Archive for the ‘ Must Read ’ Category

Childhood Obesity: Mom of Inspirational Nike Ad Star Doesn’t Get It

Monday, August 13th, 2012

“At any point did you worry…that some people might [say], ‘Wow that kid’s really overweight and he’s only 12″?

Matt Lauer asked this startling question during an interview with Nathan Sorrell, the 200-pound, 5′ 3″ star of Nike’s Olympic ad campaign “Find Your Greatness,” and his mother on the Today Show this morning. The 12-year-old was chosen to participate in the campaign, which shows him running down a lone highway while a narrator talks about how we’re all capable of achieving greatness.

I love Nathan’s heart and his drive. I think that it’s great that he’s inspired to get into shape after participating in this ad. And I think that he’s an awesome role model for anyone who is trying to lose weight. I wish I could hug him. But it made me sick that he was in a position where he had to answer such a humiliating question on national TV.

I thought about the interview as I dropped Mason off at school (thankfully there was no vomiting incident this morning), stood in line at Starbucks for my  latte, and rode the elevator up to my office at work. The more I thought about it, the angrier I felt. By the time I logged onto my computer I was outraged.

Where were his parents while he was packing on the pounds? He didn’t become obese overnight. In fact, Nathan was so out of shape that he had to stop and vomit on the side of the road during the shoot, according to an ABC News report.

During the interview, Nathan’s mom Monica said that she was “wowed that Nike picked Nathan for their ad” and said that it was “something else to see your son on TV during the Olympics,” however, she seemed to be missing one critical detail: Her 12-year-old was in the ad, on TV, because he’s obese. She never once acknowledged that Nathan is facing a major health crisis for which she is at least partially responsible. Nor did she speak about how she’d help Nathan stay inspired to get fit.

Maybe you’re agreeing with me right now, or maybe you’re thinking that I’m being a mean, judgey mom. But when it comes to a child’s health, even if it isn’t my own child, I can’t help it. Childhood obesity is a major crisis in this country and we as parents are in a very powerful position to put an end to it. So why are so many of us dropping the ball?

I hope that Nathan gets healthy, and seeing his tremendous spirit on TV, I’m betting he will. I’d love to see a fit Nathan run in a follow-up Nike ad.

I also hope that his mom wakes up and does her part to help him succeed. Make him nutritious meals. Get out there and jog with him. Remind him that he was great even before Nike put him on TV. Get him healthy now, before it’s too late.

Photo: Sign via Stacie Stauff Smith Photography via

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Should Taxi Drivers Be Allowed to Give Sick Children the Boot?

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

When your day starts out with your kid vomiting all over himself and you on the way to school, you know it can only get better.

We took a cab this morning, because I didn’t feel like dealing with the sweaty, gross subway. Two minutes from our place, just after we had gotten onto the bridge, Mason got sick all over himself. Yucky, mommy! I had to agree with him. He was sitting on my lap, and I could feel the stuff dripping down my arms and legs.

The cab driver slammed on the breaks and tried to kick us out in the middle of one of the busiest bridges in New York City. I refused to get out. It was totally unsafe, and there was no way I was going to walk nearly a mile to get to the subway, in 70-degree weather, with both of us covered in sick.

Here’s what I felt like saying to the guy:

Sorry my sick kid is ruining your day, as-hole, but think how he feels. His tummy hurts, he’s covered in stinky sick, and now he has to listen to some jerk yelling at his mommy. Now turn this cab around, and take us home right this minute!

Instead, I bribed him with an enormous tip. He shrugged and looped back toward our place.

Then poor Mason got sick twice more. The driver swore and made us get out five blocks from our place. At least we were off the bridge at that point. I ended up carrying Mason like a baby, with sick on our clothes, arms, and legs, home to our apartment. People stared at us in horror. One guy actually yelled UGH! as we passed by. I stared straight ahead and kept walking, feeling like something from Night of the Living Dead.

Should cab drivers have the right to kick sick kids out of their cars? Or, is the occasional sick passenger just part of the job?

Photo: New York City taxis via Luciano Mortula /

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Tags: | Categories: High Chair Times, Must Read

Birthday Cupcakes: Bears on the Beach

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Mason turns 2 next Sunday. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone, but it’s astonishing that he gets even more fun as the months go by. I thought 6 months was the best age, then 1, then 18 months, and now my vote goes to the age he is right now.

In the spirit of his upcoming birthday, we traveled to Columbus, Ohio, last week to visit family. My mom hosted a celebration for him, and all of our family was there, as well as Amber, my closest friend from college, and her two boys Declan and Liam, stopped by as well.

The kids played in the kiddie pool, in the sandbox, and in a giant bouncy house. They blew bubbles, and raced cars. And of course they ate cupcakes.

My mom made simple cupcakes from a mix, frosted them, and then created a little beach scene on top. A sprinkling of coarse sugar made the sand. A piece of fruit roll-up became towels and little cocktail umbrellas offered shade for Teddy grams wearing either a bikini or swim trunks made from frosting. The treats looked adorable–and they were very easy to make.

Now I just have to come up with a good cupcake design for his class party next week.

Here are the Elmo cupcakes that another of Mason’s classmates recently had for his school celebration, so I want to go another route for Mason (but hopefully be just as creative!) I’m going to start with the mix–I’m thinking carrot cake with a luscious cream cheese frosting–but I need a fun decorating idea.

Care to share your ideas?

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NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg: The Biggest Breastfeeding Bully of All

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

It’s not enough that hospitals are banning free gifts of formula, or that the editor of Mothering magazine likened free gifts of formula to cigarettes, now the mayor of New York City is locking up formula at local hospitals, according to the New York Post. He says that he believes the maneuver will “encourage” new moms to breastfeed, but it sounds like the ultimate act of breastfeeding bullying to me.

As part of his Latch on NYC initiative, which launches September 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use, making it the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation, reports the Post.

More than half of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded freebies, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.

I live in New York City. Mason was born here. If I choose to give birth to another child in the city, I better pray that my child latches on immediately and is naturally perfect at nursing. Otherwise I’m going to have to negotiate with a nurse in order for my child to be fed (as I’m recuperating from a C-Section) and endure a “talking-to.” And what about that medical justification?  Is one night of solid sleep following major abdominal surgery good enough, or will I need to somehow feign total incapacitation?

I breastfed Mason the entire time I was in the hospital, but I was grateful that he could get a bottle in the nursery at night so that I could have a couple of nights of solid sleep (and time to heal) before we were totally on our own with him.

Oh, and get this: If I get thirsty during all of this, I’ll need to watch what I drink because the major is also trying to ban large sizes of sugary drinks from being sold in NYC. What liberty will he rob from us next?

Policies like Latch on NYC do nothing but create more stress and anxiety for expectant mothers. If a mom is willing and able to breastfeed her child, she will. If she’s not, she should have a viable alternative without being put through a major guilt trip. Why should NYC’s mayor–or anyone else, for that matter–have the right to institute a policy that make a new mother’s time with her baby anything but joyful?

Photo: Michael Bloomberg via Miro Vrlik Photography/Shutterstock

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First Haircut: Getting Rid of the Mullet

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Mason’s gotten a lot of flack for his mullet. The old man fringe he was born with (bald spot on top, with a dusting of silky black hair underneath) fell out and was replaced by wispy blonde hair that grew long in back but stayed short on top. A natural mullet.

To be honest, I didn’t even notice he had the offensive ‘do until several moms poked fun at it. (Yep, add that to my list of rude things other moms say.)

When our family started making mullet comments over Christmas, I decided it was time to give Bug a little snip-snip. I had to do most of the trimming while he was sleeping because he screamed every time I tried to cut a lock of his hair.

I knew I should take him to a salon for a real haircut, but if he freaked when I cut his hair, how was he going to react to a stranger wielding scissors?

Last Saturday I finally sucked it up and took him to a kids salon here in NYC called Cozy. He had a blast (no crying at all, it was shocking), and his new haircut is adorable. There was so much going on around him–bubbles being blown, a cool car to sit in, a new toy that made lots of noise, a Barney video–that he barely acknowledged the woman trimming his hair.

When it was all over, he mugged in the mirror, and then fussed as I lifted him out of the car. As we were leaving, he received a diploma in honor of his first trim, with a lock of hair attached to it. Did your kid love or loathe his first haircut?

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Tags: | Categories: Must Read