THE INVISIBLE FELDMANS


There is something about my family and the service we get at restaurants. Practically every time we go to a restaurant – whether it’s one we frequent on a regular basis or a new bistro that we’re excited to try out, for some reason, the wait staff doesn’t feel in a rush to serve us. Is it that they think we’re nice enough and won’t mind waiting a few extra minutes even though we’re famished and waiting with baited breath for the bread basket to arrive? Or what about those days when we’re dying of thirst and eager to order a drink and we watch as our waitress keeps visiting other tables, skims past our table and as we make a valiant attempt to call out to her, she’s disappeared into the kitchen. We’ve been left waiting at the table for so long that we’ve begun to call ourselves, the Invisible Feldmans. We even have a theme song but since we don’t have a podcast component yet, you can use your imagination on the tune. “Invisible Feldmans…we like to wait. Invisible Feldmans…do you think we just ate?” There are more lyrics, but it gets worse as it goes on. We have actually raised a stink from time to time when we’ve waited more than 45 minutes to be served in an empty restaurant but on regular occasions, we’ve pretty much made light of the fact that waiters and waitresses are equal opportunity ignorers when it comes to the Feldmans. So if you happen to be a waitress and you’re reading this post…think of the invisible Feldmans – we might be in your restaurant one day so please don’t ignore us…all we ask is for the bread and water and then you can ignore us until our kids start fighting over the last sourdough roll.

The Guilt Trip


Just returned from a business trip where I was away from my family for three whole days, got the chance to sleep in a king-sized-bed and worked out at the gym at the crack of dawn, because no one was screaming for me to race to their bedside and escort them to the bathroom. I have to admit, as much as I miss my kids while I take my annual trip across the country, I do enjoy the quiet time, the full night’s sleep and the chance to spend five un-interrupted hours reading an entire book without the incessant call of “mommy, mommy, mommy,” droning over and over inside my head. While I’d hate to be on the road and away from my kids on a regular basis, a random trip here and there does the mind and body good. I can now finally say I’ve read a book on Oprah’s list…the Kite Runner. Sure she recommended it over a year ago, but thanks to my mini-trip away from home, I was finally able to cross one must-read off my to-do my list!

THE DOCTOR VISIT


I’ve taken my daughter to the doctor to treat an ear infection and my son, who has tagged along, insists that he’s sick too and wants to be examined. “Mommy, I have a stomach ache,” he whines. I tell him, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you when I get home, I know how to treat tummy aches.” To which he replies, “But Mommy, you’re not a doctor.”

MOMS-FOR-PROFIT

CO-FOUNDERS STACEY SMITH AND LINDA SHAPIRO LAUNCH INNOVATIVE SITE FOR ENTERPRISING MOMS

Meet Stacey Smith and Linda Shapiro, co-founders of Moms-For-Profit, a company and website on the rise that enables moms who have decided to take time off from their careers to raise their families, the chance to stay in the game and pursue their passion! Stacey, a mom of two, and her partner, Linda, also a mom with two boys, both worked together in marketing at CMP Media before they decided to embark on a brand new career where they could strike a balance between work and family. What initially started out as a concept for a stationery business, evolved into a networking website for moms looking for an outlet that would promote their products and services to a broader community. Moms-for-Profit offers women the chance to join an amazing network where they can find opportunities to keep one foot in the workforce while the other one can be playing the hokey pokey at Mommy and Me class. From clothing designers to web masters (I need that person’s number), Moms-for-Profit is an all-in-one recruiting firm and sales site for moms looking to turn their passion into profit. While Moms-for-Profit has only been in business for one year, the website has approximately 100,000 visitors per month. They are also now working with major corporations to offer freelance opportunities to members of their talented resource pool. Coming soon to the moms-for-profit site will be an online store where anyone can purchase amazing products created by today’s enterprising mothers. Check out Moms-For Profit for more information or to join today!


YENTASENTIMENTS

Greeting Cards from A Grandmother of Reinvention

Meet Sue Kupcinet. Actually one of these ladies is one of Sue’s distant yenta-relatives. Sue is a Grandmother of Reinvention who went from being a teacher, to restaurant critic, to author to Yentapreneur. All while raising a daughter who has proven to be an entrepreneurial sex-cess of her own….more on her later. Sue and her partner, Riva Scher are the creative geniuses behind Yenta Sentiments, an irreverent Greeting Card line that will crack up anyone with a sense of humor and a loose grasp of the Yiddish language. All you need to know are the words Oy Vey and you’re pretty much set! Sue and Riva came up with the concept for Yenta Sentiments after going to dinner one night and walking past a tattoo parlor that they thought read “Yenta Tattoos.” While their eyesight may have been failing, their creative juices started flowing and the two women came up with great ideas for innovative Yenta tattoo slogans. Since not many yentas can bear the pain of being tattooed…don’t even get me started on childbirth…the women transformed their concept into greeting cards. With lots of mazel (good fortune), their clever idea has taken off. Yenta Sentiments has been in business for four years and is available in stores in Chicago and Los Angeles. The cards are also available on their website at www.yentasentiments.com. Check out their site next week as the Yentapreneurs kick off their latest line of greeting cards. Meanwhile, Sue’s daughter, a mother of three with a fourth on the way, runs a successful business of her own in Chicago called Boutique G – a high end lingerie and sex shop. “Who knew she’d know so much about sex,” quips Sue. Now if that isn’t an Oy Vey moment, I don’t know what is!
DESIGN-HER GALS

Former Hotel Executive Launches Amazing Website & Stationery Biz


Meet Jeanne Fitzmaurice, or at least a cartoon version of her! Jeanne, who formerly was at the top of her field in the hotel industry, decided to switch gears once she became a mother and is now one of the founders of Design Her Gals, an innovative website and thriving stationery business that enables you to create the gal that most resembles you (pick hair style, clothes, eye color, blackberries, bottles, you name it) and then put your gal on your own stationery, memo pads, invitations and more! Even better, for an annual fee, you can print out as much stationery as you’d like from home! And…if you want the Design Her Gals team to do it for you, they offer that service too. Proceeds from these sales benefit the Gal to Gal Foundation which donates funds for Stage 4 Breast Cancer Research. Even Oprah Magazine picked the Design Her Gals site as one of their favorites! Click on the picture above or this link to visit Design Her Gals.

LOVE COACH, AUTHOR AND MOM…

Meet Robin Gorman Newman. Love coach and author of the new book How to Marry a Mensch. Robin, a former public relations executive, found the man of her dreams and decided to write about the search for the perfect mensch in her first book, How to Meet a Mensch in New York. Since then, Robin has become an authority on where to find the guy you and your parents will want you to marry and now she’s back with a new book which gives you the inside track on how to get your mensch to pop the question. For those of us who already have mensches in their lives, you still may have some single friends who could benefit from this light read…plus, if you’re a single mom, then do I have a book for you. For more information about Robin and her books, visit her at her Love Coach website.

LEZLEE PETERZELL
SINGER, MOM AND OWNER OF A BOOMING YACHT CHARTER BUSINESS

Meet Lezlee Peterzell. She’s the mother of River, age 16 months. In addition to running a successful yacht chartering business along with her husband Rob, Lezlee is an accomplished singer/songwriter with two children’s CD’s under her belt. Click on the link or picture to the left to listen to and purchase Lezlee’s CD’S or if you’d like to book a great event aboard a charter boat or read more about Lezlee, click on her name or the yacht chartering business link and plan a party!

LOST IN SUBURBIA? by Tracy Beckerman…Greetings From Disney World¬©

Walt Disney was mistaken. It is NOT a small world after all. If the line to get into Space Mountain is any indication, it is a big, BIG world. And everyone who lives in it, it seems, is waiting to get on this ride.
Yes, we are in the happiest place on Earth. That is, if your idea of a good time is to stand on line with hundreds of kids melting down from hunger, exhaustion and overstimulation.
I should have known I was in trouble when my sister-in-law with whom we are traveling (and a respected Disney-veteran) told me we had to call for reservations for a character breakfast 3 months, 2 hours and 30 minutes to the day before the breakfast we wanted. And when I called 3 months, 2 hours and 45 minutes ahead of the date, they were already completely booked.
Honestly, I didn?t have this much trouble getting a reservation at the White House.
Then the happy folks at Disney called me a month before our trip to tell us that they canceled our reservation at the Caribbean Beach Resort.
?We?re sorry. We decided to close that resort for renovations the week that you?re planning to be here.?
?But I made those reservations last January,? I protested.
?Its not a problem,? she said cheerfully. ?We can put you up at another Moderate resort instead.?
?Oh no. If you cancel my reservation, you can put me up at the Grand Floridian!? I must have been on speakerphone. I heard laughing in the background.
?Port Orleans is nice,? she said. ?I?m sure you and your husband and two kids will be very comfortable in our cramped 10×10 foot rooms with two double beds and a trundle and you should be grateful that we?re not booking you into the trailer park next to the petting zoo because you paid for this trip with frequent flier miles which basically means no money for us.?
O.K. she didn?t say that. But that was pretty much what was going on. At this point, I figured we?d only be in the rooms to sleep, so what?s the difference anyway. And so we went. And by day 3, I was convinced that if one more person wished me a magical day, I was going to punch them in the face.
?Sorry. The Peter Pan ride is closed for repairs, but have a magical day.?
?Sorry. Your daughter?s not tall enough to go on this ride that she?s been waiting for three days to go on. but have a magical day.?
?Sorry. You have a regular park hopper pass and you need an ultimate park hopper pass to get into this attraction, otherwise it?s $40 per person? but have a magical day.?
Is it any wonder Disney is losing money?
I finally decided that I needed an attitude adjustment if I was going to make it through two more theme parks, another character dinner, and the Hoop-dee-doo revue (don?t ask). So I did what any sane mother would do. I bought Mickey Mouse ears, ate Mickey Mouse Pancakes, and told my kids if they didn?t stop whining and have a good time, next year we would spend our vacation at the Mall.
Thus, the whining ceased, temporarily of course, and we all started to have a good time.
By the end of each day, my children, covered in goo from the countless ice pops, gummy things, and fried who-knows-whats we fed then as we waited on the lines, fell asleep on the bus, dreaming of Buzz and Woody, beauties and beasts, and seven assorted dwarfs.
Five days later, we?re back home. As I tuck my son into bed, I ask him, ?So, do you miss Disney??
?Nah. It was fun, but it?s good to be home.?
Amen to that. Oh, and have a magical day.
©2006, Beckerman. All rights reserved. For more LOST IN SURBURBIA columns, click here.

MOMMY THE TECH WHIZ


Rebecca and Dylan are excited to watch “The Polar Express” but they can’t seem to get the DVD to work. “Mommy, you’ve got to come fix this.” Mommy walks into the room, presses a few buttons and suddenly, the movie starts to work. “Wow mommy, that’s amazing, you fixed the DVD player,” says Rebecca. “What are you, a superhero or something?”