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Thursday, April 28, 2011


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.

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.

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.


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!

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?

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?

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, , 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.

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...'


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.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mama Mondays

Because you will have cause to get dressed up this spring and summer and break in a new pair of sandals!  

A friend introduced me to blister Band-Aids a few years ago, and I have used them every spring as my feet emerge from a long winter in boots and begin their seasons of freedom.  They are a little pricier that regular Band-Aids, but they work.  The won't slide, ride up or peel off even after a shower.  They are a bit thicker than regular Band-Aids and are made of a different material that looks like your own skin.  It has a cushioned gel pad to protect the blister! This is a good thing with open toe shoes.  You don't want to be that girl with a Band-Aid on every toe with a new pair of sandals.  It's not a good look.  You know it.  They come in a fancy silver box.  Keep some in your bag just in case!


Scene on the Street - Totally Cool or Just Plain Crazy

The other day I was driving home.  Out of the corner of my eye in my rear view mirror while sitting in traffic, I saw a person pushing one of those baby carriages that connects to a bicycle at an incredibly fast speed and this person wasn't on a bicycle.  I mean, this person was cruising at a speed I had never seen before in the world of baby pushing so much so that I was straining my neck to figure out what was going on and how they were moving so fast. Due to the traffic and parked cars, I could only see the top of this person.  But then they caught up to where I was in traffic and I was floored.

It was a Mom. 

It was a Mom on a skateboard.  She was skateboarding while pushing the stroller, navigating the city streets, traffic, parked cars and pedestrians and she was hauling.  There was no lack of confidence on her part about her ability to be successful at this seemingly dicey endeavor.  I was watching her wondering whether this was the coolest thing I had ever seen or whether it was the craziest.  I'm still not sure. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

True Mom Confessions - Video

The feed moves quickly.

It's Raw.

You've been warned.

Mommy Time takes on new meaning

A few years ago I was sitting with a friend of mine talking about things that we do for ourselves that we really enjoy.  She shared that going to the grocery store was her thing.  I sort of looked at her quizzically.  Surely, she could come up with something better than that!  But she was insistent, going to the grocery store was the thing and went into a detailed description of going to the grocery store with the Starbucks inside, getting a Cafe Mocha, perusing the circular  and strolling through the aisles enjoying her time.  Ok.  That was her thing.

It really wasn't until I had my daughter that I really got what she was talking about.  I had one of these exact experiences this morning which brought back this memory.

I had told my husband last night that I had to go to Target and get a vacuum.  For the past two weeks I have been vacuuming my house with a hand held vacuum.  Yes, you heard that right HAND HELD VACUUM.   So when my back began to hurt, really hurt, when it hadn't before, I attributed it to the vigorous vacuuming that takes place in my house every morning and not to age, although, I suspect age could be playing a role at this point. 

My husband was kind enough to agree to watch my daughter so I could just go and get it done as quickly as possible.  When I walked into the store, I remembered Starbucks was there.  I walked on over, got myself a cup of coffee and made my way over to the vacuums thinking, this is REALLY enjoyable.  I started to laugh to myself, I was shopping for vacuums not for some coveted item!!  It didn't matter, I was having a really good time.  Seriously, I was having an Aha moment that brought me back to the conversation that I had had with my friend now over four years ago.  This is what she meant, and finally, I got it.  Me time now, is doing some of the most mundane tasks solo without having to worry about meltdowns, sippy cups, snacks, diaper changes or octopus hands grabbing things off the shelves. 

It's time to recharge the batteries, take a breath, not worry about anyone else but yourself and enjoy a simple cup of coffee in peace.  It doesn't have to be long, it could be 15 minutes, but it makes a difference. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Exercise TV

It works.  I run five to six times a week for at least 4 miles.  I did a 26 minute video on Exercise TV and I am sore.  Really.  I am.

Go to Target, get some hand weights and pick a video.  Summer is just around the corner.  Check with your doctor first though, if just starting a workout program.

An addition to this blog

Stay tuned.  A very smart, very funny, very opinionated, very awesome Mom will be joining this blog and you won't regret reading it.  There will be a lot to talk about.

 More to follow soon!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Parenting - Talking Sex, educate yourself

I get a lot of questions about parenting issues and resources.  Sex happens to be the most difficult topic, I find, that parents struggle with discussing.  Your kids will only be as comfortable talking about it as you are.  They know when you're freaked out more than you think you can hide it.

The beauty about the fact that children are not born adolescents gives us all a large amount of time to educate ourselves and get ready for those more challenging conversations that are sure to come up, that is, if our kids think we can handle it.  Show them you are, educate yourself now.  That's the beauty of children, none pop out talking and wanting answers which gives us the time to anticipate their questions and get to a point where we can be comfortable giving them.

This is a fantastic website and has lots of information for teens regarding sexuality.  Brought to you by Kinsey, who else?

Thirsty Thursday on Friday

Today it's France again, Bordeaux to be exact.  It's a good wine for the wet and chilly weather we are having here.

Chateau Micalet 2005 Haut-Medoc  - Grand Vin de Bordeaux

45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc

On the nose there's smoke, tar, a bit of vanilla and some minerality, wet stone?  I like it already.  In the mouth there is the taste of tart cherries.  I can't remember the last time I had a red with low alcohol and this one has 12.5%.  Overall, I like it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thirsty Thursday Coming Tomorrow

My daughter is sick and spent most of the day sleeping or laying on me making it impossible to type.

Wine pick coming tomorrow!

Career Mom on hold

Before I was a Mom, I had a career, and I still have a career, it's just not the one I had before.  I spent 21 years in school to have the professional career that I had wanted since I knew enough to know what a career was.  I had been involved in some of our nations biggest disasters providing critical incident stress debriefings, consultation and therapy.  People called me for information, for professional consults and advice.  I had been quoted in the newspaper as a professional.  I had some credibility.  Once I had a child, I felt like my brain went to mush and as if my career had been taken from me.  I felt like my identity had been taken from me.

I realize that a lot of my identity has to do with my career, with learning and with having some sort of mastery in a particular area.  Education is extremely important to me.  I never set out just to be a Mom.  I always wanted to be a Mom, but I just didn't want that to be my sole identity.   Don't get me wrong, I don't place judgement on those who solely want to be a Mom.  Being a Mom is an incredibly difficult, rewarding and challenging job.  My Mom was that Mom and she is a great Mom, although, I should mention that she was educated with a professional career as well.  She got to experience both sides.  She left her career when I came along and then my sister.  After that, her purpose was to be there for us.  For me, I always knew that I would need more.

However, with that being said, there is so much guilt that plagues me when I fantasize about going back to work.  I think women have it double hard today.  We basically can do and be anything we please.  We will be the more educated gender soon as we outnumber men in universities and colleges, we can make just as much if not more than men, we can support ourselves, we can have careers and positions that were once only open to men, but with this comes this awesome amount of guilt.   If I stay home with my daughter, I feel guilty for not fulfilling my professional goals and to take it a step further, I feel like I am taking our gender several steps back from all the progress we have made to be able to have all the opportunities we have today.  If I go back to work full time, I am not being there for my daughter and doing the things my Mother got to do for me.  I picked the middle of the road to work very part time and to do some volunteer work.   To give up a few years of my professional career is not so much in the big picture, if I go back to work more when she is in preschool.  I do know that I am fortunate to have the choice, but still it seems like it was much easier when women were just expected to stay home.  There were no judgements and there certainly wasn't as much guilt as there is today on both sides.

Excercise and Motherhood

I really enjoy working out.  Sometimes working out becomes a struggle with childcare responsibilities.

A few days ago it was pouring out and my daughter was taking a nap for the first time in a long time.  I decided I would go On Demand and rent a movie, but something caught my eye - Excercise TV  On Demand.  I scrolled through the options.  Yoga, Pilates, Strength training, Cardio and dance classes.  They had short workouts and longer workouts.  They even had exercise stuff for kids.  So I tried a few.  I had some hand weights at home which many of the workouts require and I have to admit, many of them were exactly the same to the classes I have taken at various gyms over the years.  I worked up a sweat and felt challenged!

 I highly recommend these for any Mom who can't get to the gym and wants a workout.  Of course, check with your doctor before you start a workout routine!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kate Hudson Drinking and She's Preggos - Arrest Her?!?!?!?!

OMG!  Kate Hudson was spotted drinking a glass of red wine while pregnant in Argentina.

Thanks to my sister, I was made aware of this important event today by email while attending a conference.  And it is timely since my sister and I were discussing just this very subject this weekend.  This continues to be a VERY controversial topic.  There are the Moms who say, "I would never".  There are the Moms that say, "one or two glasses a week later in the pregnancy aren't going to hurt".  And then there are my favorite Moms,  the smug or passive aggressive ones who say, "I guess it's ok, but I would NEVER do that".

I know my Grandmother drank Scotch and smoked cigarettes with my Mother and from the looks of it, she's doing fine.  I doubt it was a lot of Scotch though.  In all seriousness, I don't mean to make light of the issue, but here we are again judging each other.   None of us know what someone else's life is like, so stop viewing it from the lense of your own life!

My doctor told me towards the middle to end of my pregnancy that one to two glasses a wine a week with a meal was absolutely fine.  I appreciated it, and I did have those glasses of wine with food.  Drinking later in pregnancy, I believe, is very different that drinking earlier like in the first trimester when everything in your child is forming.  And drinking is a subjective term.    And it surely isn't one the medical field is going to come out and clearly define.  Can you imagine the American Medical Association or the American College of Obstetrics coming out and stating that drinking 2-4 glasses of wine, 2-4 beers or 2 shots per week of alcohol is fine during pregnancy?  Heroin, Crack, Cocaine, Xanax and Oxycontin recommendations soon to come.  Not in our lifetime. 

There was one study that recently came out in October of 2010.  See it below.  Let me know your thoughts on this one....

"Children whose mothers have one or two drinks per week during pregnancy are not at any greater risk for developing behavioral or cognitive problems than children whose mothers abstained completely, according to a new study from British scientists. 

Researchers used data from 11,513 children who were part of the U.K. Millennium Cohort Study. They surveyed mothers on the amounts of alcohol they consumed during pregnancy, and followed up with the children at ages 9 months and 3 and 5 years. During home visits, behavior assessments were done with parents, and cognitive tests were done on the children.

The researchers previously published their results after assessments on the then-3-year-old children, showing no disadvantage for those whose mothers drank lightly during pregnancy. The new study addressed concerns that the effects of prenatal alcohol consumption would show up later in a child's life.

"The findings of this paper and our previous work suggest that, up to the age of 5 years, there is no increased risk of poor socioemotional or cognitive developmental outcomes in children born to mothers who drank not more than 1 or 2 units of alcohol per week during pregnancy," said the authors, who were led by Yvonne Kelly of the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London.

Children born to light drinkers were actually found to perform better on cognitive tests than mothers who abstained entirely, but those differences were erased when socioeconomic status was taken into account.

Drinking during pregnancy has been an issue with some debate. While heavy drinking during pregnancy has been shown to harm the fetus, the effects of small amounts of alcohol have been less clear. A similar debate has occurred with drinking while breastfeeding.

Many women follow the advice that some recommend — without knowing a safe dose, women should avoid alcohol altogether while pregnant.

However, in 1991, Drs. Joel Alpert and Barry Zuckerman of the Boston University School of Medicine wrote an analysis of studies for the journal Pediatrics in Review that stated, "Our conclusion is that there is no measurable or documented risk from this level [two or fewer drinks per day] of drinking during pregnancy. Therefore, by urging well nourished pregnant women to abstain from alcoholic beverages, we may be turning our attention away from negative health behaviors of far greater danger than consuming a glass of wine or its alcoholic equivalent."

The study results were published today (Oct. 5) in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, from the British Medical Journal.

Wine Tip Tuesday

We are hitting France this week and more specifically, the Langeudoc region of Southern France.

Puydeval 2009 - Vin de Pays d' Oc

This is a unique wine and it's gained a fervent following due to it's uniqueness and price point.  It is primarily composed of Cabernet Franc, which I love.  It's 62% Cab Franc, 28% Syrah and 10% Merlot.  This is a big, rich and concentrated wine.  The color is intense.  You will get notes of blackberry and black cherry with a hint of spiciness.  Along with the fruit are notes of anise and some earth.  It is a compliment to most meals.  I got it for $11.99.

Tuesday Shopping! Act Fast!

Jill's Steals and Deals is on again this Tuesday through Wednesday morning!

Great stuff.  Check out the link. They are showing a cardigan/dress deal, skin care line by Jurlique, scarves, tea and necklaces. Love the last deal on the necklaces.

Mama Mondays - delayed

Sorry about the delay with Mama Mondays.  My daughter is sick and every time I sat down to type yesterday she would walk over to me with her arms up in the air and start to cry.  She needed some comforting.

Anyhow, this will definitely not be news to some of you, but I've told so many people about this lately who didn't know about it that I thought it was worth a post.

Having manicured fingernails makes me feel put together.  But with a child and all that goes along with that, having time for a manicure, taking the time for that manicure to dry and getting a manicure that lasts.  Well, that is just about as hard as finding the holy grail.  But that is no longer true!

Creative Nail Designs came out with the Shellac manicure over a year ago. It is for natural nails only, doesn't ruin them and it is awesome!  Why?  Because it lasts for up to three weeks and could be longer if your nails didn't grow, but they do.  It stays shiny the entire time, and when you walk out of the salon, your nails are bone dry!  Yes, TOTALLY dry.  You can put your hands in that huge handbag of yours to fish out your keys and there won't be a smudge to be seen!  It is probably one of the best things to come out for busy Moms!

Check out this link to find your nearest location.

Monday, April 4, 2011

10 things I love about my daughter (today)

1. She is nurturing.  She feeds her dolls alongside her in her highchair as she eats making chewing noises for them as she feeds them. (these dolls visit the washing machine often). 

2. She shares.  She will hand over toys to other children at the baby gym and when eating, she shares her food if she notices you don't have any.

3. She helps others in distress.  I have been told by the kids zone staff at the gym that she will bring toys to other kids who are crying and this weekend, when my niece was having an unhappy moment, she instinctively began rocking her in the car seat she had been strapped into.  I was in awe.  I didn't tell her to do that nor have I ever showed her how to do that!

4. She has empathy.  After rocking her cousin and seeing that she was still in distress, my daughter began to scream as loud as my niece. They were in it together.

5.  She is fiercely independent.  As soon as she figured out she could feed herself, she wanted to do it herself.  She would shoo me away if I tried to help her.  And now that she can walk, she no longer wants to be in the stroller.  She wants to actually push the stroller herself and pushes my hand off calmly when I try to put it in the right direction. Although she can't speak in sentences, I hear her saying, "Mom, I can do it myself".  I let her.

6.  She wakes up happy!

7.  She shows everyone her belly button like it's something to be proud of!

8.  She is a hugger and a snuggler.  She gives GREAT hugs!  I can't get enough of either.

9.  She loves pickles.  So do I.

10.  She is confident.  I love to watch her in new settings.  Whether it's a new museum, new park, new event or new person.  She is appropriately hesitant at first, looks at me for a cue that it's ok and then she is off!  Laughing, giggling, exploring while I watch her feeling so proud of this little person as she makes her way in the world.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Raptor Resource Project

If you haven't heard about it already, you can go online right now and watch two Bald Eagles, their two new chicks and one chick that will soon emerge from it's shell.  They are currently in a nest 80 feet up a tree over looking a trout stream in Decorah, Iowa!  Something for the whole family to check out.

My daughter likes watching this one!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Watching your child explore the world

One of the best parts of being a parent for me is watching my daughter explore places and things.  She is a curious little girl and has the capacity, when fear strikes, to look back in my direction to get the reassuring look or hug that she needs.  I love to take her to different places, like museums, parks, gyms, play areas and anywhere there are different people and she seems to love it just as much.  If there is music, she will dance.  If there is food, she wants a piece.  If there are people, she walks up to them curiously and waves to get their attention.  If there are other little people, she walks up to them with the excitement of someone who has just found their long lost twin. If there is a dog, nothing else matters but the dog.  If she is just so happy about the entire experience she squeals to the level that would shatter glass.  She cracks me up!

  She is a little sponge, taking in everything.  She has made the same face since she was born with her scrunched eyebrows that say, 'I'm trying to figure out what this is all about'.  Everyone we see comments on this look.  'Very pensive' she has been called.   She has turned into a cool little kid with a funny little personality.  I am so proud of her and love watching her continue to develop the person she will ultimately become.  I'm glad I got to be her Mom.

What do you love about watching your child explore the world?

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Dependency of Motherhood

I have a problem.  I don't enjoy being dependent on anyone to take care of my basic needs.  And I am out of luck because I am now in the position of always being dependent on others if I want to go to the doctor, dentist, get a haircut or do about anything by myself to take care of myself.  Try going to your next doctors appointment with your child.  I've done it out of necessity and it's no picnic in the park.  Try being on the table at the gyn with the doctor examining you singing to your colicky baby with your right hand hanging over the side giving your baby a bottle because she can't hold it yet and if you stop feeding her, she will scream bloody murder!  Can you see it?  It happened.

I've learned taking my daughter to such things is not a good idea for me, for her and for whomever is providing the service that day.  Therefore, these sorts of basic needs like going to the doctor, dentist, having a haircut feel like a major production in scheduling because I need someone to watch her and random appointments are harder to find people for than something that occurs every week.  I've rescheduled my dentist appointment that should have taken place in January four times now, my gyn appointment that should have happened this month won't until June and my haircut appointment, who knows when that is going to happen.  I've had thoughts of cutting it myself, but then reconsidered.

I hear friends tell me that they won't let their in-laws or family who live close watch their children because they have some issue,  mind you their concerns do not relate to any potential harm to their children, others or themselves,with their family members. And I'm scratching my head thinking, are you kidding me?!?!?!  I would give my left arm for family living close, so I could have some semblance of normalcy when it comes to taking care of myself.   Send your crazy family my way...I will take them!  Really, I will.

Maxi Skirts - They're Back!

I never got rid of mine from years ago because I love maxi skirts and during the summer, I wear them them all the time.  They are the perfect summer go to bottom.  They are ultra feminine, romantic and they're comfortable.  Pair them with billowy tops, structured tops, short jackets, jean jackets or if you're brave with killer abs, a midriff baring top - it breaks up the whole look. 

You can check a few out at

Now if we could get some spring weather, that would be greatly appreciated.