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Author: toni

~ 09/26/10


Okay. Seriously. I wasn’t going to say anything about this. But really, it has gotten soooo ridiculous. I know you’ve all heard about the controversy of the Katy Perry appearance on Sesame Street. If not  SEE VIDEO BELOW.

Anyway, they pulled it from the show because of her dress, which reveals  a little bit of cleavage. Apparently some Mommies thought it was outrageous, horrific, and the stuff from which sluts are made.  Are you kidding me?

Okay she’s not wearing an Edwardian high neck collar, but seriously, BANNING THE VIDEO? Uh, I think not.



1) I have seen plenty of mommies at after school pick-up wearing more revealing attire on a hot day!

2) You know the audience for this show sees more breast than this everyday at meal time!

3) Uh, Miss Piggy went there first (see picture above). That little tart of a piglet!


What do you want to bet these commplaining mommies are the same ones that have no problem with their kids blowing away zombies all day on a video game. Violence is okay, but a women has cleavage and OMG!

To all this I simply have to offer my usual response…. Sigh.



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Author: toni

~ 08/05/10


We live in an era of obsession with child safety. When I was a kid child safety came in the form of  a loud, resounding, “NO!” emanating from a nearby irritated adult.  It was cheap and that single word pretty much summed up everything a parent had to do/fork over in order to childproof their home.

Not so, today. Even before a baby comes into the world his surroundings have been turned into the padded cell of a maximum security mental institution.   There are latches on the windows and cabinets. Those little plastic knobs cover door handles, making them impossible to turn (sorry Grandma). Latches on the toilet seat are so difficult to break into, I’ve nearly wet myself trying. There are bumpers on the corners of coffee tables, plastic plugs fill outlets, gates are screwed in at the bottom and tops of stairs. And child car seats are made by the same manufacturers who make those lovely airplane seats we squish into during long flights – miserable to sit in, but able to withstand a 16g impact (the seat, not us). 

And there is even a whole industry that has cropped up as a result. Yes, if you are one of those super paranoid parents you can actually hire an “expert” to come in and child proof your home. It’ll cost you a bundle, but you’ll save a fortune in ER visits. Of course, you risk raising a kid so insulated and protected from reality that by the time you finally release them into the wild, they won’t know any better than to walk in front of a bus or stick a butter knife into an outlet. ZZZZT!

Anyway, with all of these precautions, with all the billions and billions spent on protecting our kids, with all the laws passed about child safety seats and helmets–

Why aren’t school buses required to have seat belts?!

There was another article today about a child getting killed during a collision while riding in a school bus  (CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY).  Dozens of others were hurt. And this happens all the time! In fact, on July 17, nine kids were seriously injured in Kansas. And there was another serious accident in May. Google it, you’ll be horrified by the hits you’ll get.

I have to tell you, I am none too thrilled about my kid going on any school field trip on a school bus. Especially on a freeway! Because you know what happens to a little loose body during an impact? It turns into a projectile! That’s right. That unharnessed person turns into a free floating one that can slam right through a windshield! Why is this even legal?!

Now my kid is within an inch or two of the legal height requirement to be out of a booster.  But if I should dare to allow my kid to ride in the car without the booster (not that I would) I can be heavily fined, because this is against the law!  And yet that same 55 inch,  60 pound child is allowed to sit unsecured in a large rectangular metal box on wheels that has all the safety features of that travelling tilt-a-whirl ride that you saw featured on 60 Minutes that caused 3 kids to lose their toes.

As a parent, I’m appalled and mortified and just dumfounded by the logic, or lack thereof, when it comes to safety belts and buses. There are people (and by people I mean attorneys hired by bus companies to spin statistics) who will tell you that more children die from being HIT by a bus than in a collision while riding a bus. I say, who cares? As long as one child could be saved from death or serious injury by wearing a seat belt on a bus, why not add them? They’re in every other vehicle that moves, for gosh sakes!

Not only is the lack of logic maddening, so is the hypocricy!

It is pounded into the heads of parents and children alike that safety is of the utmost importance! And I take it seriously.

So on the weekend I am super vigilant mommy and make sure my daughter never rides her scooter without a helmet. Then on Monday morning I place her into a  pricey car seat – the fourth I’ve purchased to meet her changing size – and strap her in to take her to school. And then I’m supposed to be okay with letting her get on a school bus without seat belt, car seat or helmet so she can ride unrestrained at 60 mph down a freeway to go on a field trip?!

Sorry, but it goes against every mommy instinct in my body.

My heart goes out to the parents who lost their daughter today in the school bus accident in Missouri. It was tragic and entirely unnecessary.

There oughta be a law. Fortunately, several child safety advocates and other safety groups have started a petition.

NHTSA’s grant of safety groups’ petition would extend the lap-shoulder belt requirement to large school buses manufactured in the future. It would also provide an incentive for State and local jurisdictions to require retrofitting of existing large school buses with lap-shoulder belts so that they were as child-safe as new models.

The petition was signed by The National Coalition for School Bus Safety (NCSBS), Center for Auto Safety (CAS), Public Citizen (PC), Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS), Consumers Union (CU),, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Consumer Federation of America (CFA), SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A., the Trauma Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association,, Safe Ride News, the Advocacy Institute for Children, Belt Up School Kids, the Coalition for Child Safety, Nancy Bauder, Lynn Brown, Norm Cherkis, Ruth Spaulding, and Rhea Vogel. A copy is available online at


You know and I know, it’s going to take an army of angry mommies to get this changed. So find out what you can do in your area to make seat belts mandatory on school buses.

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Author: toni

~ 07/15/10


In the continuing horror show of bad parenting that is the TLC show Toddlers & Tiaras, here is a video clip featuring a 10 Year-Old Girl who is being forced by her mom to get her eyebrows waxed so that she can be “beautiful” for her pageants.

First of all, the girl is blonde (albeit probably not naturally as the guy who is doing her eyebrows confesses to “doing” her hair for 7 years) . My point is, who is going to see a stray eyebrow hair all the way up on stage? Are the judges examining these girls under a magnified mirror?

Second of all, she’s a kid! A little kid.  I didn’t even start plucking my eyebrows until I was in high school and I’m half Italian and had a unibrow! I still don’t wax them.  Although I should – but I’m such a wimp when it comes to owies.

I mean, I know we females pick and pluck and shave all in the name of some idealized version of beauty, but it shouldn’t start while there are still American Girl dolls carefully arranged on the Laura Ashley bedding draped across a twin-sized  canopy bed in a Limoge pink bedroom. And, yes, I know there are some grown women who actually have bedrooms like this, but they’re a whole other subset of psychological issues best saved for a different post.

As you can see, the girl is  going along, but it’s obvious she doesn’t want to do this.  I really feel for her. But mostly I feel like I would love to wax the hair off her mother’s head and see how she likes it.



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Author: toni

~ 06/11/10

First let me say that I’m glad this ended well. And by well I mean a rescue mission that cost somebody (probably me and you) millions of dollars instead of a recovery mission that cost somebody (probably me and you) millions of dollars AND ended up with the loss of a young girl’s life.

If you haven’t been following the news, Southern California teen Abby Sunderland (16) was on a solo trip to sail around the world (i.e., break the world’s record which her brother held until some foreign chick took it away from him thus ticking her parents off). And well, she went missing when she lost radio contact in a really bad storm on the Indian Ocean four hundred miles from the nearest land.

ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME?! My kid Julia’s going to be lucky if I let her drive down to the 7-Eleven to grab a Slushee by herself let alone go out on the open ocean for months alone in a boat. In fact, I can guarantee she will definitely not be allowed to get the  slushee. That thing’s nothing but sugar and crap.

But a kid, on a boat, in the middle of an ocean. I just want to say SHAME ON HER PARENTS.

Sure I’m like the next proud parent.  I want my kid to excel and succeed and stand out in the crowd. But you know what’s more important? Seeing them live into adulthood and realize their full potential as human beings and, yes, give me grandkids I can spoil with those ice cream bars with chocolate and nuts on them (provided they don’t have nut allergies which, who knows these days).

I mean seriously, it is a parent’s job to JUST SAY NO! At least until a kid is of legal (and hopefully mature) age to make decisions about their own life.

You cannot tell me that Abby at 16 has the maturity to decide to risk her life on such an endeavor. I mean, think about it. When you were 16 how in touch with the realities of the world were you? Didn’t you feel immortal, invincible, like you were gonna live forever? Yes, I’m saying she did not have the proper (and healthy) amount of fear and caution to weigh the risks. Therefore, it was her parents’ job to do it for her.

But NOOOOOO. They wanted to let their kid ” go for her dream”. And whose dream really was it? And where did she get that dream? I mean, apparently they let her take this trip during the worst weather time of the year on the Indian Ocean (winter storm season). Know why? Because if she didn’t, she would have turned 17 in a couple of months and not broken the record.

THAT IS  INSANITY! I’m sorry. Actually, I’m not sorry. I’m MAD! Because parents need to treasure and protect their children. And if that means hiring a prom bus to make sure they don’t get into any hanky panky or dangerous situations on prom night, YOU DO IT! Actually the prom bus was an idea that came to Randy the perfekt husband in a dream just after Julia was born. And, much to her one-day dismay, he’s sticking to it.

I’m really hoping that Abby and more importantly, her parents, have learned a lesson from this.  But why do I have this nagging feeling that we haven’t seen the last of Abby’s Adventures on the High Seas.

Where’s Child Protective Services when you need them?

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Author: toni

~ 04/26/10


Dog maulings, pool drownings and being left in hot cars. Three completely avoidable tragedies that happen to children every year.

MAMMAKAZE Trudy pointed out the latest hot car tragedy. It happened in Antioch, California. A 7 month-old girl died after being left in the car all night and for much of the next day.

The parents (mid-20s) left the baby in her rear-facing car seat after returning home at night from doing laundry at a relative’s house. Each thought the other had taken the baby into the house.  

It wasn’t until 2pm the next afternoon when the mother awoke that she discovered the baby wasn’t in her crib. She frantically called her husband who was at the gym. He rushed out and looked in the car. The baby was there but by then it was too late.

2 PM THE NEXT AFTERNOON?!  Okay, I gotta ask. How does a mother not notice her 7 month-old child is missing for 14 hours?  I mean, kids that age need to eat and be changed every few hours right? They fuss, they cry, they require attention.  And as a mother your instinct is to be in constant contact with them, right?

Okay. I know exhaustion was a factor. Apparently both parents were working two jobs. And they also had a 2 year old. That’s rough. I personally remember being soooo tired after Julia was born I couldn’t count my toes without losing track. And I wasn’t working 2 jobs nor did I have a second child to run around after.

So I won’t go off any more on these parents. I know they didn’t mean to do it. I know they’re devastated.  And they will live with the guilt of their mistake for the rest of their lives. I can’t even imagine their pain.

But there are things that parents can do to avoid this kind of tragedy. The first of which is to stop thinking it can’t happen to you. Because (except for the occasional selfish moron who leaves his kid in the car so he can get drunk at a strip club)  this sort of tragedy has occured in all age groups, all levels of education and income. The common denominators: exhaustion and change of routine.

Also, don’t think you have to live in a hot climate for this to be a danger. The temperature topped out at 78 degrees in this tragedy. But the inside of the car got up to 110 degrees.

So if you have a small child, add the following to your list of ways to protect your child which include outlet plugs and those bumpers for your coffee table.



1. Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and place it in the front seat to remind you that there is a child in the back.

2. Put something in the back that requires you to open the back door every time you park – like a purse or lunch bag.

3. Ask your childcare provider to call you right away if the child hasn’t arrived at the normal time.


Bottom line…As parents it’s our responsibility to do everything to protect our children. Nothing is too extreme where the safety of our kids is concerned.

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Author: toni

~ 03/05/10


MAMMAKAZE reader and neighbor Kory posted a very thoughtful and rational response to my emotional rant about Pit Bulls co-existing with small children.  Since not everyone reads the COMMENTS, I felt compelled to post it to give the other POV equal time.  See what you think:


I am rarely moved to comment by your posts, as I’m usually too busy laughing. Today though, I feel I must refute. As a previous owner of two American Staffordshire Terriers (Pit Bulls), it always piques my interest when I see them portrayed as monstrous threats to children / society by the media. I will address some of the points in your post, but first let me offer a different perspective on the “dreaded” Pit Bull.

My last Am-staff was part of my children’s’ lives since they were born. He was an incredibly docile and loving dog with both family and friends. Approaching strangers, adults and children, were always greeted by a wagging tail and a fat tongue. If our interest had been in owning an intimidating killer (it was actually to rescue a puppy from being euthanized), we had failed miserably. His tolerance level for being ridden and having his tail and ears pulled constantly by our two curious toddlers was impressive. Never so much as a growl was heard from him – a real trooper. This was his demeanor throughout his entire life. Even as he became almost completely blind in his last years, when a growl or snap from disorientation would have been justified, nothing but a wag of the tail. Years after his death, both of my kids continue to talk about him – my youngest asking when he’s coming back. His memory still evokes tears, especially from my daughter to whom he was a companion for most of her life.
This was my Pit Bull experience, but of course this is only one dog and all dogs are different. I am not naive to the fact that dogs of many breeds are vicious and that they do attack people and children. My problem is vilifying an entire breed based on individual incidents, the details of which rarely ever come out. Details like how the dog was raised or treated. Was it socialized or isolated? These things make a difference FOR ALL BREEDS.

Now to your post…
You stated that the daughter of an actor on “Ax Men” was killed by the family Pit Bull. The fact is that the dog involved was actually a Rottweiler. This doesn’t change the fact that there are dangerous dogs in the world, but the jump to associate any dog attack with a Pit Bull is part of what fuels what I believe is unwarranted prejudice against this breed. Another is posting pictures of Pit Bulls barking, yet another way to make them look vicious, but not at all a representation of their overall demeanor.

You referenced a quote from Katherine Houpt that I think makes a great point: That there are SOME people who own Pit Bulls (and many other breeds) for the sole purpose of encouraging aggressive behavior. So? This is hardly an argument for outlawing the breed (though it may be an argument for banning “machismo”). Just because some people choose to raise their animals a particular way (or abuse them), why exactly can’t my family save one of these beautiful animals and give them love and a good life? German Shepherds are trained by the Police to attack human beings on command… and also make great family dogs. You might as well outlaw any animal that has the potential of hurting a child, which is a lot. You then made the leap from a quote about SOME people encouraging aggressive dogs, to concluding that “pit bulls are bred to be aggressive,” and that “people who own them WANT an aggressive dog.” The implication is that the only reason someone would want this dog would be to have an aggressive pet. That’s a big stretch. Is there no scenario where this dog might actually be a PREFERRED family pet? Oh wait… there is.

Upon deeper research, you might have found that in fact American Staffordshire Terriers score extremely high on temperament tests compared to other dogs (, and in fact a make very good (and safe) companions for children. Did you know that this breed was nicknamed “The Nanny Dog,” because if its protective and gentle nature with children? There are endless websites that support these claims. For example, Wikipedia says this about the temperament of the American Staffordshire Terrier:

“The American Temperament Test Society conducts tests every year on thousands of dogs to determine the soundness of their temperament. The American Staffordshire Terrier routinely ranks well above many “popular” breeds such as the Beagle, Collie, Doberman Pinscher and the Cocker Spaniel.[5] This is a very intelligent, human-oriented, active dog and an affectionate family pet. Over the past 50 years, careful breeding has produced this friendly, trustworthy dog who is an especially good dog for children. One of the characteristics that most owners and breeders talked and look for particular in this breed is gameness. Gameness refers to perseverance, spirited, readiness of a dog to accomplish a given task.”

Finally, this is an intelligent, loyal, and beautiful animal that under the guidance of an unscrupulous owner can be dangerous. This can be said for countless breeds. My life and my children’s lives have benefited greatly from owning this breed of dog. Perhaps a better claim to be made of your post is that people with kids shouldn’t encourage their dogs to be aggressive, regardless of breed. That seems a bit more on target. If you want to outlaw something that kills a statistically significant amount of kids every year, start with backyard pools.

All the best,

Your friend, neighbor, and former “pit” owner.


First of all, I stand corrected. The article I read said the dog that killed the girl was a pit bull. Further investigation and later articles revealed it was a rottweiler. Although the other attacks I referred to were pit bulls.

As for Kory’s comments… Very good points, all. And true, it isn’t fair to lump all pit bulls in with the ones who have attacked children.

However, my question as a parent remains:

Is it worth the risk to have these potentially aggressive dogs around your small child?  WHAT DO YOU THINK?


Oh and Kory,  don’t get me started on those backyard pools. No matter how secure people think they are, every summer here in So Cal, there are mutliple drownings. Parents SWEAR they thought the gate was locked or that the kid was RIGHT THERE a minute ago…But that is for another rant.

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