On the Road with Role Mommy

Take a tour of Manhattan with Role Mommy behind the wheel of the 2009 Nissan Murano. In this three part video we share all the cool things we discovered during our test drive, plus our favorite landmarks along the West Side Highway, a trip down memory lane, road trip essentials and much more. Plus, if you’re in the market for a car, we tell you everything there is to know about the brand spankin’ new Nissan Murano.
As my Grandma Dora used to say, “What’s not to love?” (shrug shoulders while uttering this phrase).
The Role Mommy Test Drive Part I

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Road Trip Essentials & Why the West Side Highway Rocks

Where Oh Where Has My Little Girl Gone?

So my daughter has been at sleepaway camp for a little over 24 hours and I am suffering from full blown withdrawal. I keep visiting her camp website hoping they’ve posted some more photos of all the campers, but every time I click through the 30 plus pages, I’ve only managed to see her in two group shots (and there are already more than 400 pictures up on that site so far!) My usually candid social butterfly is nowhere to be found! I mean, I noticed the little girl she boarded the bus with, but my Becca is MIA.
Could it be she’s been crying for hours and they don’t want me to see her all puffy and sad? Or maybe, she’s so busy writing us letters that the photographer wasn’t able to capture that perfect shot to show us that she’s doing just fine. I have to say though, if I don’t see a photo of her soon I may be emailing that camp to at least have them send out a smoke signal to verify that a) she arrived safely and b) she’s having a great time.
Meanwhile, I’ve already written her about 10 letters since she’s left (I know it’s only been 1 day), and I stuffed 8 notes in her bag and mailed one out to her this morning. Something tells me that by the time she gets back I will be publishing a new book entitled “Letters to Becca…the summer I lost my mind missing my daughter.”
In the meantime, my son is having the time of his life – he’s officially an only child for four weeks and he couldn’t be happier. Right now he’s with his dad in the park and earlier this evening, he played the Wii and used my computer without anyone fighting him to get off and give them a turn. The only downside of his sister being gone is that her kitten has gotten even more psychotic (as if that were possible). None of us can stay in the same room with Hazel because if we do, she pounces on us when we least expect it, bites at our extremities and claws us until we have to banish her to the basement. And my poor son was gauged in the face when she leaped out of thin air and landed right on his cheek. Oh, and let’s not forget about yesterday when she came careening off the 2nd floor landing into a glass vase that shattered all over the floor. And guess who had the great fortune of cleaning it up. She wrote the essay you’re reading right now. Mystery solved.
Time to hit the road so I can figure out what I’m going to write in my next letter to Becca. Better yet, maybe I’ll check the website again for photos. You never know when my daughter will finally realize she’s got to throw herself in front of the camera so that her parents know she’s doing just fine.

Test Drive Anyone?

IMG00091.jpgOne of the perks of being a blogger and knowing my good friend Kim at TravelingMom.com is that I get to have some really cool experiences. Like the one that pulled up in front of my house today. For the next two weeks, I’m going to be able to test drive the 2009 Nissan Murano SUV and so far, the car looks great, handles the road really well, and it has already met my daughter’s approval since the second row has heated seats.
Check out our blog post on Traveling Mom for the latest on our Nissan Murano test drive. And take a look at the car…pretty cool.

The Role Mommy Fave Five

Just as we’re all getting started for another week filled with warm humid weather, rain and summer camp, comes a fave five featuring some of the most talented blogging Role Mommies on the Internet and a notable quotable from my seven year old son…
1. Check out this post from Devra at Parentopia who gives her take on the Jon and Kate divorce and offers tips on how to help kids through the divorce process.
2. Our best wishes go out to Julie at Momspective, who is recovering from a total hysterectomy. Julie shares her personal emotions about the experience on her blog and trust us, you’ll be riveted. She’ll also be co-hosting her Wii Mommies show this Friday on Role Mommy Radio if you’d like to listen in and hear about her recovery.
3. Vanessa, a talented writer and mom of two who contributes New Jersey Moms Blog and has her own site called Chef Druck Musings, shares this humorous post about her being a bodily fluid superwoman. You’ve got to read it to believe it!
4. Check out this week’s Huffington Post entry about Mommy porn by one of my favorite parenting writers, Vicki Iovine, author of the hilarious Girlfriends’ Guide parenting book series.
5. Best line of the week – my seven year old’s comment to his big sister just as she was leaving for four weeks of sleepaway camp: “I’m going to turn your room into a science lab and hope that something doesn’t blow up.” (Priceless).

Welcome to Pet Central

Here at Role Mommy, we’re becoming quite the zoo – welcoming into our home a brand new kitten named Hazel (we fondly refer to her as “Weasel”), two new hermit crabs, and a lizard who sadly, croaked after succumbing to one too many crickets that had been deposited into its expensive tank for feeding (for anyone planning to purchase a lizard, here’s a quick tip: you’re supposed to give a lizard 5 crickets, not 15 at one feeding).
Thumbnail image for 4636_85593080204_551290204_1907768_1337342_n.jpgThankfully, there haven’t been any more casualties in our home due to excessive feeding. And while I normally do reviews of products and services for kids and families, imagine my surprise when the PR team for K9 Cuisine, a line of pet food and treats for dogs and cats (but not lizards) reached out to me to see if we were interested in sampling their healthy and playful fare. After a quick consult with Rudy and Hazel, they were totally down with it.
Thumbnail image for IMG00122.jpgAnd so, a few weeks ago, a big box of goodies arrived for the finicky duo. They were ecstatic since normally when boxes arrive, it’s usually groceries from Fresh Direct, camp clothes for my daughter or a DVD from Netflix. The cats and I tore through the box and uncovered a treasure trove of goodies – from wet food, to catnip toys, to healthy dry food, pet supplements, you name it, it was in there.
Thumbnail image for IMG00128.jpgOver the last month, I’ve discovered that the cats particularly love the dry food. In fact, if I leave the pantry door open for too long, they’ll climb inside and paw at the bag until it tumbles off the shelf and deposits a few morsels of food on my wood floor. I have no idea why it’s so tasty, nor will I be sampling it anytime soon, but Rudy and Hazel are big fans of Core dry food. Plus, Rudy is also quite fond of the catnip toy and luckily, Hazel hasn’t discovered what it is exactly or else our psychotic kitten will be bouncing off the walls.
If you’d like to find out more about the pet food products offered at K9 Cuisine, then visit their website. The cool thing is, you can buy them in stores or order online if you run out of your pet’s favorite dish. Time to bolt…have to feed the hermit crabs!

The Michael Jackson Fave Five

As the world is still mourning the loss of one of the most talented music artists of all time, here at Role Mommy, we’ve decided to pay tribute to Michael Jackson by sharing our Fave Five songs that always put a smile on our face when we heard them on the radio, caught it in a music video or played it over and over again on our iPod!
I Want You Back
By far, the best song by the Jackson Five – okay, I know I’m a cheese ball, but I love this one!

I’ll Be There
The song is timeless and it will always be on of my personal favorites!

Billy Jean
Okay…who didn’t want to learn how to do the Moon Walk back in the eighties. I never could master that move, but today, one of my daughter’s classes learned the “Thriller” dance!

Pretty Young Thing
Watch this one and you’ll just want to get up out of your seat and start dancing. Can I just hop back in my time machine and go back to the eighties right now?

Man in the Mirror
What an uplifting song…may his incredible music be his legacy…

The Find’s Fave of the Week

Too Cute Bento Lunch Boxes
This fall my daughter begins preschool and I’m in search of a bento box for her lunches. I’m half Japanese and I’ve grown up with bento boxes my entire life. I’m looking forward to preparing meals that will make her smile and hopefully consume. Luckily it will only be twice a week! There are a plethora of bento blogs devoted to bento box preparation and many options to buy bento lunch boxes online. I’m looking for a bento that is colorful, cute and can be easily opened with a toddler’s small hands. The larger orange and pink Vivo is adorable, but with the metal handle is better suited towards older kids.
In addition to the actual bento lunch boxes there are recipe books and a dizzying array of accessories for the preparation of bento. I’ve been already using some of them to make mealtimes more fun for my finicky eater. Luckily she loves rice, organic nori and edamame which I’ll be adding to the bento and are quick and easy to prepare.
Bento products featured above:
Vivo Kids Bento Box, Orange and Pink, $22 at Amazon.com
Yokom Kids Bear Bento Box, $17.99 at Sugarcharms.com
Hawaii’s Bento Box Cookbook: Fun Lunches for Kids, $14.95 at nativebookshawaii.com
Niko Niko Punch 3 – Face Bento Decoration, $19.50 at jbox.com

Get in Shape with The Mojo Coach!

In our never ending quest to lose “the last 10 pounds” we’re pleased to announce a brand new contributor to Role Mommy and our blog, The Girdle Chronicles, dietician, fitness guru, best-selling author and whole health coach, Debi Silber…better known as The Mojo Coach!
Today, Debi is tackling a topic that I struggle with all the time. What is the perfect workout that will get me motivated to burn calories and lose weight!
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What is Your Perfect Workout?

What does your perfect workout mean? Is it a stroll in the park, taking a class, a rigorous hour of tennis, or using the Stairmaster during your favorite TV show? Maybe it means focusing on your breath in a yoga class, stretching your muscles with Pilates or running to your favorite songs. While any of these workouts benefit your body, mind and soul, many moms don’t exercise at all. In fact, the only exercise their getting is when they exercise their right…not to exercise.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to find your perfect workout. But what if you haven’t worked out in weeks, months, even years? What matters is that you find something that you can enjoy. What also matters is that you begin at a level that’s only slightly more challenging than what you feel you can do. This way, you don’t scare yourself off from beginning and sticking with a new routine. It’s also a great way to build confidence in yourself. By setting a goal that’s reasonable, then achieving that goal, you gain the confidence to keep trying. It’s an empowering feeling to take back the reins and know that your fitness, health and priorities are up to you.
Now like many moms, let’s say you haven’t exercised in an embarrassingly long time. You’re never ending to-do list got the best of you and the only way you could get everything done was by cutting your own self care right off your list. So unfortunately, your exercise was one of the first things to go. This may have worked for a while but at some point, you began to feel sluggish, lethargic and unfit. Maybe you noticed that your clothes weren’t fitting as well as they used to. You may have realized that while you used to sprint up the steps, now you’re huffing and puffing as you near the top. Whatever caused you to see that you need exercise in your life doesn’t matter, as long as you use that information to get going. So, where do you begin?
You can always start with walking. You know how to do it, you don’t need to be exceptionally coordinated and all you need is a properly fitting pair of walking shoes. Just by getting outside, looking at the changing leaves or noticing the beauty that surrounds you may be enough to keep you motivated to walk. If that’s not enough, you can bring an ipod or MP3 player to listen to your favorite music. There are also some great services which enable you to download workouts according to your workout level and needs. You can even download podcasts of programs you enjoy or just use the time as an opportunity to clear your head.
Now it doesn’t matter if you work outside the home, have a newborn, whatever. You can justify or make excuses for anything you don’t want to do. The idea is to find a way to get it done so you can feel good again. For example, if you leave early in the morning and head off to work, you can have a gym bag packed and head to the gym before you come home. If you feel too guilty to try it maybe realizing that the happier mom is, the better she is for everyone else is enough to change your mind. You can also try exercising during your lunch break, taking a short walking break every hour or find an exercise buddy you can walk with and be accountable to.
If you have young children, there are some other strategies you may want to try. Get on that treadmill in your home, use tapes, DVD’s or just tune into your local exercise channel. Just simply put your baby in an area safely nearby. Your baby may even get a real kick out of watching his or her mommy working out. If not, he or she can use the time to sleep, snack or play. If your children are a little older, give them a special activity that they only get to do while mommy works out. They’ll look forward to the activity while you get your workout in.
If you want to workout outside, there are great exercise joggers that allow you to walk, jog or run with your child safely strapped in. You can also wear your baby in a Baby Bjorn or baby backpack. This adds weighted resistance to your workout while taking away any excuse you may have! Your baby will also love the special time feeling close to you while getting some fresh air. Another option is to join a class for moms and their kids. If that doesn’t work for you, many health clubs offer babysitting for a small fee. Lastly, you can hire a babysitter or find a friend that is willing to take turns babysitting each others children so you can both make the time for much needed self care.
It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something. The key is to find a way to incorporate exercise back into your life. If you do nothing now and exercise for fifteen minutes tomorrow, you’re moving in the right direction. What’s most important is that you give your body, mind and soul what it so rightfully deserves. And as you begin to feel better about your body and your commitment to take better care of yourself, your body will kindly respond by slowly getting back to being the finely tuned machine it had been long ago. Then at some point, you may see the beauty in you that everyone else does.
Thumbnail image for tmc_debi01.pngDebi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coachâ„¢ is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Nutrition Science. She’s a Certified Personal Trainer, Whole Health Coach, Lifestyle Expert – just for moms, speaker and the author of The Lifestyle Fitness Program: A Six Part Plan So Every Mom Can Look, Feel and Live Her Best and From Mom To Wow: Your Ultimate Body, Mind and Life Makeover Guide. Debi’s been branded The Mojo Coachâ„¢ because for nearly 20 years she’s motivated overweight, overwhelmed and unfit moms to “get their mojo back” through gradual, lifestyle change. Sign up for a free report, 52 weeks of weekly tips and a subscription to Debi’s newsletter Mojo Moments at www.TheMojoCoach.com