The Rockwood Files: A Tale of Two Nights


By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

One night 12 years ago…

The night didn’t get started until 9 p.m. My friend JC and I, whose single-girl apartments were a few moon.jpgdoors away from one another, considered it uncool to be seen out any earlier than nine o’clock. What would be the point anyway? Everybody knew that nothing worth talking about happens before nine.

We spent a couple of hours changing our minds about outfits, hair and make-up choices. After we were satisfied that our look was just right, we climbed into the car and headed toward a restaurant/sports bar where the bartender was cute and the mozzarella sticks were hot. We snacked and laughed and talked to old friends and new faces, discussing clothes, cars, gossip, and, most importantly, where we were headed later in the night to go dancing.

As the clock closed in on 11 p.m., we paid our tab and went to a dance club located in the basement of a downtown restaurant known for its ability to pack in a huge crowd for “Trash Disco” night. We loved dancing to those songs that hit the charts when we were still toddlers.

We danced with just about any guy who asked us to as long as we liked the song and the guy wasn’t handsy. If we met a nice guy or two along the way, it was a pleasant surprise. But we were smart enough to know our chances of meeting a soul mate during “Trash Disco” night weren’t great. We weren’t there to date. We were there to dance. And we did – right up until the last song played at 2 a.m. and the place closed down.

At 2:05 a.m., we drove a few miles away to a diner by the bowling alley where cranky old waitresses served breakfast all night to college kids not ready to go home yet. Without a moment of guilt, we both had a huge plate of biscuits and gravy because our metabolism was as energetic as we were. Then we went back to our respective apartments a little after 3 a.m. and called it a night – a really good night.

One night two days ago…

We asked the babysitter to arrive at 3:30 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. Tom and I started getting dressed to go out around 3:10 p.m. We’d lost track of time because I was busy catching up on laundry while Tom paid bills online at his laptop. The sitter showed up and we were nearly giddy to see her. We were about to have a nice, leisurely restaurant dinner with another married couple where no one would squirm in her highchair or throw pepperoni or ask us for game tokens. Ah, a little slice of grown-up heaven.

Determined to milk every minute of babysitting time we’d reserved, we got out of there as soon as our friends arrived. But it seemed weird to have dinner at 4 p.m., so we found a place to have drinks and talk. Around 4:30 p.m. or so, we went to a Japanese restaurant where the guys had sushi and we girls had way too much fried rice. Our thirty-something conversation revolved around jobs, news, ice storm clean-up, chainsaws, funny chainsaw stories, taxes, tax software, kids, kids’ weird sleeping habits, kids’ latest bout with illness, recession and jokes about how we should not be eating this much.

Around 7 p.m., we drove to the movie theater to see what was playing. But we couldn’t find a movie that didn’t look stupid that was starting at a time that suited us. So we skipped the movies and had dessert instead. Two chocolate molten lava cakes later, there were more jokes about how we REALLY shouldn’t have had that dessert but it was totally worth it anyway. Back in the car, we agreed it seemed later than it actually was and it was probably best to get back home since the kids would be getting tired soon. But I think it was the grown-ups who were fighting back yawns. Our bellies were full and Monday morning work was looming on the other side of nightfall.

At home, we paid the sitter, tucked in our three kids, loaded the dishwasher and crawled under the covers. Glancing over at the clock, we were thrilled to see that it was only 9 p.m. We were warm in bed with our television remote and some recorded sitcoms on the DVR list. Thinking back, I realized my night was now ending at the same time it started a dozen years ago.

“Honey, we’re in bed at 9 p.m., you know. We’re really old, aren’t we?” I asked.

“Yes, honey. We’re really old. But I’m okay with it,” he replied.

“Me, too,” I said.

A sitcom or two later, we turned out the lamps and called it a night – a really good night.

Waiting for Shlomo: A loving tribute to Erin’s mother

By Erin, Isaac’s mama

My Mom passed away on Sunday.  My Mom.  My Mother.  My Mama – I usually called her Mama, just as I like Isaac to call me Mama, not Mommy – my Southern roots show with that.  My Mama – what a wonderful woman.  I don’t know what I am going to do without her every day for the rest of my life.  We lived 5 minutes away from each other, and talked on the phone every day – most times more than once.  She struggled with a long, mysterious, chronic illness that caused her physical and mental pain and suffering.  She struggled every day just to live a normal life, and spent many hours in bed, despite the fact that she also spent many hours just living her life through the pain.

She was diagnosed with shingles about a month ago, and the pain of shingles and the side-effects of the medicine caused her to regress further into her pain and suffering.  She hardly made it out of bed, and only out of the house a couple of times to visit the mail box and once to the grocery store with my dad, over the last three weeks.  On Sunday morning, she passed away, and is finally out of her constant pain.

She had a lovely funeral on Wednesday – graveside with nice weather, wonderful words by my Dad and my sister, and a perfect eulogy from our Rabbi, Jacob Adler.  I also spoke, and here is what I said about my wonderful, amazing, dear Mama, Sharon Myers:

Mariah (my sister) and I had the best mother that anybody could ever have – she loved us unconditionally, always put us first in her thoughts and actions, and showered us with love, praise, compliments, attention, and affection.  When we were little girls, one of her favorite things to do was to call us to her as if she needed us to hurry to tell us something very important.  She would say, “Hurry, Hurry, Hurry, Come here, come here – I need to tell you something . . .” Then, as you rushed over to her, she would say, “I NEED a HUG!”  She continued to do this with Isaac, and I continue the tradition with him today.  Mom never NEEDED anything from you  — she just NEEDED to give and give and give.

I could stand here and talk for hours about my Mama – I could tell stories all day long.  My Mom was beautiful, but always the most comfortable in her casual blue jeans.  My Mom was so smart, competent and talented, but she was humble about her professional and personal accomplishments.  The therapy, care and guidance she provided as a Speech Pathologist, to her patients and families was incredible – she helped so many children learn to communicate or function more fully in the speech and language arena; however, her care to the family never ended there.  She was always available for guidance toward other caregivers or therapists, other services and organizations, or anything else that a family might need.

My Mom was the best listener – you could talk to her for as long as you needed, and she was always willing and able to pay attention and stay fully interested.  Many of you probably remember fondly my mother’s wonderful way of peppering you with questions.  Some people might come off as nosy with the constant questions, but it was easy to see just how interested she truly was in those that she came into contact with.  Whether you were her closest friend, friend to her children or husband, or a casual acquaintance, Mom would never fail to chat with you, ask you questions about your life and experiences, and be truly interested in hearing your answers. 

My Mom and Dad were married for 39 years.  Just like most REAL marriages, they had their share of problems.  I learned from them that a REAL marriage is not a piece of cake – a real marriage takes hard work and commitment, and can stand the tests and trials that life brings.  My parents were more in love than any other married couple that I know – they were each others best friend, but most importantly, they loved each other so much – their love is full, it saw the test of time and trial, and it was passionate and so real.  I just hope that Michael and I can love each other as fully and fiercely as my parents did during their life together.

Mariah and I will miss our Mom so much – we don’t know how we are going to get by without being able to call her every day and seek her care, guidance, love and wisdom.  Our boys are so lucky to have had her for a grandma – she took me through our difficult time with bringing Isaac into this world, and she was with Mariah the very first time she met Jonah – you could never find a better Grandma. 

Mom, we miss you so much already.  We love you and we are so thankful to have you as our mother.  Although we will miss you every day of the rest of our lives, we want to thank you for giving us enough love to see us through.  Our greatest hope is that we can both be the kind of mothers you were to us.  The world will be just a little bit better, as long as we remember to live by the example you set for us.  We love you.

The Sleep Diet? Really?

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I saw the Sleep Diet featured on the Today Show recently, and now I’m convinced that I’ve GOT to get more sleep! Finding a way to get enough sleep is particularly challenging for busy moms, but this bit of news just might be the thing that convinces us all to get to bed on time.

According to the report on the Today Show, the editors of Glamour Magazine recently did a little experiment to see if women would lose weight after doing nothing but changing their sleep habits. They were required to get a minimum of 7.5 hours of sleep each night. (Most women get an average of about 6 hours and 40 minutes of sleep per night.) At the end of the 10-week study, the seven women involved in the study lost between seven and 15 pounds!

Experts say that when you’re sleep deprived, your body makes more of a hormone called “ghrelin” which makes you hungry, and less of the hormone called “leptin” which tells you when to stop eating. To see the complete report, click HERE to go to the Today Show website and read more about it.

Drama for Mama: American Idol

idol-logo1.pngThursday night’s elimination show recap:

The three who advanced from Wednesday night’s show were:

  • Allison Iraheta
  • Adam Lambert
  • Kris Allen

Kris Allen is from Conway, Arkansas. Hurray for the Arkansas boy! He is really talented and has personality to spare, so I’m hoping for big things for him as the show goes on.

So far, the top 12 is shaping up nicely. Six down and six more to go. There is one more group of 12, which will be whittled down to 3 next week. Then the judges will select a lucky few who get one more shot during a Wild Card Round. Three of the Wild Cards will also advance. Stay tuned!!

Wednesday night show recap:

Overall, it was a disappointing night on American Idol. Most of the performances fell short of expectations. Here’s a quick recap, from one mama’s point of view:

I had high hopes for Jasmine Murray (who sang first) and Matt Giraud, who followed her. Both performances didn’t even come close to what these two singers showed us in Hollywood week. It seemed like Jasmine couldn’t hear the band in the background because it sounded way off-key. Matt just picked a song that didn’t showcase his bluesy vibe. Too bad. Hope he is back on Wild Card week.

Nick Mitchell, aka Norman Gentle, was funny but sounded not-so-hot. Although his act is amusing, I think we’d all get real sick of it real fast if he continues on the show.

Some of the strongest performances of the night included Allison Iraheta, who sang Alone by Heart. Great voice but her interview personality might hold her back a little. Jesse Langseth was also good. She sang Betty Davis Eyes, and she looked cute, too. I also liked Mishavonna Henson, who sang Drops of Jupiter. The judges were tough on her but I thought the song matched up nicely with her voice. The judges want her to cut loose a little and act younger.

Kris Allen from Conway, Arkansas sang Man in the Middle by Michael Jackson. I cringed when I heard he was about to sing it. Typically, picking a Michael Jackson song is not a great idea on this show. But he surprised me and I thought, overall, it was a good, solid performance with lots of personality. Even Simon liked it! I just hope it’s enough to get him through to the next round.

Adam Lambert ended the night with Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones. His voice is seriously amazing, but he’s still too theatrical for my taste. It feels “over the top” to me instead of genuine. But I think he’ll improve as he goes along.

So who will make it? In my book, the three who advance should be Kris Allen (yes, I’m terribly biased for the Arkansas boy, but he really did sound good);  Jesse Langseth and Allison Iraheta. But who do I think are most likely to advance? I’d go with Adam Lambert, Mishavonna Henson and Megan Joy Corkrey. But then again, this show is like Forest Gump’s famous box of chocolates. “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Fashion Mama: Get trendy with Spring accessories

By Stephna Masters of Stephna’s Closet Consulting

chain_gang_8_gallery.jpgFor those of you suffering from a case of Spring fever, let’s talk accessories. (We can sneak these into our wardrobe a little earlier than the seasonal clothes!) But don’t rush out to the stores just yet. Some of the trends for Spring ’09 might be right in your closet or stored in a costume box from your heyday in the 80s.

Yes, that’s right, the 80s. If you were in high school, heading to college, like me, this era is well remembered. We tried to mimic Madonna, Blondie, or Cyndi Lauper, those fashion icons who set the trends. The decade is back in all its glory, accessories and all.

When talking jewelry from the 80’s, think of chains mixed with beads or even pearls — and lots of them (as seen in this pic to the right from Elle). Also think big chunky bracelets with large crystal stones, studded leather bands, thin bangles, beads, and more chains. Try as many as seven on one arm to capture that trendy look. If you were into wearing fingerless gloves in your day (or are young enough to be trying it for the first time) try layering a bracelet on top. This is a fashion statement shown in magazines like Elle and Lucky. Spring earrings are trending toward huge and dangly. A fashion warning: stay away from combing a large necklace, bracelet and earrings together since this could weight down your body down and be too much of a good thing.

Another trend for jewelry is exotic or tribal beading and natural stones. Something to remember when purchasing new accessories: the bigger the better. Big stones, big chains, big beads will add to the outfit and make a bold statement. There are quite a lot of black and silver accessories out for Spring, but it’s fine to add color with stones and beads. When wearing neutral fashions, a little color goes a long way.

shoe00600m.jpgWhen it comes to Spring shoes, flats are few and far between. Wedge pumps are a favorite style for creating comfort while remaining fashion forward.

The fashion runways are full of tall, chunky heels — even platforms — that just look unbearable to wear. Some are color blocked in reds, pinks, yellow, purple, and some are peep-toed. Highly embellished shoes with chains and lace ups are featured in many of the fashion magazines (and on websites like shoeblog.com in the picture to the right) and, yes, the spectator is still stylish for spring.

Shoes that come up high on the instep are carried over from the fall and winter style, but just a little more skin is shown during the warmer months. Neutrals are making a strong influence on the fashion trends. Flesh color, light browns and pale gray look great with most colors of the outer wear. Also, python and other snake skins have slithered onto the scene, making fashion statements with shoes and handbags.

chain-handle-bags-00_gallery.jpgHandbags are another bold statement for fashion this year. On smaller handbags, chain straps for over the shoulder are found from designers such as Marc Jacobs and Kate Spade. Python totes are great for women who demand a lot of room for all the stuff they carry. They come in some interesting colors and creative embellishments. Some examples of these styles are found the February issue of Elle.

We always look forward to the new Spring fashion trend forecasts, hoping to see something that we might already have in our closets. Especially this Spring.

So if you have anything mentioned, pull it out of your closet for another day in the sun. If not, there are always some retailers with similar pieces that are not as pricey as the fashion magazines. Happy shopping and remember to recycle things you already have.

If you’d love a little help on your quest to improve your wardrobe, call Stephna for more info on closet consultations and personal shopping services. She can be reached at 479-751-1531 or 479-841-2360. Or visit her website by clicking HERE.

Great Date Giveaway: We have a winner!

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Congratulations to Ambre Brewster, a pregnant mama in dire need of a date night! Ambre won tickets to see The Passing Zone at Walton Arts Center and a gift certificate for dinner courtesy of Copeland’s of New Orleans in Rogers and nwaRestaurants.com.

If you missed Ambre’s comment on the website, here it is:

“I would love to have a pre-baby date night with my hubby!!!! Being 33 weeks pregnant and chasing a 19 month old around doesn’t give us much chance to go to dinner and a great show!!!! I’d love a chance to get out for a fun evening!!!”

When Ambre saw the e-mail about winning the Great Date, she said it immediately lowered her blood pressure. “I was in the middle of mommy meltdown!” she said. “It couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Ambre and her husband moved back to Fayetteville when their son, Owen, was five days old. They had met while in graduate school at the University of Arkansas (Ambre has a master’s degree in animal behavior). Ambre originally moved from Canada to Fayetteville with her parents in 1994 to attend high school.

Ambre’s husband works in the field of international safety and leadership training for the oil industry. Sometimes he travels to faraway countries for weeks at a time, she said. She’s already dreading that first trip away after the baby’s born.

“So we definitely need to go out while we can!” she said.

Thanks to Copeland’s, nwaRestaurants.com and Walton Arts Center for this fabulous giveaway! For more information on The Passing Zone performance and/or the workshop, contact the Walton Arts Center’s Box Office by calling 479-443-5600 or visit waltonartscenter.org

Motherlode Must-Have: Plasma Car

plasma-car.pngToday’s “Motherlode must-have” selection is not the newest toy on the block, but – in my book – it’s definitely one of the best. It’s called the Plasma Car, and if you or your kid hasn’t been on one yet, you’re missing out. It is fun, fun, fun. It works on centrifugal force and friction, so there are no batteries or electric motors involved that need to be re-charged. You just wiggle the handles back and forth, and the thing starts gliding across the driveway.

My kids think it’s great, particularly because if you have even a slight incline, you can really pick up speed on this thing. As the weather warms up, I’m planning to get at least one more Plasma car so my kids can have a fair race down the driveway. (Up to now, one boy rides the tricycle and the other rides the Plasma car. It didn’t take the boys long to figure out that the Plasma car always wins the race, so now there’s an argument about who gets to race on the fast one.)

Our Plasma Car has stood up to four years of tough abuse. It has been left in the rain plenty of times and has been man-handled by two rough-and-tumble boys. And it’s not just for kiddie riders. It can hold up to 220 pounds. (I even rode it a few times when I was pregnant with my third child!)

At $69, it may not be as cheap as other ride-on toys, but when you consider durability and fun-factor, I think this one comes out way ahead of the pack. We found ours at Melody’s Choices where you can get it in red, blue, green, yellow and even pink. Just call the store to see which ones they have in stock. You can also read more about it at the Melody’s Choices online store by clicking HERE or on the photo above. Happy riding!

Where We’re Surfing: Fridge Personality Quiz

fridge6_big1.jpgOne of our friends at Metro Builders Supply told us about this fun little online quiz over at Amana.com. They’ve got 10 new refrigerator designs featuring new colors and patterns. They’re asking web readers to rank their design choices by dragging and dropping each fridge design into a rank order. Based on your selection, they’ll give you a short personality profile (completely unscientific, of course, but fun nonetheless.)

Want to know what your refrigerator choice says about you? Click on the colorful fridge to go to Amana.com and take the quiz. Have fun.

Interesting fridge fact: Yesterday on the Today Show, a real estate expert discussed five “Smart Home Fixes” that will make your home sell faster. One of the less expensive “fixes” she recommends is to buy a new stainless steel refrigerator. She said because the fridge is the largest appliance in the room, having a new stainless steel model will help homebuyers feel that the entire kitchen is more modern and updated.

If you’re selling a home and are interested in reading about the other “smart home fixes,” click here to jump over to the Today Show website and see the article.

Mommy in Progress: Eight weeks and counting!

By Jacqueline Presley, first-time mama

week-312.jpgIt’s hard to believe, but there are only 8 weeks (give or take) until I meet my Katie.  Until I become someone’s mom .  Until my life is changed forever.  Lately there is so much running through my mind!  What will labor be like?  Can I handle it?  Will I end up getting a c-section?  Will everything be ok with Katie when she’s born?  Will Katie end up being Karl?  Will I be a good mom?  So much.  There is a lot to think about, but I want to not let all these thoughts become a string of worries.

One of the things we’re learning in our Bradley class is SURRENDER.  They are teaching us to surrender to the process physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.  Instead of being lead by fear, to embrace the process and be led by joy in the miracle of birth.  Instead of bearing down against the pain, to open yourself up and go with the flow of the pain and the process.  They have used the analogy to imagine that you are in the ocean and each contraction is like a wave.  You should let go and let yourself be carried along with it rather than fight to keep your footing.  This really applies to every part of it for me.  Learning to surrender my life to GOD, completely.  In my own strength, I can’t do it.  It’s too big.  There are too many concerns and worries.  I need GOD to carry me through the process of birth and becoming a mom.  I need him to teach me as I go and He will.  I can rest in that. 

Drama for Mama: Grey’s Anatomy

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What is it with TV show writers and moms? Why do they always insist on killing off the mommy? Well, it happened again on the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I should have seen it coming. Derek was trying to save this blonde expectant woman who was about to become a mom for the first time. She was sweet and pretty and married to a great guy. And then they went and killed her. Thankfully, they did save the baby via an early cesarean but you can imagine that the husband is crushed and is blaming Derek for his wife’s death.

The worst part? Derek is blaming himself, and this could mean big trouble for his career. Derek was so intent on saving this lady that he nearly took out half her brain just to keep her alive. But Addison (who was there to monitor the baby in utero) insisted that he would be robbing her of a real life and that she would not be a real person if he took out such a large portion of her brain. But Derek was determined to do it and wouldn’t let Addison take out the baby because it would cause the mother to bleed out. Even Meredith knew Derek was going too far but he couldn’t be stopped. Finally, the Chief came in and told Addison to take the baby out and told Derek to stop.

As Derek tried to deal with the loss, Mark Sloan approached him to spill the secret that he has been sleeping with Lexie, even though Derek had asked him to stay away from her. Mark had some really bad timing in this episode. When Derek heard that news, he went nutso on Mark and punched him in the face. Of course, Mark punched back and the two ended up in a big ugly brawl in the middle of the hospital. Of course, we all knew that Derek wasn’t fighting because of Mark sleeping with Lexie. He was fighting because he was so mad at himself that he needed to punch something and he felt so guilty about the death that he wanted someone else to punch him. It was hard to watch, nonetheless. The episode ended with Derek drinking hard liquor while Meredith sat next to him on the sofa. The only good that came of it was that Mark finally told the truth about his relationship with Lexie and those two are together and on the record about it.

In other news, Izzie finally got the news that she may be dying of cancer. When the lady who was misdiagnosed a few weeks ago showed up and told Izzie that her second opinions revealed that she is only anemic, Izzie realized that it was her test results that got switched with the anemic lady’s results. A biopsy on a suspicious bump on Izzie’s back confirmed her worst fear. Without identifying that she is the new patient, she is having her interns help diagnose what’s wrong with her. Alex still doesn’t know what’s going on.

There weren’t any sneak previews attached to the end of this show, which usually means they’re taking at least a week off. If there is anything new to report, though, we’ll be back with a recap here soon.

New Carousel Opening at Promenade Mall

carousel-horse.jpgGrab your kids and your camera! A new carousel is opening in the Food Pavilion of the Pinnacle Hills Promenade mall on Wednesday, February 25th. If you want to be first in line to ride, you’ll need to be there by 11 a.m. because that’s when the carousel officially opens and the celebration begins.

Metropolitan Bank will provide snacks for the event, and there will also be live entertainment, prizes and more. For more info, call the mall office at 479-936-2160.

Good Gossip: A Guilt-Free Dish

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Where else can you get your celebrity and local gossip, minus the mean stuff your mama told you never to indulge in? We scour the magazines and bring you just the good stuff. Enjoy! And be sure to send us some of your own “good gossip” when you have some to share. Just e-mail us at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com.

Celebrity Dish:

oscarstatue.jpgIf you missed the 81st annual Academy Awards on Sunday night, here’s how it played out: Slum Dog Millionaire won eight Oscars and dominated the ceremony; Kate Winslet won best actress for The Reader; Sean Penn won best actor for Milk; and Penelope Cruz snagged the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. The most emotional moment of the night was when the late Heath Ledger’s family accepted the Oscar on his behalf for Best Supporting Actor as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Actually, his sister said the family was accepting the award on behalf of Heath’s 3-year-old daughter Matilda. If you didn’t make it to see any of those movies last year, we bet you watched a few in the animated category. Wall-E was the winner for Best Animated Feature.

On Thursday, March 26, In the Motherhood will make its television debut on CBS at 8 p.m. Megan megan-mullaly.jpgMullally (“Will & Grace”) and Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) star as single mothers coping with juggling their kids, their careers, and the men in their lives in this ABC half-hour sitcom. The show is based on the 2007 web series, where mothers submitted their real-life stories of raising children, which served as inspirations for story lines in the show. CLICK HERE to go to the website. (Source: tv.com)

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony showed off twins Max and Emme during a Madison Square Garden concert on Valentine’s Day. The twins turned 1 on Feb. 22nd. (Source: People Magazine, March 2, 2009 issue)

kate_hudson.jpgOwen Wilson and Kate Hudson are reported to be dating again. One source said “They both have that crazy free-spirit thing going on. They’re adorable together.” (Source: People Magazine, Feb. 23, 2009 issue)

After five seasons with Desperate Housewives, Nicollette Sheridan (Edie) will leave the show and says she is looking forward to her next project. (Source: People Magazine, March 2, 2009 issue)

Despite rumors, Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight (Izzie and George) will not be leaving Grey’s Anatomy, said the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes. (Source: People Magazine, March 2, 2009 issue)

Isla Fisher, who stars in the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic and is also a new mom, said she is an “in and out” shopper with a goal. “If it’s not able to be chucked in the washing machine or have baby food on it, I regret buying it.” (We hear ya, sister.) (Source: People Magazine, March 2, 2009 issue)

kevin-costner.jpgKevin Costner and his wife Christine had their second child together, Hayes, in L.A. on Feb. 12th. (Source: People Magazine, March 2, 2009 issue)

As a reminder of just how miraculous it was when Flight 1549 landed safely on the Hudson River last month, keep in mind that no modern airliner has ever “ditched” in water without fatalities. In fact, the flight simulators used by airline pilots don’t even offer ditching as a practice scenario. The plane, piloted by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, cleared the George Washington Bridge by only 900 feet. When President Obama asked Sully’s wife if she was going to let this sudden fame go to her husband’s head, she said “I’ve been telling people he still snores.” The President laughed and insisted she tell that to his wife, Michelle. (Source: People Magazine, Feb. 23, 2009 issue)

Local Dish:

Looking for some entertainment over Spring Break? Third through eighth-graders can come to The Trike Theatre’s Make Them Laugh! comedy camp, led by Virginia Scheuer. Virginia studied Commedia dell’Arte in Italy, and can’t wait to share her comedic skills with Trike students. They will explore comedy through comic bits, scenes, musical theatre and more! Join them at their Bentonville location March 23-27, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s time to tickle your funny bone! CLICK HERE to register!

All Akimbo: Two to tango

By Kimberly Blakely, soon-to-be mama of two

Much has been said in the last few weeks about the “Octo Mom,” Nadya Suleman. (For the record, this nickname actually kind of bugs me – makes her sound Medusa-esque.)

I’m not going to get into the debate about whether she should have undergone selective termination or whether the doctor should have implanted all of those embryos in the first place … but I can’t stop thinking about her pledge to drop everything in her life and be there for her children. Even if money were no object (and by all accounts in the Suleman case, it is decidedly an issue), and all Nadya Suleman had to do all day and all night was be with these children, could she possibly meet the needs of so many babies, some of whom have disabilities and will no doubt need specialized care?

How can she possibly get to know all of the 14 little people who will inhabit her home, each one of them depending on her for everything under the sun?

For comparison’s sake, in Mojo’s accredited preschool program, there are a maximum of 12 kids – with TWO teachers, for heaven’s sake, and even then, there is obvious confusion about what child needs/knows/has/likes.

I very well could have this all wrong. After all, I know of several large families that operate smoothly and efficiently and in which everyone seems happy and cooperative. And, as an only child who sometimes longed to be a Walton (not as in Sam Walton, but rather the John Boy, Mary Ellen, Jason, Elizabeth etc. Walton clan), I think I can appreciate the joys of having many siblings.

Aaaaannnnnd … of course, this relates to me because here I go again, stressing myself out about how I’m going to do justice to two children. I realized long ago that there will be many occasions on which I’ll have to deny one to meet the needs of the other. To all you parents who have been in my shoes before, going from one to two – and I know there are many, many, many of you out there! – is it as hard as I’m afraid it will be?

Much of what I’ve read has suggested that when you bring a new baby home you should be quick to put the baby in a crib. The thinking goes something like this: The new baby is not accustomed to having your undivided attention and will fare better than the older child who is used to being your everything. Is this true? I guess it makes sense in a way … but oh, the injustice of being born second!

My Mojo is still being very sweet about his soon-to-arrive little sister. He was the first – and, thus far, the only – person besides me to feel her kick, and the smile on his face was priceless. A few minutes after he felt her move, he announced that he had thought of a new name for her: Love. Which turned his mama into a big mushy-mush puddle. Awwwwww!

Later that day, we dashed into a children’s clothing store and he asked what the front of a pink onesie said. It said, “Little Sister,” and Mojo insisted that we buy it. How could I say no?

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to watching my kids interact, but I’m sure Mojo won’t always be this loving toward the little girl who’s about to invade his world. I’m nervous about the transition, but I’m hoping he will (mostly) be as happy to have a sibling as we are to give him one. Tell me he will, somebody. Please? ; )

Great Date Giveaway: Win dinner and a show!

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Editor’s Note: We’ll choose a winner today (Wednesday, Feb. 25) at 4 p.m. Good luck!

OK, girls, ready for a night out with your guy? This Walton Arts Center play is extra special guy-friendly. After all, what’s not to love about two men juggling chainsaws? And when you throw in a Garden Weasel, it’s even more amazing. And hilarious.

We’re giving away a pair of tickets to see The Passing Zone at Walton Arts Center on Friday night along with a gift certificate for dinner courtesy of delicious restaurant Copeland’s of New Orleans in Rogers and NWArestaurants.com, your virtual restaurant row.

The Passing Zone has won five Guinness World Records, 18 gold medals from the International Jugglers Association, as well as a feature in Juggle magazine. They have been featured on television shows such as The Tonight Show, LIVE with Regis and Kelly, The Today Show and MADtv. The two have also performed at the White house and abroad for Prince Charles at London’s Dominion Theatre. The Wall Street Journal has chosen The Passing Zone as the “Best Bet for Entertainment”. CLICK HERE to see the guys in action (just scroll down to the You Tube Video).

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How to enter: Just comment on this post (click on the word “comment” at the bottom) or send us an e-mail to mamas@nwaMotherlode.com. E-mail your friends — and CC us — and you’ll have as many chances to win as the number of friends you tell about this giveaway.

We’ll choose a winner at 4 p.m. Wednesday and announce on Thursday morning. Good luck on winning a Great Date!

More about the show: The Passing Zone will entertain Northwest Arkansas for one-night only as they juggle their way back to Walton Arts Center on Friday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. You won’t want to miss this hilarious duo who first performed at Walton Arts Center in 2007 during the Imagine A Moment year-end party. The Passing Zone delivers a high-energy, entertaining theatrical event that is made for audiences of all ages. Tickets range from $15 – $25 and can be purchased by contacting the WAC Box Office at 479.443.5600 or by visiting waltonartscenter.org.

Since 1988, The Passing Zone has been the nation’s leading comic juggling duo and the toast of the corporate entertainment world. Now the twosome is finally available for theatrical performances. The Passing Zone stars, John Wee and Owen Morse, have been in the business of entertaining, juggling and comedy since 1986.

Patrons will also have the opportunity to learn how to juggle as Walton Arts Center hosts jugglers in the lobby throughout the night!

The Passing Zone is part of the Coca-Cola Night Out Series. Media Support is provided by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. Walton Arts Center’s 2008-09 Season is sponsored by Wal-Mart/SAM’S CLUB.

For more information on this performance and/or the workshop, contact the Walton Arts Center’s Box Office by calling 479-443-5600 or visit waltonartscenter.org

Healthy Mama: All about your heart

A friend of mine was chatting with her mother on the telephone recently. Her mom mentioned that she hadn’t been feeling well for the past week or so and that she was having a little trouble breathing. Her chest felt a little … tight. So the mom went to the doctor for a quick check-up — although she was sure nothing was wrong — and within a few hours was having double bypass surgery. The blockage was severe and she’d made it to the hospital just in the nick of time.

Dr. Larry Weathers, a physician at Mercy Heart and Vascular Clinic, knows all about heart disease and says women are less likely to heed the signs. For one thing, he says, the symptoms are sometimes subtle. But it’s vitally important to reduce stress, shun cigarettes, eat healthily, exercise and learn what you can about the disease — particularly since it’s the No. 1 killer of women, even above cancer.

Since February is Heart Health Month, we spoke to Dr. Weathers about a woman’s heart. If you missed Dr. Weathers’ video podcast recently in Doc Talk, click HERE to hear directly from him about how women experience heart attacks differently.

Q: What’s different about how women and men experience heart attacks?

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A: The mechanism of heart attack for men and women are different and therefore they present with different symptoms. Men usually rupture a plaque in a coronary and a clot forms instantly in the vessel the size of a straw and severe pain occurs immediately. But, in women the mechanism is more likely to be erosion of the plaque and the clot forms more slowly and the symptoms are less dramatic.

Q: What are the warning signs of a heart attack in a woman?

A: Shortness of breath with minimal exertion and chest pain or “pressure”. It’s more likely to be shortness of breath and indigestion. Occasionally there’s tingling in the arm (a symptom more common in men).

Q: How big a role does stress play in heart attacks?

A: Stress probably plays a major role in heart attacks as proven by increased heart attacks during disasters like 9/11 and the San Francisco earth quake. Some good stress relief techniques? Japa meditation, yoga, walking, cycling, swimming.

Q: How big a role does a history of health problems in your family play into your heart issues?

A: The most important risk factor for heart attack and stroke is family history.

Q: How does dental health affect heart health? (For example, we’ve heard that flossing is important for your heart as well as your teeth.)

A: The mouth is a source of bacteria which can easily be passed into the bloodstream from brushing and flossing. But good dental hygiene is very important to heart health.

Q: What are new medical advances in heart health?

A: Screening with coronary calcium scores and hsCRP are both predictors of future heart attacks

Q: Do most women talk themselves out of getting checked for heart issues?

A: Probably and studies have shown that women are less likely to get state-of-the art care.

Q: How can you reverse heart disease after symptoms appear?

A: It’s very difficult to confirm reversal, but it has been proven in a few studies using an invasive tool called IVUS or intravascular ultrasound. In Aristotle and Camelot studies, a combination of Lipitor and Norvasc called Caduet reversed it.

Q: Why should a young woman be concerned about heart health?

A: Early detection like breast and cervical cancer are paramount since heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

Q: At what age should a person get a heart screening without any symptoms?

A: Women at 40 and men at 50.

Q: Why do you have such a heart for heart health?

A: In 1957 50% of all heart attacks presented with sudden cardiac death and in 2007 50% presented with sudden cardiac death. No change in 50 years.

Q: You’ve only lived in NWA for a short time – what do you think about the area so far?

A: NWA is a multicultural, financial, economic, progressive and intellectual nugget with immeasurable potential and I am excited to be a small part of it.

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