What’s Your Halloween Costume?



This year I am thinking about dressing up like Mitt Romney.  I think as a woman, it may be difficult to get away with it, but sure will be fun.  What about you?  What’s your costume this year?  Are you and the kids going to any fun Halloween Parties?

Also, I am carving pumpkins tonight with my son. Lot’s of fun.

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What’s Your Take on the Peanut Butter and Jelly Debate?

When I was a kid growing up in Los Angeles, other than visiting the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica on the weekend with my parents, the only other thing that put a gigantic smile on my face was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. One-half peanut butter and the other half Welch’s grape jelly – delicious. The peanut butter would stick to the roof of my mouth and the jelly was sweet. I’d have a glass of cold water nearby so that I could chew and sip interchangeably. Oh those were the days. So, why on earth would a school impose a six-year ban on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Well, the answer is not a simple one. It will leave you wondering both why and why not – but you may end your tune with why?

A student in Arkansas was just about to open wide and take a big bite out of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich when his teacher swooped in and grabbed the sandwich right out of his hand. The teacher was honoring the current ban on PB&J sandwiches which the school had in effect for six long, agonizing years. The teacher took immediate possession of the sandwich and assisted the student in getting a new lunch. She then wrote a short note to the kid’s parents explaining why she confiscated the sandwich and replaced the child’s lunch with something that was more acceptable. She sent the infamous note home with the student.

After reading the note, the child’s mother, Denise Clifton-Jones went ballistic. Clifton-Jones took to her Facebook page to discuss the peanut butter ban that was imposed by the school and strictly enforced by the teachers and that’s when things got heated. Everyone all over the world chimed in about why they were for the ban and why they were against it. Seemed each side had very valid arguments. However, I think the side I would concur with would be the side that supported the ban on peanuts. Before, you get all huffy and puffy, let me explain why.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, about 2 to 2.5 percent of Americans suffer from food allergies, including allergies to peanuts and peanut products, such as peanut butter. Allergies to peanuts and peanut products are extremely common and often manifest during a child’s first years. While some people eventually outgrow food allergies, most never outgrow peanut allergies. This can be a dangerous allergy, in addition to fish and shellfish, peanuts (and tree nuts) are most likely to trigger anaphylaxis, a serious reaction.

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is a rapid onset and may cause death. As a parent, if I am aware of the fact that other children, who attend the same school as my child (ren), may suffer a life-threatening illness or reaction to peanut butter, then I would certainly agree with enforcing the ban. Remember, we are talking about children and their exposure to a life-threatening allergic reaction that could result in death. Worldwide 0.05–2% of people are estimated to have anaphylaxis at some point in their life and rates appear to be increasing.

Fact, children have actually lost their lives while in school, due to peanut exposure. It’s all about protecting our children and if that means adhering to a ban on peanuts so that ALL children can be protected, then I support it.

On the other hand, why should we impose a ban on ninety eight percent of the population, by making other children suffer (by preventing them from being able to enjoy something few considered harmful many years ago?) It’s two percent of kids, versus ninety eight percent of kids – that’s a no-brainer, majority wins. However, not in the case of this particular school in Arkansas; whom although the minority, were the victor. We should do everything we can to protect ALL children. If one child is at risk, then I absolutely support NUT-FREE ZONES in our schools. No pun intended.

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Blended Families

Many of you out there have blended families and sometimes it’s difficult to show favor to all of the kids, particularly when the child is not your biological offspring.  Many of you have gone through the baby-mama drama with your boyfriend’s, husband’s or fiance’s ex and it’s caused major turmoil in your relationship.  But, how can we not show too much favor to our biological children, which sometimes makes our stepchildren feeling left out or not as important as our own?  Well, this is not an easy situation.

After I was married several years ago, I wanted to be a stepmother to my husband’s three beautiful children.  But, his ex-wife was not having it.  She made it impossible for my husband to have visitation with his children and when we tried to ask her for monthly visits, we got the door slammed in our face.  So, it’s been hard for me to develop a relationship with my stepchildren.  I would like to treat them like my own blood, but how can I when their biological mother is insecure about my relationship with her children?

I never thought blending my family with my husband’s would be so difficult.  But, it has been an uphill battle since we said, “I Do”. His ex-wife set his kids against him, they rejected his telephone calls, said they wanted nothing to do with their father; all because he’d moved on and remarried.  His ex-wife’s anger took over and she made it impossible for us to grow closer to his biological children.

Now, several years later I wonder if it will ever happen?  If I will ever have a close relationship with my stepchildren.  I long for a special relationship with them.  I really do.  But, it looks bleak for me and possibly for some of you.  But, I would like to hear your comments.  Please post them here and let me know if you were able to have some sort of relationship with your stepchildren.  Did the ex-wife, ex-girlfriend or ex-fiance ever put her feelings aside and put those feelings of the children to the forefront? Tough question.  I am curious.

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Where Helicoptermoms Unite

Helicopter moms care so deeply for their children, that in the midst of their hovering they sometimes cause more pain than happiness in the lives of their children.  I know, because I am a helicopter mom and I have a seventeen year old son, whom I love dearly.  But, sometimes I have a difficult time letting go and allowing him to grow up and become an independent, young man.  As mothers we want our children to become productive contributors of society.  We would like to see them succeed and of course, we don’t want them to endure the growing pains that we ourselves have endured in the process of maturing and becoming adults.  We’ve made mistakes and learned some very harsh lessons from what I call the errs of life.

We want to protect our children, by completely shielding them from the misery and suffering that ultimately fosters growth. I am hoping that as a mother who is currently experiencing this phenomenon known to many as over-parenting, that I can tell my story and help other mothers voice their personal struggles and experiences as self-confessed helicopter moms.  Through this forum, we can come together and help one another.  I have been a helicopter mom since the birth of my son almost 18 years ago.  I started law school and didn’t finish because I feel the need to hover over my son to ensure he does not have so many problems I see teenage boys his age experiencing.  So many parts of my life have been placed “on hold”, because of my need and desire to control all aspects of my son’s life.

However, I want to stop trying to control his life and relinquish the reins to him, because he will be 18 in February of next year and if I don’t stop now, I am afraid I will do more harm than good.  I’ve watched many helicopter moms on talk shows like Dr. Phil, Anderson, Oprah and Good Morning America.  I don’t want to be one of those helicopter moms that ruins the relationship with my son and his future family.  Therefore, I need and want help and I’m hoping that by opening up this platform I can help other mothers who suffer from the “helicopter mom” disease.

We’ve gotta cut the umbilical cord and allow our children to grow up.  Yes, it may be difficult at times but we must learn to trust their decisions and trust they’ve learned the valuable lessons we’ve taught them.  If we don’t get help now, unfortunately our actions will have a profoundly negative impact on the lives of our children.  The children we love so dearly.

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