talking to my kids about dr. martin luther king jr.

I have a dream saying

A few weeks ago, my 8-year-old daughter brought home a reading comprehension homework assignment about Martin Luther King Jr. As she read through the short, simplified biography of MKL Jr. and tried to answer the questions, she had a lot of questions for me like, “what is segregation?” and, “what does ‘boycott’ mean?”

I took pause, as her questions were certainly not easy to answer. I have talked about this subject with her before, on a very base level, but it seemed like it was time to dive in a little more.

“Well, remember when I told you that there was a time in this country when people with black skin didn’t have the same rights as people with white skin. They had their own bathrooms and drinking fountains, and that black people weren’t allowed to sit in certain seats on buses to enter certain places if they were for ‘white people only?’

That’s segregation.

And boycott, well, you know how we never go to Chick-fil-A. That’s because I found out a few years ago that the owners are anti-gay marriage which means they spend money towards groups that don’t want people like our friends Dawn and Diana to get married. So, I decided to never any of my money there.

silver linings and wise advice from my therapist

I woke up early this morning seeing no silver lining. Then, I went in for my morning pee and was thankful for the fact I could sit down comfortably, without that split second of worrying whether or not I’d be sitting down on the thin, cold, man-pee rim.

Ding, ding—silver lining.

Last night I felt dejected listening to my daughter rehearse her weekly 2nd grade speech on the topic “what you are thankful for,” when she said she was thankful for me because I “work hard to get money for the family” and she was thankful for her dad for hanging out and spending time with her. I fought the urge to say, “but wait, don’t I hang out, and play, and cook, and take you to dance and . . . ”

Instead, I decided to soak it in. She is thankful for me.

I had a hard time sleeping with stressful thoughts of bills and work deadlines, but then I checked my Facebook account (what else do we do when we can’t sleep?) to find a message from a friend whose dad is battling cancer, thanking me for my messages of love and encouragement.

Facebook won.

Before coming downstairs this morning, I sifted through my closet with shame and sadness because I’ve gained so much weight this year from stress eating and drinking that nothing fits. Like, nothing. Then, I looked in the mirror and remembered my therapist’s advice from a few months ago,

“Instead of looking in the mirror and criticizing yourself, try looking in the mirror and saying, ‘Hey, you and me, we got another day!”

So that’s what I did.

I looked at my chunky, weathered, tired face and smiled.

“You and me, we got another day.”

wise advice from my therapist

P.S. My therapist, by the way, is Dr. Lorie Teagno of The Relationship Institute. I love this woman!

10 kegels a day keep the light bladder leakage away

Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a sponsored campaign with Poise Microliners and Socialstars. #lifeslittleleaks

Let me Poise a question to you: Do you do your Kegels every day? No? Me neither.

If I had as much fun doing Kegels as I do saying the word, I probably would be more apt to to do them and I wouldn’t be so bummed with the knowledge that women are supposed to be doing their inner-lady-part exercises on the daily.

Seriously, we’re supposed to be doing them DAILY. But who really does them daily? I’m lucky if I do them yearly.

Therein lies my problem.

I guess I wouldn’t be as concerned about those little bladder leaks that happen to women of my “advanced age,” when we jump, hear a joke, or, you know, sneeze, if I were more disciplined about doing them. I’d certainly feel much better about watching The Mindy Project, reading books like Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please,

Pee your pants laughing #lifeslittleleaks

or standing 5 feet away from Phillip Phillips.

Poise Phillip Phillips #lifeslittleleaks

So, I’ve been talking to some of my girlfriends who are in the medical profession and specialize in parts down under about how to incorporate Kegels into my life a little more often. Together we came up with some tips on

posthumous advice from my dad, on his birthday


Dead Dads Club

Today would’ve been my dad’s 83rd birthday. As I always do on this day, and this time of year in general, I have been spending time thinking of all our good memories and reflecting on all the many life lessons he taught me.

Last night I got out the scrapbook that was given to me by my brother-in-law the week after my dad died with the photos of his funeral. I have since turned it into a scrapbook of greeting cards he sent me through the years, newspaper clippings of the times he made the paper, random photos and other memorabilia (including the speech he gave to introduce Henry Kissinger at an event in San Diego in 1981—fodder for another blog post, indeed).

It’s my “Dad Book” and I go to it when I need a pick me up and/or a good cry.

I’ve written many times about the greeting cards he used to send me, as they are truly such incredible keepsakes now that he is no longer here, no longer able to give me a pep talk or provide me with advice.

Lately, I’ve been wondering what advice he’d be giving me right now during my separation. He saw a lot of life in his 69 years and he always had a wise word for his family, friends and colleagues who needed guidance.

In flipping through the scrapbook last night, I found a card with the

top 5 funniest viral videos of 2014

Best youtube viral videos of 2014

I just published my list of Top 14 Viral Videos for Parents on Mom.Me so I thought I’d follow that post up with my list of:

Top 5 Funniest Viral Videos of 2014 (That Have Nothing to Do With Parenting!):

If Google Was a Guy by College Humor

This is an entire series of videos with the premise of “What if Google Was a Guy?” It is spot on, way clever and hilarious. The series is made by College Humor and if you don’t already subscribe to then on YouTube, YouNeedTu (see what I did there?).

My Impressions of Celebrities Stuck in Traffic by Lauren O’Brien

This comedian is so dead on with her impressions of celebrities that I will forgive her for

domestic violence is everyone’s issue to tackle so #bethesolution

When asked to be a part of a campaign sponsored by Blue Shield of California Foundation about domestic violence my first instinct was to turn it down. First of all, it’s a pretty heavy topic for the holidays and secondly, it’s one that I, thankfully, don’t have a lot of firsthand experience with.

But then I read this line:

Blue Shield of California #bethesolution campaign to end domestic violence

And then brutal the images from “the elevator” flashed through my mind.

As did this video from the streets of New York in which a woman captures the catcalls she received in 10 hours.

Then I remembered stories from several friends and bloggers who have shared their stories of domestic and sexual abuse.

And if all of that wasn’t enough, I was then flooded by the memory of my neighbor who was strangled to death on Thanksgiving Eve three years ago by her estranged boyfriend.

To clinch the deal, so to speak, I looked over to my two daughters, who were snuggling on the couch and I promptly responded to the request with a resounding, YES, COUNT ME IN.

I immediately began wondering how I, as a mother of two daughters, can be part of the solution and here is what I came up with:

#bethesolution to end domestic abuse

Practice and teach kindness. Love and kindness beget love and kindness and a little of both goes a long way.

Practice non-violent methods of discipline. I spanked my kids a handful of times when they were very young, until I realized that spanking was