Friday, December 31, 2010

GUEST BLOG POST: A "Time-Out" on Time-Outs by Kimberly Clayton Blaine

As parents, we’ve all been there. When the kicking, screaming, and other tantrum-y behaviors start, the easy fix is often a threat (or an order) to go to time-out. And chances are, you picked up this habit from your own parents. But too many time-outs may be ineffective at best—young children simply don’t understand the concept—and downright harmful at worst.

That’s right. Kids subjected to repeated time-outs may develop poor emotion control because they are left alone without support and validation when they need it most.

The misuse of a time-out is not only punishing but also alienating, and may spark a long-term physiological response. In a worst-case scenario, they could internalize the emotional pain in order to cope, which can eventually turn into early childhood depression.

Empathy is truly the foundation for effective parenting, and it is also necessary in creating a stronger bond between parent and child. Time-outs are the antithesis of that.

Instead of time-outs, parents should use an alternate method that takes into account a child’s developmental limitations and that serves as guidance rather than punishment. For children over two, try using a “cool-down” or “thinking time” instead. Not only is this method gentle, it keeps the parent by the child’s side to help him learn to calm himself down and think through what happened.

(Incidentally, for babies two and under, I recommend distraction and redirection instead. At this age your baby is simply too young to understand the concept of a thinking time; instead, give him a new item of interest or move him to an exciting location.)

So, let’s assume your child is older than two and you’re ready to kick the old-school habit of time-outs to the curb. The following steps teach you how to use a cool-down or thinking time successfully:

1. Get down at your child’s level. Be sure to maintain good eye contact; give a warning and ask if what she is doing is “okay” or “not okay.”

2. If your child doesn’t calm down or stop the unacceptable behavior, then lead him to a “quiet area” or “thinking area.” Sit with him and offer assistance and love. Remember, this is not a punishment.

3. Be aware that time is not important—having your child calm down is. Disregard the “one minute times your child’s age” stance that most use as a guide. Don’t give a five-year-old “five minutes to think”; sometimes the older child needs only a minute or two to come up with a better solution. On the other hand, a younger child may need to cuddle or sit with you for ten minutes until she’s calm.

As you’re sitting there, empathize, validate, and reflect what you see. An understood child is less likely to be fraught.

4. Once your child is calm, ask him to tell you “what’s wrong” or “what’s going on.” Restate the problem again more clearly if he has difficulty.

5. Ask your child, “What will you do differently next time?” Name the expected behavior if she doesn’t know.

6. Thank your child for helping you come up with a solution. It’s important that he hears this positive reinforcement.

7. Set the expectation for the future by wrapping up with, “If you don’t listen next time, what will happen?” Inform your child that you will take actions to help and that you will not tolerate unacceptable behavior.

Responding to your child in a reasonable, calm, and patient manner is absolutely vital in building a connection. And, after all, connection is the key ingredient in helping guide our children. Punishment, on the other hand, forces a disconnection that undermines the goal of helping them someday become independent.

Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT, is the executive producer of the online parenting show www.TheGoToMom.TV and author of The Go-To Mom’s Parents’ Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children and The Internet Mommy.

Kimberley is a national child development expert and a licensed family and child therapist specializing in working with children newborn to six years old. Kimberley is currently the social marketing director for a Los Angeles-based early childhood mental health campaign (Project ABC) funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has launched a national campaign to help American parents be all that they can be in order to give their children a healthy and fair start. You might have seen Kimberley review products, discuss the perils of parenting, blog, vlog, and take on mommypreneurship across the Internet.

Her webshow, TheGoToMom.TV, has captured one of the largest growing niche audiences—parents who have children birth to seven—through professionally produced yet authentic and real educational videos. Currently, Kimberley is sponsored by Vimeo and Sony and is a member of the Yahoo! Motherboard team of bloggers. Kimberley lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and two young boys. 



Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Calm After the Storm - By Cara Potapshyn Meyers

My son wanted a White Christmas...badly. So badly, that he had me e-mail “Santa” the night before and ask for “lots and lots of snow.” Well, we did get “lots and lots of snow,” in the form of a Blizzard! But just a day late for my son. I fibbed and told him that if it snowed as badly as it had on Christmas day, I wouldn’t have been able to have us go to my best friend’s house to celebrate Christmas. Which also meant that he wouldn’t have been able to play with my best friend’s son nor her sister’s two children that day. So my son forgave Santa.

When my son woke up early Sunday morning he was practically counting the snowflakes as they fluttered out of the clouds! He kept running to the windows to see if there was enough accumulation to make a snowman...or at least a snowball!

Then around midday, the storm really started to pick up. My husband relented and said he would take our son to a park near to where his Mother lives, because there are small hills to ride down on a sled. My son was ecstatic!! We packed up his snow gear and sled! Then Daddy took him off to have some fun in his 4-wheel drive vehicle!

As predicted, but uncertain to us, the blizzard came on so quickly and fast, my husband was not able to get home even in his 4-wheel drive. They detoured to his Mom’s instead.
At first I was disappointed because I had promised my son that I would make the ”biggest snowman ever” with him on Monday, once the storm subsided. Unfortunately, everyone was snowed in very badly. And the roads were completely impassable. I opened my back door to let my dog out that morning and 4 inches of snow fell onto the floor...from behind the storm door!! I pushed the storm door with all my might about 18 inches - just enough for my dog and I to squeeze through.

We were completely and literally snowed in. We have a plow service, but they hadn’t arrived yet. There were 5-foot snowdrifts against my garage. If I opened my front door, 2 feet of snow would have fallen into my house. This was definitely a “go no where, stay at home," kind of day. And I began to like it!! 

I kept looking out of the windows to see the beauty of the snow on tree limbs and foliage, weighing each bow down. The pure, white powder, blanketing our backyard. Untouched in any way. Even our snowman windsock looked like a holiday card! Which it just might become for next year! Nature was finally still, pristine, magnificent in it’s own incredible way.

I thought back to my child who started this life in very much the same way: Pristine and beautiful, as all babies are when they are born. You watch them grow. You see how your manners, values and lifestyle influence their growth. Both the good and the bad! Then our children go through a period when they mirror us. I can remember my son watching me put on make-up when he was 2 years old and trying some out himself, as my husband freaked out over seeing this! I knew this was just a phase. Now I have to beg and plead for my son to put a tiny bit of Chap Stick on his lips so that they don’t crack!

My son is at an age where he is highly influenced by the norms of society, especially through his peers. His way of speaking, his gestures, his humor all demonstrate this. What he likes to do or dislikes is becoming apparent and obviously somewhat influenced by his small world. Like a butterfly in its chrysalis, he is metamorphosing right before my eyes!

They say that the most influential and formative years, where a parent has the most affect on a child’s “core” nature is between the ages of birth and 7 years. In many ways I can see how my interactions with him have had positive affects. Now it’s society’s turn. How will he fair against the odds when his parents aren’t around? How much influence will his peers have on him - both good and not so good? Only time will tell.

In a few days we will have a new year. Good or bad, I’m always curious as to where it will take me. And my somewhat optimistic nature always tends to see it as a fresh start. A new beginning. A time to change. Always starting out fresh, pristine, and untouched. Just like the beauty outside my windows.

I wish all of our readers a very happy, healthy, amazing New Year! Let’s see where it takes us all!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Spoiled -- by Laura Houston

We managed to get through Christmas without acquiring too much stuff for the boys. In fact, I wasn’t going to shop for them at all, but then the week before Christmas my husband was out of town, and I couldn’t sleep. I got up, took a half an ambien, drank a glass of wine (I know, I know, you’re not supposed to mix the two, but I was desperate for sleep, so no lectures), and sat down with my computer. By midnight neither elixir was working. Not even Facebook could lull me into that stupefied sense of boredom that usually brings on REM. Then my email alert let out a happy little bling. I opened it. Hooray! An email with a shopping offer for forty percent off if I bought anything on the toy web site in the next 12 hours.

So I did. And by the time I had filled, sorted and reduced my shopping cart my ambien and wine had kicked in. I hit “purchase,” and fell into a deep, satisfied sleep. The next day my spree was forgotten after changing an endless stream of poopy diapers, timing naps, and getting my crazy toddlers to eat…anything…for God’s sake just eat something! The receipt had found its way into my junk mail folder. Occasionally I thought to myself, huh, I should have taken advantage of that offer.

Four days later a big box showed up. Ah. Yes. It all came back to me as the doorman lugged it out of the package closet and had a porter bring it up to my apartment. I decided to not open it until Christmas so I could be just as surprised as my boys.

“What did you get them?” My husband asked when I rolled the big box into our bedroom.

“I forgot,” I said.

He stopped, thought to ask, and wisely decided against it.

My husband and I don’t exchange gifts. I tell him it’s because we have everything we need, and we are privileged, and we should give the money to a charity, but it’s actually a selfish thing on my part. I hate shopping. I do. And whereas I want my husband to take an extra long lunch break to thoughtfully peruse the jewelry counter at an artistic French boutique in SoHo for the perfect gift for me, I don’t want to as much set foot in a Brooks Brothers or hardware store where I will drive myself insane trying to find just the right present that says to the man in my life, “Gee, honey, you’re swell. Thanks for putting up with my PMS, my insomnia, my experimental cooking, my workout sprees where I make myself so sore I can’t sit up for four days, my fat days, my book hording, my crazy friends who laugh too loudly and drink all of your booze, and my strange sense of humor that you don’t understand but pretend to anyway.”

So no gifts for me on Christmas. But I could at least be surprised. And I was. I had gotten the boys a magnetic erector set, a trampoline, a lady bug tent, and a fairy tale tub toy that was for obviously girls, but it was on sale so what the hell. And I got it all for less than $100. That was the best surprise.

All of the gifts the boys got were great. Bean bags from Grandma. Mobility Assisting Devices (also knows as doll strollers but not in front of my husband, please) from Aunt Julie. Building blocks from my friend Laura. And the big box of stuff I got them.

My husband put it all together and decided that the ladybug tent was too lady like. So he cut holes into a myriad of boxes to create better, longer, cooler tunnels for the boys to crawl through when going in and out of the ladybug. My husband is an engineer, and he can’t leave well enough alone. As it turns out, the tunnels he spent two hours building were too dark and scary for the boys. So he put together the trampoline, which Wyatt would not get off of for an hour, and the boys had a big hair pulling and biting match over who got to sit on it.

Then Lyle learned he could put the beanbag chair in front of the baby gate, climb up on it, and flip himself over the gate, which he did. Of course crying and panic ensued. We pinched his chubby little thighs good and hard to make sure he hadn’t broken his neck and wasn’t paralyzed. He wasn’t, so we gave him some of Aunt Donna’s sugar cookies, and he ran around in circles for two hours while I cooked dinner, which didn’t turn out because I forgot to drain the marinade, so the meat was more boiled than seared.

That night, when our little lumps of joy finally fell asleep, we pulled all of their old toys out of the living room and hid them in the hall closet where they will stay until we can get them to a donation station. The boys have enough. We have enough. If you think about it, we all have enough. And we hope these toys go to some child somewhere who needs them. And when that child and sees the Flying Elmo Plane or the Disney Train or the myriad of balls and toys that make noises that drive mothers all over America crazy, it is my greatest hope they feel loved, they feel cared for, and they feel spoiled. Very spoiled.

Here’s to motherhood, health, and happiness in 2011 for all of us.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The “B” Word—by Jamie Levine

It’s nice to have a boyfriend during the holidays. There. I said it: “Boyfriend.” It’s a label I haven’t used in reference to a man whom I’m dating in a very long time…and even now, after months of a committed relationship with Library Guy, this word doesn’t easily slip off of my tongue. It’s not just my blog readers who know of the man I'm dating as “Library Guy;” it’s my Facebook friends, too—and even a few close pals. Library Guy’s nickname from the first day I met him has continued to stick months later—and it’s likely because it’s less scary for me to say. Not because I don’t want Library Guy to be my boyfriend—that's exactly what I want—but because of my dating history. In the past, I never wanted to jump to conclusions with the commitment-phobes I dated—I knew they could disappear at any moment, and I didn’t ever want them to worry that I was getting too serious about them—and I guess that insecurity still follows me today. It’s pretty pathetic.

From the very start, Library Guy has been different from any guy I’ve ever dated; beginning with our first phone call, things with him were honest, intense, and real. When, on our first date, I grudgingly expressed my fear about being his “rebound girl,” he reassured me, and implored that we “just need to make sure we always communicate” and that if we do that, everything will be fine. What man says something like that? A sincere, committed guy with the best of intentions: My (ok, take a deep breath...I can say it...) boyfriend.

As someone who always tried desperately to be a “Rules Girl” (and always failed miserably), I’ve broken every rule with Library Guy. I tell him I miss him (even if it’s just moments after he’s driven away), I tell him I need him (no matter how vulnerable it makes me feel), and, with his help, I’m slowly chipping away at the wall I’ve put around my heart. I text or call him whenever I feel the urge—without waiting for him to contact me first. I see him as often as I can—even it it’s several days in a row—and I don’t ever seem to get tired of being with him. I’ve told him many of my deepest secrets and never pretend to be someone whom I’m not. I’ve let him into my life—and have even introduced him to much of my family—all in a matter of a few months. I don’t doubt his growing feelings for me, and I trust him. Truly and deeply. And sometimes it truly and deeply scares me.

But if anyone ever deserved to be called my boyfriend, it’s Library Guy (who, for the sake of his privacy, will always be Library Guy here). And it’s great to have him by my side this holiday season. He’s the first guy I’ve invited to my family’s Christmas brunch, and, on New Year's Eve, he’ll be sharing my first night ever spent away from Jayda. And in between, we have oodles of holiday fun planned at a time when we both desperately need to escape from some stress. It’s all good. And it’s all real. And, scary or not, as I get ready to bid 2010 goodbye, I’m glad I finally have the right guy to start the new year off right with.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


MUMMENSCHANZ has captivated audiences worldwide, and now the World-renowned Swiss performance troupe presents a special holiday engagement in New York City featuring it's most beloved, imaginative and humorous characters.  And, it's easy to see why they've been going strong since being founded in 1972.  There is no other show like it, and your family will indeed enjoy. This is mime and more, taken to an original, new level.

Performed in silence and often on a darkened stage, in the comic, wordless universe of MUMMENSCHANZ, the ordinary becomes extraordinary when common materials and everyday objects--such as wires, tubes, boxes, and even toilet paper--all spring to life as fantastical characters. The result is a wonder-filled family entertainment that truly sparks the imagination of all, no matter the age. 

Despite the blizzard in New York, I saw it today with my husband and seven year old son, and it was a treat.  It was inventive and surprisingly interactive with the viewer. Whether engaging the audience in a game of catch or inviting them to use masking tape to design features on a cube faced performer dressed sleekly in black, you wanted to be involved and part of their whimsical world.  Their spirit and creativity, not to mention flexibility, was contagious.  And, talk about thinking out of the them, a box took on new artistic meaning. And, the performers (all four of them) are not youngsters.  They are agile, seasoned vetarans, and one member of the team took to the stage (sans costume) after the show, to answer questions and share a bit about the origin of Mummenschanz.

It is playing  through January 8th at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South) in NYC.  Visit  To order tickets, visit, and use the code BWAYBOX to save money.  Swiss International Air Lines is the sponsor of their worldwide tour.  To see their schedule, visit


Happy New Year to You and Yours by Cyma Shapiro

This year has been one of the most monumental, shape-shifting years of my entire life. 
I have concretely passed through that “time of life” and found renewed power, strength and purpose. I’ve found a mission; new dedication to others and an intense desire for connection, especially to women. I was always living on the outside longing to come in from the cold. Now, I’m surrounded by warmth and found a true understanding of what it means to be a woman in this moment in history.
On a pragmatic note, I’ve turned my book into an art gallery exhibition (NURTURE: Stories of New Midlife Mothers), launched the show, created the accompanying website (, launched a new blog (, and have several other ideas in the works. I feel like I’ve just truly landed on shore, having lived for so long alone on my own island.
Today, I’m more centered, happy and grounded than I’ve ever been. Instead of living with daily internal dread, I live each day with gratitude and grace. I aim and strive for happiness, peace and centeredness at every twist and turn. 
Despite having young children (and older children), working full-time and having a “full plate,” as I’m often fond of saying, I feel most at peace here, writing to you, Dear Reader.
You compel me to be the best I can be, encourage me to continue this mission, and support me in achieving my dreams. My words help me clarify my internal thoughts, hopes and dreams. The very creation of it all provides catharsis for my joy and pain, and channels my life force from my third chakra through my left arm (my writing hand!).
To conclude this, I looked long and hard to find the right quote to end the year and bring in the new.  I’ve finally found it. Here it is with all my love, best intentions and best wishes for you in 2011:

Every new year, people make resolutions to change aspects of themselves they believe are negative. A majority of people revert back to how they were before and feel like failures. This year I challenge you to a new resolution. I challenge you to just be yourself - Aisha Elderwynv

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happiness by Maureen Eich VanWalleghan

I am at a lost for words. Yesterday was a hard day. Christmas eve, mixed with hormones, old hurts, a sad occurrence, a messy house and my workspace/living room completely torn up all added up to a day filled with tears. I have not decided which is better: tears alone pining for someone or tears while in a relationship and feeling invisible...Truth, my truth: being married has been hard for me. I came to it late and have watched one too many light romantic comedies, which have fully warped my psyche in this department.
As I keep seeing, I mostly feel unhappy when I have something in my mind that is a measure of what I think I want or should have, but I don't have it. When I have that thing: a house, a career with accolades, a nice car, a pretty ring or whatever I fancy at the moment I feel happy. When my husband acts the way I want I feel happy then too. When, in my opinion, he is an insensitive guy or doesn’t do things the way I want, I am unhappy. Depending on the level of deviation on his part, the scale of the argument can range from sarcasm to yelling to tears with name calling thrown in to accentuate my point. Fighting is a drag; it’s not pretty and the more I am in it the more unhappy I feel. In those moments I wonder if I don’t deserve better or just something else or if I’m just so awful I should not be married.
The thing that is so painful is that I don’t have any answers about this as it connects to my daughter. Having an alcoholic father I have tended to believe, as I grew up an moved out of the house, that my mother should have left him earlier. But what do I know? What is unhappiness and what is the measure of a healthy relationship? I don’t know. I wish there was a chart that I could walk up to and measure the situation and then definitively know what is reasonable.
What is reasonable? My happiness, daughter’s happiness, my husband’s happiness; is happiness the measure to gauge the value of anything? Hard work is an ethic that I live by when I do things. Practicing to get things right and improve is also a major ethic that rules my life. Both these things I try to convey to my daughter. Funny, my daughter is happy, fundamentally she is happy. She came out happy. She wakes up happy. The two things that effect her are sleep and food. When she lacks either one she can be quite crabby, which is becoming more and more apparent. I probably have these tendencies myself. My mother says that I always woke up happy when I was baby. One of the major things that keeps my husband and I together is our daughter’s happiness. The thing I wonder about though is what’s the balance? When does a child’s happiness stop being the measure? I don’t know.
This morning, Christmas day, Santa left me a pretty ring that I really wanted. I feel happy. Watching my daughter play with her toys I feel happy. Watching my husband enjoy the movies he wanted—he already played with his new super warm Carharts when he was doing some snow plowing a few days ago—I feel happy. I do have what I really wanted: a family.
What is the measure of happiness? My guess is that this will be an ongoing question for me. I do know that the more I feel happy about myself the happier everyone around me feels. My daughter knows that “a clean mommy is a happy mommy.” She’s been playing in the bathroom since she was a baby. I do need a shower, I need to hug my family. I need to relax and keep listening to my “HAPPY DANCE” music on my ipod...
Happy Holidays ;)
Wish me luck, next week is my birthday...

GUEST BLOG POST: Have Patience. It's Just Another Phase by Darah Zeldon

The first time I became a mom was at age 30, the last at 37. Within seven years I gave birth to five children. Unlike many other women my age, I didn’t wait to have children because I was pursuing a professional career.

I was discovering and challenging myself within unfamiliar surroundings. Not Wall Street, not Corporate America--- I had been studying life. Having a graduate degree in International Relations, it seemed most befitting that my “career” was to conquer other lands. As part of a research project, before marriage, I resided in a Russian immigrant housing unit on the disputed outskirts of Jerusalem, and immersed myself in this unstable foreign environment. Returning to the US, I met my soul mate, married within months, and five weeks from our wedding date, my Costa Rican husband and I headed for a quaint surfer town on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica to open our own business---and realize a dream.

Pregnant with my first in a town with no medical resources, we closed shop, moved to the capital of San Jose, and five weeks after giving birth, began another exciting venture in Panama City, Panama. My husband was offered an opportunity we couldn’t refuse, so we embarked on yet another adventure.

My other four kids were born in Panama and this soil became my own. I mastered living in this culture and gained an understanding of and appreciation for raising children in this society. Like a chameleon, I adapted to the customs, social protocol, navigated through the country’s legal system, and thrived linguistically.

Back in the US just two short years, I indulge in culturally-comparative analyses and have gained insight into some pervasive cultural nuances inherent in our American society-at-large. One of these is the need to label everything---like parenting styles--”free range” or “helicopter.” As a first-time “gringa mom,” I found myself totally unaligned with parenting norms, societal expectations, and school system bureaucracy.

Fusing it all together and re-integrating back into American society has been taxing. Reverse culture shock is surreal.

However, after nine years of parenting five kids, I’ve identified some consistent guiding rules of the international parenting game. In a nutshell: be patient and don’t stress out. No, I am not talking about the type of patience required to just grin-and-bear-it while your two year-old throws a tantrum when denied yet another Matchbox car in the supermarket check-out line. I’m still working on that one.

I’m talking about kids and their shtick, i.e. “phases.”

We Americans are obsessed with analyzing every facet of our lives: why we felt jealousy of a brother during childhood, why our pre-teen misbehaves, or why our neighbor’s dog pees on our front door mat. And then we ruthlessly deconstruct our relationship with our partner to the point that we no longer feel anything. Having studied psychology, I understand the allure of such knowledge, but enough!

Our children are blossoming before our eyes. Rather than spending time and dollars justifying our play-by-play analyses of their conduct, and neurotically indulging in every parenting guidebook on the market, what our kids need most is for us to simply guide them through their stages—reassuring them and ourselves, that it’s all par for the course.

Our guiding mantra should be: "this too shall pass."

Certainly, you’ve experienced this phenomenon: When you finally have an intellectual grasp on “why” your three year-old is angry about the birth of his newborn sister, he’s over it. Great. Now you’re an unofficial expert on the topic and it’s over— your child has moved on. And where does that leave you?

Obviously some “phases” last longer and linger about like unrelenting storm clouds, but even the worst storm must blow over eventually, right?
Months ago I wrote about my then three year-old’s obsession with my boobs, his former mammary glands. It seemed that just as I finished penning the article, the very next day, his fixation vanished—all by itself.


Another time, when I was on the verge of a chronic-sleep-deprived nervous breakdown, my just-transitioned-from-crib-to-bed toddler, began sleeping through the night. It just happened, on its own, one glorious night.


A while back I published a “controversial” piece about my then five year-old boy’s interest in playing with Barbies. After getting reproached by many readers as an unfit parent severely misguiding her son--the words used were caustic and loaded with animosity-- his fascination ceased, and he moved onto something more “boyish.” I never panicked or addressed his desire to partake in this "girly pastime," nor did I engage in "investigative psychological research" as to why he was inclined to do so. He was curious, checked it out for a while, and then got over it.


Maybe the point is that if we just slow down, wait and tenderly coach our children through their perpetual evolutions, we’ll all benefit. Kids will enjoy a less stressful upbringing with more relaxed parents, and parents will save lots of time and money not spent on therapy, seminars, and expensive how-to manuals.

And just maybe we can use those saved resources to pursue other passions.

Darah Zeledon is a wife, mother of five, freelance writer, aspiring memoir author, small business owner, and fitness enthusiast. Darah’s incurably optimistic take on raising children in today’s unstable world is shaped largely by her efforts running a big household and several businesses while residing in Latin America.

Darah has a BS in clinical psychology and a MS in international relations. She has labored professionally in both, and worked in fitness, education, public speaking, and media. None of her endeavors prepared her for the most challenging feat of all: maintaining her sanity and sense-of-self while mothering five “dynamic and relentlessly inquisitive” children.

Read more from Darah at, or find her on Facebook at or twitter @thewarriormom.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, December 24, 2010

GUEST BLOG POST: Tips for Midlife Moms Planning to Untie the Knot by Joshua Ketover

Nothing is more difficult emotionally and financially than going through the break-up of a marriage. But for couples who started a family later in life, a separation can be quite complicated, for two major reasons:

• You have acquired significantly more assets than your typically younger counterparts, and

• If you’re not careful, the child(ren) you have – either naturally, by adoption or through IVF or surrogate – can become the center of a very bitter divorce.

Under these circumstances, there are ways to conduct the “business” of divorce while making the oftentimes painful process a little simpler.

Here are 10 tips in the form of 5 “Do’s” and 5 “Don’ts” for midlife couples with children who are attempting to “untie the knot”:


1. Need Nothing: None of the tangible items should be deemed a “must have.” Whatever you need will surely become your Achilles’ heel when attempting to successfully negotiate a resolution of your divorce.

2. Know Everything: Whether you’ve been married for 20 years or practically just met, it is impossible to make important decisions about your divorce if there are any gaps in your understanding of you and your spouse’s assets, debts and income earning ability.

3. It’s Not Personal, Just Business: Keep your emotions at bay. Once you have made the emotional decision to end your marriage, the divorce should become nothing more than the business of dividing the assets you and your spouse have acquired over the years.

4. Know Who Your Friends Are: Some friends may think they are helping you by cheerleading, but in reality they might be enflaming your emotions, affecting your ability to reason. Others may think by keeping you grounded they are helping, but they may only cause you to doubt yourself. One or two good friends or family members who support you unconditionally are worth their weight in gold.

5. Remember, This Is Your Life: The decisions you will make during the divorce will affect you and your loved ones for years and years to come. Make sure you understand the consequences for any issues conceded or any issues on which you refuse to compromise.


1. Involving The Children: There is no worse act in a divorce proceeding than involving the children, intentionally or not. Couples should never discuss details of the divorce in front of the children or relay messages to one another through them. Both spouses must take extra care to avoid any words or actions that might not be in the child's best interest.

2. Revenge: You are getting divorced because for one reason or another you do not want to be with your spouse any longer. But the divorce is not the place to seek revenge for any perceived slights your spouse committed. Using the divorce in this way will only increase your attorneys fees and will probably cause you more stress.

3. Games: Gamesmanship in a divorce usually centers around the finances. Hiding assets or income, more often than not, only serves to delay the inevitable, increase your legal bill and cause you to lose any credibility with the court.

4. Bad Advice: Everyone involved in a divorce has a friend that went through “the same thing” and is filled with advice. Assuming what worked for a friend will work for you is often a recipe for disaster. Everyone’s life is unique.

5. Unrealistic Expectations: The greatest obstacle to a fair and reasonable resolution to a divorce is the unrealistic expectations of one or both sides. The reality is there are only so many assets and so much income a couple has. Each party must be realistic in understanding that the other has to be able to live and that each is entitled to a portion of the assets earned during the marriage.

In the end, your greatest assets are those unique to someone in your position in life: trusted long-time friends and family members, as well as the wisdom gained from life experience. These will help you avoid the common mistakes made by younger, perhaps more impulsive couples.

Finally, apply those same standards – trust and wisdom – when choosing an attorney. Make sure you are comfortable and can communicate easily with him or her because you are essentially putting your life in this person’s hands.

Joshua Ketover is a matrimonial attorney and managing member of Ketover & Associates, LLC in Garden City, NY. He specializes in complex litigation and transactional issues including, but not limited to, family and matrimonial law, criminal law, negligence, employment law, corporate disputes as well as real property disputes. He has served as a special-adjunct professor of law at Hofstra University School of Law and also served on one of Nassau County’s judicial screening committees.

Labels: , , , ,

Mother and Son by Robin Gorman Newman

My mother in law has been in the hospital.  We went to visit her, and one evening she made a comment to my husband before he even had a chance to take a seat by her bed.

She firmly told Marc that he needed to comb his hair.  No regard for the fact that he had barely taken off his hat.  No gratitude for the fact that we had all, Seth included, ventured out in the bitter cold evening air to spend time with her.  Her concern was how he looked, which is always her top concern, even for herself.
After Marc combed his hair to her satisfaction, she gave him a little speech about how sons always need their mothers, and how mothers are numero uno in a son's life...forever (not in those exact words....but that was the idea).
I was sharing this story with a close personal friend who happens to be a therapist, and she reassured me not to take it personal.  That it's my MIL's story/issues that she was broadcasting, and it had nothing to do directly with me. My sister said the same.

I can agree with that, but it still didn't feel good. It made me think that she has no respect for her son's marriage.  And, her other son, Marc's brother, is married as well.  What about his wife?  And, how does this attitude endear her to us?  Lots of responses were on the tip of my tongue, but given that she was in the hospital, I stayed quiet. There was nothing to be gained.

I raised the issue with Marc once back home, and his interpretation was completely different.  In his eyes, his beloved mother made the point in a positive way so that Seth would know I'm always to be a top priority in his life.  I, somehow, didn't take it that way.  First of all, Seth was engaged in playing with his Gameboy at the time, so was quite oblivious to my MIL's comments...therefore this was no learning experience for him.  Additionally, my knee jerk reaction was that this is about her...not me. 
It all got me thinking.

You hear stories about mothers and sons and their relationships and love.  I adore my son, though he can be challenging, like any child.  And, especially as a later mom, I know I won't be around to see all the milestones he reaches in his adult life.  I hope I will see many.  But, I do know that he will likely marry one day and have children of his own.  At age 7, he already has spoken about that....and even articulated he wants to live in our house, and that my husband and I might live in the basement (or move out).  I can't project that far ahead, but I have given thought to my future relationship with him.

I hope we will always love and care for each other.  But, I don't want to come before any wife he might choose.  I hope he chooses well, and I'd welcome a warm relationship one day with a daughter in law.  And, I would do all  that I can to make her feel comfortable and appreciated in our family, especially since I don't have a daughter.

And, I would hope that my son will look back on our years raising him with fondness.  And, that will further motivate him to want to remain close in our lives.

But, ultimately he will choose his own path.  And, that's as it should be.  I will one day be an empty nester, and while I'm sure that's a big adjustment, I wouldn't want it any other way.  That is the natural course of life.  Children should go on to know they can stand on their own two feet.  And, it shouldn't take a mandate from me to my son that "I'm #1 in his life."  It wouldn't feel good saying it, just as it didn't feel good hearing it from my MIL.  And, as mothers, the best job we can do is to raise our kids so that they can be their own person, and yes, continue to hold love for us in their hearts, but it should be of their own free will.  Preaching it to them doesn't make it any more true.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Week 28...All I Want for Christmas by Liimu

All I want for Christmas is to be HEALTHY.

Week 28. Officially in the third trimester. We are in the final stretch, folks, and no one is more happy about that than I. (Funny thing is, I find myself still amazed and befuddled when I look down at my protruding stomach, thinking, "How did we get here again?") But I feel generally pretty good, other than a lingering cough from last week's QUARANTINE situation.

Last Wednesday, my 6 year old started complaining of stomach pains and before long was curved over the toilet, throwing up. Needless to say, she stayed home with me. I sent a text to my mother's helper and found out (through an inadvertent text she had intended to send to her sister that ended "WTF?") that she is deathly afraid of stomach bugs, so I was essentially on my own with it. Not too bad, since for the most part my daughter was pretty perky and I didn't have much on my calendar other than a holiday party, and the hostess was gracious about letting her tag along with me.

Sad for me, I had forgotten about the sneakiness of stomach bugs. How they can look benign and short-lived in one person and linger for days in another. Friday, as I went to bed, I start feeling like I was going into early labor, my stomach was hurting so bad. I could barely sleep. Just past midnight, I heard a scream from my 4-year old's room. She had just wretched in her bed. After finally getting her bed sheets changed and getting her settled down, I felt it coming on for me. I had endured 7 months of pregnancy without puking and this stomach bug was taking me down. An hour later, my 8-year old was calling out for help and back in our room, my husband was complaining of feeling queasy. It was going to be a long day.

As luck would have it, I also had some sort of head cold on top of everything else, along with a fever. So, while everyone else has mostly recovered (my husband still complains of queasiness), I am coughing like a 70-year old barmaid with a 2-packs a day habit. I'm still grateful that the bug ran through our house quickly, rather than taking us out one at a time. Christmas is the day after tomorrow and my girls are healthy. That's the most important thing. My husband and I are getting better day by day. This time next week, we'll be in Arizona with my sister and her family and that can only improve our situation.

So, all I want for Christmas is to be HEALTHY. If I get nice jewelry, or a trip to the spa, even better. But honestly, after surviving this last week of nonstop illness, I'm pretty focused on the basic things for which I have to be grateful: my wonderful family, a job I love that pays well, great friends who make me laugh out loud long and often, and of course, if nothing else, at least I have my health.

Stay warm and dry everyone, and be grateful for the little things. The things that you get for Christmas every year without even having to ask.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Having Fun on Facebook - By Cara Potapshyn Meyers

I must admit. I have absolutely no holiday spirit whatsoever. In fact, I was going to write this blog about my lethargic attitude regarding the Holidays and title it, “Skipping Christmas.” Then something unexpected, magical and all out FUN happened on Facebook a few nights ago!

I know many of you use Facebook as a source to either connect with friends and/or relatives. I do the same. Some of you even use it as a business avenue, as Motherhood Later does. Then there are those of us who love to play a couple of the games on Facebook. Yes, I hear the groans. But keep reading because you will at least enjoy the story!

I am a Farmville devote (I hear more groans, but also some cheers!). Since my life has been a whirlwind of chaos and stress over the past year and a half, I have gone onto Facebook and entered my farm site and when I am there, it is almost as if I am living in a different world. I can pick and choose how I want to decorate my farm. Decide what I want to participate in. And feel a sense of accomplishment as I watch my farm grow and beautify.

I started out with about three farm neighbors. Your farm neighbors help you tend to your farm and you reciprocate. Over this past year and a half, I have resurrected a forgotten friendship with a friend I worked with years ago. I also have her husband as a neighbor. This friend introduced me to several other farmers who wanted neighbors...people I’ve never met, but have had lovely conversations with outside of Farmville through the messaging medium. My best friend is my neighbor and has asked if I would take on several of her farm neighbors as well. They are funny, sweet people I would have never have met or known otherwise. I even have a set of teen twins as neighbors! Who would have thought??

There also seem to be patterns as to when certain neighbors play. There is the early morning group who play before they go to work (I know because my iPhone “dings” when they leave me a message on my farm site!). There are the mid-late afternoon players who want to get their “fix” in before they have to settle into their evening routines. Then there are the late night/early morning farmers. I typically fall into this category as my son doesn’t fall asleep until close to 10pm. Finally there are the “night owls,” who don’t start playing until 1am and go to 3 or 4am (again, my phone dings, so I know!).

Well, a few nights ago, I started out as a late-nighter, and ended up a “night owl!” Farmville puts various “missions” out at random points in time. Usually these missions involve collecting materials from your neighbors to build a barn or expand a chicken coop, etc. On this particular night, out came something new and different! This new mission was to build a snowman and have a snowball fight while you are doing it! I was having such a blast throwing snowballs at neighbors as they were quickly throwing them back, virtually! There must have been at least a half dozen of us playing all at the same time! You could barely get a snowball message posted when another snowball was virtually coming your way! At 1 am, no less! I was giggling and enjoying myself with my Farm Friends immensely!

The following morning, I entered my farm getting virtually smacked in the face by the early risers! The fun continued!

So, although I still may not be in the Holiday spirit, this game has certainly gotten me into the Winter spirit! At this point, I’ll take any spirit I can get!

(“Splat”...Ugh! They got me again!)

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Conversations With My Toddlers -- by Laura Houston

I taught my boys American sign language to help them communicate at an early age. It was a wise thing to do because it boosts their confidence and eliminates a lot of frustration in expressing what they want or need. When Lyle and Wyatt were about 12 months old, they could ask for milk, food, and sometimes water. They knew when I made the sign for “bed” or “sleep” that a nap was coming, and they broke out in a chorus of tears if they were not ready to go.

Now they sign with verve, and it’s amazing to watch them differentiate between words like “more,” “please” and “want.” I can see gaps in their understanding between the words “more” and “food.” When they ask for more, they get food. So when they are hungry, they sign “more.” And when they sign they want a “bath” it can mean three things: they really do want a bath, they have pooped their diaper (I often gives baths after a serious diaper blowout), or they want to be naked (because both of them hate wearing clothes, and they don’t have to in the bath.)

Lyle is forming sentences with his signing. It can be a lot of work for me to figure out what he is saying. He’ll say a word like “more” and then point. He’s not really pointing to anything he wants. He’s practicing pointing. I can only know this when I point where he is pointing, and then he points somewhere else.

They both enjoy trying their hand at sentences in sign language. Our conversations go like this:

Wyatt: Want. More.

Me: You want more what?

Wyatt: More.

Me: More milk?

Wyatt: Change.

Me: You want your diaper changed?

Wyatt: More. Change.

Me: “Yes we can!”

Wyatt: More. Change.

Me: Well, we thought we could. But now we have a shift in Congress.

Wyatt: More. Change.

Me: I’m afraid with the recent extension of tax cuts you’re going to be paying off our deficit long after I’m dead and gone.

Wyatt: More. Change.

After explaining to him the finer points of our democratic process, I finally figure out that he is not asking for his diaper to be more changed, he is asking for the little musical radio I give him to play with when I am changing his diaper. I hand it to him, and he toddles away happy.

Lyle: Dog. Ball.

Me: Do you want to play with the ball?

Lyle: No.

Me: Dog? Ball?

He slaps his thigh, the sign for dog, and he makes the sign for ball again.

Me: Ball? More? Or shoe? (These signs are similar.)

Lyle: Ball. Dog. Ball.

It turns out the dog ball is a Kong toy I gave the boys to play with, and they have watched me and other people play fetch in the park with their “dog ball.” So I got on my hands and knees and crawled around looking for the Kong. I found it, and he clapped his hands to signal his satisfaction.

Teaching them sign language has taught me how they associate words with entire activities. When they are really hungry, they sign for food, and they know this means being placed in the high chair and receiving a complete meal. When they want a snack, they know “more” means I will grab the little plastic container of crackers or cookies and let them dip their hands in for a quick bite to eat. To them the sign for water means anything from juice to milk to water. It’s a crapshoot, and they’ll take what I give them.

My favorite sign is “play” because when I am getting them ready to go outside and go to the park, they wave their hands back and forth with the sign for “play.” If I skip the park and head out on an errand first, they pop their fists out and make the sign again to remind me. I like this word because it is a difficult concept for a child to understand. They don’t comprehend that they get to play at home. To them "play" is being outside, running around, and being free.

And I can so relate to that right about now.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Reality Check—by Jamie Levine

Last week was really rough for me. Sure, I've found this entire semester to be quite stressful, but last week really put me over the edge; It was finals week and I had three finals, which meant that compulsive-me, who desperately wanted to retain my 4.0, put myself under a ridiculous amount of pressure. My first final (in Anatomy and Physiology of Speech) turned out to be an absolute horror—one of the most difficult tests I’ve ever taken—and I had actually studied like a maniac for it. The moment I walked out of it, I was in a panic over what it might have done to my class average. I knew final #2 (Hearing Science) would be more straightforward, but I was still worried about retaining my A+ in that class, and couldn't relax. And forget final #3 (Language Acquisition); there was so much material I needed to study (after I’d finished my other two finals—and only had two days in which to cram), that I was certain I’d never ace it, and put myself in a frenzy.

Suffice to say, I scored a 94% on my first final and 100% on the second; I don’t know how I performed on final #3, but I decided the day before I took that exam that it didn’t really matter to me any more. Because while I was getting worked up over that one crazy test—after an entire semester of working my butt off for straight A’s and sometimes thinking about nothing else—my father was in the hospital getting a biopsy, and Library Guy was suffering through week #3 of a debilitating illness. As I found myself consumed with worry over my loved ones, and still struggling to remember the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, a good friend of mine (who is as compulsively-crazy about getting straight-A’s as I am) gave me a lecture about “the important things in life”—that being my family and my boyfriend—not one stupid test. And I’m glad she showed me the light.

So, instead of cramming for my final final, I went and spent some time with Library Guy—and then I enjoyed an evening with my daughter, Jayda. I took some deep breaths and hoped for the best, and went into my last final hoping I’d score decently—but not obsessed with earning an A. And it felt good. Because while getting high grades is important to me, and I’ll always work hard and care about school, my classes shouldn’t stress me out as much as they did this semester—or make me lose sight of all the wonderful things I have going for me in my life.

Thankfully, my dad turned out to be fine, and, as he has always been my greatest advocate when it comes to my educational endeavors, it would be nice if I wasn’t an uptight ball of stress whenever school is in session and I’m around him. And Library Guy, too, is finally getting better, which makes me immensely happy. Witnessing him being so sick for so long, and feeling desperate to help him throughout his illness, made me realize how much I truly care about him and how important he is to me; fortunately, he feels the same way. And then there’s Jayda—the true love of my life. Throughout this semester, she coped with me gluing myself to a text book whenever I could get her to busy herself with coloring, TV-watching, or another independent activity before school. She wasn't always the focus of my attention...and maybe she should have been. Fortunately, my daughter still adores me; just last night, she told me I was the “best mommy in the world” (after which she informed me that I “have the best boobies in the world,” so I guess she really does think I'm spectacular!). And having Jayda's love and devotion is what really matters in the grand scheme of things.

I have six weeks off until my spring semester at school begins, and I’m hoping this winter break will help me continue to keep things in perspective. My grad school applications have been submitted, my average is at or near a 4.0, and my love- and family life is really good. I need this break to focus on me and my loved ones…and not worry so much about performing flawlessly in school. A perfect G.P.A. doesn’t mean true happiness…it's having great friends and family who appreciate me that does.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Am Not Enjoying My Children by Cyma Shapiro

I am not enjoying my children right now.  I'm feeling jipped.  I want to be a mother. I WANT to enjoy motherhood. I WANT to enjoy my children. But I'm not.
The “fault” is not mine. My children have issues right now. Their issues are impacting everyone (including the cats and the dog). Breathing, meditating and exercising don’t seem enough of a reactive shield to the negative energy swirling around us.

What to do?

One friend suggested that I take in even the smallest moments of joy, as victories in any given day.  Another said that I should just bide my time, as all things are cyclical and pass.
Here’s my problem: this just makes me very unhappy. When Mommy’s unhappy, everyone’s unhappy. I think you see the cycle this is creating.

For those of us who waited this long to become mothers, we don’t have time to waste. We don’t have time to wait. We don’t even have time to fail. And, we sure as heck don’t like to not have fun.

For me, I just want to live each day as joyfully and happily as I can, noting the many others who have lives far worse than ours.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I’d love to hear from you.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Out with the Old -- Or Maybe Not by Sharon O'Donnell

We finally succumbed to the allure of the huge flat screen TVs and broke down and bought one. For the past few years, my three sons -- two of them teenagers -- begged my husband Kevin to buy one to replace our heavy, outdated TV that filled a square space in the center of our wall-length wooden entertainment center. His answer was always, "I spent good money on that entertainment center and I don't want to get rid of it." We bought it back in 1999 or so when nobody could have predicted that TVs would soon be so large and that the space the entertainment center provided for a TV would become laughable. I knew with all the sports my guys like to watch on TV that they would all -- including my husband -- love to have a new flat screen.

On Black Friday, my husband, my oldest son, and I went out to "look" at TVs. And of course once we looked, we soon bought. This is our Christmas present for the family. We just put it up on the wall tonight, and I must say, it looks great; I can actually see the screen when I'm sitting on the love seat at the side of the room, something that used to be difficult with the old TV. Tonight was also the night we moved things around to make room for it and the accompanying small entertainment center to hold all the DVD and Wii, etc. stuff. In moving things around, we threw out old coloring books and puzzles that my youngest son had outgrown, as well as placing some books and DVDs in a charity pile to be given away.

Then I got to box of my old record albums. Ah, the memories. I found I had a varied taste in music back then from John Denver to Elvis to Broadway soundtracks to the Rolling Stones. And yes, those were those old Bobby Sherman and Partridge family albums that I played over and over growing up and can't bear to part with. Even two Brady Bunch albums (Marcia wasn't half bad!). Billy, my oldest son, came in with a trash bag, looked at my albums, then looked at me. "Oh no, no way," I screamed. "Not my albums."

He smiled and held up his head to stop my protests. "I know, I know," he said, smiling. He knew how I loved my old albums. Later that night, I sat in the family room, going through the albums one by one, and they all conjured a memory in my mind. There was the Jackson Browne album that my high school boyfriend used to have on an 8track tape that he played in his car almost all the time. The Bobby Sherman album I was playing when I was in the 6th grade and my uncle who lived nearby called to tell me that my little dog had just been hit by a car. Then there's the Carpenters and the Lettermen albums passed down to me from my older sisters, bringing back memories of growing up in the early 70s. The John Denver album I played the night I graduated from high school, listening to the melody of "Follow Me" and feeling empty inside for some reason. And songs from Pippin and Camelot soundtracks that spoke to my soul as a teen, wondering about the world. College memories came flooding back when I just glanced at the James Taylor Greatest Hits album. In my mind I'm going to Carolina . . .

No, not the albums.

I saw one of those things that records CDs from albums, but it cost over $200, and I didn't want to buy it right now. Technology moves way too fast. Just when DVDs replace videos, now my sons tell me that BluRay is now more readily available. When will it end?

Let me leave you with some beautiful words from a Bobby Sherman song -- as I tell my sons and husband -- some of those old teen idol albums actually have some pretty good stuff on them.

This is from 'Sweet Touch of Life"
Oh, the sweet touch of life is mine
as the good times roll across my mind
to tell me it's another time and place
I see the rainbows in the painter's eyes
The secrets on the poet's rhyme
The sweet dreams in the child's mind I chase
And it's all in your face.

No, not the albums.

Labels: , ,

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas by Maureen Eich VanWalleghan

I hate Christmas. Not in a scrooge kind of way, just the grumpiness of personal family life. My husband and I bicker. All the weird issues between my brother and I come up. I am more sensitive to my mom’s comments. Generally, I am more serious than relaxed this time of year. My birthday is just after Christmas, my husband’s just before, plus there’s new years. It’s a particularly busy time of year beyond the usual Christmas tasks.

When it comes to our daughter we have a number of traditions we like to do: we cut our own Christmas tree; we take the Polar express to the North Pole and we get an annual picture of H. with Santa; we watch the Court House Plaza Christmas tree lighting; we watch or participate in the annual Christmas parade. Sadly, this year my daughter was sick on the day of the parade and lighting. Our tree is cut, but sitting in the backyard because my husband needs to move out some old furniture in his office and move in his new desk (which is taking up space in the dining area) we have room for the tree. We may do this on Sunday. Hard to say though because it will depend on his mood.

Christmas morning is always a delight with H., but there is a bit of a cloud over myself and my husband because of the bickering. I wish I knew what we were really fighting over. Mostly it’s petty stuff. I don’t know what to do about the lack of joy. We are heading toward our six year anniversary. What makes men tick? It is me? The season? Old anxieties? I just don’t know.

Today when I picked up my daughter I had a quick chat with a mom friend. She explained that she needed a brief vacation and what she really wanted was a bed, a bottle of wine and a book. The 3 Bs are what I need as well. And I would like to have them now and enjoy them until well after my birthday. Since that will not be coming forthwith, I will have to settle for the three Hs: humbug, hamburger, and hummus. Will I feel peppier next week? I hope so.

Labels: ,

Friday, December 17, 2010

FAMILY FINDS: FOR MOM + DAD: Drinks and Eats (FREE SAMPLES) by Robin Gorman Newman

Periodically I will be blogging about some discoveries I've made that I can't wait to share, so here goes my take on some notable beverages and edibles, and there are sampling opportunities, so read on:

I was recently introduced to these by a gal at my gym, and both my husband and I have turned into fans.  Thin and glazed with various seasonings, they not only are snack worthy and packed with nutrients, but they also can be used for dipping or as a salad topping or a garnish for all sorts of dishes (since they're kinda flaky). Amy Hamberry and Joe Orr make them by dehydrating kale in their Brooklyn plant, where some magic makes than taste fried. They come in three flavors: spicy miso, vegan cheese and bombay ranch.. Each has a bit of kick. New York Naturals Kale Chips are sold at various locations for $7.49 for 3.5 ounces, and at, where they are sold individually and also in a pack of three for $19.95.  What a pleasure to have something to much on that doesn't feel decadent....especially with holiday season approaching.  In fact, this might make a cool edible gift for health-conscious friends.  And what a great way to eat a veggie!  My personal favorite is the cheese flavor.

You can never drink enough water, and HINT is simple: Premium essence water with a HINT of flavor. HINT offers beverages with no calories, sweeteners or preservatives and is a great alternative to juice and soda. HINT was launched in April 2005 by current CEO Kara Goldin, a former AOL executive and mother of four. HINT is available in high-end grocery stores, cafes and food retailers nationwide, including Pax, Dean & Deluca, Food Emporium, Stop & Shop, Morton Williams Associated Supermarkets. HINT is available in 10 flavors: Watermelon, Honeydew Hibiscus, Blackberry, Mango-Grapefruit, Pomegranate-Tangerine, Lime, Raspberry-Lime, Pear, Cucumber and Strawberry Kiwi.  My personal favorite is the raspberry-lime.  My son liked them as well.  A nice alternative to unflavored water....yet still healthy. For more information, visit

V8’s latest product: V8 V-Fusion +Tea. My whole family, including my son, really liked these.  My personal favorite is the pomegranate green tea blend. The juice beverages provide a combined serving of vegetables and fruit in each 8-ounce glass, along with the antioxidants and cool, crisp taste of natural green tea, all for 50 calories per serving. V8 V-Fusion +Tea juice beverages are available in three flavors: Raspberry Green Tea, Pomegranate Green Tea and Pineapple Mango Green Tea. Each meets the American Heart Association’s criteria to display its heart-check mark and contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.  It is sold at supermarkets, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.99 for a 46-ounce bottle. For more information, visit and

Celsius®, Your Ultimate Fitness Partner™, is a ready-to-drink nutritional supplement powered by a proprietary MetaPlus® blend of ingredients, including green tea with EGCG, ginger, caffeine, calcium, chromium, B Vitamins and Vitamin C. Celsius contains no sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, no aspartame, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, and is very low in sodium.  It is clinically shown to burn calories and reduce fat while building more lean muscle when combined with exercise. Celsius is available at retail locations nationwide and online at  It comes in four sparkling flavors—orange, wild berry, cola and ginger ale—as well as non-carbonated green tea raspberry acai and green tea peach mango flavors. Celsius On-the-Go Berry Flavored stick packets can be added to regular bottled water for a refreshing berry taste. My personal favorite is the green tea peach mango blend.  My husband liked it as well.

(Note: Motherhood Later...Than Sooner assumes no liability should you consume these products.  Thanks to the featured products for providing samples.)

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,