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Does it take a tragedy to make people behave better?

Not a scene from Washington - at least not yet!

Does it take a tragedy like the Tucson shootings to make people start behaving better?  It’s been so discouraging recently seeing our elected officials acting like petulant children in Congress, stomping their feet (and holding news conferences) whenever they don’t get their way, and resorting to name-calling worse than any playground in America. It’s as though they don’t want to REALLY solve problems but merely stonewall their opponents.  What about coming together for the greater good?  Apparently until recently that cause was long forgotten.  But maybe, now – after the horrible tragedy in Tucson we have an opportunity.

I came across this meditation/prayer again via Mimi Doe and her Spiritual Parenting Newsletter.  Imagine if we said it once a day for 30 days – I wonder what would happen?  I wonder how we’d feel?  I wonder if we, collectively, could help with changing the whole nasty vibe that …

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Remember 9-11 (again)

The view from the end of our street

We had front row seats to the tragedies in NYC on September 11, 2001. We were living in Brooklyn Heights at the time, with a skyline view of the World Trade Towers visible at the end of our street.  My husband worked in the center of Manhattan, near Penn Station and the Empire State Building.  He rode the subway in to work every day, often going right under the World Trade Center.  He was on the subway when the first plane hit.  I was in our apartment, dealing with our new baby.  Just a regular morning – until the horrific events unfolded.  We both remember it so vividly, even today – especially today.  When you are living it up-close and personal, each moment becomes stamped in your memory in a way you are not likely to forget.

A friend from Philadelphia called the apartment shortly after news of the first plane crash.  …

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Chef Chloe – My Vegan Savior and New Best Friend

Chef Chloe's Winning Recipe - Raspberry Tiramisu Cupcakes

With headlines like these all around, it is hard not to get discouraged:

“Milk does a body good – especially for athletes!

Being forced to eat a vegan diet was certainly not something I had ever anticipated.  As I mentioned earlier this year, my favorite food group (after Fruit) was Dairy.  Milk, ice cream, cheese, butter, yogurt – YUM!  As the months have passed, I have slowly become friends with soy milk in my coffee and almond milk on my cereal.  I can actually now enjoy a bowl of coconut milk ice cream (chocolate peanut butter being my all time favorite – and very good too – as long as you erase the memory of Haagen Dazs from your mind).  And thank goodness for Earth Balance sticks, which I use as a sub in all recipes calling for butter.

So imagine my complete shock and delight when I ran across …

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Off to Neverland – 5 Reasons to go see Peter Pan

Click here for more info on the show

Think of the happiest things

It’s the same as having wings

…You can fly! We can fly!  We can fly!

– from Walt Disney’s Peter Pan

I am in desperate need of “happy thoughts” right now, as I spend time sorting through my mom’s things and constantly replay the last 4 days we had together over and over in my head.  So when offered tickets to see the new stage production of Peter Pan as a blogging perk, I jumped at the chance.  Yes – that was exactly what was needed – a trip to Neverland!  I had been hearing all the buzz about the show, hot off of their opening in Kensington Gardens (London) and the fact that San Francisco was the premier city on the U.S. tour list was really quite something.  So I grabbed my two little sidekicks, always eager for a fun activity, and off we went.

It …

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Dangerous Weapons at Ballparks Everywhere

We say to our children No Weapons at School – and no one questions our judgment.  But what about when our kids are on the baseball field?  We’re not only letting them play with the weapons, we’re putting them in their hands! They stand there, gripping them tightly, swinging them soundly, just hoping and praying for contact. The sound of the ball pinging off the aluminum is heard throughout bleachers at baseball fields all across the country this time of year.  But have we as parents (you know, the responsible ones) ever stopped to consider that maybe what our kids are swinging are deadly weapons – and maybe this is something we need to rethink?

Last week in a near-by community a high school pitcher for Marin Catholic was on the receiving end of one of those weapons.  They estimate that the ball was going about 100 miles per hour after making contact with the metal bat.  The poor …

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Your Grandparents Knew it — Why Don’t You?

The report has made headlines this week.  No – not the damage assessment from Haiti.  Not the latest unemployment numbers or the polling numbers from the Massachusetts special election.  No, in the midst of all that, come these findings that are shocking parents across the country (and if they are not, they should!!)

U.S. Kids Using Media Almost 8 Hours a Day

Yep – do the math:  nearly 8 hours a day times 7 days per week equals more time than most adults spend in a full-time job!  Seriously.

As the report’s co-author Victoria Rideout, vp and director of the Program for the Study of Media and Health at the Kaiser Family Foundation says:

Anything that children spend that much time doing is something that needs to be studied.  Media use is neither inherently good or bad, but from a health perspective there are a lot of things to think about.”

The first thing to think about is WHERE ARE …

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3 Things Swine Flu Made Me Grateful For

Swine flu vaccineThe elementary school called this morning, less than 30 minutes after I gotten home from the morning drop off – never a good sign.  The office was checking up on a story they had heard from one of the parents.   The secretary seemed almost embarrassed to ask me.  But she needed to verify this parent’s concern: Was it really true that my kids had swine flu?

Oh those two scary words, that you can’t help but hear everywhere you turn these days.  Every night on the evening news there is another story about swine flu.  Or the H1N1 vaccine.  Or the raising number of children’s deaths being attributed to this potent flu strain.  Parents are going crazy with too much talk and fragmented pieces of information being floated around – and no one can blame them if they do over react.  The media has built this into a feeding frenzy.

The even crazier part is that though the newspaper says …

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Give a Day, Get a Day

Disney friendsDo you always have your eyes open for volunteer opportunities, so that you can teach your kids (or perhaps remind yourself) the rewards of doing for others?  Do you often wish volunteering could be a bit easier, in terms of finding an organization to help, one that wants and needs your help, that would be feasible to go assist for a day?  Have you heard about Disney’s new Give a Day, Get a Day program?  This might be just the thing for you!

Basically, Disney says, Give a Day (of service), Get a Day (of free admission into Disneyland or Walt Disney World).  Don’t live near one of the parks, or aren’t too interested in visiting the Happiest Place on Earth?  (Shh – don’t tell my kids – they don’t believe people like that exist).  Never fear, it’s even better – you can still sign up and do the day of service, then have your free day donated to one …

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Where did Good Manners Go?

Zip it Does it seem (in light of recent events) that good manners and civility have gone out the window?  Want some easy lessons at how to get them back?  Just follow the lead of the 5 and under set. “It’s easy,” exclaims my daughter.  “You just zip it, lock it, put it in your pocket.” She runs a finger across her lips zipping them up, turns an imaginary key to lock up her closed mouth and then slips that key in her pretend pocket.  Done.  How simple was that!

How nice it would have been if Congressman Wilson could have remembered to zip it and lock it.  Ditto Kayne West.  I’ll even add Serena Williams’ tirade to the list, although some seem to feel the rules are different for sports figures (not this Zen Mama Wannabe, however).  How nice it would be to think that good manners were commonplace in our country.  That the things you learned when you were …

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What’s all the Fuss?

President ObamaHe got to see it – his cousin at another school in a more Republican part of the state did not.  A speech by the President of the United States to the young students of our great nation – and it wasn’t aired to everyone? Parents in tears over the possibility of their school district letting their kids watch it?  Threats to pull children out of school because they might be subjected to hearing the President (OUR President) speak?  What is going on here????

All day I told myself breathe.  Just take a breath.  Yet every time I heard something more about it, I would feel my blood boil.  After all, the transcript of the speech had already been released the day before.  All concerned parties knew exactly what he was going to say.  But that was never really it anyway, was it?

Have we become so polarized that people from one political party would say their kids couldn’t listen …

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