condition.  They have tons of stuff there and choose quality stuff to sell..  Pack and Plays, Gates, Walkers, Ride on toys, cribs, changing tables, tables and chairs, baby kitchens, bikes, baby carriers, bouncer chairs...I can go on.

You can find your local store at and plug in your zip code to find the location nearest you.  When you are done with your stuff, you can consign yours and get money upfront.  Sweet!

Scene on the Street- I said I wouldn't judge, but I lied

The other day I was at the gym and was waiting for the woman cleaning the treadmills to be done so I could hop on one.  I have been getting on the treadmills that face the kids zone and on the same floor so I can hear my daughter.  There were some issues friends of mine had with one particular child care provider at the kids zone and she was there this particular day, so I felt more comfortable being close.

When the woman was done cleaning the treadmill she gave me the okay and I got on.  Moments later with my headphones on I could hear a child screaming and I mean REALLY SCREAMING.  I took my headphones off immediately, and recognized it wasn't my daughter.  It  really is amazing that you know your own child's cries almost instantly, nature is incredible.  The woman who had been cleaning the treadmill noticed what I was doing, looked at me and said, "don't worry that's not your baby.  This little boy does this everyday."  She was right, I do hear this same cry everyday that I am at the gym.  It's never that complaining cry that turns off easily, it's always a loud truly in distress cry.

She continued to say, "this little boy does this everyday. Sometimes, I help them go find his Mother because she never answers to the messages to come to the kids zone over the loud speaker.  When we go get her she's all pissed off telling us, HE HAS TO LEARN.  And get this, she's about seven months pregnant and he just turned one year.  And the past three weeks have been so bad that he gets himself so upset he throws up all over himself".   WHAT!?!?

The kids zone has a rule that if you are paged over the loud speaker, it means you must come immediately to tend to you child because he's either pooped, uncomfortable, hungry, crying or just out of control.  According to this woman, this Mother is called everyday (yes, I've heard the announcements), and before I said another word, she confirmed who I thought it was.  There is this very pregnant woman, who comes down usually a while after I hear that screaming with her yoga mat looking pissed off.   Then she confirmed my identification of this Mother, "she is always so mad that her yoga class has been disrupted".  Immediately, I was pissed at this Mom and wanted to scoop up that child and comfort him.   That's his Mother, ugh!

Having worked with children for so many years, I am a huge child advocate.  After having a child, I have now become a Mom advocate, but this Mom sucks.  Hands down, sucks.  I feel sorry for her child and her future spawn.  I can name 15 days over the past month (everyday I was there over the past month) that I have been at that gym hearing that baby crying inconsolably , but according to the woman who was cleaning it's been months.

  I don't know how you can leave your child and go about your business when they are clearly in distress for months as this Mom has allegedly done.  Unfortunately, children don't get a choice of who will end up being their Mom.  Babies are so innocent when the make their entrance into the world, full of potential, but this Mom is basically setting the stage for some screwed up dynamics later in life.  Children don't just get 'used to it', they develop self-soothing/coping skills over time, they need help and every child is different and needs a parent who can adjust to that individual child's temperament and personality which will help that child to gain the confidence he needs to explore the world and relationships with confidence.

  Perhaps this Mom has some unrealistic expectations of what her one year old son is capable of doing at this stage.  She could be depressed, she could have a lot of stuff going on in her life as well, but to let this go on as long as it has is a big problem and it's impacting this little peanut to the point where he is throwing up in the kid's zone!  How do you leave your kid consistently knowing that the situation is causing him to throw up because he's so upset???  The question is, who's role is it to have a talk with this Mother? 

  A good idea might be to blow off that work out and spend a week getting your child acclimated to this environment spending less and less time with him in the room until he becomes more comfortable with the separation.  To make this time investment will serve both this Mother and her son well, she will get her full work out in  and he may enjoy his time amongst the other children not fearing that she won't return.  This Mother is creating a child who will have an insecure/ambivalent attachment or potentially one that is avoidant.  Way to go Yoga Mom...aren't you guys supposed to be full of love and peace?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this one....please post comments.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Scene on the Street - The Day After

Going to bed early has it's advantages since you get to see the carnage first hand after a day like St. Patrick's Day.  I walked my dog around 6am this morning and this is what I found.
Yes, that says 21 Irish car bombs.

Fashion Fridays - Moms need hats too

Having a baby means trips to the park, walks in the stroller and soon enough, time at the beach, pool, lake or river.  I treated my skin like an idiot as a teenager, using baby oil and a reflector to get that immediate red lobster burn which didn't even look anything but plain stupid.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  My daughter doesn't always dig wearing hats, but she is at the stage where she likes to imitate me.   Ah ha!  I must get a hat.

 I've always liked hats, but sometimes can't find that exact one that feels right.  You know, the one that doesn't feel like you have the chiquita banana woman's headress on.   So, I found the perfect hat, and  I want to share it with you.  It's made by Block Headwear a NYC company that has some great stuff for both men and women.  This style is called "Knickerbocker".  It comes in three colors, black, seagrass and natural.  I got the natural and it will go well with most spring and summer clothes.

From their website -
"Block Headwear was created by Cuban-born designer Ciomi McCabe who grew up in the hat business. She developed her craft at Kangol where her father was CFO. Having the desire to start her own headwear brand, Ciomi launched Block Headwear in May 2000 out of NYC where she and the company are based. In May 2006, Concept One Accessories acquired Block where Ciomi remains as the head designer and creative director of the brand."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thirsty Thursday's Wine

Yes, it's St. Patrick's Day, but I like wine.

I treated myself to a nicer bottle that what I would normally drink on a plain old evening.  I thought it might pair well with the corned beef, and it wasn't so bad with it. The strong mustard I love on the corned beef really didn't help.  The wine on it's own is lovely with a great QPR.

Domaine D'Auphilac 2007 - Montpeyroux from the Languedoc region of France  $26

It is composed of 30% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah, 25% Carignan, 16% Grenache and 4% Cinsault.  This is a lovely old world wine.  Highly extracted fruit with a dark intense color.  It has the aromas of dark fruit and spice with soft tannins.   I think it would have been really wonderful with brisket, or braised short ribs.

Scene on the Street - St. Patrick's Day Drunk Safari

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  My corned beef is just about done in the crock pot and it smells really good in the house right now.

I love St. Patrick's Day, not only because I love the color green, corned beef and because it is the birthday of my oldest friend, but because it now takes on a whole new meaning.  Since I can't really go out and be irresponsible, I go out on what I call a 'Drunk Safari'. This afternoon, I packed my daughter up, put her in the BOB and took a walk on the local square by my home which is dotted with Irish Pubs.  And there, we saw these rare animals on display in their drunken madness without an entry fee.   It was incredibly entertaining, and I am sure in my younger days I provided just that to those who were then in my current situation.  Pay it forward works.

To see as many people as I saw mid-day drunk as skunks, I suspect plenty of these people planned in advance to feign illness starting on Monday because calling out on the 17th of March is sort of  sketchy and just, duh, a dead giveaway that you're not sick, but will be soon.   Those kegs and eggs will soon be tossed in the toilet as drunk chunks!  Bombs away.

What do you do now that you are a responsible parent on St. Patty's Day?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Follow by Email

If you want some good stories, wine tips, family friendly recipes, fashion finds and you like what you've read so far, follow Empathetic Mom by email.  You will find the prompt to the right of today's latest post.  Thanks!

St. Patty's Day Recipe

If you don't already own a crock pot, I would get one asap.   They aren't that expensive and I actually picked mine up at Target three years ago on sale for $12.99.  The best thing about crock pots is that you put all the stuff in the pot in the morning, you set the temperature and anywhere from 4-10 hours later depending on the recipe you have a pretty good meal.

This is for Corned Beef and Cabbage and it will cook on low from 11-12 hours or high from 5-6 hours.

You will need:
6 carrots (peeled and cut into sizes of your choice)
2 onions (cut in big slices)
2-3 lb. corned beef with seasoning
12oz. can of beer
2 tblsp  yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
8 wedges cabbage (1-2 heads)

Put carrots and onion in crock pot.  Rinse corned beef and pat dry.  Place corned beef in CP and sprinkle with seasonings that come with the meat.  Pour beer over meat and the spread mustard on beef.  In a small bowl mix sugar and water, the pour over meat.  Cover CP and put on low for 11-12 hours or high for 5-6.  Remove corned beef and cover with foil to keep warm.  Add cabbage wedges to CP and put CP on high for 30-40 minutes.  Slice corned beef against the grain and serve with mustard.

I make this every year and love it.  Hope you enjoy it too.

Drama Mama

Have you heard of Nicole Imprescia?  She is a NYC Mom of a 4 year old and is currently suing her daughter's preschool, that she only attended for three weeks, alleging that the school jeopardized her child's chances of getting into one of Manhattan's elite private schools.  But it doesn't stop there, no, she takes it one step further to allege that because they failed to prepare her daughter for the entrance exams for these private schools, the school has jeopardized her chances of acceptance at an Ivy League school.  Whoa.  I didn't realize you could totally ruin a 4 year old's future in three weeks.   

She's suing for $19,000, which is the yearly tuition at the preschool.  Yes, you can gasp!  Is this really about education or about sticking that elite private school sticker on the back of your car?  You decide.

Wednesdays with Rudy

I'm Rudy.  I've been watching my Mom write on her computer about how this Motherhood thing has turned things upside down, and I thought,  I have some stuff to say about that too.

Let me give you a little background, I was here almost a year before that little screeching, walking, bottle drinkin' baby arrived.  My Mom found me on, a great website if you're looking for another family member, I digress.  Anyhow, from what she tells me, she saw me, read my profile (I was a cruelty impound and a special needs because I had stage three heartworm) and that was it.  She immediately contacted the rescue, Chesapeake Cats and Dogs, another great place to find your forever friend (, emailed the application, spoke to my foster Mom by phone and scheduled a day to come and meet me.

She tells me it was a Sunday, and I remember it was raining because I like the rain.  The real thing I remember was that she came with bully sticks. Oh my god,  BULLY STICKS, I can't even think about those without losing it - I LOVE BULLY STICKS!! That was it, I was sold.  Things were looking up for me considering the shelter I was in had planned to put me down the next day before the rescue agreed to take me.

February 27, 2009 I arrived at my new home and it was the happiest day ever.  Things were going great.  Then she arrived a year later.  For a little thing, that baby cried a lot.  I heard the word colic thrown around a lot.  Don't know what that means, but think it means 'cries a lot'.  I could tell my Mom was losing it, and she looked pretty bad.  Really busted up.  Things got a little better a few months later, but that baby needed a lot.  I mean, she couldn't even walk.  She needed to be carried around.  What was that all about?  I walked pretty damn soon after I was born and didn't expect anyone to carry me around.  I was thinking, "Diva" and wasn't too sure I was gonna like living with this little celeb who everyone was taking pictures of at all hours of the day. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wine Tip Tuesday

So I mentioned a particular bottle of wine I was looking for a few posts back and am happy to say I found a store carrying it yesterday.  I had it last night, although it would have been a good bottle for tonight's cool and rainy weather.

Casiellro del Diablo Malbec 2009 - it was just given 90 points by Robert Parker at the Wine Advocate and at $8.99 it's your basic no brainer.

The wine is intense in color and loaded with black fruit followed by some peppery spices and vanilla.  It is ready to drink now, no need to wait!  Go get yourself a bottle.  Cheers!

What happened to manners?

To be perfectly honest, I'm a manners freak.  I am.

I also realize that if I go around expecting people to be as polite as I would like them to be I will live a very disappointed existence.  But, 'please' and 'thank you'?  Well, that should just be a given.  It's the basic of all manners. 

I've been emphasizing please and thank you when I am out with my daughter since it's clear her language and comprehension of language is getting more sophisticated.  So, last week I was visiting my parents and it occurred to me that I've developed this overcompensating manners thing because my Dad often times lacks them.

I was sitting feeding my daughter in her highchair when my Dad says to my Mom, "get me some iced tea."  I snapped my head around like Linda Blair in the exorcist and said "PLEASE" (For clarification, I should say that this isn't the first time this has happened, it's a common occurrence hence my reaction).   He looked at me like I was nuts and said that he was going to say 'thank you.'  To which I retorted, 'that doesn't make up for not saying, please.  Those are basic manners'.  To which he said, 'let's not overdo it.'  WHAT?!?!  Yes, this actually happened.  Somehow, I survived my childhood with some manners and an ability to write thank you notes.  Thanks, Mom.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Belly button discovery

My daughter discovered her belly button recently.  She loves it.  So much so that it's turning red from all the poking she's doing.  She not only loves hers but seeks out others too to make sure they didn't get gipped, I imagine.  For the most part she hasn't tried to do this out in public yet, but I'm sure the time is fast approaching.  Better start the crunches.

Her recent discovery is quite a gift.  Why?  Because it's  readily available, serves as a distraction, can turn a frown  upside down in a minute and you can't lose it!!. 

Mama Mondays

This is for all the Mama's out there whose time is limited.  So, with that, I mean all of us.

 Each Monday I will post something just for us. Nothing child related, I promise.  These will be fun things you can do for yourself to recharge the batteries. 

I'm a therapist, currently practicing part-time after the birth of my daughter.  The one thing I see consistently in my practice amongst my patients who are Mothers is that few, if any, really schedule any time for themselves.   This is also true amongst my Mom friends.  Usually when this discussion comes up I'm asked, what do I mean by that, 'time for myself'?

I mean a chunk of interrupted time that is solely for you that you stick to on a consistent basis.  I get it, it's hard to do, I know because I lost the ability to do this myself.  I used to make time for myself, I know I did it's just really hard to remember.  To tell you the truth, I have to think real hard to imagine what things were like for me before my life became scented with poop and curdled milk.  I realize this is a problem.  I thought I was a pretty cool person with lots of interests before the energizer bunny emerged from my womb, but I haven't seen that person in a long time.  I miss her.

I liken Moms to watering cans.  We supply the water that nurtures the seedlings.  But what happens when there is no more water in the watering can?  It has to be filled and it has to be filled by you!  Giving yourself some time consistently each week that has nothing to do with child care, but with something that you were passionate about before the birth of your children fills that watering can.

So for today, I am introducing you to  Maybe not introducing you since some of you may have heard of it before. is a website that will send you a small portion of a book, of your choice, everyday.  You decide when  you want it sent and it will arrive then.  For those of you who feel you have no time to sink into that classic you want to read, want to tackle Russian literature or that romance novel that would be a welcome escape, here's your chance to read in digestible portions.  It may take a while to get through a book, but you will have something to talk about at that next cocktail party with your childless friends instead of sounding like a complete bore talking about how long it took you to cross reference websites and ratings of that convertible car seat that you still haven't purchased.  Snore!

  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Daylight savings time

I have mixed feelings about daylight savings time mostly because when it's dark out wine time comes sooner, but this morning, I am loving it.  It was still so dark this morning when my daughter woke up for some milk that she went back to sleep.  I took my chocolate lab out for 45 minutes to come back and find that she is still sleeping (insert celebratory music)!  

My daughter is not a huge napper, although this has been somewhat changing in the last week.  There is a god.   On the rare occasion she actually closes her eyes and goes down, I get paralyzed and don't know what to do first.  I fantasize about these 'naps' everyone talks about that I have generated elaborate plans in my head of what I would do, but when the time comes, my excitement turns to paralysis.  It's like when the hottest guys talks to you out of the blue, you've practiced your responses in your head on the off chance this happens and when it does, you're basically MUTE or murmur something unintelligible!  She's sleeping now and I am enjoying a peaceful cup of coffee and writing this post.  I got it together. This is nice.  The calm before the storm.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Scene on the Street - People Acting Responsible Stories (PARS)

My car got hit the other day.  Actually, the morning I returned from my birthday weekend away having puked all weekend with the stomach flu.  Yeah!

I wouldn't probably have noticed my car had been hit if my husband didn't ask me about the note that seemed to be on the windshield of my car.  Then we saw the damage.  Surprisingly, the note was from the person who hit my car that very morning.  In the note she apologized for hitting my car saying she was, "so, so sorry", had hit my car while parking and left her telephone number asking me to call her.  I called, and got the voicemail for a person named "Drea."

Around 7 that evening, I got a call back.  It was her.  She was apologetic about the damage and the fact it had taken her all day to call me back. Wow.  She had already filed a claim with her insurance department.  Double WOW.  What was this?  No arguing, no debating, no denying responsibility, no trying to get out of it.  She had a claim number and a phone number to call.  Wow, wow, wow!  To be sick all weekend sucked, to have my car hit sucked too, but I would have my car hit any day if it was by someone as reasonable and responsible as "Drea".  Thanks, "Drea", you give me hope that my daughter will at least encounter a few of you as she makes her way into the world.

Please share your "PARS" !!!

Everyone loves shoes...

On a shopping note for the little ones, I just picked up a pair of Tom's shoes for my daughter on Friday.  They are just about the cutest things and the purchase gives another child who is need of a pair of shoes, a pair of shoes.  Winning.

You can find Tiny Tom's at

Nothing is perfect...change your expectations

So, it' been a while since I have written.  I really intended to write a bit each day, but I got a bit paralyzed.  Do you ever feel like whatever you do, it has to be the best?  If you don't feel that way, good for you, I'm envious.   I have off days.  More now than ever before and that sort of got me a bit paralyzed to write.   To be truthful, the more I thought about it, the more I realized this is exactly why I started this blog.  So that there could be a place to go to share, laugh and realize that you're not alone and perhaps to cut us all some slack.  To find a place where we can forgive ourselves for not having it all together.  Nobody does really.

I don't know about you, but I often tend to set some really high expectations of myself.  I think those expectations were great when I was single or a wife.  But the problem began when I didn't change those expectations with the arrival of my daughter.   It lead to some real serious feelings of failure.  The reality is that in your child's first years of life things do get put on hold.  Even more so if you have a spouse that works a lot and is usually only around an hour before your child goes to bed and you have no family anywhere geographically close to you.  It's freakin' hard.  Much much harder than I had anticipated. 

 I think back to the idealistic month before my daughter was born thinking that within the first year of her life, I would commit myself to learning German.  I'm laughing out loud as I write was I thinking?!?!  My daughter was colicky, my dad was very sick limiting my Mom's ability to fly in for a chunk of time to help and my husband has the sort of job that gave him an hour off after my daughter was born and then the emails and demands immediately resumed.  I felt like a one woman show.  I was a one woman show.  And I thought I should be doing 'better'.

The fact is, I was doing the best I could do, but that didn't compare to those pesky expectations I had set.  It's close to 14 months since my daughter's birth.  I am a bit wiser and getting to that place where I can reestablish some realistic expectations of myself as a person, a wife, a mother and chocolate lab mama.  I also realize that the harsh standards I expect of myself will be evident to my daughter whether I like it or not.  I would never impose those standards on her, but she may if I keep this crap up with myself.   B's are good, it doesn't always have to be an A.

I would love to hear your thoughts?