7 Reasons I Can’t Take My Daughter to See Cinderella


In case you missed the gorgeous billboards or swoony trailer, there’s a new live-action Cinderella movie coming out March 13. What’s more, an exclusive “Frozen Fever” short will run before the film. You’d think I’d be first in line for tickets with my princess-obsessed, tiara-wearing 4-year-old daughter, but no can do. Here’s why:

1. Dead Parents – Sure, Disney loves to kill off its characters’ parents (see Bambi, Frozen, Snow White, Tarzan, etc.) and we know Cinderella must be orphaned to set up the whole evil stepmother dynamic. But in the 1950 animated version, this all happens off camera. In the live action film, we’ll have a chance to meet and grow attached to Cinderella’s kindly mum and dad, played by Hayley Atwel and Ben Chaplin. I am certain their disappearance would cause distress for my daughter and bring up so many questions, we might miss the rest of the dialogue.

2. Mean Girl Behavior – Before Regina George and her band of Plastics, there were the original mean girls—Cinderella’s wicked stepmother and stepsisters. And they are super mean, not only treating Cinderella as a servant but also destroying her party dress and forbidding her attendance at the ball. At this point in my daughter’s life, the worst girl-on-girl crime she’s experienced was being called “poo poo” by a preschool classmate. Let’s hold off on the vicious cruelty for as long as we can.

3. Step-familes Get a Bad Rap – Speaking of the stepmother…I have one, and she is not evil. With so many blended families in our world these days, I don’t want my daughter getting the wrong idea and thinking that step-relatives don’t love and care for their family members. I’d rather she watched re-runs of the Suzanne Somers classic, Step by Step”.

Continue reading at mom.me…

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You’ll Always Be My First


Dear Daughter,

“You’re my favorite person in the whole world” is not something you’re going to hear me say anymore. Not only is it unfair to Daddy, but it really won’t go over well with your baby sister, once she’s born and learns to talk. For now, though, it’s hard not to keep thinking it.

You, you, you. You’re the one who burst my heart wide open. You taught me what wild, uncontrollable, unlimited, unconditional love feels like. You changed everything. You turned me into a mom.

And even though you will no longer be my only child, or even my only girl, you will always be my first.

You’re the first one to make me forget myself.  You’re the first person I ever said “I love you” to more than ten times in one day. You’re the first human whose temperature I took, whose nose I wiped, and whose projectile vomit I was too tired to clean up and just sort of slept in.

With you, I made my first-time mom mistakes, like letting you roll off the bed onto the floor. Who knew you could roll? Thank you for not getting hurt and also for not holding a grudge.

Our baby’s coming soon, and while you may not be my only child any more, you’ll probably be the only kid who knows what it’s like to have my undivided attention. Because how do I ever stop myself from thinking about you?

This realization gives me the guilts, but then again, your sister will have some advantages. I can’t imagine she will ever be bored or lonely for long–not with you and your unlimited repertoire of songs, dance moves, costumes and magic tricks. I can’t wait to watch her watching you.

You. You were my first newborn, infant, toddler and preschooler and the one who continues to surprise me every day. You’re the intrepid explorer who pulls me by the hand into the future. You’re in all my thoughts and dreams, and every wish I make upon a star.

So when you’re feeling frustrated that I’m nursing your sister instead of playing dress-up, or that I might use stern words with you but not her (she’s just a baby), or that I can’t stop talking about how cute she is (I like infants the way you like ponies), know that there is more than enough love for both of you, because of the ever-expanding place in my heart that you made.

You, you, you. You will always be my first.

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No Doctors, No Hospital, No Medicine — No Way! (“Born in the Wild” Review)

Inside scoop: I got an advance copy of this trippy new Lifetime series from my friend Todd Lubin, who’s the Executive Producer.  The last time I worked with Todd (in my past life, before babies) was on a show called “Suburban Virgin,” where we actually documented late bloomer dudes losing their V-cards.  So it did not surprise me that Todd was making another crazy bananas show — this time, about extreme natural births.  It’s riveting – but scary! 

So set your DVR for the Tues 3/3 at 10p premiere of “Born in the Wild” on Lifetime, then check out what I wrote about it for Lifetime Moms…

Born in the Wild

One of the scariest things I’ve ever seen is coming soon to a television near you. “Born in the Wild,” a new Lifetime reality series premiering March 3, documents couples who eschew hospital births in favor of remote locations with no medical assistance. I cannot stop hearing the screams.

In the first episode, 24-year-old Audrey Bird prepares to give birth to her third child on a far-flung Alaskan beach, 150 miles away from the nearest hospital. While the typical pregnant woman fusses over birth plans and go bags, Audrey’s primary fears are leeches, mosquitoes, unpredictable weather, rising waters and bears. Yes, I said bears. Because the act of giving birth is apparently not challenging enough unless you’re also risking getting mauled to death.

So what’s the big idea behind giving birth in the wild?

Read the rest at Lifetime Moms…

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Prepping My Daughter For Baby Sister’s Arrival


With just six weeks to go until my due date, I’m feeling ready for baby #2 – but is my daughter?  Doubtful.  She’s had me all to herself for four years, and now she’s going to have to share me with a tiny poop machine who can’t even sit up, much less join us for Zoo Bingo.  It’s a huge transition, and there’s probably no way to make it bump-free, but I’ve been soaking up as much advice as I can from parents and experts.

What’s working so far?  Viv loves reading books about pregnancy, babies and being a big sister.  She also enjoys dressing and changing her new baby doll (I try not to panic when she drags it around by the ankle).  But when the real baby is actually here, in our home, making noises and messes and demanding my attention, who knows how my 4yo will react?

Post-partum doula Giuditta Tornetta has some idea.  In a helpful “Preparing Sibling for New Baby” video I found on Kids in the House, she compares a child’s adjustment to a new baby to what it would feel like if my husband brought home a second wife.  That would be traumatic indeed!  (Though, frankly, an extra pair of hands for laundry and cooking holds some appeal.)

So how can I help my daughter adapt?  Giuditta points out that a new baby’s cries can feel “earth-shattering” to a young child.  She suggests reframing the crying as “talking” and engaging the big kid in a game of “What is the baby trying to say?”

I think Viv would love to crack baby’s code and come up with reasons for the cries–is she tired, hungry, wet or just needing to be held?  This kind of detective work could also help her feel empathy towards the baby, and maybe be more tolerant when I pause our playtime to tend to the little one’s needs. I’m definitely going to try playing this game with my daughter.  It’s much preferable to that other game, “Why is Mommy ripping her hair out?”

Parents who’ve been there, what are your tips for integrating the new baby?

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The Bizarre Reason Cops Busted Up My Maternity Photoshoot


If you’ve read any of my past pregnancy posts, you know I’m not one to glorify being knocked up. Beleaguered by symptoms, I usually come off more gripey than grateful. But despite the puking, heartburn, shortness of breath, and lately some pretty profound Braxton Hicks contractions (ouch), there is one thing that’s been incredibly special to me about this pregnancy, and that’s sharing it with my 4-year-old daughter. Whenever she throws her arms around my belly and murmurs greetings to “baby sister,” it’s all worth it.

I wanted to capture one of these sister/future sister embraces in a photo that we could show the girls someday, but my efforts were a huge fail. Imagine a three-headed monster taking a selfie. So I enlisted the help of my friend Genevieve, a fabulous family photographer, to shoot some maternity photos at the state park. We had all the elements: beautiful weather, matching pastel outfits, and and a big pregnant belly. Nice, right?


In fact, everything was going great until a cop busted up my maternity photo shoot.

And while you’re on Momtastic, here’s a story I wrote for Presidents’ Day that might make you feel better about your own parenting.

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