Monday, November 30, 2009

A Princess For My Princess

It is almost a year ago to the day that I searched for a doll that resembled my caramel-cocoa princess. My daughter, who was two at the time, had major fits each day as I combed her hair. See…she has a head full of thick and long hair, and a mommy who did not know what to do with it. She was miserable…I was miserable. It was honestly stressful! Searching for a solution, I recalled a toy that I had when I was younger. Do you remember the Barbie “head” that you used to play with? You could comb her hair and paint lipstick on her… Yeah that one! I figured if I could get one for my daughter, she would be distracted as she combed its hair while I struggled through hers. Issue solved! Not so much…

Enter problem…..I wanted a Barbie head that resembled my lil’ pumpkin. Up and down the aisles I went to all the different department stores and toy retailers. No brown dolls. I even exclaimed to a well-intentioned teenage attendant “This is Atlanta! How could you not sell African American dolls?” Fast forward to last year. My daughter asked for a Princess Tea themed birthday party. I went all out with the décor and costumes for her and her adorable friends. Everything seemed to be in order. That is, until I tried to find a princess themed cake. The local grocery store had pages upon pages of different cake designs with all the Disney princesses. Yet, none of them looked like my Princess.

This year it looks like there may be an abundance of dolls and merchandise for me to choose from because the Disney movie titled “The Princess and the Frog” will hit theaters nationwide on December 11th. I can’t wait to see it, and if appropriate…I can’t wait to take my baby girl. However, apparently not everyone shares in my excitement.

Almost as soon as executives announced that they would be bringing the story to the big screen, parts of the public began to complain. There was criticism that the main character was slated to be a maid called “Maddy.” The name, many felt, was too close to ethnic slur “Mammy.” Disney quickly made adjustments, and now the princess is called Tiana, and is a chef. Yet, dissent again emerged when it was revealed that Tiana’s prince was not seemingly African American.

Hmmm….I’m not sure what to make of this criticism because I feel that overall this movie may be a positive thing for all children…especially those of color. Sure, if allowed to script it myself I might have made some adjustments. However, I am just happy that my daughter will have the opportunity to see someone who looks like herself being described as a beautiful princess for once.

So here’s my question…. Does Disney deserve all this controversy? Or, are people just nitpicking. You decide! Watch the video and cast your vote in the LEFT margin:)!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dead Wrong or Right On Point...You Decide

Did you see the American Music Awards last week? I missed all of it except for the last 5 minutes of the show. Based on the news reports over the week, this was the most controversial segment. Remember Adam Lambert from American Idol last year. Well, he closed out the AMAs with a performance of his new single For Your Entertainment. In my opinion…the performance was overly contrived. He looked like he was trying too hard to be a “star.” All that gyrating, screeching, and make-up was simply not my cup of tea so I did not watch intently. But I guess I should have paid attention like everyone else because apparently he kissed a male band member and simulated oral sex as well. The backlash was almost instantaneous, as ABC cancelled his Good Morning America performance, and thousands complained about the racy performance. I searched Youtube and other internet sites to see a clip of the show. However, the video has seemingly vanished from the face of the earth. All that remains are the still shots...many of which are blurred out. Adam cried foul to the censorship and “double standard” (as he said) exemplified by the press. After all, Madonna kissed Britney and Christina a few years ago. He also says that it is not his responsibility to parent our children. So here’s my question….Do celebrities have any responsibility when it comes to what kids are exposed to? Was Adam Dead Wrong for his theatrical display? Or is he Right On Point for his freedom to express his art in anyway he chooses? Can’t wait to hear from you! :)

Onto the next story of the week. It is about Lincoln University’s graduation policies. Lincoln
University, the first historically black institution, has decided that a handful of students won't be getting their diplomas this spring. That’s right. Two dozen African American students will not be receiving their diplomas because….they are fat. In 2006, the university implemented a mandatory semester-long program entitled "Fitness for Life," designed to educate the portion of their student population with a body mass index of 30 (considered to be obese). However, a group of twenty-four students opted not to enroll in the class, and now they will not march across the stage with their peers. Statistics show that the black community has suffers nutrition-related illnesses more frequently when compared to the white community. Hypertension accounts for 20 percent of African American deaths (twice that of the white community). 12.5 percent of African Americans over 18 years old will be diagnosed with diabetes (compared to only 1.8 percent of non-Hispanic whites). Given these statistics, and knowing that African American children may not get adequate education about proper nutrition….Is Lincoln University’s graduation policy Dead Wrong, or Right On Point?

Lastly, I could not resist making a reference to the Octomom herself, Nadya Suleman. In an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, Nadya responded to the question of whether she planning on
having more children. The single mother of 14 replied that although she is not currently trying to conceive, she might consider it if she were to get married in the future. I honestly believe that children are precious gifts from above. However, you have to know when to say enough is ENOUGH. Nadya….you are wrong….Dead wrong for this!

But…I do have an idea that might help. I came across an ad for something called a Uterus Pillow. This larger than life, fuzzy, fleece pillow in the shape of Nadya’s most beloved organ can be found on the craft website Maybe cuddling up to this might help calm Nadya’s quest to self-populate the world.

Happy Parenting,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Am I The Only One Left Without A Sex Tape?

I have to ask this question because it seems that more and more, tapes surface with celebrities in …eh hem…compromising positions. Years ago it was Pamela and Tommy Lee. Next came Paris Hilton, followed by Ray J and the Kardashian girl. Dustin Diamond (Screech) pimped himself out for several months after filming himself in a tryst. There was even a tape of Tonya Harding circulating the internet, and “Hoops” from The Flava of Love show made her homemade porn debut this year as well. What the heck is up with all the camcorder porn?!? I mean even some of the Disney starlets have suggestive photos out there!!!!

Well just when I thought that the worst was behind us….they announced that Sara Palin’s would-be son-in-law, Levi Johnston, will be baring his Alaskan jewels in Playgirl. (By the way…do women really read Playgirl? But, I digress…) know something, Levi never made himself out to be anything other than what he is… a simple-minded, “redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.” (his words) Besides, I’ve learned to expect the unpredictable when it comes to the Palin bunch.

The week’s shocker for me was the introduction of the Carrie Prejean sex tape! You remember her…the former Miss California and Miss America contestant. She was placed on the radar after a judge at the Miss America pageant asked her to share thoughts about legalizing gay marriage. Her response created a media frenzy because she said that she believes that a marriage should be “between a man and a woman.” You could hear gasps and hisses coming from the auditorium. In the days following the pageant, Carrie emerged as a conservative Christian with firm views on morality. Now, I can’t be mad at Carrie for offering her opinion even though it does not mirror mine. And I am not hating on her for the topless photos or the video that she reportedly taped for a boyfriend when only 17-years-old. But, I do have a BIG problem with her apparent hypocrisy! It’s normal to make errors or have a lapse in judgment especially when you’re young. After all, we are all human. But when you present a façade of perfection, you almost always fall from grace.

So I guess the moral of the story is unless you are a squeeky clean Mother Teresa clone... keep the camcorder on Stand-by mode at all times. But if you feel tempted to press record, know that someday your co-worker might be able to order a copy of your Oscar winning performance for about $19.99 plus shipping and handling.

Just Saying...:),

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Our Battle With Swine Flu

The reality of how bad this flu season was did not hit me until a little over a month ago when I visited a school that I service. There were teams of kids packed in the Nurse’s office…most with fevers above 102. The nurse wore a face mask through which she said to me “Make sure you put your clothes in the washing machine as soon as you get home!” Despite this, I was pretty secure that the ominous virus spoken of in the news would not personally affect me. And if it did it would not be a big deal. After all, it’s just the flu….right?

Well, the school year was well underway, and my kids managed to make it through with just a few sniffles and coughs (nothing out of the norm). That is, until this past weekend. It was Halloween, and like all other children, my son and daughter were looking forward to going door-to-door in their cute outfits…him as a Ninja and she as a little witch. It rained off and on all day in the metro Atlanta area, and it was rather cold. Nonetheless, there was nothing I could say to convince the kids that it wasn’t necessary to go out in the miserable weather. So, off they went with my husband as I stayed home to give out handfuls of miniature chocolate bars to the neighborhood kids.

The next morning, my son began complaining of a slight sore throat. I figured it was because he had been out in the cold the night before. So I gave him some Motrin and called it a day. However, in the middle of the night, he stumbled into our master bedroom gasping. “I…c-c-c-can’t b-b-breathe…!” he struggled to say as he held his hands around his neck. I could hear him trying to force air through his airtight esophagus. In an instant, we hopped up and gave him a nebulizer treatment. Yet, after wards he could only breathe slightly better. Two minutes later, he and I were Emergency Room bound. After waiting four hours to be seen, the doctor spent only 30 seconds with us. His only advice was that he was not to participate in P.E. class for a week. Well… mommy had better advice…let’s stay home to monitor things for a couple days. I worked from home both Monday and Tuesday while he recuperated. Although he had a cough, I felt he was good enough to return to school on Wednesday.

Here’s the timeline of how things progressed on that day:

6:00 a.m.—He got dressed for school.

7:15 a.m.—I drop him off at school.

11:30 a.m.— The School Nurse calls and says he has a sore throat and she wants my permission to give him a cough drop.

12:30 p.m.—I go to school to sign my son out early to go see his pediatrician (My mommy intuition was going wild!)

1:00 p.m.—We arrive at doctor’s office and sign in.

4:00 p.m.—Still waiting in the waiting room after three hours, my son begins to appear sluggish and faint. He rests his head on my lap and closes his eyes.

4:30 p.m.—His name is finally called and we go to a patient examination room to explain to the nurse his symptoms.

4:45 p.m.—My son lies down on the examination table as we wait for the doctor to appear. He
complains that he is extremely cold, and begins to shiver vigorously. He then falls deeply asleep. Still shivering, his mouth is open and his breath is shallow…he begins to drool all over the paper sheet.

5:00 p.m.—His doctor walks in. Although normally polished and poised, she drops the clipboard to her side and exclaimed “Oh my God…What’s wrong?” We both wake him up so that she could examine him (ie. Take his temp, listen to his heart and lungs). She informs me that his fever is at 104.1. A few tests later…she says that my little knuckle-head had the flu…Swine flu.

5:30 p.m.—Prescription in hand, I head over to a Mom and Pop pharmacy. They’re the only one’s with a supply of Tamiflu (the only medication given to treat his flu). The pharmacy does not accept insurance for this medication, and the cost is $200!

They could have charged $2,000 and I would have bought it because this is just how miserable my baby looked. After a few days of a horrible cough and sore throat, and extreme lethargy, I could begin to see a glimmer of my son’s personality emerge. That’s when I was sure that he was going to be alright. So right now I can say with confidence….Borders family 1…..Swine Flu zilch!

Happy Parenting,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rihanna Opens Up

Rihanna finally breaks her silence about what happened between her and Chris Brown! I just hope that now that she is sharing her story people, particularly teens, will begin to understand the cycle of abuse. Then...and only then...can something be done to stop it.

Sometimes you just have to just take a step back and make decisions based on rational thinking and not "love." Because, as Rihanna put it..."'@#%&' love" when someone has the audacity to harm you physically....emotionally...or sexually!

Please watch...

Happy Parenting,