Archive for June, 2011

Pocket full of pacis- June 30, 2011

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

This morning I sat in the car and put on some lipstick before walking into work.  I pulled my work Blackberry out of my bag and put it in the pocket of my gray suit.  I felt something funny.  This is what I found when I pulled my hand out…

I smiled.  Tears came to my eyes as I giggled at the dichotomy of my life.  Sometimes my heart hurts during the long hours I spend away from my baby.  But, this little moment reminded me she’s with me all the time.  If it’s not a pacifier in my suit jacket, it’s million pictures on my phone.  I can’t tell you how many times during the work day I stop and just think of her and Greyson and how if I can just make it a few more hours I can be with them.

Greyson brought Charlotte in to see everyone at work the other day.  One of my coworkers commented later that I “lit up” when they came in and I held her.  Lit up like my Blackberry, which is ringing now, so let me let you go.  Just a few more hours….just a few more hours…


Talking to my girl- June 29, 2011

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Today I had Charlotte’s 6 month pictures done.  Yes, I am aware she is almost 8 months.  Oh well.  I read this article on the Huffington Post yesterday and the words kept running through my mind as I was listening to the photographer tell my daughter how pretty, beautiful, or cute she was.  Granted, it was a photo shoot, so in this case I think it was fine.

If you are a girl, know a girl, and especially if you are raising a girl, have a read….

How to Talk to Little Girls

Posted: 06/22/11 06:08 PM ET

I went to a dinner party at a friend’s home last weekend, and met her five-year-old daughter for the first time.
Little Maya was all curly brown hair, doe-like dark eyes, and adorable in her shiny pink nightgown. I wanted to squeal, “Maya, you’re so cute! Look at you! Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing!”
But I didn’t. I squelched myself. As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are.
What’s wrong with that? It’s our culture’s standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn’t it? And why not give them a sincere compliment to boost their self-esteem? Because they are so darling I just want to burst when I meet them, honestly.
Hold that thought for just a moment.
This week ABC news reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat. In my book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, I reveal that fifteen to eighteen percent of girls under twelve now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they’d rather be hot than smart. A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers. This keeps happening, and it breaks my heart.
Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.
That’s why I force myself to talk to little girls as follows.
“Maya,” I said, crouching down at her level, looking into her eyes, “very nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too,” she said, in that trained, polite, talking-to-adults good girl voice.
“Hey, what are you reading?” I asked, a twinkle in my eyes. I love books. I’m nuts for them. I let that show.
Her eyes got bigger, and the practiced, polite facial expression gave way to genuine excitement over this topic. She paused, though, a little shy of me, a stranger.
“I LOVE books,” I said. “Do you?”
Most kids do.
“YES,” she said. “And I can read them all by myself now!”
“Wow, amazing!” I said. And it is, for a five-year-old. You go on with your bad self, Maya.
“What’s your favorite book?” I asked.
“I’ll go get it! Can I read it to you?”
Purplicious was Maya’s pick and a new one to me, as Maya snuggled next to me on the sofa and proudly read aloud every word, about our heroine who loves pink but is tormented by a group of girls at school who only wear black. Alas, it was about girls and what they wore, and how their wardrobe choices defined their identities. But after Maya closed the final page, I steered the conversation to the deeper issues in the book: mean girls and peer pressure and not going along with the group. I told her my favorite color in the world is green, because I love nature, and she was down with that.
Not once did we discuss clothes or hair or bodies or who was pretty. It’s surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls, but I’m stubborn.
I told her that I’d just written a book, and that I hoped she’d write one too one day. She was fairly psyched about that idea. We were both sad when Maya had to go to bed, but I told her next time to choose another book and we’d read it and talk about it. Oops. That got her too amped up to sleep, and she came down from her bedroom a few times, all jazzed up.
So, one tiny bit of opposition to a culture that sends all the wrong messages to our girls. One tiny nudge towards valuing female brains. One brief moment of intentional role modeling. Will my few minutes with Maya change our multibillion dollar beauty industry, reality shows that demean women, our celebrity-manic culture? No. But I did change Maya’s perspective for at least that evening.
Try this the next time you meet a little girl. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it. Ask her what she’s reading. What does she like and dislike, and why? There are no wrong answers. You’re just generating an intelligent conversation that respects her brain. For older girls, ask her about current events issues: pollution, wars, school budgets slashed. What bothers her out there in the world? How would she fix it if she had a magic wand? You may get some intriguing answers. Tell her about your ideas and accomplishments and your favorite books. Model for her what a thinking woman says and does.
And let me know the response you get at
Here’s to changing the world, one little girl at a time.
For many more tips on how keep yourself and your daughter smart, check out my new book,Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down
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Complexion Perplexity- June 28, 2011

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Before we even told anyone we were pregnant my mom said she knew one day last spring.  How?  Well, my mom seems to know everything about me.  It’s true.  I could never lie to her because she knew when I was lying.    She just knew.  Granted, the truth was always written on my face whether the crumbs from the cookie I had stolen were there or not.

The truth about my pregnancy was written on my face.  Literally.  Written in red, swollen, pus-filled bumps.  My acne breakouts were insane.  I swear, when sperm met egg, my skin protested.  Even though I battled acne as a teen and college student with Accutane and plenty of Stridex pads, it always stayed on my face.  When I got pregnant…BOOM….”backne.”  Gross.

Mom said she knew I was pregnant because of the crazy breakouts.  I even dabbled in pimple poetry last year because I was so bummed out about it.  I’ve used Proactiv for years.  It helped during pregnancy, but it wasn’t pretty.

So here I am nearly 8 months postpartum and zit zapping is still a daily thing.  The backne is gone, but my face remains bumpy.  Moms, when on earth will my skin even out?  I’m on the pill called Camila now, because it won’t dry up my breast milk.  Will I just have to wait until I go back on another pill after I’m done breastfeeding to get my pre-pregnancy skin back?  Anyone else have these epidermis issues?


8 Days a Week- June 27, 2011

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Hello Internet!  I’ve missed you so much!

I can explain my absence.  I just finished an 8 day marathon work week, going in at 4:00am like I always do, but for 8 days straight.  I’m absolutely exhausted.  I’ve missed blogging this week and I promise to catch up.  I have the world’s greatest husband, seriously.  He cooked, he cleaned, he helped me out so much.  
Because I go to bed early and get up early, the only time I get to put Charlotte down at night and get her up in the morning is on the weekends.  It is an enormous privilege I look forward to all week.

I missed it so much.  I missed *her* so much.  Every second I got to nurse her, feed her, or play with her, I did.  I even missed changing diapers.

Now, I get two full days of nothing but being a mama.  It’s all I’ve thought about for the past 8 days.  It sounds like heaven!  But first, Mama needs a little nap.  Good night!


The clothes make the baby. (And the parents?)- June 22, 2011

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

We have a shelf in Charlotte’s closet with all the week’s clothes laid out since Greyson is the one who gets her up and ready in the morning.  

This was a recent conversation…
G:  “Amy, it stresses me out when I see certain shoes laid out for that day.”  
A:  “What do you mean?”
G:  “Some of those shoes are hard to get on, and then when you get them on she just takes them off.  The stupid Velcro doesn’t stick on those white ones.”
A:  “They’re cream.”
G:  “Whatever, they don’t work.”
A:  “Well, she has to have shoes.”
G:  “No she doesn’t!  She’s a baby!  It’s not like she’s walking.”  
A:  “We can’t send her out without shoes!  I’m not going to be the parent that lets their kid go to school with no shoes.”
G:  “You make her sound like Huck Finn or something.”
A:  “I thought it was Tom Sawyer who went to school with no shoes?”
G:  {laughs} “Whatever.  It doesn’t matter!”
A:  “It does so matter.  She needs to have a complete look with shoes and a hairbow.  It makes her look well-kept and makes us look like good parents.”  
G:  “I love how you try to apply logic to the fact that you just want her to wear cute shoes.”