Friday, March 28, 2008

Haven't you been taught you should be nice to everybody?

A young man, walking alone at night to a diner he regularly frequents for dinner, is accosted by a teen with a knife who demands his wallet.

But the man goes one further and offers the mugger his coat.

What happens next, if you haven't heard the story, will warm your heart.

You can read the full text via the link below, but let me just say that as a Mom, I'd be proud to have Julio Diaz as my son.

Now get out your kleenex, and read all about this incredible young man.

Barack Obama takes on The View

Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama responded to an invitation from Barbara Walters to appear on The View this morning, taking on Republican Elizabeth Hasselbeck, while fielding questions from a sympathetic Joy Behar, Barbara and Whoopie Goldberg.

First on the agenda, Senator Obama responded to the controversy surrounding recently-retired church pastor Jeremiah Wright. Obama is taking fire for remaining in the church after the pastor's controversial antics: as early as 1993, Wright called for the primarily African-American congregation to sing, "God Damn America," rather than God Bless America, as well as placing responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks squarely on the United States itself.

Obama is on the record as "categorically" denouncing any rhetoric "that disparages our great country." His impassioned speech on racial relations, as Hasselbeck noted, "crossed party lines," and won many undecided supporters over, calling for an open-minded, inclusive discussion of the issues.

Still, the shadow of Wright's legacy hangs over Obama's head, and as he has remarked before, "I can no more dismiss this man [Wright] than I can my white grandmother." Barack's outspoken and independent wife, Michelle, didn't help matters when, in February, she passionately cried out during a campaign stop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, "For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback." No doubt her words were intended as praise for her husband's success; however, her poorly-worded comments only sparked outrage over what many saw as further denigration of America.

In addition, continuing to attend Wright's church for 21 years suggests to many a tacit approval with Wright's divisive sentiments; opponents argue that Obama only distanced himself from the pastor when the relationship was brought out into the open.

This morning on the View, Obama weighed in with, "I'm not vetting my pastor. I didn't have a research team during the course of 20 years to go pull every sermon he's given and see if there's something offensive that he's said." Obama went on to say that the picture the news media has given the American people is merely, "a snippet of the man."

Obama also went on to address what he considers the three major focal points of his presidential campaign:

Removing our military force from Iraq "as carefully as we carelessly went in."

Putting forth a bill that will "allow every family to receive affordable health care."

Dealing with the nation's economy. Earlier this week, Obama railed against Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain for taking, as he put it, "a sit back and watch" approach to the failing economy in the midst of what analysts say is an economic recession. Obama denied that he would, as McCain suggested Tuesday, raise taxes. Instead, he plans to "remove tax breaks from the richest Americans", who, he points out, don't need the breaks as much as the average worker needs to hang on to his house.

After Barack's stint on the view, Sherri Shepherd, former comedienne and survivor of the infamous "flat earth" discussion in which she disavowed evolution, declared herself won over by Obama's appearance and declared herself willing to campaign for him.

Hopefully, after facing down all this controversy already, the Senator is savvy enough not to take her up on her offer.

New Facebook Discussion Topic: Spring Break

Don't forget to head over to Facebook and join the new Cool Moms group for your chance at a free T-shirt (I'm giving one away for every 25 people who join the group! Great odds!). Today's topic is Spring Break. What do you and your family have planned? Did you already go? Or is everyone in your house sick?! Let us know and share your vacation photos over at the Cool Moms group!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Join the NEW Cool Moms Facebook group and you could win a Cool Moms T-shirt!

I just joined Facebook, and I wanted to invite all my Cool Mom friends to come on over and join the new Cool Mom group!

So here's some incentive for you all: when the membership reaches, say, 25 Moms, I'll give away a Cool Moms Rule! t-shirt to a random member. If we get 50 folks, I'll give another way, 75 and I'll add another, and if we reach 100 Moms, I'll have a super spectacular giveaway of some of the best-reviewed products here on Cool Moms Rule!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

So... are you sick of the hype?

You can't walk into a store today without being inundated with images of this girl on magazines, clothing, and of course her music. So we have to admit to a delicious guilty pleasure when we discovered this graph over at Graph Jam. It's owned by the delightful I can has cheezburger? people.

funny graphs
see more funny graphs

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Special Supplement: Rainy Day Easter? Try This!

Is it raining outside your house? Wet and nasty? Kids can't go out and hunt for eggs? Here comes Printables for Kids to the Rescue! Print up this special Easter-themed .pdf (you'll need Adobe, which is free, if you don't already have it) and give the kids something to do to pass the time (and quietly!).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter from Cool Moms Rule!

There are two staples that we simply MUST have every Easter. They are traditions in our house.

The first is, of course, the Easter Egg Hunt. This becomes harder each year to achieve, because the boys are getting so good at searching for the plastic eggs we (and the Easter Bunny!) hide (plastic eggs keep those pesky ants away). So we have found new ways to make it challenging. Last year, for example, we had a night-time Easter Egg hunt with flashlights!

And the second Easter tradition? The all-important Chocolate Bunny, of course! With that in mind, enjoy this tasty tidbit from Youtube, and have a wonderful Easter sharing all of your own special family traditions this year.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Camp Baby

I was recently thrilled to be one of a group of Mommy Bloggers approached by Johnson & Johnson to attend a weekend event in April entitled Camp Baby. This all-expenses paid weekend includes a fantastic opportunity to dialog with other Moms, bloggers like me, as well as some much-needed pampering, and I give kudos to Johnson & Johnson for reaching out to Moms in the blogosphere as they have done with this all-encompassing, everyone's welcome attitude.

Now, having read the invitation thoroughly, it came as no surprise to me that Mothers are not expected to bring their children with them for the weekend, as the activities on the agenda suggest that the Camp getaway is intended as a opportunity for Moms to get together, discuss their lives, their successes and disappointments, their challenges and their frustrations and all their methods of coping with the huge responsibility that is Motherhood. It's a chance to let go for a little while, vent and share and even let yourself be pampered for a change, along with other Moms who can understand and support just where you are coming from.

But not everyone came away with the same reading of the situation as I did, and some other bloggers have pointed out that at an event entitled Camp Baby, it seems counter-intuitive that babies and small children cannot be accommodated.

Now, I actually became aware of this controversy through Johnson & Johnson themselves, who realized there was a problem and, to their credit, responded immediately with an email to those of us who had been invited, both explaining and apologizing for any misunderstandings relating to Camp Baby (which, in retrospect, should possibly have been named "Camp Mom").

Here's what J&J's Baby Camp Organizer had to say in her email:
I wanted to personally reach out to you in response to what happened yesterday in the mommy blogosphere. What a learning process it has been for all of us.

...We tried our best to invite as many bloggers as possible...for a first event, we did the best possible job finding you all! And we are so glad we did.

We have done our best to be honest in all our communications to be as equal and fair as possible. As with all events, registration is on a first-come-first-serve basis, and once we reached capacity, we had to stop accepting new people since we wanted the event to feel very intimate (and yes we did go over by 6!) . Additionally, because this is an event created for education and networking, we felt, that you could not take full advantage of the agenda, while caring for your children. This was probably the hardest call we made and certainly have learned a lot through this process. In the future, we will be much more overt about these decisions but we tried to communicate this as questions arose.

I applaud the way Johnson & Johnson has stepped up to the plate over this whole controversy, and I am looking forward to attending Camp Baby and blogging all about for you. You'll be seeing those posts between April 2nd and April 4th, when I will be in New Jersey attending the camp and blogging live from the event.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why Not Go Green on St. Patrick's Day?

Viv chose this clover for embroidery clover for St. Pat's. Machine embroidery is her latest attempt at craftiness. We'll let you know how that goes! >

Are you wearing your green today? It's March 17th, St. Patrick's Day! In lieu of the traditional drinkin' and partyin', why not choose to make a difference in your life this St. Patrick's Day by going green? With a little effort, you can start an Earth-friendly tradition to recycle year after year!

Plant a tree. This time of year is all about renewal and rebirth. The birds are singing, chicks and ducks are being born, flowers are blooming. Why not take the kids out tree-shopping? Unlike in December, when we simply chop them down to decorate with ornaments, you can use this day to plant a healthy, happy tree, and celebrate new life this Spring.

Take out the trash (bags). If you're still using plastic grocery bags instead of re-usable cotton or canvas totes, gather up all those old bags cluttering up your house and take them back to the store for recycling. Then head out to the craft store for a plain tote
you can design and decorate yourself. Get the kids involved with some green finger-paint and let them press their hand-prints onto their own earth-friendly totes. Let your creations inspire you to stay green throughout the year--keep them in the trunk of your car for those times you have to pick up a dozen eggs or a couple gallons of milk.

Check out home-healthy, green alternatives. For cleaners that are dye- and perfume-free, nontoxic, biodegradable, naturally derived and never tested on animals, visit, Mrs. Meyers or Seventh Generation. It's healthier for the earth (and your family!).

Be powerless. When you turn off your PC, you may think your power is off, too. Actually, power continues flowing to your printer, scanner or other peripherals. Consider purchasing a Bits power strip ($32.99) to stop the waste (and lower your electric bills!). Go to to find out more.

Turn on the light. Remember when a picture of a lightbulb over someone's head meant, "Hey, I have a bright idea?" Here's a bright idea: switch out your regular lightbulbs with GE Energy Smart Lightbulbs and you can save as much as $59 over the lifetime for each lightbulb you replace!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

For environmental services, projects and events available in your community, check out

Monday, March 10, 2008

Is It Wrong to Be the Cool Mom?

Check out Viv's response to this fascinating debate over at (you'll see her comment on page 2).

Are you the "Cool Mom" in your neighborhood? Why or why not? We'd love to hear your opinions, too! Take our Cool Mom poll and leave a comment below.

Oh, and don't forget to enter our giveaway! Comment on this post or the one below it and you'll be entered to win the latest Baby Einstein DVD! (see the post below for complete details, and if you have a blog, link to the post for an EXTRA entry!)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Win the latest BABY EINSTEIN DVD!

Leave a comment on THIS post, and you will be registered to win the Baby Einstein DVD reviewed below, Baby's First Moves: Get Up and Go!

Link to this post in your blog for an extra entry (just let Viv know in your comment)!

Make sure to include an email address where you can be reached with your comment!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Review: Baby Einstein DVD

I know that you have all heard of Baby Einstein before. When you were looking for something educational for your child, something to help you parent your young one (maybe feeling a little guilty even as you did so, even though you were putting in those long days and nights, because you were on the quest to become The Perfect Mother) invariably, Baby Einstein is what stopped you in your tracks. I can almost hear you giving thanks that someone out there understood that just because you needed a little help now and then coming up with the umpteen-kajillionth activity to stimulate (but not overstimulate!) your baby didn't mean you were a bad Mom. Thank goodness someone out there understood.

Well, Baby Einstein is still getting it right today. They've released a new DVD for kids to play along with, entitled Baby's First Moves: Get Up and Go! I use those words, "play along with," deliberately, because this DVD isn't intended for mindless, couch-potato, glazed-eyed viewing. Rather, it's a way for Moms (and Dads, too!) to connect with their children one-on-one.

While watching the video, Moms are encouraged to talk to their child, linking what they see on the video to real-life situations, helping their infant or toddler make real-life connections. When the puppets in the video jump and dance, you can cuddle your baby in your arms and dance right along, or bring out your own puppets for a homemade version of the action on screen.

Baby Einstein's Baby's First Moves: Get Up and Go! is chock-full of activity--joyful babies clapping, jumping, dancing and more, all set to beautiful classical music you don't mind listening to again and again (which your baby will surely want to do!). Intended for children 3 months and older, the DVD actually encourages your child's developing motor skills.

And that's something every Mom can feel good about (without feeling guilty!).
Cool Moms Rule! is in full compliance of the new FTC rules concerning Bloggers. I disclose on all posts where a product was received for free and/or if there was any kind of financial compensation involved.