Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Wow....if I could have blogged during our vacation, it would have been such a great release, but I didn't have my compter with me.

It was great to get away, and actually had a really amazing experience. I had the opportunity to meet former President Clinton and Hillary, and to personally give President Clinton a signed copy of my book HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH(decent person). Very cool and quite surreal. It occurred to me afterwards that I should have suggested they pass it on to Chelsea, but perhaps they'll do so anyway.

Aside from this encounter, I celebrated my birthday by getting a facial and massage. As I get closer and closer to 50, it's hard to believe just how fast the years go.

And, I saw a newfound maturity of sorts in Seth this trip. He discovered the power of autonomy and exerted himself in a way I've never seen him do at home.

We vacation at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz every summer with family members, and have been since Seth was a baby. So, I guess, having grown up there, he has such a level of comfort and familiarity, that he feels he owns the place.

It began by him, along with my 14 year old niece, requesting a copy of our room key for himself. Of course, he kept leaving it in our room, and luckily the room number wasn't on it, in case he lost it outside the room.

Marc, my husband, went home two nights during the trip for a company workshop, and I was with Seth. One of the nights, he gave me quite a fright. He had been playing with a girl a bit older than him and didn't show up to meet me when he was supposed to. I wound up searching the resort and was on the verge of contacting security, when a friend of my sister told me she saw him. Turned out he had been playing in the girl's room, which was ok, except that he didn't tell me.

We bribed Seth to attend the morning session of camp by buying him a toy fireboat he could play with at the beach. Luckily, it worked, so Marc and I could at least get some down time or hiking time in before lunch.

Seth made friends so readily this trip, including a little girlfriend, who looked and acted like a female version of him. They were so totally cute. She doesn't live in NY, so we'll see if we see them again during a future Mohonk trip. We did take photos of them together. I'm curious to see his reaction when we get the photos developed.

As mature as he was trying to act, the five year old in him also emerged. There were a couple of minor poop accidents, losses of toys, and the most unreal pee accident. We had visited Woodstock one afternoon, and bought Seth a tye dyed rock 'n roll t-shirt.

One night he was too weary to put on his pajamas, so he decided to sleep in the shirt and short. Normally we prefer he wear PJs, but went along with it this time since it was vacation.

In the morning, we got quite a colorful surprise. Seth had been so exhausted, that he didn't go to the bathroom before he fell asleep. So, he had a pee accident during the night. When he woke up, the sheets of his bed were blue and purple, from the original white. The dye from the t-shirt had run and colored everything, including his stomach and arms. Just unreal!

We had a tye dye mess.

We threw Seth in the bathtub and scrubbed away, and quickly soaked the t-shirt and hung it in the shower stall, as it dripped further shades of blue and purple.

We were relieved, in a sense, that it happened at the hotel, since our sheets at home are patterned and we would not have been able to bleach out the colors.

So, I'd say our trip was quite eventful in more ways than one. While it's great to get away, it's good to be back home too.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Published: August 19. 2008 09:06AM

By Cathy Stovell

I'm over 40. Everyone knows that but still people bombard me with the question: "When are you going to have children?" What I find even more surprising is that most of the people who ask me this are seniors. Maybe it has got something to do with knowing me as a child and not fully realising my age, because I thought surely in their day women my age were not still having babies.

But there is a trend of women starting their families later in life and while I was not able to get local statistics, women I spoke with said they felt it is also happening in Bermuda.


Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another lesson in humility

It was around noon, lunch-time for my baby daughter. I had just started to feed her in her high-chair when the doorbell rang: it was the UPS man. I opened the door, saw him coming towards the door with a huge box (of diapers), and went out to get the box from him.

The very moment the door closed behind me, I realized with horror that I was locked out. I started to panic, repeatedly stuttering to the UPS man, "I'm locked out. My baby is inside. I'm locked out. My baby is inside. I'm ...." The UPS man calmly asked me if I wanted to call anyone. I didn't have my phone with me. He didn't have a phone with him. Luckily, there were a couple of workers next door, and let me use their phone. I called 911 and explained the situation.

Then I thought, maybe this is not a call for 911. Maybe I should call the police. So I shared my thinking with the 911 operator:
"I don't know, maybe this is not a call for 911. Maybe I should call the police...."
"Ma'am, this IS the police."
"Just hang in there. I am connecting you with the LAFD."

Voices changed, and I explained the situation again. I asked when they would be coming to help. They said 'as soon as possible.' I started to panic again, thinking it could be hours before I could get to my baby. She had already started to wail inside.

And at that moment, I heard a siren, and saw a red fire-engine pulling up onto the sidewalk. A team of lean, fit, very capable-looking men got out. All windows were closed and locked except one, on the second floor. One man climbed up the huge ladder that was brought in, and let me into the house.

I reached for my baby, who was very upset (to say the least), got her out of the high-chair, and held her tight. She soon calmed down. (I suspect that the actual length of time she was left alone was not too long.) When I turned around to say thank you, the men had already packed up and were ready to leave. I stopped them to say thank you, thank you, and thank you, so very much. I was almost crying.

A lesson in humility? I always thought that movies portray women who get rescued by the super-heroes as ridiculously over-dramatic. I would roll my eyes as the blond whisper teary gratitudes to the man in the mask. That day, the men from LAFD were super-heroes in my eyes. And I could have kissed the ground they walked on, out of my teary gratitude.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Career Choice: Motherhood Now or Later

Wake Up, Smell the Discrimination and Look Out for Your Career

Aug. 14, 2008

Maybe it's just me, but sometimes it feels as if researchers are popping out press releases on motherhood and careers faster than women are actually birthing babies.

In July, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, told us that Harvard grads who went on to get their MBAs became stay-at-home moms at a higher rate than grads who went on to become doctors or lawyers.

Earlier this month, Cornell University let us know that mothers were 90 percent more likely to ditch their careers if their husbands worked at least 60 hours a week but that, if the roles were reversed, the husbands would likely keep on working.

And just last week, Cambridge University informed us that in the U.S., the percentage of people in favor of moms working full time dropped to 38 percent in 2002, down from 51 percent in 1994. In other words, if you believe that "family life would not suffer" if a mom has a career, you're in the minority.


and note the mention of MLTS & Robin!

Then again, there's always the concern that you could jeopardize your job or fall behind in your career development by taking too long a leave, said Robin Gorman Newman, founder of MotherhoodLater.com, a Web community for moms over 35.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Why is the process of adoption such a challenge?

I have such a mixed feeling about this.

My son is adopted, and we went through a very difficult and emotional course until we successfully became his parents.

Adoption is a common path for many later parents, and while I know some who seemed to make a child their own with greater ease, I know others struggling.

A close mom friend of mine now wants to add to her family through adoption and has shared with me how overwhelming all the paperwork felt, etc., just getting to the point of being able to advertise. Now she is speaking with potential birthmothers, and that's a whole different experience which nothing in life truly prepares you for.

On one hand, I respect that a legal system was put in place to protect children and ideally have them adopted by good homes. However, it just seems that many families whose hearts are in such a good place, and want to adopt, not only have to pay a lot of money to do so, but then have to endure the process which can easily feel like an emotional rollercoaster.

And, sometimes it doesn't even seem like a reality that you will get a child. This friend of mine has big moments of doubt, and I totally empathize. We went through that as well. Until it happens, it's not an easy thing to believe. It can be such a waiting game, all the while your heart just yearns to love and provide for a child.

I feel for the aspiring moms out there who have chosen to go the adoption route, for whatever reason. It's a wonderful way to create a family. I just wish that somehow the process was more inviting or easier to follow.

I have assured my friend that the child she is meant to get will find its way into her home. But, until then, she has anxious periods of waiting for the phone to ring and holding her breath that it will be a truly viable situation that they can see through to completion.

Have you adopted, and what was your experience? Did you find the process a hard one? Did you have your doubts that it would happen for you?

Labels: , , , , ,