Archive | January 2009

Wishbone Strategies by Dahna Weber

So we found one.  A wishbone.  Why is that always exciting?  It’s been sitting on the window ledge for a good 10 days now.  When I wash the dishes, (not as often as I should), it stares me in the face asking; What are your wishes? What are Liam’s wishes? When are we going to do this?  It has made me contemplative.  Made me notice how the bulk of my wishes are all wishes for Liam…even when they are about me.  I try to think of ways I can make sure he wins when we do hook pinkies and split the bone in two.  It’s like the coin toss.  No way to cheat.  No way to strategically guarantee that Liam wins…..Guess I’ll just leave it up to fate and wish that he wins and his wish comes true!!  by Dahna Weber


Be Ready, By: Julia Rodriguez, Motherhood Incorporated

Last night, I finished taking my CPR and First Aid re-certification. I do this to make sure that I know what to do in case my kids get hurt. The instructor brough up the subject of emergency preparedness. She said that after that huge October earthquake drill that the Los Angeles county had they found out one thing, they are NOT ready for a major disaster.  She continued by telling us that we take these classes to help our children but that most of us are not ready for a major disaster either. So how do we expect to give aid to our loved ones in case of a major earthquake if we are not prepared with adaquate supplies to give aid.  

In my case, this is so true. I do so much to keep my home safe for my kids but I have nothing for them in case a major disaster  happens. 

Our instructor gave us the following information to help us get prepared. First, she said to go to the red cross website. They have the most up to date information on how to get prepared.  They have great checklists to prepare your own emergency kit. One thing I would like to point out is that now they recommend that you have enough supplies to last 7-10 days.

If   you don’t have time to sit and collect all these items that the Red Cross recommends, you can go to  Ready Freddy sells emergency preparedness kits for all size families.

Our instructor ended the class by telling us that it is a good idea to prepare this kit keeping in mind that there will be no professional help for you and your family for 7-10 days.

Working Mom Stress Relief – by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

This is what I wish my dinner looked like!

This is what I wish my dinner looked like!

by Sandra Beck

So last night as usual I was throwing together a meal at 5:30 while two hungry kids fought over the remote control.  All I could hear was, “Sponge Bob!”  and then, “No, I want Elmo!”  “Noooooo! Sponge Bob!”

The noise was good though, it means that though struggling, they were not bleeding, unconcious or sticking their fingers into sockets!  I was reading my blackberry, waiting for a contract to come through that would make the rest of my month bearable financially, when I saw a rubber mallet left by my dad who had been by to fix something.

I looked at the unappetizing chicken breast. I was going to use this metal pokey thing (a meat mallet) that was given to me as a gift by a wonderful chef friend of mine. It was silver and shiny, but it poked holes in the plastic bag when I pounded the meat flat. For some reason these days, my older son will not eat meat that is “too thick” and with all I have on my plate right now trying to figure that one out will have to wait. Actually, I put it up to – This phase too shall pass.”

Eyeing my dad’s rubber mallet, I washed it off and rubbed it with a swipe of chlorox. I started pounding away at the meat.   Checking the Blackberry, no contract yet, I pounded harder.   Flipping through the mail and seeing no promised check from a client that is 52 days late, back to the meat. Pound! Pound! Pound!

Wow! This feels good! Over to the frozen corn bag I went. Pound! Pound! Pound! Ooops! The bag split open shooting frozen corn kernels all over. I called over my dogs who ate up the mess on the floor.  The kids heard the commotion and ran in after the dogs.

“What are you doing, mom?” my son asked looking at me as if I had lost my mind (as if thin meat is sane.)

“I’m cooking,” I replied, feeling very zen.

“Isn’t that grandpa’s hammer?”  he asked. “I didn’t know you use hammers to cook, cool!”

I didn’t want to tell him our friend the chef uses a blowtorch on his creme brulee less my son burn the house down. I felt loads better.  Who would think that after the end of a stressful day as a working mom that grandpa’s hammer is now my favorite kitchen tool.  Just for fun I broke up some ice chunks last night as well.

The contract didn’t arrive until today. I am still waiting for the check. But the next time I am in need of some stress relief while multitasking- working and feeding my kids – all I can say is Look out Chicken!

Where there is energy there is power, by Deb Gillespie, Motherhood Incorporated

by Deb Gillespie

When do we give up on our dreams? Somewhere along the journey, many of us give up on our childhood dreams. Remember when we were young and we pretended to be actors or super heroes? We were so excited about our future goals of being writers or even the president. And now what are we doing? At what point do we give up on our dreams ? Do they become unrealistic and just pie in the sky illusions far out of our reach?

I have asked myself these questions at many different points in my life. Of course we have to make a living and support our families and deal with life’s many challenges along the way. Sometimes we come to crossroads where we are given opportunities to make changes. It is at these moments where there may be space created to review our current life’s directions and where we are focusing our energy.

Where there is energy there is power. Take a moment to analyze where your energy is strongest. What gets you exited in life? Where is your passion? Is there any way to channel this energy into creating new oppurtinities for yourself? Can you take back your dream? Are we really as limited as we thought we were, or are we limitless and boundless spirits with the ability to create and live out our dreams?

The Fairy Godmothers, By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

by Sandra Beck

 Flora is a favorite icon at Motherhood Incorporated for her strong leadership in Sleeping Beauty along with her partners Fauna and Merryweather who demonstrat Altruism and Honor.

Flora is a favorite icon at Motherhood Incorporated for her strong leadership in Sleeping Beauty along with her partners Fauna and Merryweather who demonstrat Altruism and Honor.

Recently my sons and I watched Sleeping Beauty which features the three fairy godmothers. When my sons were born, they were baptized in my family tradition and given their Auntie Jill  Beck as their Catholic Godmother. In the spirit of Hillary Clinton and the famous African proverb it takes a village to raise a child, I always felt that to have one godmother put all the pressure on one woman.

So when both Max and Zach were born, they were assigned Fairy Godmothers. Beverly Allen-Ananins, Maura McAniff Johnson and Lou Paget filled the bill perfectly. So I printed up a form on the internet, wrote down their names and it was official. Both Max and Zach had three very wonderful and fantastic fairy godmothers.

Fast forward five years and Sleeping Beauty. The three Fairy Godmothers (Flora, Fauna and Merryweather) come on the screen.  Max looks at me when Flora, Fauna and Merryweather dance around and sing and he askes if that’s Auntie Bev, Auntie Maura and Auntie Lou.

I thought about it. And I studied the three Godmothers in the film.

 Flora: Flora is always dressed in red. The leader of the group, she helps Fauna and Merryweather make the right decisions. (All I could think was that’s Lou!)

Fauna: A sweet and gentle fairy, Fauna dresses in green. Always eager to help, she only uses magic to help others. (Yes, this is Maura!)

Merryweather: A spirited fairy dressed in blue, Merryweather wants to change the way things are for the better. (And, yes, that’s Bev!)

There on the screen in full 1959 technicolor are the kid’s Three Fairy Godmothers in animation. The represent the spirit in which I chose them strength, altruism  and honor. Without realizing it, I chose three of the most important skills I want my son’s to have in these three powerful women.

Max then asked me if his Fairy Godmothers have wings…and I said yes, and they help him to fly.  At 5 he doesn’t understand the concept of love, support and friendship and how that makes us fly – but his mom sure does.  Because the three friends I have chosen as my sons’ fairy godmothers help me to fly.

So next time you watch Sleeping Beauty, stop for a minute when the Fairy Godmothers come on the screen and see who they are in your life.  Maybe you want to assign some Fairy Godmothers! It’s fun and its a fun way to celebrate the powerful and wonderful women in your life with your children.

Amazing Cookie Decorating Tip – By Nicole Perkins

By Nicole Perkins

Although the holidays are over, this is one of those tips you’ll probably need at some point during the year. Just tuck it away for when you do – it is just so brilliant, I feel compelled to share.

Now perhaps this is an old one, or some of you may roll your eyes and think this is nothing new, but when my husband, yes, my husband, suggested it, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it sooner!

cookie-blogMy kids had made a huge batch of Christmas cookies with Grandma, cut out all the cute little shapes, made a giant batch of frosting for decorating, but I was stumped as to how best to distribute all the colors we wanted to use. Buying a pastry bag for each color would be expensive, besides my market only had one left. Plus, I wanted something the kids could use that would be more fun, less mess.

Then in walks my husband, as though he’s been doing this for years, and suggests we use the medicine droppers that have piled up in the kids’ drawer for all the different colors. Cue thunderous applause.

I got out little bowls, mixed the colors up, and let the kids squirt all the different colors all over our delicious holiday cookies. It was so easy, so fun and worked like a charm. I can’t wait to do it for Valentine’s Day!!

Victory for the Working Mom By: Julia Rodriguez

I am six months pregnant and counting. I am not only counting the days til I have my baby but also to the days where I no longer have to commute back and forth to my job. I finally decided that I will not go back to my 9-5 after I have my baby. Instead I will stay home and make my part time bookkeeping job into my full time job.

The next step was to tell my boss, which was nerve wrecking. Not only did I need to tell him about my plans but I wanted to ask him if he would like to be one of my clients. He always knew that I wanted to stay home with my children and work. He usually said comments to discourage me from bring up the topic. But I asked any way. I sat down with him and discussed the benefits of him allowing me to work from home. Since his office is small and business has slowed down, I told him that financially it would benefit him to allow me to work from home. Not only will his payroll expenses be reduced but also he would get extra free time from me. I figured if I spend two hours driving back and forth everyday, why not use that time to do some work for him with out him incurring any expenses. 

It took time for him to grow into the idea and really think about it. He did not say anything after our first meeting but then after several follow ups he told me he was ok with me doing some work for him at home. I was so happy to know that he took time to consider my decision and thrilled to know that more people are starting to support the idea of work from home moms.