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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
At the Olympics tonight, Gracie Gold, 18, and Ashley Wagner, 22, compete in the Ladies’ Short Program for Olympic Figure Skating (and again on Thursday in the free skate). But the spotlight isn’t just on the ice. Their mothers, Denise Gold and Melissa James, called in from Sochi to talk to Parents about raising Olympic athletes, courtesy of P&G’s Thank You Mom Campaign, which has been recognizing that no athlete reaches this level on her own (which all you moms out there already know).
P: What is it like to be the mother of an Olympian?
DG: It’s really just a dream. It’s amazing. To be a part of this group, all of these parents have dedicated their lives to helping their kids achieve this goal and that’s amazing.
MJ: I don’t know who has the bigger smile, the Olympians or the moms who have watched them get there. It’s just a very special feeling for all of us.
P: Tell me about the camaraderie between the moms of the Olympic athletes in Sochi. What are the emotions? How do you guys feel as a group?
MJ: All of the figure skating athletes train by themselves with separate coaches in different areas. Nobody knows each other, but suddenly we go to the P&G house to meet all of the moms from all of the sports. We are so fortunate to have a safe environment to sit and relax. I was chatting with [ski slopestyle bronze medalist] Nick Goepper’s mom, and I learned she has gymnastic daughters. We had a great talk on how to raise daughters in sports.
DG: I was at the team figure skating medal ceremony. Our kids were getting medals and it was really crowded. The Russian crowd is very enthusiastic—their signs and their chanting; the energy was amazing. I’m very short so I couldn’t see, but when our kids came out I shouted, “Gracie! Gracie!” and the Russian crowd parted. It just opened up and everyone pushed me to the front so I could see Gracie. I’ll remember that forever.
P: The Olympics come around every four years, so your daughters have been working towards this moment for four years. But when they get on the ice they only have a few minutes to put all those years to the test. How do you help your daughters cope with the pressure?
DG: We text and I say all of the things that I can think of to remind Gracie that she’s worked hard, she’s well-trained, she’s never been so ready for this moment. I remind her that what she does is good enough.
MJ: My job is just to help Ashley stay calm. When I go to practice and sit in the stands, we do a little “Hey, Mom” and “Hey, Ashley” [routine]. I’m there for [putting] a little special gleam in her eye.
P: When did each of you realize that skating was more than just a hobby? How did you encourage that talent without worrying about the future?
DG: It was very gradual. Gracie was always a very gifted athlete and talented at whatever she did in other sports. People would say, “You ought to take her to…,” and then list some place. I thought, how’s that going to work out? What if she changes her mind and we’ve uprooted the whole family? I was a reluctant parent until she actually made it to the US Championships as a novice.
P: Both of you also have other children. How do you balance parenting an Olympian and another child without him or her feeling overshadowed?
MJ: Ashley has a 20-year-old brother who’s a junior at Pratt Institute. Right after he found out Ashley was [going to the Olympics] we almost booked his plane ticket. [Then] he called and we had a heart to heart. He said, “I love my sister, she loves me, but I really need to focus on myself.” I made sure to send him a big chocolate chip cookie on Valentine’s Day that said, “You Rock.” As a mom you have to think outside the box and tend to each individual child.
DG: We’ve had the blessing [of Gracie and her twin sister, Carly]. They are both skaters, and they know each other like no one else. Carly’s a huge part of Gracie’s success. She’s a very important part of the team.
P: How has the amount of traveling over the years affected your lives?
MJ: We moved to so many places [as a military family], so I’ve had to find Ashley an ice rink [each time]. But we have a fantastic photo album and fantastic memories, and her brother was able to travel with her a lot more when he was younger.
DG: Gracie didn’t travel internationally until very recently. I’ve been to Tokyo [about] four times. I love taking in all of these different worlds. Skating has opened up all sorts of doors, not just for Gracie but for our whole family. We’ve met the most amazing people.
P: When the girls finish their Olympic careers, have you considered what your life path will be?
MJ: I’ve already started my own life; I found my own sport. I’m a rower. I did it in college and I went back to it. I still have a competitive edge, and it’s a really great flip-flop when Ashley comes to my sporting events and cheers me on.
P: What are you feeling as your daughters get ready to compete in the final ladies’ figure skating events?
MJ: For me, the pressure’s a little bit off and I’m a little calmer. I just want Ashley to have the best realization of her dream.
DG:I just hope that [Gracie] is happy with her performance. That’s what I want every time.
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Thursday, February 7th, 2013
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
Dancing with the Stars host Brooke Burke-Charvet shocked fans with her recent cancer scare. The mom of four kids – daughters Neriah, 12, Sierra, 10, Rain, 6, and son Shaya, 4 – is sharing her inspirational story of recovery, saying, “It reminded me how precious life is and how scary it is that something more powerful than you can come along and change things.”
Brooke opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about partnering with Kleenex brand to fight the flu season in a “sweet and thoughtful” way. She goes on to talk about her “shocking” thyroid cancer diagnosis and how she dealt with the “very scary” news. “Research and education helps downplay that fear,” she says. Continue reading Brooke’s inspirational story of recovery, and her best advice for families dealing with serious health conditions.
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Brooke Burke-Charvet, cancer, celebrities, celebrity baby scopo, celebrity kids, celebs, David Charvet, flu, flu season, mom, Neriah Charvet, Rain Charvet, Shaya Charvet, Sierra Charvet, Thryoid cancer, thyroidectomy | Categories:
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
Editor’s Note: Ellen Seidman, from the Parents.com blog To the Max, sent this to us from her friend Jill at Scary Mommy.
This guest post is by the awesome Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy, one of the most popular mom blogs out there. That’s because Jill is extremely funny, extremely wise, extremely real and all about extreme honesty. Jill’s mom to Lily, 8; Ben, 6; and Evan, 4. Somehow she’s managed to write a book, Confessions Of A Scary Mommy. It’s out this week, and it’s every bit as relatable and delicious as her blog. I asked how she squeezed that in—who has time to write a book?! “I wrote a lot of it at 3:00 a.m.,” she explained. Ah. And now, her top 5 mom moments that drive ya nuts.
There is absolutely nothing in the world that compares to the love that I have for my children. It is consuming and overwhelming and simply the most powerful emotion I have ever felt in my life. It’s perfect.
So, how is it that these children whom I love more than anything in the world have a way of getting to me like nobody else ever has? The intensity of the annoyance and frustration I can feel for creatures I love so much never ceases to amaze me. Maybe it’s the balance of loving people so much — that the other emotions have to be equally as intense. I’m not sure what it is, exactly, but it’s a good thing that I do love them so much, or I’d have a pretty tough time liking them. Especially at times like these…
1. When they fuss over bedtime. I just don’t get it — if someone were to give me a bath, put me in clean pajamas, read me a story and rub my back until I fell asleep, I would think I’d died and gone to heaven. Instead, my children insist on bargaining on the timing, refusing to brush their teeth and fighting over bedtime stories. It always ends up being the least pleasant way to end a long day.
2. When they act up during a work call. It’s hard being a work at home parent — hard for the mom to maintain a level of professionalism when she’s chewing leftover grilled cheese crusts for lunch and changing diapers in between assignments, and tough for the kids to understand that they need to respect a role other than mother. The toughest part by far is the work phone call. If I have an important call, I will set my children up with TV show or a computer game, a snack, and instructions not to interrupt me unless there is massive blood, broken bones or an intruder in the house. When the door bursts open because someone changed the channel or they ran out of popcorn, visions of throwing the TV on the floor and bolting off to an off-site office dance in my head.
3. When they whine. When my daughter was a newborn, she cried a lot. Like, constantly. I was convinced that the worst sound in the world to a mother was her darling offspring’s inconsolable cry. What on earth could compare to that? And, then she hit the whining phase and those tears suddenly became melodic.
4. When they wet the bed. I know, I know, it’s not their fault that their bodies aren’t yet wired to wake up in the middle of the night, but still, little pisses me off more than seeing a figure next to my bed at 3AM whimpering that he is soaking wet. The most infuriating part? It always, always, seems to happen on the very night when I have finally washed the sheets and freshly made the bed.
5. When they trash a clean playroom. It’s a rare occurrence when I actually get around to deep cleaning and organizing the playroom. Hours and hours of Lego sorting and Barbie organizing and putting every last toy in the proper box pays off, though, when I can step back and admire the beauty of everything being where it belongs. Sadly, it never lasts more than five minutes before one of my children will inevitably look for some minuscule item and dump out every last box in the process.
Like I said, it’s a good thing I love them so much. Remind me why I do, again?
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being a mom, Book, Books, confessions of a scary mommy, Ellen Seidman, jill smokler, mom, mom humor, motherhood, parenting, parenting book, parenting style, scary mommy, To The Max | Categories:
Your Child, Your Life
Saturday, October 1st, 2011
Think pink in October for breast cancer awareness. According to the CDC, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the U.S. We spoke to Julie Aigner Clark, founder of The Baby Einstein Company, mother of two kids, and 44-year-old breast cancer survivor about her tips for talking to kids about breast cancer. She recently published a picture book, “You Are the Best Medicine,” which helps kids understand what it means when a loved one has been dignosed with cancer. Proceeds for the book go to UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
1- Your picture book, “You Are the Best Medicine,” shares tips for explaining cancer to children. What are some of the tips for moms to approach the topic with younger and older kids?
I don’t think kids younger than 5 need to know more than ”Mommy is sick and has to take medicine that makes her feel bad for awhile.” Here are my tips:
- Be honest but don’t explain too much. Think of it as talking to kids about sex. The older they get, the more you can go into the specifics.
- Let them know how much they can help just by loving you. Ask them to read to you, crawl into bed with you, and snuggle. Kids really are the best medicine!
- Tell them right away that they can’t “catch” cancer from you, no matter what. This seems obvious, but kids are quite literal. They’ve been told to stay away from sick people!
- Take them with you, once, to a chemo appointment. This takes the mystery out of what’s going on while you’re at the doctor. Explain the IV, the fluids, and the process to the degree that they’ll understand.
If kids do want to understand a little more about why or how a parent (or someone else they know) is sick, there are also excellent children’s books. One that explains cancer really well is “Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings” by Ellen McVicker, a fellow survivor. My own book shares how important love is to a parent going through treatment and focuses on the non-medical parts of the illness that kids can expect.
2- How did your own breast cancer experience with your daughters inspire you to develop these tips?
My kids were 6 and 9 the first time I was diagnosed; they were 11 and 13 the second time. I wish I’d been more open with them the second time around, when they were old enough to know that this is a life-threatening disease. I was trying to deal with the diagnosis myself, especially the stage 4 part. I was scared and sad, and I tried to protect my kids, but they knew. Our children understand us, and anxiety is a pretty powerful emotion to cover up. I did my best, but in retrospect, I wish I hadn’t tried to hide my fear.
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Friday, May 6th, 2011
Who says a Mother’s Day gift has to be expensive? There are other sweet, thoughtful, and heartfelt ideas moms will surely love. If it’s your family’s first time celebrating, here is a dad’s guide to making her Mother’s Day special. Below are some ideas that will make this year extra memorable.
Beauty & Makeup Gifts
More Amazing Gifts to Buy
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Crafts, GoodyBlog, Holidays, Time for Fun
Friday, May 6th, 2011
Treat mom to some maid service by hiring Maid Brigade to help clean the home. Maid Brigade has 25 years of experience and is Green Clean Certified®, which means they use safe, environmentally-friendly cleaning products that won’t be harsh for the home or for your family’s health.
Made Brigade also has services in over 30 states and in Canada. Go to Parents Deals to find a location near your mom and spend $25 to buy a $50-value service.
Prop mom’s feet up and let someone else dote on her for a day!
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Thursday, May 5th, 2011
This past Sunday, Jennifer Griffin, a Pentagon Correspondent for FOX News, was at home in the D.C. area trying to tuck her 2-year-old son into bed, when a source called to announce bin Laden’s death. Suddenly, from focusing on a child who was staying up past his bedtime, Griffin found herself focusing on confirming the death with multiple sources. She called into FOX News to report on air and then from there, drove to the Pentagon to continue more reporting for the next 24 hours. In addition to reporting on the war in the Middle East (she was there on 9/11) and national security issues, Griffin is also the mother of three young kids, two girls and one boy.
Read a first-hand account, shared with Parents.com, of how this extraordinary working mom was involved in a memorable moment in American history:
“I had just gotten home from a friend’s house with 2-year-old Luke, my youngest. It was later than his bedtime, and I was scrambling to warm him a bottle and convince him to put on pajamas. I was at the stove when all of my phones started ringing. The messages on my Blackberry made it seem like [Libyan leader Muammar] Qaddafi had been killed. I put on the TV, gave Luke a bottle on the couch, and told him to be very quiet. That’s when I got a call saying that it was Osama bin Laden, but the source said I couldn’t go [on air] with [the news] unless I got a second confirmation.
“I started dialing like mad and I had three phone lines going at once. I finally got an e-mail from a top-level intelligence source with a one word answer to my question, sent at 10:25 pm on Sunday, May 1: We got him? Dead? The response, sent at 10:47 pm, was: Yes…
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Friday, April 22nd, 2011
Before you toss your child’s overflowing pile of artworks and clothes, consider turning them into one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork and jewelry through The Great Remember.
A mother of three kids, an MFA graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and an artist based in Brooklyn, NY, Lisa Waltuch started The Great Remember to help parents preserve memories by integrating them into the home. Stretched canvas mosaics, textured appliqués, and personalized locket necklaces are three specific ways parents can turn their children’s creations into unforgettable mementos.
The Great Remember will dispatch photographers to a customer’s home to take high-resolution photos of artwork for mosaics. For textured appliqués, customers will need to send clothes by mail while for lockets, customers will need to send digital photos. Customers can also email their child’s favorite quote or saying to have it stitched into a handcrafted heart grid to be mounted on a mahogany shadowbox.
Prices for these truly unique gifts start at $99. Place orders by Monday, April 25 to ensure delivery by Mother’s Day.
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