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Monday, May 30, 2011

Crib Jumpers Anonymous

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

Alaina Giordano Case Update

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

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Keeping baby's gender a secret?

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

Terrible Twos too early

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Do you possess Self-Compassion?

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

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

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

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Another post from my friend.

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

Friday, May 13, 2011

Make note - no more bikinis after 47

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

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

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


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

Disappearing Posts

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

Thursday, May 12, 2011

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

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

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

Yesterday, outrage. Today, puzzled.

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Alaina Giordano's interview this morning on Today

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

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

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

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

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

There is a facebook page

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

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

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

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day for me

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

Tina Fey's Mother's Day Prayer

The Mother’s Prayer for its Daughter
by Tina Fey

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

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mom Song to the Thong Song

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

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

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

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

If you need a laugh today

Number 4 is pretty awesome.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jill's Steals and Deals - On Today!

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

Today they are featuring bras, wallets, Dr. Scholl's sandals (they are back! and there are some awesome patterns and colors), skin care line and cashmere sweaters sold at Barney's and Fred Segal.
 With my Mom visiting, the royal wedding, Osama's demise, my daughter's fever and then mine, I had my hands full and writing fell by the wayside.  But I'm back and this week is Mother's Day. 

In honor of Mother's Day:

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