Sunday, October 28, 2012


OnThursday morning I received a panicked call from my mom.

"You have to cancel your massage! Who gets a massage when the biggest storm of the century is coming?! This is not a joke!"

I did not think the storm was a joke, especially in light of the fact that last year's freak October storm had caused us to lose power for an entire week. But my husband had generously gotten me a gift certificate on our anniversary and in what ended up being a particularly hectic and stressful week, there was no way I was going to cancel. Besides, this was no ordinary massage; it was a special Raindance Massage Treatment.

On Friday I returned home to a message on my answering machine.

"Did you hear it has a name? Frankenstorm! Have you canceled your massage yet?"

Saturday morning arrived and when the phone rang I did not have to look at caller ID to know who was on the other end.

"You're not still planning on going to that massage, are you? You need to stock up on supplies. You have two children to think about!"

By now the news reports were getting me a bit panicked, so I decided that doing some last minute grocery shopping before the massage might not be such a bad idea. I headed to the supermarket and was greeted by hoards of people desperately filling up carts with soup cans, water, peanut butter and bread. I headed for the baby aisle to stock up on cereal.

"Excuse me," I said politely to a woman blocking my path.

"CAN'T YOU SEE THE STORE IS CROWDED!!!" yelled the crazy woman.

Finally, after navigating through the crowded (yes, I had noticed) store and waiting on an insanely long check-out line, I was on my way home. Already running late for the spa appointment, I rushed through the door and began unpacking, only to realize that two eggs had broken in the container. I left my husband with the mess, and rushed to my massage.

When I arrived at the spa I was whisked away to a serene, candlelit room where I was instructed to dip my feet in a warm, rose-infused bath and sip green tea while I waited for my masseuse. I tried to relax into the moment, but as I sipped my tea I couldn't help but reflect on the stressful events of the morning.

Why was that woman in the store so bitchy to me? Why wasn't I more careful with the eggs? Was I neglecting my children by getting a massage on the eve of FRANKENSTORM?!

My thoughts were interrupted by the masseuse entering the room.  As he worked out my knots, my troubles were soon behind me. Afterwards, I was led into the sauna and handed a glass of coconut juice. I took a taste of the refreshing concoction and was disappointed that I had neglected to stock up on coconut juice before the storm.

Then came the rain dance.

N.B. If you're searching for a spa treatment to help you forget about an impending hurricane, perhaps the Raindance Massage Treatment is not the best choice. By the time the fourth bucket of water had been poured over me I couldn't help but return to panicking about the impending storm. 

Rain dance aside, I left the massage reinvigorated. I called my mom on the way home and told her about my lovely afternoon at the spa.

"Oh honey, I'm so glad you went, you really deserved it!"

I arrived home and collapsed onto the couch. I wasn't (that) worried about losing power from the storm. My batteries had already been recharged.

***Please, everyone stay safe during the storm!***


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Do the irritating Barney and Spongebob make anyone else nostalgic for shows from their own childhood? As a child of the 80’s, my list of favorites included Small Wonder, She-Ra Princess of Power, Punky Brewster, Pinwheel, The Magic Garden and Romper Room. While I am wholeheartedly in favor of limiting TV time for young kids, we all know that no matter how busy you keep your child, once in a while he/she is going to end up in front of that small screen. Below is a list of some current shows that you may enjoy watching with your own children.  

If you liked Mister Rogers Neighborhood, try Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Was there anything more comforting as a child than hearing Mister Rogers invite you into his neighborhood? I remember being mesmerized simply watching him changing into his sneakers and sweater. PBS recently started airing their new show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which features the offspring of the original characters, including four-year old Daniel Tiger. The new show lacks the soothing voice of Mister Rogers himself, but Daniel does sport a familiar red sweater. Parents are also treated to the original theme song to brighten up their day.

If you liked Fraggle Rock, try Yo Gabba Gabba.

When I was younger, if I wanted to “dance my cares away” the place to be was Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock. Similarly, Yo Gabba Gabba (Nick Jr.) also utilizes zany characters and fun music to impart simple life lessons of tolerance, patience and individuality. Yo Gabba Gabba has had its share of impressive musical guests, including Weezer, The Roots, and Jack Black; but truthfully, none of their musical numbers will ever compare to the catchy Fraggle Rock theme song.

If you liked Reading Rainbow, try Super Why!

Before heading out to the library, I always looked forward to hearing LaVar Burton’s suggestions of books that I should put on my reading list. While Reading Rainbow has been canceled, they now have a great new app for the iPad that allows children to “borrow” books with interactive features. Super Why! (also on PBS) is geared towards a younger audience and focuses more specifically on fairy tales, but it is just as successful at instilling a love of reading in children. But you don’t have to take my word for it…

If you liked The Cosby Show, try Little Bill.

Created by Bill Cosby himself, Little Bill (Nick Jr.) follows the adventures of an adorable five-year old boy growing up in Philadelphia with his older brother and sister, as well as two doting parents who give the Huxtables a run for their money for Parents of the Year. I’m just waiting for the Little Bill episode where the entire family sings a rendition of “Night Time is the Right Time” for their grandparents’ anniversary.

If you liked Inspector Gadget, try Special Agent Oso.

While Inspector Gadget had to fight off the evil, faceless Dr. Claw, the tasks that Special Agent Oso (Disney Jr.) has to tackle are a bit tamer (doing dishes, cleaning a room). Maybe the hapless Inspector Gadget would have fared better if his niece Penny had broken down every mission into “three simple steps” like Special Agent Oso. I am especially partial to Oso’s computerized assistant, Paw Pilot, but maybe that’s because I personally held on to my trusty Palm Pilot for a little too long.

If you liked Mr. Wizard’s World, try Sid the Science Kid.

If your child is starting to ask a lot of questions about how things work, Sid the Science Kid (PBS) will satisfy their curiosities with an exploration of a different science topic every episode. Sid is always on the search for answers and is helped along by his family, friends and his teacher. 

If you liked Today’s Special, try Doc McStuffins.

If you enjoy watching inanimate objects come to life, Doc McStuffins (Disney Jr.) is the perfect show for you. The Doc is in and her specialty is fixing broken toys. Her own toys come to life in her playhouse to help her solve medical mysteries. Frankly, I find most episodes to be more realistic and a lot more enjoyable than the recent seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.  

If you liked Sesame Street, try Sesame Street.

Thankfully, some things never change.

Do you think that today’s programs for children are better or worse than the ones we grew up with?

Monday, October 8, 2012


Halloween is fast-approaching, and I am ashamed to admit that I am less than thrilled.

Apparently, I’m the only one who isn’t looking forward to it. According to Hallmark, the three largest party days of the year are New Year’s Eve, Super Bowl Sunday and Halloween. When I read this I immediately wondered what this meant about me, since I’ve never been a huge fan of any of these events.
I actually have many fond memories from past New Year’s Eve celebrations, as I often end up spending it with good friends and fine food. I suppose it’s the days leading up to it that bother me. People are constantly inquiring what you have planned to commemorate the last day of the entire year. There is always the pressure to find a fabulous party and stay out as late as you can on what is routinely the coldest night of the year. Now that I have young children, my countdown to midnight usually happens in front of the television, reveling in the hilarious chemistry between Kathy and Anderson.

I only have one small grievance regarding Super Bowl Sunday, which is that it forces me to watch football. When I first met my husband, he astutely sensed that I was not the biggest sports fan, but he ended up duping me into taking an interest in March Madness by entering me into a pool. Am I the only one who finds even the Super Bowl pool to be boring? The few Super Bowl parties I have agreed to attend usually culminate with me sitting in the corner of a living room nodding off into my third bowl of chili.

And this brings me to Halloween. If I were to pinpoint when my dislike of Halloween began it would have to be in the third grade. Typically, an eight-year old girl might request to dress up as a princess, ballet dancer or a witch. When I was eight I informed my parents that I wanted to be a traffic light. To their credit, they quickly fashioned an amazing costume out of a big, painted cardboard box and some red, yellow, and green cellophane. I even had a flashlight that I could shine through the cellophane. I guess I was a little too excited to show off my costume at the all-school Halloween parade because I ended up tripping and falling. In front of the entire school. And in case you were wondering, attempting to get up while lying flat on the floor with arms and legs flailing through a cardboard box is about as difficult as you might imagine.

Of course, I now have to put aside my disdain for Halloween and try to make it as fun as possible for my two boys. I will invest in the bulk bags of miniature candy, spend time figuring out two adorable costumes, and help them make memories. And when they get older and they ask me to watch football on Super Bowl Sunday, I will dig up my traffic light cardboard box and hide.   


Monday, October 1, 2012


In the past few months my ability to accomplish the various tasks on my to-do list has changed dramatically. This is partly due to my older son giving up his naptime the same day we brought his Little Bro home from the hospital, and partly due to the amount of attention that his Little Bro demands. This leaves me with very small windows to tackle the things I wish to get done. Some days I achieve a lot and feel like a rock star, but there are also days when I feel triumphant for merely stealing away for a minute to haul the garbage can in from the curb.

I’ve been mulling over whether to start writing for some time now. The problem was that there never seemed to be any time. Recently, I made a crucial realization: this not having any time thing is not going to change in the foreseeable future. There’s no such thing as a sick day anymore, let alone lazy Sundays. Therefore, if I wanted to start writing I would have no choice but to schedule it into my calendar, right alongside the birthday parties, soccer practices and play-dates.

Once I committed to starting a blog, my next task was to come up with a theme. I was motivated to start losing weight, and resolved that I would write a blog about being a new mother who was trying to lose the baby fat. It would be called LOSING IT. After patting myself on the back for being so darn clever, I did a quick internet search to make sure it was not already taken. Oops. It appeared that Valerie Bertinelli and I shared a love for double entendre. After further reflection, I also realized that if I wrote about losing baby weight there would be an awful lot of pressure to actually lose baby weight. I quickly decided that my focus should be a little, umm...broader.
Next came the daunting task of crafting a memorable title. I must have come up with about 20 different title ideas, and every single one of them was already taken. I hadn’t realized just how many parent blogs there were out there. This made me stop and think whether I should even start a blog. Did I really have anything new to add to the blogosphere? As it turns out, a few of my readers have informed me that I’m the only one who has ever fallen off a bike in spin class, so apparently I do have a few original stories to share.

Still struggling to find a title, I started to think up word plays on movie titles. Citizen Mom? Apocalypse Mom? Dr. Strangemom? Psycho?  When that didn’t work I moved on to books. The Grapes of Mom? Mom-22? The Mom, The Witch and the Wardrobe? Eventually, I decided I would keep it simple. I planned on sharing stories from the trenches of motherhood, so why not just call it mom-fiction.
Sometimes I find myself with an entire hour to myself in front of the computer, but more often than not I have to find small time slots stolen in between feedings, playtime, and all of the other things on my to-do list. And if sometimes my garbage can has to remain on the curb a little longer than it should, so be it.