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Every week in our Big Interview we celebrate people who have dreams, drive and passion. And one lady who has all three in abundance is the amazing Alison Qualter Berna. Alison is a mum, a businesswoman and an adventurer who thrives on helping to bring out the best in others. She loves a challenge and recently guided the first blind runner across the Grand Canyon. She can also do a headstand on a paddle board and we think that’s pretty awesome! If ever you needed inspiration to get out there, do what you love and live life to the max, this is it… – Rachel Kempton (dowhatyouloveforlife.com)


Read the full interview here!

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Evelin Santiago - employee of the month!



Congratulations Evelin!  You are the July employee of the month!  You can always be found with seven children walking behind you calling out your name…usually it sounds like “Ebawin” or “Ehwwwwaweee.”  (Seriously, you’re like the Pied Piper)  You are amazing in the playground, a great assistant in class and constantly proactive.  You are willing to help out wherever and whenever help is needed and you always do it with a smile (and a coffee).  For all of this, we are truly grateful to have you as part of the apple seeds team!

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Missing Preschool

Welcome to this week's Wednesdays with Wendy!
by Wendy Bradford

These are the last days preschool for us, and I've resisted writing about them, embedding them with meaning and sentiment with which I am not sure I am in touch. And then today I took my oldest daughter back to her own preschool classroom to say a hello and a goodbye to the retiring director. It was as I stood in that room, where my daughter had once a cubby, and a rest mat, and had memorized her own address, that I realized with a thud, there would be no more preschool rooms for me. And I wish that weren't so.


These rooms are not so different from one another—my five year olds attend a different school—the tables and chairs are miniature; the blocks are wooden; art work fills the walls and hangs by wire from the ceiling so low it grazes the tops of parents’ heads; the dress up corner is the most popular. And there didn't seem to be all that much to miss until now—now that there will be no child of mine in this gentle in-between phase again. These preschool years have been filled with tantrums about clothing, learning to legibly write their names, misunderstood song lyrics, and questions about the exact origin and nature of everything from God to planets to flowers to construction workers. I have watched unsure toddlers disappear into bold and dauntless children. Every moment has tried and fed and defined my soul. And I will never do exactly this again.


My children are looking forward to kindergarten, what they understand of it—and they are ready and prepared in their individual ways. The day will be longer, the class much larger, the expectations worlds greater for them than those of preschool. They will decide where to sit and eat their lunches, and next to which friend. They will decide who is a friend. It is what happens now, and we’re melting with joy at the possibilities ahead. I've waited for mothering three small children to “get easier,” and this is when it does. But I am not ready for these young and simple years to be over.


I bought a lady bug backpack and a Thomas the Train backpack out of sweet, adoring irony two years ago, laughing as they zipped toy cars and dolls and hair brushes in and carried them off. Sometimes we put their snacks in there for the day. Next year, the school supplies for kindergarten cost almost a hundred dollars. Each child knows exactly what kind of backpack, lunch box and water bottle he or she wants. They tell me what to order “on the computer.” And I do it. Because this stage too, is enormous; their opinions are outstanding and always surprising us.


We will be out of town the day of their “moving up” ceremony at preschool. They will miss that and the entire last week of school for a family trip. I was feeling sad and very guilty about this—that they and we wouldn't have these memories of the last official day of preschool, the pictures of the ceremony, the special outfits for the day, the hugging of other parents with wet eyes. And now at the end of the year, I think it may be better to leave for vacation early, saying goodbye to their classroom, still decorated with drawings and paintings, and their friends still seated around the miniature tables, as if any of us could possibly return to this place again.

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Putting Down the Phone to Face Life's Terms (I Don't Want to)

Welcome to this week's Wednesdays with Wendy!

Wednesdays With Wendy: Being a Mom With Eating Issues 
by Wendy Bradford

This week I wrote on my own blog about needing to put down my phone and step away from my laptop—because my kids have begun telling me to do so. I knew I needed to make some painful changes. Over the 24 hours that I had decided to remove my phone from my face, and not run to the laptop the minute we walked in the door from the playground, I got a taste of how difficult this will be—my hand kept moving to my phone in my pocket; I was anxious not be able to check social media having posted something earlier that day; a peak at the time became a scroll through Facebook that I didn’t intend. It is clear to me I have a problem seeking distraction from my thoughts and feelings—and importantly, I’ve had the time to think about why this is so.

In my twenties and thirties, I spent time in treatment and recovery for eating disorders, which I’ve also written about here. I have a long history of obsessive compulsive disordered behavior around other issues as well. It is all related, I believe strongly, to a painful need for control and a profound fear of all that we cannot. There is a saying among addicts that we have trouble with “life on life’s terms.”

This is because life’s terms are often awful. Or at best, are unpredictable. Peaceful living, meditative living, conscious living all happen “in the moment.” That, we learn, is the key to being happy. And I agree. But we are not built to live in the moment—we plan our lives as if we have many moments ahead of us, don’t we? If we believed our happinesses, our marriages, our families had numbers on their days we wouldn’t bother with the hard work of it all. Yet they have invisible stamps. We cannot stop it, know it, control or change any of it. And this, for people like me—prone to distraction and addiction, in need of relief from the anxiety of living—is the hardest business of life.

Sitting with my children at a local restaurant for dinner last night, a time I would have been checking my phone, or posting cute pictures to Instagram, I felt the intensity of our family—the sharing of French fries, the coloring of underwater scenes on the white paper covering the table, the exhaustive giggling over making bubbles in water. That too is life’s terms. I have trouble with the good parts too. Walking to school with my five-year-old twins, being peppered with questions from my son about how cement is made, where water comes from, how construction workers get all the dirt, is life’s terms. Returning from that walk to read of another mother burying her three year old, is life’s terms.

I don’t know why social media or the numbing action of switching among websites help to keep my thoughts—the hard thoughts—far enough away, but they do momentarily. And as I go through other people’s pictures and comments on my phone, and my kids are asking me to play games or “who is that?” or “can I have something to eat?” I get angry with them for piercing my numbness. I push back at not only all the things that have to get done—dishes, dinner, homework help—but at having deal with life’s terms that, while captured at a safe distance in friends’ online posts and photographs, are waiting in my children’s impatient faces.

Not everyone has to put down his or her phone; I don’t think parents should never look at their phones while they are with their kids. I am seeing though, that I need to put some tough rules into place: I have a difficult time enjoying life because of my anxiety—and my phone is too easy and too cheap a way out of that anxiety, and away from my children in front of me.

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“Parental Involvement is Overrated"

We wanted to share an article we enjoyed reading– from last weekend’s NY Times Sunday Review (April 12, 2014).



Also if you haven’t heard of his book, Give and Take, it’s a great read and a beautiful philosophy.

-A & A

Raising a Moral Child
What does it take to be a good parent? We know some of the tricks for teaching kids to become high achievers. For example, research suggests that when parents praise effort rather than ability, children develop a stronger work ethic and become more motivated.

Yet although some parents live vicariously through their children’s accomplishments, success is not the No. 1 priority for most parents. We’re much more concerned about our children becoming kind, compassionate and helpful. Surveys reveal that in the United States, parents from European, Asian, Hispanic and African ethnic groups all place far greater importance on caring than achievement. These patterns hold around the world: When people in 50 countries were asked to report their guiding principles in life, the value that mattered most was not achievement, but caring.
Opinionator | The Great Divide: Parental Involvement Is OverratedAPRIL 12, 2014

Despite the significance that it holds in our lives, teaching children to care about others is no simple task. In an Israeli study of nearly 600 families, parents who valued kindness and compassion frequently failed to raise children who shared those values.

Are some children simply good-natured — or not? For the past decade, I’ve been studying the surprising success of people who frequently help others without any strings attached. As the father of two daughters and a son, I’ve become increasingly curious about how these generous tendencies develop.

Genetic twin studies suggest that anywhere from a quarter to more than halfof our propensity to be giving and caring is inherited. That leaves a lot of room for nurture, and the evidence on how parents raise kind and compassionate children flies in the face of what many of even the most well-intentioned parents do in praising good behavior, responding to bad behavior, and communicating their values.

By age 2, children experience some moral emotions — feelings triggered by right and wrong. To reinforce caring as the right behavior, research indicates, praise is more effective than rewards. Rewards run the risk of leading children to be kind only when a carrot is offered, whereas praise communicates that sharing is intrinsically worthwhile for its own sake. But what kind of praise should we give when our children show early signs of generosity?

Many parents believe it’s important to compliment the behavior, not the child — that way, the child learns to repeat the behavior. Indeed, I know one couple who are careful to say, “That was such a helpful thing to do,” instead of, “You’re a helpful person.”

But is that the right approach? In a clever experiment, the researchers Joan E. Grusec and Erica Redler set out to investigate what happens when we commend generous behavior versus generous character. After 7- and 8-year-olds won marbles and donated some to poor children, the experimenter remarked, “Gee, you shared quite a bit.”

The researchers randomly assigned the children to receive different types of praise. For some of the children, they praised the action: “It was good that you gave some of your marbles to those poor children. Yes, that was a nice and helpful thing to do.” For others, they praised the character behind the action: “I guess you’re the kind of person who likes to help others whenever you can. Yes, you are a very nice and helpful person.”

A couple of weeks later, when faced with more opportunities to give and share, the children were much more generous after their character had been praised than after their actions had been. Praising their character helped them internalize it as part of their identities. The children learned who they were from observing their own actions: I am a helpful person. This dovetails with new research led by the psychologist Christopher J. Bryan, who finds that for moral behaviors, nouns work better than verbs. To get 3- to 6-year-olds to help with a task, rather than inviting them “to help,” it was 22 to 29 percent more effective to encourage them to “be a helper.” Cheating was cut in half when instead of, “Please don’t cheat,” participants were told, “Please don’t be a cheater.” When our actions become a reflection of our character, we lean more heavily toward the moral and generous choices. Over time it can become part of us.

When our actions become a reflection of our character, we lean more heavily toward the moral and generous choices. Over time it can become part of us.

Praise appears to be particularly influential in the critical periods when children develop a stronger sense of identity. When the researchers Joan E. Grusec and Erica Redler praised the character of 5-year-olds, any benefits that may have emerged didn’t have a lasting impact: They may have been too young to internalize moral character as part of a stable sense of self. And by the time children turned 10, the differences between praising character and praising actions vanished: Both were effective. Tying generosity to character appears to matter most around age 8, when children may be starting to crystallize notions of identity.

Praise in response to good behavior may be half the battle, but our responses to bad behavior have consequences, too. When children cause harm, they typically feel one of two moral emotions: shame or guilt. Despite the common belief that these emotions are interchangeable, research led by the psychologist June Price Tangney reveals that they have very different causes and consequences.

Shame is the feeling that I am a bad person, whereas guilt is the feeling that I have done a bad thing. Shame is a negative judgment about the core self, which is devastating: Shame makes children feel small and worthless, and they respond either by lashing out at the target or escaping the situation altogether. In contrast, guilt is a negative judgment about an action, which can be repaired by good behavior. When children feel guilt, they tend to experience remorse and regret, empathize with the person they have harmed, and aim to make it right.

In one study spearheaded by the psychologist Karen Caplovitz Barrett, parents rated their toddlers’ tendencies to experience shame and guilt at home. The toddlers received a rag doll, and the leg fell off while they were playing with it alone. The shame-prone toddlers avoided the researcher and did not volunteer that they broke the doll. The guilt-prone toddlers were more likely to fix the doll, approach the experimenter, and explain what happened. The ashamed toddlers were avoiders; the guilty toddlers were amenders.

If we want our children to care about others, we need to teach them to feel guilt rather than shame when they misbehave. In a review of research on emotions and moral development, the psychologist Nancy Eisenberg suggests that shame emerges when parents express anger, withdraw their love, or try to assert their power through threats of punishment: Children may begin to believe that they are bad people. Fearing this effect, some parents fail to exercise discipline at all, which can hinder the development of strong moral standards.

The most effective response to bad behavior is to express disappointment. According to independent reviews by Professor Eisenberg and David R. Shaffer, parents raise caring children by expressing disappointment and explaining why the behavior was wrong, how it affected others, and how they can rectify the situation. This enables children to develop standards for judging their actions, feelings of empathy and responsibility for others, and asense of moral identity, which are conducive to becoming a helpful person. The beauty of expressing disappointment is that it communicates disapproval of the bad behavior, coupled with high expectations and the potential for improvement: “You’re a good person, even if you did a bad thing, and I know you can do better.”

As powerful as it is to criticize bad behavior and praise good character, raising a generous child involves more than waiting for opportunities to react to the actions of our children. As parents, we want to be proactive in communicating our values to our children. Yet many of us do this the wrong way.

In a classic experiment, the psychologist J. Philippe Rushton gave 140 elementary- and middle-school-age children tokens for winning a game, which they could keep entirely or donate some to a child in poverty. They first watched a teacher figure play the game either selfishly or generously, and then preach to them the value of taking, giving or neither. The adult’s influence was significant: Actions spoke louder than words. When the adult behaved selfishly, children followed suit. The words didn’t make much difference — children gave fewer tokens after observing the adult’s selfish actions, regardless of whether the adult verbally advocated selfishness or generosity. When the adult acted generously, students gave the same amount whether generosity was preached or not — they donated 85 percent more than the norm in both cases. When the adult preached selfishness, even after the adult acted generously, the students still gave 49 percent more than the norm. Children learn generosity not by listening to what their role models say, but by observing what they do.

To test whether these role-modeling effects persisted over time, two months later researchers observed the children playing the game again. Would the modeling or the preaching influence whether the children gave — and would they even remember it from two months earlier?

The most generous children were those who watched the teacher give but not say anything. Two months later, these children were 31 percent more generous than those who observed the same behavior but also heard it preached. The message from this research is loud and clear: If you don’t model generosity, preaching it may not help in the short run, and in the long run, preaching is less effective than giving while saying nothing at all.

People often believe that character causes action, but when it comes to producing moral children, we need to remember that action also shapes character. As the psychologist Karl Weick is fond of asking, “How can I know who I am until I see what I do? How can I know what I value until I see where I walk?”

Adam Grant is a professor of management and psychology at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the author of “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success.”
Adam Grant is a professor of management and psychology at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the author of “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success.”

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apple seeds Dubai on TV!

We are so happy to see the success of our partners at appleseeds in Dubai!
Check out some of their teachers and see their gorgeous space, located in Gold and Diamond Park. 


-A & A

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World's Toughest Job

This hit our inbox this AM from Inspire52 and we wanted to share. You will laugh, you will cry…you will relate!

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Employee of the Month - Dillon Asencio

Congrats Dillon! You are the April employee of the month! Whenever there is something that needs to be done, you are there. Whenever there isn't anything to be done...well...you are still there, always asking if there is anything that needs to be done. A true team player, you can be found doing any job with a great attitude. The weekends wouldn't be the same without you as you are a true asset to the Sunday crew. Thank you for all that you do – we are lucky to have you as a crucial part of the team!

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apple seeds Dubai



It was a total honor to stop at apple seeds in Dubai two days ago.  After being there one year ago, after the opening, I was once again in awe of how they translate our business into a successful community space for young children and their families.  I was so proud!   Rachelle, Nagesh, Neal, Sophia, Natalie, the entire team and their incredible leader Reem... we feel lucky to have this extended apple seeds Dubai family.

Alison


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A truly worthwhile read by our great friend (and Virayoga owner) Elena Brower.

Elena has an incredible following in the world of yoga. She founded Virayoga in 2002 and led a class of 10,000 (!) in Central Park. Alison, who has been practicing yoga for over 20 years, loves going to her class because Elena has an incredible balance of practice and therapy. I love going for the same reasons…and because Elena and I went to sleep away camp together forever.  Or at least it felt like forever.  If you have ever been to sleep away camp you know the kind of friends you make there.  They hold a special place in your heart.  Back then, Elena was Lainie.  She was tall, skinny as a rail, with tube socks up to her knobby knees.  She was hilarious, smart, unbelievably creative and beautiful both inside and out. She still is all those things…minus the tube socks.
Here is an incredibly thoughtful blog she wrote about how we can be respectful with our kids.

This originally appeared in Alignyo – an amazing daily yoga newsletter started by one of Alison’s friends… check it out.


To learn more about Elena visit http://virayoga.com/.

Alison & Allison

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Employee of the Month: Doris Pang!

Congrats Doris! You are the March employee of the month! Ever since you started working at apple seeds everyone has noticed how things always run a little smoother when you are on the floor.You have such a great work ethic, which is a great example for your fellow team members. It has been wonderful to see you settle in and form such a great rapport with so many of the children and caregivers. We are so happy to have you onboard and look forward to your continued success!

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By Dov Schlanger
(with a tiny bit of help from Ari and Allison Schlanger)

Our blog is being hijacked by Dov Schlanger, in honor of his best friend Jack Berna’s birthday.
Since Dov is 3 ½, he had lots of thoughts about Jack, but the “writing it all down” was a bit challenging.
Here’s his first draft.



I decided it might be easier if we did it interview style.  I started asking the questions and then my son, Ari (9) took over.

Here we go…

Me:  Guess whose birthday is coming up?

Dov: Sam and Ari’s!

Me: We just celebrated their birthday. Guess whose birthday is next?

Dov: Points to himself.

Me: Yes. You are next in our family, but we still have 3 months to go. We are going to celebrate someone’s birthday before yours…Do you want me to tell you?

Dov: Yes!

Me: Jack’s birthday is next.

Dov: Jack Berna?

Me: Yes.

Dov: I love Jack Berna!

Me: I know you do.
(I pause because I love Dov’s gut reaction the minute he hears Jack’s name - so Ari jumps in.)

Ari: What do you like to do with Jack?

Dov: I like to play with him.

Ari: What do you like to play?

Dov: Ironman! And running into walls and falling down!

Ari: What is your favorite thing about Jack?

Dov: Giving him hugs.

Ari: Do you think Jack is funny?

Dov: Yes!

Me: What is the funniest thing Jack says?

Dov: (In his deepest voice possible.) “I can’t take it!”

Ari: What do you think Jack should have on his cake?

Dov: I think it is going to be like the bird-day cake at apple seeds. No. I think it is going to have “Eye of the Tiger” on the cake. The Rocky song. That’s what I would have on my cake.

Ari: Do you want to sing Happy Birthday to Jack?

Dov: Yes. Happy Bird-day to you. Happy Bird-day to you. Happy Bird-day to Jaaa-aaaack. Happy Bird-day to you.

Ari: Are you looking forward to Jack’s birthday?

Dov: Yes!

Ari: Why?

Dov: Because I love Jack Berna.

Me: We know you do.


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LOVING science class with Jack and Dov

Realizing that 3 1/2 - 4 is the perfect age to be taking it. 

Cannot get enough of their questions, their answers, their observations and their ear-to-ear grins when something explodes!

Science teacher Sarah and Sam are the best. 

Love Wednesdays. So much fun for the little guys (and us too).

A & A




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TODAY'S Chefs for Kids’ Cancer benefit

Getting ready for tonight!

Supporting the cause closest to our hearts.


Here is Emily, who works at Cookies for Kids Cancer, while Bare Naked Ladies is doing sound check in the background.


Also Larry Witt, Gretchen's husband/ Liam's dad, stocking the shelves for the big day!


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to our funny little valentines…


we love you (soooooo much) more than those chocolate kisses you ate before breakfast.
xo

mom, dad, mom & dad

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Best CPR class ever!

We joined our staff to do a CPR training at apple seeds this week.  After 7 years of doing this necessary training, the guy who taught us is the best we’ve ever had!
We are getting nothing out of this.  We just had to share how much we enjoyed both his style of teaching, and the energy with which he imparted the information.   Choking, respiratory distress, cardiac arrest… none of it is easy to think about but somehow he made us all feel more educated and confident.

Trust us, we admit to dozing off once or twice during CPR class in the past.  Zoning out to the video. Forgetting just how many compressions are needed. Or was it breaths?

Greg Cintron is a natural born teacher (and perhaps one day he should be a stand-up comic).  Not a single person zoned out.  Not a single person was bored.  Our bet is that each person will remember just what to do when the moment arises.



We both feel more confident thinking about the hundreds of babies and children in our lives – as well as the adults that bring them to our space every single day.

We want to bring him back to apple seeds to teach a CPR seminar for our community of parents.
Let us know if this would interest you?

Click like if you would like to get certified and this is something you would attend.


Thanks!

-A&A

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Being a Mom With Eating Issues

Welcome to this week's Wednesdays with Wendy!

Wednesdays With Wendy: Being a Mom With Eating Issues
by Wendy Bradford 

We all knew women in college with issues around food--anorexia, bulimia, compulsive eating, women who didn't eat so that they could drink more. Maybe you were one of those women to a degree, or maybe you lived with a roommate and know too well about eating disorders from that experience. I was one of those women, although my eating disorders started long before college.

Last week my friend Tracy Morrison wrote a heartfelt letter to Nordstrom explaining why a pillow for sale in its stores, meant to be cute, was spreading the dangerous message to girls that skinny is good, skinny is always the goal. The letter went viral, and Nordstrom removed the ridiculous pillow from its shelves.

It took Tracy tremendous courage to take on this topic--as well as a giant retailer--and to share her own story. What occurred to me as I watched so much support well up around this feat, is that so many moms are likely dealing with their own battles around weight and food and obsession. There is no expiration date on eating disorders, yet it is not something we acknowledge in the mom community in the present tense. Perhaps this is because we think these are issues we should be over "by now."

We write and talk a great deal about making sure our daughters have a healthy body image; that they see past what the media serves up--flawless and impossibly proportioned women; that they play with Barbie without assuming she represents an ideal; that they look to movie characters who are strong and self-sufficient instead of meek and in need of rescue.

As a mom of two girls and one boy, I think of these things too. I don't comment on my weight or anyone else's. I don't say I feel, look, smell, or sound fat. I compliment the kids on their clothes, their hair, their ideas, their good memories and their great questions, their athletic ability (or ambition), their schoolwork, and their compassion. I redirect conversations that begin with "I look...." I treat them like the whole persons they are.

But I am thinking about my weight most of the day, every day. I weigh myself so often that I know what each article of clothing I own weighs. I know how much my shoes weigh. I have two scales in case I need a second opinion. There are medications that have helped, or would help, my anxiety that I refuse to take because they are likely to cause weight gain. As insane as that sounds--as insane as that is--it won't change because I wish it were different, or I pretend those aren't my thoughts. Yet I am a world away from where I began, from a place to which I don't want to return. Along with mountains of gratitude, I harbor shame and fear, still, in bringing this up. 

My children didn't know me when I didn't eat or when I exercised compulsively, or when I got up in the middle of the night to binge on whatever was in the cabinets. They don't know the measures I went to to be thin and thinner. Because I have worked very diligently--but not perfectly--over the past decade-plus, they do not need to ever know that woman . 

There are few times in my adult life that I have spoken with friends--certainly not new friends--about my past struggles or the struggles I continue to have. Few people have shared their problems around food with me. So many times, however, have I seen a woman, around my age, clearly in trouble (as this can be a very visible disease) at the gym, in a store, or somewhere else; I have never approached anyone. Eating and body image issues are not cool when you're in your forties, and I don't want to expose another person to her embarrassment. Or my own.

After Tracy's victory, I had a thought: Given the enormity of the eating disorder problem in colleges, is it possible that all these young women are recovered by their thirties and forties? I think that of those of us who survived--because some do not--many found solutions, or were able to leave it behind. But I think many are still at the mercy of the disorder, and some have developed eating disorder later in life. As grown women and mothers, we may not know there are support systems or even feel we deserve one at this point in our lives. It can feel like defeat because this is an indefatigable opponent.

I wish though, that we didn't have to hide our battles from one another. I wish we could say that you aren't bad if you have these thoughts and feel powerless around food, or compelled to exercise, or hate yourself when you aren't a certain number. You aren't a failed mom or woman because you cannot control your thoughts in the face of all the colors of information about nutrition, healthy living, acceptance. You probably have a problem that you cannot solve with your own thinking. Living like that isn't the answer. But as someone who has spent many years in the illness, and many years in recovery, I know that, alone, I couldn't imagine or read or wish myself out of the cage. The belief that we should know better when we are parents, keeps women (and men are not immune) from seeking the help that is most certainly out there in the form of anonymous programs, in- and out-patient treatment programs, and therapists that specialize. 

I walk the line every day between wanting to protect my daughters from unnecessary influences on their pliable self-esteem and having my own mind with the fallout from twenty years of active eating disorders. That line may will always be the thinnest one in the room.

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We were on TV twice this week! Crazy.

It was a pretty big week around these parts. We were interviewed for 2 different TV shows…Good Morning America and Fox News!  Both experiences were so much fun. Here are the highlights…

When we arrived at apple seeds on the UWS to tape our interview for Good Morning America’s segment on how to prepare your first child for baby #2, GMA was already interviewing a social worker for our segment.  The social worker turned out to be one of Allison S.’s girlfriends from high school (a total surprise), Donna (Weinman) Ellenbogen.

The GMA correspondent that did the interview was Melissa Rycroft of  The Bachelor and Dancing With The Stars fame.  Yes she is pretty…very pretty. She is 6 ½ months pregnant and looks adorable. She is also very sweet and a great interviewer. She was extremely easy to chat with, super honest about her own experiences raising her daughter and has a great sense of humor. We did our own hair and make-up so we pretty much will look exactly like we do after a day of dropping off the kids at school, working, picking them up, afterschool activities, homework…super glamorous.

We are also so bad at this social media thing we totally forgot to take pictures at the shoot, so our apple seeds multi-media coordinator, Tom DelPizzo, mocked one up for us.





The Fox News shoot was in the Fox studios.  One of us worked in TV for 5 years (Alison B.) and the other for 13 years (Allison S.) and it is still fun for us to be in a TV studio. We were smart enough to get professionals to do our hair this time and the Fox make-up artists were kind enough to do our faces.  We shared the segment with our friend Ali Wing – co-founder of giggle baby stores (another total surprise).

Fox correspondent and apple seeds member Julie Banderas did the interview. 
She could not be nicer – telling us how much she and her daughters love apple seeds and calling Dan Griffith, our songs for seeds coordinator and band leader, the Justin Bieber of the kiddie music world.

After the interview we actually remembered to take pictures! 





Then one of us (Allison S.) went into the restroom only to realize that the lipstick the make-up artists applied had worn off but the lip liner remained leaving her with what can only be described as duck lips.

She emerged from the restroom to hear the producer tell Alison B. that this particular segment will air every day for years in over 100 of Fox’s international markets.  It will never go away…and neither will the duck lips.      

Thanks for reading!

A&A

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The Clothes Make the Madness

Welcome to this week's Wednesdays with Wendy!

Wednesdays With Wendy: The Clothes Make the Madness
by Wendy Bradford 

Each morning, my husband gives the kids breakfast and starts to get them ready for school while I sleep for a little longer. (Yes, he’s the best husband ever. I also do dinner and bedtime by myself each night. It's our system.)

But each morning, I hear—in my sleep and as I wake up—“I hate these tights! They are scratchy!” and “These are too tight! They’re twisty!” and “I hate this! This has a BOW!” and "THIS SHIRT LOOKS SILLY!"

I have two girls: one turning five in April, and one who turned six in September. Like most mothers of girls, I imagined the dresses and shoes and headbands I’d buy for them. The little lady coats.

And I did buy those things for them--and had so much fun picking out miniature versions of clothes I'd like to wear--and they were happy with them until about last year. That is when the youngest began refusing to wear her clothes. Any of them. She wears ballet tights and tee shirts. Now, exclusively.

Her older sister caught on and now insists every article of clothing—including her socks—doesn’t fit. “I cannot wear these socks! They are so uncomfortable! I’ll BE SO UNCOMFORTABLE ALL DAY!”

And as Molly cried over her socks, and Ellie cried over the buttons on her sweater this morning, their brother lay naked on the living room floor watching Despicable Me, completely oblivious to time, my voice, his father’s voice, and likely, the urge to pee.

People – who know nothing about me apparently – have told me to resist getting upset and battling with them over outfits. I find this, like Ellie’s new corduroys, impossible.

“You have no idea what you have. One day I’m going to throw away all your clothes. I’ll give them to a little girl who appreciates them. And you’ll go to school naked,” I told Ellie this morning.

“Good,” she answered. “Give them to a little girl. I’d like to go to school naked.” I believe her.

I heard my husband tell Molly that from now on she has to pick her clothes for the next day out the night before. I laughed to myself. That only gives them more time to decide why they won’t wear what they’ve picked out.

I am outsmarted. I have shopped at fifteen stores, gone through catalogues with them, asked them to circle what they like, let them choose their clothing to buy. They change their minds as soon as I cut the tags off of their new leggings. Ellie liked a dress from Old Navy this fall. I bought her seven in different colors. She no longer likes the teeny, tiny button on the back. “I CAN FEEL IT ON MY NECK! GET IT OFF!”


Letting go of my expectations and disappointment may be the only way I can survive this stage without losing my mind. You may, however, run into a pair of very sweet girls with expensive shoes, glittery head bands, but who are otherwise entirely naked. Those would be mine. You can recognize their brother because he is the four and one-half year old whose pants are so short you can see the top of his socks. He’s been wearing those pants since he was two.