Sunday, August 31, 2008

What it Takes to be a Good Parent

"Children from families with high expectations and values tend to find each other, have good marriages and continue to produce quality children despite what the environmental influences may be."
This is a statement made by Dr. Val Farmer before he outlines his ideas behind what it takes to be a good parent in today's culture.

While I question Dr. Farmer's definition of "quality children" (vs. non-quality children?), I do agree with many of his suggested ingredients for successful parenting. Below is my edited version of his list:
1. Be a good example.
2. Be attentive to each child's needs.

3. Accept and respect each child as individuals. Help them become responsible in their decision making. Respect their basic dignity as developing human beings with minds and lives of their own.

4. Know your values and pass on those values while children are young. 

5. Bond your children to those who share similar values and beliefs. Involvement in community will be of great support to family life.

6. Be consistent, firm and fair in your discipline. Teach responsibility and the work ethic through family duties. 

7. Minimize conflict and criticism within the family. 
8. Accept and tolerate individual preferences while focusing attention on important values and principles.
9. Teach them to respect your authority as well as outside authority.

10. Teach them to show kindness, appreciation and tolerance for others from different races, religions and in all walks of life. Help them learn to give service to others and the community.

11. Help them develop a joy of reading and learning. 

12. Have fun in the family. Create memories. Do things together that are special and different. Celebrate birthdays, holidays and special days with gusto and enthusiasm. Work and play together. Use those moments to love, teach and cherish them.

13. Provide gentle guidance and opportunities for your children to meet and develop friendships. Friendships are laboratories for learning about morality and the give-and-take in relationships.

14. Help them develop their talents and abilities. Their sense of self will grow as they explore their likes and dislikes and take pleasure in their accomplishments. Attend and support their activities. School success and extra-curricular activities build self-worth.

15. Have family meals together - it is important. The food and family interaction nurtures more than the body. It is a time of sharing and bonding.

16. Love them and encourage them.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mama for Obama

I know you all heard it. I know you are all still pumped from the energy surrounding the DNC and that's exactly why I want to share with you some of my favorite excerpts from Obama's acceptance speech.

And, for those Mamas out there who would like to use this lovely badge that I created, please link it back to this post and kindly give me credit for the creation of it:

Sen. Barack Obama:
...[the] promise that has always set this country
apart, that through hard work and sacrifice, each
of us can pursue our individual dreams but still
come together as one American family, to ensure
that the next generation can pursue their dreams
as well.
America, we are better than these last eight years.
We are a better country than this. And we are
here because we love our country too much to
let the next four years look like the last eight.
On November 4, we must stand up and say:
"Eight is enough."

Our government should work for us, not against
us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure
opportunity, not just for those with the most
money and influence, but for every American
who's willing to work.
and I'm glad he was able to experience Obama's presence and hear the powerful message he shared.

Senator Barack Obama, you've got this mama's vote.

Five Percent

In every relationship, we should keep in mind that each of us needs to give 110%, that way there is no question of someone not doing their part or pitching in. It's never going to be an equal balance of give and take so even better advice is to not keep track at all. Simply give and you will receive (just as many others from history have said).

If you are looking for ways to give more, keep in mind the 5% rule, suggested by Neil Rosenthal, and based on his experience as a marriage and family therapist:
"...Make sure you hold yourself accountable for doing what you say — consistently — over time. Saying or thinking it isn’t enough. You must do it and then continue doing it. That’s what a happy, healthy, committed love relationship requires of all of us. And it sure beats being in a marriage counselor’s office being guided by someone else to do it."
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Denver and Boulder, specializing in strengthening intimate relationships.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Custody Battles

I love reading about custody schedules that work for everyone involved. I adore families who get along for the sake of their children and appreciate stories of divorced couples who remain friends.

Let's face it, though, this is not always the case and for every story that includes a happy ending, there are those that are sadly dysfunctional and even harmful.

My situation is no exception. When my husband filed for a divorce in 2006, I was mad. I was angry, hurt, confused, depressed, guilty, and pretty much in denial until he moved out two months later. It was a long two months. I don't think I slept at all during that time, nor did I have a pleasant word to say to or about him.

Needless to say, I've learned to put my feelings aside to focus on the needs of our son. It certainly hasn't been easy and we battled it out in court for quite some time since I tried to seek the court's approval to move - with my son - back to Minnesota where my family lives, and where I grew up.

I wanted to raise my son near family; my sister's family and my parents ,in particular. The fact that my ex-husband's family lives on the East Coast played a major role in my decision as well since I argued that we'd be closer to them once we moved. I had fully anticipated that the court would grant this request and that my husband would eventually get over his feelings so we could focus on the needs of our son.

I was not expecting the court to deny my request but they - at that time - felt that my son was too young to be "taken away" from his father. Those were the words my ex used to describe what I was trying to do. He felt that I was trying to deny his right to be in our son's life and was upset with me for trying to take our son away from him.

Last week, I was in Minnesota, without my son. It was hard for me - extremely difficult - to think about what life would be like if my son and I lived there. He would be able to grow up with his cousins (dozens of them) and run around outside and, most likely, I would be able to buy a house with a yard and provide him with a childhood filled with happy memories like I have from growing up there.

The judge did mention that I could come back to court when our son was older to make this request again - to move to Minnesota - away from his father. I think about this every day and have even questioned whether or not I could move to Minnesota on my own and leave my son behind. I come to the same conclusion every time.

You can imagine how difficult it would be for me to live somewhere without my son. What he is "missing out on" is only in my mind since he knows nothing other than California as home and his mom and dad as family.

As he gets older, I have a feeling he will want to be with his father more often which is understandable. I am much closer to my mom and have been since I was young - another reason why it's so hard to live thousands of miles away.

My sister and I spent last week together with her two young boys. I miss them all. My friends and family mean the world to me and it's a difficult decision I've made to live here until my son is old enough to understand my desire to be closer to the rest of my family. That doesn't make it any easier but it does provide me with more reason to share with my loved ones just how much they mean to me, no matter where I call home.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Weekly Parenting News

This week's edition of Parenting News You Can Use is now available! This week, find articles and insights on the following:

  • Byron Katie on Oprah’s Soul Series
  • Backpack Safety
  • Getting Boys to Read
  • There is More In You than You Know
  • Is Reading On line Really Reading?
  • A Bug’s Life is Still Hopping 10 Years Later
  • Coping with a Spouse’s Negative Attitude
  • Green Tip: The Impact of Body Care Products
If you would like to subscribe to the weekly edition of Parenting News You Can Use, please send me your email address so I can be sure to have the newsletter delivered directly to your INBOX. You can also find the latest edition on line.

Fathers, Husbands, & Men

Tyler from Building Camelot put together many amazing lists of blogs and specific posts that might appeal to men, whether they are married, have children or otherwise.

Since I'm into reading blogs by dads and appreciate the male perspective on relationships, I'm including a link back to Tyler's posts where the lists can be found:

What am I missing? Comment here if you think I'm missing out on a great discussion or blog written from the male point-of-view.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When a Marriage Fails

David, over at Dad's House, inspired this post since his statements - and the comments that followed - really struck a chord with me.

Calling a marriage a failure is damaging to our society. Imagine what it is like to be a child of divorced parents and hearing that statement (a failed marriage) throughout one's life. No wonder they are more likely to experience divorce themselves.

Before I go into my own experience and thoughts on this, let me begin by explaining that my parents are married and have been together for over 35 years. They've had their difficult years and there was a time in my life where I actually wanted them to get a divorce. I felt (because I was 16 and knew so much about the world) that my mom should leave my dad and life would be peachy keen for everyone (a.k.a. me).

Obviously, I thank my lucky stars that they are still together since I see them now and realize how much I have learned from them and their relationship. No one walks into marriage without baggage and no one walks away from one without regret.

Two people come together, fall in love, make each other complete. They try to get along and lead a happy life, but over time something changes and they can’t. They split and move on.

Is that failure? If they grew from the experience, it’s evolution. If being married forced that change, then maybe the marriage served its purpose and it’s a success.

Yep, I think growth and change is definitely an evolution and our society is not one to embrace such change, unfortunately. Change and growth are scary things to many people and it's that fear that leads to talking about marriage as either a success or failure that is damaging.

If we succeed at something, doesn't that typically mean we no longer have goals we are trying to reach? We've exceeded our expectations and we no longer have to put forth any effort? Um, no.

If one chooses to remain single (and never marries) does that mean they have failed as well? NO! Marriage should not be seen as something that we need to win or lose at (success vs. fail) but rather, an experience and a relationship that changes us (hopefully, for the better). There are certainly many experiences and relationships in one's lifetime that also produce change and we would never label them as a failure or a success. Why do we put so much pressure on marriage?

My marriage ended over two years ago. My son was a result of that relationship and I would - if only because of him - have to say that our marriage was a success. I have no regrets (although I had plenty of guilt) and I have no doubt in my mind that my son will grow up to have a healthy self-esteem, parents that love him unconditionally, and an equal and fair chance at finding that one person to spend the rest of his life with as the rest of us.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

10 Things Men Wish Women Would Know

I have been shopping around (so to speak) for relationship advice lately as many people I know have been coming to me (for who knows what reason) to ask me for my thoughts and insight on marriage and the future of love and intimacy as I know it.

Alright, so my suggestions usually fall along the lines of, "Here's What NOT To Do," based on my personal experience with a failed marriage and several failed relationships before and afterwards.

Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites have introduced me to may blog, including the lylah blog. Even though this post is from last year, there are relevant ideas here for any relationship (not just marriage)

I need to preface this by saying that I am not a religious person. Even though I grew up Catholic and spent the majority of my education at Catholic schools, I don't pray or attend church (unless there's a wedding, baptism or funeral to attend) but I do consider myself a spiritual person.

The reason why I bring this up is that I want to tell you about my experience with the Bible. I read many stories from the Bible growing up and got many things from it. I believe that there are many great lessons to be learned within the pages, whether or not one believes in the stories from a faith point-of-view or, as in my experience, if you enjoy quotes and the power of language.

Let's face it. The Bible is well-written and well-edited. With my publishing background and love of literature, I look at the Bible much differently as an adult. There are passages and stories written by different people in this collection, and you would be hard-pressed to find one that is not a good storyteller.

I'm getting off track here. What I do want to say though, before I continue with the point of this post, is that I read the Bible as I would any other book. I read between the lines, I disregard some parts of it while re-read others.

The biblical quotes that are included in this list from the lylah blog are powerful and relevant to the message she's trying to communicate. I encourage you to create your own list (with your partner) to be sure to have a better understanding of his or her needs.

Finally, the list:

   10 Things Men Want Women to Take to Heart:
  1. Don't Try to Change Me
  2. Respect Me
  3. Understand
  4. Pray for Me
  5. See Me as God Sees Me
  6. Let Me Be Me
  7. Let me OWN the Responsibility
  8. Feed Me (I take this to mean both physically and spiritually)
  9. Build Me Up
  10. Express Your Discontent & Disappointment in Me Without Anger
I would be curious to know what men would want their wives to know and vice versa, that are not included in this list. I encourage you to add them in the comments below.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I know little about ADHD other than what media reports about the increase of young people diagnosed with this "disorder." Growing up, I don't think this term was in existence, at least not that I was aware of.

My son is only 4 1/2 and not at risk, I don't think, for ADHD, but it doesn't hurt to be aware of the symptoms and learn a little more about it since, chances are, either he or someone he knows will be diagnosed with ADHD over the coming years.

I discovered a great article this morning, courtesy of Your Total Health, which included some facts that might help parents and teachers that work with young children.
I'd love to hear from readers who have children that have been diagnosed with ADHD or if you are an adult living with ADHD yourself. We all learn from each other so I'd like to know what your biggest challenges have been and what we can learn from your experience.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sesame Street Revamps Website

My son has outgrown Sesame Street although we still watch PBS Kids from time to time. I especially enjoy WordGirl, Between the Lions, Arthur, Super WHY!, WordWorld, and Dragon Tales.

I recently heard that Sesame Street has revamped its website so I had to check it out. I can't even tell you how much fun my son and I have playing games on line. He first learned his colors and how to use the computer mouse from the learning activities found on this family-friendly website. Now, he's learning basic math skills from Cyber Chase and I can't begin to describe how safe I feel when he's on the site, having fun and learning at the same time.

I often get letters in the mail from Sesame Workshop, asking for donations. I will tell you that even though my son no longer watches Sesame Street, I will always send them money since I know how valuable those early experiences with language and learning truly are to my child's development.

If you haven't visited the Sesame Street since it made some improvements, head over now. The site for parents includes many great tips, such as the article on Understanding How Preschoolers Handle Stress or Handling Delicate or Hurtful Situations.

Female Superheroes

Recently, I read a post over at Tao 1776 on Superheroes and got me thinking about the female superheroes that I grew up with.

Kim Possible

The first names that come to mind are Wonder Woman, Catwoman and Batgirl. Of course, there were also more characters introduced as I got a bit older and with the new generation of cartoons and video games that cropped up over the years, such as She-Ra, the Powerpuff Girls, Princess Zelda, Rainbow Brite, Sailor Moon, Tank Girl, Xena, and Kim Possible.
Wonder Woman

The thing that I immediately notice is the difference between the original female superheroes and the modern characters from today. While I assume that most readers of comics are male, the new trend and hype surrounding manga and cartoons these days appeal to a wider audience of viewers and the parents that allow their children to be introduced by a more diverse cast of heroes and heroines of either sex.

I'd like to think that my son has a chance to view superheroes from a different perspective that I had growing up. I think that my feminist streak was born out of my interest in cars, cartoons, action, adventure and not having as many role models to choose from that were also girly in their own way.
Sailor Moon

I was such a tomboy growing up and, of course, my two best friends in the neighborhood were boys. We would play dress up and pretend we were superheroes and I, inevitably, was Wonder Woman. What lessons did I learn from her? Well, that she could be sexy, powerful and still kick ass and I am not so sure that's what I want my son to learn about power and kicking ass (it isn't always sexy).


Perhaps if I had a young daughter, this answer might be more clear to me as far as which superhero I would like to be and why, but for now, I'm happy with the idea that there are more options for young girls to choose from and more realistic characters for them to relate to and aspire to become as they get older.

And yes, I do hope that my son (and all young boys and girls) grow up to be powerful, sexy and still kick ass (just perhaps not all in the same day).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bloggers Unite

I continue to discover more blogs written by Moms and Dads. There are so many great writers that I now read on a regular basis that I am finding less and less time to write. It's a good thing that reading helps inspire me, because I'm often compelled to respond to a post I come across with one of my own.
Here's this week's latest blogs written by some great parents:

Check out more great site for parents along the blogroll in my sidebar. I have included each and every mom and dad authored blog that I've come across. Please let me know what I've been missing.


I'm a bit concerned about your concern for this plan. The last sentence of this plan, which you included in your post, clearly states that this would be a "voluntary universal pre-school," so, since you are not in agreement with having your child placed in this type of program, you would not be obligated to do so.

My son has been in full-time educational programs since he was 18 months old. He's now 4 1/2 and is a smart, polite and thoughtful little boy. He spent the first year and a half of his life with either his father or I, and I was lucky enough to be able to bring him with me to work every day (since I was breastfeeding) until he was 7 months old.

For many parents who don't have the option to stay home with their children, this "voluntary universal pre-school" is a great program and I fully stand behind Obama (for this and many other reasons).

I am also Pro-Choice and donate money on a regular basis to both NARAL and Planned Parenthood. I believe these organizations are doing many great thing for men and women of all ages. And, just to be clear, I am a Mom. I have never had an abortion nor would I ever have one. I do believe, however, that each one of us should have the power to make that decision for ourselves. Who am I (or anyone else) to judge another's actions?

I appreciate the fact that there are programs in place that Obama has outlined that are meant to help prevent unplanned pregnancies from occurring in the first place:

Barack Obama is an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. The Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods. The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception, and provide compassionate assistance to rape victims.

I hadn't planned on using my blog to discuss politics or share my personal views on the upcoming elections, but I feel quite compelled to speak up against those who, instead of defending their beliefs and justifying the reasons for voting for whoever it is they plan on voting for, they are instead, spending their time badmouthing those who they don't agree with.

We have the power, in this country, to vote for who we believe would make the best President. Of course, no one's perfect and it's rather unlikely that we will agree 100% with each and every opinion, thought, action or philosophy of those who are on the ballot.

What really gets under my skin is that you would use manipulation and try to get to people, emotionally, with the graphic nature of the video posted on your blog. I wouldn't dare link to it, or suggest that anyone view it, no matter what side they take on abortion and the types of abortion procedures that take place in our world.

I would be very interested to know what you suggest or what your *ideal* President believes about babies born to parents who didn't intentionally conceive them. We all make mistakes and bad decisions. Many of us have experienced the consequences of the choices that we make and learn from these mistakes, or from others'.

What do you think would be the best option for these unwanted babies (approximately 1.3 million abortions are performed each year in the U.S.)?

Obama may not have all of the answers, but I truly believe that his dedication to the people and our rights is of great value to our country.

I'll see you at the polls.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mommy Needs Therapy

Next week, I'm going to be a guest blogger over at Katt's blog, Mommy Needs Therapy. That's right...she's letting me write about whatever the hell I want so stop by next week to read my guest post at her site.

Guest bloggers will be joining me from time to time and I am always looking for more people to fill that need when writer's block takes hold or I travel, or I just want to take a break. Please comment here if you'd be interested in being a guest blogger in the near future.

I look forward to checking out new blogs along the way and hope you enjoy Mommy Needs Therapy as much as I do.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Happy Being Single

It's interesting to see how single women and men, with or without children, seem to always be questioned about their relationship status. My friends from college joined me last night for drinks. There were five us there and each of us had quite a unique situation going on in our lives and each one of us was perfectly content with the way things are going.

I chat an awful lot about my personal relationships so readers know that I'm content being single, and am still having many of my needs met from different sources in my life. Let me share with you the status of the four friends that were at my table.

One friend is married. He has a toddler and Baby #2 on the way. Another friend is engaged and getting ready to start her life in a new city with her future husband. Another friend is preparing for her wedding next year. They have been together for about a decade and have a son together. They've been living as a married couple for many years but are making it official next summer. And last, but certainly not least, there was a friend there who is also single. He has no children, has never been married and is not dating anyone at the moment.

Each one of our situations and experiences are quite unique. Each one of us is pretty honest and open about the way our lives have turned out and brought us to the place we are now. I am so pleased that we have been able to keep in touch and that we all make time to get together every once in a while to catch up.

Since my single friend and I had much in common - between people asking us about marriage and whether or not we'll settle down with anyone and questions about kids and whether or not we see babies in our future, I decided to talk to him about being single.

The two of us continued the conversation after the others at the table went home. He and I discussed how satisfied we are with our lives right now and the idea that somehow every one is meant to have a life partner doesn't quite work for us.

I think that, for me, I was always meant to be alone. And being alone no longer equates to loneliness. I admit, there are times I feel lonely and yearn for people who are far away, or miss having someone to wake up with each morning, but for the most part, I enjoy single life.

I like dating and getting to know people and having them in my life for certain periods of time and for different reasons. I am not actively looking for someone to spend the rest of my life with or be a dad figure to my son. I would be perfectly happy if I were in the same position by the time I turn forty.

There is one thing that I do think about changing with regards to my family. I would like to have a second child someday. Perhaps even a third. Do I start trying to conceive now so my son would be five when I have the second, or do I wait until a man comes along that is willing to help me raise a child?

Many men, and women, choose to be single parents from day one. There's a term for them. They're called intentionally single parents and while I don't think I would ever label myself this way if I did decide to raise another baby on my own, I do think that there needs to be more support for these types of families.

I think I'll throw it out there to the men in my life, the fact that I want to have another baby someday. Actually, most of them already know that I wouldn't mind having a second. What I don't think I've shared with them is that I wouldn't mind taking on that job solo. I wonder how many men would be willing to be a donor, willing to help me make this happen while being able to step aside and let me play Mom one more time.

What do you think? Is this a selfish decision that one makes or is this me craving a baby because I'm spending time this week with my 8 week old nephew? The jury's still out on what will happen next and I don't like living in absolutes. I'd be curious to know what readers think.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dancing My Ass Off

I hardly ever have the TV on. Lately, of course, I've been watching the Olympics and when my son is with me we watch PBS Kids or Nick Jr. on occasion, but other than that, my TV is typically turned off. Alright, I admit, there are a few nights when I stay awake watching BRAVO but seriously, there's nothing I'm committed to watching on a regular basis.

I'm embarrassed to say then, that a few days ago I ended up watching an entire infomercial. The music and the dancing is what stopped me from skipping past the channel. It wasn't until a minute into it that I realized I was watching a paid advertisement but I couldn't stop watching. I was intrigued.

Now, before I share the product with you (yes, I ended up buying it), I do need to remind you of the challenge that I accepted. I haven't purchased new running shoes yet, or a bike, but I seriously need to do something to get back in shape and lose a few pounds (and hopefully one dress size).

You're probably dying to know what product it was that sold me with their infomercial, right? It was one that I had not heard of before and the before & after photos seemed so real that I couldn't help but wonder if this was something that could truly work for me.

Zumba® Fitness is a new program created by Beto Perez. He claims that this program is so effective that you can lose up to a dress size in just 10 days. In fact, he offers a money back guarantee.

This total-body transformation system has been proven to burn up to 1,000 calories per hour! So what's the program and how does it differ from the compeition?

Well, it's meant to make you feel like you're at a party or club with its scorching fusion of world music and spicy dance rhythms. One of my friends has been taking salsa lessons for nearly two months now and has dropped several pounds just by dancing. With my schedule being what it is, I knew that this DVD system that I can do from home or take with me on the road would be the best chance for me to have this same experience.

Alberto "Beto" Perez is from Colombia and is a celebrity fitness trainer and choreographer for international pop superstars. Inspired by the traditional cumbia, salsa, samba and merengue music that he grew up with, Beto paired his favorite pulsating Latin rhythms with the red-hot international dance steps his clients loved.

Along with the DVDs that contain the different programs to introduce cardio into your routine as well as sculpt and tone muscle, the Accelerated Fat Loss program is included as well as toning sticks, which are a combination of weights and maracas that let you make music as you shake your way to a tight, toned body.

My sister has agreed to participate with me this week so in a few days I'll report back with our success stories and hopefully, I'll be able to share with you some before and after pics of my own if I can just stick to it and commit to adding this fun and unique routine - and diet - into my schedule.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Check This Out

ABC Kids Expo is just a few weeks away and I'm getting more excited with each day as I continue to receive phone calls, email and postcards from the companies that will be there to present their products.

Here's another batch of vendors that I intend to visit with in Las Vegas:

I also was asked to review a few products that were meant for moms with new babies. As I don't have a baby myself, I had a baby sling and new bottles sent to my sister. I'm visiting her right now. I'll be seeing both the slings and bottles myself and let you all know what we thought at the end of this week.

For now, I'm off to bed. After traveling, meeting the new baby, and entertaining my older nephew for a while, I'm exhausted. Jet lag will kick in if I don't get to bed right this minute. Until tomorrow...

Proud Mama

Michael Phelps has made history with his 8 Gold Medals and a World Record. One medal after the other...

What's amazing to me is the fact that, not only was Michael diagnosed with ADHD as a child, but he was also raised (along with his two sisters) by a single mom.

This isn't unusual, really. Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Bill Cosby were raised by single moms. Even Barack Obama was brought up in a single parent home.

What bothers me is that there's many different definitions of "single mom," and it's usually one that is the complete opposite of who I am.

I admit, my son's father and I went through a stressful and drawn-out divorce (due to me and my bitterness), but now, we get along great and I don't know what I'd do without his support. My son is with his dad right now, thousands of miles away. My son's father is more involved than many dads. We're lucky to have him.

Yes, I'm a single mom, which - to me - means that I am single and I am a mom. Nothing in those two words hint at whether or not there is a father figure in my son's life but, there is. My son has many men in his life that act as positive role models for him. Right now, my son is spending 8 days with his dad on the East Coast, while I teach a parenting course and visit my family and friends back home.

I get to meet my sister's youngest son (only 8 weeks old) for the first time today. I'm thrilled to finally meet him and spend the week spoiling him and his older brother. I haven't blogged about it much or talked about it only because it's difficult for me to be so far away but it gets easier as time goes by since I have so much to focus on, besides how quickly time flies by...while I'm having fun.

I am also going to spend time with my friends from college, meet my best friend's (from high school) fiance, and, of course, get caught up in my reading - both on line and in print.

I look forward to sharing my travel experiences here so stay tuned for stories from the Midwest, where people are known for being real, honest and sincere. Minnesota Nice. I can't wait to be back home.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blog Day 2008

Blog Day 2008 is two weeks away. Are you prepared?

Blog Day 2008

Participate by adding a badge to your site and research at least 5 blogs to share with others. Instructions are simple:
  1. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting
  2. Notify the 5 bloggers that you are recommending them as part of BlogDay 2008
  3. Write a short description of the Blogs and place a link to the recommended Blogs
  4. Post the BlogDay Post (on August 31st)
  5. Add the BlogDay tag using this link: and a link to the BlogDay web site:

Moms Like Us

My mom is my behind-the-scenes partner. I don't think she realizes how much of an impact she has made on my career as a writer. Although, she probably remembers more about the beginning of my writing career than I do since I started writing at an early age (on her typewriter).

She's the one who introduced me to Alltop and she continues to send me links, articles, blog posts and websites that always leave me wondering what I'd do without her...where I'd be.

Just yesterday, she sent me a link to a new site dedicated to connecting moms, locally. Of course there's a site for me here in San Diego and it also covers many cities throughout the country.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mommy Blogs

In preparation for Blog Day 2008, I'm researching many new blogs that I am so excited to share with readers. I plan on sharing many new blogs between now and the end of August and I hope that it helps bring traffic to both my site and theirs. Us bloggers need to stick together, support one another and help each other out.

Here are a few blogs that I discovered tonight, thanks to the wonderful blog directories that exist:
Now, if you write a Mommy Blog (or Daddy blog) or a blog related to relationships, dating, health, or psychology, please include a URL in the comments so we can all discover more great reads. And if you visit the sites above, please tell them I sent you!

It Takes a (San Diego) Village

Redirecting Children's Behavior (RCB) of San Diego is proud to present

The First Annual "IT TAKES A VILLAGE" Conference

A 1-day convention for parents, teachers, coaches, grandparents, caregivers,
and anyone who interacts with children.

September 20, 2008
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

University of San Diego
Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110

Over a dozen parenting workshops will be held throughout this one-day event. Here are just a sample of courses offered:

  • Consequences that Work
  • Effective Parent-Child Communication
  • Enjoying the Teen Years
  • Flower Essence Therapy
  • Power Struggles in the Classroom
  • Handling Sibling Rivalry
  • Kids and Money, Abundance and Scarcity
  • Let’s Talk about Sex..the Birds and the Bees (Please help me prepare for this workshop by filling out this questionnaire!)
  • New Tools and Techniques in Place of Praise
  • Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom
  • Redirecting for the Single Parent
  • Couple's Communication
  • Strategies for Parents in High-conflict Divorce
  • Welcome to the Wonderful World of Sports
  • Balancing Love with Discipline (English & Spanish)
  • No I Won’t & You Can’t Make Me! (English & Spanish)

Keynote Speaker, Max Simon will join over a dozen Certified Parent Educators* from the San Diego RCB team to inspire peace!

Max Simon, a new school leader of consciousness, has toured the country with Deepak Chopra M.D. and his father, Dr. David Simon, teaching meditation and yoga to thousands of people.

Also presenting will be Emcee, Jeff Detrow from Star 94.1 (the Jeff‐N‐Jer Radio Show) and Susie Walton, founder of Indigo Village and recipient of the San Diego Parent Educator of the Year award. Susie will be presenting a special message about Indigo Children.

Register before September 13th for your early-bird discount!

*Educators are certified through the International Network for Children and Families (INCAF).