Navigating the Wild World of Motherhood
No matter how much you boycott the Kardashians or how many petitions you sign, they just keep coming. And not only that, reproducing at a quick pace to ensure their continued world domination, um, I mean survival. On Wednesday, the eldest Kardashian, Kourtney, announced that she and Scott Disick — America’s favorite Vegas-loving, hair-slicking, baby daddy — are expecting bambino numero dos.
Wait, what’s that noise you’re hearing? That would be the sound of “cha-ching” from Burberry, because they get to dress another designer-clad munchkin. Score!
Isn’t it interesting how well-timed her baby news is? It’s almost like her new pregnancy is part of the grand Kardashian marketing plan since she just launched a mom focused web series called Kourtney’s Mommy Blog at E! Online (the very company people have been petitioning to drop Kardashian nonsense.) I guess you aren’t a legit mommy unless you have multiple kids…
Before my husband and I had kids, we were cool. We ran together daily on Town Lake, we went antiquing on South Congress, we drank at local dives and ate buttermilk pancakes at Magnolia Café every weekend. We were hipsters. Our motto was if you don’t live in the 78704, you’re utterly lame and you don’t really qualify as being an Austinite. When we renovated our home on South 2nd Street back in 2003, we purposely designed it to look weird. We didn’t care. It was South Austin. The weirder, the better.
One marriage and two kids later, I find myself puttering around Lakeway in our champagne-colored Tahoe like 98% of the suburbanites out here, rarely going downtown, because it’s “just too far away.” Oh how I miss being cool. And being in the “04.”
Did you know the Austin rental market nears 95 percent occupancy? South Austin is beyond cool now and new developments like Sola City Homes and The Sycamore are delivering unprecedented value in one of the most coveted neighborhoods in town – the “golden rectangle.” I toured these two properties and was shocked that there was such unbelievable value. The developers bought band foreclosures at a discount and then dropped the market price to sell the properties fast.
These new Austin real estate gems allow buyers to live the legendary Austin lifestyle at a wholesale price of 25 percent below market value, and a mere 3 miles from downtown in 78704. Buyers can realize equity when they move in as the houses are being appraised at $81K-82K higher than the offering. What truly sets these properties apart is that regardless of the overall market conditions of the last few years, their customers are buying because they are shown real value. With these new properties, they’re able to pass on the savings to the public, and buyers immediately recognize the value. How sweet is that?
Central Austin properties like Sola and Sycamore are spacious and comfortable and close to everything that people love about central Austin living – music, history, culture, food and entertainment. In fact, some of the best restaurants and music venues are located just blocks from these communities.
Sola City Homes are newly constructed town home-style condos located off of South Lamar, and boast sustainable architecture and simple designs. These unique offerings allow home buyers to compare the $140 per square foot to the $200+ per square foot 78704 area average pricing. Residents also appreciate their spacious 2,000+ SF floor plans and 10 ft. ceilings
The Sycamore is a private, gated community in South Austin near South Congress that boasts detached, contemporary town homes. The Sycamore features energy-efficient and technological amenities mixed with bold designs, a 2-car garage and private yards. The Sycamore features energy-efficient and technological amenities mixed with bold designs, 2-car garage and private yards. Units are 1,500 sq. ft., 2 Bedrooms, 2.5 baths with a study and garage, starting at $240,000.
Barton Creek Capital has sold 140 homes with the average days on market to contract of less than 3 days, and they are the largest, and arguably the only, wholesaler of condos in the desirable 78704 zip code. These new developments have opened up new options for living near downtown with pricing that beats rental rates by wholesaling condos and town homes and returning real value.
If you haven’t heard the buzz about this new doll, I’ll break it down for you. Breast Milk Baby is a doll that allows little girls to simulate the act of breast-feeding. And as you can imagine, this toy is creating waves of controversy as it will soon be available in the US. So what’s the big deal about another doll? I mean, we already have plenty of dollies that eat, pee and poop. Well, it could be the vest with sensors to trigger nursing or the suckling sounds or the fact that little girl can loosely experience latching. Pick one. Here’s a recent article from ABC News.
Today, I spoke with FOX 7 about it and shared my thoughts as not only a mother, but a mother who happens to know a lot about baby products. I even posted something on Facebook about my impending interview, which created its own little swirl of debate. This is a controversial doll for many reasons. Instead of exploring the obvious, I thought it was far more interesting to hear reactions about the doll from dads. After all, dads shower their daughters with gifts. Will they buy Breast Milk Baby for their daughters? One dad added his two cents to my lively Facebook discussion by posting the following:
“Don’t want to drag another ‘party’ to the discussion unknowingly… But having had this very discussion today…. It’s not about sexuality or nourishment as much as it seems to be about the publicity of it. Should be private and between a mom and child, not public and out for display for everyone to share. I think public display kind of sensationalizes it. Back to the doll – is that the right WAY to send the message or teach our children? My girls will never own one of these, but you can bet they will know everything they want and need to about breastfeeding and discretion.”
Bravo, daddy! I think he illustrates great points and let’s face it, dads are an integral part of parenting, so why dismiss their feelings? Many dads seem to be annoyed by the doll, because they feel young girls don’t need to experience something reserved for grown women. It’s simply too much, too soon. Other dads think there is a shady sexual undertone that just makes them feel slightly ill. Loving daddies might not want to imagine their sweet little girls as mothers quite yet, especially with all of the valid fears of teenage pregnancies.
Weigh in, dads! What do you think about this doll? Will you buy it for your daughter?
If you give a mom a microphone, she’ll ask for a stage to go with it. When you give her the stage, she’ll ask if it makes her butt look big. Worrying about her big butt will make her change outfits, so you’ll need to get her a glass of wine to calm her nerves…
What happens when you throw 15 moms together and give them a microphone? Well, they talk your ears off about motherhood, of course. The good, the bad, the exhausted, the sedated. It’s a job rich in laughter, marinated in pee, sprinkled with sticky candy and sauteed in a mixture of smeared mascara, laundry detergent and breast milk. Yummy, right? Much like Gefilte fish, motherhood is a delicacy not intended for the faint of heart.
On April 30th, grab your hubby, your mom, your grandma, your girlfriends, your overweight cat, a box of Puffs and join us at a pre-Mother’s Day celebration, the “Listen To Your Mother Austin” show. In fact, you can read more about it in the Statesman’s Mama Drama blog.
All of the fab mamas, myself included, will read a short original essay about motherhood. After our first rehearsal, I was so amazed at each and every story. This is NOT a sappy, cliche, poetry reading involving tambourines, Birkenstocks, awkward pauses and weeping. The pieces are smart, sassy, creative, thought-provoking and highly entertaining – just like the moms who wrote them.
This year’s Austin cast includes: Kristin Armstrong, Kimberly Cockrill, Julie Coombes, Jenny Lawson, Cathy Hale (that’s me!), Kathryn Harrison, Diane LeBleu, Blythe Jewell, Krystin Crain Johnson, Esther Mizrachi Moritz, Elizabeth McGuire, Jennifer Newcomb Marine and Gigi Ross. Show producers Wendi Aarons and Jennifer Sutton will emcee and read at the event as well. (If you aren’t following @WendiAarons on Twitter, you should be beaten with wet diapers. She’s a freakin’ riot.)
“Listen to Your Mother Austin” will be performed April 30 at 1 p.m. at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, 1900 University Ave. Tickets are $14 and available online at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1468976749. Proceeds from the event (after costs are covered) will be donated to Any Baby Can.
Valentine’s Day may be over now, but you can still embrace that lovin’ feeling. And it may be as easy as sipping a glass of juice…
As a Genesis Today Ambassador, I get to try new products from Genesis Today. For Valentine’s Day, they sent me a little ‘Getting It On with Goji’ treat – Cranberry Goji Juice. I’m not a big juice fan, but it was surprisingly awesome. It tastes great and offers the perfect marriage of sweet & tart. What’s great about the combo of cranberries and goji berries is blatter & kidney health, mood & antioxidant support and a little libido boost.
It’s easy to have a frisky February. In fact, there are plenty of natural things that boost your libido:
- Goji berries
- Maca Root
- Dark chocolate
- $2,000 & a fab goody basket
Considering everything on the list, I’ll be choosing Goji berries over oysters any day! Of course, $2,000 sounds great too…
WIN IT! Want to win $2,000 for a romantic adventure and a wonderful goody basket? Enter the Genesis Today Lover’s Getaway. Just visit the Genesis Today Facebook Page for a chance to win a $2,000 cash prize and a gift basket filled with Goji goodies, steaks from Snake River Farms & champagne. Ooh la la!
1. – Like Genesis Today on Facebook
2. – Upload of photo of you enjoying Cranberry Goji juice
3. – Tell Genesis Today what you love the most about your partner
Last day to enter is 2/21/11
It was so much fun to meet anchor, Sally Hernandez, and be a guest on the KXAN News at Noon show today. Sally is a smart and sweet and funny gal. It was a great interview and I owe a lot of that her. She’s the mom of a youngster herself, so I think she really understands and appreciates the power of mom blogs.
I talked to Sally about my blog and then gave a few tips for moms who would like to start a blog. I mentioned getting your feet wet on large blogging communities like Blogher and Yahoo!Shine. These are my two favorites online communities and I actually post on both of them. The larger blogs I write for, Babble and BettyConfidential, also use Yahoo!Shine to promote their blog posts. It has a tremendous reach due to the sheer amount of readers.
As I mentioned in the interview, there are many Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to blogging. Here are my top three:
1 – Identify the goals of your blog. Take some time to think about what you want your blog to accomplish. Are you writing it so family members who don’t live nearby can keep up? Are you going to use your blog as a stepping stone into a writing career? Are you wanting to make money with it? There are lots of great reasons, and figuring out what they are will help you create your blog in a way that best fits your goals.
2 – Share! Share! Share! When you do start blogging, share your posts on social media sites. That’s exactly why they exist. Use Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn or any of your favorites to share your posts. This is what you need to do to engage with your readers and start conversations. My friends & family are my biggest fans, so I encourage you to bombard them constantly.
3 – Write about stuff you like. Yeah, that seems pretty obvious, but it’s true. If your write about topics you like, in additional to your fabulous kiddos, you’re more likely to keep writing. Let’s face it, you can only write about picky eaters and colds and diaper fiascoes to a degree. Pepper in the things you love and your passion will shine through in your writing.
1 – Too much information! Be careful about the amount of info your share in your blog. As mom bloggers, we’re always chatting about our kids. That doesn’t mean you should list their full names, where they attend school or daycare, etc. It’s possible to tell compelling and true stories without giving every little detail. Protect yourself and your children.
2 – Never blog angry. The rush of having your own slice of the Internet can be intoxicating, but don’t abandon all of your manners as a result. (And speaking of intoxicating, don’t blog drunk either.) If you have a bad experience somewhere or buy a product you don’t like, don’t go off about it in your blog. That stuff will come back to haunt you. If you read a post and your gut instinct tells you not to publish it, listen to your gut. Better safe than sorry.
3 – Embrace negative feedback. - Don’t spend time worrying about how your posts will be received. You WILL GET negative feedback and some of it won’t be pretty. Take it for what’s it worth and don’t get discouraged. If you have the freedom to voice your option, other people are entitled to do the same thing. That’s the beauty of this highly interactive world we live in!
Plus, learn more about BlogathonATX: Part Deux and find out why you should’ve already bought your ticket. Shame on you!
In 2010, I went on my first movie adventure in Portland, OR. Walmart and P&G invited me to experience a real behind-the-scenes experience at the filming of A Walk in My Shoes. It’s part of their initiative for better family entertainment. How could I say no? Here I am talking about my experience. (Yes, I’m doing vids this year – look out!)
From the wonderful folks at P&G and Walmart to the producers to the actors, EVERYONE working on this project is totally aware of the need for better family-friendly television entertainment. Even the youngest actor on the set, 11-year-old Jackson Pace, mentioned how important it is to be able to watch television together as a family. (BTW, what a cute little guy.)
Added bonus? During the trip I got to meet some phenomenal women: @MomStart @mamsphor @eightymphmom @BettyBuzz @OurOrdinaryLife – funny, fantastic, outspoken and talented. In fact, I actively follow these moms on Twitter today and do guest blogging for Betty Confidential.
As we embark on 2011, my advice for you is TAKE CHANCES. In my normal mommy mode, leaving the family for a few days to travel to a movie set was something I’d normally pass up. It required planning and rearranging of schedules and a few other hassles. Instead of being my normal “no thanks” self, I ditched my comfort zone and went. I’m so glad I did! It was an amazing experience for so many reasons. My point? Let’s keep pushing ourselves to take chances, okay? Deal? Deal.
The Babble Best Holiday Advent List is live for 2010! You can see 25 different amazing Advents for the holidays, divided into five categories. I was the lucky one who helped pull this list together and let me tell you, it is AWESOME!
Feeling splurgy? Check out the $1 million Advent from Porsche. Looking for an eco-friendly Advent this year? Take a look at all of the beautifully crafted Advents from the most creative Etsy sellers ever! The categories are Luxury, Traditional, Modern, Candy and DIY. You’d better get started because these cute Advents gotta be ready to go on December 1st! Here’s a little taste: