Archive | January, 2013

WTF Fridays – Men in Labor (in a beautiful room)

26 Jan

This week there have been some great videos floating around but the best has to be a video of two Dutch men who undergo “simulated labor” where electrodes are attached to their ripped abs to simulate contractions:

Watch here but forget the beginning part and speed forward to about 6 minutes in where they begin crying in pain and at some point it looks like they are giving up and asking for drugs.

Now it is around the 6.34 minute mark that I have WTF moment, its all great and funny watching these two young dudes cry out in pain but I start to get distracted by the background. What is that in the left corner, is that a sweet looking tub? Those look like really nice blankets, I wonder what the thread count is on those sheets? surprising-labor-and-delivery-facts-woman-in-labor-full

See I am an American, I like most American’s had my babies in a hospital. In a nasty tan room, without any soft peach lighting (like these dudes), there was no bathtub, nor was there a great big satin pillow to scream into. Here was the moment for me to witness a man understand real labor pains and I am distracted by how beautiful their labor room is. There are also two wonderful women helping them breath through the pain, not some nurse who is breezing in to check on you while she manages three other patients while getting paid half of what the doctors make.

And the kicker! Since this video is Dutch these guys (or ladies) don’t have to pay for the sweet setup since its included in their national healthcare plan.

Well, I guess watching videos of owls is a safer pastime for me on Friday afternoons.

Link

Bay Area International Film Festival

25 Jan

Bay Area International Film Festival

Hello my name is Tara and I am an animation junkie!

Response: Hello, Tara!

If you are looking for something to do with the kids this weekend in the Bay Area I highly recommend heading over to Alameda and watching a few of the international shorts that have made the cut for the annual Bay Area International Film Festival. 265322834_640

The morning starts at 10 a.m. with a collection of animated and stop-motion shorts for kids of all ages, then a feature film. The afternoons are geared for kids age 6 and older with shorts beginning around 1:30 and the day ending with a feature film. Saturday’s (Jan. 26th) morning feature film will be LOTTE FROM GADGETVILLEHeiki Ernits and Janno Põldma, 81 minutes, Estonia, 2006. The afternoon feature film will be ZARAFA Rémi Bezançon & Jean-Christophe Lie, 78 minutes, France/Belgium, 2012. In French with English subtitles so make sure your little one is up for some reading. A one day pass is $15, or a weekend pass for $20, children ages 3 and younger are free.

I look forward to watching this short about a dinosaur who learns to fly. Or this one about a cute little cloud.

Stick and Stones – When Children Hurt Your Feelings

18 Jan

I am a tough chick – and yes I am calling myself a chick, I also have been known to refer to myself as a feisty broad. I can bark orders at a room full of people, cuss out a grown man, and even stand up to my family time to time. I am like a duck most of the time, insults, angry letters, even snide comments roll of my back. Unless … it is coming from a four year old. 

Kids seem to have the ability to tap into my core emotional issues in one sentence. “You’re fat.” “Why are you wearing that?” “Wow, you are old.” “You don’t care about me.” and the classic “I hate you.” Is this something that they teach in preschool? Or do older kids pull the younger ones aside and give lessons on how to make Mommy or Daddy cry.

Psychologists and parenting experts say that the best advise is to not get angry, but explain to children that what they say is hurtful. Don’t try to scare the 

Imagechild or shame them about their behavior, but let them learn from the mistake and discover how to express their frustration in a more loving way. Those experts are full of it. It’s hard to not get pissed off when you look like this.

When kids stay stuff like that it is like your mother asking you if you are really sure you chose the right college, job, or date. It rips open any old wound, and just for shits and giggles there is a cute toddler standing over the wound with a freshly cut lemon. 

The other night my son, who is normally a loving cuddle bear though has been known to turn on a full moon, told me he wished I was dead. WTF?!!?? He is four. 

Now let me explain, for the past month I had thought I had a brain tumor – a normal reaction when your headache won’t go away, right? While I never told my kids about my impending death, which for some reason was corrected by a doctor’s visit and prescription – but that is another post on hypochondria, the kid knew right where to throw the verbal punch. 

Okay BabyCenter how do you respond to this one? Oh, you don’t have a expert psychologist on staff to tell you how to handle a preschooler telling you that they wish you were dead??? THANKS! 

Well this is how a parent who can’t find the answer online reacts: I lost my shit! I ended up looking like that woman above. Hey and here is the miracle, if you want your kids to clean up their act start crying in front of them – but not all the time then it looses all power and you also might have depression. They will say they are sorry super fast. It also helps to have a partner to back you up, and yell “see what you did to mommy.” 

Nothing like a little guilt to make it all better. Now if you don’t mind I am going into my room, turning out the lights and blasting The Smiths

 

Google announces 2013 Doodle Contest, $30K scholarship

15 Jan

Does you kid love to draw? Are you a Google junkie? Need money for your kid’s college tuition? Why not combine all three in this year’s Doodle 4 Google Contest. Google will start taking entries for the annual contest on Jan. 15th. 

As a writer Google is an important piece of the creative process, plus I love to spend hours there farting around looking for cute pictures of sloths. If I think about it in a workday I must spend about two hours on working on some sort of Google search. So whenever they have a great doodle I take notice (I still think Les Paul’s birthday was the best). Each year Google announces an art contest for kids which includes a great scholarship package and not to mention their artwork becomes the Google doodle for the day. Last year’s doodle was amazing!Image

This year’s theme is “My best day every..” The winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship package, $50,000 technology grant, and other “cool” prizes (let’s hope one is at least a Google polo). Four runners up will receive a $5,000 scholarship and a trip to NYC. The art contest is open to kids in kindergarten through 12th grade, and must  depict the them around the Google logo. Click here for entry form. 

Doodles will be judged by Google employees. The deadline is March 22. 

Good luck!

Playdate Survivor: Awkwardness, Jealousy, and Manipulation

6 Jan

Image

Few things in life are easy. 

When it comes to being a parent and having a social life, well that can just be a shit show most of the time. Most parents will tell you that the only time they get to talk to other adults is on a “playdate”.

For the non-breeders, this is defined as showing up at a park or one of your kid’s classmates house (which is almost always better looking and cleaner than yours) and having awkward conversations with the other parent, until one of you asks if it is okay if the other watches the kids until you do some errands. 

In an ideal world this would be a perfect opportunity to meet other parents who you might have something in common with. But in reality you end up looking like Grumpy Cat and rethinking all the life choices you have made in the past (enter you child’s age and add nine months) years. 

Some great friendships have been created on playdates, there are even cute books about how to make playdates fun for the adults and not just the kids. But it has been my experience, that most of these playdates are the perfect opportunity for what my husband refers to as “Mom Banging” – it sounds dirty, huh? Mom banging, is just like gang banging, but it is where mothers sit around judging each other’s parenting skills and methods. It’s filled with a flurry of questions about when your child started walking, potty training, reading, etc. then followed up by awkward silences. It is torture!

The best part is your kid always end up being best friends with a child whose parents drive you the most insane. Or even better you and a mom hit it off fabulously and your kids can’t stand each other. 

To make this better for myself and because I love a theme. I have begun to pretend that my children’s playdates are like an episode of Survivor. Sure the other parent has some hidden skill that you wish you had, a MFA from NYU or snake handling experience, but you can be prepared for this!

1. Bring one essential item, depending on the event it can be many things: frisbee, baseball, a blanket. These days it is my own bottle of water, there has been a nasty stomach flu going around.Image

2. Prepare myself to eat something nasty – we live in San Francisco so everyone is either gluten-free, wheat-free, vegan, or allergic to taste. There is always some weird snack being served by the other family. 

3. Set an alarm that sounds like a phone call, so that you have the option of saying “We have to go. An emergency came up.”  

4. Call for back up. There is nothing wrong with having a friend who you actually like show up because they were “in the neighborhood” or “driving by and saw you waving frantically for a rescue.” Note: You better be ready to give you kids a treat to cover for you, because there will be follow up from the other playdate mom.

And the most essential: 

5. Take it easy. Playdates are not suppose to make you feel crapy about yourself, your kids, or life in general. They are supposed to help parents get to know each other. So what if the other mom drives up in an Audi making your Volvo look like a Gremlin, or you are meeting the nanny because the mom is at yoga. It is not the end of the word, at least you got out of the house. In these cases forget the water bottle, bring wine! 

If all else fails be the first one to ask if the other parent wouldn’t mind watching the kids for a bit while you ran to Target.