Friday, October 31, 2008
In the poisoned entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelt'red venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' th' charmed pot.
All: Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble...
...Second Witch: By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
--William Shakespeare, Macbeth IV i
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Just send in a photo and this talented Seattle Mama will turn your photo into a keepsake card for the holidays. Visit her etsy shop, and do it fast! Santa is waiting in the wings.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
It looks like an interesting read and a nice reminder to slow down and let our children experience all of the magic and hope of childhood. It is an investment as much in their present as it is in their future.
Ed. note: A wise Mama had a hard time purchasing this book but finally found it in stock here, at Borders Books. Thanks Ruth!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
What's causing it? The consensus seems to be that it's the much maligned diet of the American kid, which includes a lot of sodium, much more than their little systems seem to be able to handle. From fast food to processed meats to "power drinks" kids these days are ingesting more sodium than ever before. And they're not drinking enough water, say the experts.
The article, by Laurie Tarkan, does a good job explaining the biology of kidney stones and the fix for kids unfortunate enough to develop them. Tarkan also highlights the symptoms, which can be difficult to diagnose in children.
So, Mamas, keep reading those food labels, cook fresh as much as you can, and push that water.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The "Witch on a Stick" looks particularly easy to make. Find the recipe here. And the "Frankentreats" are just Rice Krispy treats in costume. You'll find those here.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Have a lovely weekend, Mamas! See you on Monday!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Apparently, I'm not the only one with this problem. In fact, Cookie has published a step-by-step guide to organizing and completing these picture books of our lives. Of course, the most important and effective step toward finishing (starting?) these projects is to simply make them a priority.
I'm going to have to put it at the top of my list!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Unfortunately, I carried that unfamiliarity with this sanity-saving state of mind into adulthood. Then, I became a mother. Since the birth of my daughter, I've had a crash course in learning about patience and how to practice it.
Today I found this amusing little article over at CNN highlighting how to adopt this more graceful attitude. Not only will you be more pleasant to be around, but you'll probably lower your blood pressure, too. The article outlines how to go from road rager to Zen Mama in four easy steps.
Can't get it quite right the first time you try it? That's alright. Try again. "Practice makes perfect," my Mama always said.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Generally, we don't discuss miscarriage. It isn't a happy topic. We don't blog about it. And when it happens to us or someone we know, some consoling words are whispered and the expectation is that we all move on, and quickly. The tears, the pain and the blood that accompany such an event are usually experienced by an audience of one. As Moss observes, there are no pink ribbons for this cause, to raise awareness or muster sympathy. It is a reality that many, many women endure alone.
Miscarriage--while deeply painful--is not, as Moss writes the death knell of hope or motherhood. So maybe we should stop treating it as such. It is not contagious. It is not a bad omen. It is a heartbreaking disappointment that is neither shameful nor uncommon. It is the loss of a dream, the end of a very new reality. But it is not a final analysis. Hope always remains and endures.
We are all sisters, even before we are Mamas.
Monday, October 20, 2008
This recipe is for about 3 cups of pumpkin sees (share them with your neighbors!).
Thoroughly clean and rinse pumpkin seeds and pat dry. Set seeds aside in a mixing bowl.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and pour over seeds.
Sprinkle salt over mixture to taste.
Spread an even, single layer of seeds on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until seeds are a toasty, golden color.
Friday, October 17, 2008
With more than a dozen local editions and a comprehensive "Anywhere" edition, reading SuzySaid... is like being BFFs with the hippest, most connected gal in town!
I'm also happy to announce that I'm now writing for my local Westport edition, which makes me a little hipper by proximity, I guess.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
To indulge her musical cravings and to really get into the Halloween groove, I've compiled a fun, diverse playlist for our Halloween crafting:
1. The Munster's Theme - Jack Marshall
2. Witch Doctor - Sha Na Na
3. This is Halloween - Citizens of Halloween (from the Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack)
4. Spooky - The Classics IV
5. Witch Queen of New Orleans - Redbone
6. Rhiannon - Fleetwood Mac
7. Witchcraft - Book of Love
8. Ghostbusters - Ray Parker, Jr. (I know, I know, but how could I not?)
9. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor - J.S. Bach
10. The Theme from Dark Shadows - recorded by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
Have any fun Halloween tunes on your playlist?
Tin Can Luminaries
Wooden Spoon Puppets
Milk Container Pumpkins
Plastic Bag Ghosts
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
You can imagine my joy when I found this recipe for macaroni & cheese all grown up, over at the New York Times. This mac & cheese doesn't mess around. It's got basil, oregano, garlic, tomato, goat cheese and Parmesan cheese. It's a mac & cheese that' sure to please the sippy cup crowd as well as the pinot noir sippers.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The reason for the change "is based on mounting evidence" of the health benefits of more Vitamin D, including a potential reduction in risk of developing cancer, heart disease or diabetes.
In addition to milk and supplements, doctors say that daily exposure to sunlight (minus the sunscreen) is one of the most effective ways for your body to absorb Vitamin D. Additionally, foods rich in Vitamin D include salmon and tuna.
The research seems compelling enough, to me anyway, to convince me to add Vitamin D supplements not only to my little one's diet, but to my own as well. What about you? Will you take the Academy's advice and begin supplementing your family's diets?
Monday, October 13, 2008
We absorb so much data--data that inform our choices, our aspirations, our self-worth--without even realizing what's happening. The younger the "consumer," the less able she is to filter messages and images or discern fact from fantasy. When you watch a video like this, it isn't hard to understand why so many of our girls are unhappy or unhealthy.
As parents, we must act as filters for our children. We must help them develop strength, character and self-esteem, before marketers help them identify their "problem areas."
And while we're at it, we should stop holding ourselves to other's irrational standards, before our girls start to learn from us what we keep the marketers from teaching them.
But Unplug Your Kids is relevant for all families, not just those of us who have killed our televisions. This Mama has compiled a whole craft curriculum on her blog, along with some great book recommendations and other patterns for dynamite DIY fun!
Unplug Your Kids is a first-rate resource for inexpensive, homemade fun.
Friday, October 10, 2008
The more Chicken Little runs around, wings flapping, shouting "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" the faster panic and distress spreads throughout the animal community. She whips the animals into a mass hysteria, which leaves them vulnerable.
In this story, as in life, panic spreads like wildfire. The more the panic spreads, the more we damage our own cause. 24-hour news media flashing hourly updates of "tanking markets" fans the flames with the same urgency as Chicken Little's flapping feathers.
The moral? Have courage. Temper emotional responses. Otherwise, we'll act as harbingers of our own downfall. "Keep calm and carry on," or we could just end up pulling the sky down on top of ourselves.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Thanks to everyone who participated. And thanks to Margo, the Mama behind Rosy Glow!
It was funny. For a minute.
Obviously, there's nothing amusing about our collective economic reality. As we parents struggle to trim budgets and stay current on mortgage payments, how much is our anxiety affecting our children?
Melissa Schorr, an msnbc.com contributor, addressed this question earlier this week. The prevailing opinion is that the our stress is affecting our kids. Most experts also agree that families need to be honest--in an age-appropriate manner--with their children about their particular situations.
Janet Bodnar, author and deputy editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, says "What younger kids are looking for is reassurance." She also cautions parents against their own "fear mongering," advising that "kids take you literally when you say things like, 'We're going to end up in the poor house.'" Also, Bodnar suggests tuning out and turning off the news once in a while.
So much for my NPR addiction.
Finally, Schorr reminds us that this whole crisis might also serve as a "lesson in perspective." Schorr's article points out that, while our lists of worries grow, how to find clean water or schools for our children to attend aren't things that concern the vast majority of Americans. The same cannot be said for millions and millions of other people throughout the world.
Most of us still have blessings to be counted. My most treasured blessing is ready for me to turn off the radio and the computer and read her a book.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Rosy Glow is a line of all-natural skin care products developed by--you guessed it--a Mama! The brightening treatment for your eyes will make you look like you got all 8 hours of your beauty sleep. Simple, chic and totally natural, Rosy Glow's line of products are perfect for Mamas whose pampering routine has been replaced by boxes of Pampers.
The generous Mama behind Rosy Glow has kindly offered this "Get Your Glow Back" Pack to a lucky Mama's Cup reader. Leave your comment here Mamas, by 5:00 PM Eastern Time tomorrow, to win this bag of natural beauty.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
But these days, I'm less inclined to promote a nougat-fueled binge. Like many parents, I am now focused on healthier living, and want to encourage my little one to make good choices of her own.
But how can you keep a kid from eating too much Halloween candy?
Today in CNN's Health section, some sneaky Mamas share their tricks for limiting their kid's treats. One Mama employs someone she calls the "Switch Witch." The "Switch Witch" arrives in the night and leaves behind toys in place of candy the children leave out for her. The more candy they leave for her, the bigger the toy she'll give.
Another Mama's approach is more direct: she buys the candy back from her kids. Her current rate of exchange is a nickel for every piece of candy the kids like and a dime for each piece they love.
Some might call it bribery, but it might just save you money on dental costs down the road. And employing a little creativity might lesson your fright when you here your kid's voices as they call out in unison: "Trick or Treat!"
Monday, October 6, 2008
In the midst of such chaotic uncertainty, I am reminded of one of my favorite treasures of literature, one I discovered and fell deeply in love with as a child: Tolkien's books on Middle Earth, The Lord of the Rings. I still remember my father's hardbound volumes, complete with maps of this imagined landscape. They were already well-used when gifted to me, slightly warped and brittle, from long forgotten water damage.
Out of these beloved volumes, a specific exchange between Frodo and Gandalf comes to mind:
Frodo, despairing over the fate of their bedraggled and disheartened band, says to Gandalf "I wish none of this had ever happened."
To which, Gandalf sagely and truthfully replies, "So do I...and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
We find ourselves in a similar state of despair--or at least disbelief--frightened of what is to come, wishing we would awake, heart racing, from the nightmare we feel is descending upon our waking lives. But like those mythical stand-ins for our 20th Century forefathers, we too must move forward, consciously and with purpose, extending hands and hearts to help our families and those around us navigate this crisis.
Together, we will endure. Of this, I am certain.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Since then, dozens of products in many countries have been recalled, because they contain melamine-tainted dried milk from China, included products in the U.S. and Europe. Some are brand name products you know and possibly use, like Cadbury.
Through all of this, one question has been repeating in my mind: How are mothers in China coping with this? My dear friend Jodi--Mama, writer and Beijing resident--has blogged about it. Her son just turned one in the midst of this scare. Read about her experience at her blog, Blonde in Beijing.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
To accomplish the effect in the first photo, you only need sticks or stray branches from your own yard, and some time and creativity to carve your pumpkins. You could scatter some fallen leaves as well. The birds are fun but totally optional.
The second look is pure genius: photocopied black and white portraits from history books or encyclopedias. Mount them on some black poster board and display them, clustered on shelves or mantelpieces.
And the third photo is so effective because the pumpkins--aside from being so artfully carved--are different shapes and sizes and clustered together. You don't need two dozen pumpkins of your own to create this effect. A carefully chosen few would have a similar, spooky look.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
*Bonus: This great art is printed on recycled paper! I love it when I can shop without guilt!