Monday, February 23, 2009

Today, Everybody Wins! ... Sort of.

So we've got a winner for the Good for You Girls Skincare Kit giveaway. Whoo Hoo! Congratulations to Caitlin H. who was faster than a jackrabbit on a hot plate when it came time to enter her answers to claim the prize.

I'm sure the girl-child in your life will love the kit, Caitlin. And you can feel good about giving her products that are created with pure, high quality ingredients. After learning about some of the potentially dangerous chemicals used in mainstream beauty products, I think we can all appreciate what the women at Good For Your Girls are doing.

Thanks again to everyone who entered the contest. And don't feel left out if you didn't win. The ladies over at Good for You Girls have been nice enough to offer us something special, just because we're us...

A COUPON! Look, it's got our name on it! Go forth and save.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WTF? Wednesday

Just when you thought it was safe to come here to Reign for informative product highlights, interviews with smart mamas, and other good stuff, here I come to pinch you awake (with one of those hard Grandma-in-church pinches) and bring you back into reality.

While much of the blogiverse is reveling in the sweet, reflective silence of Wordless Wednesday, you can kick back and enjoy the irritating screech of strange, frightening and flat out ridiculous news right here. Like nails on a chalkboard, this stuff is. Oh, there’s just too much going on to keep quiet today!

Times are tough all over. What's a guy to do when he can't afford to keep his FIVE mistresses? Hold a talent show, judge the women on their looks, and eliminate them American Idol Style, that's what! Sounds reasonable, unless one of the women loses her cool and decides to off everybody.

A little ironic? The founder of Bridges TV, a station that aims to counter negative portrayals of Muslims, has been arrested on the suspicion of beheading his wife (and the mother of his two young children). The wife had allegedly been seeking a divorce. Some feel that this murder should be investigated as an honor killing. Nadia Shahram, who teaches family law and Islam at the University at Buffalo Law School, explained honor killing as a practice still accepted among fanatical Muslim men who feel betrayed by their wives.

Well whaddya know?
In her first interview since giving birth, the teenage daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said having a child is not "glamorous," and that telling young people to be abstinent is "not realistic at all." The teen said she wanted to tell her story so that other young people might think twice about having sex. These are the smartest comments to come out of the McCain/Palin campaign...ever. I like this girl. I think we’ll be seeing more of her.

Chimp Attack. I’ve never been a fan of chimps, especially not the overalls-wearing, cigarette-smoking kind you see on TV. It’s nothing against the chimps themselves, I just never really saw the humor in dressing up a wild animal in Osh Kosh and making it ride a tricycle. Plus, they just look too much like humans ...but not quite... which is a little creepy. They have knowing eyes. Like they’re looking at you and thinking stuff. So if chimps are as intelligent as science says they are, how long do you think it would take before one goes postal after being put in diapers and kept in a cage most of its life? How long would it take you?

There's more, but I'll spare you and let you get back to your quiet reflectiveness. After this post, I can use some cheering up myself. I'm off to explore the rest of the blogworld. If you'd like to get a quick pick-me-up (or at least get your mind off the chimp story) check out the "Top Notch Blogs" on my sidebar. Lots of good stuff there.

Friday, February 13, 2009

13-year-old fathers child. This is news?

Excuse me Mamas, while my fingers run amok across the keyboard in a news-inspired rant. Blame it on that big-ass cup of coffee I had after dinner. Blame it on perimenopause (nobody told me this crap started in your late 30s!). Whatever the cause, it will be over soon.

A 13-year-old in London has fathered a child
. The media, the government, and the entire civilized world is up in arms gasping, clutching their bosoms and rolling around on the floor.
“How could this happen?”
“Where are the morals?”
“Where were the parents?”

What the hell? Get up off the floor, people! Has everyone just returned from a 25-year vacation under a rock? This is not new!

Have we forgotten about this mess?

this mess?

this crap?

Or this insanity? (Tossed in just to get you scratching your head)

I always considered European governments to be much more forward thinking than the US about issues like sex-ed, hyper-sexualization, and teen pregnancy. But this news story makes it seem that the UK may be as late to the ballgame as we are when it comes to pulling one’s head out of the sand and addressing the issue of teen pregnancy prevention, instead of springing into action when the problem is already out of control .

Comments on the 13-year-old father include:

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith "It's not about being accusative: it's about pointing out the complete collapse in some parts of society of any sense of what's right and wrong.

That sounds pretty accusatory to me. I'd like to see him try to point out the "parts of society" where kids aren't experimenting with sex at younger and younger ages. But he'd be about 25 years too late in his pointing. I was in middle school with a pregnant classmate. That would be 7th grade! Where was all the head-shaking and moral hand wringing back then?

And Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was not familiar with the individual case, but told Sky TV: "All of us would want to avoid teenage pregnancies."


I guess most of the uproar with this 13 -year-old is coming from the fact that he looks like he's about 8-years-old. That baby faced-kid (holding an actual baby) really makes the story hard to ignore, which is probably why he's being held up as an example.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chris Brown & Rihanna bring an important issue to light.

Everyday I learn more and more that we live in a world of coincidence. Some wonderfully serendipitous, like the fact that I’ve been able to flip my experience as a blogger into a consulting stint with my former employer (more on that later!), and others… just friggin’ sad and scary.

Last week was National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week. The bloggers over at The National Campaign were concerned that people would acknowledge the week and then, like so many other commemorative events, just forget about the cause.

No such luck.

This week, one of the most popular celebrity couples in the nation has been pushed into the limelight for the very actions that the campaign is trying to bring attention to. This situation with Chris Brown and Rihanna has much to reveal, but whatever this case brings to light, one thing is for sure…dating violence is an issue that needs more attention.

Stay Teen offers these sobering stats on dating violence:
  • 1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner.
  • One-third of teen girls say they have been concerned about being physically hurt by their partner.
  • One-quarter of teens who have been in serious relationships say their boyfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends or family.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 girls who have been in a relationship (23%) reported going further sexually than they wanted as a result of pressure.

If anything, maybe this case will let the nation know how serious this problem is.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Unemployed Mama takes a breath

So last week was my first official week as one of the unemployed masses.

I have to say, I wasn’t quite sure how to handle my first week at home. I’ve been working since I was 14. That's over 30 years! Ok, some of that was part-time, but it was still steady work. I took about a year-and-a-half off when I started college and another year off when I had my daughter. Other than that, I’ve always had a job. Waking up last Monday with no deadlines to meet, no creative briefs, to review, no projects to approve, and no bunch of emails to sift through was, well… strange. Somehow I muddled through.
  • I cleaned the entire first floor of the apartment (getting into corners that hadn’t seen a vacuum or dust rag in a LONG time).
  • Called, texted, IMd and emailed every girlfriend I have.
  • Sat and stared at a wall for a little while.
  • Did half of a Rodney Yee yoga video (that is one flexible dude!)
  • Called hubs so many times at his job that he actually asked me to stop.
  • And had dinner started before the kids even came home from school.
That was all before 3pm. Yes... I was a little lost.

After that hyperactive Monday melt-down (because that’s basically what it was) I got smarter with my free time. By Wednesday I was hanging out with the kids, connecting with old friends, enjoying the endless entertainment of the afternoon circus news, catching up on all the blogs I love (and discovering some lovely new ones in the process). Plus, I had a really , really amazing Girls Nite Out .

In other words, I took a moments to breathe. And it was pretty damn nice.

It never takes me long to change my thinking (I’m flighty flexible like that). So I have. Simply put, when we get through this recession (knock, knock) the workplace is not going to be the same. I don’t think we’ll all be going back to the same old cubicles, grinding the days and weeks away to make it. There's a big possibility that I may not even find a new job in my field. And I might be OK with that.

But it's only been a week. Talk to me next month.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Questions for the Sexpert please!

I'm a lucky, lucky Mama!

I'm going to be interviewing Dr. Karen Rayne for a post here on Reign. Her bio....

Karen provides advice and support to parents on how to educate their children and teenagers about sex and sexuality. Karen’s knowledge about adolescent development and education provides her with a solid background for guiding parents through these tricky conversations. She also occasionally moonlights as a sex educator for the children and teenagers themselves.

Pretty exciting, right!

What better way to prep for my chat with Karen than to get some input from other Mamas (namely, you guys) who may be dealing with issues with their own tweens and teens? Teaching kids about sexuality these days is an ongoing conversation and frankly, not always an easy one. We can use all the help we can get.

So give it some thought. Leave your questions in the comment area, and I'll include them in my chat with Karen.
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