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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Great Packing Dilemma! What Should I Wear?

A group of my fellow bloggers are headed to a huge blog conference in NYC known as BlogHer. The great debate for the last several weeks, that has geared up in the last few days is 'what should I wear?'

I have come to the conclusion (and reached the age) where what I wear is not as important as how comfortable I am. I'm not heading to BlogHer, maybe next year, but if I were my most important things to pack? Comfortable shoes (several pair) and super comfortable undergarments.

Yes, I'll take some other clothes, but I've never been a woman to dress to impress other women. I never quite got that memo in life. I did get the comfort memo though! And I've never forgotten the two most important things in life are a comfortable pair of shoes (or two or three) and a bra that really fits!

Nothing makes a woman more miserable than shoes that pinch or a bra that rides up!

See guys, all these years you thought we were PMS'ing... it was really either bad shoes or a bad bra (or a combination of both!)

So if you are traveling to a conference (or even just heading out on vacation) the answer to 'what should I pack?' is the same. Comfortable shoes, comfortable bras. 

Conference = Comfortable Shoes, Comfortable bra.

Disneyworld=Comfortable Shoes, Comfortable bra.

Traveling around Europe=Comfortable Shoes, Comfortable bra.

Driving cross country=Comfortable Shoes, Comfortable bra.

You get my drift! No matter where you are going, these are the two critical things to pack. So as you are going through the great debate, no matter where you are going, this is your answer!

OK, a bit different for men, but...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Do The Craze - Just Two More Days

You have just two more days to do the current "Do The Craze," a contest run on the web page in conjunction with Skittles and iJustine.  What is "Do The Craze?"

"Do The Craze" this month is a contest where you upload a short video showing a mispronunciation or mispronunciations that make you crazy! So, what makes you crazy? Remember, they are looking for the most outlandish mispronunciation! Hm mm...

Some contestants put up a commonly mispronounced word (Like gyro--how do you pronounce that anyway?) Others had a whole library of words. Come on, we can do it. Hey for $1000 even I would put my mugg on the Cambio web site. (I know, how embarrassing the things one will do for cash!)

See the official rules and regs and get your video up! They want to know what the next mispronunciation CRAZE will be!

So you can turn a word into an abbreviation or just totally screw up how you pronounce it (kind of like my kids who called roast beef roast beast for years! And now, well every once in awhile it still slips out!)

So if you aren't embarrassed to show your face on Cambio site under iJustine and Skittles and their contest, get producing your newest video!  Or if your kids haven't bagged a summer job, get them producing one! Hey, $1000 is $1000. There are examples of what's already been entered so you know what your competition is! Get to it!

Flying High--Her Majesty and Bond, James Bond

YouTube Video courtesy of the BBC

The 2012 Summer Olympics will bring together the world in a huge display of incredible sportsmanship. But whose the real sport in these games in London? The Queen. The opening of these Olympics drew every country together and into the Her Majesty's jest of her arrival with Bond, James Bond, Daniel Craig.

Of course I can't imagine anyone turning down a few minutes with Craig. It just goes to show Her Majesty still retains her sense of humor despite all the years she has put in at her very serious job as Queen.

Watch as Her Majesty (seems to) parachute into the Opening Ceremonies. Loved it! I do love a queen with a sense of humor!

It will be a long time before someone is able to top her entrance and welcome to the world at the Summer Games 2012. Kudos to Her Majesty, the Queen. She's a lady with style.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The CDC and CVS Pharmacy Say "Let's Beat Whooping Cough!"

Whooping cough, long thought to be under control in the United States is on the rise. According to the CDC, the USA is on it's way to having the highest number of whooping cough cases since the late 1950s.

Whooping cough (also known as pertussis) is at the worst levels in the USA in more than 50 years. Health officials are calling for mass vaccination of adults.

"I want to urge vaccination for pregnant women and anyone who will have contact with babies. In many cases, babies get this illness from their mothers or others close to them. It’s absolutely tragic," said Anne Schuchat, director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC. "As of today, nationwide, nearly 18,000 cases and nine deaths have been reported to CDC. That’s more than twice as many as we had at the same time last year."

This disease is highly contagious and is preventable by vaccine.  It is spread through the air by infectious respiratory droplets. The nose, mouth and throat of the infected person contains the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.  Unfortunately it is often misdiagnosed as bronchitis or the common cold. It is also very easy to spread. Think how many times you've walked by an adult or older child coughing. Each of those times had the potential to be spreading whooping cough to you, and to your children.

This disease is more severe in babies and young children who develop severe coughing followed by a "whooping" sound as they desperately try to gasp for air. Coughing can be so severe that they vomit. It can lead to other serious complications, including death.

According to Minute Clinic "The best way to protect infants and young children is to vaccinate the adults around them. Pregnant women should be vaccinated so their babies are born with some immunity. People who are not vaccinated have eight times the risk of infection compared to people who are fully vaccinated against whooping cough, according to Schuchat. And if someone who’s been vaccinated does get whooping cough, the disease is usually less serious and they are far less likely to infect someone else."

For teens and adults the pertussis vaccination wears off after five to ten years, so they should get a Tdap vaccination booster. For kids to be fully protected, they should get all five doses of the DTaP vaccine.

You can get these vaccines from your physician, public clinic or from Minute Clinics at your local CVS Pharmacy. Some exceptions apply. Visit the CVS/Minute Clinic website. For more information about vaccinations visit this CDC link.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Atlantic City Moving To A Family Friendly Vacation Spot

Video from Urban Daddy

What is Duality and why will your kids love it? Duality takes light and music and magic and morphs them all into an incredible light show! Duality, a light show extravaganza in  Atlantic City, New Jersey is an incredible combination of art, magic and computers and electronics.

I know, you thought AC was just a bunch of slot machines and roulette tables and a ho-hum boardwalk. That's not the Atlantic City of today! AC is working on revitalizing the city, taking it to a family destination and not just a gambling destination. The new Dualtiy 3-D Light Show is a great step in the right direction!

Duality opened on the night of July 4th, with a show was specially created for AC by Moment Factory. This light show brings its unique vision to Boardwalk Hall through an extraordinary fusion of light and sound. You won't believe your eyes!

They took the old Art Deco Boardwalk Hall and brought it into the 21st century by adding video-mapping technology, an original music score and stunning lights and animation. The music offers you a combo of electronic, orchestral and indie pop sounds while you watch Boardwalk Hall disolve and then be re-born.

The historic facade of Boardwalk Hall is perfect for this ambitious project and I have to say they really pulled it off! Even if you aren't in AC for you entire vacation, be sure to head over and see this great new show. And don't forget AC also offers some great magic shows for your kids (or the kid in you) and some other family friendly shows.

I admit I was entranced! I could watch it over and over and over again! (I guess it's the kid in me!) The only problem for AC? They could lose all their gamblers to the light show!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Friendship and Special Needs Families

Are you the parent of special needs children? Or the friend of someone who has special needs kids? I'm not sure what is harder. Walking the tightrope of parenting special needs children or trying to be a friend to someone who has kids with special needs.  I'm not sure friendship with me isn't more difficult.

Parenting special needs children poses it's own special problems. Each child is unique and has their own issues. I was fortunate that my children had mild intellectual disabilities, PDD-NOS, and some mild physical disability issues like low tone and coordination problems. But my friends had no experience with 'the special needs' of being a friend to a mother of special needs kids. I guess we were both thrown in the deep end of the pool, and none of us knew how to swim!

What makes us different? Are we different? Yes, I'm afraid we are. You see we tend to be high maintenance friends. We are always battling for some new class or over some new issue for our kids, but at the same time we are totally exhausted by the battle. Sometimes this means we have to put our kids ahead of our friendships. (No matter how much we regret this!)  And sometimes the battle leaves little time for our friendships. This is one of the reasons so many moms of special needs kids tend to 'hang out' together. We all know what is happening, we all know the exhaustion of special needs parenting. And many of us suffer from the same problem, we'd rather do it ourselves than ask for help. We don't trust easily.

Am I a good friend? I hope so. But I have a really hard time asking for help. Offering it? Sure, I'm front and center. Accepting it? Harder for me. I don't mean the kind of  'can you pick up some milk for me when you're at the store' kind of help, I mean help when it really counts. Sometimes I think maybe it's part of not wanting to relinquish control. I feel like that 60s advertisement for Excedrin that said "Mother please, I'D RATHER DO IT MYSELF!" I really would rather do it myself. I know I'm reliable. And I don't want to take the chance someone else might not be.

Sometimes I think it's important for me to 'do it myself' because in so many areas of my children's lives I can't do it all myself. (Not that I don't try, I'm a chronic overachiever!) So asking for help is hard. Accepting it harder yet.

Maybe it's because so much help is 'forced on me' as a special ed parent. There are days I really just want to say 'enough is enough.' Days when after five days of special preschool, followed by private PT/OT and speech that I just wanted to say 'NO MORE!' Let my kid be the kid she is, not the one you want to create. Is this so wrong? Today I am glad I accepted the help and took them to PT/OT/etc. but it was one exhausting ritual! Exhausting for them and for me. And to an extent it robbed them of some of their childhood. And it robbed me of some friendships. Because no matter how much I wanted to 'do it all' something always suffered--my poor friends!

One thing I was always aware of is every family has children who may have special  needs.  Just not special needs as defined by law. While my kids struggled with low tone and intellectual disabilities, some of their kids had bullying issues, others had kids with drug or alcohol abuse problems or other issues, others had eating issues. In many ways my daughters' disabilities were easier to deal with, they had a whole network of people set up to help them. While some of my friends had kids with problems that were harder to work with and through.

What advice can I offer to other moms of special needs kids? Or to the friends of those moms? Patience. Understanding. And if your friendship is meant to last, it will. One or both of you will go the extra mile to make sure it does. Because eventually all of us need to recognize our children will grow up and move on with their lives. Don't sacrifice friendships, they're too valuable to us all. And your children wouldn't want you to sacrifice friendships.

To my friends I say "Thank you all." Thanks for understanding (most of the time) or trying to (the rest of the time.) To my children I say "You're worth it all. Every second." So I'll try to be a better friend. And if I'm not, call me on it. I really am trying!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Can You Land A Job Using Social Media? Is Facebook Your Friend?

Source: via Kelby on Pinterest

When you set up your Facebook account or your Linked In account you probably weren't thinking about being unemployed, but today more and more people are using social media in their search for a job. My husband got a job interview a few days ago based on someone I knew on Linked In. Obviously there are a lot of people who are doing the hiring on social media.

How about you? Is social media part of your job search? Are you promoting yourself actively each time you are online? Hmm... never thought of it? This is the perfect time!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tearing Down Joe Pat Statue? Yeah or Nay?

Joe Paterno Statue at Penn State

Joe Pat... should his statue stay or go? Ever since the Freeh report came out there has been a vocal group who are shouting "Take it down!" Others say "No way, Joe should stay!" From students, former students, and football fans and former football players and citizens, everyone has their own opinion.

He is quoted as saying "I'm still a firm believer Joe never knew what was all going on, so it they tear down the statue I think they're crazy." He contends that "Joe is Penn State," and "I mean, it's never going to change with me. I'll admire the guy until the end."

Admire a man who the Freeh Reports says may have been complicit in covering up child abuse going on right under his nose? Sounds to me like Ebersole is still entrenched in the Happy Valley mentality of "Football is All!" Did he hear the Freeh report that revealed Joe and key Penn State administrators "concealed critical facts" about Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of minors.  Minors! Sexual abuse! For more than 10 YEARS! Where is this man's head? No football program is more important that the well being of children.

Still others have called for the immediate suspension of Penn State's football program as part of the NCAA. Others more specifically want the Joe Pat statue taken down. The argument will continue for some time or until the statue comes down.

"Should his statue be removed? In my opinion, yes," Bowden said. "Now the reason is, Penn State's job now is to try to forget this thing. But every time somebody walks by and sees that statue, they're not going to remember the 80 good years, they're going to remember this thing with (former assistant coach Jerry) Sandusky."

"Just think, every time you go to a ballgame at Penn State and they shine a camera on that statue, that's going to be brought up again. So if I was Penn State, if I was Joe's family, I'd say, 'move on from all that stuff.'"

I guess we all have our reasons, but many of us say 'take it away!'

I am personally appalled that Happy Valley, in pursuit of the power of their football program allowed this atrocity to continue. Face it, in Happy Valley football is king. If someone who coached the debate team had acted in the same way they would have been gone and prosecuted a long time ago. But Penn State worships at the altar of football. Long live football, so at Penn State they let Sandusky continue breaking the law and continue sexually abusing minors. How many lives did Penn State ruin so they could win a game of football? How many young men were assauted and never reported it?

Some argue that Penn State's football program can't be pulled by the NCAA because it isn't covered under their rules. They'll pull a program for giving players fancy cars but NOT for not reporting ongoing abuse of children? Hmmm, something wrong in this picture.

Are you for or against tearing down the Joe Pat statue at Penn State? Did the good Joe Pat did while at Penn State outweigh his grievous lack of a moral compass in the Sandusky matter? Are you a pro Joe? Tell me what you think they should do with the statue of Joe Paterno at Penn State. If it was your decision what would you do?