Originally posted on Mommy OM:

Ahh Halloween is upon us again. What a nostalgic time for parents. Pumpkins, hayrides, and apple picking. Memories of dressing up in costume, trick-or-treating, haunted houses, and oodles and oodles of goodies and treats. Halloween parties galore! At school, at home, and at the neighbors! Wonderful memories and experiences that we eagerly and excitedly want to pass on to our children. I mean, why wouldn’t we? Our kids should be able to go door-to-door and stuff their faces with candy and chocolate and cookies just like we did when we were young. Halloween is a tradition, people. One day out of the year spent supporting and encouraging poor dietary habits amongst our children can’t harm them, right?

The problem is that for most children in the US it’s not just one day, it’s every day. Every day our children are bombarded with ads for crap food and sugary drinks. Fundraisers…

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Mommy OM:

Reblogging this one! Enjoy!

Originally posted on Mommy OM:


Knock knock.
Who’s there?
High School.
__________

Why is it that it’s the year 2012 and yet sometimes I feel like I’ve been transported back to the mid-90’s? It’s not the latest fashion trends. It’s definitely not the music. And it’s not even the fact that today I spotted at least 3 women (4, if you include me) at the grocery store sporting “The Rachel.”

After careful observation, I have concluded that mommyhood is basically high school all over again. You know, the time in your life when you’re desperately searching to find out who you are and where you most fit in.

In high school, we had the jocks, preps, punks, popular, dramas, nerds, grunge (yes, grunge).

In mommyhood, we have the working moms, stay-at-home moms, soccer moms, helicopter moms, tiger moms, crunchy moms, yoga moms, yada yada yada. And just like in high school where I floated from clique to clique…

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5 Mommy Stress Busters

Let’s face it, as moms we are always on the go, go, go. From laundry to diapers and car pools to dinner. We are everything to everybody. We are the master chef, boo-boo kisser, healer, driver, doctor, baker, comforter, lover, finger painter, book reader, game player, fort builder, the list goes on and on. Oh, did I forget to mention dog walker and pooper-scooperer?

It’s inevitable that every one of us will have to face and address the stresses of motherhood at some point and time. Often we may feel as though we are drowning in a sea of dirty dishes, messy bedrooms, and Hello Kitty Band Aids. To survive as a mother, it turns out there are probably a million things we can wish for to make life easier for ourselves (cue – housekeeper, personal cook, and nanny). But to combat stress and help bring balance to our day, I’ve counted five important ways:

1. Breathe In.  Take a couple of deep breaths throughout the day particularly when feeling overwhelmed. Practice releasing them slowly and evenly. This will help calm our anger or frustration and teach our children that how we handle a situation almost always stems from how we react to the situation. Very often as mothers, we tend to overreact to even the smallest of things. Starting now, let’s rely on those few breaths to help us focus on what’s going on in front of us.

2. Let Go. Yes, there are things around us that drive us bananas on daily basis (or an hourly basis?) Let’s try to let those things go. After all, is it really necessary to skyrocket our cortisol levels just because Elmo is singing the same damn song over and over again and we think our ears are going to bleed? No. Well, maybe.

3. Eat Well. What we feed our bodies determines our physical and emotional health. It also determines how we respond to our surroundings. We all know that a proper diet is essential to our own body’s nourishment. Why would we not want to advocate for that? I can’t think of any reason not to.

4. Move. Let’s make a pact that we will do something physical for ourselves every day. Even if it’s only for 10 minutes. I’m not just talking about going up and down and up and down the stairs at home (unless we repeat that about a bazillion times in a day, oh wait we already do!). I’m asking every single one of us to get our butts outside or to the gym or to the garage or basement or living room. And once we get there? MOVE IT! S-H-A-K-E it! Go! Take that quick run or do some hiking with the family. Practice yoga in the backyard or ask a friend to join you for a circuit training session. The point being – Movement is Life.

5. Love. Oh love. Love. Love. Love: Give it. Take it. Make it. Feel it. Need it. Nurture it. Keep it. Let it go. REPEAT.

Right to Know: Vote Yes on Prop 37 to Label GMO

An excerpt from my GMO post back in December:

A lot of the time, when I speak to people about organic foods and GMOs they look at me like I’m nuts. Even as the awareness of genetically modified foods is steadily increasing, most folks still don’t have a clue what GMO is and they definitely don’t realize they are eating it every day. GMOs were introduced into our food supply in the mid-90′s without any required labeling or proper independent safety testing. They are in almost 90% of the foods at the supermarket without the informed consent of you, the consumer.

Support Prop 37 and vote YES to label GMO!

Bullied? Jennifer Livingston Fights Back

Jennifer Livingston, a morning news anchor for a CBS affiliate out of Wisconsin, took to the airwaves this week to call out a negative email she received about her weight. She referred to the email as an act of “bullying” and used four minutes of local airtime to respond to it. The full email, sent directly to Livingston by local lawyer Kenneth W. Krause is below. The subject line read: “Community Responsibility” -

“Hi Jennifer,

It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years. Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.”

While I absolutely think this email is rude and insensitive, would I call it bullying? I’m not quite sure.

Livingston’s response:

The truth is I am overweight. You can call me fat and yes, even obese on a doctor’s chart. To the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don’t know that? Your cruel words are pointing out something I don’t see? You don’t know me. You are not a friend of mine. You are not a part of my family, and you admitted that you don’t watch this show so you know nothing about me besides what you see on the outside–and I am much more than a number on a scale….

To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the color of your skin, your sexual preference, your disability, even the acne on your face, listen to me right now. Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies. Learn from my experience, that the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many.”

Was Livingston, a prominent local personality, a victim of bullying? Was this the proper piece of “hate mail” to address the issue of bullying and children? Locally, nationally?

My problem with using the term ‘bullying’ to describe this email comes down to this– I agree with Jennifer on the fact that bullying is a serious matter. We have seen some terrible consequences of bullying in this country. It hits close to home for all of us, too close to home for some. But once that term ‘bully’ is out there, it can’t be retracted. As a mother to two small children who just recently started school, I feel particularly uneasy about this issue. While I agree with the majority of her comments, I am unsure whether this was the right platform to construe them.

Help me out moms!

Should Livingston have trashed the email and gone on with her day or was her response appropriate?

Please comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Ethen the Grouch

We are in week three of pre-k for my little one and I must say that he has turned into quite the monster (Think Oscar, not Elmo). What a terror this kid has been lately. I say no and he says yes. I say go and he says stop. I say jump and he says sit.  He tests his limits now more than ever. Oh and he is cranky, cranky, cranky, grouchy, grouchy, grouchy. Where has my sweet little baby gone? I’m hoping he’s just working out the kinks of being away from mommy throughout the day. Apparently he only works these kinks out while at home with me. Score one for mommy! Obvious sarcasm! On a serious note, his teacher tells me all the time what a kind, loving, gentle little boy he is. That’s the Ethen I remember, but I can’t seem to find lately. Here are some of the things he’s been up to after school:

1. Pulling down and unrolling ALL of the toilet paper while using the bathroom.

2. Coloring the front porch with crayons.

3. Tracing his hand with a Sharpie marker on Ella’s brand new doll house.

4. Throwing all his puzzle pieces on the floor, stomping on them, and screaming, “Bob the Builder, Yes we can!”

5. Repeatedly saying  poop, butt, diarrhea and any other potty word you can think of. Over and over and over again.

Can you say rebellion? I’m thinking that’s what it is. To counter this I’ve decided to lose my mind. I’m just kidding. Actually I’m doing all I can to make sure he is well rested and well fed. I’m making sure he gets extra love and cuddle time from me and daddy and Ella. And finally, I’m crossing my fingers and publicly hoping this passes soon for the sake of all the moms and dads everywhere who suddenly have poop, butt, and diarrhea talking pre-schoolers armed with Sharpie markers and unraveled toilet paper.