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Ask Madeleine Vol. 13

Ask Madeleine Vol. 13

Aug 26, 2013

If you haven’t checked it out before, Madeleine is my just-turned-4-year-old daughter.  She loves answering your questions, and these are her REAL answers in her own words.  Submit your questions on our FB page. Send them in using the “contact” button.  Whatever works! I’m having a hard time getting up in the morning. What should I do so I’m not late for work? Madeleine: Get an alarm clock. Stinky Old Mom: Get an alarm clock.  She’s on to something with this one… If you are still having trouble, take a look at the quality of your sleep: mattress comfort, breathing issues, adequate level of darkness.  Make adjustments where necessary, such as going to bed earlier or adding melatonin to your diet to help you stay asleep. Lack of sleep is associated with all kinds of issues from diabetes to depression.  If this problem persists, a sleep study might be in order.  I’m actually thinking about getting one myself… On the other hand, if this is really just about responding to an alarm–you heavy sleeper you–try a different kind of alarm clock.  This list of 10 serious wake-up calls includes one that makes you “work out” in order to turn it off.  Yikes. What should I do if my friends are all doing things I really want to do, but know I shouldn’t do? Madeleine: Why shouldn’t you do them? [Maybe they are bad for the person, or dangerous?] You have to find your own answers. Stinky Old Mom: She’s right on this.  Soul searching is in order, my friend.  Here’s  a great post I came across about saying “no” to temptation and distraction.  The article cites scientific studies that reveal the best ways to avoid getting pulled in to vices.  The first technique is as simple as changing a few words.  Instead of saying, “I can’t have/do xyz,” try saying “I don’t…”  Saying “don’t” is actually reaffirming the belief in your own mind, while you are saying no.  “I don’t drink soda,” for example, is its own affirmation. It is also much more definitive and leaves less room for negotiation. We are going on vacation this Labor Day.  What are your top three must-have items to pack? Madeleine: A...

Musing #10: The Misadventure of Me, My Contacts and MISS JULIE

Musing #10: The Misadventure of Me, My Contacts and MISS JULIE

Aug 23, 2013

I wear glasses. Always. Even with a formal gown. It’s gotten to the point where I believe that people don’t even recognize me if I’m not wearing them. Would you recognize Buddy Holly without his glasses? You would not. I have seven pairs of glasses, including two pairs of prescription shades and one pair of pink Ray-Ban aviators, for when I want to play TOP GUN. Just kidding. The aviators are for the very rare occasion when I actually wear my contacts. I cannot stand my contacts. This is the story of why I even own contact lenses. Five years ago, I appeared as “Christine” in a Cherry Lane Theatre production of August Strindberg’s 1888 classic of modern European naturalistic drama, MISS JULIE. Below is the actual poster from that other-than-fabulous production: You needn’t be familiar with the play to appreciate this story. All you need to know is that there’s a point at which a canary is beheaded with a meat cleaver on a chopping block. (Yeah. This shit might just as well have been titled: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SWEDISH NIGHTMARE.) Christine (the proverbial third wheel of this three-character play) has an entrance immediately following the bird butchery. This happens very near the end of the exercise in misery that is this brilliant play. Like the two lead characters, Christine is rocking a very bad Midsummer’s Night. By the time she enters after the fowl filet, wearing her Sunday best, she has long since lost her pious patience. (Christine enters, dressed for church and with a hymn-book in her hand. Miss Julie rushes over to her and throws herself into her arms, as if seeking protection.) Miss Julie:  Help me, Christine! Protect me against this man! Christine:  (Cold and unmoved.) This is a fine way to behave on a holy day! (She sees the chopping block.) Just at look at the mess you’ve made there! How do you explain that? And what’s all this shouting and screaming about? As if losing her man to the lady of the house weren’t pain enough, poor Christine (the maid) now has to clean up random canary carnage in her own damn kitchen. She is not having it. And now, back to my near-sightedness… I...

A Small Story

A Small Story

Aug 22, 2013

Having a connection to politics and the current events of our community, often contributes to a sense of “larger purpose.” If our work doesn’t provide us with meaning and fulfillment, we can engage ourselves in the world around us.  Mo Mo Politics  is a weekly op-ed article designed to get  you thinking.  Mo’s always open for thoughtful discussion too! Get connected. A small story–I had to do a search for it this morning on CNN–was not in the top news. Yesterday, a 20-year-old man walked into an elementary school in Decatur, Georgia, loaded for bear, brazenly telling police he was not afraid to die. He told his hostage office workers to get television coverage started so that there would be film of police dying. He exchanged fire in the school with the police and then gave himself up; probably because he figured out they were going to kill him. Students, teachers, and parents were in fear for their lives, once again. Eight months after Sandy Hook, here we are. The National Rifle Association and its lobbyist in Washington have success. We, as American’s have nothing but failure and the guarantee that the tragedy of Sandy Hook will be repeated. What will it take for you to voice your opinion? What will it take for you to get involved? What will it take? Will it take the loss of your precious, child, parent, sister, wife, brother, husband, friend? I hope not. I sincerely hope not. We have too many guns available for too many people without even the most basic of background checks on the people purchasing and using/selling/re-selling these guns. We are up against, big business (gun manufacturers, NRA), and big, big money. These people have a lot of money to lose if we win common sense gun control. If we fail to act, to become involved, we have so much more to lose. https://www.facebook.com/SandyHookPromise http://www.preventioninstitute.org/focus-areas/preventing-violence-and-reducing-injury/preventing-violence-advocacy.html http://www.phi.org/news-events/503/gun-violence-is-a-problem-we-dont-need-to-have-the-public-health-approach?gclid=CK_H7crz2bgCFRRk7AodH2MAYw Thanks for stopping by to read my post, see yas’ next week, for Mo Mo Politics. Mo Breden Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

Parent of the Month- Where’s My Parking Space…?

Parent of the Month- Where’s My Parking Space…?

Aug 21, 2013

This has been, officially, my first back-to-school experience. While it is exciting, it is also anxiety inducing. I hear the cash register ringing in my ears—so many fees! I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t budget for it. For a career-mother like myself, money can be a sensitive topic. While I manage the household bills, handle all of the daycare for my children, and have side-gigs from time to time, I don’t bring in a steady income. Paychecks are tangible rewards for working effort. Stay-at-home parents don’t get one. Ever. Come to think of it, there are lots of other “work” related incentives us stay-at-homes never see…happy hour? Talking money with a spouse is about as fun as putting a lit cigarette in your eye. While we have come a long way in our 10-year marriage, we still have moments. I hear things like, “Maybe we need to look at your budgeting” and “Maybe it’s time for a second income.” Ouch. Regardless of intent, these statements always come across as criticism. I immediately feel like I I’m not “pulling my weight” when the conversation turns to money. Money = value. This post is not about whining! I promise. It’s actually about empowerment and appreciation. I am proposing a rewards program for parents who’s primary career path is parenting. I realize that we are all supposed to be so benevolent that the reward of seeing our children daily fills our hearts with everything we may ever need. I’m neither wholly benevolent, nor fulfilled. Shocking!! Truly, I enjoy recognition. I’ve lived a long life of over-achievement and I guess I got used to it. I like knowing my efforts are recognized and valued. Companies may reward/recognize employees in the following ways: “Kudos” announcements at meetings E-mails outlining the work appreciated and a thank you (which can be saved come review time) Monetary bonus Rewards points/Incentives (sometimes gift cards, internal work prizes for meeting quotas) Lunch Breakfast Parking spots Employee of the Month/certificate Special training Holiday parties The list goes on. These are little perks “bosses” give their employees because they understand it is important to morale. I would love it if each of you nominated a career-parent...

I sent my heart to Afghanistan. And then I went to work.

I sent my heart to Afghanistan. And then I went to work.

Aug 20, 2013

By Josie Beets Last Monday morning, my life took on the characteristics of a Lifetime Original Movie. Not the one where I convince my teenage boyfriend to kill my parents, or the one where my gymnastics coach is so harsh I develop a debilitating eating disorder, but the one where I send my husband off to war. In the pouring rain. While crying, of course. He joined the Army right after 9/11 attacks, inspired to fight back. (My reaction to 9/11? Stockpile beer. You know, just in case.) He got out, went to law school. We met volunteering in New Orleans after Katrina. (I know. Really. We were in People Magazine.) We married, he went back in the Army, we moved, then we moved again. We have two kids, I have a full time job and an hour commute, and now a husband in a war zone. I didn’t plan on marrying into the military. Counterculture was my thing in high school and college. I moved to Los Angeles then New York so I could fully immerse myself in the culture of the other, of the non-mainstream. I took great pride in smoking and drinking and staying out late, and made a hobby of having grand ideals about politics. I even protested the Iraq war my future husband fought in. But while I was busy on my way to being a bleeding heart liberal punk rock public defender, I fell in love. GROAN, right? For the most part, I’ve grown to love being a military family. The pay sucks, but what it lacks in cash it more than makes up for in honor, integrity and pride. Everyone is definitely not doing it — in the all-volunteer force, only one percent of Americans are currently in the military — so it plays into my underdog, outsider mentalities. But it’s not a perfect institution; like any micro-community, it has its bad apples and bad actors. Even worse, sometimes the Army fails its Soldiers, a hard truth when you think about how much a person has to give up to serve. And our military lifestyle is not easily compatible with my professional career. I’m a lawyer by...

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