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Monday, November 25, 2013

Don't Hate Me Because I Do My Black Friday Shopping On Thanksgiving Night

It's all over my Facebook  and Twitter feeds.

Don't shop on Thanksgiving night! 
Tell [Major Retailer] that Thanksgiving isn't about greed!
Say NO to Black Friday on Thanksgiving!

How dare these retailers try to steal our time with our families from us! It's wrong. Thanksgiving is a time for being thankful for what we've got, not for standing in line to see what we can get.

Thanksgiving is, above all, a time for family.

Except when it's not.

Hi, I'm Ellie, and I shop on Thanksgiving night. Before you grab your torches and pitchforks, I'll tell you why.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sometimes You Have To Realize That You're The Jerk Until You're Not

I was just in line at the drugstore, and the woman in front of me was being (as I like to say, while rolling my eyes) difficult.

Somehow, the clerk forgot to charge her for something that cost a dollar, and Difficult Woman insisted that the clerk fix her error. I stood behind her with my arms full of stuff, shifting from foot to foot, highly conscious of the fact that my time was more precious than hers (of course) and mentally cursing this woman over a lousy dollar.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Call Out To Single/Divorcing Readers With Young Children

I received an email from Alana Siegel, a student at Yeshiva University, and she needs your help. Alana is in the final year of a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is completing a thesis on the effects of parent communication on preschooler's behavior after divorce.

She's looking for parents who've been divorced within the last three years who have a child between the ages of 2-5 that is currently enrolled in preschool. If you meet that criteria, can you take a short, 15 minute anonymous (and untraceable) survey and help her out?

You can find the survey at

Help Alana out if you can!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 8 Recap: The Sins Of The Father


We begin back in the Enchanted Forest this evening, with a young boy who's watching a con man rooking passers-by with a card game. Unfortunately, he's caught by a savvy customer, who begins to put a hurt on him. The boy runs forward, screaming that this is father, and the customer takes all the money and leaves. The man reassures the child that he'll figure something out to replace the money, then he calls the boy by name: Rumple.

Forward to Neverland now, and Pan takes Henry to Wendy, who's looking markedly worse. "If you save magic, you'll save us all," he pleads with Henry as Wendy the fakey faker coughs over-dramatically in the background. "We don't have much time," he warns.

Back to the Enchanted Forest again, and Rumple's father is knocking at the door of the local spinsters - and they are truly "spinsters" as the word originates, spinning wool into thread for a living. He asks them to care for Rumple while he goes in search of employment. Young Rumple is clearly afraid and doesn't want to be parted from his father, but Dad reaffirms that once he gets a real job, they'll be together. He presses the now-recognizable straw doll into Rumple's hand, telling him that he now has a friend to watch over him and protect him. He urges Rumple to give the doll a name. "Names always make things better," he says. "They make them real."


And then without a backward glance, he leaves.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Son - You Aren't The Kid I Wanted

Dear Son,

You're ten years old today. Ten years of all the typical parent stuff: worrying over every fever, jumping up and down when you took your first steps, lifting up the covers so you can crawl in next to me, yelling at the top of my lungs when you and your sister won't stop fighting.

And with those ten years also came the not-so-typical-parent stuff: wondering why you weren't talking, despairing through the tantrums that came with frightening frequency, clutching your diagnosis papers in my shaking hands as the tears fell and I knew. I knew the truth.

I didn't have the kid I thought I was going to have, the one I wanted to have. And I never, ever would.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 7 Recap: And When He Wins Your Heart


We begin this episode in a slight flashback, with Rumple saying goodbye to Belle at the dock before their departure to Neverland. He gives her a cloaking spell to shield the town and she realizes he never means to come back because he's going to Save HenryTM.

They show the cheesy CGI of the ship heading into the portal, and Belle lets the town know that they're not safe - there could be others that were associated with Greg and Tamara who could be on their way to Storybrooke right now.

And of course, there are. We see a car speeding toward the town line, while Belle, Blue, Archie and the dwarves head down to the mines, to open up a vein of fairy dust. Once they do and release the spell, the dust will carry it through town. We see a brightly lit dome come down over the town, knocking the rear bumper off the car, but not before it makes it through and across the town line.

The two men inside glance at each other, and keep on driving into town.

Over in Neverland, Rumple gives Ariel an enchanted shell, asking her to deliver it to Belle. He won't say what the object is for fear of Pan listening in, but he's sure Belle will know what to do once she receives the shell. Ariel takes off and we head over to Pan, who senses that someone has left Neverland.

"We need to get word to our friends on the ground in Storybrooke," he tells Felix. "And I need to have a chat with our friend in the other cage."

Friday, November 8, 2013

Never Underestimate The Power Of A Beautiful Heart

I came across this story today, and as the mother of a twelve year old girl, it hit me right in the feels. Grab the kleenex.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: For The Beauty Of The Earth

This month, I'll be doing a series of "Thankful Thursdays."

Today, I'm thankful for the great natural beauty of the world I live in. I'm thankful for the hot, dry, beauty of the desert I grew up in:

And I'm equally thankful for the crisp, colorful beauty of the place I now call home:

I am blessed to have experienced them both, breathed them in, rolled around in the sand and the leaves and felt a part of them both. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lights! Camera! Action! Autism!

We had David's parent-teacher conference last night, and as always, my boy is the proverbial "Little Engine That Could." They've changed the report card structure this year and oh, was it a wonderful change.

His new math report card shows his proficiency percentage in relation to set goals. For instance, one of the goals is 100% accurate computation of basic math facts in a timed, 100 question drill. Right now, he's sitting at 77%. Normally, that would give me a bit of a twinge. He tries so hard, but math is rough for him. It's good, but obviously he needs to work on this.

But this new report card? It also shows the class average on the same metric. Class average on that item? 72%! In fact, on just about everything in math, David is above the average percentage for the class. Not by a huge margin, mind you, but above all the same.

Monday, November 4, 2013

NaNoWriMo - Four Days In And Not Looking Too Shabby

Movie Review Monday: 'Free Birds' Is A Real Turkey

As a parent, I realize it's my job to take my kid to every great and not-so-great kid's movie that comes along. Sometimes the previews can clue you in and let you know not to expect much (Hello, Planes, I'm talking to you, you third-rate Cars knockoff. And I didn't like Cars, either). Sometimes, the previews make the movie look ho-hum and you get very pleasantly surprised (let me hear a big squee! for Tangled, Despicable Me and The Croods).

So when I see a preview that looks blah, I still have some hope in my heart. I've been wrong before, after all. And with that hope in my heart, I took my son to see 'Free Birds' on Saturday.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Season 3, Episode 6 Recap: Whozits And Whatsits Galore


We begin our episode running through the Enchanted Forest with our beloved bandit Snow White, with the queen's soldiers in hot pursuit. They corner her on a cliff, and she chooses to jump into the sea over letting them take her. It's a loooong way down and not looking so good for Snow, who blacks out when she hit the water. She is saved by a mermaid - and not just any mermaid!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ariel has arrived!


Forward to Neverland now, where we see Regina trying to give Emma a magic lesson, and it's not going well. She harps on Emma to focus, urging her to use her anger and channel it. Emma balks, insisting there has to be a way to use magic without taking it dark, but Regina is nagging at her until Emma gets good and pissed - and that finally lights the fire with magic.

David and Snow are watching from afar, not sure how they feel about all this, when Hook pulls them aside with a murmured "We need to talk." He's just come from his conversation with Pan, and without the slightest hesitation, he tells them that Neal is alive and on the island.

Snow immediately wants to tell Emma but David and Hook discourage that. Until they confirm that Neal is indeed alive and they can rescue him, it's better to keep Emma in the dark and not hurt her all over again. Snow isn't happy with keeping that secret (but come on, when has Snow ever been good at keeping a secret?) and she notes that secrets tend to keep you from the people you love. David gently reminds her that secrets can also protect the people you love.

Oh, David, right in the feels.

And into this confab strolls Emma, wondering what all the murmuring and furtive looks are about. David and Hook lie their shapely asses off, but Snow just blurts the secret right out. Emma's shocked into silence, shooting a furtive glance at Hook.