Friday, May 29, 2015

Is $48,000 Too Much To Spend On a 3rd Birthday Party?

OF COURSE IT IS! 



A couple in Australia who apparently have money to burn recently were in the news for throwing an over the top, extravagant birthday party for their 3 year old daughter. It was a party for 220 guests (50 of them were kids) and included a giant light up marquee with the birthday girl's name. The menu included tempura scallops, truffle arancini, pork belly, paella, wood fired pizza and oysters. The bar was filled with Remy Martin XO cognac. You know the usual stuff 3 year olds like. Here is the cost breakdown...

$18,890- Food and Waiters
$12,700- Beverages and Alcohol
$9,635- Flowers, Marquee, Decorations, Furniture
$3,000- Photographer
$1,600- Former Australian American Idol Contestant Courtney Murphy
$1,000- Photo Booth
$770- Magician
$600- Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Total- $48,195

The couple defended their choice to host such an over-the-top party for their little one. They felt that the party was not extravagant and was worth it just to see their daughter happy.

These parents are setting the party bar really high. If this is the cost of her 3rd birthday can you imagine what her wedding is going to cost?

We recently threw a birthday party for our girls and we spent about $500 total. We had pizza, chips and salads, games and prizes and even a take-home craft. The party was fun and filled with laughter, games and lots of love. It is a party that my kids and myself will always remember. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Someone keeps stealing MY lunch...

... I keep telling myself I really don't care. I care, of course I care. 

So here's the dilemma: I buy lean cuisine type meals every couple of weeks. I like to have these on hand in our office fridge (shared with the whole building). That's probably my first problem. I knew for some time that my lunches were "disappearing." I told myself, "whatever!" That's my next mistake. Others treat you the way you allow them to treat you, right?

Yesterday, I headed over to F & E for my favorite single lunches. I kept them wrapped in the store paper bag and failed to write my name on the bag. Doing so hasn't made a difference anyhow. Clearly I bought these lunches for myself. A name graffiti'd all over the store bag doesn't make that any more obvious. Today, I head over right at lunch excited for my favorite of the 4 selections: Chicken Tikka Masala. And poof... my favorite is gone. The shame, it hasn't even been 24 hours. I mean at least let me forget about my lunches for a couple of days and help yourself once I've clearly not eaten them. I'm being sarcastic. Of course, it's never okay to just take something. 


I was bummed about my lunches and wondered what's the best way to deal with this now that I care enough to give it a second thought. I went a ahead and wrote a little note on the remaining two meals: "please don't steal my lunches - I'm happy to share, just ASK!" 

I imagine this person won't ask and if they do I actually would be happy to share. Truth be told, I keep telling myself this person must really need my $2.50 lunches. Perhaps a student in any one of the build's nonprofit agencies is helping themselves out of necessity. This is how my brain rationalizes it. That way I tell myself "no biggie, it's cool, someone needs this lunch more than I do."

Then I immediately think "BUT stealing isn't cool!" Back and forth go my thoughts and I wonder.... what would you do in this situation? Let it be, pursue the "thief" or something altogether different?

Chime in!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I Have a 10 Year Old

Last weekend my oldest child turned 10 years old. It's hard for me to believe that I have a 10 year old child. The last 10 years have really flown by. I remember the day that my daughter was born and the fear I felt. Becoming a parent and realizing that you are responsible for the upbringing of a little person is terrifying. 

Can I admit something to you guys? I still feel like I have no idea what I am doing. Every decision we have made when it comes to my daughter I have questioned over and over again. Every decision has been discussed and over-analyzed between my husband and I. Even after all the discussion I still am never sure if we made the right decision. I am constantly watching her and making sure that she is happy and well-adjusted.

These past 10 years have been a whirlwind. She went from a tiny baby to a curly headed toddler to a little preschooler and now a confidant (almost) 5th grader who writes essays and reads novels. She loves musicals, computer games, and the band Fall Out Boy. She is almost never seen without her tablet in her hands. She loves God and has experienced loss with grace and compassion. She is finding her talents and passions and it's exciting to witness.

After 10 years, a second child, and reading everything I can on the subject, I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I am totally making it up as we go along.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tomorrowland: Movie Review

"Tomorrowland was awesome!" This according to my 8 year old. He mostly loved the futuristic scenes. The visuals were pretty cool if I say so myself. Citizens flying by via jet pack or visiting planets for fun thanks to high-speed rockets. Even the futuristic clothing was everything you'd image, both sleek and modern.

The future version of Disney's Main Street castle made me want to live long enough to see Disneyland circa 2099! This movie is all about time travel and moves along different eras with conflict faced throughout. Young kids will surely love this imaginative tale.

The downside of this film for this momma, was the way the story eventually dragged on. At some point, my little guy actually looked lost. Story does start strong and intriguing, so grade-schoolers and parents will enjoy it overall. 

To recap:

Pros: fun action scenes, intriguing story development, and George Clooney.

Cons: occasional long-winded dialogue, story doesn't finish as strong as it starts, and some scenes were slightly corny.

Overall, give this one a chance if you're a mother of imaginative grade-schoolers. Skip it if you're taking teens. All in all, the George Clooney eye-candy is a huge plus and the movie plot was positive and good for children!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day


We hope you are enjoying your day with friends and family. 
We would like to thank all those who serve and have served in our great nation's military. 
We thank you. 

-HerMamas

Friday, May 22, 2015

Secret Menu Items

Most places have secret menu items, it just takes a little digging to know what to order and where.

At present, my kid is enjoying what's known as a big kid grilled cheese. This delicious sandwich is on the Panera Bread "secret" menu. This is actually one of my favorite secret menu gems consisting of a three cheese and bacon sandwich which is then heat-pressed with a layer of cheese melted on top!


Yum, yum, yum!

Other great secret items at my favorite spots include the captain crunch frap at Starbucks or the multitude of In-N-Out Burger secret menu choices e.g. adding sliced yellow peppers inside your burger, enjoying a protein style burger or simply ordering a grilled cheese and the Neapolitan shake.

And guess what? You can order a delicious serving of fully-loaded nachos at Chipotle Grill as well as fresh cilantro if you're in the mood! Now that sounds delicious. 

Share your hidden menu knowledge too by commenting below!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

5 Things I Learned From Reading Harry Potter

I was about 10 years behind the trend but I spent the last 2 months reading all 7 books in the Harry Potter series. 4,224 pages later and I am so happy that I took the time to do it. This series consumed me for the last few months and I am already missing the characters.

Here are 5 things reading Harry Potter taught me...

1. Do not piss of a Momma!: I loved the character of Molly Weasley. She was the busy Mom, worrying about her family and doing her best to raise good and kind children and keep up with her wacky husband. She was kind and loving and was the Mom that Harry needed. She was sweet and mild mannered until someone tried to mess with her baby girl.




2. Treat everyone with respect: In the wizarding world there is a definite hierarchy with house elves at the bottom. Through the books Harry and his crew treat everyone (who deserves it) with respect. Including the lowly house-elves. This would play a major role in the outcome of Harry and his friends.



3. The friends you make can become your family: When he was just 11 years old, Harry met Ron and Hermonie. They immediately became friends and eventually became family. Ron and Hermonie stood by Harry during everything. From O.W.L exams to living a life on the run from the world's deadliest wizard. They become the family that Harry should have had.


4. Magic is cool: I never picked up these books because magic and wizards were not my thing. The idea of wands and spells and potions was not appealing.  After book one I was looking on-line to see where I could by my own wand that would light up when I muttered "lumos". It also reminded me that believing in a little bit of magic is good. It makes life more fun.


5. Love and goodness wins in the end.: The big lesson throughout the series, in the middle of spell battles, flying dragons, giants, unicorns, puking pills and quidditch matches, we learned that love can conquer hate.



I am now in the middle of a Harry Potter depression. So my big issue now is, what do I read next? 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Beautiful Connection Between Mother and Child

Would your child recognize you if they were blindfolded? Keep in mind, you wouldn't be able to talk and there would be other mothers in the room for your child to explore by touch alone. Do you believe your child would correctly identify you?

In the following clip this is exactly what happens and the result was beautiful. Warning: there will be tears. Parent and children have a unique and beautiful connection. It's a connection that is explained without words as very apparent in this short clip:


Now it's your turn. Hermamas challenges our readers to try this experiment, too. The next time you're in a room with gal pals and your child(ren), try this blindfolded experiment and check back to tell us how it goes. We're looking forward to your stories, and hopefully, more touching water works.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

You Will See Even Less Women of Color on your TV Next Season.

It's that time of year again. All our favorite TV shows are having their season finales. Mad Men is over and we have months to wait until Walking Dead starts again. This is also the time of year where TV networks renew or cancel shows. I was so sad and kind of shocked to hear that 2 of my favorite shows were canceled.

ABC's Cristela and Fox's The Mindy Project will not be back on television this fall. I loved both of these shows. They were filled with quick wit humor. More importantly they were women-centered in front-of and behind the camera. Even better, they starred women of color.

Cristela was the story of a young Mexican-American woman working an internship at a law firm and working toward passing the bar exam. She lived with her sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew and mother. The show was was filled with cultural punch lines and the set was filled with Jesus mugs and San Marcos blankets. The show reminded me a lot of the George Lopez show, but sadly network executives did not think the show deserved a second season.

The Mindy Project followed Mindy and her fellow ob/gyns in New York. Not as heavy on the cultural references this was a quick witted and funny show. Mindy was an equal partner to the men at her practice and even though we watched her experience her share of heart breaks, Mindy always stayed true to herself. The smart, independent and a bit arrogant self. After 3 seasons Fox has decided to drop The Mindy Project. Luck for us, Hulu has picked up the show and already ordered 26 episodes.

I was so excited to have a Latina lawyer and a Indian woman doctor on television. And can we talk about how both are beautiful stylish women who are not a size 2? We can only hope that the new shows for next season look just as diverse and have powerful, cultural women leads. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

50 Ways to Productively End Boredom

Kids this day in age have to feel constantly entertained. Stillness is often followed by the dreaded, "I'm borrrreeeddd!" I once heard parents should answer children by saying "be bored, boredom is good for you." My oldest doesn't get a kick out of that response but he does tend to stop whining. Why? Because boredom is a wonderful excuse to sit in stillness and just do or think of nothing. Hard for many, but essential for all. 


Even for adults boredom isn't always embraced, which usually leads to wasted hours mindlessly watching television, eating and/or surfing the web. When this is the case, adults need productive alternatives. Productive defined here as good for you activities, opportunities for bonding or exercise and moments that allow you to reflect-on, or declutter and organize your life. 

Try these productive alternatives the next time you're reaching for a bag of chips and that remote control:

1. Read a self-help or spiritual book
2. Take a quiet, reflective walk 
3. Cuddle with child and/or spouse discussing dreams and vision 
4. Journal 
5. Reorganize junk closets or drawers
6. Pray
7. Meditate
8. Get a head start on holiday shopping (online)
9. Call an old friend or relative 
10. Make dessert from what you have on hand (should get interesting and fun)
11. Make love
12. Draw, sketch or paint 
13. Set goals (30-60-90 or 365-day goal setting)
14. Write the script for a fictional play or movie starring your family or friends 
15. Download new cellphone apps meant to organize your life
16. Play a sport
17. Enjoy a game of chess or checkers
18. Stretch and exercise
19. Read the bible (or similar religious text)
20. Take a long, relaxing bath
21. Listen to an uplifting audiobook (e.g. The Four Agreements, The Alchemist, The Power of Now!)
22. Listen to music, then have a dance-off
23. Watch a foreign film, inspiring movie or educational documentary 
24. Do a crossword puzzle
25. Play sudoku
26. Meal prep. healthy meals 
27. Print photos you've been meaning to print, then scrapbook
28. Play hide and seek or any other games usually reserved for little kids (be a big kid in the process)
29. Write a loving song
30. Write a touching poem
31. Review your favorite businesses online 
32. Write handwritten "thank you" or "thinking of you" notes 
33. Plan a "just-because" party  
34. Cook a new dish that is healthy but still delicious (e.g. Ceviche, Lettuce Wrapped Tacos, Protein Burgers)
35. Sunbath 
36. Make a vision board 
37. Color in a coloring book
38. Polish nails 
39. Brew homemade tea and enjoy with the healthiest food you can find in your home
40. Teach your children a new skill (e.g teach toddlers words that rhyme, making one color out of two) 
41. Assemble a puzzle
42. Google world leaders that made a difference and research their best quotes 
43. Reorganize living room furniture 
44. Enjoy arts and crafts (pinterest is full of great ideas)
45. Browse positive viral videos and attempt to recreate your own
46. Make your own music video 
47. Make homemade ice pops or healthy shakes/smoothies 
48. Play 20 questions with a positive spin
49. Browse social media and write positive comments, share positive content
50. Write a blog meant to inspire others ;)

How do you combat boredom in a productive way? Share your tips below. 


Friday, May 15, 2015

Jazz Up Those Boring Bobby Pins

My youngest kid has these little wispy hairs on her hairline and no matter how nicely I comb the rest of her hair those little wispy hairs fall into her face. Drives me crazy.


I have tried to get her to wear bobby pins to hold the hair back but as she puts it "those things are not pretty enough for my hair". Okay then. So with a little creativity and some nail polish I made them "pretty".

This is a super easy craft to make with your kids! All you need is...

  • Bobby pins 
  • Nail polish
  • Paper Towel
First fold your paper towel and attach your pin with the flat side up. Then pick your favorite nail polish color and paint a couple of coats onto the flat part of your bobby pin. Let dry overnight and that's it. 



You have some cute and color bobby pins.



So simple and easy. You can even add some glitter and a top coat to make them even more sparkly. 



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lessons for Every Career Woman

As a woman in business there's the usual angst and questions: "Am I good enough... can I handle this... How will I handle the stress?" In my first quarter as CEO my emotions where across the board from enthusiasm to uncertainty, energetic to lethargic, and bouncing from confident to downright afraid. Being the head of any enterprise comes with it's fair share of questions and there's one thing all the questions and emotions taught me after seven short months as CEO:

Calm Down: there's no need to fill the pull of 1000 directions even if the pull is very real. The leader determines the pace of the pack. If I am all over the place, my team will be too. Moreover, I am not the end all. I'm one piece of the puzzle and a calming piece is an essential one. Now, I can be fired-up when needed but I remain even-balanced and poised to face both highs and lows with predictable grace. What's helped me calm down the most? Being present. I am focused on the issue at hand and let go thinking myself into chaos with what's down the road...

Be Patient: in business, we hear this all the time because it is critical in leadership to resist fizzling out. Chasing goals too feverishly and at an unrealistic pace is a sure-fire way to burnout. Patience also compliments the first point and reinforces calm.


I Am Good At This: Know thy self. I took a strength builders test recently and suddenly embraced every one of my strengths. I also didn't let areas of so-called non-strengths hold me back. I simply surrounded myself with associates and peers who compliment my strengths which are heavily focused on relationship building and communicating.  


Don't Worry: though hard at first, I've masted the art of letting go of the day and leaving it behind. Don't dwell on what doesn't work and always, always, always think in terms of solutions. Excuses are easy to spew, what we don't have is easy to focus on, and it's easy to complain. Yet, nothing easy is worth it in the long wrong. I don't seek easy, I seek fulfillment. I am happier when I am positive and grateful. Staying focused on that philosophy actually leads to an abundance of positivity. Notice how complainers always have something to complain about? It's a vicious cycle... good or bad. So I choose good and have trained myself to stop useless worrying.

Be Honest: Best lesson ever. This is straightforward and yet one of the hardest things for people to do. Honestly is the clearest way to uniformity and reaching clearly defined goals. It also creates a safe environment where there are less disgruntled employees. A place where the norm is to be direct for the greater good. Honesty is the surest way to bare the fruit of effective results in the workplace. Now honesty isn't always easy, but I strive to model this and I share my honest views without condescendence. While being truthful I remain ego-free as much as possible to honestly share and receive feedback - good or bad.  


Cast Vision: I have one job above all else and it's a big one. It's my job to know "the why" at all times and passionately share the why with those I work for and with. Doing this and getting everyone behind a collective and empowering vision leads to a harmonious work space of passionate professionals and it starts with me!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Amazon Goes Gender Neutral

If there is one thing I really don't like to hear my daughters say it's...

"But that's not for girls"

Or even...

"That's not for boys"

Since they could talk I have always taught them that toys or even clothes are not gender specific. I have stressed that boys can play with Barbies and girls can play with toy cars. Despite my lectures, thanks to peers and the way that toys are being sold and displayed my kids can't seem to understand that toys are not specific to a gender.

Think about your last trip to Target and the toy section. They are very obvious in the way the aisles are separated. Their websites are designed the same way. Here is a screenshot of Target's website as of 5/11/15..



There are 2 sections that allow you to search for toys by gender. This was a pretty standard way of online shopping for most businesses. But Amazon decided to do something about it. They have made a small step in the right direction by eliminating the gender option for searching for toys.
Here is a screenshot of Amazon's site as of 5/11/15...


The filter for gender that usually appears on the left. Of course there are some people who think that this will make shopping harder for people, while others feel that this is a step is helping to eliminate gender stereotypes. This is a small step towards reminding kids that they can play with any toy they want regardless of gender. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Meet My Daughter, Robert.

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds likely had the most beautiful baby of 2015. Those two are drop dead gorgeous so there's really no way around procreating beauty. I'm excited to see their child's angelic face as soon as a photo surfaces. No sign of her yet, but what we did get was a name.

They named their daughter...

James. 

This is quite possibly the first female James I've heard of. At first, I didn't care for it, but I didn't quite understand why. What do you think of giving a girl a standard "boy name?" To me, it wasn't about the name itself. In fact, I love that her mother is Blake (also male typical). Something about Blake Lively always worked for me. James Reynolds however sounds like a talk show host from the seventies. That's just my take. 

Then there was Haylie Duff. She recently had a daughter and named her Ryan. Ryan Rosenburg: now that is a name! Though Ryan is also usually reserved for boys it seems to work for a little gal! 

Truth be told, names are names and personally I don't care much about the standard male or female assignment of a name but how it sounds. It would actually be ideal if we got to a point where all names are fair game! It would become societal norm to pick any name, for any child. Now that rings pretty well in my ear, too! 


Monday, May 11, 2015

The Happy Family Show


My siblings introduced my kids to a YouTube show called "The Happy Family". My kids are now hooked. I think they have watched every episode available. Twice.

Of course when they started watching I had to sit down and watch a few episodes. I knew it was an appropriate show for the girls because my sister allowed her kids to watch it. But my girls had been talking so much about it, I needed to see for myself this amazingly hilarious show. As I watched the 7 minute episode with the girls they were rolling on the floor laughing and I was looking at them like they were crazy.

So what is this show about. It is done by 3 young kids. They build the sets and write the scripts and the whole thing is performed by dolls. Yup dolls. It is like watching your kids play Barbies, with silly voices and silly story lines. At as much as I love my kids, I don't want to watch them play Barbies. But apparently watching other kids play with dolls is HILARIOUS to my kids.

Although I may not find it as funny as the girls do, what I do love about this show is the way it sparks creativity. The girls are inspired to write their own scripts and make their own videos. Anything that can spark creativity in my girls is great with me!

Are there any YouTube channels you or your kids love? 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy Mother's Day



From our families to yours, we'd like to wish every mother a beautiful, happy Mother's Day. May you be pampered with festive spoils and appreciated to the max. Cheers to YOU!

Blessings and Love,
HerMamas 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Child Abduction Social Experiment

Over the weekend this video was making the rounds on social media and it scared the crap out of me. 


Here is why this video is so damn scary.

If this man walked up to me and asked me what I think my kids would do I would have the same answer as these moms. I really would believe that my kids would run to me and not go with a stranger. These moms had the stranger danger talk with their kids and they were confident that their children knew what to do. Watching their children walk away with a stranger hand in hand must have been heart breaking and terrifying.

I have had the conversation with my kids. I even like to quiz them from time to time. We have a family password and everything. But just like adults we never know how we are going to react when in the situation. I showed my kids this video and we talked about why it was so important for them to see. To remind them about never ever talking to or going off with a stranger no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT. It was also a way to show them how easy it is for kids who have heard the stranger danger talk to forget what the right thing to do is. And I'm not going to lie, I also showed it to them to scare them a little.

Did you see this video over the weekend? Did it scare you as much as it did me? 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Deciding to have only ONE child!


I'm no expert but I've recently thought a lot about family composition and expansion. I've always said we're done at three, but who really knows. The factory isn't completely "closed." I've also always said I couldn't have had just one. My husband and I come from large families so naturally we expected to have three or more children. It was in our gut. But this isn't a choice or feeling for everyone.

I recently read a great piece in the newspaper about one family's decision to have only one child and I really appreciated how they considered what having one means to them and how only having one led to so many questions from so many. "Will you have more? Why not? What if they're lonely? Spoiled? Die?" Oh geez. That's a loaded list and I'm sure parents of only one have fielded these inquisitions and many, many more.

First, does having only one child means they'll be spoiled or lonely? Truth be told, any child can be spoiled. It's all in how we raise our children and who we are, so no need to worry about spoiling. Plus, a child isn't really lonely when they have not one but two parents who can give them undivided attention. Beyond that, parents simply set up many, many play dates. With one child these could be easier to navigate and as your child grows up even easier to execute.

Next, what if your lone child wants a sister or brother? Or worse, what if they one day ask for one and you just aren't going to make that happen? As with the story I read, wanting to be someone's brother or sister goes beyond actual siblings. Best friends often fit the role of brother and sister and many times we're actually closer to our friends than our siblings. Focusing on the value of brother/sisterhood and relationship building overall leads any child to build his close community in plenty of circles. A blood sibling isn't the end all, be all.

What about that dreaded consideration: "what if your child dies?" Morbid I know, but also possible. It's nothing parents of single children care to think about but some will ask them for sure. At some point, you do think about it. Here's the thing though: every child is special and unique. No other child could replace any one. The unthinkable could occur and both parents decide to have one and accept that their one is everything. As long as both parents are accepting of the fact that there will only be one and that they can't bubble wrap them for life, the rest will enfold as it's meant to. Every precious moment should be valued regardless of raising one or raising 10 children.

There's even more to consider when deciding to have only one child, but the beauty really remains in the oneness. The idea of giving all of you as a parent to this one person is profound. Giving the best of the best to every moment. There's something so deep about going through each experience only once and for a very unique moment in time!

Are you a parent of one? Considering it? 
Or is having more than one your preference? Why?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

5 Margarita Recipes for Cinco De Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo! To celebrate we are bringing you some awesome margarita recipes. Of course the classic margarita is yummy, but these recipes take it to another level. Just click on the name to go right to the recipe! 

Sunburnt Margarita



Love the name of this one, I mean it really looks like a sunburn. This margarita is filled with exotic citrus flavors like blood orange but gives you a nice kick with the muddled jalapeno peppers! 

Cherry Limeade Margarita


If you are a fan of Sonic's cherry limeade this this is the margarita for you. You will not believe how easy these are to make. 

Frozen Pineapple Margarita




A tropical twist on the margarita. With just some frozen pineapple chunk, and orange juice you can turn your backyard into a tropical oasis. Maybe even add an umbrella to this one.

Spicy Cucumber Margarita


Here is a great combination of refreshing and spicy! If you want to serve something that is the opposite of fruity this margarita is your answer! Even the manliest of men would not mind being seen sipping one of these.

Prickly Pear Margarita



In my opinion the prickly pear (or tuna as I have always known it) is a very underrated fruit. Yes those round things on the top of cactus that turn red are a fruit and they are delicious. This recipe calls for a prickly pear syrup - bet this would taste even more amazing with fresh prickly pear puree!

Enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Am I Raising A Brat?



...At some point I imagine every parent has wondered to themselves: "Am I raising a brat?" No matter your definition of brats, whether it's children who are entitled, spoiled, ungrateful, or similar, we've all likely felt the whisper and questioned ourselves.

This question all too often leads to guilt, more questions, and only opens up a can of worms. A better way to look at this question could be... 

Am I a brat?

The old cliche "lead by example" comes into play here. This statement is everywhere, but never more true than when it comes to raising children. If we're questioning who they are, the focus should immediately turn to who you are. 

My first five years as a parent were full of guilt and a focus placed on external factors. As I've seasoned, I know enough to look inside myself and exam who I am as a mother and person. This introspection has been liberating.

To me, there's a lot of power in looking inward. When I label my children's behaviors as "good" or "bad" I understand that these labels stem from who I am or am not. Children truly are watching our every mood calculating who to be and how to behave from our example. 

I've never understood this more than I have recently with our almost 9-year old. He mimics us to a tee. He's a storyteller like his momma same body language and all. He's a sports lover like his dad down to the heckling and aggression. He reprimands his younger siblings in the way we reprimand him... "how many times do I have to tell you, say pleaseeee?" How annoying is that statement? Yet, the hubby and I spew statements like these without flinching and only hear how annoying they are when our oldest demands answers from his little siblings.

When we have moments of frustration toward our children the best remedy is to breathe and look at ourselves. Is who we are beneficially to who they are? Kids will be kids and to label them brats is to place who they are solely on them. Who we are and how we lead them to be the best humans beings has everything to do with us! Kids aren't brats, parents are and children are simply watching and copying our every mood.

Agree with this momma? Leave us a comment.



Friday, May 1, 2015

Skateistan

I have always wanted to learn how to ride a skateboard. I wanted to be one of those cool girls wearing Vans and walking with around school with a skateboard under my arm and then rolling home.

Sadly thanks to my total lack of balance, I never succeeded at learning. Maybe one day.

In Afghanistan girls are not allowed to ride bikes, but they are allowed to ride skateboards. So when Australian skateboarder named Oliver Percovich visited Kabul in 2007 he was surprised at how popular his skateboard was with the local kids and how many kids wanted him to teach them how to skate. This trip would lead Oliver to founding the non-profit organization: "Skateistan."

The purpose of Skateistan is "to use skateboarding as a tool for empowering youth, to create new opportunities and the potential change." This program helps to provide access to education to youth who might not have access to it. The focus is on girls and children who work. The program helps to develop leadership skills and opportunities. It also help build friendships and trust.



Although Skateistan started in Afghanistan, programs have been started in Cambodia and South Africa, too.