Porsha Picks Her Baby (RHOA)

After the AMAs last night, I started catching up on the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Wow. The new chicks…. just… wow.

Kenya is clearly cray cray, and there isn’t much to be said about her that hasn’t been said already. But Porsha? Oh wow… This girl is a perky little something.

The whole time she was telling Kenya about her desire for children, I kept thinking to myself, Is she 12 years old?. Even beyond the peppy enthusiasm and rambling, I mean, really. You rarely hear grown women talk that way. She wants kids (okay). Sooner rather than later (fine). Preferably twins so she doesn’t have to be pregnant multiple times (okie doke. Good luck with that). Her hubby wants a boy and she wants a girl (that’s normal). So she’s going to have the boy first and then a girl (wait, what now?). And when Kenya points out that usually one does not have control over these things, she responds that she’s just going to use the Chinese gender predictor to plan her boy and girl. (alllllrighty then…).

I get saying things like, “Ideally, I would like a boy and a girl.” But saying what sex she was going to have, and even going so far as to treat the Chinese gender prediction test as though it is honestly a reliable and proven gender prediction technique is just… I can’t… Do grown people do this???

If you are not familiar with it, the Chinese Gender Prediction test is a real thing. Based on the mom’s lunar age and lunar month in which the baby is conceived, the test tells you what gender it should be. That’s right, Porsha Stewart is putting stock in the fact that every woman her lunar age who conceives the same month as her will have the same-gendered babies. Sounds legit .

This gender predictor claims to be 90% accurate. In reality, it is—like all methods of predicting gender in a single-birth or identical twin scenario—50% accurate.

According to the Chinese Gender Predictor, I should have one girl and one boy. In fact, Pop Culture Toddler 2 was conceived smack in the middle of a three-month period that should result in a boy. Guess she missed the memo?

Seriously, what is the logic here? Some ancient Chinese secret from the cosmos? It doesn’t even make any sense statistically.

And what about fraternal twins [like the ones Porsha so desperately wants… I am assuming there must be some family history or she is planning on the aid of fertility drugs, since she is clearly not of such advanced maternal age that she has a heightened risk of fraternal twins] and other multiples? Where do they factor? By this theory, they should always be the same gender.

Look, I have no problem with gender prediction methods and old wives’ takes when they are used for fun only, and not treated as a serious endeavor. I can even understand people trying things like the Shettles Method or anything that has at least some basis in science (whether or not it is actually accurate). But some random chart that you found online that says every 31-year old woman who conceives in “lunar” February in any given year will have a girl?? C’mon now!

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Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion, Part Three Million

I just got this in my email from Bravo:


OMFG, how many parts ARE there to the RHONJ reunion show??? They say three, but I swear it feels like at least 30. And I could have sworn that Juicy (ew!) Joe was on the part I fell asleep watching last week. So how are the husbands just joining now? Don’t you mean “the other husbands,” Andy?

I am. So. Over. This.

Without watching, I can tell you exactly what happens:

Teresa will lie and blink a lot, use some not-so-big-words incorrectly, accuse everyone of ganging up on her, and pretend her marriage is solid as a rock while everyone else’s is falling apart. She will insist that every hurtful thing she has ever said to another cast member was “just a joke. Don’t you get it??” She also will claim that everyone is just jealous of her and her celebrity and take zero responsibility for the fact that every single relationship in her life (except the one with Dina, whose bitch has been showing since she left the show) has crumbled.

Joe will sit with her and continue to insist that he was not talking to his mistress on the phone when he called his wife the b-word and the c-word and then pretended he was talking to a Spanish worker (in Italian, natch) when she caught him. They will both claim that they are very wealthy and at no time committed bankruptcy fraud, despite lying to the Office of the United States Trustee (a division of the Department of Justice) about their assets. Then they will insist that, despite the fact that they give paid interviews to tabloids every other month, that their private lives are private, and people should butt out. They will also insist the tabloids twisted their words.

Jacqueline will also lie a lot, yell at Teresa, cry a few times about her son, Ashley, and her now-dead friendship with Teresa. She will claim her marriage is strong, even though it probably isn’t or at least wasn’t at some point. She will avoid talking about Ashley unless or until someone else brings it up, which they will (I’m looking at you, Andy)

Melissa will yell at Teresa… a lot. She will once again mention during every single topic that her single is set to be released on iTunes very soon. She will not sing live. She will, however, flip her hair and bat her eyelashes… a lot. She will mention that Teresa hates her and is out to get her, and while this is all true, she will exaggerate it and blow it out of proportion until no one cares anymore [I’m already at that point, in case you couldn’t tell].

Joe will join Melissa on the couch and yell at Teresa… a lot. He will mention their father no less than 10 times. He will also talk about therapy. He and Juicy (ew!) Joe will get into it and maybe even have to be separated by security. In short, it will look a lot like Melissa and Joe’s son’s christening (Jesus loves a good brawl per the Gorga/Guidices).

Kathy will roll her eyes… a lot. She will continue to switch sides depending on who seems to be winning the argument at that point. Ritchie will join her and make some extremely disgusting jokes that no one wants to hear. Their daughter, Victoria, will be away at college somewhere watching in her dorm room, cringing, and pretending like she’s never met these people in her life.

And last but not least… Caroline. Caroline, I lurves ya, but you iz wearing on my nerves too, gurl. Caroline will keep her arms folded across her lap, looking down at everyone in judgment (rightly so). When Jacqueline is addressed directly, Caroline will answer for her. She may even grab her, hug her, and hold her tight, as though she is a small child (which she sometimes is, lezbehonest). She will attempt to deflect accusations of being a bully with such a menacing tone that you start to wonder “Is she a bully?” But then you, the viewer, will realize she isn’t really, she’s just a 50-year old woman who has finally realized she’s way too old and impatient to be on this stupid ass show and that she is surrounded by idiots, who, sadly, she can’t escape because she’s related to one-third of them. So, yes, she may be mean and snippy, even condescending, but not quite a bully. That will not, however, stop the sanctimony from ignoring the living shit out of you.

Then we, the viewers, will turn off the reunion, wondering how we wasted three hours of our lives on this garbage… only to forget about it all in a few months and tune in for season five.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Don’t Mix Business and Idiots (Real Housewives of New Jersey)

How is it that I watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey for mindless relaxation, but instead I just end up stressed out about how mindless these people are?

Tonight I watched the most recent episode, “Whine Country.” Whine indeed.

The Manzos/Lauritas and Guidices/Gorgas/Wakiles1 are on vacation in Napa. This episode is like episode 5,000 of this trip, and I have been increasingly bored and infuriated by these people this season, so I only halfway know what the heck is going on at the beginning of this episode. Next thing you know, everyone is boarding a tour bus with Albie, Albert, Caroline and Chris are looking scared as hell. Chris is warning everyone to be on their best behavior. Yeah, good luck with this crowd.

We then find out from Caroline’s voiceover that the gang is on their way to a business meeting:

Initially, it was supposed to be Albert, Chris, Albie. And then I guess Christopher felt kind of bad and was like, ‘Mom, you wanna come?’. And I felt kinda bad. ‘I’ll ask your sister.’ ‘Well, Vito would like to see it.’ And then, like, before you know it, we’re all going to the vineyard—which is fine… Maybe.

No, Caroline, no it’s not! And I can tell from the look on your, your husband’s, your sons’ and your brother’s faces on the bus that you all know this isn’t fine.

First off, at least two of the people in your group are, on their best days embarrassing and on their worst, certifiably crazy. I’m looking at you Teresa and Joe Guidice. Second, much of your group spends a lot of time—and I mean a lot—at each other’s throats (okay, this is really an offshoot of the first point, since the Guidices are usually the source of the problem where fights at concerned). Third, and more importantly, this is a business trip. You know who doesnt belong on a business trip? People who have no business and (most importantly) have no respect for the people that do.

So as you can probably guess, the extraneous non-business-having people on the trip acted like asses and embarrassed the guys who were supposed to be conducting business [and Caroline; but let’s face it, that bitch Teresa is “eating crackers” with her right now, anyway]. Teresa is in her voiceover totally confused [isn’t she always, though?] as to why people were mad, when she thought they were there to have fun. The woman at the winery with whom the Manzos/Lauritas are conducting business is being awfully good-natured about everything, even though she is probably seething inside [i am sure you would put up with a lot of tomfoolery, too, if you knew your small winery was getting free publicity every time someone on this insipid show mentioned your winery’s name. Though, I’m not so sure how excited about the publicity she remained after this episode aired and she got to witness Teresa and Joe Guidice having a quickie in her vines. Yes. Seriously.

Honestly, though, I can’t blame the interlopers, not even the Guidices. They never should have been invited in the first place. One very important rule of business is that everything you do in reference to your client reflects on you, that includes who you involve in your business affairs. If you bring along tagalongs, their behavior is a reflection of your judgment. It shows very poor judgment to bring along a band of idiots. The extras should have been left back at the resort, or at the very least, Chris/Albert/Albie should have set up a separate (non-business) tour for the others at the winery while they finished their business transaction.

I am not sure if the guys got this wine distribution contract they were hoping to get on this trip. Honestly, I don’t really care. I do know, however, that if I were ever conducting business with someone and he/she/they brought along 10 imbeciles with him/her/them to our first meeting, I would look for a different partner for my business ventures

1. If you are fortunate enough to never have seen this show, allow me to “briefly” explain how these people are connected. Caroline Manzo (née Laurita) is the older sister of Chris Laurita, who is married to Jacqueline. Caroline’s sons, Albert IV (Albie) and Christopher are currently in business with their uncle Chris (Jacqueline’s husband), who sometimes does business with their dad (Albert III). Caroline and Jacqueline are on-and-off friends with the absolutely insufferable Theresa Guidice (née Gorga) (who changes the way her last name is pronounced every time she makes a television appearance, so please don’t ask me how to pronounce it). Teresa, who is married to Joe, also has a brother named Joe. Brother Joe is married to Melissa. Joe (Gorga) and Teresa are cousins with Kathy Wakile.

Teresa is in the middle of a fight with Caroline, because she made fun of Caroline in her cookbook, among other things. Teresa was fighting with Jacqueline, because (long story short) Teresa is a terrible friend. They recently made up, because Jacqueline is a pushover. Teresa and Melissa were fighting, because Teresa is obviously jealous of Melissa, as her husband is of her brother. They recently made up, because they’re family, and Melissa and Joe (brother Joe, not husband Joe) wanted to be adults for the sake of their kids. I honestly couldn’t tell at the beginning of the episode if Teresa and Kathy were fighting, because they are always going back and forth between fighting and and wanting to act like family. Just know that when they are fighting, it is always some inconsiderate thing that Teresa has done that she (as always) turns around and tries to use to argue that she is the victim.

See a pattern here?

On this trip are Caroline, Albert (husband), Lauren (daughter), Albie and Christopher Manzo, Lauren’s boyfriend, and Christopher and Albie’s roommate, Greg; Jacqueline and Chris Laurita; Teresa and Joe Guidice; Melissa and Joe Gorga; and Kathy and Richie Wakile. Clear as mud, right?

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

A Teachable Moment Missed (Real Housewives of Atlanta)

Anyone who knows me or followed my old blog on What to Expect should know that I’m a wee bit of a lactivist. I fully support a woman exercising her right to breastfeed in public or private, her baby’s right to eat, and companies making it easier for women to breastfeed and/or pump. I also know when to choose my battles. For example, as much as I loathe the idea of nursing in a sweaty locker room or bathroom, I sucked it up and did so voluntarily when at my in law’s country club over the holidays. I also would not nurse sans cover in someone else’s house without their permission.

I love breastfeeding. I think every mother should at least try it. But I understand why some don’t or can’t. This doesn’t change the fact that it is what is best for baby. And it doesn’t change the fact that, for some inexplicable reason, some people still don’t understand the concept that breastfeeding has been around for centuries and that formula is a new construct. Yes, breast milk is the default. It has always been here. Yet for some reason, we still need to “normalize” breastfeeding.

This is why an episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta I recently watched disturbed me so much.

Okay. Let’s be honest, many episodes of RHOA are disturbing for many reasons. MANY. (Um… Ridickulous, anyone? << WARNING: NSFW) But it's not often that I find on that show an actual opportunity for a teachable moment. It's sad that the one time I found it, I was let down. I guess that's what I get for actually having hopes and standards for anything that comes out of the Real Housewives franchise.

On this particular episode, a very pregnant Kim Zolciak is talking to her daughter Brielle about breastfeeding the new baby after he is born. Kim, a former L&D nurse, starts out really well by telling her daughter how she’s going to feed the baby breast milk because that’s what’s best for babies. Then her daughter, a typical ignorant teenager who hasn’t had to be exposed to babies and nursing, gives a pretty classic and expected response, “Ew, gross.” Now this would have been the perfect time for Kim to explain to her daughter that there’s nothing gross about breastfeeding at all. Instead, how does Kim react? “Yeah, I know. Right?”. Kim does make a little bit of recovery by telling her daughter how she was breastfed and so was her little sister. However, I just can’t get past the “Yeah, I know. Right?”.

Kim talks to her daughter, Brielle, about breastfeeding

That is the wrong response by any person, let alone a former nurse, in relation to breastfeeding. There is nothing gross about it. It is simply feeding your child the way nature intended. Period. I have read ignorant comments before where people have associated breastfeeding with other natural bodily functions, such as defecating, or horrible things like child molestation. It is none of these things. In reference to the comparisons of breast milk and toilet functions, would you allow someone to put a Ziploc bag of urine or BM on your dinner table? Of course not. Yet, breast milk in a bottle sitting on your table is perfectly acceptable to everyone. This alone underscores (for those too stupid or dim to see it any other way) the difference between the two functions. With respect to the disgusting and idiotic child abuse allegations, breastfeeding is not child molestation any more than changing your baby’s diaper is.

For those who have issues about nursing in public, those are truly their own issues. The primary function of breasts are to feed children. Yes, they have a secondary function related to sex; but guess what? So does your mouth. Until there’s a big push for people covering up their mouths while eating in public, lest some man conjure up inappropriate images of the things a woman could do to him with her mouth, I don’t want to hear any complaint about mothers breastfeeding in public. And until we revert to Victorian culture where women are covered up from the neck down, don’t even try to feed me lines about breastfeeding women with their breasts “hanging out” [something, BTW, I have never seen].

The bottom line is, Kim messed up big time by missing this teachable moment. As a former L&D nurse and someone who knows the importance of breast milk enough to have nursed three children [and risk the lives of her two oldest trying to pump while driving], she was in a perfect position to teach her oldest daughter that breastfeeding is not in any way, shape or form, gross. Instead, she acted pretty much how I should expect a Real Housewife. Shame.

Real Housewives Strikes a Chord – Allergies in Children


I never thought I would be inspired to write by any Real Housewives franchise other than those kooks in New Jersey; but lying here in the middle of the night avoiding sleep by watching trash TV, I’ll be darned if those Beverly Hills gals didn’t prove me wrong.

On episode 7 (“My Mansion is Bigger Than Your Mansion”), Kim [you know, the non-wife Housewife whose two claims to fame are starring in Escape from Witch Mountain 40 or so years ago and being the aunt of Paris and Nicky Hilton] takes her daughter to the doctor. Her ex-husband had, against her wishes, bought her daughter a new puppy. Soon after getting her cuddly new gift, the poor girl started waking up with her eyes swollen shut and her arms covered in rashes. The doctor confirmed Kim’s suspicions that the culprit was an allergic reaction to the dog. They had to get rid of the dog and fast. Kim was nervous about getting rid of the puppy, because her daughter had become extremely attached to him.

Boy, did this all sound familiar.

My daughter has been suffering from eczema and seborrhea since she was a month or so old. We have been following a regimen prescribed by her pediatrician, including a prescribed steroid cream and nightly doses of Benadryl. Despite all of this, lately she seemed to be getting worse.

After weeks of watching her mutilate herself to get to the rashes, Pop Culture Dad and I decided to see a specialist. The first time we met with Dr. B, the allergist recommended by Pop Culture Toddler’s pediatrician, he couldn’t even run the allergy tests. Her skin was so rashed up that he said not only would they not be able to read the results, but she would just be more miserable, and he was not going to put her through that. Dr. B gave us a long list of things to do to help PCT’s skin, including three new medications. He told us if we did even half of what he recommended, we would see improvement within four days.

We did everything he recommended, and PCT’s skin was better in three days. After a couple of weeks on Dr. B’s plan, we went back in for the allergy testing. Because PCT was barely two years old at the time, Dr. B decided not to run all of the skin tests — just the 16 most common allergens. Within minutes, four of the test samples lit up.


Numbers A7 and A9, the worst of the two, were cats and dogs, respectively. F4 and F6 were eggs (whites and yolks). A lesser allergen was F3, cow’s milk — to which PCT was highly allergic until just a few months ago. The diagnosis was pretty clear: get rid of our dog and cat, and my daughter’s quality of life would greatly improve.

As several people who’ve known me for decades pointed out when I made my frantic Facebook post looking for someone to adopt our pets, I’ve almost never been without a pet. I got my first dog at age 6 and had her through college. In addition to my beloved terrier, I’ve had several cats, other dogs, fish, birds and guinea pigs throughout my life — that’s not even including our animals on the ranch.

Through unplanned circumstances, PCD and I had finally narrowed our number of pets down to two — the English Mastiff he’s had for 11 years (four jointly with me), and the cat I’ve had for seven.

We weren’t entirely surprised by the allergies, since both PCD and I are allergic to cats and dogs [however, we have respiratory reactions, which we can easily fix with OTC medication]. I was still somewhat surprised, though, given the number of things I had read that said children who grow up with pets tend to have less allergies to them. Leave it to us to be the exception to the rule…

Emotionally, the diagnosis was hard. Pop Culture Toddler is beyond attached to these animals. We are attached to these animals. They were our children before we had a child.

However…

Here is where Pop Culture Dad and I differ from Kim’s ex-husband, Russell. When Kim told Russell about their daughter’s allergic reaction, he made all kinds of excuses ranging from “Well she’s not coughing right now” to “How can you be sure it’s the puppy?”, all because he didn’t want to be the one to take the puppy away and find it a new home. PCD and I, on the other hand, cried about it, and then immediately started making preparations to find new homes for our pets. See, as hard as it is to lose a pet, it was a million times harder watching our daughter suffer. And in the contest between her comfort and our pets staying here, there was no contest.

That all being said, finding homes for older pets, particularly when everyone you know already has at least two, is easier said than done. It took us nearly a month to find a home for our cat, which is actually pretty funny when you consider she is now living with my mother.

The dog has been trickier. It’s a pretty hard sell to convince someone to take in an 11-year old, 145-pound dog, who is the size of a small pony, and suffers from arthritis and various other joint and muscle problems. If we took her to a shelter, she would most certainly be put down. Even though we know we may have to put her down soon [particularly if you listen to the evil vet at Banfield who told my husband various statements to the effect that “she should not have lived this long” and “let me be clear, we will not prorate the annual wellness plan if she dies”], we don’t want to expedite that process unnecessarily. Since our dog barely moves and will probably not be around much longer, the solution for now is to basically quarantine her from Pop Culture Toddler.

PCT misses our cat dearly. She often asks “Where’s Maxie?”, and when we tell her that Maxie is with Nonna, she insists we call my mother. Tonight she demanded of my mom that “Maxie come home!”. One day, when she’s not having a flare up, we may take her to visit Maxie; but we’re not at that point yet.

I’m sad about losing my pet of seven years, but it had to be done. No matter how much we love our fur babies, our bio babies come first. Maybe by the next episode, stupid Russell will have learned that.

Posted from my iPhone, so please forgive any ducking typos.

Real Housewives Makes Me Reflect on My Trials with ADD

So the other night I was watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey [goodness, is there a time when these chicks don’t inspire me to want to write something?], and Caroline was having a heart-to-heart with her son, who is coping with ADD. Albie is telling his mom how bad his law school grades are and how the school will not make any allowances for his learning disability. The administrators actually told him to consider a new career path, because if he is coping with ADD, he had no business being a lawyer. As a lawyer who is coping with ADD, this struck a nerve with me.

There are a lot of people out there who assume that Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (commonly known as ADD and ADHD, though often grouped under the acronym of one or the other) are completely made up diseases, the title of which is given to kids who have too much sugar in their diet or don’t get enough sleep. While I will concede that in some cases, ADD and ADHD are over-diagnosed, the fact is that there are also many people who go undiagnosed who should be. Although scientists aren’t entirely aware what causes it, there are many studies showing that the disease is hereditary. So parents with ADD may find themselves dealing with ADD in their children.

As someone who is coping with ADD (and, incidentally, is the child of two parents with ADD), I can say beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the disease is real. And it can be debilitating throughout your life – even as an adult. I was fortunate enough to be a smart child with coping mechanisms, so that my ADD didn’t affect me too greatly. I say this, not with conceit, but as an actual fact. The first doctor who diagnosed me thought when I came into his office that I was just fishing for medication or something, because on paper, I don’t sound like someone suffering from a learning disability. I graduated at the top of my class in high school, graduated summa cum laude from a good college in only three years, and had gone to an Ivy League law school. However, once the psychologist did my ADD/ADHD test and started delving into my history, he was surprised that no one diagnosed me when I was in elementary school.

You see, I always read at least four or five grade levels ahead of my grade, but had NO reading comprehension. I couldn’t pay attention to simple tasks – even books I enjoyed (or at least would have enjoyed if I had fully read them) – and I would hyperfocus on the most stupid, low-priority tasks. Through most of my life, I had been internally coping with ADD, which is why my marks were good enough (before law school, anyway) that I flew under the radar. However, once I started interning at law firms and having to account for what I did with every minute of my entire day, that’s when it became apparent that I had focus issues.

I spent most of my life dealing with ADD, but not knowing that’s what was going on. I never knew why I couldn’t focus on the assigned reading in classes or why it was impossible for me to stay on task. The only times I could stay on task, I would get so involved with what I was doing, that the rest of the world would disappear.

I had these odd ways of dealing with ADD, without even knowing I was coping with ADD. For example, in high school, I just couldn’t pay attention to biology class. So one day, I took the text book home, and started outlining the chapters. Keep in mind, this was pre-computer-in-every-home, so there I was on my bedroom floor with a typewriter, outlining a semester’s worth of biology. For hours and hours, I typed outlines until my mother finally made me go to bed. And the next night, and the night after that, I did the same thing. Eventually, I’d outlined the whole book. We didn’t even cover the whole book in class – probably not even half. But this was my internal way of dealing with ADD (without even knowing I was suffering from the disease). While typing that outline, I managed to memorize the book. The class I never paid attention in became one of my best classes. This happened a lot. I volleyed between hyperfocus and complete lack of focus as a way of dealing with ADD. It got me through college no problem.

However, law school wasn’t the same. Reading comprehension is actually a pretty important skill for a lawyer and for law school. That’s why the LSAT tests it. Unfortunately for me, I missed about 50% of the reading comprehension questions on the LSAT [which, incidentally, tends to be the section 95% of people excel]. This, of course, has a lot to do with the fact that I didn’t – couldn’t – read the four passages. As the clock ticked away, I ended up guessing. Fortunately, that year, three of the four sections were logic games and reasoning. Most people are horrible at these sections. Not me. I missed one question on the three sections combined – and I knew that one answer; I had just accidentally bubbled the wrong thing. The combination was good enough for me to score overall in the highest in the country, and basically (combined with my college GPA and extra curriculars) assured me I could go to pretty much any school I desired.

Once in law school, my internal ways of dealing with ADD did not work the same. Memorizing doesn’t really help you in law school. By then, I had a friend with ADD, and she recognized the symptoms in me. By our last year, she encouraged me to see a counselor. That counselor encouraged me to see a psychologist. And it was there that I was tested, diagnosed, and the world began to make sense.

Turns out, while dealing with ADD, I was doing a lot of things I didn’t even notice. For one, I misspelled a lot of words, because my mind would think that I had already written letters I hadn’t. I also missed a lot of words in sentences. This explained to me how I could compare notes with my peers after tests, have put all the same answers they did, but get lower grades in the class. In law school, half the battle is how you say things. Although I fancy myself a good writer, misspellings and partial sentences, are contrary to that skill. So while, proofread-me is a good writer, ADD-brained me is not. After I began taking medication, I started to catch these errors. Phew!

Work is 1000 times better now that I’m on medication. I am much better at staying on task or stopping myself from hyperfocusing on trivial tasks. I’ve talked to my superiors about the types of projects that work better with my disability and I’ve spoken with firm management about the type of assistants I need – yes, everyone needs a good secretary, but when you are dealing with ADD, you need someone who is good at scheduling and keeping things organized.

I won’t say that the medication and the disability concessions have made my work life perfect, but they have certainly helped. I’m never going to be a super-star biller, unless I want to live at the office [since, even with medication, it takes me more time to stay on task than it does “normal” people], but I do a darn good job.

The fact that there are law school administrators out there who would tell someone that you cannot be an attorney with a learning disability like ADD angers me. Yes, you can be an attorney with ADD… just like you can be a blind attorney… or an attorney in a wheelchair… or an attorney with dyslexia…. It’s insane that people working in a field which has made so many strides in getting access to people with disabilities would then turn a blind eye to the needs of those with a disability. Yes, you probably can’t be an attorney if you don’t know how to deal with ADHD/ADD or don’t get treatment for ADD/ADHD, but don’t tell me, or the thousands others who do it every day, that we can’t be an attorney at all.

Huge Parental Fail (Real Housewives)

Ugh! Why do I keep watching this show? Is it some subconscious need to feel better about my own parenting skills? There was a lot going on this week but the one thing that kept popping up in my head was “as a single parent mom, Danielle you fail.” Has a nice ring to it, right?

I think the single thing that annoyed me the most was Danielle’s house. She needs a course in finances for single parent moms or something. First, the camera shows her dogs using the carpet of her “$2 million home” as toilet paper. Danielle, single parent mom of the year, does nothing about it.

Then her realtor comes over to discuss the various repairs the home needs before it can be sold. Here’s where I almost lost it. Danielle is crying about what a deadbeat her ex-husband is being, then she asks the realtor if she called the ex-hubby to ask him for money for the repairs. Hold the phone! You asked your REALTOR to call your ex-husband to ask for money that YOU need? Seriously?! If you can’t handle asking your ex-husband for money or at least going through PROPER channels like, say, your lawyers or your accountants, then how are you supposed to handle the pressures of being a single parent mom?

So Danielle’s realtor wasn’t able to squeeze any money out of the guy. Shocker. Danielle then says she doesn’t want to sell the home, because even at the lower list price they are considering, her husband would end up getting $700,000 out of the sale, and that’s not fair. First, I doubt he’d “get” $700k out of the sale of their home unless there’s no mortgage — which we already know there is. Second, we know that Single Parent Mom of the Year here didn’t run out looking for mortgages for single moms with no job, no appreciable skills, no prospects, and no hopes of ever finding another rich guy dumb enough to marry her. So in all likelihood, her ex-hubby is still paying the mortgage – or at least his alimony is. Shouldn’t he, then, get half the proceeds of a home sale to pay his share of the mortgage. And finally, “not fair”?? Seriously?! How much did YOU put towards the house either financially or with sweat equity?

Her fiscal irresponsibility gives every single parent mom a bad name. There are single parent moms out there who break their backs everyday to keep their kids clothed and fed and to make a living to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Danielle Straub is the kind of single parent mom who won’t even break a nail to keep dog poo off the floor.

There are single parent moms out there who when they say their children’s fathers aren’t helping really MEAN these men aren’t helping; these ladies aren’t whining because he’s asking her to downsize from a “$2 million home” to something more reasonable for three women with zero income. The man is still offering to foot the bill – just not an outrageous one!

There are single parent moms out there who fight their own battles, not who expect to delegate the work to whomever crosses their paths while assigning blame the whole way.

These real single parent moms, these wonderful ladies, are an inspiration. They make the best of a difficult situation. Danielle, on the other hand, is just one big parental fail.