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Saturday, September 6, 2014
Closing Time

Closing Time

Today, or yesterday depending on where you are, after the most gorgeous birthday on the beach with my husband and dog, a few dear friends joined me for 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga in a 105 degree room. Let's just say, I left every ounce of 42 on the floor. 

And then, to top it off, my rock star husband let me throw myself a 'sangria and s'mores' birthday. To put the carnage in perspective, I think at one point there were 27 wildly unsupervised kids here. When the sun comes up, I fully expect my yard will look like a scene from Animal House but I don't care. 

Whether you wrote, called, sang, texted, messaged, emailed, showed up or not, thank you. I'm the most  blessed and truly grateful 43 year old. 

Thursday night I woke up in the middle if the night and had a moment that was half panic attack, half epiphany. I realized this:

Life is like a game of Jenga. You spend the first part of your time here building the base, and the rest of your life building your tower, borrowing pieces from the bottom. It's tricky, tumultuous and more fragile than we dare admit, and it can topple over at any time. We all know someone whose game was over before they were done playing. 

So, for all the turns I have left, thank you for being here. I love you fuckers, something fierce.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014
Oh No, She Didn't!

Oh No, She Didn't!

I’m not usually so motivated to write something instantly and post it.  I mostly seethe quietly.  Then I vent, reflect, write, delete, save and come back later.  Rarely do I post – once I have ‘let it go’ that’s generally enough.

But this is just getting on my very last nerve.  My son and I were playing a word game this morning and the word we were unscrambling was sexist.  He asked me what it meant and that lead to an enlightening conversation about explaining sexism to an eleven year old.

 Tonight, I am randomly surfing the web and see Julie’s post:

And the switch is flipped.  I can’t believe that we’re having this conversation.

You know what’s controversial?  Women not wearing underwear.  Well, maybe not even that.  Maybe what’s controversial is women who whine that women wearing underwear is setting us all back.  Is sending the wrong message.  Is suggesting something other than – HEY LOOK WORLD!  I CAN WEAR FUN AND FUNCTIONAL UNDERWEAR AND BE BRILLIANT!  I CAN WALK, AND CHEW GUM, AND FUCKING CODE THE SHIT OUT OF THIS WEBSITE!  AND YOU’RE STILL MISSING THE GODDAMNED POINT!

American culture is exhausting.  I do not envy my eight year old daughter.  I would not want to have to try to be pretty OR brilliant.  I thought we could be both.  And throw in COMFORTABLE?  Well that’s it.  All bets are off.

STOP trying to ‘make it in a man’s world’ by capitulating.  Stop being the woman who pretends that this is sexist to get INTO the club.  You don't want to be there anyway.  Stand up, in your underwear if you have the proverbial BALLS, and say, "Guess what fuckers?!  This underwear is the bomb!  And by the way, who runs the world?  Oh yeah, GIRLS."

By the way, I wrote this post while wearing my Dear Kate Hazel Sport Hipster Mini.  Think less of me now?



Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Butterfly Wings

Butterfly Wings


You know that parenting method that encourages you to let your child “cry it out?”  It can be instrumental in getting an infant to sleep through the night, or learn to self-soothe, rather than responding to every twitch and whimper.  Maybe you used it with your kids, maybe not.  Either way, it was an OPTION.

But, what if you had to let your child cry it out?  What if the very touch that is intended to soothe, is torture?  What if every snuggle, every swaddle, every diaper change, feeding or nose wipe caused unimaginable pain?

In May 2014, a beautiful baby boy was born.  Within hours of Nicolas’ birth, his parents and medical team realized he was not the healthy baby boy they had anticipated.  Nicolas has since been diagnosed with Epidermolysis Bullosa, or EB.  This is a rare genetic disorder for which there is no cure.  

People born with EB lack anchors that hold the layers of skin together. Because of their delicate skin, children with EB are often termed “butterfly children,” in reference to the delicate wings of a butterfly. The condition affects one child out of every 20,000 births. As a consequence, any activity that rubs or causes pressure produces a painful sore akin to a second-degree burn in patients with Recessive Dystrophic form.  While some forms of EB are mild, some are not.  One form of EB is lethal in the first weeks or months of life. (Learn more about EB here.)

There is no cure.  Further tests have indicated that not only does little baby Nicolas have the worst possible case, but he is currently struggling to maintain his birth weight.  His condition is fatal.

Nicolas’ mother has dedicated her career to nursing critically ill patients in the Southcoast community.  Her coworkers, friends and colleagues are asking for your support during this difficult and heartbreaking time.

Treatments for EB are risky and slow to come.  As there is no cure, daily wound care, pain management and protective bandaging are the only options available.  Parents of children with EB protect the child’s skin with gauze and ointments to prevent infection and to preserve the healthy skin.  Many insurance companies do not cover the necessary expenses that can cost a family up to several thousand dollars a month.

The ‘Friends of Nicolas’ strive to support this family by covering any and all expenses that result from his parents need and desire to stay home to care for and love him for all of the days he has left.  Nicolas has a big sister too who will need all the love and attention her immediate and extended family can spare.

There are two fundraising events taking place in the next few weeks.  The first is a bake sale and raffle held TOMORROW, Thursday, August 7 from 8 am – 3 pm at Charlton Hospital, held outside of the Southcoast Federal Credit Union on the ground floor.  (The address for Charlton is 363 Highland Avenue in Fall River, MA.)

The second is a bus trip to Foxwoods Casino, held on Saturday, August 23.  Buses will leave from Shaw’s parking lot on Kings Highway in New Bedford at 4:30 pm and return at approximately 1:30 am.  The cost is $50 per person and includes $35 meal/casino voucher.  So really, the trip will cost you $15!

Please say a prayer for Nicolas and his family and hug your loved ones close.

If you cannot attend an event but want to help, click here to make a donation. 

We have made every effort to protect the privacy of Nicolas’ family.  

For more information on future events, or Nicolas, please visit the dedicated Facebook group, Friends of Nicolas.  It is a closed group...just request permission to join. 

If you have any questions, please direct feedback to:

Critical Care Units of Charlton Memorial Hospital
Jackie Wilson, RN, CCRN 
(508) 863-2016

Darlene Boutin, RN
(508) 542-4976

Julie Pung, RN
(206) 228-1901

Thursday, May 22, 2014
Down Dog Is for the Birds? Nope, It's for the KIDS!

Down Dog Is for the Birds? Nope, It's for the KIDS!

If you know me, you know that yoga is my second religion.  Which means that most of the time, I am a lapsed yogi.  But, like my Catholic roots, I am comforted by the fact that whenever I am ready, and whenever I need it, yoga is there, patiently waiting for me.

You may also know how much I love a good cause.  I took an Archetype quiz recently that ranked me squarely as an advocate.  More than anything else.  

When I saw that there was a local event that combined advocacy and yoga, I knew that I had to be there.  So, this June 8, 2014, I will be in Fenway Park, doing yoga on the warning track, in support of the Red Sox Foundation.  (It's on a Sunday, so I am going to say that this counts as church!)

The Red Sox Foundation endeavors to support at-risk children in the Boston community.  This yogathon will benefit two programs: the Red Sox Scholars and RBI Youth Baseball and Softball.  You can read all about them here.  In my former life, I worked at the Colonel Daniel Marr Boys and Girl Club in Dorchester so I know how important it is to have high quality programs for at-risk kids.  

In addition to the very cool crowd of yogis who will be joining me on 6/8, our class will be led by none other than the lovely Mandy Ingber!
"Having the body you want begins with loving the body you have."  Mandy Ingber, who many may know is Jennifer Aniston's yoga guru and friend, is the founder of Yogalosophy.  She is a celebrity fitness, self-love expert, speaker, producer, instructor and author.

I am so excited to be a part of this event.  My kids are beyond thrilled to come watch me down dog on the warning track, and visit the Expo in the stadium.  Won't you help support my fundraising goal, the Red Sox Foundation and kids in Boston?  You contributions are greatly appreciated!

And, of course, a quick shout out to the major sponsors who are helping to make this day a reality!

Saturday, May 17, 2014
Summer Sun, Something's Begun!

Summer Sun, Something's Begun!

It’s mid-May and we’re almost there.  Where?  Almost into spring in New England!  We should be knee deep in it by now, preparing for the impending heat and humidity, but over the years, it seems to me that the seasons have shifted forward a little bit.  I am finally sleeping with the windows cracked at night, opening them wide in the mornings to let in the fresh air.

This is the time of year when everyone thinks about a summer regimen.  When we have finally shed the dead skin of winter and are prepping it for the sun.  We know, or we should, that a skin care system is a 365 event, unless you are a mole, because the sun doesn’t just come out to play in the summer.  But, it’s on your mind now, and in every commercial and on every end caps at every store.  So let’s talk about skin care.

The average woman is exposed to a ridiculous amount of chemicals each day, coming in contact with more than 200 in the products she smears on her skin.  (60% of those chemicals can be found in the bloodstream.  Who wants that?)

When my oldest was born I began a quest to try to reduce the amount of toxins we ingested, either through products or food.  This is an ongoing battle that will probably never be 100% finished.  Every day we encounter an unknown number of things that are outside of our control, so we do the best we can where we can.

Enter Block Island Organics.  First, they’re local to me here in Rhode Island, and that’s a win.  Second, they’re organic.  Which means that there are no harmful chemicals.  And, third, the price is reasonable.  In an effort to keep prices affordable, while all of the ingredients are safe, some are not certified organic.  To certify that a product is free from harmful things is extremely expensive, yet it costs nothing to poison us with chemically laden products.  Go figure.

You can check out each of the ingredients in Block Island Organic Sunscreen and even see the Environmental Working Group's ratings in terms of safety.  

The most important test for me was the family test.  My 'roommates' are super active, always moving and they HATE to be slathered with sunscreen.  I try to do it early, because often can be a challenge, but keeping up is important.

Right now, our beach bags have old bottles of Coppertone Sport, which is what we used last year.  It’s not on the good list at all, in fact making the top 10 worst sunscreens.  I don’t buy it, but the hubs prefers how easy it goes on, doesn’t run, feels clean, and most of all, works.  So these were the standards he would hold any and all other products to if they were to make the grade, and the coveted spot in the beach bag.  And the kids follow his lead, so it would be three to one if I couldn’t find something good.

Are you on the edge of your seat?  Holding your breath with anticipation?  Don’t be silly.  You know I am going to tell you that this product hit the mark.  I don’t talk about stuff that we end up hating, or would never buy.  So if it makes the blog, chances are that it makes the grade…and the bag!

Block Island Organics went on smooth.  I was surprised at first, and figured that it had separated in the package and wasn’t mixed together.  My past experiences with natural sunscreens hasn't been good.  But this one was just fine – that’s how it’s made.  It smelled clean, if at all, as it has no fragrance added.  It rubbed in easily, with only a few spots (eyebrows, chin lines and scalps) requiring a real good effort to blend.  It lasted for hours and left no tacky, sticky, icky residue that I feel comes with some more natural products. 

All in all, this crew probably wouldn’t have noticed if I blindfolded them when they applied the product, but, it was reassuring to get thumbs up all around.  So, this summer, we will fill our bags with Block Island Organics and know that we've got a safe, local product that keeps us enjoying the summer sun as long as it’s shining. (May that be a LONG, LONG time!)  And, we'll be living the BIO mantra, "Play smart, play safe."

Follow Block Island Organics on all the social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  If you visit their website and sign up for their email list, you can get 15% off of your online order.  AND, as May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, you can enter to win a prize pack that includes sunscreen, sunburn relief, a tee shirt and towel.

Disclosure:  I received free samples of Block Island Organics to try.  As always, opinions are all mine!

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