Strut-ing with Iman

We’ve spent years in the television business interviewing celebrities.  But there’s something different when you’re working together.  And this week, we learned what that feels like while we shot a video for Strut, The Fashionable Mom Show with Iman and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the Fashion Director of Lincoln Center.

Iman was just one of the girls.  Just another hard working mom fitting the shoot into her busy life.  Just another woman supporting something she believes in.

And we’re honored she believes in The Fashionable Mom Show.  There’s no one better to Strut with.

Stay tuned for the video….




How some random moms got a show in fashion week….

BY Denise Albert

We are beyond excited to announce Strut, The Fashionable Mom Show. We are thrilled, as entrepreneurs, to partner with such respectable businesswomen as are our partners, Holly Pavlika of MOM-entum/ Big Fuel, Audrey McClelland and Vera Sweeney of Getting Gorgeous and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Director of Fashion at Lincoln Center and Fashion Consultant to IMG.

Here’s our MOMmentary and how it all began.

My passion for fashion began at a young age. In fact, my earliest real memory of my obsession was being bribed with two sweaters from the Gap in fourth grade in exchange for petting our family dog. (For someone with a fear of animals, that’s a big feat, but this is a whole other story entirely).

I remember my mom calling my dad while I was in high school to see if it was okay to buy a $60.00 fluorescent “hotdogger” top. It was the look of the moment, as horrifying as it may be (and I believe there are some yearbook photos as evidence!)

There wasn’t a trend I didn’t follow. NO matter how embarrassing it is to look back on today.

In college, I spent my first summer paycheck on a DKNY bag. (Or was it the money I made from a keg party at our house?) I can still picture it exactly. I hear my mother’s voice, “Why would you spend $125.00” on that! “Where did you get that from, certainly not from me. I’m a bargain shopper”.

I’ve always been the one among my peers to pull it all together. I’m the one my friends go to for fashion advice, the one always complimented on putting outfits together. The one who spends hours browsing sites like trying to find the next hot deal.

Then when we began shooting our television show less than two years ago, as entrepreneurs and part of a startup, I wondered how we would be able to look and feel good on television every week with fresh new looks. After all, clothes are expensive, especially the best designer brands. Even if we were buying Faux Louis Vuitton accessories every week, which would lower the costs whilst still looking classy, I was still concerned on how we’d afford an entirely new outfit every week.

So I turned to the biggest go-getter I’d ever met, my partner Melissa. I said, “Melis, we can’t afford to buy new outfits every week, let’s talk to people whose clothes we like and wear their clothes and help them create a buzz about the moms.”

It was that little thought that opened our eyes into the world of fashion. Then this past summer, I thought, there’s never been a mom fashion show. So why not create one. Why not partner with the best in the biz. Why not bring together the worlds of social media and moms and combine it with what we know best, television and journalism and of course, fashion.

Fast forward to today.

Fashion has always been a passion, but never a profession.

Until now.

We have built our business and brand with the motto that anything is possible. We took our little idea and made it big. And that’s just the beginning of how we got a show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. It wasn’t long ago that I was looking into sites like Site Beginner to start blogging and now look, we’re talking about attending fashion week! Who would have thought?

I still shop at the Gap, I still have a DKNY bag, I likely won’t wear a hotdogger and will not take bribes associated with animals, but I also believe all of it had a hand in the creation of Strut, The Fashionable Mom Show.

I thought I had a sense of fashion until I moved to New York City which was almost 17 years ago. I remember walking the streets of the East Village when I attended N.Y.U. admiring everyone and thinking if I could only look that funky, stylish and cool. Even seeing some of the guys with a leather wallet or even staple jewellery pieces made me think about how cool everyone was in New York. I then started to realise that even accessories can make such a difference to anyone’s outfit. Even with my motorcycle boots that I saved up for, I still looked Melissa from Missouri.

Fast forward to my years as a news career woman and I could definitely rock a good suit and heels but I was always minus that fashion flair that so many women have. That easy breezy “oh I just threw this ensemble on” was something I never could seem to manage. I always felt that I looked like I was trying too hard or that the scarf I threw on looked as if it was choking me instead of draping effortlessly around my neck.

Then came motherhood times three. I always embraced the new styles whether it was the pashmina, or the wrap dress or the skinny jean and even the poncho. I always made the purchase but again it never felt fabulous on. I felt current and relevant but never stylish, that is until now.

When we landed our TV show with NBC and learned the fashion possibilities I suddenly understood what fashion was all about. It was about taking risks. I was now wearing new colors or adding belts and chunky jewelry, things I rarely ever did. I also learned quickly what styles and cuts and designs are best for my body and coloring.

So, with the announcement of our first ever Moms Fashion Show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week today, I do have to pinch myself. In a million years I would have never dreamed that I would be putting on an event like this.

I know I will never forget my Missouri sense of style. It still comes out. No one ever explained that red just doesn’t go well with burgundy shoes. At least they were Stuart Weitzman.

(Okay, I admit it — Denise tried to tell me the shoes didn’t go. I didn’t listen but when Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, The Director of Fashion at Lincoln Center chimed in, I had to accept it)

Tiffani Thiessen’s motto is just a few key words

Have you ever met someone and they are the complete opposite of what you expect them to be? Ok, we know it’s not fair to have an expectation of someone because of a character they play, but actress Tiffani Thiessen has played her bitchy, mean girl characters so well, that we expected her to have a little of that in real life.

We have never been so wrong. We could have chatted as moms in a play group for hours. She really is just like the rest of us. Rushing to breast feed her 7-month-old daughter before our interview, and nervous she was late to meet us. Concerned about working and child care…luckily her mom travels with her for now and is the most trusted sitter she is lucky to have. So while we chatted for our interview, which airs tonight on Moms And The City and A Dad Named David, little Harper was just upstairs resting with Grandma. Just like the rest of us, she gets through each day with a few words in the back of her head. TIffani is currently starring in White Collar on USA Network and recently launched Petit Nest, a baby furniture line. Here’s her mom motto.


Why Did I Have To Beg For Help?

BY Melissa Gerstein

Before my son was born, I had read up about the “baby blues.” On exactly the fourth day after he arrived, I was bluesy. At first, I was not quite sure what was happening. There were lots of tears. Tears of joy, tears of discomfort, tears of fear and tears from fatigue. Then a week later they were gone. Then the next week I was weepy again. I remember going to my doctor and explaining my blues, and he suggested a therapist who then suggested I needed to get my life back on track and go back to work and I did. Slowly the tears faded.

Then three years later my beautiful daughter was born. I was ready this time for the blues. Like clockwork, on the fourth day, tears poured down my face. But this time, I was set! I was better prepared. I was going to push these emotions away and persevere. I got through this rough patch once again. Was it possibly because my mom stayed longer this time around after the baby? I cried my eyes out daily to her until it passed.

Then our beloved third baby girl arrived. Third time is a charm they say. Everything will be smooth and easy. I’ll have no problems or complications or blues, I told myself. I’m wiser now and totally prepared and I’ve been down this road twice already. But, now, this was an entirely different road. On the fourth day, yes, the blues. But now accompanied by a bigger force, something I was not familiar with; anxiety. I was up all night, not because of a crying baby but because I was unable to sleep. This can be a lot for anyone to deal with, especially as we know how important sleep is. Anxiety too can be a struggle for anyone going through it. Not everyone knows how to cope with and everyone has their own way of doing so. From using a Cbdistillery coupon code to buy CBD products online, for example, speaking to friends/family about your feelings and trying to stay positive are just some ways that people can help deal with anxiety.

When you’re suffering from Insomnia, at the time, you feel like you’ve tried everything to help you get to sleep. From listening to calming nature sounds, counting sheep to even going to sleep early, you may have found that these tips haven’t helped. Saying this though, even if you decide to check out sites like etizoco, in the hopes of finding a solution to getting a better night’s sleep, hopefully, this will be worth it. Plus, we should all remember that our health is very important.

I was pacing back and forth in my apartment all night. My heart was racing. I was petrified and out of control and I was watching my life happen around me as if I was not present. I needed help. Many use CBD to battle against their anxiety or depression, now CBD in my case wasn’t an option considering I was still pregnant but if you are wanting to manage your anxiety or depression, you could look into 5 Effective ways to take CBD.

What I learned was there was no one to help me. My OBGYN referred me to a psychiatrist who could not see me for a week or two. “What, a week! I needed help!” I could not get control. It seemed this time I was having some form of postpartum depression. I knew it was minor. I knew I did not want to harm our baby. But I didn’t know that I needed to take matters into my own hands.

After calling my OB five times with no callback. After calling the hospital for other psychiatrists to help me, no one was around. Voicemails and messages were left everywhere. Until I finally got a return call from my OB’s office and screamed HELP ME!

She eventually prescribed a low dose of anti-anxiety medication that helped me for a few days. I didn’t like the side effects but I was able to function not only for myself but for my other children. If anxiety is something you want to manage within your life, it is not impossible, especially as you have the option of weed delivery (if legal) straight to your door. This could be the answer to relieving the symptoms of anxiety, in order to help get your life back on track.

Postpartum I have learned firsthand is very serious. Mothers need much more attention after giving birth. This six week follow up is ludicrous. It should be a week later you see your doctor.

Maybe if that were the case, I could have saved myself from making a gazillion phone calls and begging for help.

Can a mom go back to ballet?

BY Melissa Gerstein

Every Saturday I take my daughter to ballet and it’s bitter sweet. She kisses me goodbye and skips into the room. My heart aches and beats fast as I sit and watch her class. In the room next door, there’s also a class but the room is full of adults. The piano plays all the old beautiful classical music I remember from my youthful days as a dancer. I sit there feeling jealous of everyone in a leotard as I sit on a bench and wait for my daughter to come running out to me.

Why can’t I take a ballet class anymore? Every week I say to myself that I will try to take ballet again, so what is stopping me?. Is it because I can’t bare to see myself in a leotard or is it because it pains me to be so close to my youth and that is forever gone? Or could it be that I am just petrified to rediscover my old self? Why don’t I just get a home dance floor?

Is it that once you become a mom you have to morph into the role of “Mom” and throw away old dreams and passions? Does it come down to time? Well, I don’t think it’s applicable to everyone. I know mothers who make time for what they are passionate about. One of my close friends, for instance, enjoy her time alone ballet dancing at her private dance floor. I remember being in awe watching her practice near her beautiful circle windows that pour in warm sunlight. The scene looked straight out of a movie, and for a minute I wished I were her. But, I am not sure if I have her time management skills, I do have three children and a husband and work. Or is it that three pregnancies and deliveries leave me and my body feeling inadequate at times?

I personally believe that when you transition into a mom, you lose a part of yourself. With that loss, we have to rediscover who we are after putting everyone else first.

But last week I had an awakening, I couldn’t take the self-torture anymore. My husband could not stand hearing my excuses. I knew I could not go on feeling like this and I was craving to move like a dancer again. Initially, I thought I would find a dance pole for home use and practice on it to improve my flexibility. But then I stumbled upon my old ballet slippers in my closet and that made me realize it’d be better to brush up my ballet skills instead! So with a nauseous stomach, I walked in, registered for a class, and found a spot at the ballet bar.

I was concerned about how my post-baby body would handle the positions and steps. Ballet is unlike any other form of exercise in my opinion. Just ask Natalie Portman who had to train for a year to tackle Black Swan. I knew that I would spend the next day limping as I reminded myself to take it easy.

It took a moment for my muscles to remember every tendu and plie’, but after ten minutes there was a rhythm in my body coming back. It was magical. I felt like I was 16 as long as I didn’t look in the mirror.

I wondered if there were other mothers in the class as I looked around. Had they too sacrificed their personal dreams and first loves too after becoming a mom?

Someone once told me that becoming a mom will be about sacrifice. But why? We normalise this system of glorifying self-sacrifice that is a parcel of motherhood. The sad part of all such narratives is that some women lose their confidence in this personal journey. Women can try boudoir photoshoots during their maternity period to boost body confidence. Carmen Salazar Photography (a Bay Area boudoir photographer company) or similar service providers can help excepting mothers change their perspective of saggy bodies and become accepting of their natural beauty.

Someone in your home including yourself will get sacrificed every day. This might be true, but in no way will I let Saturday mornings at 10am be sacrificed anymore. This mom is rediscovering herself through ballet and it feels great even if I cheated the leotard and opted for yoga pants and a tank.

What Do Your Kids Know About Homeless Kids?

BY Melissa Gerstein

This past Sunday, 60 Minutes featured a piece on homeless kids. They covered the story from Seminole Florida where the homeless rate for families is astonishing. In a time where our country has an unemployment rate of 9% and more than 16 million children are living in poverty, I felt compelled to have our son watch with me and try to understand how truly blessed he is today. I am constantly challenged by the demands our son has on “stuff.” I understand these wants. Who wouldn’t be impressed and intrigued by all these incredible tech gadgets that surround us today. But all of these things are luxuries and not what most children have or need across America.

As I watched with my husband we both discussed if our almost ten year old should watch the segment and whether or not he could handle the content.

We hit the rewind button and asked him to come in and view with us. As he watched, I watched him. I paid very close attention to his face. I wanted to see if he comprehended not only the stories, but if he was moved and affected by what he was witnessing. He was emotional.

After he watched the children tell their stories of living in cars, fathers crying over the last orange to feed their families and kids discussing their fears with Scott Pelley, we talked about the homeless kids.

We spoke about how a lot of homeless people are parents like us and, for lots of reasons, why they fall under the addiction definition and struggle with substances like alcohol and drugs. We talked about the different ways people were trying their best to help those who were homeless to find shelter and housing, as well as how many organizations made hygiene kits for homeless parents and their children. We also touched upon how alcohol addiction can become a major problem in homeless people.

However, the most important thing that we talked about is being grateful and having gratitude. We told him that not everyone might have the privilege to get a roof. Just because we can easily buy a new house, for example in the best neighborhoods in Bend, Oregon (, it doesn’t mean that everyone can. Hence, he should be content with what he has, or what we have.

It was not a lengthy conversation, it didn’t have to be. He instantly felt grateful and remorseful for many issues we have been struggling with. I reassured him that he does not have to worry about ever being hungry or homeless but that we need to remember that there are other people in the world suffering, just even outside our front door.

The question now is, how long will these feelings of gratefulness last? Will he ask me in a week for a MacBook or an ipad again? Will he remember the stories of these kids and their lives living out of cars and washing up in gas stations before school? I hope so.

There is a balance to wanting and needing. I would like my children to appreciate everything they have and at the same time to want more. The desire to want is also important, but you also need to be content. Have I faulted him by being able to give him so many things in life? We always take time to help others and do community service but is that not enough? How do we teach our kids to appreciate everything they have in life? Do they need constant reminders such as this 60 Minutes piece? Or does this all change with maturity and age?

I re-visited the conversation with my son in the days that followed and he had new concerns and questions to discuss with me. He mentioned to me that other kids in his school had seen the program too. To me, that was success, to know that he was talking about it with his peers.

I Want My Boyfriend Back

BY Melissa Gerstein

Once upon a time I used to wake up and have sex in the morning. My boyfriend and I would stroll hand and hand without a care in the world. And we could talk and talk for hours. I always used to find some cute romantic quotes for him which he loved hearing too!

But that was before my boyfriend became my husband. Eleven years and three children later things are not what they used to be. I miss the days where I was his full attention and focus. He read an article on 30 Awesome Things To Talk About With A Girl so we always had really interesting conversations. I miss how we went anywhere at any time. I miss how he used to look at me. Now with three little ones I’m competing for his time.

Don’t get me wrong I love my children. But, I find myself fighting over who gets to talk to Daddy first, especially when it comes to my five year-old-little girl. She will curl up in his lap and I will watch her hold his face with her little hands. I think to myself how precious, but I also remember how that used to be me on his lap. Maybe he has changed and could be cheating on me. I might have to use reverse phone lookup to find out.

But it’s not even the one on one time I long for. It is that my state of mind has changed. It is just not the same now since I have had children. I often wonder, why can’t we, as husband and wife, assume the roles of “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” again? Is there a way? Is it once you get married and have kids your relationship as a couple is never the same?

It’s not just about the intimacy either, or being able to do whatever whenever. It’s that life as we know it now as husband and wife and being Mom and Dad is so busy it’s hard to remain each other’s firsts. There are so many other things in the mix now, like schools, bills, meals, errands, everyone’s health and trying to be good parents.

Sometimes it can be difficult to deliver (or hear) tough feedback, but the healthiest of relationships will practice transparency in their communications. When people who are coming out of a failed relationship are asked about what went wrong, “in many cases it boils down to the fact that they were not honest with one another”, says DatingPilot.

This doesn’t mean that the delivery of the message isn’t important, however. So, take time to work with one another and understand the best way that the other receives (and gives) messages, and put that into practice. If you find that you are providing more constructive honesty than positive honesty, take that as a red flag that you might need to spend some time working on your relationship.

So, how do I get my boyfriend back? Will it take 18 years until all the children move out? I posed this question to my own mother and mother in law recently and in unison and without pause, they answered a collective, “Yes!”

Why can’t I hold your baby?


I love to hold babies. Any baby, not just my own. I cannot help myself. If I see a baby, I need to hold him or her.

Do all moms want to hold newborns? Why do I feel the need to hold everyone’s newborn baby especially when they are crying? Is it a mother’s instinct to scoop up a new baby and snuggle or is it the empathy I feel when they cry?

At times, I will see new mothers struggling in the park and I will just walk right up and ask if they need help and offer to hold their baby. One time a woman handed me her baby after I struck up a conversation about her “hooter hider”. Some moms want the extra help with their babies, and some look at me like I’m crazy. One time, I asked a mom if she was alright while she was holding her wailing newborn and her toddler who just fell off a slide. I asked if she wanted me to hold her baby while she tended to her crying son and she looked at me with disgust. Maybe I offended her or she was having some difficulty, or maybe she thought I was insane?

At times I want to hold other people’s babies so badly that there is this uncontrollable yearning inside me. I love their smell and the way they curl up around you and the newborn breath is heaven.

I’m trying to hold on as tight as I can to my two-year-olds “babyness”. I know I’m on the tail end of it disappearing forever. I still rock her to sleep and she still has a bottle. I know she’s my last baby so I’m holding on for dear life. I should have contacted a Newborn Photographer to take her picture so I could always be able to look at that photograph and relive those memories time and time again!

When I had my babies, I was in such a fog and it was so hard to always enjoy some of those newborn moments. I found myself struggling to just get through the day. I would forget to savor those newborn days where they squirm to stretch and those lovely first smiles that have now disappeared in a flash. I know its not all fun and games. There’s the problem of being kept up late at night, wiping poop with Pampers baby wipes, but I don’t mind. I loved those moments when i had a newborn (I still love them so much now though of course). I miss things like that though like even just getting something like a new travel stroller is something that I miss… crazy right? I know that there are some women though who get nannies, or au pairs to help them out and I get why they do that. Sometimes having children can just get too much and you need that extra help. I’ve noticed an increase in demand for au pairs, particularly since parents have become far too busy recently. So if this is something that you are interested in then you can easily check out something like this Cultural Care Au Pair to give you a better idea of how you can apply and what you should expect. There’s no harm in asking someone else to help you though, so if you are struggling a bit then ask for help.

But now more than ever I crave those newborn snuggles. Does that mean I want another baby? Or is it normal for me to feel this was because my children are getting older? Do all moms feel they want another baby when their baby becomes a toddler? I look at my pregnancy photos and wonder if I could do it again. So as I struggle with this emotion, for now, please just let me hold your baby.

Do you want to hold other people’s babies?

Why Do We Have To Let Our Kids Win?

BY Denise Albert

I am competitive. I always have been. I like to win. Especially when I’m betting. My friend got me into it and it’s so fun! She told me about Indiana Sports Betting and suggested that I have a go. It makes sports so much more enjoyable but it’s so annoying when I lose. I’m not a bad loser. I’ve lost plenty in my life. I remember taking the virgin promotional code and placing my first few bets – I didn’t know the odds or what I was doing so lost them all! It just meant that I wanted to learn how to do better next time. Losing is no fun, but I see the value in knowing the feeling; but I try my best to win. **Tying is over-rated**.

**Tying is all my kids know**. They tie in their soccer classes. They tie in baseball. They tie in everything they play in school.

**I recently started to wonder, what’s so wrong with winning? What’s so wrong with losing?** I learned to lose as a competitive swimmer at the age of five. I’m sure I lost plenty of games in everything I played, from ice hockey to baseball to soccer. Losing builds character. Losing also teaches sportsmanship. So does winning. Winning and losing offer so many life lessons. **Tying is getting very boring**. If the sport was boring, calgary flames tickets wouldn’t sell very well would they!

So recently, my kids have started winning. They’ve also started losing.


Denise playing knock hockey with Jaron

We play a lot of games in our home. Knock hockey, floor hockey, basketball and even thumb-wrestling. There are so many sports that my kids enjoy playing! I’m even thinking about taking them to a muga pitch to play football. One of our favorite games to play is our made-up football version of H-O-R-S-E called C-O-W using a football. In our version of the popular game, we throw the ball, and if the other person doesn’t catch it, they get a letter. The first person to drop the ball three times loses.

I let my son win a few times. But then I thought, why am I letting him win? **As his mother, do I have to let him win all of the time?** Aren’t I one of the best people to teach him the importance of losing gracefully?

Does he, at 5 1/2, know I am letting him win? Does he possibly think he is better? Shouldn’t he know he won’t always be the best.

But I continued to let him hold my thumb down because after all – in todays world, kids tie. So at least he’ll learn winning at home. I purposely dropped the ball and C-O-Wed out.

**But how could I let him win if I didn’t also let him lose.** I didn’t let him lose until I picked up our knock-hockey stick and realized I had forgot all about my hidden talents. And boy was I good at the game. I couldn’t help myself. With every back-handed slap shot I took I scored. And guess what, my son was impressed. He laughed with every goal that swished into that small hole. He couldn’t come close. My husband couldn’t take a game from me either. Win after win for me. Then I thought, maybe I should let my son win again. But I was thinking that the importance of him learning to lose was too great to stop me.

I think my son was bored with tying. After one of his recent baseball games he asked, “Why does Coach Robert say every game is a tie? Coach Darren did that too, even after my interception, I know we won.” Doesn’t my son deserve to know where he excels? Shouldn’t he know when others are better? Won’t that help him decide if he likes something enough to try harder, practice more, or even move on to something else if he wants to choose a different path?

I think he’s at the end of an era. No more ties. Win or lose, he is ready for the real games. And although I may occasionally let him win, teaching sportsmanship is just as important and my kids are ready for that lesson. I believe it’s learned win or lose. Not just from ties. **Game on!**

**[La-La Vazquez](…) on winning and losing in her home**

What’s your relationship with your mobile device?

I wrote this piece last year. I am still addicted to my blackberry, but I now have different perspective. A lot has changed in a year, and I can now say, the opposite. My blackberry is actually helping my life with my kids. And thanks to a new Babycenter study, I feel validated and can now say my blackberry is saving my life with my kids.



My thumbs are tired. My eyes feel strained. All of a sudden, I get migraines. My attention span is out the window, and although I use cannabis occasionally from websites like to combat migraine pain, this has only started happened my blackberry arrived. Since my blackberry came into my life, I can’t put it down. I even sneak a few peaks in the middle of the night. Before Mr. Blackberry and I met, I never even awoke during the night. And forget about a good-morning kiss for my husband, my PDA gets me first.

I feel like I’m cheating. Always trying to check it without getting busted. But the worst part about my “other” relationship is how it disrupts my life with my kids.

When we’re playing on the floor, my bb is always perfectly positioned. My son is even programmed to check and make sure I have my bb every time we get out of a taxi. “Mom – you have your phone?” he says in a monotone voice at the end of every single cab ride. He learned to do that after I paid more for a taxi driver to bring my lost phone back to me than the cost of a new one.

My blackberry is like my third son, the baby of the family who always has my attention. Eating breakfast with my kids, so is my bb. Watching a show with my kids, so is my bb. On the playground, yep, there I am, bb in hand.

It has taken over my life. I visited a site like for some help with the migraines it was causing, so now I can be on it all day, every day. I can’t put my blackberry down. Always looking for that blinking red signal of a new message, text or bbm. Mr. BB even accompanies me to the bathroom!

And god forbid an email comes in. What would happen if I didn’t reply right away? Why can’t I be present with my kids, and make the interrupter wait?

A “day off” from work is simply impossible because I’m never, ever without my blackberry. Weekends and vacations are no exception; I’m now in full panic that I won’t have service on an upcoming family holiday, although I’ve now learned more information on how to stay connected with data, so I should be able to access the most important things that I’ll need. But honestly, I think I need to go on a digital detox for a few days. Perhaps, I should go on a vacation on a cruise (of course, I would make reservation on a ship which offers a Cruise Parking facility), where there might not be any Internet so that I can enjoy the serenity and the bliss of nature. Otherwise, I might seriously have to term myself as a mobile phone addict.

Obviously, having a phone on me at all times has plenty of benefits which I’ve not yet touched on. It’s a lifesaver in an emergency and I’m always available for if my kids need me when they’re at school. It’s great for taking photos and for staying in contact with friends, and I still talk to friends now that I would have lost touch with by now if I didn’t have it.

I’m excited to be a part of the new world of technology but my bb needs to stop ruling my life and interrupting my time with my kids. I’m just not sure how.

How do you tell your kids it is okay to celebrate murder?

By Denise Albert

How do you explain to your kids that it is okay to be happy someone was killed? That’s the first thing that went through my head when I heard the news about Osama Bin Laden. My morning routine normally includes a million questions from my 6-year-old son as we leaf through the morning paper. He likes to pick it up outside our door and flips through the sports in the back and then makes his way to tons of questions about what is on the cover. In most recent days I’ve explained everything from the monarchy in England to why Prince William is balding.

I can only imagine the questions I will get in the morning. I always try to be honest. I want my kids to grow up with a realistic view of the world we live in. I don’t want them to be too sheltered. I don’t believe in lying to protect them. I can usually find a way to explain even the more difficult topics. But I haven’t yet had to say it is okay to kill. I haven’t had to say sometimes guns or bombs are good.

Not everyone will agree with this, I’m aware of that. But how many people do you know have guns? How many people do you know that have read and reread something like this open-carry gun law guide ( just so they know what to do, and what rules to follow, when they are faced with a threatening situation and self-defense is the only answer? I bet there are too many to count. So, when your life or your family’s life is being called to question and the only way to keep yourselves safe is to fire at them, you do it without a moment’s hesitation. And that’s what happened here. So, in this instance, guns have done some good in the world. However, even with good at the helm, people can still find themself facing criminal charges if a problem arises. Because of this, they may need to use a criminal defense attorney in Harrisburg PA, or wherever they are based, so they can be guided through the next steps and what to expect.

I’ve spent the past 6 months arguing with my son about toy guns. I’m not a fan. He spends a lot of time talking about and writing about bad guys. Maybe that’s the place to start. A bad guy was killed. But now I have some homework to do. I want to get the facts right when I tell him our military killed the worst guy in the world, and it is okay to be happy about it. I have to be prepared for all of the questions he will ask.

My son will ask why Osama was a bad guy. My son will ask what Osama did. Forget about the birds and the bees. This is my big talk with my son and because Osama Bin Laden was killed yesterday, my talk will have to happen today. Our talk will be about 9/11, which I haven’t had to face yet. It will be about all of the people who were murdered that day. This talk will be sooner than expected but I will do it the best way that I can, so he will feel safe and understand that on this day, we will celebrate murder.

Do our kids need to be PC?

Political correctness is fast becoming a popular topic for conversation. With more people from minorities pointing out the unfair terminology used towards them in politics and even some politicians such as disgraced candidate Caylan Ford and other politicians who have been exposed for having controversial beliefs towards minority groups. The tolerance for those who are unwilling to treat others equally is becoming lower and lower each day. I myself also have a low patience for politicians who treat others poorly.

I often cringe when my son says out loud, “Is she brown?” or “Is he Puerto Rico?” But it was his most recent conversation that left me almost speechless. Right after the tsunami in Japan, my six-year-old son was visiting my husband at work when they decided to order Chinese food for dinner. Here’s the conversation between my son and the delivery guy:

Jaron: “Did you see the news today?”

Delivery guy: “Yes”

Jaron: “Tough day for you huh?!?”

My husband was mortified, and somewhat amused and embarrassed. My first instinct was more about how empathetic and smart his question was. His observation may or may not be right – I wasn’t there to ask the follow up question about what this man’s background really was.

My son has always been very inquisitive and aware of his surroundings. As all parents know, kids really do say the darndest things. But how we handle it, is probably the part we should stop and think about.
My son has always asked a thousand questions and makes blatant statements; whether it’s about his grandma’s red hair or my butt looking big on a particular day. But I must say, he also appreciates if someone is looking good. One day he approached my friend and told her that her skin looks great! She told him it’s the Invisicrepe ingredients working its magic (or was it some other product?) Anyway, he says what he sees. He wants to know everything and he wants to learn from what he hears and sees.

To my son it would seem the man looked like someone who is from the region in trouble. He doesn’t yet have the tools to wonder if the man from the Chinese restaurant would be Japanese. He may not even know that China and Japan are separate countries and he doesn’t know their differences. He saw someone of Asian descent and his first thought was about how the news affected him. To me, empathy far outweighs political correctness because isn’t political correctness all about empathy after all? He wasn’t making a judgment, he wasn’t implying anyone is better or worse and he certainly wasn’t mocking anyone.

When he talks about “brown” people, he is mostly referring to people from the islands in the Caribbean. Some of his babysitters have been from that area and he makes very matter of fact references about their brown skin. Maybe he heard the reference from an old sitter or quite possibly he just said what he believes he sees. He never heard me describe anyone as a color. My son watches the news and looks at pictures in the paper and when he sees someone with darker skin he also asks if they are from Africa. He hasn’t yet recognized the distinction between “his” brown and black.

So what am I supposed to do? Do our kids need to be politically correct? Do we need to teach our kids to be politically correct? Am I supposed to tell my son that he should ask “Is that person African, African American or Caribbean?” Should I explain to a six-year-old that there are people from so many countries, including our own, who are of Asian descent. I obviously want him to continue to be empathetic and sensitive. I also want to continue to encourage his innocent observations without hampering his ability to speak freely. I think that is more important for a six-year-old than being politically correct.

I’m a guilt-free working mom


I loved going to work. I used to breathe a sigh of relief at school drop off. I would kiss my son, wave goodbye and look forward to my day at work. Now that I work from home, it’s a different story, but to me, there was nothing better than working in an office. Now, I know some new managers working remotely and they love their work from the start, but everyone will have a different experience when it comes to this, and everyone will have a different opinion when it comes to working from home. I know many people who actually prefer it to working in an office environment. They’ve even found ways to increase their productivity at home, like setting up a little work station, using paperless software solution similar to ones on sites like filecenterdms, in the hopes of having less paperwork lying around and even have given themselves strict lunch and break time to help them stay motivated while at home. See, this works for some, but not everyone.

I’d prefer to be working in an office. I loved sitting on my comfy office chair (bought from this home and commercial office furniture in Brisbane company). I had a huge desk where I had plenty of space to work and I didn’t have any distractions at all. It was bliss! I didn’t spend my days changing diapers. (That was for mornings, nights and weekends). I didn’t do pick up or baseball drop off. And I didn’t spend time on playdates with my little one.

Instead, I read the newspaper on the train, as if I was alone…the only one there. No phone or blackberry. It was just me, the paper, and hundreds of thousands of commuters.

My journey to the office was calculated “me” time. Some mornings included a short coffee catch up with a friend or personal calls on the walk from the subway to the office.

By 10 am my “other” job officially began. I thrived in my office and because I had it, I accomplished more in my life. In fact, I got everything done at twice the pace.

I need the work interaction, the work relationships, the responsibilities, the creativity, and the opportunity to learn daily. I need the paycheck for many reasons. I need to contribute. It’s who I am. I also need the financial freedom to be able to buy those jeans without explanation to anyone other than myself. Financial freedom is amazing, you work hard and then you can live comfortably. Although, despite my new guilt-less life, I do sympathize with my friend who recently moved over here for work. She’s struggling to apply for a credit card because she doesn’t have a social security number yet and this is taking away her financial freedom. Luckily, she was able to stumble upon a blog telling her how to apply for credit Cards without SSN, hopefully she can start living happily now and buying whatever she wants!

Although it’s fun to be able to spend money, it can have consequences and negative sides. For example, my guilt-less life came at a cost. It’s not the path I planned to take. I made concessions in my career and at home. I’ve adjusted my professional goals in order to have flexibility. I took a detour from a lifetime of passion in one field – to work in another – to feel guilt-free. I missed my little ones’ first real walking. I found out by text – “12 steps – alone!” That morning – before work – I saw 4. I proudly showed the text in my meeting. “Oh – no, you missed it” was my colleagues’ reaction. But I had no guilt. Instead, I thought, my work with him that morning paid off!

Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Am I missing a certain “mom-ness” sense? Am I missing a guilt gene? Now that I’ve switched gears again and work from home, I can’t wait to get back to an office. But on my own terms.

I don’t feel guilty. I know I am a better mom because I work!

"Mom, I like your boobies"

BY Denise Albert

“Mom, can I see your boobies?”
“Can I touch them?”
“I like your boobies.”

That’s what I wake up to in the morning and what I hear before I put my kids to bed. I mean I am quite proud of them. Many people have to pay a visit to a surgery like Luxurgery in order to be satisfied with their “private parts”. Nonetheless, I wasn’t quite expecting this from my son!

I don’t know where this came from but I do know that my oldest son’s curiosity with my body began once I stopped changing in front of him. So now I wonder if I made a bigger deal out of my “private parts” than necessary. I used to change in front of him. I’d wander out of the shower and into my room in the buff. But when he was about three I decided it was time to stop. And that’s when the questions began. It started innocently and originally seemed to fit in with his normal nature of inquisitiveness.

Now, three years later, the questions haven’t stopped and instead they’ve become an annoying routine. And what’s worse is my three years old has now joined the chorus wanting a piece of me. Both of my sons try to cop a feel multiple times daily. My little one last week belted out, “I want to see your penis”.

In what should have been a teachable moment turned into tears of hysteria. I didn’t mean to laugh but it was just so darn cute and unexpected. He knew enough to say something that wasn’t appropriate, but not enough to know that I don’t have a penis.

But the part I can’t figure out is where all of this language comes from? Is it just a natural course of life? Are their inquiring minds enhanced because my son realized that by no longer walking around naked that somehow nakedness was not acceptable? If I didn’t rush to cover up would that have been better?

Should I go back to prancing around my apartment in my birthday suit? Would that alleviate the negativity? Would it reverse the wrongfulness? Would it get them to stop asking to see my boobies? So if you peek through my windows, and see boobies running around, now you know why. Let’s hope no one sees or uploads it to an adult amateur site like!

I Hated Being Pregnant!

BY Denise Albert

I’m proud to say that out loud. It seems the more people I say it to, the more people admit they disliked being pregnant too. Loads of people struggle with different things when it comes to pregnancy, some women struggle with stress incontinence, some get really bad morning sickness. Some just hate everything. So I’m glad to know I’m not alone.

I love my kids. That might be a better way to start. I am certainly grateful that I was able to have them but I really hated being pregnant. There are certain things about pregnancy that I enjoyed. I loved designing their nursery – choosing the colours and the furniture in particular. I must have spent hours online looking at Pinterest boards of things like nursery wall decals and colour schemes. I also loved buying them little cute outfits in anticipation. Mostly, though, I enjoyed the day my babies were born. But the whole pregnancy process was extremely stressful for me. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to have a natural pregnancy so, after a few weeks of trying with no avail, I began asking my doctor how much does IVF treatment cost. My doctor told us to keep trying and eventually, I got pregnant. That was when it all went downhill!

I’ll start with the obvious. I hate being fat. And I do get fat! I eat, but certainly not enough to warrant the 50 pound gain during both of my pregnancies. When my OB suggested buying a scale, I knew I was in trouble. I always used the zipper trick. If my jeans closed, I was fine.

I hated feeling nauseous every day, all day. It did not go away. I never threw up. I would have felt better if I did.

I hated burping, tooting and the feeling of a big bubble under my heart all of the time. It’s amazing I didn’t OD on tums. It now makes complete sense why 5 ½ year old keeps asking for those “yummy tummy vitamins” – he was born addicted!

I also hated you. You, and you, and you! All of you! (My guess is you hated me too!). Everyone and everything bothered me. I had no patience, no sensitivity and certainly no filter. It was a problem at work and at home. I began to hate my job, hate my friends and sometimes even my husband. I also hated every question from every single person. When are you due? What are you having? (Don’t know – that’s the only thing getting me through this miserable experience). Oh how cute – are you having twins? (No, I’m just fat!)

Luckily, there were a few things that helped me out here and there throughout the pregnancies, like the many vitamins and supplements places have on offer to help with certain issues us women experience. I even know some other pregnant mums at the time that invested in White label supplements and started their own business from their experiences, helping others alike! Which is completely inspiring. So there are definitely some things that can help you out through this process!

After each pregnancy, I did realize what I’d always been told – it was all worth it! But after two boys – I know I will never do it again! I’m choosing to stay married, stay employed, and stay happy. And happy for me – is NOT being pregnant. And please stop with the questions, I am not having a third. (Translation: I am not going for a girl.)