Category Archives: Parenting

Flying With Kids

A few weeks ago we took our first flight as a family of four. From the time we entered the terminal with our double stroller and bags, it was obvious that other passengers were not too happy to see us.

Passengers sighed heavily as they waited for us to fold our stroller for the security checkpoint. As we approached the gate, many passengers had the “I HOPE they are NOT on my flight” look. Defeat was written all over the faces of other passengers headed to Ft. Lauderdale.

We were able to board pretty effortlessly and since we were first (definite perk of traveling with kids!), we got to enjoy the sighs of relief from other passengers when they realized they weren’t sitting near us. We also enjoyed the sighs of disgust from those not so lucky.

After everyone was onboard, the flight attendant actually offered my husband ANOTHER SEAT. I guess she thought he was the unlucky soul that was seated with the “mom with two kids.” I politely smiled and said, “That’s okay, he’ll be fine – she’s looking forward to sitting with him (pointing to my oldest daughter).” She politely offered apologies and walked away.

We take off, no problem. My girls are fine the ENTIRE flight. They talk for a little while and then they go to sleep. See people, all of those looks for nothing.

But this is where my husband and I got our “ain’t karma something” joy. A GROWN MAN sitting behind us SNORED most of the flight. And I’m not talking about a “breathing heavily” snore. I mean one of those “A TRAIN IS COMING!!! A TRAIN IS COMING!!!” snores. We could barely contain our laughter.

Yes, stereotyping is never good…

Towanda Long aka mscafe

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RIP Randy Pausch

The first time I heard Randy Pausch’s lecture I was inspired. The second time I was inspired and motivated. The third time I was inspired, motivated and actually made some changes in my life.

You get the point. No matter how many times I’ve heard this or read it, it evokes an emotion or an action. I hope it does the same for you.

Towanda Long aka mscafe

Thursday Afternoon’s Laugh Break: In The Motherhood

This week’s feature is In The Motherhood. Here you’ll find short web episodes based on real mom stories. Jenny McCarthy has been added to the cast, and all I can say is it is HILARIOUS!  

It’s none of the cutesy stuff of motherhood. As a matter of fact, it’s mostly embarrassing or “I can’t believe…” moments. Trust me, you’ll laugh (and if you’re a mom you’ll relate…).  

What’s great is that the episodes are short and engaging (you won’t spend all afternoon watching clips instead of doing your work).  

What’s even better is it proves Supermom is a myth… 

And if you’re inspired to share one of your stories, there’s a place for that too!  

Towanda Long aka The Café Lady

Pet Peeves of Pregnancy

Here’s a post I wrote a few years ago. However, I’m reposting because it is still VERY truthful. Enjoy!

I loved being pregnant, and I couldn’t wait to meet my mini-me. However, I do have a few pointers for people that gravitate towards bellies, both with their hands and unsolicited advice. First of all,PLEASE BEWARE! And this is a biggie…

DO NOT touch my belly. It is uncomfortable when strangers touch me. At no other time is this seen as acceptable. And since pregnant women are very cautious with their bodies, why would you venture towards my unborn child?

2. I DO NOT need to hear daily comments about my size. I look in the mirror everyday. I see that I’m growing. I see that my regular clothes don’t fit and constant reminders from you do not make it better.

3. I understand that seeing a pregnant woman reminds you of when you were pregnant. BUT, I am in the grocery store. I’m exhausted and I just want to get this shopping over with. I really DO NOT want to hear your 9-month synopsis of pregnancy and I definitely don’t want to hear about your excruciating labor. Is it your practice to find vulnerable women in vulnerable situations and torture them? Don’t you remember what pregnancy felt like?

4. DO NOT make me feel bad if my symptoms are different from yours. Not every woman gets sick, not everyone swells. But, trust me, we all have our battles to bear during this time (see 1, 2, and 3).

And finally,

5. PLEASE, DO NOT take it personal if I do not follow your advice. First of all, I didn’t ask for it. It’s unsolicited. Do you like when telemarketers call you? Well, your advice is kind of like that. Do you understand how much advice I get on any given day? I can barely keep it straight. After all, I’m pregnant, I’m exhausted, and I just want to sleep. I appreciate that you mean well. But, you have to understand my point of view as well.

Yes, it does feel good to get this off my chest. Moms-to-be, feel free to forward this.

 Towanda Long

Chuck E. Cheese: A Parent’s Nightmare

It’s official. Parenthood is about sacrifice, and I don’t mean the sleepless nights kind of sacrifice.

I mean, REALLY, how else can you explain Chuck E. Cheese.

A few weeks ago we were invited to a birthday party, and though I’d heard horror stories I figured it couldn’t be that bad. Oh my, was I wrong.  While this place may be ecstatically fun for children, for parents it’s right up there with getting a root canal sans anesthesia.

For starters, it’s LOUD. You’re greeted in the lobby by the sounds of a ticket munching machine. The play area, a mix of an arcade and video games, is full of screaming children vying for their turn on the various games.

And as if this is not bad enough, some of the kids are unattended, so imagine 4 and 5 year olds trying to figure out who’s next on the horse (yep, it’s a disaster!).  

Secondly, I was surprised at how many parents do not realize they can’t leave small children (and by small I mean 3-6 year olds!!!) by themselves. The kids were FIGHTING – punching, pulling, biting – in the tubal slide/ball pit. This made the shoving at the carousel horse look like nothing. 

Third, Chuck E. now has live back-up dancers/singers. On paper this was probably a good idea. However, in reality, not so much. The back-up staff looked like Chuck E. had roughed them up in the dressing room before they came on stage.

They were sullen, moved mechanically, and were not at all into the show. I felt bad for Chuck E. because he had to carry the whole act (unless he really did shove them around in the dressing room…). 

And my last pet peeve was the parents. Let me just say this, it is TOTALLY inappropriate for anyone to wear his/her “night on the town” outfit to Chuck E. Cheese. Children are here and the stripper-like tops and spandex bottoms are really out of place. A t-shirt and jeans will work just fine, really.  

Whew, it does feel good to sound off every once in a while. 

Towanda Long aka The Cafe Lady

Unusual Baby Shower Gifts

  

With October being the most popular month for births, September starts “Baby Shower” season. Here are a few unusual baby shower gift ideas that will make you stand out from the crowd. 

1. While others come bearing gifts for the new addition, why not remember mommy?

Carol’s Daughter has awesome mommy-to-be products, including a “sexy belly” cream and a leg gel! The products are luxurious, and best of all, contains only natural ingredients. So you don’t have to worry about the products hurting baby. For more information on Carol’s Daughter, her products, and where to purchase, go to www.carolsdaughter.com  

2. Make a “Mommy, Use This for Sleep” basket.

Start the basket with a few “sleep” coupons. While many parents are hesitant to use a babysitter to leave their newborn, having your permission to call for a “sleep break” is a godsend. Also include a sleep mask, comfortable yet cute pajamas, and a relaxing candle (chamomile and/or lavender scents work well). For baby add a sleep sack, an adorable onesie and a bottle of Johnson’s bedtime massage gel. 

3. Think Keepsake.

Buy baby an engraved sterling silver rattle (try www.tiffany.com or www.thingsremembered.com), but don’t stop there. Include a teddy bear (not too big!), and a few rattle toys that baby can play with everyday. If you want to jazz it up even more add a few other crib toys (make sure they are safe by ensuring they are age appropriate).

 Towanda Long aka The Café Lady