Musings About Life... After Birth

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HowtoLoseaGuyinNineWays(Ideasyoujustmightwanttopassontoyourdaughters!)

Posted by Janna on August 26, 2011

The other day, I had a chance to catch up with an old friend. Somehow we got on the subject of the jobs we had while in high school. He talked about how he had worked at a catfish restaurant (Oh, the humanity!!) and we laughed about the fact that I worked for a couple of years at the video game store at the shopping mall.

 

As conversations such as those go, we veered from topic to topic before we had to get back to reality, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that job at the mall. I hadn’t thought about it in ages. It was not a hard job, really, but it had its challenges. I think the worst part was that I was an attractive 17-year-old girl working in a store that brought in customers who were mostly of the male persuasion. A lot of those guys were very nice...maybe a little obsessed about the release date of the next Final Fantasy title, but nice.

Some of them, however, were completely inappropriate. They would make suggestive comments, try again and again to get my number, accidentally brush up against me, etc. Not fun.

Some of these cretins seemed to spend their entire lives at the mall. As such, from time to time I would have the pleasure of running into them while I was on a dinner break or running an errand for the store. On these blessed occasions, since I was walking alone and not under the protective gaze of the store manager, they would often come on even stronger. I really hated that. I didn't like feeling like a piece of meat being oogled over in a deli case. However, I wasn’t going to give up my tiny paycheck. How else would I buy the expensive cosmetics I was already addicted to in high school? No, no, that simply would not do. Why should I suffer? I wasn’t being creepy – THEY were!

I had to get creative.

I remembered reading something about what to do if you were ever kidnapped. One of the suggestions was to just pee on yourself in hopes that the kidnapper would have a change of heart. Obviously, I wasn't going to pee on myself in the middle of the mall...but, I decided that I *could* be gross if it would make my life easier. Maybe I couldn’t make a scene while I was on the video game sales floor, but on the mall walkways I had no problem with getting a little weird.

So, that's exactly what I did. And it worked!

Below I am going to share with you some of the crazy, yet effective strategies I have used to dodge unwanted male attention. Each has been put to use in reality with great success. Of course, I can’t promise they are failsafe, but if I had a teenage daughter, I would share this little treasure trove of goodies with her and I figure that some of you who are raising girls might want to do the same at some point. Now, a lot of these items would almost certainly backfire and make one the center of some dreadful gossip if they were used in the wrong place, such as school or any other social setting where it matters what people think. However, I think they'd be fine in many environments, such as a shopping mall, a concert, or a party while visiting friends in another town. Regardless, though, heed my disclaimer and use these ideas at your own risk!

Now, without further ado, the list!

How to Lose a Guy in Nine Ways:

1. Act as if you have a stomach virus: Allow a look of concern to come over your face and exclaim "Ugh. I gotta run. My diarrhea is back with a vengeance! I hope I make it to the toilet this time!" Do a 180 and walk away. He won’t follow.

2. Pretend to be knocked up: Say "You guys, I am soooooo hungry. This baby is going to make me so fat! Can you believe I will be a mom by this time next year? Crazy!" You’ll be amazed at how quickly he’ll bolt. For added effect, wonder aloud about whether your imaginary baby’s daddy will make parole before the delivery.

3. Pick your nose: Don't say a word, just start digging...and don't stop til he goes away. It won't take very long.

4. Imaginary lice: I loved using this one. Begin by scratching your head just a little...then more and more. Be sure to casually mention that you babysat for your niece yesterday because she had to stay home from school due to head lice. One guy even began scratching his own head as he walked away. Priceless.

5. Exaggerate your menstrual flow: Rub your stomach and do your best to look ill. Then, in your whiniest voice, say "I have got some killer cramps right now. I better go change my tampon. I don’t want to ruin another pair of pants!" Exit stage left and rest assured that he will exit stage right!

6. Pretend to have just passed gas: Wrinkle your nose and say, "Oh man, do you smell that? I am sooooooo sorry. Guess I should not have eaten those burritos for lunch!" It is truly amazing how a bout of fake flatulence repels even the most persistent of creeps.

7. Pull a Mary Katherine Gallagher: Stick a hand in your pit and then bring it to your nose and take a whiff. Make a disgusted face and say how you wish you could find a deodorant that could handle persistent sweating. You might even pretend to wipe this foul smelling sweat on your pants leg, but he probably won’t hang around long enough to watch that bit.

8. Do something incredibly odd: If you’re a creative sort of gal, just do any weird thing that comes to mind. Make ape sounds. Start spinning in place. Sit on the floor. Pretty much anything out of the ordinary will do. I once took off my shoe in the middle of the food court and sniffed the inside, pretending to relish the scent. I said something like, “I really love my feet.” This was quite effective.

And now… the pièce de résistance. Save this one for the worst of the worst!

9. Fake a venereal disease: In a pained voice, proclaim "Geez, I need to pee again. I seriously hope it doesn't burn as bad as it did this morning. Between that and the constant itching, I’m just miserable!” I can pretty much guarantee that he will run like hell after hearing that, especially if you kinda shift your weight from foot to foot like you’re experiencing some discomfort “down below.”


So there you have it, my Janna-tested, Janna-approved How to Lose a Guy in Nine Ways list. Do you have any ideas to add? Please share!

Cheers, y'all!

ChicagoBachelorettePartyRecap

Posted by Colleen on August 15, 2011

Although it’s taken me several weeks to recover, the bachelorette trip I went on in Chicago was worth mentioning. (I must note that it was more sleep deprivation and less alcohol I was recovering from. If I go to bed anytime after 11 my wake cycle suffers. I? Am a toddler.)

The trip was to celebrate my cousin Katie, a special lady who’s getting married this upcoming Saturday. I hadn’t met any of her friends before the party, but had a blast getting to know them all. By the time the weekend was wrapping up we were all fast friends, and I’m looking forward to seeing them this weekend.

In planning the trip, I aimed for a fun but adult approach to the weekend. (Read: nothing phallic.) I would have done anything to make the weekend what Kate wanted, but luckily she was on-board with a classier approach.

Part of the fun of a bachelorette trip is always sweeping through the city en masse, feeling like the world is your party and everyone else was invited to celebrate. To achieve this, it’s important to dress up. Katie’s wedding is going to have an elegant, vintage vibe, and I wanted to tie into that. We requested that the guests all wear black, with the bride-to-be in white. (Throughout the night, we had multiple people ask which of us was the bride. This amused me.) Here are some of us right before the limo picked us up.

The rest of our party met us downtown. The dog stayed home, along with Katie's dog daughter Ramona, who guarded the bow bouquet. (Isn't Ramona the perfect name for a pug?)

 

I love the fascinator trend, but didn’t see any that were exactly what I wanted, so I made one for each of the guests. (They were simple…hot glue all the way.) We gave these, along with masses of white beads, to each of the guests. Simple, elegant, cheesy. Check.

For Katie I made a birdcage veil. This was fairly simple. I would encourage anyone to at least attempt to do it themselves, but be prepared for it to take several attempts to get it just right. Add a skinny feather boa, and Katie looked amazing. Just getting dressed up and hitting the city with this lovely group of women would have been a fun enough experience.

However…

We wanted to do something fun and memorable during our event other than dancing (although that came later, make no mistake). Kate has some education from the Art Institute under her belt, so after a lot of fun brainstorming (Kentucky Derby? Belly Dancing lessons?) we opted for a private painting class at Bottles and Bottega in Lakeview.

The venue was beautiful…lots of windows so you could see the city. The staff was amazing…the owners worked with me and another bridesmaid (in Georgia and DC, respectively) to plan the event and the owners, Stephanie and Nancy, couldn’t have been more helpful. They host regular events, not just private parties, so if you’re in the market for a fun date night in Chicago (with you SO or your girlfriends), this would be a great place to do it.

We catered in food and brought our own wine. We each painted the same picture, although our results were all widely different. (Katie’s was gorgeous and I schemed to switch ours out, but was foiled in my short career in art thievery.)

Here’s the lot of us…aren’t we lovely?

The rest of the evening involved more traditional activities, such as cramming too many girls in a cab. We read that Snoop Dogg was in Chicago that weekend and attempted, through a iPhone/Twitter/Facbook bomb, to get him to join us in our shenanigans, but he was a no-show. In hindsight, I think perhaps that was for the best.

A visit to a Sidetracks, a gay bar in Boystown, was next. This bar was clean and lovely, and had amazing Arnold Palmers…for only $5 a pop.

A note on gay bars on bachelorette trips: I recommend them highly if you’re interested in avoiding too much attention and focusing on your friends, as we were. The other patrons were friendly but respectful. We did chat with one couple that made me laugh…the blonde gentleman introduced me to his Italian boyfriend and gushed, “He’s from Italy. He knows the Pope.” Which makes absolutely logical sense. Since I’m an American and by the same logic should be acquainted with Michelle Obama. (Should I feel slighted we have yet to have dinner?)

The night concluded with a trip to Hangee Uppee, a dirty, loud, overcrowded bar that played every song you ever forgot you loved. They didn’t serve white wine, my shoes stuck to the floor, and around midnight as we sang “Love Shack,” (Tiiiiin Roof! Rusted.) I realized I was quite ready to go. Can you tell?

Katie danced on the small stage, artfully avoiding the advances of every drunk male willing to offer his services for her last hurrah. However, two hilarious guys joined Katie for an impromtu air band with Katie on bongos, a trombone, and a guitar. This performance will remain one of my favorite memories. Unfortunately the camera batteries died at this point, so I don’t have any pictures to share.

Great memories were made, and I’m looking forward to the wedding this weekend…although I’m traveling up early with the three kiddos so The Husband can finish the work week, so expect a whole other post on that.

Tags chicago, bachelorette party

EasySaturdayCraftforTots:ConstructionPaper*StainedGlassWindow*

Posted by Janna on August 13, 2011

Today, our family made a construction paper *stained glass window* together. It was super easy and really fun, too!

Now, don't worry if you are not an artistically inclined individual. I certainly am not, but this is an easy little project that anyone can do. Seriously.

Here's what you need:

  • Pair of scissors
  • 4 or 5 pieces of colored construction paper (we used purple, green, blue, yellow & red)

  • 1 piece of white construction paper (I was out of white, so we used tan)
  • Glue stick

  • Masking tape (optional)
  • Wipes for cleanup

Before you get your kid involved, grab the scissors and colored pieces of paper. Cut the paper into various shapes, like this:

Once the shapes are ready, you can put the scissors away.

Gather the colored paper shapes and remaining materials and head with your child to a kid-sized table or his high chair.

Place the white paper on the table (you might want to secure the paper in place with masking tape).

Show the colored paper shapes to your child. Choose a shape and demonstrate how to glue it down on the paper. Then, invite your child to select a shape. "Tommy, which shape would you like to use now?"

Once your child selects a shape, be sure to point out the color. "Very nice, Tommy. You chose a blue shape."

Now, help him apply glue to the back of it. Then encourage him to find a spot on the paper for the shape. "Tommy, where would you like this blue shape to go?"

When he indicates a spot, help him place the shape on the paper.

Repeat this process for as long as it holds your tot's attention. For my boy, it lasted about fifteen minutes. Then pick up your child's finished work and lay it flat to dry. If you have any shapes left over, you might want to store those to use for another project.

Once you are finished with all that, use the baby wipes for clean up. I know that this is probably stating the obvious, but I am mentioning it because my husband Andrew has turned it into a little game. As a result, our Tommy likes to help wipe down his table and high chair. When Daddy cleans the tabletop he always lets Tommy take a turn and sings "Clean! Clean! Clean!" Tommy adores it and sometimes he sings along, too.

Once the glue is dry, the only thing left to do is to write your kid's name and the date on the project and display it on the fridge. Here is Tommy's *stained glass window* from today:

What do you guys think? Do you have suggestions for ways to improve this project? What about some other art ideas for tots? Please share!

WhyIAdoreNiHao,Kai-Lan

Posted by Janna on August 02, 2011

A couple of nights ago, the mister and I were watching one of our favorite television programs for grown-ups (I’m pretty sure it was True Blood). Our 16-month-old was in his play area, not watching but apparently listening. One of the characters dropped an F-bomb, which is not unusual for this show. All of a sudden, my angelic baby boy jumped up and yelled “FUH! Fuhfuhfuhfuhfuhfuhfuhfuh!!!” Oh, crap.

Obviously, we need to be more careful. Our son is definitely becoming more aware of what is going on around him (on television or otherwise) with each passing day. Since it is clearly time to start monitoring what’s on television when he is watching (or within earshot), I have started checking out some of the programming available for his age group. I know he shouldn’t watch too much television, but he does enjoy it, so I let him watch a couple of shows each day.

My other super swell sister-in-law (both of my sisters-in-law are awesome, but here I am referring to the one who does not also write for this blog) introduced me to the coolest program. It is called Ni-Hao, Kai-Lan and it’s part of Nick Jr.’s lineup.  I.love.this.show.

Image courtesy of www.tv.com

On each show, Kai-Lan and her friends are typically working on some sort of “project,” such as planning a party. While the characters are working together, something occurs to cause one of the characters to become frustrated, angry, sad or afraid. When this happens, Kai-Lan and the gang try to figure out what is wrong and then help their friend deal with the problem in a positive way.

I think these lessons about feelings and how to handle them are so important for young children. I think that they are probably more important than learning to count – at least for my son’s age group. I can remember being little and feeling frustrated and adults telling me “It isn’t nice to be angry. Be a sweet girl.” That was so not helpful, because in addition to being mad, I also felt like I was being a bad girl because of something I really hadn’t learned to control. I can also remember going to an amusement park for the first time and being too frightened to ride a rollercoaster. I got so nervous that I was teary-eyed. I was told that I was “being silly” and I should just “get over it” because I was keeping the others from having fun. Again, not helpful. It just added shame to the fear I was already feeling.

Yuck, right? But seriously, I think it is very easy to fall short when addressing behavior and emotions with a child. As a teacher, I know I have screwed that up on many occasions. Telling a kid to “knock it off” or to “get over it” really does not work that often. However, I was actually able to help a student make a positive change to his or her behavior those times when I did take a moment to talk to the student to find out how he or she was feeling (and how that feeling led to whatever behavior that he or she was exhibiting). It definitely takes effort to help a kid understand that anger, boredom, fear, frustration, etc., are okay to experience. And it takes even more to help them find good ways to express those feelings. But that extra effort is effective.

I really want to do that for my child. I know I will have to discipline him once he is old enough to choose to misbehave, but I hope I will always do it with love instead of vexation. And, following little Kai-Lan's example, I hope when he does act out because he is frustrated or sad or bored that I will always be willing help him find a better way of expressing those feelings rather than just telling him to “be a nice boy.”

APrettyPerfectVisittotheDoctor

Posted by Janna on July 26, 2011

Wow.

I just got home from taking my 15-month-old in for a well-baby checkup. And like I said, wow.

It was absolute hell.

We arrived just in time to be drenched by a downpour as we crossed the parking lot toward the office. Then, as I signed in I heard everyone's fave F.Y.I.: "We're a little behind schedule today." Great.

I sat down and the kiddo started to play with some toys. Then, he decided it would be fun to bang his hands on the wall like a maniac. I went over and tried my best to redirect his attention. At this point, my usually low-key baby boy threw his first full-on temper tantrum.

I tried everything. I really, really did. I rubbed his back. I held him and swayed. I whispered soothing words. I tickled his feet. I bounced him on my knee. I offered him something to drink. I sat down on the floor with him and tried to sell him on reading a book or counting beads on an abacus. He wasn't having it. And the crying grew louder and louder. People were staring.

Oh, did I mention he just figured out how to run this week? Yeah, that's a key bit of info, considering what happened next...

In a split second, my kid jumped up and ran full speed through the waiting room, Tasmanian Devil-style. Before I could grab him, he pushed two kids, knocked over an empty stroller, and pulled a lady's diaper bag off of a chair and dumped all of the contents onto the floor. I got more than just stares after all that...I got tsk-tsks and heads shaking. I got the dreaded smile of pity that says, "Poor you. Too bad you can't keep that kid in check." *sigh*

Finally, I was able to scoop up the little monster. I held him against me and guess what? His diaper leaked. All over me. *double sigh*

I finished changing his diaper and clothes just as our names were called (By the way, we had been in the waiting room for over an hour. That was not cool.) They took my boy's vitals and stats and set us up in a room. Five seconds later, the nurse returned with shots. I braced myself for more bloodcurdling screams.

She administered the shots and just as I suspected, the kid freaked. To make this experience even more special, my darling baby reached down mid-scream and grabbed each of his band-aids...

It was the riiiiiiiip heard 'round the world.

Cue more screams. Louder screams.

The doctor came in and saw the look of defeat on my face. I guess that's why he didn't complain when I couldn't keep my boy from pushing away the stethoscope or trying to wriggle off of the exam table. He didn't fall off, but he fought me the.whole.time.

The doctor wrapped up our visit with, "Well, Mrs. Meeks, your boy checks out just fine. I'd say that's a pretty perfect visit to the doctor, wouldn't you?"

Wow. I need a drink.

HowWeRaiseOurKids:Daddy’sPrincessAndMomma’sBoy

Posted by Colleen on July 24, 2011

(Colleen originally published this piece in Your Tango's LoveMOM blog, for which she's a regular contributor, but it's so awesome, that we wanted to share it with y'all here in case you missed it there!)

My husband and I seem to parent our children differently based on their genders.

I read a post by blogger Janelle Harris today in which she discussed the difference between she and her boyfriend's parenting styles. Harris's tween daughter wanted a piece of candy, and in order to shut down the back-and-forth debate that ensued when Harris said no, the boyfriend just took the candy and ate it, making the argument a non-issue.

This made me laugh, because I immediately identified with the boyfriend. My oldest daughter was seven when my husband and I had our second child, so for a really long time, she was an only child. The two of us parented her very differently—he was a pushover; I was the strict one. Sure, sometimes I resented this dynamic, but I grew to accept it. He caved when she batted her pretty blue eyes, and I swept in with a punishment. It amounted to a fairly balanced approach as a unit, and we all knew what to expect. She'd push the limits, my husband would try to look stern, she'd put on her "Daddy's Princess" face, and I'd have to come in to regulate as my husband melted. Why It Helps To Play Good Cop Bad Cop When Parenting

Sure, the boyfriend's response in Harris's anecdote was a little on the jerky side. But it was immediate, conclusive, and, let's admit it, rather funny. Like I said; I'm usually the strict one. Momma doesn't mess around. But I stopped mid-chuckle, because suddenly Harris's story brought to mind another situation, one in which my toddler son (the addition who dethroned Daddy's Princess) was hell-bent on getting a Hershey's Kiss before dinner. Ever conscious of my children's nutritional intake, I steered him toward an apple.

He wasn't having it. He handed me back the apple, trotted his diapered behind right back to the pantry, and retrieved the Kiss, which I'd made the rookie mistake of placing back within his arm's reach. I took a breath and braced myself for the battle sure to ensue. Kiss in hand, he waddled back to my side…and wrapped his pudgy little arms around my leg in a ginormous hug. He threw his head back so he could look up at me, smiled broadly, and in his baby English, said, "Mama. PEEEEASE?" And before you could say "heartbreaking," the foil was scattered across the floor and my son was delightedly licking his prize from his fingers. From the living room drifted a single word from my husband: "Sucker."

What happened to our dynamic? My husband, ever ready to yank my son from whatever height he is precariously navigating and give him a timeout once back on solid ground, is still totally at my little girl's mercy. (If you need proof, let me just say that there may or may not be photographic evidence of my manly man playing a fantastic board game called "Pretty Pretty Princess," in which wearing pink-colored bling is most definitely involved.)

As best as I can identify, our parenting styles were affected by the introduction of a tax deduction with a Y chromosome. My husband and I seem to parent our children differently based on their genders, a tendency I never expected, being the enlightened and empowered woman I am. ("Roar" and all that.) Once we had both a boy and a girl, though, this tendency became obvious. My husband is very quick to regulate when it comes to my son, and when I asked him why he thought this was, he explained it like this:

"I was raised to treat women right. My mom had me opening doors for women when I was a kid, and my dad took teaching me how to be a good man really seriously. But it's a man's job to take care of women—not that you need me to take care of you, babe, just because I want to, because I love you—so I want to teach our son that, and I want to treat our daughter like a lady, too. I guess that's just how I see my job playing out."

OK, I get that (and thanks for teaching him right, mother-in-law!)

So what's my excuse for being harder on my daughter and a softie with my son? Is it due to the fact that my parents are Yankees and my husband hails from the South? That my dad was a military Colonel, ensuring that I'd have a bit of a hardcore streak? Is it because I was one of three girls and my husband was one of three boys? You got me. I'm a writer, not a shrink, and I'm doing my best to figure out this parenting thing as I go along. I'm just really, really, glad that I'm not always going to have to be the strict one anymore.

Let's just wait and see how the dynamic changes when my daughter thinks she's ready to start dating. That should be interesting.

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SleddinginNewHaven!

Posted by Chelsea on January 11, 2009

While many birds fly south for the winter, The Kaplans bucked tradition (and, you might argue, a little bit of common sense) over the holiday break and made a trip up to New Haven, CT to visit my husband’s brother, Michael, and his family. I don’t have brothers and sisters myself, so I always love spending time with my in-laws, and I especially adore seeing my little guys hang out with their cousins. Michael is eight years older than my husband, so his children are a bit older than ours. Our boys are 3 and 10 months, and his are 12 and 9. Despite the age difference, however, the kids have a blast together.

Prior to leaving on our trip, the weather report predicted that New Haven would be blanketed with a decent amount of snow. Michael called and told us to make sure we bring the kids’ snow clothes so they could go sledding. Snow clothes? Yeah, we live in D.C. No snow clothes for these dudes. We were leaving the following day, so I bolted to the mall in search of snow clothing. Now, keep in mind, I’m from Atlanta, so being put in charge of snow clothing procurement was a little scary. My first stop was the kids’ shoes section of Nordstrom, where I asked the salesman to show me what snow boots are (I kid you not - I wasn’t sure what they looked like. Rain boots? Those duck shoes from L.L. Bean?). They had one pair, so I snagged them for Big Bro. Good ‘ol Nordstron also had a little baby snowsuit in Little Bro’s size as well as a size 3T Columbia snow bibs and a little kid-sized Under Armor turtleneck to go underneath - all of which were on sale (not to mention all matching as they were all gray and black - this pleased me more than the fact they were on sale, admittedly). While at Nordstrom, I ran into Momtourage member Jenny, who advised me to check out Sears, mentioning that they carry Land’s End’s clothing - including the kids’ stuff. Sears? Really? You get, like, washing machines at Sears. Oh no - Sears is my new place for jackets and fleecy things - their kids’ winter clothes were super cute, and all were 40 percent off. While there, I picked up a fleece hat and gloves for Big Bro.

So, when it came time to dress the Big Bro for sledding, I was very excited. We made the decision to keep Little Bro home, thinking it might not be worth it to schlep him out - in retrospect, we should have taken him, as he could have handled it, and he really would have had a blast. Next time, Little Bro, I promise! Here is Big Bro, in all his winter glory:

I bought gloves for him, but apparently kids his age/size need mittens. The gloves are way too big, and he totally looks like Mickey Mouse.Additionally, they are fleece, which gets wet and cold in the snow. Who knew?



Ready to go!



Needless to say, Big Bro had a blast, so all of that last-minute, frenzied shopping was worth it. Here he is having fun with his cousins:

Learning to make a snowball…



..and then learning what happens when someone tosses one at you!



..kinda makes me sad I missed out on all of this fun when I was growing up!

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BigBro’sfuture?

Posted by Chelsea on January 07, 2009

There’s an article in today’s Washington Post about a 6-year-old boy who after missing the bus, elected to drive himself to school this morning. Sadly, some crap parenting seems to have likely been the precursor. The article says that the boy’s father was under a court order not to leave the 6-year-old and his 4-year-old brother alone with their mother at their home in the town of Wicomico Church, VA. But Dad left for work at 6:30 a.m., and Mom was still asleep when the 6-year-old missed the bus and then drove off at 7:40 a.m. for school. A court order not to leave the boys alone with their mom? Yikes. Fortunately, the authorities are on it: the parents were arrested and charged with felony child endangerment.

Thankfully, the poor kid, who was desperate to get to school so he wouldn’t miss breakfast (this makes me especially sad) and P.E., avoided injury, as did the other drivers he was sharing the road with. He crashed the car into a utility pole and, understandably, was majorly freaked out, but ultimately, fine.

Because the story ends relatively well (moron parents nonwithstanding), I can admit I find it rather hysterical. Especially the boy’s justification for getting behind the wheel:

“The sheriff said the boy told him that he had trained on video games such as Grand Theft Auto and Monster Truck Jam.”

Big Bro, though too young for Grand Theft Auto, is obsessed with monster trucks - especially the kids cartoon “Bigfoot Presents: Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks”. Monster Truck Jam video game, monster truck cartoon, what’s the difference? Will he, too, one day hop behind the wheel of my car and send it into motion, certain that he can handle it because of his “training”? He’s enough of a wild man that I’m sorta concerned that the answer is yes.

New Policy in the Kaplan home: television viewing is limited to “Handy Manny” only. 3-year-olds receiving premature training on fixing things: good, 3-year-olds receiving premature training on driving, bad.

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Theperfectpresent

Posted by Chelsea on December 10, 2008

The other day, Momtourage member Alison was having lunch with her twin 3 year-old daughters, Lauren and Alexis. They were discussing Alison’s mother’s upcoming birthday, and Alison asked the girls what they thought they should get Grandma for a present.

“Obama,” answered Alexis.

“Obama?” asked Alison.

“Yes, Obama.”

“You want to get Grandma Obama for her birthday?” Alison asked, puzzled.

“Yes, Mommy,” Alexis asserted. “Present Obama!”


A fantastic gift indeed, little one.

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MondayMomMust-Have:OuidadKrlyKidsproducts

Posted by Chelsea on September 29, 2008

The other day, Momtourage members Jen, Alison and I were eating lunch with our kids and we all noticed how curly-headed those four little buggers buggers are. Granted, that’s probably what you get with a group of nice, Jewish kids, but still - it’s pretty remarkable, especially since the corkscrewed gang resembles a scoop of Neapolitan ice cream - one blonde (mine), two brunettes (Alison’s) and one redhead (Jen’s). Curls like theirs are pretty are pretty enviable, and always bring comments; wherever we go, people always make all sorts of “Look at those gorgeous curls!” or “He looks just like a little cherub” remarks. I always thank people when they compliment him like that, and to those who make the angel reference, offer them the opportunity to take him home and discover that’s he’s actually a little devil

just how angelic he truly is.

Don’t let the cherubic ringlets fool you.



To maintain my kid’s curls, I use the Krly Kids products by Ouidad, the New York-based hair stylist who is known as the authority on curly hair. I know, I know - I’m definitely advancing my quest to make my son gay by using all sorts of fancy haircare products on him, but seriously, this stuff keeps his locks from getting all ratty, tangled and ‘fro-esque. If your kids have curls too, you gotta try this stuff - it’s fantastic.

Ouidad’s Krly Kids No Time For Tears Shampoo, No More Knots Conditioner and Pump & Go Spray Gel, $12-$15 each, or $36 for the set, Ouidad.com.



Got a curly kid? Send me an email at chelsea@themomtourage.com - I’ve got four sets of the products to give away!

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    My Current Obsessions
    • The Kiefer CottageThe Kiefer Cottage
      Meet the Kiefers: a quirky, lovable family of five on a quest to transform their 1940s Kansas City bungalow into the house of their dreams. The budget is small, the dreams are big, the creativity is inspiring. Check them out - you can thank us later. Happy reading, everybody!
    • Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® All Purpose CleanerMrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® All Purpose Cleaner
      I don't understand gals who claim to loooove cleaning. That said, I do get a certain joy from using Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day® All Purpose Cleaner to care for my home. You can't lose with this stuff...it is hard-working & earth-friendly, and will leave your abode smelling like a day spa instead of a chemical spill. Try Lemon Verbena in the kitchen and Basil in the bathroom. At only $7.99 a bottle, you can afford to pick up both!
    • True BloodTrue Blood
      Um, does this even need a caption? Doubtful, but let me just say that this is the hottest hour on television. Vampires are seriously sexy (especially Eric), and on this show you get to see a lot of them--if you get what I mean. Put the kids to bed and flip the channel to HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. to taste the fun that is True Blood.
    • Valentino Bow Thong SandalsValentino Bow Thong Sandals
      So comfy and feminine, I know I'd wear them all summer. But dang, that much money for jellies? Possibly worth the splurge. $275, nordstrom.com
    • New Balance Kids’ Sneakers in wide sizesNew Balance Kids’ Sneakers in wide sizes
      My boys have wide feet, which means finding cute shoes for them is tough. These, however, rock. Prices vary, visit nbwebexpress.com to purchase.
    • Zoya “Laurie” Nail PolishZoya “Laurie” Nail Polish
      This sheer pink polish is, without question, the PERFECT nude pink. Plus, the polish is free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate (read: yucky crap that isn't really safe for prego gals). $6, enailsupply.com.