Monday, June 29, 2009

As seen in Baby Couture

The summer issue of Baby Couture arrived the other day. Tori & Dean along with their adorable tots appear on the cover. An article - and photos - of Scott Baio's family can be found inside, along with many hip and haute fashions for infants and toddlers. Here's just a small sample of the clothing lines found in this Special Anniversary Issue (for kids and adults):
Of course, the cutest clothes in the Tori Spelling article were from her own line of baby clothes, Little Maven, available in department stores and boutiques this fall!

You or your child can upload a photo to the Baby Couture editors for a chance at modeling in an upcoming issue! Head over to their website to register.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Book Review: Handle with Care

I bought Handle with Care several months ago, but for some reason, I got distracted (with other books) and didn't pick it up again until I got on the airplane last week. I brought it with me to my sister's house, thinking I might actually have time to read between hanging out with her and my parents and the three boys (my son and 2 nephews).

I finally was able to start reading it again in the jacuzzi bathtub that my parents finally invited me to use for the first time. They've lived in their place now for over four years and it took my son having a jacuzzi bath for them to offer me the same opportunity, but I digress.

The bulk of the book was read on the plane ride back home. My son is an amazing traveler, closing his eyes just after take off and opening them again two hours later, with enough time for me to complete the last half of this emotionally charged book by Jodi Picoult.

There's many controversial stories inside Picoult's novels, with heart-wrenching stories and endearing characters who are given their own voice in her books.

The many characters in this novel deal with disabilities, divorce, eating disorders, abortion and adoption. Jodi does a fabulous job, once again, covering the many sides to each story, giving every one of the characters a unique voice whom I believe all readers will be able to relate to on some level. She carries out this thought-provoking and heartbreaking story with an ending like no other. Actually, the ending wasn't really surprising to me, since it mimics the ending of another story of Picoult's. I won't say which one, but fans will have to let me know if you agree or disagree if or when you read this one.

Discussion questions for book clubs can be found on the official Jodi Picoult website, along with information, reviews and interviews.

My Sister's Keeper is out in theaters this week. I highly encourage you to read the book if you haven't already. It's one of my favorites.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You know it's bad when you start dipping into your kid's piggy bank

So, I've been on "funemployed" since the beginning of the year and guess what? The fun is starting to run out. That's right. My last unemployment check arrives next month and I'm starting to bite my nails and desperately search the couch for loose change.

Luckily, my ex-husband is digging into his pockets to help us out, starting next month, after all, he's partly responsible for putting us into this financial sinkhole since our divorce nearly bankrupted me. Needless to say, I did make some not-so-smart choices when it came to money so I can't really put the blame on anyone else.

My son and I have been making some big changes this year in the way we spend our time (with less money) so this experience has been a major lesson for the both of us about finances and how our lives can be full and rich without the big balance in our checking account.

Now, if only I can get him to start selling lemonade or something else equally adorable. I read an article last week about a mom and daughter who bought a van and converted it into an ice cream truck. Now that sounds like an awesome part-time job...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Feeling Homesick

I'm visiting my family & friends this week in Minnesota, celebrating many different things, including the wedding of my college friends, my nephew's first birthday and of course, Father's Day.

It's always a whirlwind of a trip whenever we come, trying to cram in as many family visits as possible and squeeze in as many happy hours with friends. One thing I've really been reminded of this time is how precious family truly is

My parents have been keeping an eye on my son while I get some work done (like right now) and my sister and her husband took on an extra child for the night while I enjoyed the wedding and reception of my friends of nearly 15 years.

For those of you who have parents or in-laws close by, be grateful for them, even if there are things they do or say that you might not agree with

I'll miss my family when we get back to our house, but as they say, "Home is where your Mom is" and even though my son is a little homesick now (missing California), my version of being homesick is a little different and I'll miss my family and friends when I return to our place and lives in Southern California

Luckily, my mom and I have discussed having her a bit more involved long-distance, which means she'll be writing on this blog on occasion, offering some grandmotherly advice and providing some great stories about her own childhood and how parenting has changed now that she's a grandmother.

Stay tuned for more...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Father Knows Best

Father's Day is right around the corner. We always buy books for each other in our family, and I especially enjoyed David Lyon's book, Father Knows Best, filled with hundreds of quotes from celebrity dads, sports figures and every day heroes known as Papa, Dad of Old Man.

The Happy Healthy Hip Parenting bookstore is full of reading recommendations for parenthood, from humorous collections to memoirs and those for grandparents, single parents and more. New books are added on a regular basis so be sure to stop back often.

If there's a book or category you'd like to see added, please feel free to leave a comment here or contact us directly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ways to Say "No!"

Saying “no” to a child can be difficult. Sometimes we end up feeling like a broken record that says “no” all the time. This can be wearing on us. Children stop listening when we repeat the same response. They may even stop asking altogether but we want our children to continue to come to us and ask our permission, especially as they get into the tween years!

1. "That’s not an option."
2. "I am unwilling to..."
3. "That’s not appropriate."
4. "I am not ready for you to do that yet."
5. Ask, “What do you think you would need to do before I would be willing to say yes to that."
6. Ask, “What do you think? Is this a good choice for you?”(If you choose to use this, make sure you are willing to abide by their answer.
7. For a youngster who has something you don’t want her to have said, “That’s not a toy. However, this is a toy you can play with."
8. Ask, “What are your other options?”
9. "No, I would be willing to..."
10. "I appreciate your asking, however..."
11. “Walls are not for coloring. Here is a piece of paper.”
12. Tell them what to do instead i.e., “Water needs to stay in the tub.”
13. "This is not negotiable."
14. "Yes, as soon as (task) is done."
15. "I'd love to, but now's not an option, let's go put it on the calendar."
16. “How about…?”
17. "Why don’t we…?”
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Friday, June 12, 2009

All Our Children

by Steve Goodier

There are few things in this life more difficult to experience than the loss of one's child. Jim Wallis, in Who Speaks for God, tells about a sad and terrifying incident that occurred during the tragic war in Sarajevo not too many years back. A reporter who was covering the violence in the middle of the city saw a little girl fatally shot by a sniper. The reporter threw down his pad and pencil and rushed to the aid of a man who was now holding the child. He helped them both into his car and sped off to a hospital.

"Hurry, my friend," the man urged, "my child is still alive." A moment or two later he pleaded, "Hurry, my friend, my child is still breathing." A little later he said, "Hurry, my friend, my child is still warm."

When they got to the hospital, the young girl was gone. "This is a terrible task for me," the distraught man said to the reporter. "I must go tell her father that his child is dead. He will be heartbroken." The reporter was amazed. He looked at the grieving man and said, "I thought she was YOUR child." The man replied, "No, but aren't they all our children?"

Aren't they all our children? Those who live under our roof and those who reside with another family? Those to whom we are related as well as those whom we have never known?

Aren't they all our children? Those on our side of the border as well as those on the other side? Those of our nation no more or less than those of another?

Aren't they all our children? Those who worship like us and those who worship differently? Those who look like us and those who do not?

Aren't they all our children? The well-educated and the under-educated? The well- fed and the under-fed? Those who are secure and those who are at risk?

Aren't they all our children? Aren't they all our responsibility? ALL of them? Ours to nurture? Ours to protect? Ours to love?

I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that the survival of our world hinges on the answer to that question. To say they are NOT all our children is to condemn the world to more struggle – family against family, group against group, nation against nation.

Aren't they all our children? If we say yes, can we ever again pit them against each other? "If we have no peace," said Mother Teresa, "it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

Aren't they all our children? There may be no greater question for our generation. And how we answer that question will determine the shape of our world for years to come.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Creating a Healthy Lifestyle

I've been lucky enough to work with the wonderful people at the Y.O.U. Consulting Group for the last several months and they've allowed me to take a new approach with The Ultimate Life Tool, giving me the go-ahead to bring this technology to the online world through UStream.

Tomorrow, and every Wednesday night, a Certified Practitioner will host an online Test Drive of this assessment tool and you get a chance to have a FREE session to learn a little bit more about you, your energy levels and how The Ultimate Life Tool can benefit you.

Whether it's your personal life or business relationships that you're looking to enhance, we can help! Head over to the YCG website and complete the survey by using the code USTREAM after entering in your personal information. You'll be assigned to me and I'll be going over your results tomorrow, LIVE, during our half-hour program, or if we don't have time, we'll go over it on another episode.

Each week we'll have a different topic so be sure to check back each and every Wednesday night at 7pm (PST). Here are the dates and the themes for the upcoming shows:
June 10 Living a Healthy Lifestyle
June 17 The "Interval"
June 24 Grieving
July 1 Finding your Maximum Attraction
July 8 Dealing with a Toxic Boss
I look forward to sharing this wisdom and knowledge with you as you gain a greater understanding of you and the people in your lives.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tori and Dean

Several months ago, I interviewed Tori Spelling here in San Diego when she was in town for the Mother Goose Parade. The night before the annual event, the stars appeared at the W Hotel for a VIP media event where we were able to chat with the celebrities and I was lucky enough to grab Tori for an interview. 

Since she's written a few books about her life as a mom in Hollywood (sTORITelling and Mommywood) and appears with her husband and two children in their latest reality TV show, I took advantage and asked her a few questions about her life as a Mom and, of course, how she lost so much weight after her second child.

I never was able to obtain the footage of that interview, or it would've appeared on this site by now. The TV crew from her Tori and Dean show follows her every move, so they captured the interview and wouldn't you know it? Footage from our conversation appeared on their show last night. 

I was able to see a few clips from the show online, and noticed the challenges that they're experiencing. If anyone has a way to connect with Tori and Dean, please let them know that my services are available. Balancing work and family life is always a challenge and that's why I offer to help support parents by honoring their families and work with them to enrich their relationships.

I wasn't able to catch the show last night, so if anyone can provide me with access to it, I'd love to see how ridiculous I look (after the camera adds 10 pounds). UPDATE: Here's the video sneak preview. I'm shown 18 seconds in...for about 2 seconds!

By the way, Tori was awesome to chat with and was very sweet. I'm excited to have my fifteen minutes of fame alongside her and look forward to finally seeing that episode for myself.