Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Few of Mama's Favorite Buys

For a couple of weeks I’ve been on the lookout for an extremely effective yet compact vegetable chopper.  I constantly obsess over new product purchases because in my mind I still want to believe that this new bottle of cream is going to make me instantly beautiful or that this gadget is going to make me the most efficient mom on the planet, but I also enjoy the behind the scenes research  prior to the big buy.   I know, I know, it’s just a vegetable chopper but the fantasy behind how this product is going to transform my life and make me a faster cook is life altering.  Do I need to point out how being a faster cook makes me a better mom?  Not only am I providing my son home cooked, organic, top chef meals, but I have more time to actually hold him instead of feeling annoyed by his pulling at my clothes while I struggle to chop onions.   After my extensive research I settle on William Sonoma’s “pull string” chopper.  At first it seems ridiculous that a gadget with a toy- like pull string is going to actually work, but the customer reviews plus the decent price say I should give it a go.  Well good God, the thing is amazing!  I made some pico de gallo last night in 30 seconds.  Alas, my chopping life is no more.  So today I’m providing a quick list of additional products for moms (or whoever) which I use because they better my life, so should do the same for you.  So chop to it and get to checking out these other products.
Moby Baby Wrap Carrier – I own 4 baby carriers but I always go back to this one.  It is so comfortable to use and your baby will love being held in it.  The Moby is simply a long piece of soft stretchy fabric that you tie according to the instructions provided and obviously, easy does it.  This carrier keeps baby in the closest  position to your body and you don’t feel like he’s going to fall out like a lot of other carriers feel.  Because you criss-cross the fabric across your back, your baby’s weight is evenly distributed so you won’t get the discomfort you get with the sling carriers.  When my son was a newborn he wanted to be held constantly so this was a life saver because I could hold him and get some things done around the house.  The extra pluses are:  You can hold baby in several different positions, you can cradle twin babies, carrier can be used up to at least 35lbs, holds newborn upright eliminating fear of suffocation,  allows you the option to nurse discreetly and again it’s very soft and comes in UV protective material.  The only downside is that it’s not the quickest thing to put on because you have to tie it around your body, but you can remove baby without taking the carrier completely off – but you will still need to readjust it (the instructions don’t tell you this).
Josie Maran Argan Oil Mascara – Yes, I know this doesn’t seem to go with this "mom" list, but really it does.  Just because you’re a mom, doesn’t mean you should look like shi*.  Every gal knows that if you are going to put on only one make-up item it should be mascara- unless you have crusty dry lips obviously opt for the chap stick.  Anyway, I digress, this mascara is wonderful.  I just recently purchased it and have never loved a mascara more.  It lengthens and plumps like no other, it separates incredibly, it’s so amazingly soft for a lengthening and plumping mascara and it actually has a decent scent.  I instantly feel pretty after an application and my son seems to love getting butterfly kisses from me more now!  Of course you can choose to get long term falsies which might be an easier option but at least this mascara saves you from the heavy, dried glue feeling that falsies give.
Mustela Cleansing and Soothing Wipes – The most ridiculously priced baby wipes on the market, but what can I say?  Mama loves them.  The price annoys me, but you can purchase them on diapers.com for a bit cheaper- I must sidetrack and say that diapers.com is a lifesaver for diaper purchases as I HATE lugging that big box of diapers out of the store so who wouldn’t love coming home to diapers at your door step with free shipping to boot?  Okay, back to the Mustela Wipes.  These wipes have such a dreamy baby scent that you almost don’t mind changing poopie diapers, and I’m not exaggerating.  Other wipes I’ve tried still leave a bit of stink on the bum, but all of that magically disappears with these wipes.  A true plus in terms of the cost is that I rarely need to use more than one wipe per change on even the biggest poop.  The label says “Plant-based cleansing milk” and doesn’t that just give a ring of divinity to these expensive butt wipes?  Either way, they are a must on my list – maybe that’s where the name comes from.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Social Media & Narcissism

At work with several of my co-workers a few weeks ago, one of our not so regular attendees stated that according to a recent study, anyone who has a Facebook page is a narcissist.  I was completely taken aback by this comment and quickly responded with "That's ridiculous!  Everyone has a Facebook page.  I feel that you are attacking me and all of my "Friends"!"  I was confused why my other co-workers didn't say anything when they have Facebook pages as well.  It's possible that they were afraid to be marked as narcissists by the non narcissist at the table.  I then commented that maybe people who felt the need to post their constant comings and goings might be narcissists, but in general, Facebook is merely a way for keeping in touch.  She argued with me  "No, the study says you are all narcissists."

Of course, being the curious input person that I am, I googled the "study" in question.  Needless to say,  this co-worker mis-communicated the results of the study, which is a pet peeve of mine. What the study states is that constant posters may be narcissists.  Period. Point blank.  And who doesn't know that?  I do not care that you just nicked your leg while shaving unless the situation escalates to a major infection or that your dog seemed to enjoy the new brand of canned food you brought home this evening- and neither does anyone else.  But I do care when you have something amazing to share like the fact that you are having an art show and I never even knew you were an artist.  I do care that you for whatever reason have decided to take up cooking spectacular meals and you post pictures of your creations.  I also love to learn that many people I know have the most wicked sense of humors.  Call it self promotion, relaxation, or whatever, but I find it interesting and I don't see the big deal of spending an hour on Facebook as opposed to an hour in front of the tube watching Keeping up with the Kardashians (if you're really talented though you can do both).

In my recent desire to create a blog I had to consider if by doing this I was somehow a narcissist.  My answer is "No".  Blogging or posting allows us all to a certain extent to be authors and writers without having to go through the rigmarole of finding an editor and a publisher.  We can all get published with the quickness of clicking "Post".  I find us all to be no more or less narcissistic than the countless authors who's books line the shelves at libraries and stores or who's columns we follow.  They too shared their art with the world and possibly all wanted an audience, otherwise why get published?

Add to it that one of my favorite online magazines, The Atlantic, posted the results of a study that attempted to learn who we social media participants are and guess what?  We're the cream of the crop.  We are highly educated, artistic, high earning people.  We live in the best cities in the country and we work at the best companies and/or are trailblazing entrepreneurs.

And I end this by saying... I still have not a single follower on my blog, but I'm going to keep posting because I'd like to improve my writing skills and I don't care that my material isn't being read...yet.  Now when I improve and publish a book, my feelings will be hurt if no one reads it, but I don't think that has the least bit to do with narcissism.

Friday, October 29, 2010

What is up with all the molesting!!!

Last night I had the luxury of getting together with my friends for margarita's at one our favorite restaurants.  After the usual exchange of chick banter someone brought up the recent Oprah show where Tyler Perry the screenwriter/actor was a guest.  I myself hadn't seen the show because I don't have DVR to record Oprah or anything that comes on during work hours for that matter.  Don't get me wrong, I love Oprah, I just don't keep up with her every move.  Nevertheless, the topic of Tyler Perry's appearance was so strong that it forced me to read the transcript on the web today.

In this episode, Tyler Perry opens up about being molested by three men and one woman as a child.  His account was so disheartening to read.  Couple it with the fact that his father was physically abusive towards him in a very violent manner to boot.  I'm sickened to read that one child can endure such abuse - not just one molester but four!  He speaks about his mother being his saving grace, but I want to know where his mother was during those abuses.  I realize that we cannot watch our children 24/7 but how does this happen to one child?  How do we protect our children from these pedophiles that seem to be all around us?  This story touches so close to my heart because I know people who have been molested and these horrible experiences may be triggers to negative sexual behaviors into adulthood.

On a positive, I do think it's wonderful that so many people are coming out to voice they are survivors versus victims of child molestation.  The CNN news anchor Don Lemon spoke about his abuse recently as well.  I believe that honesty by public figures helps others realize that they shouldn't feel shame and that good can come from their hurtful testimonies.  I feel these stories empower our children to come forward with their own accounts early.  We need to be talking about these sorts of things with our kids.  I read somewhere that a lot of pedophiles who know their victims, groom them before the full fledged attack takes place.  It is important that we teach children to speak up and to confide in their parents when something may be taking place that they feel might be inappropriate.  They need to know that we will always be here to listen, to protect them and to not judge them.

From reading Tyler Perry's story the really sad part is that he speaks about feeling shame because he got an erection when one of the men touched him.  This is such an important part of his account because he probably felt scared to talk about it because of how his body responded - he may have felt guilty because he was confused why his body had communicated something that his young mind didn't want to be happening - a physical sign of something he attributed to a pleasing feeling.  This is actually along the lines of what led my friends and I to this discussion to begin with. One of my friends who is a kindergarten teacher and also a mother mentioned how common it is that her young students touch their private parts.  We also both commented on how our own young babies will even touch their private parts during diaper changes.  The fact that these areas are meant to be sensitive from birth and that pedophiles can take advantage of an area that children themselves are exploring and have a right to do so with their own bodies is unforgivable.  This is why it's imperative that we talk to our kids the right way and I'm still trying to figure out when the time comes how I will do it myself.  I think a lot of people teach children that their private areas are to be hidden and shouldn't be touched and that may be why certain children feel shame to come forward if they are being molested.  I'm sure that these pedophiles strike fear in their victims as well, but as a person who seeks answers, I'd like to know why a child wouldn't tell a parent that they are being molested.  I feel that it's a difficult issue to teach a child how to be conservative about covering their parts without somehow communicating that we cover our parts because they are bad.  I think this is the biggest issue.  Young children touch their bodies unabashedly because innately there is really nothing wrong with it.  We then tell them that it's improper to do that without really saying why.  Children are literal and they don't read context clues they take our words for what they are so what are the words you have used to communicate this very important message?

I would be remiss to write this and not point out what I think is a really important part in the prevention of molestation.  There are too many mothers and fathers choosing to do other things instead of watching their own kids.  Parents need to be held accountable for the care of their children.  I realize that with the high statistic of children being born outside of wedlock, there are many single parents attempting to date or maintain sanity by keeping a social life, but we must be careful who we leave our children with. Yesterday my son's father and I made a pact over child care.  I know it's a difficult tight rope to walk because you don't want to over-protect a child to the point of stifling their intellectual and emotional growth, but you need to know who is watching your children at all times.  Sexual abuse occurs in an instant but it scars for life.