Totems Around Town!

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:13+00:00 May 30th, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

No long faces here!

Bear at the Barn!

Bear at the Barn!

Bear got up close and personal with Merlin the horse thanks to this 11-year-old Totem owner! She said Bear definitely liked riding with her and made sure Merlin didn’t eat him. Thanks so much for sharing the pic, I love horses!! Ooooh, maybe a Horse Totem one day?

If you have any pictures of your Totems Around Town, send them along to info@totemtamers.com. If you don’t have a Totem to take around town, then click on the images on the left to buy one now!

Stay well.

Totem Tamers presents WARRIOR WEDNESDAY!

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:13+00:00 May 28th, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

“Thursday, May 28, 2014
Statement from Dr. Maya Angelou’s Family:
Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.
Guy B. Johnson”

A WARRIOR at peace. www.mayangelou.com

A WARRIOR at peace.
www.mayangelou.com

Even her family calls her a WARRIOR, and a WARRIOR she has been and will continue to be for so many because of her powerful words and powerful experience. Maya Angelou speaks to all when she writes about love, loss, and adversity. May she rest in peace.

“While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.”

I hadn’t planned on writing about this incredible woman today, I had another WARRIOR in mind when I learned of her passing. In chatting with a friend, it became clear that I needed to write about both of them. Maya Angelou suffered greatly in her life but always found the hope and the courage to not only go on, but to help others. Richard Martinez is living her example. I haven’t been able to watch any of the coverage of the tragic shooting in California until today, especially the footage of a grieving father sharing the story of his son’s life, and now his death.

NOT ONE MORE!

NOT ONE MORE!

20 year old Christopher Martinez, was one of six people killed last week when a mentally ill man went on a rampage. This mentally ill person should not have been able to get hold of a gun as easily as he did. These deaths should not have happened. In his grief, Christopher’s father, Richard, has found his inner WARRIOR, and is using it to speak out against gun violence. NOT ONE MORE! That’s his message. He is asking everyone to send those three words on a postcard to your local politicians to send the message that we will not tolerate another act of senseless, and preventable violence. One website is making it very easy to send that postcard, 

https://act.everytown.org/act/NotOneMore?source=fbns_share&utm_source=fb_n_&utm_medium=_s&utm_campaign=share. Join Richard, and be a WARRIOR today by sending along that message and taking action. Think of Christopher’s life, and the lives of so many that have been cut short in preventable gun related tragedies, and stand up and say NOT ONE MORE.

Stay well.

Totems Around Town!

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:14+00:00 May 24th, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

I love getting pictures of Totems as they make their way around the world. Bulldog has been to the Sydney Opera House, Bear to the Arc de Triomphe, Shark has been seen wandering around a fish tank, and Owl in a tree in Virginia. When I get a picture of a Totem from someone, not only does it make me happy, but it makes me realize how that person has connected with their Totem, and that my friends, is priceless. This leads me to the latest Totem Around Town that was sent to me on behalf of a very sweet 9-year-old girl. According to her mom, she immediately connected with Owl and found that the simple act of holding Owl would help her stay calm or calm her down if she was feeling upset, worried or nervous. That’s what Owl is supposed to do! Yay! The reflection of this young lady’s character however, is evident in the picture that was sent to me.

Owl tucked safely in bed.

Owl tucked safely in bed.

This beautifully sensitive 9-year-old girl (almost 10!) needs Owl to help get her through some rough patches, and at the same time she is concerned that Owl should have a comfortable, yet stylish place to rest. Love that!! Thank you so much for sending us this picture, and we would certainly enjoy updates along the way on your Owl adventure!

If you have a picture or drawing of your Totem Around Town, please send it along to info@totemtamers.com and you can see it here soon!

If you don’t have a Totem yet to take around town, check out our current four Totems on the left and get one today!

Stay well.

Totem Tamers presents WARRIOR WEDNESDAY!

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:14+00:00 May 21st, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

Some weeks go by when I don’t have a WARRIOR WEDNESDAY. It’s not to say that those weeks there isn’t someone or some group that isn’t deserving of being named a WARRIOR, but sometimes I just don’t have it in me to write it, to get inspired by it or them, or share. I don’t beat myself up over it too much, I just hope that it will happen the next week, or the week after. Today is Wednesday, and I really wanted to be able to come up with some inspirational person, group or event that would qualify and serve as WARRIOR WEDNESDAY, but I’ve been having a hard time of it. Then I understood what my struggle was, and I seemed to find inspiration in that. I have a friend that popped in to town for a quick visit because she wanted to see her grandkids and an old friend. She asked for my couch and I gladly offered it up. This morning she got all dressed up rather early and I asked where she was headed with her friend, and she told me she was going to the opening of the 9/11 Museum. We both looked at each other and simultaneously placed our hands on our hearts as if to symbolize the heaviness of the event. That heaviness has stayed with me all morning. I don’t know how I feel about the museum, really. On one hand I keep hearing the words “never forget,” and on the other I keep hearing that this is not a tourist attraction where we should be selling commemorative gifts in a gift shop as you exit. I’m conflicted and I didn’t even live in New York at the time of that awful event. I can’t imagine how the families of victims are feeling, but I have read plenty of reactions that reflect both hands I struggle with. Then the bigger picture appeared. The families of everyone affected by 9/11, they are our WARRIORS today and every day. No one can know what you feel, what you went through or continue to go through. And I’m not just referring to the family members of those who were killed, but I’m talking about everyone who was impacted, the ones who weren’t killed, the ones who were injured, or escaped unscathed, the first responders, the residents of this city who came together as a community when the world was watching. All of you are our WARRIORS and I marvel and applaud your courage and strength to go on as best you can. So as the 9/11 Museum opens and allows others who weren’t here to maybe get a teeny glimpse in to the horror that has impacted and continues to impact so many, I hope you’re ok. I know you’re ok, because you are WARRIORS and we need you to be ok. Whichever hand you fall on, whether it’s in support of the museum, or against it, that’s your right and your choice. For me, for now, I can’t go there yet, and I frankly don’t know if I ever will be able to visit, and I live here now. I am part of the New York City that resurrected itself after unspeakable horror, and I am proud to be here.

Stay well.

Preaching the gospel, or at least my gospel!

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:14+00:00 May 20th, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

This past Sunday was a beautiful day in New York City and I was glad to be spending it outside at an awesome Mom-centric event on the pier. The event was sponsored by Mamapalooza, which is an organization committed to helping women claim their voice in whatever they choose to pursue! I was thrilled when my friend Sara, from ArtsEdConsultant, suggested we team up at a table. It was a brilliant idea, because where Sara’s expertise covers all levels of development with children, from potty training to choosing the right school, I help cover the stress and anxiety that comes along with all those stages, for the children and their parents! Sara and I have done this before and it helps that I think she’s just a fantastic person, so sharing a space with her is fun, regardless of us actually getting our message out. Well this Sunday there was a shift, because we had a great time AND got our message out. The last time we were at this event together, we couldn’t drag people over to our table. The ones who did make their way over really only feigned interest so they could have a piece of candy or use the hand sanitizer, at least it helped us practice our elevator pitches. This time around though, many people had questions for Sara, and many people not only held Totems and read the booklet, but people bought Totems to help with situations they were currently being faced with. I can’t tell you how exciting it is when I fill someone in on the simple techniques that Totem Tamers offers, and then watch the comprehension take over. I just love it.

Table mates rocked Mamapalooza 2014!

Table mates rocked Mamapalooza 2014!

It was wonderful listening to Sara explain with ease how Totem Tamers can help frustrated parents cope with their ever frustrating children, and vice versa! Seeing children march right up to the table and take a Totem in hand and really study them was so encouraging, and it allowed Sara to talk to parents who had concerns that they may not have wanted to discuss directly in front of the children. The theme of the day for Sara seemed to be potty training, with a smattering of homework and behavioral concerns. The theme for Totem Tamers seemed to be understanding, as parents and children looked at the incredible illustrations in the booklet and recognized the feelings depicted inside while following the simple instructions. Sara and I are still remarking at how willing parents and children were in sharing the challenges that they are faced with, and we were more than thrilled to offer techniques for getting through them and solutions to help change them. Thanks Sara, for being an awesome person, and for being a great table mate!!

Stay well.

If you would like to know more about Totem Tamers, click on one of the Totems to the left! Click here for more about ArtsEdConsultant.

"It wasn't me," said the 7-yr-old without making eye contact!

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:14+00:00 May 16th, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

My morning routine when the kids are at my house is pretty straightforward. Alarm is set for 6:30 but I am usually eyes open around 6:24, if not sooner, and I know most of you can relate to that. Then I’m up, dressed and headed out with the dog by 6:50 or so. Doggy gets his walk with his usual stop at the dry cleaners, because they give him a morning treat. Then it’s back upstairs to make the coffee, give dog his breakfast, and start the wakeup process. First, it’s the two older ones. Head in to their room with a smile on my face and a cheery attitude that would piss off Gandhi! The boys hate it. Sometimes I even sing the “Good Morning Song,” which really just consists of me singing “Good Morning” in a fairly high pitched, happy tone. They don’t like that either. At some point, dog lumbers in and excitedly helps in the wakeup process. He licks and paws for attention and barks, quite loudly, if he doesn’t get it. Then, and the only time I am willing to be a mini short order cook, I ask what they want for breakfast. It’s usually standard in terms of pancakes, waffles, eggs, yogurt, etc.. We ALWAYS have the same stuff available, but inevitably, my middle child will ask me to repeat all of the options at least twice a week. I do so willingly with that really grating and annoying high pitched voice, so there! Then I head to the kitchen while they get dressed to get a head start on their breakfast before waking up the youngest boy, if he hasn’t gotten up on his own. This morning was no exception. Right on routine and the little guy got up on his own and made his way to the kitchen counter with little fanfare. Awesome! It’s gonna be a smoooooooth morning. Other boys have managed to eat and are getting themselves ready to head out when my youngest pops up onto the stool waiting for his breakfast. He’s even cuter in the morning in that half-sleep sort of way, so I was a bit surprised when I looked at him and something seemed askew, uneven, just not right. Then I realized that he was fine, but it was his hair that was askew, uneven, just not right. In fact half of his bangs were much shorter than the other half. I stood there slack-jawed, because clearly he had taken scissors to his bangs and cut them, somewhat straight mind you, but only halfway across his forehead. Darnit! There went my smooooooth morning. When I asked that sweet, tilted, 7-yr-old what happened to his hair, he innocently said he had no idea. I explained that it was clear he had cut his bangs, and he defiantly cast his eyes downward and shouted “It wasn’t me!” If he hadn’t cut a teeny bit of his hair a couple weeks ago so he “could see what it smelled like,” I would have maybe questioned his brothers for a potential pranking. Alas, the precedence had been set. The next 20 minutes were spent arguing about the possibility that someone came up to my son with scissors and cut half his bangs while he was somehow blinded and unaware. All this while encouraging him to finish his breakfast, brush his teeth, and get his shoes on. It became my mission to just get him to admit he had done it. He came close, but backed off every time and accused everyone, including the dog. He even ventured that the hair just fell out because there seemed to be a lot of it in the tub last night when he was bathing. He accused his brothers and said they probably used the green scissors because they are in his room. Running on the late side, now it was time to smooth down the bedhead and apply the gel so my posh kid could get off to school even with half of his bangs gone. Imagine his sheer delight that the snip wasn’t obvious after Mom-stylist gel was applied to the remaining bangs. With a kiss and a see you later, my adorable little uneven fibber was on his way. Is it too much to hope for an actual admission, or a nap? I’m tired!

Doggy is innocent!

Doggy is innocent!

Stay well.

Grab a Totem to help you through your morning routine! All four animals are right there, on your left!

Totems around Town!

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:15+00:00 May 13th, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

New York City is a magical place….most of the time. When the weather warms up and people take to the streets in droves, you never know what you will encounter. The kids and I were heading to Grandma’s the other day when we came upon a father and daughter using chalk on the sidewalk. It was a lovely sight to see even though they seemed to just be scribbling. Well we were certainly taken aback on the walk home when we saw the finished product!

Sidewalk Chalk and Totems!

Sidewalk Chalk and Totems!

Yes, they used a stencil, yes they may have been a somewhat well-known artistic family, but it’s still lovely! The Totems were happy to jump in the shot! Take your Totem with you the next time you’re out and about and send us any pictures!

Stay well.

If you don’t have a Totem to take around town with you, click on any of the images on the left and order one today!

 

I am Mother, Mom, Ma, Mommy!

By | 2014-05-11T11:41:44+00:00 May 11th, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

I am Mother when my children are trying to make a point.

When my sons introduce me to their friends.

When they try to plead their case from some wrong-doing.

I am Mother.

 

I am Mom when it’s time to toss the frisbee or play in the park.

When they need money to hang out with their friends.

When my boys bug me not to muss their hair in public.

I am Mom.

 

I am Ma when I am screamed at from the other room that snacks are needed.

When they are asked to walk the dog and refuse.

When my three sons insist that an rated R movie isn’t a big deal.

I am Ma.

 

I am Mommy when a nightmare raises them from their beds.

When a skinned knee requires kisses and a band-aid.

When my children share their love for me.

I am Mommy.

 

I am little girl when I think of my Mother who had interminable strength raising us on her own.

I am little girl when I think of my Mom who put lemon juice in my hair to make it blonde.

I am little girl when I think of my Ma when I screamed for a snack, refused to walk the dog, or watched rated R movies.

I am little girl when I think of my Mommy who I am grateful for every day for being all of those things to me and for teaching me how to be all those things and more for my boys.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mother’s, Mom’s, Ma’s, and Mommies!

Stay well.

 

A Totem is a beautiful gift for any Mother, Mom, Ma, or Mommy that you know, including yourself! Click on any one of our Totems on the left and get one today!

 

Teachable moment: Sometimes people suck.

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:15+00:00 May 10th, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

It’s taken me about 24 hours to sit down and attempt this post, and I’m still not sure which direction it will go, but I know I need to get it out. I found myself hurt yesterday, and then really, really angry, on behalf of my son. Turns out he wasn’t invited to a party. No big deal, right? However, when the pieces started to fall in to place, turns out he was one of two kids out of a very small group that wasn’t invited. That’s how I went from hurt, to anger. This is not a reflection on the kid who was having the party, this a reflection on her parent’s who should have known better. I am not the kind of person who says “If you don’t invite the whole class, then don’t have a party,” that’s BS. I am however the kind of person that says if there are 8 boys in your class, don’t invite six and leave out two, that just sucks. That’s exclusionary and hurtful. My kid is sensitive and sweet, and for the most part is ok about the whole thing, me on the other hand, I’m seething (and of course dealing with my own childhood projections from invitations never received). The people that I know whose kids are going to the party were all shocked and surprised that my son was not included, some even wishing him a great time before they found out he hadn’t been invited. This was not an oversight, or an accident where the envelope got lost in the mail, he was not on the list. Trust me, I was hoping I had screwed up somewhere and misplaced the invite or something, because I couldn’t fathom how everyone else was invited and not my kid. I am angry knowing that on Monday he will be with this group of kids, and that he will be the only one that hadn’t celebrated with them this weekend. I can only hope that there will be some respect for him and that they won’t all be chatting about it in front of him. Grrrr, and there’s the anger coming up again.  Since we still have to interact with this family, because we are all part of this very small group, I will do my best to behave appropriately, but I am sure it will be quite difficult for me to be cheery when we see each other. I will also tell my son to keep his head held high and to just be respectful to this child. This is where the teachable moment progresses in to a greater understanding of the world and how we choose to move through it. This is when I explain to my son that sometimes people suck. I think that’s the proper therapeutic explanation, by the way. I told him that he will move through his life with grace at the times when people are kind and generous towards him, and he will use that same grace to walk away from those who do not treat him with the respect he deserves. We never want our children to feel hurt, but if it happens, we can only hope that the experience teaches them how not to cause someone else to feel this way. Thanks for letting me vent and I hope you get all the invites you want!

Stay well.

Totems on the left, get one today, and no matter if the invite shows or not, a Totem will always be your faithful friend.

Totem Tamers presents WARRIOR WEDNESDAY or "How I was Jessie's Girl, just for a moment!"

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:15+00:00 May 7th, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

Let’s not even consider that before 10am yesterday morning I had done the same stretch of street blocks at least four times, and coordinating getting three kids to three different places within that time frame. Let’s just not even think about that, because of course the only thing on my mind was where I needed to be by 10:45. He would be there, waiting for me. Ok, not necessarily just for me, but probably a whole bunch of other women just like me, but it didn’t matter, I was going, and he would be there, and that’s what my focus was. The “he” I am referring to is none other than this week’s WARRIOR, Rick Springfield. Yes, that Rick Springfield! The one who crushed millions of hearts with his rock anthem love song’s like Jessie’s Girl, Don’t Talk To Strangers, and Love Somebody. The one who stole my heart a hundred years ago in that barely seen movie Hard To Hold, and then stole it again recently with a comedic turn in Californication, and a revisit to General Hospital where he resumed his role as Dr. Noah Drake. Am I a fan, you ask? Heck yeah!! That didn’t stop me from asking a tough question yesterday during this event sponsored by The Moms. Springfield’s battle with depression has been fairly well publicized and I was curious how that came about and how it made him feel to speak out. He handled the question with grace and tremendous clarity. It led to a long discussion about depression and his history of depression and realizing that even though it’s a life sentence per se, it’s not a death sentence. He talked about how his celebrity often forced him to put on some false bravado by smiling and saying “Sure, I’m fine, thanks for asking,” when in fact he wasn’t. Now, when someone says “How are you?”, Springfield is confident enough to reply “Well, actually today I’m feeling a little depressed.” His willingness to come forth and talk about his depression and encourage others to seek treatment for it, is why Rick Springfield is this week’s WARRIOR WEDNESDAY!

Rick Springfield's New Novel!

Rick Springfield’s New Novel!

 

Springfield was at this event to promote his new novel “Magnificent Vibration,” which I am already sucked in to because of it’s honesty and humor, not to mention brilliant naughtiness. Springfield was gracious as he signed books and stood for pics. I waited patiently for my turn to say hello and get my book, and was thrilled to give him a gift of a Totem Set in return.

Bulldog meets a rock star!

Bulldog meets a rock star!

I chose Bulldog in honor of his album “Working Class Dog.” I know, genius, right? Rick, (I can call him that, now that we’re friends) was clearly touched and opened the set on the spot. He loved Bulldog and recalled how his brother had had something similar as a child. It was a wonderful memory for him and I’m grateful he shared it, and was thrilled to have met him, as you can see in this photo:

Not quite Jessie's Girl, but close enough!

Not quite Jessie’s Girl, but close enough!

Thank you Rick, for being our WARRIOR and for being so outspoken, for providing me with a soundtrack that makes me feel young, and for still being damn hot! Thanks to The Mom’s for making one of this Mom’s dream come true!

Stay well.

If you would like a Bulldog too, just click on the link to the left and get one today!

A heart has to be full before it can be broken.

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:15+00:00 May 1st, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

This was the message I conveyed to the sweet young lady in the doctor’s office who felt comfortable enough with me to confide that she was nursing a broken heart. Her face was priceless when I remarked how wonderful that was. She asked why it was wonderful, and I explained that for her heart to have been broken it must first have been filled with some beautiful and wonderful memories. It took her a minute but her face softened and she understood where I was coming from. The good times she shared with this person who was responsible for her broken heart, still happened. She still experienced them, and she can still hold on those thoughts (and yes, curse her ex repeatedly whenever necessary.) We talked further and I shared my wisdom (learned only by experience, thank you very much), and I assured her that the pain would ease eventually. I also advised her to sit with the feelings she was having, the hurt, the loneliness, the fear, and only when she recognized everything she was going through, would she be able to move forward. Yes, I do have an awesome therapist!! By the end of my appointment, the young lady and I were laughing and commiserating about dating and how awful it can be, but there was hope, for both of us. On the way home I walked passed something remarkable.

Street He-art!

Street He-art!

On the sidewalk in front of me was this beautiful heart, cut out by some sweet child, somewhere. A child who hopes for love and can’t wait for heart to be filled up. I know plenty of “children” who are seeking the same.

Stay well.

Have a Totem? Great! Need a Totem? Click on the left and get one today!