Archive for March, 2010

Mar 30 2010

Stacey’s “Get Ready to Learn Mom” Guest for 3/31 Lucinda Cross of The Mom Entrepreneur group and promoting the Business Baby Shower Contest

We will be talking about the power of networking with Lucinda Cross of The Mom Entrepreneur group and promoting the Business Baby Shower Contest (of which I am a judge):

The Business Baby Shower is a contest to celebrate entrepreneurial moms and all they do to birth and grow a successful company while balancing family life.  The Business Baby Shower Contest was created for YOU! We want to recognize and reward you for all you do for your family and for your business. You can call it mom entrepreneur “me time”.

We invite you to enter the Business Baby Shower Contest by completing our Application. You will be asked questions that require you to have a clear understanding of your business and the challenges you face. This is a great exercise to go through when starting or growing a business.

Lucinda Cross, author of Corporate Mom Dropouts Business Mid Wife

Face Book:


For more information, please CLICK HERE.

8 responses so far

Mar 22 2010

Stacey’s “Get Ready to Learn Mom” Guest for 3/24 is The Safety Mom, Alison Rhodes

My Journey Through the World of Special Needs and Intellectual Disabilities – The Fight To Save My Son by Alison Rhodes, The Safety Mom

This is the first and one of the most personal series of blogs that I will be writing.  As many of you know, I took on the role as The Safety Mom ( because I felt that if I could keep one child safe I would have done something to honor my son Connor who died of SIDS.  I’m willing to talk about any subject because I know that if I’m experiencing something, there are other moms and dads going through the same thing.  And possibly, by sharing my stories it will help someone find comfort and answers.  But, I’ve also learned that by writing and reaching out I have found comfort and answers for my anger, frustration and incredible sadness in the quest to help my second son.

My son Spencer is intellectually disabled.  I knew, as his mother, that something was wrong very early on but no one, not even my own mother or his father, believed me.  When I finally received acknowledgement from his nursery school that “there were some issues” and they referred me to a speech therapist I felt that I had solved the problem.  Little did I ever dream that this was the beginning of a journey that would consume my life   She recommended we move from the town we lived in as he would receive better services in a nearby town – one of the most affluent communities in the country and supposedly one of the best school systems.   Again, I felt that my problem was solved.

In kindergarten I was told that it was too soon to tell if he had an issue.  But by the end of that first year I became introduced to what I like to refer to as “alphabet soup” – IEP, PPT – words I have never heard but would quickly learn like a second language.  Before my life as The Safety Mom I was a senior executive at one of the world’s largest public relations firms in Manhattan.  I had sat at meetings with top CEO’s and celebrities and was a master presenter.  But sitting in that first PPT at a small school in a little town was more unnerving than any high powered meeting I had ever attended.  Here I was talking about what was wrong with my baby to people I believed were way more knowledgeable than me.  I think I put on a pretty good show but I had no idea what I was talking about and it was a room of 7 “professionals.”  Foolishly I believed they knew what to do to help my son and I never questioned a thing.

Six years later, over twenty specialists and more PPTs than I can remember, I sit here having just pulled my son out of school because this system has failed him.  To be clear, this is a wonderful school that genuinely wanted to help him but my son’s issues were far too great for them.  My frustration is in their denial to admit this years ago and their continued attempts to put a band-aid on an ever growing wound.   I watched as they retained him in fourth grade, continued to offer him services that didn’t improve his condition and give him work that frustrated him.  I screamed for help in creating programs that would help boost his self-esteem and socialization.  While kids in school were friendly to him, they never reached out to him.  He’s had only one friend since kindergarten and I thank God every day for this boy.

Finally, I watched in horror as the school began to physically restrain him.  I knew this couldn’t go on and I finally found an advocate who could help me through this crazy situation.  I also found a therapist who at last was looking out for Spencer.  These two women have become my support team and I don’t think I would have made it without them.  The culmination was Monday when he had a complete breakdown in front of his therapist and me begging us not to send him to school as he was terrified not only of school bullies but the teachers and aides.   

So now I sit here, wondering how I had let down my beautiful little boy who was always the happiest, kind and eager-to-please child anyone had ever met.  And with a new determination that I will not stop until I find the right school for him where he will learn, thrive and be happy.  Of course this quest is draining my bank account and consuming my time (which is why I now do a great deal of work in the wee hours of the morning!) but I’m finally assembling a team who can help properly diagnose Spencer (ADD, NLD, speech/language and psychosis non-specified is the best guess so far) and bring back my happy little boy.

I’m in the process today of finding a short-term solution for the next several weeks while we find the right outplacement situation. 

What is your story?  How have you dealt with the frustrations of helping your special needs child?  Comment back so that we can all find the resources and advice to help our babies.

Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises and Safety Mom Solutions, the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area.  Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant.

18 responses so far

Mar 18 2010

Join Us for the 4th Annual National Mom’s Night Out

Who needs a break? If you are a Mom, you probably raised both hands at once.


That’s why I created a new holiday, for all of us over-worked, underappreciated Moms. The 4th annual “National Mom’s Night Out!” is Thursday, March 18th and it’s a guilt-free excuse for Moms to go have fun with friends. Skeptics (read: “husbands”) might argue and say, “You already have a holiday for being a Mom… It’s called Mother’s Day.” I would answer them by respectfully pointing out that although we do celebrate being Moms on Mother’s Day, we do so as a family. We go out to brunch with our kids or see a movie (probably a cartoon) with our children. This is all well and good, but nowhere on that day do we get a chance to recharge and reconnect with who we are besides being a Mom. National Mom’s Night Out is an opportunity to have us reclaim a bit of our pre-motherhood identity. It affords us the chance to take off our sweat pants and strap on some sexy heels and go have a good time. (Perhaps trade in our baby bottles for a wine bottle for at least one night)

Although the third Thursday in March is the official “National Mom’s Night Out” I am hoping that Moms across the country carve out time for themselves on a more frequent basis. We need to land somewhere near the top of our own “To-Do” lists to ensure we are recharging our spirit. Making time for yourself may seem selfish, but taking care of number one makes it possible for you to take care of the rest of your family more effectively.

So, set the laundry aside and leave money out for your kids to order pizza and call your friends for National Mom’s Night Out: Thursday, March 18th!

*For more details or to submit pictures from your own Mom’s Night Out celebration, visit or

114 responses so far

Mar 16 2010

Stacey’s “Get Ready to Learn Mom” Guest for 3/17 is Youthologist, Vanessa Van Petten

Vanessa Van Petten, teen author of the parenting book “You’re Grounded!,” writes along with 60 teen writers, ages 12-20 to help parents and adults get an honest and open view into the world and mind of youth.


Van Petten, now 24, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emory University in May of 2007, the same month, her book “You’re Grounded!” launched and was named in the “Top 5 Hottest Books” on Amazon it’s first month.


  • Her site contains thousands of articles, videos, screencasts and live chats with Van Petten, teen writers and trendsetters from 34 different coutnries to offer parents a window into the daily lives of their teen and tween kids. She shows parents how to talk with their screen-obsessed net generation children about everything: including safely using Facebook, smoking pot, High School dances, oral sex, and gives them tips from actual teens. “If parents don’t understand what is really going on for their kids, how can they expect to have a good relationship…or even make relevant rules?”
  • Van Petten is now on an international speaking tour and was chosen as one of the top 100 Bloggers to watch by Women’s Magazine.
  • is read by thousands of teens and parents daily. In January 2009 she spoke at the Consumer Electronics Show at the session “Teens and Social Networking.”
  • She was featured on CNN, CBS 4 Miami and Fox 5 New York and has been in the Wall Street Journal, Teen Vogue, MSN Money, Good Housekeeping Online, Atlanta Insite Magazine and the World Journal. She has been an expert on Playboy Radio, KBUR, WCOJ Philadelphia and more for giving a young perspective on awesome parenting.

Vanessa’s Mission Statement: To improve parent-teen relationships by providing them with new perspectives, stories and neutral places to communicate. This wi” help families insti” values and build strong relationships that promote healthy attitudes and lifestyle behaviors in this generation of young adults.

Vanessa’s Other Projects: Teen Speakers Bureau, Youth Focus Groups, Private Social Networks for Parent and Teen Bloggers and a Webinar Series for Both Kids and Parents.

Contact Vanessa Van Petten, 310.702.8886, email:

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

118 responses so far

Mar 01 2010

Stacey’s “Get Ready to Learn Mom” Guest for 3/3 is Author, Caryn FitzGerald

Caryn Gottlieb FitzGerald has been writing since childhood.  She holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a certificate in Women’s Studies from Florida Atlantic University in addition to a Masters degree in Professional Studies in Human Relations from NY Institute of Technology. Caryn is a former LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) and has worked within the criminal justice system with medium security inmates as well as in the community sector and with survivors of domestic violence.


She has used her educational and career experience in creating unforeseen twists and turns in her written work.  Her writing style varies as Caryn finds herself comfortable in writing both fiction and non-fiction genres.  Caryn has been published in several arenas including psychological journals, newspapers, blogs, compilations, fiction and self-help books.

Caryn resides in a small town south of Fort Worth, Texas with her family.  She enjoys spending time outdoors and is actively involved with her daughter’s school and in the local community.


“Fish Sticks, Books and Blue Jeans: Teaching kids to be thankful for everything (yes, even fish sticks) everyday!”  A gratitude workbook designed for children ages 5 and older with at least basic drawing and writing skills.  Fish Sticks includes simple writing and drawing exercises based on learning to focus on what is present within the child’s life, offering gratitude and thankfulness for these things as well as learning how they can take action and do their part to create a better world. The book was based on the request of Caryn’s then 6 year old daughter Sami, who simply asked for a gratitude workbook like the ones her parents had.  When none were able to found (for children), Sami replied “that’s ok, we’ll just make one!” and Fish Sticks, Books and Blue Jeans was born!

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

10 responses so far