Monday, March 30, 2009

Guest Post -- By Jennifer Covello

Your Child has AD/HD… Now What?

“Your son is having some trouble in our class. We’d like to speak to you about it”

I’ll never forget that day or those words as I entered my son, Christopher’s pre-school to pick him up for the day. His teacher and the center director were both there.

You know how it is. You’ve worked all day and you just want to pick up your child from daycare, head home, and ready yourself for your other full-time job as parent. This was not to happen that day. I spent the next twenty minutes hearing about how Christopher could not focus on a task, could not keep his hands to himself, interrupted the teacher, and walked about freely. With each “wrong-doing”, I felt myself shrinking.

Then, I heard those fateful words. “We think you should consider having him evaluated.”

My son was diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) at the age of five. I remember all too well the experts at All Kinds of Minds Institute in New York City revealing to me my son’s strengths and his weaknesses. And while I was glad to have an ‘answer’, I knew that our journey was only beginning and there was much to do.

Looking back, I believe I went through a grieving period after the diagnosis. I was sad that my son would face challenges for which I had no experience. I was angry that he had this disorder. Even before the official diagnosis, I was in denial. Maybe he’d outgrow it. Then of course, came a half-hearted acceptance when you realize in order to best help him, you have to educate yourself and get on with the business of becoming his advocate until he could become one on his own.

That was seven years ago. Today, Christopher is in sixth grade. He has made the honor roll twice, most recently high honors. He is passionate about basketball. Is he cured? No. Is it a struggle? Yes. As a later mom, do I feel more challenged by this? Yes. But, what I lack in patience, I make up for in perseverance, which is critical when you are advocating for your child.

What I used to see as a “disorder”, I now see as a gift. My son is creative, loving, funny, and passionate about the things that really interest him. And when all is said and done, he has taught me that no matter what your “disability” is, if you put your mind to it, you can do anything.

Jennifer Covello, a native of Long Island, New York, and a "later mom", has a background in Information Technology and Marketing. She formed Frittabello, LLC and created a unique keepsake baby journal for children from birth to age 5. As a mother of a child with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), Ms. Covello has become an advocate for children with AD/HD and will donate a portion of the proceeds of her product sales to organizations that educate and empower parents and children working through this challenge. See for more information or to join her mailing list, contact her at

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

God of Carnage -- Play I Recommend

I don't typically blog about a play I've seen, but I feel compelled in this instant.

I adore theatre, but with tickets prices so high these days, I try to be selective about what I see. This time I'm happy to say I picked right!!

My husband and I hired a sitter and went to see GOD OF CARNAGE on Broadway this past Saturday night.

I haven't laughed so hard in a long time, and as a mom, I could so fully relate.

The premise is that two married couples meet in the home of one of them to discuss a delicate situation involving their 11 year old children. One boy left the other with a swollen lip and broken teeth after a playground brawl.

What starts out is a somewhat awkward, though mild-mannered discussion between seemingly sophisticated adults re: how best to handle the matter. They contemplated when/whether to get the boys together for an apology, why the incident happened to begin with, etc. etc. As the banter progresses, gradually the protective layers (clothing & otherwise) of each couple wears away, and they let loose on each other.

It's a riveting and riotous take on parenting, marital relations, society expectations, etc.

Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden star, and are total fun to watch. Performed without an intermission, the production picks up breakneck comedic speed and never loses steam. It was a real treat to witness the acting chops of these veteran performers. (And, for Sopranos fans, you'll get a hoot out of James Gandolfini who is in fine theatrical form.)

The Broadway production of Yasmina Reza’s GOD OF CARNAGE opened on Sunday, March 22. The play, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Matthew Warchus began previews on Saturday, February 28 at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45 Street in NYC).

GOD OF CARNAGE reunites the creative team that staged the Tony Award-winning Best Play, Art. Designed by Mark Thompson (sets and costumes), with lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker & Chris Cronin, the play has music by Gary Yershon.

Tickets are available through, by phone at 212-239-6200, or 800-432-7250, online at or in person at the Jacobs Theatre box office, 242 West 45th Street. Box office hours are Monday through Saturday 10:00am – 8:00pm and Sunday from 12:00pm – 6:00pm. Ticket prices range from $66.50 to $116.50.

The performance schedule for GOD OF CARNAGE is Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00pm and Sunday at 3:00pm. Please note that beginning the week of March 23, Tuesday performances are at 7:00pm.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Circus Weekend

We had a busy weekend. Marc worked yesterday, and I took Seth and a friend of his to see Race to Witch Mountain.
While it was a Disney film, it was a bit "darker" than I had expected. Full of action and intrigue, Seth loved it. His friend had moments of being a little bit scared, but she was a trooper, and got through it with flying colors.
Today, Marc and I took Seth to the circus. The older he gets, the more he seems to enjoy it, and today, he really loved it. Marc and I enjoyed it too, and the stands were packed. I don't remember ever seeing it so crowded.
It was Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presenting Zing Zang Zoom.
A catchy name and theme song, this performance offers magic and circus spectacular.
There were dazzling trapeze acts, female human cannonballs flying through the air at top speed, awe-inspiring high wire acts....etc.
Seth particularly loved the acts with animals. Dogs, Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, Arabian and Friesian horses, and even zebras, caught his full attention, and he couldn't get enough.
For Seth, it was truly 'The Greatest Show on Earth," and we were glad to share the experience with him.
Check it out at


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Guest Post -- By Debbie Zipp

A look back by a "later" mom ......


The empty nest is suddenly approaching. How will I feel? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? The answer is in the Teddy Bear Store.
My daughter just turned 21. My son is 16 1/2. I am 54. Hmmmm. Are they old or am I? I guess it depends on your point of view. But no matter what my age the empty nest syndrome is quickly approaching.
I have had to start thinking about the empty house in my future. How will I feel when their bedrooms are empty and devoid of the sounds of life of the ones so precious to me, no matter how annoying a few of those sounds are?. . . Their faces won't be readily available to kiss, or their bodies always there to hug everyday. Or when I no longer HAVE to get up or stay awake for them, or work my day around pickups???..the list is endless. How will my heart feel when I am no longer needed in that way?? And of course there is also how I will feel about the empty nest when I no longer have to pick up theendless crap around the house and scream that I am not a servant! When I no longer have to argue about grades and responsibility and impress upon them that I am not a servant and or doormat. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
It could go both ways, I guess. However since the prices of apartments in Los Angeles are so astronomical how can a young person afford to strike out on their own? Perhaps we will end up like the Walton's and the house will be filled with our kids and the grandkids and me and my husband and all the doggies and fishies. My husband and I will just take a lot of trips. And this too could be a good thing or a bad thing. It could go both ways. Anyway I digress.
My daughter is turning 21, and my son wants to get her something for her birthday, and he is having a terrible time at the mall deciding. Boy I hate that. Malls, teenage boys and tough shopping decisions. How will I feel about not having to do THIS anymore? Well, we passed one of those teddy bear stores, and his shopping block ended. You know... the stores where you pick a bear, they stuff it, put a heart in it and it is born? You get a birth certificate, you name it and pick a stunning wardrobe for it, and lots of other stuff, so by the time you are out of there you have created a bear that only Donald Trump could afford for his daughter. Well I watched my 6.1 ft 16 year old son pick out the bear with great care, and even the panties (about $5 for those and I don’t even spend that on my own panties!). And suddenly I saw him, with complete ease and a little gleam in is eye, turn around and jump up and down and do an entire routine, usually done only by 4 year olds, to bring the newly stuffed bear’s heart to life! That memory was instantly stamped into my brain and heart, and will live there forever and ever. THIS is what I will miss. These unforgettable moments. Not just the daily give and take, kissing and yelling, but this...these unexpected, unrepeatable delightful moments.
So even though my children are slipping away because they are maturing so fast (and that is a good thing) and will not need me in the same way (if I've done my job properly), they are, and will forever be, in my heart. All that they were as children and all that they are becoming are there in plain sight for me. The big memories like this or the little ones. I may have forgotten a lot at this age and I may forget more (I like to blame it on menopause not age) but there aresome memories that stick like Elmer's. My son’s happiness when doing something special for his sister will stick. Enough will stick.
My heart is the real home where my children will always be no matter where they happen to live. I think those kind of memories rest in your heart, not your brain, because that is where they will be safe. I may have an empty nest, but I will never, ever, have an empty heart. Of course I am kind of leaning towards the Walton's idea, and perhaps a grandchild or two (eegads! not now but later) to take, hand in hand, to the Teddy Bear store, where I will watch them dance with glee as I hold back tears of joy.

Debbie Zipp is Producer for The First Entertainment Network for Women Over 40 on the Web This is the site for the multi-tasking woman looking for an upbeat break in her day. Award-winning films offer a funny commentary on life after 40, or a satirical look at the economic downturn, or a commercial spoof on the obsession with looking forever young. The series episodes provide inspirational tips on sprucing up the garden or whipping up tasty treats or life lessons from the heart. So sit back, relax, kick off your shoes and take a break today.

Labels: ,

Stir Crazy in the Suburbs

I am going totally stir crazy today.

Seth is home with strep throat, and I have a cold, and I'm miserable.

The sun is shining, though it's not entirely warm as yet, but it feels like a tease.

I'm itching to go out. Anywhere....

My son is hopping or I should say bolting, from activity to activity. Nothing holds his attention for long. Not evena new toy, a belated gift for his birthday...a remote control car that does stunts. He loves it. To me, it makes way too much noise and is crashing into all the furniture. This is not a toy a mom would embrace.

My kitchen looks like a disaster zone, with fire trucks, ambulances, and other vehicles galore. Seth was creating an obstacle course for his stunt car.

The living room looks like a cyclone hit it. It did....Cyclone Seth. Train tracks strewn about. Legos. Diego's explorer house. You name it.

I'm getting worn out just looking at all of it.

Calgon....take me away! I need a massage.

And, it's tax season. My husband typically works very late on Tuesday nights.

I asked him please to work late on Saturday instead, and come home regular time today. I need a break.

Seth needs to get a bath, and he's fighting me on that.

Today is a total challenge.

Luckily the antibiotic has kicked in, and the doctor said Seth can go back to school tomorrow.

I feel guilty for saying it, but today doesn't feel like quality time with my son.

He's bouncing off the walls, and my head is aching.

Tomorrow is thankfully another day.

PS -- In future blog posts, I'm looking to potentially highlight cool products of particular interest/benefit to 40 women (including moms of course). If you know of any, I'd love to hear about them. Drop me an email.

Guest Post -- By PTA Mom


Living in a suburb outside of New York City, most women I know didn’t get married in their twenties. I got married at 30, bought my first home not long after, traveled, got promoted (a few times), and then decided it was time to have kids.

Now, I never saw myself as the “stay at home” Mom type, but completely respected the choices that other people make. I had always focused on my career first— it was a career with long hours, business travel, and a healthy paycheck. But when child #3 came around (at age 38), I started rethinking my priorities. It may have been child #3, or it may have been that I missed going to the oldest child’s (age 5) school concerts that were during the day or that I didn’t get to have coffee with the other Moms after dropping the middle child (age 3) off at Nursery school or that I was envious of the kids afternoon trips to the park with the Nanny.

So I decided to get involved and fully embraced the idea that I could balance both being a Mom and working, but I would just have to make a few adjustments. I joined the PTA, volunteered to coach sports teams and made friends with other Moms. There were definitely other working Moms out there, and to my surprise, some that had pretty high powered jobs too. They just didn’t volunteer as much (or at all, in some cases). Even though I was determined to “do-it-all”, I was exhausted from trying to do so much (but really didn’t let on to anyone, even when people said “I don’t know how you do it all?” as a compliment). Yes, I may be “doing-it-all” but not well, I thought, so when the big 4-0 was just around the corner, I decided it was time for a change. I still work full-time, but recently traded my commuter train ticket for a job closer to home. Actually, in the home. I decided to be my own boss and become a consultant doing the same Digital Marketing I did while working for “the man”. Actually, a woman. One who was great, but I didn’t want to resent her because of missing time with my family. And now the paycheck isn’t nearly as big, but the happiness is enormous. It is so nice to see the smile on the kids faces now that I can actually sit down and have dinner as a family. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still pretty tired, but now at least, I doze off with a smile on my face.

PTA Mom writes for, an email newsletter and website lifestyle guide devoted to “women who aren’t kids.”

Labels: ,

Friday, March 13, 2009

Kissing Bandit

Today caught me by surprise.

I was on the phone long distance with a friend who is so wise...a former teacher...with a dedicated spiritual practice...when my call waiting kicked in. I quickly picked up, and it was the father of a girl in my son's class who was over the top upset with the fact that he learned his daughter and my son had kissed in school.

I had no knowledge of the situation. Hadn't heard a word about it. So I told him I'd have to call him back. I shared with my friend what transpired, and it led to an interesting discussion about people's upbringings and belief systems. I will blog about that another time....but in a nutshell....part of what she shared is that people come to parenting with what they experienced when they were being brought up. Sure, they may have formed their own beliefs separate and distinct from those of their parents, but their foundation is that of their parents...for better or worse.

I called Seth's teacher as fast as I could. She was at lunch break. I anxiously waited to hear from her so I could get the lowdown.

When she called back, she explained that she hadn't phoned me herself to discuss it because the incident happened earlier this week, and the children had been spoken to, understood, and the teachers were keeping an eye out. If she thought it was an on-going issue, she would have let me know.

I called the girl's father back and told him I had spoken with the teacher and that I'd chat with Seth after school today. The father felt it was highly inappropriate behavior.

I have to say I had a mixed feeling. While I don't endorse the kids kissing on the lips, which is apparently what happened, they are six years old. It was innocent. They are friends. My son is highly respectful. I also know that Seth isn't a big kisser other than to his family....a hugger I was kinda surprised to hear about this. I wondered who actually made the first move?

I had a talk with Seth when he got home. He was embarassed and said his teacher already spoke to him and he understood. I told him I wasn't mad, and that kissing on the lips isn't great for kids because it can spread germs. It's great to have a good friend and there are other ways to express that you care about someone.

I work as a Love Coach for singles (, and little did I know I'd be putting on both my mom and Love Coach hat at the same time with my Kindergarten age son.

PS -- Check out the March contest on It features a great giveaway courtesy of The Organized Parent --

PPS - Also...if you're a mom in NY, is hosting an Enlightened Parenting workshop starting April 22nd. Write to the email on for details.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Guest Post -- Is it Too Late? By Lee Silber


When you look at the list of old bands still on the road it makes you wonder, when are you too old to rock and roll?

Bruce Springsteen and his band performed at this year’s Super Bowl half-time show (and have a new album out) and he’s only five months away from turning 60. Other acts that are still successfully touring include the Eagles (all the key members are 60 or over), Jimmy Buffett is still going strong at age 62, and the Rolling Stones never stopped rockin’ even though Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are both 65. Does that make you feel old? Think about this, John Bonham and Ringo Starr’s sons are drummers with the latest versions of Led Zeppelin and the Who.

What does this mean for us? Well, for one thing, 60 really is the new 40 when it comes to age. Also, it’s never too late to do what you want to do. Many people were hanging onto a job they really didn’t like because it paid the bills. Then, all of a sudden that job is gone. Disaster, right? Not necessarily. This could be your your “excuse” to do what you have always wanted to do for a living. The biggest reason people don’t go after their dream job, become their own boss, or try something new is they think it’s too late. It’s not.

Consider this, Actor Danny Aiello (Moonstruck) didn’t start acting until he was 40. Also at the age of 40—and after years of doubling for Roy Rogers, Gary Copper, and other stars as a stuntman—Richard Farnsworth (The Natural) became an actor himself—with great success. Peg Phillips retired as an accountant at age 60 and then went into acting, co-starring in two successful television series, Northern Exposure and 7th Heaven. How about the late Ronald Reagan, the actor didn’t enter politics until he was elected the Governor of California at age 55, and remains the oldest person ever to serve as President of the United States. Still not convinced? There tons of other examples of people either switching careers or making a name for themselves later in life. Harriet Huntington Doerr published her first novel (Stones For Ibarra) at the age of 74, and won that year’s National Book Award.

After a string of unsuccessful other careers, Raymond Chandler published his first short story at 45, and his novel The Big Sleep at 51. Already a successful insurance company executive, Poet Wallace Stevens pursued his passion for poetry seriously later ion life and won a Pulitzer Prize at the age of 76. Colonel Sanders (KFC) and Ray Kroc (McDonald’s) were both over 60 when their businesses began to boom. Singer Andrea Bocelli was a lawyer and didn’t release his first record until he was 34. Pro-Bowl and MVP quarterback Kurt Warner didn’t enter NFL the until he was 28 (that’s when many players are hanging up their cleats).

For each of the above examples there was a different reason for their decision to pursue their passion. Some were fired first (Raymond Chandler), others were waiting for the right opportunity to jump in (Ray Kroc), and still others were just not given their shot until they proved themselves at lower levels (Kurt Warner).

Whatever the reason, at some point a door opens with an opportunity to go for your ultimate goal, and this may be one of those times. It’s up to you to walk through it. On the other side may be immense success, total fulfillment, or both. If your reason for not taking that step is you are too old, I think we can all agree that’s not the issue.

LEE SILBER is the award-winning author of 14 books including "Rock To Riches" and "Organizing From The Right Side Of The Brain". To learn more about Lee go to http: //


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Jo Bros Fan Here

I'm 48....going on 18.....going on 8.

I admit it. I like the Jonas Brothers.

Some of my mom friends don't know who they are...which I find a little hard to believe. Do you?

But, if you're the mother of a would-be 6 year old rocker boy, as I am, you surely do know them.

Tonight we went to see their new 3D movie, and I have to say, it was cool.

Joe Jonas is the heartthrob lead singer. Nick has a really interesting, unique voice. And, Kevin, I don't know quite what to make of him. But, together they are a musical force with legions of fans I image worldwide.....including me and Seth.

I also like High School Musical.

And, I must admit, Miley Cyrus kinda appeals to me to.

And, I'm addicted to American Idol. My son came home one day this week from kindergarten and told me the kids in his class were talking about American Idol.

I feel like teeny bopper again. Wish I was one, chronically too. That would be fun.

I do appreciate keeping up with these pop cultural wunderkids thanks to my son.

Were it not for him, though I'd know of these performers, I'd likely not be buying their CDs.

Seth went to bed tonight listening to the Jo Bros CD, and I was running through scenes from the movie in my head.

What's up next? I don't know.....but I do know I'll be tuning in this week to see how the 13 contestants make out with Simon, Paula, Randy and Kara.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Snow Angels

Monday was a snow day for Seth, and he couldn't be more thrilled about it.

My reaction wasn't exactly the same.

While I was SO hoping that my snow boats could be retired for the season, the weather man had other things in mind.

I have never loved snow. It's cold. Wet. Messy. Slick roads....hard to drive in. Requires shoveling. Turns to ice. etc. etc.

It was interesting, though. More than one friend emailed me after the storm and wrote "enjoy the snow."

I I missing something?! Enjoy it? I don't ski. We don't have a sled or inner tube. Sure, I could build a snowman with Seth, but I don't have ski gloves. I could make snow angels, but only have wool coats.

Am I a snow party poop? Perhaps.......

I did take pleasure in the pleasure Seth took from it.

He couldn't get out there fast enough to shovel. Chomp away at the ice. Jump as high as he could to break off icicles hanging from tree branches. Lay himself down in the snow and make angels.

He even dove face down into it when the snowfall was fresh. He emerged all rosy cheeked and a bit frozen, but didn't lose a beat.

He was so full of life and spirit and didn't care how cold or wet he got. Afterall, snow doesn't happen every day (thankfully, from my perspective).

There is something to be said for playing with abandon, and not overthinking.

Sometimes, as a 40-something mom, I do feel that I get caught up in the potential aftermath of taking certain actions. Know what I mean?

In this case....I'd have to change my clothes. Drag messy boots in the house. Wipe up the wet floor. etc. etc.

I guess, in the scheme of things, who cares?!

Life, despite its responsibilities, is supposed to be fun. I have written before that I don't do enough of that. And, who plays better than a child?! I could learn that from Seth. This is what they say helps keep you young....or at least young at heart. I want some of that!!

Maybe next year I'll buy myself a ski jacket and gloves, and go for it! I should actually look now....they'll probably be on sale.

I've always loved hot chocolate, and I could look forward to that after my jaunt in the snow! And, no doubt, Seth would gladly join me in a cup.....he'd want his with marshmallows.

Labels: ,