Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back-to-School Bash (Parents Only)


Hey, moms and dads! Getting ready for back to school isn't easy. We deserve a bash, don't we? Come to this back to school bash for a chance to connect with other parents and win some cool prizes (not JUST back to school gear for kids, but some great goodies for mom and dad, too).

Date: August 16
Time: 9pm
Location: MommyTalk

Back to School Survival Guide

We will also announce the winner of the big Back to School Contest, which you can enter here until August 15th. The grand prize is a Back to School Prize Pack worth more than $140! Be sure to register ahead of time (it's free!) so you can hop right into the chat room. Just show up at the time of the Back to School Bash and you're in.

BE SURE to invite your parent friends... Everyone is welcome.

Peace Begins in the Home

I taught a class last night on Temperament. Actually, no one showed up so I didn't actually teach but the course was scheduled and I was there.

At Java Mama, where the class was to be held, a mom asked me what I was teaching. She commented that she should take the course when her daughter was older. "She's only fifteen months," was her response.

I gave her my card and mentioned that the class was appropriate for parents with children her daughter's age. What's interesting about her comment was that I have a feeling that most other parents feel the same way.

Waiting until your child is older sounds like a reasonable statement to make but when you're talking about days that go by so quickly, parents don't realize that they need additional support until it's much too late and they're stressed, frustrated and no longer enjoying the time they have with their little ones.

Now, with all due respect, I have a feeling that the woman I met was very well educated and will most likely head to my website, perhaps even read this post and follow up with me in regards to learning more about the services I provide.

I know nothing about the parents I meet, other than those I'm friends with or whose children are friends with my son. I judge no one and, because of my experience, I can honestly say that parenting is no easy task. There are many challenges that I face on a daily basis and I'm fairly confident that the average parent would agree.

I took parenting classes nearly two years ago when my husband and I were in the separation stage and learning to work together to parent in separate homes. I admit, there are many more issues in a situation like ours, but many couples who parent in the same home report having similar issues as far as trying to be consistent, maintain a routine and still have fun with their children as well as with one another.

I look forward to meeting new people and I am just as eager to help others who look to me for suggestions, advice, and support. All I can offer is my experience and the knowledge I've gained over the last four and a half years as a parent.

When my son was still a baby, my friends and family members who were new parents would often call me to ask my advice. When did I suddenly become an expert? I used to ask myself. Slowly, over time, I realized that none of us are experts.

We're all learning - and making things up - as we go along. Experience certainly counts for something but the more people we talk to - the more ideas we gather - the better off our families will be.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Inspiration for a Satisfying Session of Sex

I used to think of Redbook as a magazine for older, married women, but now, suddenly I am that woman (except for the married part)! So help me, I now find myself perusing the covers at the grocery store and just lately, I've been reading their articles on line, including the latest round up of Sex Tips and Tricks.

Keep your panties on and come back often as we indulge in a crash course of ways to heat things up in the bedroom:
  1. 21 Little Sex Moves That Will Rock Your World (And His)!
  2. What I Learned in Sex School
  3. 20 Amazing Sex Secrets
  4. Sex Secrets of Women Men Love
  5. The New Sex Rules
  6. Feel Sexy Fast
  7. Sex Life Road Test
  8. The Shy Girl's Guide to Satisfaction (In Bed)
  9. Can I Really Have Sex There?
  10. Make the Ultimate Sex Connection
  11. 8 Kinds of Sex Every Couple Should Try
  12. 4 Weeks to a Hotter, Happier, More Satisfying Sex Life
  13. 12 Easy Moves to Make Your Sex Life Hotter
  14. Beyond the G-Spot
  15. The Sex Trick Busy Couples Swear By
  16. Love Your Sex Life
  17. Movie Sex: How to Have It
  18. Sexier Sex
  19. Quality Quickies
  20. 35 Sexy Places to Touch Your Man
  21. Double (or Triple) Your Pleasure In Bed: Multiple Orgasms
  22. DIY: Erotic Photographs
  23. Climactic Convergence: How to Peak at the Same Time
  24. 6 Surprise Hot Zones
  25. Why You Should Have Sex Tonight
  26. Secrets of Couples Who Have Lots of Sex
  27. How To Never Be Too Tired for Sex
  28. The Long-Lost Secret to Great Sex
  29. Hollywood's Best Sex Secrets
  30. 31 Ways to Say "Yes" To Sex
  31. 53 Secrets to Make Sex Sizzle
  32. The Sex Skill No Man Can Resist
  33. Spice Up Your Sex Life
  34. Make Love...Just Like in a Romance Novel
  35. Hot and Bothered
  36. 7 Sex Milestones That Bring You Closer Together
  37. Men Confess: "Our Hottest Night Ever"
  38. The Best Position for Making Love
  39. 12 Amazing Sex Tricks He Secretly Wants You to Know
Whether you're married or single (and can get past the references to husbands in the above articles), you will be able to use these tips to enjoy a steamy session with your partner.

Don't forget to bookmark this page so you can come back to enjoy more secrets for more satisfying sessions of sex.

Monday, July 28, 2008

ParenTeam: Stay-At-Home-Dads and Their Working Woman

Millions of dads are saying NO to corporate life and opting to stay home with their children.

Dual-income, stressed-out families are taking back their lives and embracing an alternative that provides more balance, control and happiness.

ParenTeam is devoted to making life easier by offering the best advice, inspiration and tricks-of-the-trade to help the stay-at-home husband work together with his working wife as a parenting team.

The work-family balancing act takes on new meaning when a stay-at-home dad is at the helm. At ParenTeam, you'll get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the daily life of a successful SAHD and see how he handles kitchen duty, household chores, discipline, shopping, schlepping around town, bedtime/naptime hassles and how he sprinkles everything he does with hugs & kisses.

First Moment Memories

There are three brand new babies in my family and I won't be able to meet them for another three weeks yet. So far, I've already purchased tiny little shoes and onesies and books for them, their siblings and parents.

One thing I have not yet done is purchase something or create something that honors their special day, in particular. I'm not a creative person (honestly) so I was thrilled to discover that a colleague of mine has recently started her own company: First Moments Memories.

From Founder:

"I love celebrating big events, and finding an artful way to remember them was hard to do. There are other keepsakes that capture similar information, but either the art wasn’t engaging, or there was too much text. Nothing I found captured the true celebratory feeling of a great event.

So little by little, I started piecing together the idea of original art, creative fonts, and something versatile that could go easily into a photo album, or be a great framed piece to admire.

Every time I look at one for my son and daughter, I find myself smiling. Why not share a smile?"

Coming to a Nursery Near You

It's Monday and it's Giveaway time! Snapfish is a great on line site that provides prints of your digital photos with a user-friendly website and the convenience of ordering the images day or night.

Coming to a Nursery Near You is hosting a giveaway and you can enter to win a pre-paid print card - good for 50 digital camera prints! Plus, if you’re a first time Snapfish user, you get an addition 20 prints!

Head on over and enter to win!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Word Art

As if I don't have enough addictions, I've just discovered the new word art that you can create over at Wordle. Below is a small thumbnail of my tag cloud from this blog. You can select your own words and randomize the colors, font and shape of the word cloud until you're satisfied.

Created at Wordle.

I was very satisfied with my results and can't wait to create more word art.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Films I Missed Since Becoming a Mom

  1. Into the Wild (2007)
  2. Pan's Labryinth (2006)
  3. Capote (2005)
  4. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  5. Spiderman 2 (2004)
What movies have you missed since becoming a parent?

And the movies that I plan on seeing in the theatre in the coming months:
  1. The Dark Knight
  2. The International
  3. Where the Wild Things Are (from the award-winning author / illustrator, Maurice Sendak)
  4. The Time Traveler's Wife (my all-time favorite book, written by Audrey Niffenegger)
  5. James Bond 22
  6. The Changeling
  7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (another film based on a novel)
  8. The Box
  9. The Fighter
  10. Shantaram (Johnny Depp plays lead role and owns book rights)

Laughter is the Best Medicine: Dad's Edition

Worst DriversDumb Dad of the Year
Top 10 Things Dads Never Say to Their WivesFunny Parenting Story
Funniest Things Dads Tell Their Children 2008 Husband of the Year Awards
The Tell-Tale HamsterFirst Kiss
The Desperate Dad’s Guide to Getting Some

Courtesy of Great Dad

Friday, July 25, 2008

Better Than Sex (In the City)

A 25 year old male Daily Bedpost reader wants to know what there is in NYC to keep him busy (and sex-free) for 100 days. Poor guy. Why, oh why, would anyone do such a thing? I've heard about the couple who vowed to have sex every day for 100 days, but no sex at all? I'm curious about his guidelines to his experiment.

Speaking of sex, over at What Men Think (one of my favorite blogs), casual sex is the topic discussed today.

Casual sex can lead to unplanned pregnancies, which is the case for the woman who wrote Accidentally on Purpose: A One-Night Stand, My Unplanned Parenthood, and Loving the Best Mistake I Ever Made. I'll be reviewing this memoir by Mary F. Pols in the next few weeks.

Apparently, single moms are on the rise and many suggest that this is due to the high divorce rates and women choosing to have children on their own.

I couldn't let a day go by without a top ten list, or on line quiz so here's both: Top Ten Signs You're a Working Mom followed by What Hand Gesture Are You? And if you're not convinced that your only child will remain an only child, check out this post on Dating an Only Child.

Mommy Wars: Suburban Legend?

Despite the many arguments about the fact that "Mommy Wars" is a media-driven term, I see evidence every day how parents - each with their unique challenges, and moms in particular - begin choosing sides from the time of conception:
  • Will I breastfeed or not?
  • Cloth or disposable?
  • Will I use a pacifier?
  • Natural birth, selected cesarean or hiring a doula?
  • Stay at home vs. Working Mom vs. Employing a Nanny?
There's no in between with these choices. You're either on one side or another, so to speak, and choosing which one can be as important - if not more - than the selection of your baby's name. Beyond the above decisions that each parent must choose (and it may be different for each child), there are the groups that parents fall into when their life choices are so drastically different than others:
  • voluntarily single moms vs. happily married wives
  • divorced women vs. unhappily married housewives
  • military moms vs. all other moms
  • widowed parents vs. parents with partners
The one thing that isn't discussed is the transition from one group to another. I know of an army wife who had a wonderful support system in place of both family and friends, most of whom were also military wives. The moment her husband died, she realized who her true friends really were when she was suddenly treated like an outsider - as if having a deceased husband was a contagious disease that others might catch.

Much more common these days, are those women who find themselves divorced and suddenly lost, not having a steady support system in place. Every place she turns, couples surround her
as she slowly realizes that her set of friends are changing and that those who she can truly relate to are also divorced - been there, done that.

I fall into another category altogether because even though I am divorced, I am not bitter, I don't spend time bashing my ex-husband or complaining about the lack of child support I receive. I'm one of the lucky ones. My ex and I share equal custody of our son, are equally involved in his life and communicate quite frequently about the day-to-day events that take place within our family. (Yes, I still consider the three of us a family.)

Other moms don't know where to place me. I work outside the home, put my son in a private daycare, spend time with him (and his dad, occasionally) and still have time to play. I'm not worried about what group my friends fall into. Some of my friends aren't even parents and, perhaps not surprisingly, most of the people I can truly relate to are dads. They've been treated as outsiders from day one with this whole parenting thing (as I often feel).

Websites, advertisements and baby products were created with Moms in mind. It's a challenge to be an actively involved father when there's little support in our society provided.

I'm not only concerned with how this affects parents but also how children are affected. What message are we sending to our little ones?

With each situation that a parent must deal with, his child must also cope with. I believe that every child comes into the world with special needs because of these unique circumstances.

Are you, as a parent or educator, prepared to handle the emotional needs of these young people? How is anyone surprised that today's children are medicated at an early age, or diagnosed with a psychological, social, or behavioral disorder before they reach adulthood? If their parents fall into a specific category, what other option do children have but to conform to a set of ideal behavioral expectations or befriend (only) those children whose parents are on the same side as their own?

I don't have the answers but I believe that asking the questions is a good place to start.

Suggested Reading:
Deliver This!: Make the Childbirth Choice That's Right for You . . . No Matter What Everyone Else Thinks

Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families

Feminine Mistake, The: Are We Giving Up Too Much?

Striking a Balance: Work, Family, Life

The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars: Who Decides What Makes a Good Mother?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Link Share

For writers who are also stay-at-home Moms or if you were raised by a stay-at-home Mom, an opportunity to share your story comes from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. They're looking for great stories and you can submit yours on line.

If you're not able to be in Las Vegas for the annual ENK show, be sure to check out the companies who will be highlighting their products. There are several reasons to head to Las Vegas but for those who have never been should certainly check out this event.

How Emotionally Intense is Your Child? Temperament plays a major role in how you and your child react to one another and how your child reacts to others.

Ms. Single Mama writes a touching letter to her future husband. Here's my favorite line:

"I’m not ready to meet you yet. Almost… but not quite. I’m working on it. I am dating but I won’t settle for anything less than - you."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

12 Tips to Being a Great Mom (or Dad)

by Vered of MomGrind
  1. Stay true to yourself.
  2. Don't be a martyr.
  3. Don't try to be perfect.
  4. Ditch the guilt.
  5. Be patient.
  6. Listen to your children.
  7. Be their mom, not their friend.
  8. Teach them simplicity.
  9. Don't push them too hard.
  10. Teach them self-esteem.
  11. Teach them to be self-reliant.
  12. Laugh and have fun!
Read more from Zen Habits.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

From Wild to Child

It takes six pregnancy tests for Rebecca Woolf to admit to herself that she is definitely pregnant. Hiding under the bathroom sink, smoking a cigarette and cursing herself, she informs her roommate, and then her boyfriend of four months, of the news.

After several months - and a wedding in Vegas - she convinces herself that life will not change when she becomes a mother. Fortunately, she discovers the truth: that life is best enjoyed when embracing the unexpected, that parenthood can change a person in ways that can never be undone, and that true love is only truly understood when one holds a newborn baby in their arms.

Rockabye: From Wild to Child is Rebecca Woolf's account of motherhood and how becoming a wife and parent changed her life, inspired her to accept herself - and her imperfections - as well as enabling her to be the best parent she never knew she could become.

With brutal honesty and the rawest of emotions, Rebecca beautifully and succinctly documents the adjustment to - and evolution of - motherhood and illustrates the fact that parenthood is messy, painful, scary, overwhelming and as precious as it is priceless.
"It's amazing how fast he stops crying when I pick him up. It is still hard to believe his cries are for me. Because he needs me. A feeling both wonderful and completely terrifying."
"...a child is not a sacrifice...unfaithfulness to one's desire is a choice, with or without children or a full-time job to make ends meet...The only way we can properly take care of our children is by taking care of ourselves first."
"The lessons we teach our children we should also remember to tell ourselves.
'Follow your dreams.'
'Be yourself.'
'Listen to your heart.'
'I believe in you.' "
"Happiness is the most underrated accessory to success. It is paramount to be inspired by life in order to be an inspiration to a child."
"...maybe it's just as important to cross the lines as it is to draw them."
Rebecca Woolf is a young mother and a mother who is young at heart, not to mention wise beyond her years. An inspirational and a humorous book for new parents, expecting divas and mature moms, Rockabye: From Wild to Child is a must-read for anyone learning to negotiate the limitless and life-changing experience that is parenthood.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Show and Tell

It has become a mission of mine to find - and share - the humorous, insightful and delightful blog posts that are posted on the web relating to parenting, relationships, sex and psychology. Here's several that I discovered from the last few days:

What Movie is Your Love Life Like?

It's as if they know me and my past...

Your Love Life is Like Casablanca

"Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time."

For you, love is never finished. If you've loved someone once,
you'll always love them.

You're an old fashioned romantic... even if your relationships
don't end up as romantic as you'd like.

Your love style: Traditional and understated

Your Hollywood Ending Will Be: Complicated and ambiguous

What Movie Is Your Love Life Like?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Shopping for the New GNR8tion

Generate Design carries some fabulous products for your home, including unique items for the children's play area. While many of their products are out of my price range, they're still fun to dream about.

Nido by Javier Mariscal

Woody Chalk Table by Eric Pfeiffer

Buk by Rodolfo Bonetto

Palette Plate by Skip Hop

Thinking of You by Tord Boontje

Vrooom by Mischa Vos

Friday, July 11, 2008

Discover: Science, Technology and the Future

I'm continually finding new resources for articles and issues relating to psychology, biology and science. It seems there's always more to Discover:

Succulent Summer Sale

The Succulent Wife is having a Summer Sale which could save you up to 40% off their remaining inventory!

Here are some of the things I've added to my wish list:

Old Skull Onesie

Roxy Belted Skirt Apron

Bling Bling Bliss Blank Note Cards
(Set of 8)

The Beerbelly

Kama Sutra Weekender Kit

Thursday, July 10, 2008

BlogHer and Other Influentials

Is it any surprise that the women behind BlogHer were named the top most influential female bloggers this year? BlogHer is a national organization that holds a conference every year - since 2005 - to bring women bloggers together for networking, education and pure fun! The next conference is just around the corner, from July 18 - 20 in San Francisco.

Introduce yourself to the rest of the influential women from NxE's 50 Most Influential Female Bloggers. Don't ask why they've put the word female in quotes. The important thing is that they're profiling these entrepreneurs and giving them their time in the spotlight.


Since I'm teaching a parenting workshop this summer on Temperament, I've been looking into resources and information to help me prepare. I'm teaching this same course in two different locations, one in Vista, the other in La Mesa.

While the course will help parents identify nine different temperaments and teach them skills to manage them, there is always need to point out real life discussions and articles that focus on this same topic.

According to a study conducted at the University of Chicago, the temperament of an infant can predict future behavior (and behavior problems). The findings of this study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, claim "that interventions focusing on parenting during the first year of life would be beneficial in preventing future child conduct problems."

Take this online quiz to learn a bit more about your child's temperament and your reaction to his or her personality.

Weekend Blog Hopping

I'm in!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Word on the Street

Over at MomLogic there's a few articles and discussions that captured my attention in the last few days:

PassionParties have been taking place inside suburban homes for years now but there's a new surge of these women-only events taking place around the country. According to PassionParties, at
least 10,000 parties are held nationally each month to expose women to sex toys that they might otherwise be too embarrassed to shop for on their own! Have you attended a passion party? Have you hosted one?

In another article, a heated debate is getting underway about affairs and whether or not emotional affairs are more harmful than physical. I'm torn on this one and would argue that any affair causes damage to a relationship. What do you think?

Baby Loves Disco: Los Angeles

Purchase Tickets for Baby Loves Disco
July 19, 2008
@ Cinespace in Hollywood

Head to the BLD LA site to meet your host, the DJ and check out the sponsors for the upcoming event!

Empowering Parents

Sex Talk

There are a lot of discussions around the blogosphere relating to sex and relationships. Here are a few that I recently discovered:
Interested in helping me out with my upcoming parenting workshop, Let's Talk About Sex? Kindly take the time to fill out the questionnaire (answers will be kept confidential) and return to me via email of fax. Pass along the link to your friends and family members as well. I am hoping for responses from both men and women of all ages. Participants will earn fabulous incentives for helping out (provided you allow me a way to contact you).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Blogroll, Please

New additions to my blogroll - many discovered via Twitter (my latest addiction) or from Psychology Today:

The Bears & the Bees

First of all, I love the name of the new Trail Mix flavor - Bears & Bees. I received my BzzKit for the new Teddy Grahams Trail Mix campaign. The kit contained an 8 ounce box of the Bears & Bees Snack Mix(chocolate graham teddy-shaped snacks, honey flavored graham flavored bees, pretzels and yogurt flavored raisins) and an 8 ounce box of Bears & Cheese Crackers (honey graham teddy-shaped snacks, pretzels, raisins and cheese nip crackers).

Nabisco sure does know its flavors. I wasn't sure about the raisins in the cheese package or the pretzels in the other but somehow, it works. Of course, I suggest you pop a handful in your mouth - of either assortment - for the best tasting experience.

I've been a BzzAgent for quite some time, although I couldn't tell you how long. Being a BzzAgent means that I receive information, coupons or samples of products to test out and share with those I am in contact with. I am asked to share my honest opinion and of course be up front with people that I'm not selling anything but simply promoting products I love.

These Teddy Grahams are seriously yummy and I am doubtful that there will be anything left to share when my son returns to this house in a few days. I was a bit disappointed that there weren't coupons in the BzzKit since I'd love to hand them out to my son's friends and our neighbors with little ones.

Also in the mail today - besides this yummy BzzKit - was the official packet of paperwork to fill out for the upcoming school year this afternoon. One of the things that caught my attention was that they have declared the school a "Nut-Free Zone" due to the high level of students who have major peanut allergies. The first thing I looked at when I took out the snack boxes from the BzzKit was the list of ingredients. I am always aware when products have a warning on the side that states that they either contain peanuts or have been processed in the same facility where peanuts are present. To my knowledge, this is not the case with the Teddy Grahams snack mix so I'm very excited to share these during our family's turn at Snack Time.

Also interesting to note is that Scholastic has teamed up with Teddy Grahams to create a fun and informative website with reading tips, book lists and of course, "Play time with Teddy" activities. I'm definitely going to be checking that out so that my son and I have another safe website to enjoy.

I'm off to dip my hands into the Trail Mix again. I sure hope my neighborhood grocery store has these in stock next time I visit. I have a feeling these will become a family favorite.

When Hallmark Just Won't Do

Now, before I continue, I must say that I love Hallmark. However, not all situations or people are worthy of a Hallmark card. And that's where SomeEcards come in handy.

This is a good one to send to a lover if you've discovered that he or she has cheated:

When you care enough to invite an ex-lover to your wedding:

The BEST Father's Day card, ever:

To share with fellow co-workers:

Several of these cards will offend and possibly disturb some individuals. These are the same cards that will make others (such as myself) laugh out loud and want to send them to each and every one that you know. Spread the joy and be sure to leave a comment here with a link to your favorite SomeEcards!