Author Archives: Kara Gause

Kara Gause

About Kara Gause

Kara Gause is a junkie for TV, film, pop culture, and health food--in that order. A Yankee girl happily transplanted in Nashville, she spends her days as a freelance writer juggling the needs of her twin toddlers, two Bassett hounds, and one fantastic husband--in that order. Read more of her day-to-day shenanigans on her blog, MasterofWhat.com.

fitpregnancy_june2010

Blog or Blurgh? Fit Pregnancy Magazine Examines Internet’s Role in Discussing Parenting Issues

fitpregnancy_june2010.jpgTension can find its way into the best of friendships. What might be an otherwise fun, supportive friendship can become unexpectedly complicated when it comes to parenting techniques. You and your friend both love and adore your kids, but the similarities in how you raise them may end there.

Natural birth, epidural, or Cesarean birth? Will you nurse your baby or use formula? Will you vaccinate traditionally or stagger and delay? The answers can be surprisingly divisive! These decisions are tough and intensely personal. They’re the kind of decisions that take a lot of thought to come to a right conclusion for you and your child.

But what if your best girlfriend had a C-section and you’re pretty sure you want a home birth? Will you offend her with your decision? Can you even talk with her about it?

Where do we go and with whom do we talk about these questions that need answering? I know where I go: the Internet. I go to the walls of cyberspace to bounce around my thoughts and questions–much to my husband’s dismay. (It seems the Internet can also make this mama a tad fearful of worst-case-scenarios.)

Fit Pregnancy magazine‘s June/July 2010 issue seeks to address the tensions with its article “War of the Words.” It seems there’s another war going on out there besides the one on terror. “Mommy wars” were being fought long before the Internet came along. However, according to Fit Pregnancy, the Internet–specifically “mommy blogs”–have ignited anonymous battles.

On mommy blogs, women can comment on other moms’ parenting without any accountability. I can only speak for my own experience when I say that I never go to blogs looking to start an argument. On the contrary, I’m looking to calm my own insecurities. “War of the Words” says that most women, especially pregnant and new moms, are looking to blogs for that same reason. We all have questions that are personal and sometimes even intimate. We might not feel confident talking with a friend or even the doctor. A faceless stranger on the Internet, however, can sometimes do the trick.

The Fit Pregnancy article encourages new moms to venture out onto blogs but to stay away from the ones that are too one-sided or opinionated. It seems obvious, but the magazine suggests finding mommy blogs that are akin to what you believe your parenting style to be. As with anything in parenting, there needs to be a balance.

So, do you boldly go where other moms have gone before… the world of mommy blogs? If so, what are your favorite blogs?

usweekly3

No More Excuses: Troubled Star Lindsay Lohan Headed to Prison, Rehab

usweekly3.jpgLindsay Lohan is going to jail. No, for real this time. (The last time she spent a mere 84 minutes behind bars.) Us Weekly magazine is reporting that the troubled actress has been sentenced to spend 90 days in jail due to violating her probation after failing to show for weekly DUI classes.

The sentencing has been divided into three 30-day increments (to be served at once): the first two for different DUI arrests, and the third for reckless driving. Last, and most importantly, Lohan will be admitted into an inpatient drug rehab program immediately following her jail time. Of course, how much time she actually spends in the slammer remains to be seen; non-violent offenders can often be released after serving a fraction of the sentence. (Paris Hilton, anyone?)

Hoping to sway the court in her favor, Ms. Lohan wanted to make a good impression upon arrival. It appeared to be too little, too late, though. After reporting to court on Tuesday, the actress made a wardrobe change during a court recess. Further attempting to sway the court, Lohan read a statement to the judge that said, “(I) did the best I could. It has been a long haul, and I don’t want you to think I don’t respect you. I was doing everything I was supposed to do with all my heart…. I am not taking this as a joke–it is my life.”

What was she doing with all her heart, you ask? According to the co-owner of the DUI school Lohan was to be attending, not much. Cheryl Marshall claimed in court that the embattled star used a lengthy list of excuses to avoid nine DUI classes. She found Lohan to be a less than perfect student–”disrespectful” even. Her reasons for skipping class ranged from filming a movie to the death of an uncle. (Apparently, she didn’t make the funeral either.)

One thing she won’t be able to skip out on is her surrender to the police on July 20, according to the magazine. Perhaps the sentence will help the talented actress get her life back on track. Fingers crossed she gets the help she needs.

parentandchild_june-july2010

Parent & Child, Working Mother Magazines Help Make the Most of Play Dates

parentandchild_june-july2010.jpgBeing a mother of twins means a lot of things. I mean a lot of things. One of the advantages though has to be the fact the babies will always have a built-in play date pal available at all hours of the day. And sometimes night, but we’re working on that. I really believe this will work to our advantage in the future. Of course, the constant struggles will be sharing, conflict resolution and learning how to play with another child the exact same age always there.

Play dates must be on the minds of mothers everywhere; the evidence is on the covers of the June/July issue of Parent & Child and the April issue of Working Mother. Parent & Child magazine‘s article, “Whose Play Date Is It, Anyway?” focuses on how to integrate the younger sibling into the older child’s play date. The idea here is to allow li’l sis to tag along for some activities while trying to give big sis a chance to be alone with her friend. For example, li’l sis can come to the tea party but the big girls are going to play Candy Land alone. The key to success? Set up boundaries and discuss expectations before the friend arrives. A tantrum can definitely bring down the mood at any party.

workingmother_april2010.jpgWorking Mother magazine‘s cover boasts “Easy Play Dates:Our Quick Tips for Low-Fuss Fun.” Inside, readers will find the “Guide to Great Play Dates,” which is realistic and practical, if not exactly groundbreaking in its outline for a good play date.

Here are just a few highlights from the guide: self portraits, a dance party, playing dress up, crafting, and cooking/baking. (I also think it would be fun to make a snack together before the guest arrives–just like we would for our adult friend. So grown up!) The guide also offers tips for hanging out with other moms too. (Hint: You don’t have to be soul mates for your kids to hang out.)

But what I really appreciated were the “5 Golden Rules” to play date success. Again, there’s nothing new here, just good common sense, like limiting the party to just two kids so no one gets left out. Another good point is limiting the date to a couple of hours, so no one gets bored or bored of each other. My favorite suggestion? Moms, limit your alcohol consumption to one glass of wine while watching the kids. On second thought, maybe it would be best to have a drink after the play date, when chances are, you’re really going to need it.

Any tips for a good play date from you experienced folks? Any disaster stories the rest of us could benefit from hearing?

people_20100712

Oh, How the Mighty Mel Has Fallen

people_20100712.jpgLooks like more unfortunate drama for the once-beloved Mel Gibson. After making amends for much publicized 2006 anti-Semitic slurs with a stint in rehab for his alcohol demons, the “Passion of the Christ” writer-director has recently had a falling out with his latest ladylove Oksana Grigorieva. The pair, who split back in April, have a 7-month-old daughter together.

Unfortunately for their baby, Lucia, it looks as though all hope for an amicable split between mommy and daddy is long gone. In recent weeks, the onetime couple have battled over a custody agreement. The fight must have gotten dirty, according to People Magazine, which is now reporting he said/she said domestic violence allegations against Gibson.

Their personal-gone-very-public spats made their way to court recently as Gibson filed a restraining order against Oksana Grigorieva. In retaliation (and perhaps as a legal bargaining chip for more child support), Grigorieva has shed light the twosome’s “profanity-laced” beef, according to the magazine, during which Gibson allegedly uses “the N-word and other derogatory phrases.” And apparently, she’s got all the messiness on audiotape along with some nasty emails, putting the proverbial nail in Gibson’s PR coffin.

For now, Gibson’s reps are denying the credibility of the tapes. Sadly, it probably won’t be long before we can all sample them for ourselves. Not that we’d want to.

parentingschoolyears_july2010

This Fourth of July, Only You Can Prevent Backyard Fires, Burn-Related Injuries

parentingschoolyears_july2010.jpgI must admit that I do get caught up in the whole “summer activities” theme in most magazines this time of year, and I got a chuckle while reading through the “Kid Health” section of the June 2010 issue of Parenting School Years magazine.

“Burn Report” was no laughing matter, really. What got me smiling was this legit question: “Barbecues, campfires, fireworks… why is it that so many classic summer activities involve fire?” It’s so true, isn’t it? Are we humans so starved for adventure that we must involve one of the four elements at every turn? Yes. Yes, we are.

Without further ado, I give you tips to prevent burn-related injury per Parenting School Years magazine (and a little bit of me).

  1. Grilling: Do your grilling art in a small part of the backyard area, as to avoid small children running around, say, trying to catch a Frisbee. This may seem obvious, but what isn’t evident to a kid is that the grill remains hot for a long time after it’s been used.

  2. Fireworks: Though the kids may beg to use sparklers, it might be best to go to a professional fireworks display on Independence Day. My husband would vehemently disagree with this being a rule (or even a tip), but he’s not here at the moment.
  3. Dining outside: While eating outside, be sure to keep candles–whether citronella or the old-fashioned kind–out of reach of children. Our sophisticated children are used to electricity, you see, and might not understand… fire. All kidding aside, it’s probably best to keep them out of reach.
  4. Bonfire: If No. 3 has got you worried, then don’t come here, to No. 4, the bonfire. Here’s some smart thinking for a crowded situation, where it would be difficult to watch all the children at once: Make a barrier with chairs around the bonfire. Children can be instructed to remain outside the perimeter.
  5. Mouth burns: This one is all me, but the home remedy itself was found in the magazine. Should you burn your tongue, the proper and always appropriate cure is a snowball. And while we have the ultimate snowball joint here in Nashville, you can also make them at home.

Regardless, beat the heat any way you can, people. Happy Fourth, everyone!

lifeandstyle_20100712

Life & Style Weekly: Kate Middleton to Score $24 Billion (Yes, Billion With a “B”) and Prince William

lifeandstyle_20100712.jpgLife & Style Weekly magazine is reporting in its July 12 issue that one lucky Kate Middleton will finally tie the knot with the world’s most eligible fella, Prince William of Wales. He’s good-looking, accomplished, heir apparent to the British throne, and apparently, he’s rolling in it. According to the magazine, his estimated worth is a whopping $24 billion. Who said the aristocracy was in trouble?

So let’s get down to brass tax: What goodies can the future princess look forward to upon her wedding day–besides the cutie-patootie prince? Well, British journalist Katie Nicholl tells Life & Style Weekly that real estate totaling over 300 properties–including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle–will insure the royal couple will always have a roof over their heads. And a girl’s gotta have something to cover all those bare walls, right? How about $15 billion worth of priceless art? Does the name Leonardo da Vinci ring a bell?

And should the cute little Mrs.-to-be need to head out on the town, Nicholl says she’ll have her pick of swoon-worthy designers fighting over the chance to give her a frock. As for the bling: $57 million worth of ice will go nicely with all that couture. If money can’t buy happiness, it sure can provide a nice backdrop to all that love.

For more deets on the happy couple, their pending nuptials, and all that cold, hard cash, see the cover story in this week’s Life & Style Weekly magazine.