Saturday, March 22, 2008

More wackiness...

It seems the more I search for crazy baby inventions, the I more I realize how many absurd items are out there. The above is the ultimate necessity in childcare: potty mitts. These disposable hand covers are for children new to the world of toilet use, who may rely on direct handling of the toilet seat to properly perch themselves (as well as land a proper dismount). This mind-boggling invention (comparable to the light bulb and microwavable popcorn), is made in the interest of preventing the spread of germs in one of their favorite places to fester (do germs fester?..that may be inaccurate....I'm sure lawyerboy will let me know).

I actually happen to know a little girl for whom these would be perfect, but that is less about germ warfare and more about gymnastic form (shout out to AF....when you can read).

Given the endless thirst for anything that will make our lives as parents more convenient, I am certain I will have more for you throughout the weekend.

Quote of the Weekend

"Never underestimate a child's ability to get into more trouble." -Martin Mull.

Picture of the Weekend

When dad falls asleep mid-game, your only option is to play hide-and-seek with yourself!

Send your best kid pictures to:

*Special thanks to Amy for the perfect caption.

Friday, March 21, 2008

It Truly Boggles the Mind...

I do not know how I missed this unbelievable baby product, but this is by far the most frightening invention I have come across. The Zaky Hand Pillows were engineered by some rocket scientist to simulate a mother's gentle touch, for the sake of comforting an infant and helping them sleep.

Now, I am all for anything that helps my son sleep (especially since he likes to let me know how he's doing a few times a night...yes, still), but these look like something out of a laboratory. Since finding these Kreuger-esque creations I have been having trouble sleeping, fearing someone is going to come and amputate my hands and sell them to sleep-deprived parents.

Has anyone ever used these? Please let me know if you have and if they actually work. I am not suggesting that I would try them, I just want to know if I'm alone in my terror.

If you're interested, check them out at:

The Week In Review

The Top 5 Things I Learned This Week

5) Though adults may look at a rainy day as an inconvenience, children see puddles, rainbows, and a new chance to get wet. Mud is neat too.

4) If you are going to make an off-handed joke about Mr. McGregor, provide a footnote explaining who he is and what he has to do with rabbits for the people who have never heard of him and don’t find any of it funny (shout out to JD).

3) Even peeps can be provocative.

2) Whether you choose to bottle feed or breastfeed, someone is always going to have something to say about your choice. When those inevitable, unsolicited comments arrive, feel free to ask what issue of Parenting magazine they appeared in, so you might learn more about their professional opinion.

1) If you decide to spend St. Patrick’s day catching a lot of leprechauns and their chocolate filled gold, be prepared for no nap, extreme sugar highs, and spending the next few days explaining that the green little imps can only be caught once a year.

More wacky baby products...

In keeping with this week's poll of useless baby products, I thought I'd post this absurd device that is as ridiculous as it is disturbing. The above image illustrates "The Baby Hanger", a medieval device that is used to secure babies to the back of a bathroom stall door so parents can attend to their scatological* needs with greater ease. The baby actually hangs out, obviously staring at you, while you attend to your business.

Are you kidding me?? Among the many crazy things I could point out about this contraption is:

(1) I can't imagine most kids would enter into this willingly. I imagine arms and legs flailing with one inevitable result: the door will swing wide open for all to see both your private affairs and the new means by which you've chosen to torture your baby.

(2) Of all the things you have to lug around (the entire contents of your diaper bag/suitcase, stroller, baby bjorn, grocery cart cover, and so on), where in the world will you stow this little device?

Wrong. wrong. wrong.

*I've been looking for an excuse to use that word

Another Birthday Wish

Happy Birthday, Stacey!!

Quote of the Day

"If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?" ~ Milton Berle

Picture of the Day

Airport Security was put on high alert after a suspicious odor was detected from one of the luggage bins.
Send your best kid pictures to

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'd never think to use such a strong word as "boycott" but...


Happy Birthday to Tony Lewis!

Well... alright.

Happy Sweater Day!!!

Today marks the 80th birthday of Mr. Rogers and, to commemorate his contribution to children's programming, everyone is encouraged to wear their favorite sweater (try to avoid the overly ornate ones, a la Bill Cosby).

Though his show didn't exactly have us hanging from the chandeliers with excitement, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was simply great television. Soft spoken and kind, Mr. Rogers was a man of great character and his great legacy reflects that. So up the stairs I go, in search of my favorite sweater and maybe even a pair of keds.

The Votes Are In....

To say a lot has changed for babies in the last three decades would be like saying I have a lot of freckles...kind of an understatement. Some of the most significant changes include the increasing role of the father in raising the children, new approaches to discipline, development, and overall communication when interacting with children, the onsluaght of developmental infused products (e.g. Baby Einstein, Leap, Imaginarium, etc.), the constantly changing views on immunizations and health, and, most certainly, the Internet, which allows you to find the answer to everything, share ideas, pictures, and space, and, obviously, support all those silly blogs.

So this leads us to this week's vote: Which do you think was the greatest invention for babies in the last 30 years? The clear winner was the baby monitor. Once again, not my vote, but I understand why it won. With the beauty of technology, parents are now completely equipped to watch over their small children even while they are sleeping. Even fancier, some monitors are currently equipped with a television monitor so visuals accompany the audio to make for a more complete surveillance.

When I first had my daughter, I was paranoid about those first weeks. I had her in a bassinet in our room and actually made a tower of pillows ten high so that I might be able to have her in view at all times...not exactly condusive to restful sleep. With every gurgle, squeak, and grunt, I was awake and evaluating. Things got better when we moved her into the crib, but every blip on the monitor had me bolting out of bed. My one friend Karen actually still bears the scars from bolting too quickly and almost losing a leg as she ran from her room. So, monitors are helpful...but maybe too helpful? And to my friend SL, if you are staring at the computer screen in a trance...look away.

At second place was the Baby Bjorn and related carriers. I actually almost chose this one myself, since I use mine almost daily. Now with two children, the youngest gets the Bjorn while the eldest gets the seat in the shopping cart. It's also his place for all the different activities we enjoy and is great because he loves to be upright, looking around, and part of the mix. The only down size is that they're somewhat short-lived. Having sired two large off-spring, I am running a mental bet as to which one will break down first: the Bjorn or my back. Finally received a very adamant message from a regular reader (his name rhymes with splat), who questioned the manhood of any dad who might don one....little does he know he'll soon join the ranks.

My vote was for the sippy cup. Between everyday use around the house, to car rides here and there, I have a hard enough time keeping up with the everpresent mystery stains left by my little ones...I can't imagine grappling with water, milk, and juice spills all the time. Tied with sippy cups were washable crayons and markers that provide the same convenience of the sippy cup. Now, if only they could invent a self-cleaning house, robotic diaper changer, and crib that rocks on command, life would be so much easier.

Finally, we have the diaper genie. This malodrous mechanism inevidently appears on every baby registry (including my own) and I have no idea why. First, the scent dispensed to mask infant output is not much better than the alternative. Second, that somewhat sweet scent characteristic of a newborn only lasts but a few months before solids are introduced, causing your nose hairs to burn daily. Clearly the more potent poops are no match for the genie and it is really just a waste of time and, well, waste.

So there you have it. Another vote down and I am 1 for 7 at picking the winning outcome. Clearly, I am not ready for gen pop, but hopefully I will do better this week. Speaking of which...feel free to make your pick at the newest poll.

Puddle Jumping

I firmly believe that March is actually the cruelest month. The holidays are long over and the dreary days of winter drag on, while April’s temperamental weather is still to come. Anxious to be outside playing, children climb the walls as the energy they stored up all winter is now about to burst. Anxious to have them outside, mothers exhaust all crafts, all activities, and all patience. The days can feel so long as everyone waits for signs of spring.

Yesterday was one of those typical March days, rainy, dreary, and gray. I think I may finally be convinced of Seasonal Affective Disorder, even if it does make me imagine people yelling at flowers. I decided that since whining about things rarely produces any real results, I’d be proactive* and make some results of my own.

The kids and I headed outside for their first lesson in puddle jumping. My eldest quickly sought mastery, while my son enjoyed the view from a garaged stroller (still a little young to be jumping, let alone walking).

As I watched my daughter delight in nature’s pools and her mother’s caprice, I began to think about how many occasions have us hoping for a warm, sunny day. Weddings, birthday parties, ballgames, and trips to the beach all work best when the weather cooperates, but today was a day for a rain. And, yes, that means it’s time for a list of all the things that have us hoping for rain:

The Best Reasons to Hope For Rain:

1) Puddle jumping (obviously)
2) It provides a good excuse to stay in our pajamas most of the day
3) To make watching a scary movie complete
4) Food is good
5) A chance to show that thunder isn’t scary at all, especially when we count from the lightning
6) When we were having a bad hair day anyway
7) The perfect backdrop for reading a book
8) When we hope to show them a rainbow for the very first time
9) Because nothing is cuter than a kid donning raincoats, boots, and a ladybug umbrella.
10) Provides further procrastination for washing the car
11) Much like cancelled school on a snow day, the occasional cancellation of soccer practice gives us an unexpected chance to take some time off from carpool duties.
12) It lets us skip watering the plants and lawn.
13) Reminds us that, despite being a pretty great city, we don’t envy people of Seattle’s typical weather forecast.
14) The soporific effect: nothing ensures a better nap than the gentle tapping of rain and dark clouds

Quote of the Day

"Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they're looking for ideas." -Paula Poundstone

Picture of the Day

Given his history of lactose intolerance, the infant was not at all amused by the command of the smarmy photographer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Because we've all been there...

To the mother in the Babies R’Us parking lot this morning, screaming at her son, “Let’s Go! Why won’t you listen!? Geez! Are You Kidding Me!? Why would you do that! My God!!! Now everyone is staring at you.”

A few things:

1) Actually, we’re staring at you.
2) And no, none of us are staring in judgment, just happy that on this particular occasion it isn’t one of our own.

Another Fantastic Area Event

If you are looking for a really great Easter activity this weekend, you must consider heading to the Philadelphia Zoo for the annual Bunny Hop. Jump around to stations throughout the Zoo’s blooming gardens. Hop on down to the children’s Treehouse for special spring-time activities and of course a visit from everyone’s favorite bunny, as well as interactions with real live bunnies.

The event is free with the cost of admission, and runs from 11-3 on Saturday. The event will take place rain, shine, or (yikes) snow, as activities will take place both in and out of doors.

On a side note, I’d like to send a special shout out to the lion who sat right by the big glass in Big Cat Falls this past summer. It made my daughter’s day and we are all great fans of your work. Meow.

Joke of the Day

A little girl's fifth-grade class had been studying astronomy.
One morning at breakfast she announced to her mother, "On Friday we're having a quiz on the moon."
To which he little brother replied, "How come she gets to go and I don't?"

South Jersey Livin'

Though I probably should have posted this last week, Duffield's Farm Market in Washington Township (on the corner of Greentree and Chapel Heights) is in the process of running their yearly hay ride to the Easter Bunny's house. For the reasonable price of $6.50 a child ($3 per adult), children enjoy a hayride, a visit with the Easter Bunny at his house, and some treats.

In other news, Mr. McGregor will also be present, making sure to collect 35% of all the Easter Bunny's earnings as stipulated by the courts.

For the full schedule and contact information, go to:

A bunch of people (who clearly understand my somewhat slanted sense of humor)sent me the above picture, entitled “Peep Show”, which was created for an annual contest challenging people to create Peep dioramas. This one is hysterical, but there are also many others equally entertaining. Check them out at:

Easter Craft

Just in time for Easter, try this absolutely adorable craft with your little bunnies.

Create Your Own Peeps:


- Eggs, broken in half, emptied, and cleaned.
- Medium sized pom poms in yellow (can be found at any crafts store)
- Orange construction paper

1) Crack the eggs, clean them, and let them dry. The little peeps will sit inside them.

2) Cut a very small diamond shape from the orange paper. Fold in half to create the beaks for the peeps.

3) Glue beaks on top of pom poms and place pom poms inside the shells, beak up.

4) Place newly hatched chicks in empty egg carton and display.


Quote of the Day

Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother. ~Oprah Winfrey

Picture of the Day

Because when you're cool, the sun shines on you twenty-four hours a day.
Send your best kid pictures to:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

For the Mothers of Tweens

If you have never heard of Hannah Montana you either have no children designated as “tweens” (adolescents between the ages of 8-12…not yet teens), or you are unconscious. For those of you who know her so well you break out into hives at the mere mention of her name (parents of tweens, of course), you already know that she is not only the star of a wildly successful show on the Disney channel, but also the daughter of “Achy Breaky Heart” infamy, Billy Ray Cyrus. You are also well aware of the fact that she operates under two names: Hannah Montana (her character) and Miley Cyrus (her stage name), which has caused a great deal of confusion for this just boarding the Hannah Montana train.

What you may not know is that this young girl (15) actually also operates under three monikers, until today that is. The ingénue actually was born Destiny Hope Cyrus. She adopted Miley Ray later on when she determined that she’d follow in her father’s footsteps in search of fame and credibility. Well, as of today, she is now legally Miley Ray.

I know. You’re so grateful I cleared that up.

In addition to enlightening you on an important cultural event, I also wanted to point out what a terrible name I think Destiny Hope is. I may be way off on this one, but isn’t it a bit of a paradox? If you believe in destiny, then hope becomes pointless. Why hope for something predetermined?

And speaking of pointless…some of you may be wondering about this posting. It’s just another example of celebrities naming their children badly. Pilot Inspektor, Heaven Rain, Banjo, Ever, Story, Dragon Tales and so on and so on.

Breastfeeding: An Afterthought

Not surprisingly, I’ve gotten quite a few emails regarding the topic of breastfeeding, compelling me to comment a little bit more on the subject…

When it comes to this particular subject, I believe there are three types of people (and, no I am not trying to compartmentalize people or trivialize this-- I just want to offer some point of reference). First, there are those mothers who plan on breastfeeding and, as soon as the baby is born, the infant takes to it like the whole process is old hat. Everything works well, goes according to plan, and the experience is wonderful.

Second are the mothers who have absolutely no desire to breastfeed. Either they can’t picture themselves doing it, or the thought of it grosses them out a bit and the decision to go with the bottle is an easy one. The experience of bottle feeding is ideal for them, and the baby takes to the bottle very well, with mild tweeking in regard to the right formula. As with the first mother, everything goes according to plan, the experience is perfect and mother and child are better for the decision she made.

The third types of mothers are those of us on the fence. They really want to breastfeed or do a mix of breast and bottle, but things don’t go according to plan. From painful feedings, to trouble with latching, not knowing if the baby is getting enough, and even (yikes!) Mastitis, the experience is not good. This often leads to real sadness as a hope is not realized. Frustration and guilt weigh heavy on an already sore, sleep deprived woman who is trying to figure out what is best for her child. Many turn to constant pumping (resulting in unexpected empathy for cows), or just decide to go with formula full time.

For the first two types of moms, congratulations on your success and your satisfaction with making the right choice for you and your child. Whether your infant is feeding from the breast or bottle, nothing is better than that little one looking up at you as they happily guzzle away, knowing they are taken care of.

For the last set of moms (who seem to make up a majority), please know that you are not alone in your frustration. It is so hard, and if it doesn’t work out it is easy to feel like you failed. The reality: trying to do what you believe is best for your child is never a failure. Your child knows he or she is cared for and loved, and the best thing you can do is to find a course that brings you happiness (and some sense of accomplishment) and, in turn, your baby will be happy too. It doesn’t matter who says what, that is the greatest gift you can give your newborn.

For those of you considering breastfeeding, I figured now might also be a good time to list some of things I wished someone had told me before I decided to breastfeed. It would have made those initial weeks seem less confusing and frustrating.

1) Breastfeeding is a full time job. In the beginning, as you try to master technique and timing, it may seem like your nursing around the clock. That will pass, but you have to look at it as a learning process for the both of you. You’ll probably start with 10-12 feedings in a 24 hour period (I know!!...but it gets easier)…fortunately for you, your social datebook is probably pretty clear.

2) Breastfeeding is not instinctive. Building on the previous point, the baby is not a little bird that will instinctively open its mouth at the first sign of milk. You have to teach them how to nurse, while also trying to keep them awake through a feeding (tickle their feet, blow on their hair, etc), and burping them periodically.

3) Drink water. Every time you nurse, try to keep a glass of water at your side. After almost passing out on Walnut Street, I was convinced I had Shigella (word to Eric) or some other exotic disease, but, according to my doctor, I was not drinking enough water. Keeping yourself hydrated is just as important of keeping your calorie intake up. Nursing is the equivalent of burning over 700 calories a day! Imagine working out that much and not drinking water after? That may be why breastfeeding moms drop the weight a lot faster, but it’s also why they readily get bouts of dizziness.

4) Someone will have a problem with your decision. Just like someone would criticize you with going with the bottle, it seems like people just love to dispense unsolicited advice. A lot of this comes from a need to validate their own choices and so they down yours. Ignore them. Mute them. Hang up the phone. As I have been saying, your choice is your happiness, and your baby’ as well.

5) Watch what you eat. Breastmilk passes on some of your food and drink to the baby and not all foods (especially gassy ones) go well with new little tummies. In the beginning, try to avoid very gassy foods (too much fruit, broccoli, onions, etc) and cow’s milk/dairy products. It will help cut down on the gas and fussiness a great deal and then, over time, gradually introduce things back into your diet to see how the baby does.

6) Surround yourself with people who know what they’re talking about. Whether you have a friend that is also a lactation consultant or just someone who has been through it successfully, listen to their advice and mix it with your own instincts to ensure success.

7) Never, ever beat yourself up if things don’t work out. As a mother, you will provide your child with immeasurable gifts and, again, passing your happiness on to your child is the best thing you can feed them.

Again, check out if you’re looking for a good source. And I’d like to send my own thanks to Julie, Beckee, and Mary Jo for their advice and support….they were a large part of my success at this.

Not a Bad Idea

Not so long ago, a friend of mine told me a nightmarish story about how her young son was almost hit by a car. She was in the process of loading her youngest son into his car seat while her older son wandered away into the busy parking lot. She grabbed him just before a too fast car nearly swiped him, held him tight, yelled at him for not staying by the car, and cried the whole way home.

That’s all I had to hear. I was determined to work out a loading and unloading system when I was confronted with managing more than one child. I didn’t anticipate how hard that would be for those times I was not using a stroller or shopping cart. Then, another friend shared her trick with me and I thought I’d pass it on…

As she loaded one child in, she would place her diaper bag about a foot away from the car and have her other child stand between the bag and the car. She would instruct him to guard the bag and he would never move.

I'm happy to say the strategy works really well, so long as you don't mind your Kate Spade, Petunia Pickle Bottom, or Fleurville getting a little dirt on the bottom...a small price pay for keeping your little ones safe.

By the way...did you know Prada actually sells an $1100 diaper bag? Considering my diaper bag looks like it has barely survived a nuclear assault (complete with a mushroom cloud that follows us around), I can't imagine spending that kind of money on anything unless it changes diapers, babysits, and gets immunized on my children's behalf. Who would?

I think I may know one person.....

A Good Source

If you are a nursing mother (or soon to be), the Internet may be a bit overwhelming when you turn to it for guidance, ideas, or problems related to breastfeeding (or everything else). For that reason, I am happy to provide you with the most helpful, informative site related to breastfeeding online:

This site was brought to my attention by my beauteous, fantabulous sister-in-law, Julie who, as a labor & delivery nurse and mother of four, knows a thing or two about being a mommy. The site is easy to navigate, easier to understand, and very practical. It provides info about everything from technique to scheduling to what medicines you can take and so on. thanks to the media sensationalizing a story (can you believe it??), there has been a ton of press about the battlefield between breast and bottle. MySpace refuses to allow the posting of pictures of nursing mothers, while the federal government is considering a tax incentive for mothers who breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of their child's life.

First, the MySpace mandate is just curious. Do a lot of women want pictures of themselves and their child nursing for the global communitt at large? I don't know about you but, when I'm enjoying a meal, I don't exactly want pictures of it published for all to see (though, that may provide more impetus to stop eating less than favorable foods). Secondly, have you been on MySpace lately? I have, and let's just say that, given the current content, pictures of mother and child nursing are about as provocative as a belly button. The fact that MySpace would take the time to ban one type of image, but not a tattooed derriere is just plain wacky.

As for the government's initiative to encourage breastfeeding...I happen to think it's one of those ideas that looks great on paper, but would prove difficult when put into action. I mean, how would you go about verifying a woman exclusively breastfeeding? Is a federal employee going to appear at my door and watch me nurse all day? If so, do you think I could get them to change a diaper or two as well? At least help out with the finger paints?

When it comes down to it, I have one very determined stance. As a mother who nursed both children, I can say that it has been a positive experience. I wanted to do it, and it came easily and I wouldn't change a thing. If that is your route too-- great. If, on the other hand, it proves to hard or you're just not interested in it/can't see yourself doing it-- I happen to think that is great too. I think the more important issue is that our children have happy, healthy moms. Which means, by choosing to do what works well for you, you will be content and, consequently, your children will be as well!

I know this can be a touchy subject, but as mothers who all happen to love their children, better to focus on our shared experiences than worrying about what divides us. And, as for the media, I think there's something going on in Iraq right now....just in case it's a slow news day.

Quote of the Day

An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy. ~Spanish Proverb

Picture of the Day

The Mahoney Boys carry on the St. Patrick's Day celebration even through bath time!
Please send your best kid pictures to:
Special thanks to Amy for the perfect caption.

Monday, March 17, 2008

An Irish Toast

This toast was taught to me a long time ago. Though the friend isn't exactly around anymore, the toast is still in my memory.

"Here's to you and yours
and to mine and ours,
and if mine and ours
ever come across to you and yours,
I hope you and yours
will do as much for mine and ours,
as mine and ours have done for you and yours!"


Irish Humor

A Texan walks into a pub in Ireland and clears his voice to the crowd of drinkers. He says, “I hear you Irish are a bunch of hard drinkers. I’ll give $500 American dollars to anybody in here who can drink 10 pints of Guinness back-to-back.”
The room is quiet, and no one takes up the Texan’s offer. One man even leaves.
Thirty minutes later the same gentleman who left shows back up and taps the Texan on the shoulder. “Is your bet still good?” asks the Irishman.
The Texan says yes and asks the bartender to line up 10 pints of Guinness. Immediately the Irishman tears into all 10 of the pint glasses, drinking them all back-to-back.
The other pub patrons cheer as the Texan sits in amazement. The Texan gives the Irishman the $500 and says, “If ya don’t mind me askin’, where did you go for that 30 minutes you were gone?”
The Irishman replies, “Oh… I had to go to the pub down the street to see if I could do it first.”

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

For One of my Favorite Patricks

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I am posting a special tribute to on of my favorite Patricks (shout out to Patrick Mahoney, too). This is to Patrick of the Heritage Valley Posse, who happens to be one of my husband’s best and longest friends, and also a man on the verge of fatherhood. His lovely wife Jeanine is due with their baby girl this June, and I thought now would be as good a time as any to offer the “Silver Fox” the best advice or “head’s up” for all that comes with raising a girl.

The Top Ten Things Every Father Should Know or Consider: (Forgive the saccharine sentimentality…I just happen to have an unbelievable Dad, who modeled all of the following):

10) You may think that, because you have a sister (shout out to Heather), a wife (what’s up, Jeanine), and even a mother (word to Ronnie), you have women pretty much figured out. This brings me to my first bit of advice: Whether she is six months, six years, or six decades, you will never truly understand a woman-- best to accept that now and hunker down for the wild ride ahead.

9) How you look at women will also change drastically. You may have, at one time, not minded a mini-skirt or other form fitting clothes. Ummm….you will now. Just try to let her explore her own self-expression, while keeping her off the pole (that is straight out of my brother’s mouth, btw)

8) Love your wife completely: always speak to her with warmth, listen with understanding, hold her hand, stand by her side, and know that with every gesture, you are showing your impressionable little miss how a man should treat a woman.

7) Though your world ended the day Gilmore Girls went off the air, your exposure to girl drama has only been slight. Your little wonder will someday be a teenage girl, and only then will you learn the true meaning of what a soap opera is.

6) Up until now, the female body may seem somewhat complicated, confusing, or even mysterious. After having a toddler who has yet to grasp the beauty of high fashion and prefers nudity (they all do)….the female form will quickly lose all mystery.

5) Many people speculate that girls tend to look for a mate that bears a certain likeness to dear old dad. That being said, when a teenage boy with a big smile, bigger heart, gray highlights, and a beer chugging champion t-shirt steps out of his car (with Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” blaring from the speakers)….lock your doors and ground her.

4) When given the opportunity to watch the Eagles from the 50 yard line, or enjoy her dance recital from the comfort of some old bleachers in an auditorium with no air conditioning, guess which one you’ll happily opt for? (And I’m sure it won’t end with you hurling obscenities at the “participants”).

3) Remember that, at least for a while, you’ll be the only man in her life. So, try to be everything you want the “future man in her life” to be. Choose your words and your actions carefully, and always let her know that she is loved (even when she tries out her new chalk on your car).

2) There will come a time when you take her to the playground and another child will take out their own frustrations on her. It may be a push, a kick, or even a nasty name calling episode. Resist the urge to engage this child in conflict. Yes, you are bigger and can do serious harm to the evildoer. Yes, you can come up with a lot better names than what the little malcontent had to offer. And, yes, you probably will be able to beat up that kid’s dad (especially if you have your brother’s assistance—hey Kevin). All of these will do more harm than good and so, simply comfort her and reassure her. By doing that, you will already have gone a long way with #3.

1) Just because she is not a boy, don’t deprive of her of all the things you have to offer. Teach her to throw a ball, fix a flat, lose gracefully, win humbly, and take honor in everything she does…whether she’s pursuing a soccer ball, or her dreams.

I realize I have just scratched the proverbial surface with this list and so, please feel free to add to it in the comment section…

Irish Poetry Relating to Motherhood and Letting Go...

Irish Poetry about Motherhood

I decided to post this poem by Eavan Boland because she is my favorite contemporary Irish poet (sorry Seamus Heaney) and it is about one of the greatest hardships for a mother: allowing your children to grow up. Realizing poetry is a personal interpretation, I’ll just offer a basic summary and let you garner what you will from it. But I must say, since Ms. Schilling taught it to us in high school, and I went on to teach it a thousand times over, I have never looked at a pomegranate the same again.

To understand the poem, a little Greek mythology background is in order. The poem begins with a reference to Ceres and Persephone. Ceres is the goddess of the harvest and is responsible for all that grows. Her daughter (who would be the equivalent of a young girl just entering her “growing years”) is out picking flowers when Hades, the god of the Underworld, sees her, wants her, and takes her.

Frantic over the disappearance of her daughter, Ceres begs Zeus to help her as only he could. He agrees to rescue her, so long as she has not eaten anything in the Underworld (think Adam and Eve). Unfortunately, by the time Ceres gets to Persephone she had taken a single bite out of a pomegranate (Chinese apple). Distraught over the loss of her daughter, Ceres refused to allow the crops to grow and, as a result, mankind faced near starvation. To make things right, Zeus steps in and agrees to “split custody”, with Persephone allowed to return to her mother for 6 months out of the year (spring and summer) and the remaining 6 months she stays with Hades (fall and winter). The beauty of the story comes from the lesson that a mother will abandon all else for the sake of her child—and nothing is more powerful than a mother’s love.

Back to the poem…the speaker is remembering when she was a young, naïve girl like Persephone, but now she is Ceres with a Persephone of her own. She wants her daughter to go out and pick flowers and experience life, but she knows Hades and all the other scary experiences of life are waiting for her. She wants to let her grow up (the greatest gift), but she also wants to warn her about life; but if she does, it will change her ability to experience life for herself.

When I first read this poem, I used it as ammunition against my mother to extend curfew. Now, as a mother, I look at it completely differently…and even though I cannot avoid the fact that she’s growing up, I am still pretty certain I will cry when she first gets on the school bus.

The Pomegranate

by Eavan Boland

The only legend I have ever loved
isthe story of a daughter lost in hell.
And found and rescued there.
Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
Ceres and Persephone the names.
And the best thing about the legend is
I can enter it anywhere. And have.
As a child in exile in
a city of fogs and strange consonants,
I read it first and at first I
was an exiled child in the crackling dusk of
the underworld,
the stars blighted.

Later, I walked out in a summer twilight
searching for my daughter at bed-time.
When she came running
I was ready to make any bargain to keep her.
I carried her back past
white beams and wasps and honey-scented buddleias.
But I was Ceres then and I knew
winter was in store for every leaf
on every tree on that road.
Was inescapable for each one we passed.
And for me.

It is winter
and the stars are hidden.
I climb the stairs and stand where I can see
my child asleep beside her teen magazines,
her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit.
The pomegranate!
How did I forget it?
She could have come home and been safe
and ended the story and all
our heart-broken searching but she reached
out a hand and plucked a pomegranate.
She put out her hand and pulled down
the French sound for apple and the noise of stone
and the proof
that even in the place of death,
at the heart of legend,
in the midstof rocks full of unshed tears
ready to be diamonds by the timet
he story was told, a child can be hungry.
I could warn her. There is still a chance.
The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured.
The suburb has cars and cable television.
The veiled stars are above ground.
It is another world. But what else
can a mother give her daughter but such
beautiful rifts in time?
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
The legend will be hers as well as mine.
She will enter it. As I have.
She will wake up. She will hold
the papery flushed skin in her hand.
And to her lips. I will say nothing.

A Special Birthday Wish...

Happy Birthday to the best

(and most intelligent, most beautiful, most thoughtful)

leprechaun in all of Florida!

Happy Birthday, Gracie Girl!!!

Quote of the Day

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." ~Tenneva Jordan

Picture of the Day

Even if she has to watch the trap all day, she will get that leprechaun's gold.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Celebrity Mommies

I realize that celerbity "mommydom" is all the rage right now, and so trying to figure out which knucklehead said the following quote may be a bit of a challenge. If you read an earlier (very exciting) post, however, you'll have no trouble.

When asked if she would appear in the CW's remake of Beverly Hill, 90210, this mother of one with one on the way, replied,

"They should give me a call. Every teen drama needs a MILF, right?"


The person guilty of such an absurd quote? None other than the eternally annoying Tori Spelling. That's right, she has characterized herself as a "MILF". Never one to repeat myself but, ummm....what?

And for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term "MILF", you'll have to troll the Internet for an explanation as I am unable to offer one...

My mother reads this.