When words are your currency

I still can’t recall the very first day,

My mom’s brilliant mind began slipping away,

Perhaps it was the first time she burned our favorite dish,

Or our phone conversations that always ended with a wish,

I wish you stay well and I love you so much,

She’d repeat on our calls, yet seemed so out of touch,

When words are your currency, there is nothing more cruel,

Then a disease that slowly takes away the things that made you, you

The shoulder I could lean on, pour my heart out when I was down,

She encouraged me to go after everything – even beauty pageant crowns,

My best friend, my champion, a true North Star,

As the light in her eyes dim, those memories seem so far,

Mom was always so wise and her advice so sage,

I truly believed she would defy her age,

She did everything right and she challenged her mind,

But something began to change with those telltale signs,

Alzheimer’s disease is a villain, that doesn’t care who it afflicts,

The brilliant, the devoted, the one who cares for the sick,

As loved ones we watch, we hope and we pray,

That somehow her words will come back to her one day,

“I love you, I love you” is the message she imparts,

While her mind fights back, it truly breaks my heart,

No matter what happens, life’s plan is unclear,

We can no longer live in this constant state of fear,

It’s time to share stories and words that make her smile,

I love you too Mom and will see you in a short while,

Stay focused on the present and live for today,

And cherish the words she still knows before they all fade away

One Mom: Role Mommy of the Week

onemomphoto.jpgAs a blogger, I always find it amazing how some of the women I have met along my journey truly have the power to effect real change in our world. Emily McKhann and Cooper Monroe are two of those women. The pair are the founders of The Motherhood and over the years, have been at the forefront of movements to support and protect mothers and families worldwide.
This year, the pair embarked on an unbelievable journey along with eight other inspiring mom bloggers as part of a trip spearheaded by One Mom, a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support smart and effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures. Cofounded by Bono and other campaigners, ONE is nonpartisan and works closely with African activists and policy makers.
During a recent visit to Kenya, the One Mom bloggers traveled throughout the region, meeting mothers, holding babies, sharing hugs and shedding tears – all in a mission to raise awareness about the plight of women and families in Kenya who struggle to survive and thrive in this third world nation. Last night, ABC News selected One Moms as their person of the week and this Monday, the One Moms will be featured on Good Morning America. What you can tell from the video of their journey is that these women were truly moved and motivated by what they saw. As some of the most vocal and passionate women in the blogosphere, these writers will continue to raise awareness by sharing their stories and urging other moms to spread the word. Below is a widget from the One Mom campaign where you too can pledge your support. We urge you to join the movement and visit OneMom.org for more information on how you can help.

Welcome home Cooper, Emily and all the One Moms…you truly are Role Mommies!

Taste Test: Dr. Oetkers Pizza

Risto-USA-Mozzarella-Web.jpegI recently participated in a fun online chat with The Motherhood about preparing dinner at home for my family. The event was sponsored by Dr. Oetker’s pizza, a company that boasts the #1 selling frozen pizza that’s sold in Italy. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, then I don’t know what is! Following the chat, we were informed that within a few weeks, we’d get the chance to try out Dr. Oetker’s pizza since it’s now officially available in supermarkets nationwide. And last week, a special delivery arrived on my doorstep.
Let me first say that as someone who was born and bred in Brooklyn, New York, I pride myself on being a pizza connoisseur. I particularly love a good slice of pizza that has the perfect blend of crust, cheese and sauce. I am also a huge fan of thin sliced pizza – perhaps it ties into my fixation with weight loss – the thinner the crust, the less caloric intake. I first sampled the traditional pizza mozzarella which includes tomatoes, edam cheese and a flavorful mixture of herbs. I have to say – the taste is unlike any frozen pizza I’ve ever tried. The crust is thin and crispy, there’s a perfect amount of sauce and cheese on the pie and the herbs give it a flavor that’s completely unique. Trust me when I tell you that you definitely can’t mistake it for any other frozen pizza brand.
The next pie we sampled was the Quattro Formaggi, which features a blend of mozzarella, Edam, Emmental and blue cheese, complemented by basil seasoning on a crispy thin crust. Since my husband is the resident cheese lover in the family, I gave him the dubious honor of tasting this pizza and the overwhelming consensus was that it too was muy delicioso!
So if you’re like me and you’ve hit the end of the week dinner doldrums, bring home a Dr. Oetker’s pizza pie and get ready to please all the palates in your family!
*The compensated post was sponsored by The Motherhood.

Uma Thurman Tackles New Role: Mom Blogger

mother-707394.jpgRecently, I was invited to participate in a mom blogger conference call with feature film actress and mom of two, Uma Thurman. Thurman stars in the soon to be released comedy “Motherhood” which centers on one pivotal day in the life of a stressed out, stay-at-home blogging mom. The Motherhood also stars Anthony Edwards, who portrays Thurman’s husband, and Minnie Driver (love her).
As each blogger chimed in, I could sense that each of us were leading incredibly harried lives. A snapshot of our stretched-to-the-max group included one multi-tasking mom who was racing to the airport. Another was conducting the interview from her kitchen while her toddler rattled off breakfast demands. Line five featured a mom trying to calm her crying infant, while another baby gurgled and cooed on someone else’s line. As a cacophony of baby sounds blasted out the typical muzak you hear before a call starts, we were given instructions on how to mute the phone. I guess a mute button lesson was in order so that when Uma called in, you’d be able to hear a pin drop, rather than hearing someone blurt out, “Mommy, I have to go poop.”
Before we knew it, Uma jumped on the line and was ready for our questions. What follows is an excerpt of our favorite responses:
Question: How do you manage to juggle work and family?
Uma: It’s really hard to do – basically I don’t work at all the same or as often as I used to. I prefer films. It’s just a matter when things get tough, you try to forgive yourself if you missed out. As much as I want to be in eight places, I can’t. I try to have a rich and warm family life with all the time I do have and I try to strike a balance.
Question: Tell us about your character in The Motherhood.
Uma: This is a story where the mother is central to the experience. She’s the one being seen for her actions – she’s not there to focus her attention on how to relate to the person of interest. I just think that Katherine’s character is so honest. She feels fulfilled and compromised in a way by totally being in baby land and not stimulating other parts of her life. I like that she has flaws and anger issues. She’s funny and charming and just sort of real.
Question: How do you feel motherhood is portrayed in Hollywood films?
Uma: I think that motherhood has always been put on the third shelf down. I’ve had one woman say to me – why do I want to watch a movie about my own boring life? We so discredit our own experience and some believe that raising human beings is so unimportant. Some women think it’s not worthy of consideration or they really appreciate it if they’ve experienced it.
Question: Why does your character blog?
Uma: She’s someone who studied to be a writer and she’s a novice novelist. She has also chosen and dedicated herself to raising her child. Having a mommy blog is a way to exercise her creativity that fits in with her life as a mother.
Question: How has having children made you a better actress?
Uma: It changed me completely. You are never the same person before and after you have children. I guess when I do get to work, I feel so appreciative of it because I don’t get to do it all the time. It’s made much more clear lines of my life and my work and I deeply appreciate it.
Question: What was your biggest challenge working on the film?
Uma: I was surprised by what wonderful actors the children who played my kids were and how great it was to act with them. I never really played a realistic mom before and having the chance to work with those kids on such a wonderful and warm script was such a great aspect.
Question: Do you read mommy blogs?
Uma: You know I didn’t get into the blogging world. I feel guilty about it and I apologize. There is still time. I feel so badly telling you that.
Question: What are you favorite things about filming in NY and what are your least favorite things?
Uma: My favorite thing is how close it is to home. My least favorite thing is how noisy it is. The biggest challenge (in New York) is the noise challenge.
“The Motherhood” will be released in theaters this Friday, October 23 in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago. If you’d like the chance to win tickets to a screening in one of these cities, comment now and we’ll be in touch soon if we’ve selected you as a winner!

Say No to Texting While Driving

MomsMsg.com

When I was asked by The Motherhood to serve as a Mom Ambassador for their Mom Sends A Message campaign, I instantly jumped on board. While I recently saw the PSA from the UK that shows a horrifying accident between teens who text while drive, I’ve also noticed first hand the dangers of distracted driving.
Recently, while sitting at my son’s baseball game, we heard a loud crash and when we turned around, a pair of girls in an SUV had careened right into the car in front of them. While there was no way of knowing at the time whether they were texting and driving, what followed afterward was pretty telling. The girls were so shocked that they remained in the car and proceeded to call their parents on their cell phone. They didn’t leave the car until one of my friends approached them and suggested they exit the vehicle rather than remain in an SUV that could have caught fire or been hit by another car while they were parked in the middle of an intersection.
And that’s why I agreed to not only sign the Moms Send a Message petition, encouraging other moms to vow not to text while driving, but to also warn teens who have just received their licenses that they need to put the cell phones away and focus on driving. If you’ve just passed your driving test, don’t you think you owe it to yourself to keep your hands on the wheel and not text while driving? As for moms (especially the blogging kind), it is incredibly tempting to steal a glance at your blackberry or iPhone while you’re stuck in traffic. But if you are tempted to respond to any message while you’re carting your kids to class or racing along on the highway, please stop what you are doing and think of what you could be doing to yourself and your family. Nothing is that important that it can’t wait until you reach your driveaway and take your kids out of the car.
If you’ve been distracted in the car and lived to tell about it, then why not make a promise to focus while you’re driving and save the texting for when you’re at home or in the office. We’ve all become a little too addicted to our gadgets. So please join me along with The Motherhood to sign the pledge against texting and driving. It’s time we all make a promise to protect ourselves and our families. And keeping our hands on the wheel instead of our cell phones is a great place to start. To find out how you can get involved in this important initiative, visit Moms Send a Message today and enter a contest where you can create a video PSA on distracted driving where you could win: $1,000 for 1st Place; $500 for 2nd Place and $250 for 3rd Place. Full contest details can be found on the website: www.momsmsg.com.