Category Archives: Charity

Leave it to me, Mrs. Cleaver

So I recently abandoned some pre-parent feminist proclamations about not giving my future children toys that feed into stereotypical roles. A daughter wouldn’t be bathed in pink and frills and dolls and a son wouldn’t get a fishing pole and truck and baseball. They wouldn’t get these things, anyway, without some sort of counterbalance. So a daughter would get a big ol’ truck and my son a dainty doll. You get the idea.

It must have been some sort of reincarnation of Mrs. Cleaver that recently crept into and possessed my body when I wasn’t paying attention. Before I knew it, I was on the hunt for a kitchen set for Maeve. Although some Gloria Steinem-like voice was telling me this wasn’t the direction I thought I’d be taking with my young, impressionable daughter, I was having so much fun looking for the secondhand set that I knew she would love, complete with plates, cups, plastic foods and condiments, that I simply didn’t care. The set we scored has a cupboard, refrigerator, sink, stovetop and oven, dishwasher and microwave.

Well, it seems that this anti-Barbie mama might have less to worry about than I feared.

She and I recently were “cooking” up a storm, using the pretend ice dispenser in the fridge door, and sharing mixing bowls and spoons while we stirred up something “licious” (that’s “delicious” for those of you not schooled in Maevespeak). I took a hot dog from the fridge and explained I was hungry and we could cook it for dinner. I pulled out a little saucepan, filled it with imaginary water from the fake faucet and placed it on the stove.

She looked confused. Alarmed, actually.

Maeve dipped her hand into the saucepan, retrieved the hot dog from its invisible simmering water and literally tossed it into the fake microwave. She pushed a bunch of buttons, said “beep, beep, beep,” and waited.

I had to keep from laughing out loud as I watched the little chef at work and realized she’d never seen me cook a hot dog — or much else — on the stovetop.

She opened the door, grabbed the dog, gasped “hot!” and handed it to me.

“Licious, mommy.”

Yeah, methinks mamagigi has made her own impression after all. Thanks, Mrs. Cleaver, but your lacy-apron services won’t be necessary.



Filed under Charity, Feminism, For fun, Maeve, Parenting, Promises

Three cheers for Cheerios

You know you’re a parent when ….

you’re in the bank or at the office or in the grocery store and you reach into a pocket or purse for change or a pen or a piece of paper only to retrieve fingers full of Cheerios.

Have these little crunchy circles of cereal inevitably found their way into the nooks and crannies of your life? Have you read and re-read that yellow General Mills box on your kitchen table more times than you care to count?

Well, it’s all about to come in very handy.

Seems the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, an advocacy organization representing 8 million American women living with heart disease, are partnering with Cheerios for “The Heart Truth” campaign.

Beginning this month Cheerios will donate $1 to WomenHeart for every online code entered through Jan. 1, 2008, up to $500,000.


1) Wrestle the yellow box from your child’s hand.

2) Look for the “Circle of Helping Hearts” code on the back (specially marked boxes).

3) Enter the code at

4) Bing, bang, boom, you just sent a buck.

5) Sit back, feel proud and tell a friend to do the same.

(And it just might warm your heart, too.)

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Filed under Charity, Children, Making a difference, Parenting

World Aids Day

In honor of World Aids Day on Dec. 1, one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Karen at chookooloonks, has pledged to send $1 for every person that logs onto her blog (and posts in the comments section) to the Cyril Ross nursery for children with AIDS.

I can’t say I’m surprised at this generous gesture on her part. Since I’ve been religiously reading her blog —  close to a year or so — she has, without even trying, made it painfully clear how committed she is to sharing love and spreading peace — all the while generously sharing a glimpse into the world she shares with her daughter Alex and husband Marcus through her beautiful photography, her humor and her genuine, thought-provoking posts. As she often says, “Love and light, people. Love and light.”

I found her blog through Adoptive Families magazine — where she was featured — and have been a member of her faithful flock ever since. Of course, that was all by way of lurking — until yesterday when I finally posted a comment (and forced her to cough up a buck on my behalf for the AIDS nursery!). And then I emailed everyone I know. And I see them getting on board and it’s fabulous. Let’s keep spreading the love.

Here’s the deal: Whether you’ve stumbled into this space by mistake or you’re here on purpose, kindly head on over to chookooloonks and post — it’s another dollar Karen will send to this important cause. It’s … that … simple. Here are the rules: Post your name (or “anonymous” if you prefer), your city or region, state and country. That’s it.

Last time I checked, it was about 300 people, or $300. And one of the folks posting pledged to match Karen’s ultimate contribution. So that would put the tally at $600.

That’s just so far. Because Karen’s offer is good through the end of Sunday (12/3). That’s right, at midnight, the wallet closes. So, go ahead. Click over there now. Empty her wallet! Ready, Set, Go!

In memory of my cousin Kenneth.

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Filed under AIDS, Charity, Children, Community, Love, Promises