Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New pics of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon's adorable kids

Mariah Carey posted some new pics of her cute twins Moroccan and Monroe.  Here is a link to an article where you can view them all in 1 place. The kids look just like their famous parents.  I still can't seem to find information, however, on why her daughter wears glasses at approximately 18 months old.  I assume there is some sort of medical reason, and not just a trend that she is following.

The cost of caring for your special needs child

The ultimate goal of every pregnancy is a healthy baby.  Sometimes, parents are relived to bring home a little bundle of joy with 10 fingers, 10 toes, and no apparent health problems.  As the baby grows, however, subtle clues may become apparent that suggest that the child is not developing appropriately.  Parents who believed their child to be healthy and typically developing then discover that their child has a devastating diagnosis. 

Unfortunately this situation is happening with increasing frequency in our country.  Aside from the mental and emotional impact of raising a special needs child, parents also must face the financial impact.  This article that was featured in a recent Money Magazine delves into the costs and financial options of a family who is tasked with providing care and treatment for a special needs child.  Even if your child does not have any occupational therapy, speech therapy, or other needs, this article will really open your eyes as to the struggles faced by these families. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Not all newborn care is created equal

This hearwarming video shows how a newborn baby was saved by a procedure that is only available at less than 70 hospitals nationwide.  Nobody likes to think about what could go wrong when we are happily expecting a baby.  However, this shows the importance of researching hospitals and choosing to give birth in a location where, if you need a higher level of care for your baby, it will readily be available. 

These cute socks could be deadly

Do you own these adorable Trumpette socks? If so, DO NOT put them on your baby.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall.  These socks have pieces on them that can detach and choke your baby.  Unfortunately this is not surprising to me.  A couple of years back I had the Trumpette socks for my daughter that looked like mary jane shoes, complete with a bow attached to the front.  I stopped using them after the bows fell off of a couple of pairs.  Another quality product made in China, I guess.  Please, even though these are cute, do not risk your child choking.  Return the socks and get a refund.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Texting and Driving: The Consequences

Do you text while you are driving?  Do you check email on the highway, "just this one time"?  Do you read and respond to texts on the road?  Does any of this happen when your children are in the car? 

READ THIS.  Then think about it next time you want to play with your smart phone while you are driving.  What will your unfinished text say?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Motivation sorely needed!

I am already having productivity issues lately.  As I mentioned previously, I am trying to get up earlier and get more out of each day.  By the time I drag myself out of bed in the morning and get the kids off to daycare and school, go to work, and then pick them up and get home, I can barely find the energy to heat up a prepackaged dinner- let alone clean the house and keep up with laundry.  Then once the kids are in bed we are so exhausted that we end up wasting the rest of the night watching TV, which leads to me staying up too late and my husband and the dog snoring together on the couch all night. 

There needs to be something that will help me get out of bed.  I tried taking a page from my oldest child's playbook and using some good music to pull me out of bed, but that didn't help today.  Thinking about the morning rush to get kids ready and dropped off also does not make me want to get up.  On the weekends, getting up early is much easier since I know I get to spend the day with my kids and husband.  During the work week, I need inspiration!  What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?  How do you get up ready to tackle each new day?  How am I, as a working mom, supposed to look forward to Monday through Friday when what I really need is to get them over with so the weekend can come?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting up early: facing the challenge with a little help from Mariah and Beyonce

I have decided to follow the Early to Rise Challenge put out by the Money Saving Mom website.  In this challenge, readers are asked to try to get up earlier each morning to get more accomplished for the day.  Given that waking up in the morning is such a difficult task for me, I decided to give this a try.  So far, I am failing miserably.  This morning started with my oldest child's alarm going off at 6, and her jumping out of bed to start her day as usual.  (I really need to take a lesson from that kid.)  She then nudged me awake after the second time I pushed the snooze button to ask me to take the tags off of a brand new pair of sandals so that she could wear them to school.  We argued after I explained that sandals are not appropriate attire for 40 degree weather, and she sat on the floor next to my bed and pouted.  I went back to sleep.  When I woke up, my daughter was still sitting on the floor glaring at me, and now my alarm was blaring yet again.  It was finally time to get up - and it was already almost 7:00.  Clearly I am going to need to work on this.  I know that getting up and getting more accomplished before heading off to work in the mornings will make me feel more productive and (hopefully) result in more exercise and a cleaner house for our family.  Now if I could just find a way to throw myself out of bed in the daughter awakens to 90's pop music on her alarm clock each morning, so perhaps I should try this trick as well.  Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" seems to get her to spring right out of bed, ready to face each new day.  Maybe tomorrow I will give some old Mariah Carey a try, taking some inspiration from this pop icon turned mother of twins.  Let's hope that it helps!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Message to SuperWoman Moms

Dear SuperWoman Moms,

I admire the fact that you can manage to work full-time, go to the gym every day, put a home-cooked dinner on the table for your family every night, always leave the house in full make-up, wear matching clothing that no child has wiped his nose or hands on, have regular date nights and overnight get-aways with your husband, and enroll your children in multiple extracurricular activities.  I envy you, really.  Somehow you must have a gene that allows you to maintain an abnormally high energy level at all times while requiring very little sleep.  Or perhaps you are really a robot.  I, however, am not genetically blessed.  Nor am I a robot. 

Somehow I get to work every day (usually on time), and I consider microwaved vegetarian corn dogs and salad to be the best version of a home-cooked meal my kids can expect on a week night.  I haven't visited a gym consistently since my oldest child was born, though I do manage to get there a few times a year.  My husband and I are too tired to do much after the kids are in bed except watch some primetime TV, and every now and then I get the pleasure of watching him and the dog snore on the couch while I change the channel and watch an old Molly Ringwald movie.  (I take pride in the fact that I am not yet at an age where I have resorted to Lifetime movies.)  My kids take part in a limited number of activities, though perhaps if I shared your energy level I could find a way to let them do more.  I plow my way through every day, trying to keep multiple balls in the air and feeling on various days like I am not a good enough mother, employee or wife.  I consider it a success if my kids make it to daycare and school, eat 3 meals a day, have time for play and homework, and bathe regularly. 

So please, SuperWoman Moms, stop setting these unrealistic expectations for the other mothers out there.  Skip a nail appointment once in a while.  Let your kids miss a soccer practice, or eat takeout for dinner on a Tuesday.  And for goodness sake, miss a few workouts, will ya? 

Average Moms

Monday, March 11, 2013

Study finds many new moms induldge in risky driving

This recently published Study finds many new moms induldge in risky driving.  The most shocking results of this study show that 26 percent of new moms text while driving, and 10 percent of those surveeyed had been in a crash with their child in the car.  New moms, you are already sleep deprived and distracted.  Do you really need to add one more risk to your life or your child's?  PUT DOWN THE PHONE AND DRIVE!

Real Life Dance Moms?

I have only watched the show "Dance Moms" a handful of times, because it frustrated me that any parent would allow adults to talk to their child like some of the teachers do.  Dance classes to me seem like a fun opportunity for self-expression, help with becoming more graceful, and being in a non-judgemental setting. However, a recent incident at my daughter's dance studio really made me feel like I was in the middle of an episode of this show.  Aside from making me angry, it also made me sad because I realized that dance was not what I thought it was.  Everything else my child is enrolled in, from tennis to soccer, has a clear winner and loser.  It is all about winning or being the fastest, smartest, most talented, etc.  Dance to me seemed like the one place where everyone is equal, and everyone is there to have fun.  However, this is not necessarily the case.  It seems that there are no longer any activities available for children that involve some sort of judging or competition.  Is this the fault of parents?  Is our generation too determined to create a bunch of little Michael Jordans, Mariah Careys, and Bill Gateses?  Can we just let the kids be kids and not expect them to try to be an expert in everything?  I have always thought that there was too much pressure on today's children to excel in all areas.  Now this recent incident has confirmed that belief, and I am very disappointed. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

11 (of many) very spoiled little rich kids

This slideshow provides some interesting details about the 11 most spoiled rotten rich kids.  Obviously Suri Cruise is on the list, which is not surprising given her super-famous parents.  I was surprised to see some names I have never heard of though.  Tamara and Petra Ecclestone, for example, are on the list.  I had no idea who they were until reading the article.  It appears they have a taste not just for high-end clothing and shoes, but also for pricey real estate.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Casey Anthony Fan Club?

I was shocked to see that Casey Anthony has the support of mothers all over the world.  There are moms who believe in her innocence and send her money and gift cards, as well as well wishes and expressions of support.  It is unbelievable that any mother would support this woman.  Even if she did not kill her daughter, as suggested by the fact that she was acquitted at trial, she is at the very least admittedly guilty of not reporting her daughter missing.  Even if you believe her crazy sounding nanny story, she still did not even look for her daughter or report her missing for quite some time since she had last seen her.  Though news reports suggest that Casey is currently in serious debt, I wonder what would motivate any mother to provide support to her?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Working Mother is also disappointed in Marissa Mayer

The decision of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to discontinue the practice of employees working from home at Yahoo has ruffled the feathers of more than a few people.  She has certainly set back working women about 20 years in the workplace.  This article from Working Mother provides more insight and interesting statistics regarding working from home.

It took a research grant to figure out that I can't fit into my Manolos?

Brought to you by Captain Obvious:
University of Iowa researchers examined the change in foot size of women after pregnancy.  Surprisingly (for anyone except women who have actually been pregnant) the scientists found that women are more likely to have lower arches and larger foot sizes after pregnancy.  I don't know how much time and money was spent on this study, but I could have saved them the effort.  As someone who had to give away all of my size 7's after my first child was born, I am well aware of the changes that take place in a woman's body after pregnancy.

Monday, March 4, 2013

What is sequestration and why should I care?

The latest buzzword on the news is "sequestration".  What the heck is sequestration?  What does it matter to me?  I will try to explain my understanding of this in terms that any tween can understand:

First, President Obama was like "OK, I want working people to have to pay more taxes so we can keep our country running."  But then Congress was like "No way. You need to stop spending so much money."  Then President Obama was like "I like to spend money.  That's why people need to give me more."  And then Congress was like "We won't let anybody give you anymore money than they already do." Then President Obama was like "Fine. We will just close up a bunch of parks, give Army guys less guns, and fire a bunch of people to save money."  And Congress was like "Fine! Go ahead and let that happen, we are not going to change our minds!  You are going to get less money and you can figure out what to do with it."  And that, my friends, is how we ended up with sequestration.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Now is the time to recruit top-notch tech talent!

I was very supportive of Marissa Mayer taking over as CEO of Yahoo.  Any time I see a young, vibrant woman take on a position of power in a field that is dominated by men, I feel happiness and pride.  However, I am no longer a fan of Ms. Mayer.  In fact, I think she is taking one huge step backwards for working mothers everywhere. 

According to reports, Ms. Mayer decreed this week that Yahoo employees will no longer be allowed to work from home.  At a tech company.  Where people spend most of their day sitting in front of computers.  Further enhancing the shock to employees is the fact that Ms. Mayer reportedly had a nursery built next to her office so that she can enjoy the luxury of bringing her own infant son to work with her.  Apparently she can't juggle the demands of placing an infant in daycare or with a nanny while she works long hours, but she expects her employees to make this work. 

Clearly this is just the next knife in Yahoo.  The company has had a dismal earnings track record as of late.  Let's face it- everyone uses Google.  I can't even remember the last time I typed the work "yahoo", other than maybe to describe the eccentric coworker who carried on full conversations with herself while she worked.  Yahoo's most recent earnings looked promising, but much of that was attributed to employee support of Ms. Mayer and her vision for the company.  Happy employees means more productive employees.  Now that Ms. Mayer has lost the trust and respect of many employees, how will Yahoo fare as a company? 

I do want to thank Ms. Mayer for one thing, however.  This entire debacle has brought work-life issues and the challenges faced by working parents to the forefront of discussion.  I hope that other companies will take advantage of this high-profile situation and announce more options for work-from-home positions.  After all, someone has to take in the top tech and business talent that flees Yahoo, right?  Facebook, Google, IBMApple - are you paying attention?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gluten-Free Toys? Yes, even Play-Doh is becoming allergy friendly!

I was excited to read this article today.  Turns out, celiac disease awareness organizations have made significant progress in persuading companies to create gluten-free versions of popular toys.  If you have a child with a gluten allergy, or are keeping your child gluten-free for other reasons, read the article and stay tuned for new versions of old toys that will be safe for your child.