A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: giveaway

Mama Bears Unite!

You know that feeling you get as a parent when you suspect for a millisecond that your child has been wronged? That “Mama (or Papa) Bear” reflex that rears up in us and makes us feel like we could and would do ANYTHING to protect our kids?

Yeah. That. It’s a frightening and powerful rush, isn’t it? I feel it so often, I’m starting to think I might be a Mama Bear junkie. Granted, I’m a bit of an over-reactor in general . . .

“Kelsey said WHAT to you? Hand Mama the phone please.”

In fact, my husband, aka The Gatekeeper, frequently has to remind me to let the kids solve most of their own social dilemmas. I can’t help it. My hackles just stand on end when I start to sense my babies are hurting.

But sometimes our children can’t solve their own problems, particularly when they’re up against a big institution like a school. When that happens, it is our job to protect them, and pity the fool who gets in our way (said in my best Mr. T impersonation. You’re welcome.)

Once, when Mini-Me was in Kindergarten, she was in a classroom setting that was not a good fit for her particular needs and learning style. More often than not, she came home from school looking like this:

[photo removed at the request of Mini-Me]

You know Mini-Me. She takes after her Mama. (Bless her heart.) Well, she had a couple of behavioral incidents early in the year, and the next thing we knew, she was being treated like she was a “problem child.”

It was heartbreaking. We could actually see her self-esteem plummet during that time. I don’t really talk much about it, but back then I was *this close* to pulling Mini-Me out of public Kindergarten and homeschooling her after a series of very upsetting interactions we had with the teachers and administrators of her school. (And I think we can all agree that I would be a miserable failure as a homeschooling mother given my inability to stick to a routine or come up with appropriate crafts.)

That was around the time I quit blogging. I just couldn’t find a way to balance my burgeoning career (then hobby) and give Mini-Me the time and attention she needed at home.

That’s not the only reason I gave up blogging, but it was a major factor. Sometimes I wonder how much further along I could be in my career right now if I had stayed with blogging and not taken that year off.

But like I said, I was in that Mama Bear mode and I would have done anything to protect my girl. I have no regrets. That was in the winter and spring of 2009. We did everything in our power to support our daughter and make sure she got the education she deserved.

Our efforts paid off in the end. It was no surprise to us, but it turned out she was not a “problem child” at all, but rather a gifted and kinesthetic learner who was just bored silly and needed to be with a teacher who would see her as an asset instead of a liability.

Imagine that.

This is probably why I got all teary-eyed when I watched the preview for the upcoming film Won’t Back Down, by Fox Pictures, scheduled for release September 28th. In it, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis play two determined mothers who will stop at nothing to transform their children’s failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.

Honest to Pete, gives me goosebumps just thinking of it. I’ve been a big fan of Maggie Gyllenhaal for a long time. Ever see Secretary or Sherrybaby? Jayzus. This woman can act, y’all. I can’t wait to see the hurtin’ she puts on this role as a crusading mother.

Now add Viola Davis, Rosie Perez, and Holly Hunter? (All of whom are either Oscar nominees or winners.) Holy Hell. This is gonna be good.

Okay, enough jibber jabber. Visit the Won’t Back Down Facebook page and “like” it for more updates on the film. You can even organize a girls night out and purchase group tickets there while you’re at it.

Also, Fox and BlogHer are teaming up to give you the chance to win one of two $40 Fandango gift cards. All you need to do is answer these questions in the comments below: How can you be an agent for change in your community? What gives you courage?

No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
“b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the
following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry””; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post”
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 9/5/12-9/30/12.
Be sure to visit the Won’t Back Down brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggersí posts and find more chances to win!

Get Your Lady Bits Poised for Perimenopause {and win $250}

This post is for the ladies. Gentlemen, please form a single file line and walk to the gym for a rousing presentation by the Phys. Ed. teachers on how to care for your prostate.

::Glances from side to side.::

Are they gone?

Oh good! Let’s talk shop, ladies. And by “shop” of course I mean vaginas.

I was thirteen years old when I got my first period. The thing I remember most about it was that my mom and her best friend Monica poured Champagne for the three of us (just a sip for me) and then toasted me on becoming a woman. We sat on the floor in my living room and yakked the night away talking about grown-up lady bits stuff, and I felt like I had just been initiated into a wonderfully secret sorority.

Fast forward about thirty years, and I’m starting to notice a whole new crop of strange bodily changes on the horizon. And no, I’m not just talking about the beard and mustache I sprouted after Bucket Head was born.

The thing is, as women approach menopause, there is no formal presentation or celebration that prepares us for this next life stage. We just hear scary labels like “the change” and imagine the worst. (I already don’t recognize myself in the mirror most mornings; I don’t know if I can handle any more “change,” thankyouverymuch.)

But Poise brand wants to help us approach this next life stage with confidence by encouraging The 2nd Talk, a whole new way to learn about menopause and other wellness issues for women our age. And to support us, they are introducing a first-of-its-kind line of products designed to work naturally with our bodies and provide comfort from symptoms.

As a BlogHer reviewer, I’ve gotten a sneak peak at some of the cool new products Poise is introducing this month. And yes, this is a sponsored post, but I think you know me well enough by now to know that I choose my sponsors very carefully, and I always calls it like I sees it.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Leslie, I thought you were anti-Feminine Hygiene Products?”

Well, yes and no.

It’s true, I’ve written several posts about the misogynistic message communicated to the world by most of the feminine hygiene industry. I personally do not want to be told over and over that I’m not good enough, and all those sprays and douches and deodorized tampons make me feel like everyone thinks I stink.

But then again, sometimes I really do stink. And I’ve got young kids who are perfectly willing to say that aloud. (Awesome.)

So perhaps my soap and water routine isn’t cutting it, particularly when my pesky Aunt Flo is all up in my vagizness.

Not only that, but soap can be very drying, and we women of a certain age do not need any help drying out our goody bags, if you know what I mean.

That’s where Poise’s new product line piques my interest.

Poise’s new Feminine Wash is Gynecologist tested and pH Balanced. Ladies, take it from me, you do not want to putz with the pH of your poonany, like, ever.

It is also Glycerin & Paraben free which is incredibly important for our health. If you don’t know why chemicals like these are bad mojo, I’ll fill you in real quick (that’s what he said.) Parabens mimic estrogen in the body and are associated with cancer cells. Avoid them whenever you can, but particularly around the thin and delicate membranes of your vagene. And glycerin is major no-no because even though it may feel all fun and slippery at first, it is a man-made chemical that works by pulling moisture from the inside of your skin cells outward. Over time, it will cause more harm than good. Long story short: a dry vagina is a sad vagina.

I do not know what this stuff smells like yet, which could be a deal breaker for me. But if it smells like a fresh, mild soap without the drying properties of soap, I’m totally in, and I think my family will probably thank me for it.

The other new Poise product I’m really excited about is their revolutionary new Panty Fresheners.

Let’s face it, ladies, swamp crotch happens. And the complexity of our anatomy can make it challenging to feel just-showered-fresh all day long.

Fortunately, Poise has engineered a product that is kind of like a cross between the charcoal filter on a litter box and a Stick-Up air freshener.

Oh yes. I went there. Remember those things?

Let’s be honest, sometimes your crotch is a good place for a Stick-Up. Amiright? But we need a safe version that won’t irritate our sensitive lady bits or expose us to dangerous chemicals.

The new Poise Panty Fresheners stick to the OUTSIDE of your undergarments! It’s brilliant, really. Way to think outside of the box, Poise! {Puh-dum-pum-tchhhhh!}

It provides a fresh scent for four hours, but without the risk of putting fragrance right next to your bare skin. These discreet stick-on disks are hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested. I’m guessing if you pop one of these down your pants around lunch, it will keep you feeling confident until you can get home and give yourself a Silkwood.

All joking aside, when we feel confident, we can accomplish great things. Poise wants to know, when do YOU feel most confident? Please share in the comments below and you will be entered to win a $250 Visa gift card!

Also, Poise wants to rally 1 million women to pledge to have The 2nd Talk by World Menopause Day on October 18. By joining the conversation, women will gain more menopause knowledge, support, and solutions. Join the conversation at The2ndTalk.com.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some housekeeping to do. And of course by “housekeeping,” I mean tending to my recalcitrant lady garden.

Rules (It may smell like it, but this isn’t Lord of the Flies, you know.)

No purchase necessary to enter or win.

Only unique Entries will be counted; duplicates will not be considered as an additional entry.

You may receive entries on this post by selecting from the following entry methods starting on July 26, 2012 at 9 a.m. PT and ending on August 24, 2012 at 5 p.m. PT:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion, including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: ì#sweepstakesentryî; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.

d) To enter without posting comments, see official rules.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. Void where prohibited.

Be sure to visit Poise’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

And thank you for being here and supporting me and each other with your wisdom and humor!

Sincerely, and now with added panty freshness,


Thank you for your interest but this giveaway is now officially closed.

How to Find Great Hotel Deals with DealAngel

One of my biggest regrets in life is that my husband and I didn’t travel more before we had kids.

San Diego, 1995…weekend vacay with my parents (how romantic!) Yes, I’m wearing overalls. Shut up.

We both worked in social services and didn’t have a lot of money. (But how cute is HE?!)

Then we pinched our pennies forever to buy our first house.

And then along came kids, pets, and a big ol’ suburban prison lawn to mow every damn weekend. Continue reading

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