Plane Drain

screaming-baby.jpgI just figured out why comedians get so much great material while they’re flying to their next destination. The humor quotient aboard airplanes is so incredibly high – probably because hundreds of people who don’t know each other are crammed together for several hours, battling choppy winds, secretly praying they land safely, while infants, two year olds and other individuals and pets who can’t control themselves cry, whine, bark and kick incessantly.
In fact, right now, I am sitting aboard a plane equipped with everything you can possibly imagine and while the technology is divine – love the wifi, music, TV and film selections from the air, but nothing can drown out the toddler seated behind me in row 25F. Granted, I have two children of my own but at this stage of the game, they are model flyers. If they so much as tap the seat in front of them, they get an evil eye from me and they instantly apologize to inconvenienced passenger. Plus, when we hop on board a plane, we’ve got additional reinforcements – from DSi’s, to my laptop, iPod’s and an iPhone. Of course, there are books too, but who has time to read when you’re knee deep in gadgetry?
By some stroke of fate, I was seated in a row where my chair doesn’t recline as far back as anyone else’s. Which means while seat 23F is enjoying a fully reclined experience and has practically pushed my laptop into my abdomen, I pressed my recline button and my seat moved about an inch and a half. And here’s the kicker…I’m taking the red-eye back tomorrow and if I’m in the same seat, I’ll pretty much be sleeping standing up.
Meanwhile, over in seat 25F, I had to voice a complaint to the father of a toddler who would not stop kicking my chair. He instantly told him to cut it out and so far, I haven’t felt his tootsies jabbing into my back so at least we’re all clear on that front. About 10 rows ahead of us is a baby who I think finally knocked herself out after wailing incessantly for a good 30 minutes. Oh wait, she just woke up. WAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!
I know since I’m a parent, I shouldn’t complain about other people’s kids. I mean, I was in their shoes just a few years ago. I know how stressful it is to fly with little ones. The amazing thing is is that once you’ve passed the baby and toddler years, your threshold for tantrums and uncontrollable outbursts is significantly lowered. There’s an unspoken rule about plane rides. Keep it quiet and everyone will be happy. But throw a kid under 3 into the mix and trust me, your peaceful plane adventure will go out the window, like a pigeon being sucked into an engine. Oops – maybe I shouldn’t say that while I’m actually in the air.
Incidentally…some tried and true methods to keep your kids quiet on a long flight:
1. PACIFIERS – I don’t care if you think that using a pacifier will cause your child to develop an overbite. When they are screaming because their ears hurt and they haven’t yet mastered gum chewing, a paci works like a charm!
2. DVD PLAYERS – Bring their favorite selection of shows – from Dora, Yo Gabba Gabba, Sponge Bob, whatever it takes – there’s nothing like a TV show or movie to lull a kid into a catatonic state.
3. EAR PLANES – I discovered this magical product at the counter near my airplane gate. Stick some rubber gadgets in your ears and Voila, the pain you encounter when the cabin pressurizes your head and it feels like it’s being shoved into a vice, instantly disappears. They have Ear Planes for kids too…trust me, they work so stock up on them!!!
4. COLORING BOOKS, CRAYONS & MODEL CLAY – This activity will buy you at least a good 15-30 minutes depending upon your child’s attention span. Of course this won’t work with toddlers so instead, stick a Leapster in their hands and have them draw and play games to their hearts content.
5. FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD – There’s nothing like snacks that’ll get a kid to pipe down. Stay away from sugar though – you don’t want you’re toddler bouncing off the ceiling while everyone else is trying to nap.
So there you have it – flying with kids can be pleasant – all you need to do is have the right reinforcements. Or, you can always hold off on taking long flights with your kids until their at least 5 or rent an RV and drive cross country.
Time to say another few prayers to the airplane Gods, my grandparents, aunts and uncles who are always watching over me as I look forward to landing in the land of glitz and glamour. Hollywood, here I come…and watch out – I’m bringing a handful of screaming kids with me!

Spring on the way – a warm weather welcome!

Parentville.com

More excitement about Springtime! Here are some of our members’ favorite clothing and accessories that work great for the nice weather coming our way!

Polo Twill Athletic Icon Short by Ralph Lauren Baby

Polo RL Kids Shorts

A new addition to the Polo short line this season, these shorts are not only durable, but also have an elastic back waistband for comfort, babies who are in between sizes and are easy on/easy off capabilities!  Great for those warm spring and summer days coming up! At $40, these shorts are some of the more reasonable, given the durability and expansion capabilities (with the elastic bands).

Dressy Linen pants from The Children’s Place

Linen Pants Children's Place

New for spring from the Children’s Place are some great dressy clothes.  These linen pants are inexpensive and lightweight enough for summer nights or spring days… but they look great for holidays, BBQs or any other “going out” event.

Baby Silk Babysafe Sunscreen Towelettes

Sunscreen wipes

With sunny weather comes lots of sunscreen (and if it doesn’t, then take note that it should)!  These are soft wipes from MD Moms that are saturated with a sweat/water-proof, SPF 30+ sunscreen. They are also enriched with Vitamins E and B5, marine silk, aloe and oat to moisturize (safe for baby’s skin). The packaging says that “each wipe contains enough sunscreen to cover baby from head to toe,” which is definitely true — these are soaked with sunscreen!  For an older (larger) child you might need more than one wipe though. The packaging is convenient, but like other wipes, sometimes more than one comes out and then you can’t put it back in… and at $1.73/wipe, that can get expensive.  Overall though this is a great product and much easier than the mess of dealing with regular tube sunscreen.  Good to keep an emergency package in the diaper bag just in case you find yourself at the park on a very nice day and want to take advantage by staying out for a while.

Tuffo Water-Resistant Outdoor Blanket with Carrying Case

Outdoor blanket

This outdoor blanket is great for a day in the park, a picnic or watching a little league or soccer game. The two-sided patterns make it easy to keep a “ground” side vs a “kids” side.  It also has a great, fairly small carrying case and is water resistant so won’t soak through if there’s a wet spot in the grass.  It’s also machine washable, which makes cleaning it easy.  This is a must have for the spring!

Land’s End Packable Navigator Rain Jacket

Land's End rain jacket

This is an inexpensive jacket that packs into its pocket so it’s very small. A must-have for the April (and May) showers. Great to keep in the pocketbook for those “just in case it rains” moments. It’s easy to clean, and the hood and elastic arm cuffs help keep kids relatively dry even if they’re running and playing in the rain.

If you have other recommendations on your favorite clothes or spring-time accessories, comment here, or post a recommendation on Parentville!

Kids Review Corner: Pokemon Heart Gold

My son has been working overtime this week as an official Role Mommy product tester. After receiveing two Nintendo DS games in the mail to review, he has been playing Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver all week long! Check out his video review and find out whether both games get a thumbs up…

Click on Heart Gold and Soul Silver to order your copy on Amazon today.

TV Guilty Pleasure: Kirstie Alley’s Big Life

kirstie-alley-big-life.jpgWhile you get ready to start your weekend, I want to make sure all of you make a play date this Sunday night at 10 pm with Kirstie Alley. If you’re in the mood to laugh out loud, then open a bottle of wine, hijack the remote from your significant other and curl up with “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life” on A&E.
I recently had the chance to preview two episodes of the show and all I can say is I really love the cast of eclectic characters. From Kirstie Alley – who always manages to make me laugh – whether she’s starring in a sitcom, movie or TV commercial, to her flamboyant apprentice assistant, her lazy chubby handyman and her two teenager kids, True and Lillie, the one thing I really like about this show is that it is real, it’s a bit zany but it’s not exploitive.
For more of my review of “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life” check out my post on Lifetime Moms and if you’d like to catch a sneak preview of the show, then visit the A&E website today! Plus, if you’d like to follow Kirstie Alley on Twitter, here’s her handle: @KirstieAlley.

Family Fab Find: The Tribeca Kids Club

tribeca.jpg
If you live in the tri-state area and are on the lookout for fun and educational activities you can enjoy with your kids, then we have something that’s perfect for the whole family. On March 20, Tribeca Cinemas Kids Club features a lineup of both feature length and short films appropriate for all ages, curated by the Tribeca Film Festival programming team. The program is designed to introduce kids to the wide array of film genres, from classic musicals to timeless animations, and from popular favorites to foreign classics.
Each screening will be accompanied by an enriching activity tied to the film for kids and adults to enjoy. In addition, Tribeca Cinemas will have healthy snacks available at the screenings.
The screenings take place on March 20 at Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street. Morning screenings are geared towards a younger audience (3+) and afternoon screenings are for slightly older children (7+).
Tickets for children under the age of 14 are $7 for a single screening and $12 for the double-feature. Tickets for adults (ages 14 and over) are $10 for a single screening and $18 for the double-feature.
Group packages are available for 10 or more children with two or more adults.
Tickets are available for purchase in advance at www.tribecafilm.com/kidsclub or on the day of event, between 9am and 2pm, at the Tribeca Cinemas Box Office, 54 Varick Street. (For day of tickets, it is advised to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of screening to avoid sell outs.)
Following is the Tribeca Cinemas Kids Club March 20, 2010 line-up:

2010 Rabbits and Spiders and Pigs, Oh My!

10:30am
THE BIG GREEN RABBIT, 26 min
The latest Public Television craze, the BIG GREEN RABBIT follows Charlie and Isabelle as they take the world’s 3-6 year olds on health- and environmentally-focused adventures! Join us as we present Emmy-award winning episodes on film, with animation clips, dancing and singing.
Activity: Participants will be invited to a sing-along and dance-along with The Big Green. Bring your cameras – The Big Green loves taking photos with little kids!
1:30pm
CHARLOTTE’S WEB d. Charles A. Nichols and Iwao Takamoto, 94 min, 1973
E.B. White, author of the 1952 best-selling novel, CHARLOTTE’S WEB describes the story as a tale of ‘friendship and salvation, a story of miracles – the miracle of birth, the miracle of friendship, the miracle of death.” Join us as we present the classic animated musical about a sweet pig named Wilbur and a brilliant spider named Charlotte that every child can’t help but fall in love with.
Activity: Once you’ve seen the movie, put your creativity to work in an animation workshop hosted by the Children’s Museum of the Arts.

Giveaway Central: Fountain of Youth in a Basket!

drlopo.jpgSince Bonny recently posted about one of her best kept secrets to help make age spots fade away, I’ve just uncovered another savior for your skin. Ever since I hit 40 my skin has been taking a beating. I’ve always battled dry skin, but suddenly, I’m starting to see more visible lines on my face and to be honest, it kind of freaks me out because my grandmother used to have a face that was chock full of wrinkles – here’s hoping I take after my other grandmother who battled weight issues her whole life but had flawless skin.
So as I begin my quest to find the fountain of youth in a bottle, I’ve discovered a brand new skin care line called Dr. Lopo’s skin solutions. Dr. Lopo is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA School of Medicine and Vice-Chief of Staff at Providence-Tarzana Regional Medical Center. Plus, KCAL-9 has nominated Dr. Lopo’s SkinSolutions as a 2010 The Best of LA. Her belief is that skincare should not just feel good but should contribute to the overall health of skin. Her product line includes: cleansers, anti-aging serums, lightening agents, hand and body lotions, sunscreens and many more. Check out Dr. Lobo’s skin solutions today and find out how your skin can start looking and feeling great right away!
Now for the fun part…if you’d like to enter to win a basket full of skincare items compliments of Dr. Lobo, comment now with your email address and Twitter handle and let us know why you’re in desperate need of these amazing products!

Win a Virtual Assistant and a Free Hotel Room!


This week, Hyatt Place released the results of a national study revealing that the number of Americans struggling with work-life balance has nearly doubled to 71 percent since 2006. While a struggle to achieve work-life balance is not new, the study pointed out why that balance is no longer achievable. Rather than compartmentalize their life, the average 2010 American is instead multitasking all day, every day (hello – that would be me!).
A few interesting statistics included:
· 83 percent of Americans state that they often take care of work matters from home
· 59 percent state that they often handle personal matters at work
· 62 percent of respondents say that they are ‘constantly multitasking
· On average, someone working from home is doing five tasks simultaneously
Hyatt Place first identified this multitasking lifestyle as an emerging audience when it launched in 2006 and built its hotels to meet the needs of this specific group. Now, Hyatt Place wants to help Americans stay productive in their everyday life. To help guests balance work and home responsibilities, Hyatt Place has partnered with TaskUs.com, a virtual personal assistant service, to give away 2 months of service to 20 lucky winners in a national sweepstakes starting next week. And here at Role Mommy, two lucky readers will finally get some much needed help with their busy lives that includes the personal assistant service and a 2 night stay at Hyatt Place!
Comment on why you believe you should deserve this special gift and Tweet this post and you could be a winner! Please make sure to leave your email address too so that we have a way of contacting you if you win!

Five Ways to Work Out without Working Out

Lately, I’ve been avoiding my gym. And let me tell you – that doesn’t bode well for my thighs, butt and mid-section. But I’ve decided, rather than do the same thing I do all the time at my local gym (elliptical, stationery bike and treadmill), I’m going to do five things that will hopefully melt the fat from my lower half without me realizing I’m actually working out.
1. Rollerblading – Back in the day (meaning the mid-nineties), I was quite the rollerblader. In fact, my favorite thing to do each weekend was to strap on my blades, slip on my headphones and sing as I rolled through Central Park. During the winter, I’d even rollerblade to Wollman Rink, put my rollerblades in a locker and ice skate for an hour. Hello, Old Me – where are you and how do I get my mojo back?
2. Dancing Lessons – When I was on a cruise recently, I realized that I am a dance spaz. I mean, I can certainly do the typical side to side, hand bopping move that I perfected in the eighties and I personally love the “Baby Mama” ‘Stop Framing Your Face’ line, but what I’ve realized is that dancing burns a serious amount of calories – just look at how Kelly Osbourne transformed her body. Sign me up for some salsa lessons stat!
3. Commuter Calorie Burn – Give yourself less than 10 minutes to catch your train. Then sprint in high heels carrying your purse that includes a laptop, your cell phone, iPhone, files and notepad. Now, make sure your train is on the furthest possible track imaginable – for an added burn, climb three flights of stairs at top speed and then collapse on the train. Do not, under any circumstances buy a bag of pretzels before you board the train because if you do, the calories you burnt will be useless.
4. Tennis Anyone? My favorite sport since the time I was nine years old is tennis. The reason – when I’m in the zone, I can really play well. And when I play outdoors, I actually sweat – which means I burn calories. So I will step into my time machine, pretend I’m back in high school and start hitting those balls like a fiend.
5. Wii and My Family: Never count out my Wii Fit – which will definitely call me obese once I step on that balance board but I can take it. All I need to do is stick with a routine, even if it’s 15 minutes per day and I will be on my way. Besides, I love the kick boxing and hula hoop games – feel the burn without the burden.
So there you have it – five ways to lose weight without it feeling like a total chore. I’m kick starting my routine tomorrow and will let you know soon how it’s working for me. Summer is right around the corner and all I can say is I refuse to spend another season fretting over my knee fat and cankles!
If you have any fun calorie burning tips to share, please feel free to comment!