When I became pregnant with my first baby, I was all about the pregnancy books. And then after she was born, my bookshelf grew with parenting books. From feeding to sleeping to managing temper tantrums, I turned to books.
Soon, I learned that the answers weren’t always in the books. And I learned to trust my instincts. When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I tried to turn to books again and quickly threw that twin parenting book across the room. I decided, I got this!
As a member of MomsLA, I got the opportunity to read “You’re Perfect…” and Other Lies Parents Tell. And you know what? I actually am getting some useful information from it.
The author is a former criminal prosecutor with the District Attorney’s office in Los Angeles. She’s got real life experience in seeing what happens with kids who make bad decisions and end up facing big consequences. She has a lot to say about what she witnessed and where parents have influence in how these kids got there. She gives sound advice on what to do and what not to do.
Here are just a few of the things that I hope to instill with my children.
1. Placing an importance on intrinsic values, such as self-acceptance and community, rather than on extrinsic values, such as money and fame.
This is one of the things we thing about most. With having our twins in “show business,” this is something Marco and I have talked about often. Just how much do we want them to be involved in the “industry?” There’s a definitely a line we don’t want to cross. It’s evident in the way many child stars have grown up. Right now, they’re 2 years old. It’s a nice thing to do with them. Save a little money for them for college. Have a digital scrapbook of sorts. And yes, be involved in one of my favorite tv shows. But do we want them to do this forever? Making sure we value the things that matter is always at the forefront of our minds.
2. There’s a fine line to punishment and discipline.
She points out that it takes five positive comments to make up for one negative comment. With four girls in the house, it can get quite hectic. Some days, it seems like I’m always saying, don’t do that. Or do this. Or why can’t you listen? Or you need to finish your homework or you can’t watch tv. Or the big ones, “Time out” and “You’re grounded.” Marco and I really try to balance all of that with positive reinforcement. And this was a good reminder of just how important that is. Creating positive and loving people through making moments count. Balancing out the expectations and consequences with praise and loving arms. And being worn out from a day of work and dealing with life’s challenges is no excuse for forgetting to tell your kids you’re proud of what they’ve done.
In the digital age and especially as social media junkies, we are never far from our phones. Our laptops as well. And even though it may not seem important to hear about how “Amy told on Susie and it wasn’t fair because Susie wasn’t the one and it was really Joseph” and other related elementary school happenings… it’s important to let the girls know we are listening to Them. Because sooner than later, they’ll get to the age where they might not be as forthcoming. Especially if they feel like we never listen anyway. So really, Lex, put the phone down and pay attention to how “the book fair is opening this week and they want this and this and this and that…” or whatever it is they might have to say.
I’m still reading it and will be passing it on to Marco next. Because our instincts are great. But I’ll bet those parents of kids who found themselves facing felony charges also thought their instincts were great too.
Finding a babysitter is a scary thing. Personally, we’ve only used family for these things in the past. Or the daughters of close friends. Sometimes, the stars do not line up, and we have to pass on plans or appointments because no one is available.
Hiring a complete stranger? Not likely. And ever ask friends for babysitter recommendations? Sure, that works, unless that sitter is already booked for them. Or maybe they just don’t want to say because they don’t want to take the chance that you’ll book the sitter when they need them. Ha! In actuality, it’s always one of those things that you don’t think about until you’re in a bind.
Enter Urban Sitter.
It’s easy. You can use your social networks to connect with other parents in your area who recommend sitters. They even have a mobile app. You can set search criteria to what you want, when you want, and decide how much you’re willing to pay.
I recently attended an luncheon at the Tin Roof in Manhattan Beach, hosted by MomsLA and Urban Sitter. I met some lovely women who babysit, students from Loyola Marymount (Go Lions!), a mom with grown children, a screenwriter, and a full time nanny. Urban Sitter provides a network of these types of sitters that you can interview ahead of time and get recommendations from others.
And, you can even set up payment using your credit card through the site, so you aren’t scrambling to make sure you have cash on hand when the sitter comes. I know this will come in handy for us. I’ve already started using the site looking for a “parent helper” for the next time we have to take the twins for their tv job.
More good details about Urban Sitter:
• Syncs with social networks to show you babysitters personally recommended (used and reviewed) by your friends and local parents in your mother’s group, child’s school, sports team, etc. The power of social recommendations is the “magic” of the site.
• Search for sitters by the exact date & time you need them, then sort your results by filters including background check, hourly rate, and experience.
• Badges on sitter profiles indicate average response time to job requests, number of ‘repeat families’ who have booked them multiple times through the site, and if they accept credit cards for payment.
• You can also post a job for last minute help or recurring needs like Monday/Wednesday/Friday sitter or even full time nanny. Just write a description of your job and we’ll let you know when sitters express interest. You can also sort your list of candidates by the same filters as in a search and easily book interviews.
• Sitters keep their schedules online, so parents can book jobs and interviews for a specific date/time — instantly at the click of a button!
• Stay organized with handy email reminders and access to your babysitter bookings.
• Book babysitters on-the-go — quickly and conveniently with the UrbanSitter iPhone app (also free download).
Give it a try. UrbanSitter is running a sweepstakes and the prize is a year of babysitting for weekly date nights. (Or time for you!) Click here to enter!
“This is a sponsored post for MomsLA and Urban Sitter. However, all opinions expressed are my own.”
When I entered high school, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. At some point, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be an entertainment reporter. Clearly, that didn’t happen. But somehow, last Friday, I found myself at a media junket for Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. How cool is that?
Jordana Beatty is perfectly cast to play Judy. She just explodes on the screen in this fun and adorable character. And she landed the role via a Skype audition! Opposite Heather Graham, who is just stunning by the way, I loved seeing the adventures they get into. They both talked about how much fun they had making the movie and after seeing the film, I can see why!
Jaleel White, who lets face it, has come a long way from his Urkel days. Dare I say, Hot? (or maybe you remember the later seasons when he played the alter-ego Stephan? Hubba hubba). He plays Mr. Todd, Judy’s beloved teacher, and he is fantastic. When I asked what he would want people to know about him, he said, “I’m a hard worker… ” Yes, he is. I found him to be genuine, with a great sense of humor. He read the books, got a bad haircut and even learned to play the banjo for it! It’s great to see a child star grown up to be someone with a great outlook on life and a work ethic to be proud of.
The thing that made me want to get involved with reviewing the film is that the movie is based on a fun series of books about an imaginative and adventurous girl. Getting to meet the author, Megan McDonald, who also adapted it for the screen, was a huge treat for me. She based a lot of the characters on people and kids she knows in her life. When asked what advice she’d give to aspiring writers, she said “tell a great story… a story you have within you.”
The movie is colorful, fun, and though geared toward kids, still enjoyable for parents. I laughed and remembered my own childhood. It sparked some great conversation with my own girls. They loved the movie. Isa asked if I would buy her some of the books this weekend.
This morning she told me she was going to make up her own summer “thrill point” chart! On the list? San Francisco to visit the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory Headquarters, Disneyland, Solvang, and the list grows. I guess I’m going to have an active summer helping her get these thrill points!
A movie that gets my kid to laugh, read, and use her imagination? And made me laugh too? Thumbs way up!
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer opens in theaters on Friday, June 10 and is rated PG.
I wasn’t compensated for this post and my opinions are my own. I did get to see an advanced screening through momsla. And was fed a cookie.
These days, it seems like I’m always operating in baby mode. Spending one on one time with my older daughters takes some planning and coordination. And lets face it, sometimes staying home in my yoga pants is a tempting offer.
So, when I got invited to attend a screening of Kung Fu Panda 2, I had to jump at the opportunity to spend the day with one of my girls watching Po kick some booty! And let me tell you, Gabi loved it!
In KUNG FU PANDA 2, Po is now living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five. But Po’s new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. Po must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins; only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.
Watch the trailer:
The movie opens this Friday, May 26. I want to see it again with the whole family in 3D. Gabi gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up! There were a few “scary” parts when we didn’t know if Po was going to make it through the battle. But nothing so scary that Gabi couldn’t enjoy. I watched her as she cheered Po and his friends on. Seeing my girl having a great time brought a big smile to my face. Totally worth taking the day off from the office.
Gabi loved Po (played by Jack Black) but she especially loved Tigress (Angelina Jolie). I have to say, I love that there is a strong female character. She came home with some toys from the goody bag we received, including a Tigress action figure. It was Kung Fu Panda play for the rest of the weekend.
We also got to tour the Dreamworks campus. That place is awesome! If given the chance again, I’d love to take my 9yo, Isa. Drawing is her passion, and I could just see her becoming an animator some day. She would have loved it. Unfortunately, she had testing at school so I couldn’t bring her along this time.
This is not a paid post. I was invited to a media event along with other bloggers. I received a promotional goodie bag and an entertaining experience of seeing the film and touring the studio facility. The opinions in this post are my own.