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by Robin Gorman Newman

Sometimes a quickie is as good as it gets…..and it’s better than nothing.  And, I don’t mean in the way you’re thinking, though the notion certainly applies.

Whether a foot massage…

Phone chat with a close friend…

Overnight escape…

High intensity run…

Romp in the hay…

It can all feel pretty good, even if fleeting.  And, sometimes as multi-tasking moms, we have to be grateful for what we can squeeze in.

This topic arose for me this week when a friend emailed on Monday that she’d love to chat, and Seth was off from school (Martin Luther King Day), so I had no time for much of anything other than engaging him.

My friend is single (no kids), so her time is always her own.  And, while she wrote that she understood, I felt she had a strong need to connect.

So, as I finally got out of the house….to head to the gym…..with Seth with me…I decided to give my friend a call (on speaker phone).  I started off the chat by saying I was calling for a “quickie.”  We could have gone on for hours, as we have done in the past, time-permitting.  But, that wasn’t about to happen now so I wanted to let her know upfront.  It was good to hear her voice, at the very least.And, she got to share what was on her mind, so I was glad to be there.

It’s so easy to feel that we can’t do something because our schedule just doesn’t permit.  And, then we feel bored or deprived or drained…or any multitude of not-positive emotions.  But, does it have to be that way?  Isn’t something better than nothing?  OK….maybe not everything (a whole chocolate bar is better than a bite), but, it’s something to consider.

While I often yearn for a vacation, sometimes just an overnight someplace you enjoy can be rejuvenating.

Getting to the gym isn’t always viable, but fitness experts will say that high intensity 10 minutes sprints can do a lot.

Having a 60 minute foot massage, my favorite, is always a treat.  But, if I can’t find the time, I’ll go for a 30 minute session, or entice my husband to give me one….which would likely be around three minutes, but I’ll take it.

My point is that we don’t always have to think BIG.  Life is full and busy…..but you can find pockets of joy and carve out time for things that bring you pleasure….even if it’s just for mere moments.  Our bodies and minds have muscle memory, so the positive vibes can last and remind you of what you’re entitled to want and create in your life, even if caught up in the DAILY throes of parenting.

This is a “quickie” blog, as it’s been one of those weeks, but you get my gist.

Take a look at your week ahead, and make a vow to work in some “quickie” ME time.  You’ll be all the better for it, as will your family.

Robin Gorman Newman
Author/Speaker/Relationship Coach
www.LoveCoach.com
robingormannewman.jpgRobin wears many hats; .She is the author of “How to Meet a Mensch in New York” and “How to Marry a Mensch”, and has been seen on The Today Show, Good Day New York, Live at Five, CNN, among others – .She has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and on radio shows worldwide as a relationshimotherhood140.jpgp expert – .She works as The Love Coach, and offers private consults and workshops to singles, helping them lead active social lives.She is also the founder of www.MotherhoodLater.com, a resource/community for those parenting later in life. Robin holds an MBA in Marketing and is a seasoned publicist and a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Presented by In The Trenches Productions, the first entertainment website for women over 40

Published in: Family, Life | on January 25th, 2011 | No Comments »

by Robin Gorman Newman

Seth said the cutest thing this week.

We had gone out for Indian food, and he loves the basmati rice – . After a few heaping spoonfuls, he gleefully declared, “it’s like a party in my belly.”

I loved his earnestness and delight; . : and, I thought, how well put.

How simply and articulately kids often express things. : they are so in touch with how they feel.So in the moment and don’t hesitate to share what’s on their mind, for better for worse.

I’m not so good at that. I don’t always allow myself to feel as I do since I endeavor to be chipper, but I have my moods.

My hormones feel like they’ve been raging of late, and I’m feeling somewhat melancholy.
It doesn’t help that winter is upon us, and here in NY, we’ve been socked with two major snowfalls thus far and more to come no doubt; . I have never been a winter lover, and I detest snow. So , weather like this makes me feel trapped and claustrophobic.

While it was nice having Seth and Marc home from school and work on Wednesday, our snow day, it felt odd at the same time. Seth was flitting from activity to activity , and Marc, in between shoveling, was trying to get work done. He was home but quite preoccupied….almost like he wasn’t here. I spent most of my time trying to engage Seth and popping into my office for quick e-mail checks when I could squeeze one in.

So…. : i asked myself….what is it I want?

When I’m home alone, as I am typically, I feel isolated. But , here I was with my family present, and the day felt confusing to me.

When my hormones are running amuck, I am often at a loss, period. I want to feel good physically and mentally , but my head is foggy and I lack clarity.

I spent the afternoon yesterday writing at a friend’s home, and that felt good. : it got me out of myself and out of my home setting. Being alone a lot has never suited me; . Yet , the life of a creative soul can be a somewhat solitary one. : i can’t help it that that’s who I am, yet I do struggle with working alone.

As I write this blog, in fact, I am somewhat scattered with my thoughts. And, it’s been that kinda week.

I guess I’m entitled; . As a multi-taking mom , we’re often doing so much that it’s hard to think totally straight.

When Seth “moons” me and invites me to give his tush a bedtime squeeze, knowing it makes me happy (as he says), it reminds me that my “little butt boy” is getting bigger by the minute, and I try to savor these days.

We can’t always be on top of our game.And , that’s ok.While hard to admit, we’re only human.And , not every day is sunny, but we moms tough it out.Our kids love us just the same, so we should endeavor to love ourselves, hormones and all.

Robin Gorman Newman
Author/Speaker/Relationship Coach
www.LoveCoach.com
robingormannewman.jpgRobin wears many hats; .She is the author of “How to Meet a Mensch in New York” and “How to Marry a Mensch” , and has been seen on The Today Show, Good Day New York, Live at Five, CNN, among others.She has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and on radio shows worldwide as a relationshimotherhood140.jpgp expert.She works as The Love Coach, and offers private consults and workshops to singles, helping them lead active social lives; .She is also the founder of www.MotherhoodLater.com , a resource/community for those parenting later in life. Robin holds an MBA in Marketing and is a seasoned publicist and a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Presented by In The Trenches Productions, the first entertainment website for women over 40

Published in: Family, Life | on January 18th, 2011 | No Comments »

by : robin Gorman Newman

What a fabulous holiday week we had.

Originally, when I knew that Seth would be off from school for over a week, I cringed.  We didn’t have any particular plans (many of his friends went away, so play dates weren’t an option), and in light of the impending snow storm, getting around via car wasn’t going to be easy.

So, I came up with the idea of spending two nights in NYC.  I spent days making calls and combing the web for room availability at a half way decent price.  Just when I thought things were not meant to be, I turned up a comfortable Jr. : suite at the hip and welcoming Roger Smith Hotel (a good choice…..would love to stay again one day) on 48th and Lexington, and our plans started falling into place.  That was until I came down with a bad cold, and NY got hit with one of the worst blizzards in years.  I debated what to do, but the room was non-refundable, and we were so psyched to be in Manhattan, that we went for it….and it turned out to be a great decision.

My sister, who lives in the city, met us upon arrival at the hotel, and we later hooked up with my good friend Alli who also spent the two nights with us….crashing on the queen pullout sofa bed with Seth.  Marc joined us for dinner and slept in the room, but was otherwise working.

I’ve stayed in the city before, though it has been some time.  Seth had not as yet stayed in the city.  And, Alli, used to live in the city years ago, but hadn’t stayed recently.

It proved to be an adventure for all of us.  We covered a huge amount of territory, and thankfully had good boots that helped do the trick.  Manhattan was indeed a mess.  Mounds and mounds of snow.  Flooding on street corners covered in slush up to your ankles.  Crowds of people from all over who flocked there for both the holiday and new year.

Despite the challenges, there was an energy that was contagious, and it felt good.

The first day, we headed over the Rockefeller Center to see the tree and ice skating.  Then took in the Nintendo and Lego stores, at Seth’s request.  We had not bad fast food Indian for lunch in the area and wandered over to Bryant Park.  Had never seen their ice skating rink before (quite beautiful…and free), and the outdoor (heated) shops were still open from the holidays, and lots of fun to peruse.  Seth adored Times Square and all the touristy shops selling NYPD and FDNY merchandise…his favorite.  And, there were loads of fire trucks and police cars around in general, due to the messy and congested state of the city, and Seth got a kick out of all the commotion.  At 6PM, we took THE RIDE, and it was loads of interactive fun and a unique experience….chockfull of jokes, singing, doing the wave, sightseeing and more.

THE RIDE’s specially-designed custom vehicles are the tallest allowed by federal law on city streets.The bus is fitted with stadium-style seating that orients riders sideways to look through massive windows, and two on-board hosts banter comedically as they travel through the streets of midtown Manhattan, commenting on New York’s history and its iconic sites and structures, and giving insider secrets about the city – all while incorporating actors and performers along the route who interact with the vehicle and its passengers.External speakers and exterior lighting allow the on-board hosts to make everyone on the street part of the experience – .Surprises show up all along the route, featuring sites from the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal to Times Square and Columbus Circle.

A full schedule for THE RIDE is available at experiencetheride.com; .Tickets are on sale now, available three ways: online at experiencetheride.com; by phone at (866) 299-9682; and in person at THE RIDE Box office located at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, 1535 Broadway between 45th and 46th Streets – .To save $5/ticket , use the code RCGD when ordering.

Our dinner spot after THE RIDE was the nearby Havana Central.  Good, well-priced Cuban food.

Day #2 – We ate at our new favorite local coffee shop/restaurant Raffles (the best grilled turkey/swiss), hit Daffy’s for some quick discount shopping, popped into the campy Pop Tarts World store on 42nd Street and swung over to the Stephen Sondheim Theatre to see Pee-Wee Herman on Broadway.  Total fun!  Pee Wee is a hoot.  You either love him or find him annoying…but I get a kick out of him….as do many, clearly.  He had tons of groupies, and the audience was just as many, if not more adults, than kids.  The set was detailed and vibrant, and the show was well put together.  It was Seth’s first Broadway experience, and I was excited to share it with him.  We then paraded up Fifth Avenue to check out all the illuminated holiday store windows (Sak’s was a standout) , swung down 57th Street (saw the huge hanging Swarovski crystal), hit Borders and Bloomingdale’s, and met Marc for Greek food.at Avra (pricey, but good, if even just for appetizers).

Day #3 – Brunch again at Raffles, then the subway up to 86th Street.  Shopped around, and had lunch at the trendy Shake Shack.  Alli said the burger was very good.  I enjoyed something called Concrete…..dense blended frozen chocolate custard packed with brownie chunks.  And, Seth likes his chocolate shake.  Shopped briefly around upscale Madison Avenue, then hit Scribble Press, the “make-your-own-book” store on the upper east side.  Scribble Press is fun for adults and kids.There are two NYC locations and one in CA.  They host workshops, parties, and you can just drop in and create a book that gets printed/bound on the spot (allow 1/2 hour for that, and be conscious of closing time).  They also sell some unique, affordable gift items, including an at-home book creating kit.  Definitely worth a visit.

Hated to see our city sojourn come to an end.  It taught me that you don’t have to travel far to have fun.  You can find it, or even create it, in your own backyard, if you take the time.  Folks have asked me how I knew what to do in the city.  It’s not hard to find out.  One source I like a lot is the magazine TIME OUT NY KIDS; .I’m an avid subscriber, and often their ads feature discount offers, so a good monthly publication to read.

I look forward to future stays in the city with Seth, and we’re considering tackling downtown during his February school break.  There are more Manhattan adventures for the taking, and I’m grateful for the quality time we get to spend when he’s off from school.

Robin Gorman Newman
Author/Speaker/Relationship Coach
www.LoveCoach.com
robingormannewman.jpgRobin wears many hats.She is the author of “How to Meet a Mensch in New York” and “How to Marry a Mensch”, and has been seen on The Today Show, Good Day New York, Live at Five, CNN, among others; .She has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and on radio shows worldwide as a relationshimotherhood140.jpgp expert – . : she works as The Love Coach, and offers private consults and workshops to singles, helping them lead active social lives.She is also the founder of www.MotherhoodLater.com, a resource/community for those parenting later in life; . Robin holds an MBA in Marketing and is a seasoned publicist and a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Presented by In The Trenches Productions, the first entertainment website for women over 40



Published in: Entertainment, Family, Life | on January 10th, 2011 | No Comments »

by Judith Drake

Well today’s Tomatoes In The Trenches radio/blog show was one EVERY woman should have listened to! So if you missed it go to www.inthetrenchesproductions.com right now and click on the show to replay it.

The guest today was Susan L; . : hirshman, president of SHE LTD., a consulting firm focused on enhancing the financial literacy of women globally. (Gee, do we think that’s needed???? teeheheheheee.)

In addition to being a CPA, she is also a CFA (chartered financial analyst) and a CFP (certified financial planner), and has spoken at Wealth Management Conferences throughout the country and been quoted in numerous publications, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times among them, so she just might have some information that would be very helpful to us Tomatoes!

In discussing her wonderful book, “Does This Make My Assets Look Fat?” we got plenty of hints on how to do just that…i.e.make our assets look fat!! : tips on how to get started with our financial planning (just like planning our physical dieting) and how to stick to it, and how to find financial advisors we like and can trust…these are just of the few of the many things one can learn from Ms – .Hirshman. : so go listen to the interview, and then go to www.myfatassets.com to find out more about her and this great book!

Judith I-Want-FAT-Assets Drake

judy-drake1
Judith Well-Over-60-&-Lovin’-It Drake has been in the ‘Show Biz’ for 45 years, crossing paths with the likes of Mary Martin, Betty Grable, Cher & Calista Flockhart along the way, been a wife to Mr.Whipple and screamed for T-Mobile.Her priority now is as a producer with In The Trenches Productions, the first entertainment network for women over 40 on the web.
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Published in: Family, Life | on January 6th, 2011 | No Comments »

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 is often critical and not quick to compliment. And , this particular night she was in rare form.

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. I wondered if it is tough for her being in the hospital sans makeup and a fresh manicure?

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 wondered….was she oblivious to the fact that I was sitting in the room? Her son got married, flew the coop, and what am I? Chopped liver from Ben’s Deli? Did she not want him to marry? Did she expect to have him wrapped around her anorexic fingers (she is also weight obsessed….even at a size 0) for eternity? And, believe me….you might be thinking that this is on her mind because she’s in a hospital bed….but this is her personality even when she’s well.

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? It certainly doesn’t make me want to embrace my MIL, but I’m sure she doesn’t look at it that way. It’s quite simply the way she feels, and she shared it – . 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. She is a diva who wants her son’s attention , always, whether she’s in a hospital room or not.

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.

Robin Gorman Newman
Author/Speaker/Relationship Coach
www.LoveCoach.com
robingormannewman.jpgRobin wears many hats.She is the author of “How to Meet a Mensch in New York” and “How to Marry a Mensch”, and has been seen on The Today Show, Good Day New York, Live at Five, CNN, among others.She has been featured in newspapers , magazines, and on radio shows worldwide as a relationshimotherhood140.jpgp expert.She works as The Love Coach, and offers private consults and workshops to singles, helping them lead active social lives; .She is also the founder of www.MotherhoodLater.com, a resource/community for those parenting later in life. Robin holds an MBA in Marketing and is a seasoned publicist and a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Presented by In The Trenches Productions, the first entertainment website for women over 40

Published in: Family, Life | on December 23rd, 2010 | No Comments »

by Robin Gorman Newman

What a difference a day makes.

This past weekend felt like a whirlwind…and a very cool one at that.

Saturday night , Marc and I attended a swanky black tie affair at the American Museum of Natural History. One of his wealthy business clients threw himself a 65th birthday bash to remember , and to say it was impressive somehow seems an understatement.

I haven’t been to the museum in quite some time….nor have I been dressed to the nines in quite some time. : panty hose and heels? Stretch pants and chunky-soled suede sneaker clogs are my daily attire.

Mingling with adults….and not talking about kids. Drinking champagne and dining on filet mignon, surrounded by tusky walrus’ and other creatures. Dancing the night away under the largest whale (suspended from the ceiling) I’ve ever seen (except for on television) – . : hobnobbing with society folk like Jill Zarin of reality tv fame, a star of The Real Housewives of New York City.

It all felt so mature and “Page Six”…..and I couldn’t soak it in enough.

Various well wishing friends of the birthday boy took to the podium to share stories.It was both humorous and touching – . This is a man who lives fully; . His life saying is Any Day Above Ground is a Good Day, and that’s hard to argue with or forget; . To ensure that , each of us was sent home with a souvenir green rubber bracelet emblazoned with the motto.

I didn’t want to leave. It was an outing that few get to share, and who knew if I’d ever attend such a function again? To think that some of the attendees are likely regulars at this sort of bash tweaked some pangs of jealousy in me – . Not that I aspire to go black tie on a regular basis , but what I did appreciate was feeling pampered, and having new a experience.

Swtich gears and fast foward. : less than 24 hours later, I was back in the familiar black stretch pants and a baggy sweater…..smushing blue icing with my newly manicured nails onto the roof of an aromatic, freshly-baked gingerbread house. Seth and I took a gingerbread house decorating class with Lil Chefs, and while a far cry from my night on the town, we had fun together – . Chef Paula who ran the program did a great job. Marshmallows…big and small. Gum drops. : m and Ms. Pretzels – . : candy canes…big and small. Twizzlers.Colored Cheerios – . Starburst fruit chews. You name it. It was all available for the picking – . : seth and I filled up his plate and went to town.

I loved observing him so focused and at work. He dove right into the project with gusto, as did his fingers, sleeves, pants, etc; . Icing was everywhere, but it was worth it – . Pretzel windows. : gumdrop snowmen. Candycane chimney – . Twizzler fences. His house took on a life of its own, and for me, it was a memorable mother-son activity – . I’m not one for playing spy or many of the other inventive games he often likes to engage in at home. But, crafts and anything artsy is totally up my alley.

Parenting a boy is sometimes a challenge for me. I was a girly girl growing up, and I was all about Barbie dolls, etc. So, when Seth and I can find an activity we both embrace, it’s icing on the cake (or gingerbread house).

Today, in fact, after school, we will have a full house; . I’m hosting a two hour soap-carving workshop with a retired, local wood carver I stumbled upon; . : he loves working with kids, but suggested soap, for those under 10. I am totally looking forward to it, despite the mess that will no doubt result. It’s a lot of work coming up with special activities and experiences that excite my son and I, but it’s worth the effort.

There are times when being a mom feels like a total jekyl-hyde experience; . One day, you’re the black tie bell of the ball, and the next you’re knee deep in blue icing or soap flakes – . It all comes with the territory. My gown is neatly hung away at the moment, but I have the photos and video and memory etched in my multi-tasking mommy mind. The everyday life of a mother with a young child is far from “Page Six” unless you’re a celebrity mom; . For most of us living in the trenches , it is the new, feel good experiences we have, whether we create them or get invited to them, that remind us that life is an adventure for the taking, It’s what we allow ourselves to make of it, despite changing diapers, planning play dates, etc. : we need to do our best to take some time for ourselves to discover what gets us excited and makes life worth living.

What can you do that feels good?

Robin Gorman Newman
Author/Speaker/Relationship Coach
www.LoveCoach.com
robingormannewman.jpgRobin wears many hats.She is the author of “How to Meet a Mensch in New York” and “How to Marry a Mensch”, and has been seen on The Today Show, Good Day New York, Live at Five, CNN, among others.She has been featured in newspapers , magazines, and on radio shows worldwide as a relationshimotherhood140.jpgp expert.She works as The Love Coach, and offers private consults and workshops to singles, helping them lead active social lives – .She is also the founder of www.MotherhoodLater.com, a resource/community for those parenting later in life. Robin holds an MBA in Marketing and is a seasoned publicist and a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Presented by In The Trenches Productions, the first entertainment website for women over 40 ;

Published in: Family, Life | on December 20th, 2010 | No Comments »

by Robin Gorman Newman

Ahhh…..Homework.  Or should I say Hiswork or Mywork??

Seth had half a day this week….parent/teacher meetings.

After the play date I arranged for him, and he opened yet another Hanukkah present, we sat down to do his special homework assignment that is due in a week.

It was about ancestry – . : he was to choose a country of his ancestry, and research it in order to answer certain questions.

Since Seth is adopted, we don’t know his biological ancestry.So, we offered him a variety of options – .Russia came up….my grandparents.Israel and Germany for Marc’s grandparents; .I also mentioned Australia…since our bird Smokey is a cockatiel, and that’s where they are from.

The choice was Seth’s; .He opted for Australia; .So interesting to me that he went that route but not altogether surprising since he loves animals and his pet bird and fish.

What was somewhat surprising and questionable to me was the requirements of this homework.

Seth is in second grade, and this was most certainly not something he could do on his own – . : it mandated research….whether on the computer or from library reference books. : we didn’t have anything handy at home relative to Australia.

He and I sat down at my lap top, and Google became our best friend.He knows how to use Google, so together we looked up various aspects of Australia, and I dictated/spelled answers for him.He was asked to fill in everything ranging from the most popular food in Australia, to top sights, to neighboring countries.

I have to confess…..most of this was total news to me – .I actually had thought the capital of Australia was either Sydney or Melbourne – .I was wrong.And, I didn’t know that Australia is in fact its own continent; .Live and learn.

Foodwise….aside from kangaroo and crocodile…which Seth loved the notion of….another top food called Vegemite, some sort of breakfast spread, came up as a favorite; .Who knew?! Meat pies were ranked high as well.

Sights included things like the Sydney Opera House and Great Barrier Reef.

It was a learning experience in terms of the information we uncovered…but what I questioned ultimately was the gain for Seth in doing this assignment – .Was it his homework or mine?

What is the lesson he was supposed to take away from it?

He already knew how to search with Google.  He is fairly computer astute – .Was it just intended to be yet another mommy & me project? If so, I’m able to engage my son in a variety of ways without being given school work.

This felt like burden.Australia isn’t a country he was taught about in school – .Would it have been more effective if he were to further research something that is at least remotely familiar to him?! Will he retain the information? How will it be shared in the classroom with other students? Does he even know where Australia is? No.

Back in the day when I was in grade school , I don’t remember researching at the age of 7.

Homework such as this becomes one more thing for a parent to do…as if we don’t already have enough.And, what if you’re a working parent, where do you find the time? It’s not viable to assign it to the child himself at age 7.

Will someone please explain to me the necessity of such special school assignments when it’s above a child’s head? I don’t get it.But, I do now know that Canberra is the capital of Australia.

Robin Gorman Newman
Author/Speaker/Relationship Coach
www.LoveCoach.com
robingormannewman.jpgRobin wears many hats.She is the author of “How to Meet a Mensch in New York” and “How to Marry a Mensch” , and has been seen on The Today Show, Good Day New York, Live at Five, CNN, among others.She has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and on radio shows worldwide as a relationshimotherhood140.jpgp expert. : she works as The Love Coach, and offers private consults and workshops to singles, helping them lead active social lives.She is also the founder of www.MotherhoodLater.com, a resource/community for those parenting later in life; . Robin holds an MBA in Marketing and is a seasoned publicist and a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Presented by In The Trenches Productions , the first entertainment website for women over 40

Published in: Family, Life | on December 13th, 2010 | No Comments »

by Judith Drake

As a dog (and cat) lover myself, I can’t think of anything I would rather do than listen to today’s Tomatoes In The Trenches radio/blog show again, and again, and again.  It was really heartwarming! The interviewee today was Charmaine Hammond, adopted mother of Toby, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and author of “On Toby’s Terms”, the story of her and her husband’s journey with Toby from his role as terrorist to hero.

A more beautiful and touching memoir I cannot imagine.  They adopted Toby when he was five, and learned soon after that he might have had some separation issues; .Though Toby was very obedient , during the next few months they came home to totally empty closets, rearranged furniture, broken water coolers and plants (making a mud bath on the floors), kitchen counter totally empty, floor full of knives, etc.

Finally it came down to either giving Toby up, or asking for help.  So ask for help they did.  They called in an animal behaviorist who saw, from the way Toby acted both while they were gone and while they were there, that Toby needed to know his role and needed a job.  (He had lived with an elderly couple before, and had obviously helped them with everyday issues.)

So that was the beginning….and the road to the lovely ending is really marvelous.  Toby now has a job he loves…once a week he goes to a hospital mental health ward  and works with the patients who absolutely love him.  And he loves his job!  And Charmaine and her husband have learned many valuable lessons from Toby and his journey.

You really must go listen to this interview at www.inthetrenchesproductions.com and then on to  www.ontobysterms.com to read more about him, and to get some copies of this terrific book for some of your fellow dog-lovers on your Xmas list!

Judith Arf-Arf Drake

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Judith Well-Over-60-&-Lovin’-It Drake has been in the ‘Show Biz’ for 45 years, crossing paths with the likes of Mary Martin, Betty Grable, Cher & Calista Flockhart along the way, been a wife to Mr.Whipple and screamed for T-Mobile – . : her priority now is as a producer with In The Trenches Productions, the first entertainment network for women over 40 on the web.
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Published in: Family, Life | on December 9th, 2010 | No Comments »

by : robin Gorman Newman

What a nice long Thanksgiving weekend we had. It passed way too quickly.But, then I guess the good times so often do.

My senior dad stayed with us for five nights since his live-in aide went home to be with her family; . We kept him mighty busy, in between his regular afternoon naps and various ball games on television; . My dad has always been big on sports, whether watching or playing. He was a baseball player himself in his prime – . He loves , in fact, to share the story of how he grew up with the famed Phil Rizzuto…he knew him “when..” And, how he used to take my sister and I to baseball games at now historic Shea Stadium in NY, and he raised us to play tennis and attended the US Open many, many times.My mom was never particularly sporty , though she would take my sister and I ice skating. I never liked it. It was cold and wet , and I had a recurring fear of falling on the ice and having my hand run over with a blade (which thankfully never happened….but clearly I was out of my comfort zone in the rink.) I never took lessons. Just winged it – . Maybe that was part of the challenge. A natural I was not.

My dad loves to reminisce , and it’s sweet….and I imagine somewhat bittersweet for him.

G-d bless him at 92…many his age don’t get around much….and if they do, they are using a cane, walker, etc. My dad, walks on his own, though his aged body is a constant source of frustration for him – . I saw this particularly this weekend.

We took my father with us to a New York Islanders game. It was the first for me, and the first for Seth; . : we had fabulous seats, and the Islanders broke their losing streak and won the game. It was pretty exciting to see them win our first time out – .And, I liked the energy of the fans and Islander Girls who entertained during game breaks, whether scraping the ice or shooting tshirts out blasters to hungry fans; . My son was totally into it; . He’s now proudly proclaiming that the Islanders are his favorite team, and I’d have to say, mine as well.

My dad was at first reluctant to go – . He tends to say “no” to many things these days, presuming he won’t feel up to it – . But, my thought is that if he pushes himself, he will likely be fine; . And, he was in this case; . In fact, the seats were quite comfortable….better than I had expected. So , no complaints about that.

However, when he had to go to the bathroom, he struggled to walk up the stairs at the stadium….since we were seated fairly low down. He’s not used to that kind of effort (I’ve told him on more than one occasion that he would benefit from more exercise) – . Seth said he needed to go too, so he rushed to be by grandpa’s side and firmly held his hand, as the two of them walked side by side up the stairs – . It was so heartwarming, I almost cried; .I whipped out my camera to try to get a photo – . For the moment, I thought about who was leading who; . : my dad needed assistance walking. : and, my son
needed assistance finding the bathroom, navigating through the crowd, and then returning to our seats. They made a very able duo.

Before my eyes was my beloved father…the aged sportsman. And, my 7 year old….a little sportsman in the making, growing up quickly – . Two different generations with the same ardent love. A passion for all things sports.

It made me think back to my childhood and how my dad might have been if he’d had a son – . Not that he doesn’t love my sister and I, but I’m not one for watching sports on television; . And, my dad didn’t have the opportunity to
teach me or anyone to play baseball – . : he did teach me to ride a bike, but that’s not the same.

Was it frustrating for him? As parents, we love our children regardless of gender. And, it’s interesting for me to have a son – . I was always the girly girl growing up. : surrounded by Barbie dolls and play makeup, my Kiddles (small dolls), costume jewelry, pot holders, etc.were never far behind – .Now, when my son works hard to engage me in play with him, whether we’re being spys, firemen, building with legos, acting like military, etc., it’s a whole different type of play; . It’s not something I’m familiar with, so I endeavor to put on my Rescue Hero hat and rise to the occasion.

But, now that we’ve shared the experience of attending an Islander game, I look forward to more, and I’m grateful that we have the memories of this first hockey occasion for our family.

PS — The New York Islanders offer a lot for families – . Check out the following:

Islanders Toy Drive – Before the Dec.18 game versus the Phoenix Coyotes, donate three unopened gifts and receive a ticket voucher for the Jan.11 game against the : vancouver Canucks.All toys go to the Wantagh-based John Theissen Children’s Foundation.

Join the Islanders Kids Club! Children under 14 can join this special group to receive exclusive benefits from the Isles! - http://islanders.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=43391

Visit http://www.islandersatschool.com/ to get help on school work from your favorite Islanders – .You can join the Blades for Grades program here, too, where students are rewarded for good grades with Islanders tickets!

Also, check out their splash page at http://www.newyorkislanders.com/ to see the deal on holiday packs – Get 2 tickets to 3 different premier games, $40 in food vouchers, a $40 Butera’s Gift Card, 20% merchandise discount and an
autographed puck with special display case.

Robin Gorman Newman
Author/Speaker/Relationship Coach
www.LoveCoach.com
robingormannewman.jpgRobin wears many hats – .She is the author of “How to Meet a Mensch in New York” and “How to Marry a Mensch” , and has been seen on The Today Show, Good Day New York, Live at Five, CNN, among others.She has been featured in newspapers , magazines, and on radio shows worldwide as a relationshimotherhood140.jpgp expert. : she works as The Love Coach, and offers private consults and workshops to singles, helping them lead active social lives.She is also the founder of www.MotherhoodLater.com, a resource/community for those parenting later in life – . Robin holds an MBA in Marketing and is a seasoned publicist and a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Presented by In The Trenches Productions , the first entertainment website for women over 40

Published in: Family, Life | on December 7th, 2010 | No Comments »

by Judith Drake

Well, I decided to do a little shopping on this Black Friday – . But I didn’t go to the usual places. : i decided to go to the local Salvation Army store that opened nearby recently…not just because they had a 50 percent off sale today, but because I actually enjoy feeling that I’m giving a little something back as I buy my usually unnecessary extra little Xmas gifts; . : and I also had a bag of stuff to donate today, so it was drop off at the rear, then enter the front…a circle of giving you might say.

: as I wandered through the store, eyeing cups and dishes and glasses and clothes, etc., I found myself becoming somewhat moved as I saw the many objects that had been part of someone’s life at one time. There was the mug obviously designed for a boss’s birthday. – ..the names of his 5 : a.D.s and a funny description of each on the back; a mug for ‘The Best Grandpa Ever’ with a picture of two cute toddlers; the picture frame with “The Family” etched into it; the stuffed toys which had been hugged within an inch of their lives; and all the Xmas dishes…two of which I purchased. – ..that had born delicious treats for loads of friends and relatives.

: all of these things had had lives…and had touched the lives around them. – ..and then, very nicely, had been donated to this Salvation Army store so that they could have new lives with new families.

I like that; . And I like being a part of that – . It’s a feeling I don’t get rushing through the mall or the nearby department stores. I’m giving…and I’m getting – . A win-win situation – . : not to mention the fact that I got two Xmas plates, two picture frames and one lovely front door decoration…a gray and white cat (like my own) in a wreath.; ..all for $3.00! And without today’s sale it would have been only $6.00…one third of what they would have cost me elsewhere. : so I suggest you go visit your local charity shops today. You’ll be glad you did.

Judith Holidays-Are-Times-To-Give Drake

judy-drake1
Judith Well-Over-60-&-Lovin’-It Drake has been in the ‘Show Biz’ for 45 years , crossing paths with the likes of Mary Martin, Betty Grable, Cher & Calista Flockhart along the way, been a wife to Mr.Whipple and screamed for T-Mobile.Her priority now is as a producer with In The Trenches Productions , the first entertainment network for women over 40 on the web.
ittp-logo.jpg

Published in: Family, Life | on November 30th, 2010 | No Comments »