EDIT w/ directions: Pittsburgh meetup – message to Cereal Lurking

(My apologies for using this diary as a message, but I don’t have any other way to contact Cereal Lurking!  We are supposed to meet tomorrow and I want to catch her attention)

Cereal – let’s meet tomorrow, 8/4 at 9:30AM at Pamela’s in Shadyside.  It’s a great breakfast place, Obama even had the cooks come to the white house to make pancakes for him!  I have to run now but I will post bus directions later today.  It’s about a 15 minute bus ride from downtown.  

Directions below:

From downtown, you can catch either the outbound 71D or the outbound 500 on Fifth Ave downtown.  Take either bus all the way to Fifth Ave and Negley in Shadyside.   Get off at Negley Ave and cross the street.  Walk on block down Negley to Walnut Ave.  Turn left on Walnut and go maybe a block or so, and Pamela’s will be on the right.  The address is 5527 Walnut Street, Pittsburgh 15232.

I will be there a little before 9:30.  You’ll recognize me because I will have stroller and baby girl in tow!  I have glasses but I have no idea what I will be wearing because I don’t know what’s clean, LOL.

I haven’t heard from you, but I’ll just plan on being there and hope to see ya there!


Pittsburgh meet-up?

Hey MTs,

Just thought I’d throw out the idea for a Pittsburgh meet up sometime August 3-4.  I’ll be there for a conference the 2nd through 4th, and I’m planning on doing my best to make the most of being away from the kiddo.  Anybody interested?

The conference is downtown, but as long as a native can tell me which bus line to get on–I should be ok! Last time I was there I brought the hubs and kiddo and we stayed with some of his family friends.  Fun, but kind of stuck with where the friends wanted to take us and I got less involved in the conference than I wanted to.  But hey! I’m feeling the need to meet some of the cool, friendly peeps who hang out here! God knows I need a reality check living with mr. doom and gloom!

I have a breakfast to go to Tuesday morning, but lunch on either Tuesday or Wednesday would pretty easy to swing.  


Saturday Morning Parenting Diary

Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

Hello fellow moms, dads and caregivers!

I am back with your weekly parenting news update. Here are some topics we recently discussed here at MotherTalkers:

Little Tykes Co. just issued a recall of about 1.6 million toy workshops and trucks after an 11-month-old boy got a plastic nail lodged into his throat, according to the Associated Press. The boy thankfully has recovered.

Gloria, the queen at finding weird stories, posted one about a breastfeeding doll. Would you buy your daughter this toy?

With just as much work but less childcare in the summer, I admitted to allowing my children to watch a lot more TV than I’d like. I was wondering how — especially those of you who work from home — limit screen time in the summer?

Healthcare reform has been on our minds lately. We have been discussing them in the open threads as well as here, here and here.

It has been great seeing some of you at the Netroots Nation Convention in Pittsburgh. Here is an update and photos from the parents caucus I held at the Hard Rock Cafe as well as President Bill Clinton’s opening keynote address. What have been some convention highlights for you?

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


Friday Morning Open Thread: I Saw Bill Clinton!

What’s up?

Last night President Bill Clinton tore it up with a smart, funny and witty speech about everything from healthcare reform to even responding to a heckler about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He received enthusiastic applause throughout the speech and a standing ovation at the end. Here is the video posted on Daily Kos. Here is a quick glimpse of the crowd at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh:

Here were some of my favorite funny quotes by him:

He said the good thing about being out of office is you can say whatever you want. But then no one cares to listen.

“President Nixon was a communist compared to what came afterwards…He believed in affirmative action, arithmetic and went to China.”

On Democratic gains in Congress in the 2006 election: “I told Hillary as long as we don’t nominate a convicted felon, we will win in 2009.”

One man in the audience heckled Clinton over the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy towards gay service members. He was cool and collected under pressure. He told the man, “You gave me no support in the Congress.” He received avid applause. He then went on to discuss “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — which he disagrees with — and the Defense of Marriage Act, which got him a couple boos but he said was necessary at the time to thwart a constitutional ban on gay marriage. As for being heckled, he said he welcomed the question. “I like this,” he said in his typical folksy style.

He spoke at length about energy independence and healthcare reform. He said the three biggest challenges to reforming our healthcare system is the complexity of the issue and putting a cost to the bill as some provisions like moving to electronic records will save the taxpayer money but it isn’t clear when and how much. Also, there is this unspoken fear that people who have healthcare coverage feel certain of what they will lose and those who don’t have health insurance are uncertain of what they will gain.

He said President Barack Obama did well at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire and that he should continue to do two things: Reiterate that the worst thing we can do is nothing at all and focus on the 3 or 4 things in the bill that everyone can get behind.

“If you can do that, you can win millions and millions of people,” he said.

He inspired grassroots activists in the audience to keep writing and to keep fighting for healthcare reform. “We have to preserve this progressive majority,” he said.

Did any of you catch the speech? What did you think?


Weekly Parenting News Roundup

Cross-posted at Daily Kos. Please recommend so people get directions to the Hard Rock Cafe this Thursday! Thanks, Elisa

Hello fellow moms, dads and caregivers!

I am back with your weekly parenting news update. Here are some topics we recently discussed here at MotherTalkers:

Girl Scouts and their moms are rightfully upset to learn that Wal-Mart was at the BlogHer conference last week giving away samples of its own version of Thin Mints and Tagalongs. You can read about it here and here.

Parenting magazine ran an article about the difficult decision facing couples who have conceived through IVF: What to do about the leftover embryos? Some parents, including a mother quoted in the article, shared their stories here at MotherTalkers.  

P.E. injuries are on the rise, according to an article by the Associated Press. The injuries are not due to rigorous exercise, but a lack of adult supervision as staff like nurses are laid off and class sizes grow.

Here is one last important news story I want to highlight: Drinking and driving is up among women, according to an Associated Press report. Even more disturbing, drunk women are more likely than inebriated men to drive with children in the backseat. This story was covered in light of the tragedy that occurred in one of New York’s highways, in which an intoxicated mother caused a one-way crash that claimed 8 lives, including her own.

I hate to end on that note, but I am off to the east coast to visit my parents in New Hampshire and attend Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh. In the meantime, I want to alert you of some important dates so please pull out your calendars:

I am helping MomsRising.org pass important legislation in California that would ban the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from baby and toddler products like bottles and sippy cups. The chemical and canned goods industry, including the formula companies, are fighting this bill. We are holding two important rallies to let the state Assembly know that families in our state support this bill.

The first one is in Los Angeles on Wednesday, August 19. Check out the Facebook page on it and pass along to all your family and friends in SoCal!

The second one is in front of the state capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday, August 26. Again, please see the Facebook page here and forward to all your family and friends in northern California.

It is important that Assemblymembers see a lot of us at these rallies as they will be heavily lobbied by the chemical industry.

Now onto other fun events: I will be hosting the Netroots Nation Parents Caucus at the Hard Rock Cafe this year on Thursday, August 13 at 1:30 p.m.. A group of us will meet in front of the convention center between 1 and 1:15 to share cabs or take public transportation. Here are directions to get to the Hard Rock Cafe via the “T” public transit station: Exit the convention center and walk up 10th Street away from the river. Walk 3 blocks and take a right on Liberty Avenue. Walk 2 long blocks up Liberty — the cross-streets will be 9th and 8th streets — and on your left will be the Wood Street Galleries at the intersection of Wood Street and Liberty Avenue. The T station is down the escalator.

You will take the “outbound” train. The train numbers are 42S or 47L, but the sign should say “to Square Station” or “to South Hills.” It is easy in that the T has only one line in town. The train comes every 8 minutes and it is a 5-minute trip to Station Square. Expect to travel like 3 stops. Once you get to the Station Square stop, cross the street (Carson Street) and head towards the river where you will see the Hard Rock Cafe. You will walk about a block to get there.

I will make sure to re-post these directions before the event on Thursday. Hope to see you there! Remember, the first 20 people to arrive will receive swag bags.

One last event I want to highlight: DH will be signing books at our Katie’s bookstore. Come out to meet the snark queen herself! Here are the details:

When: Monday, August 24
Time: 7 p.m.
Where: Gibson’s Bookstore, 27 S. Main Street, Concord, NH

The whole family will be there, including the kiddos. Please do come and bring your families!

What’s up with you?


Netroots Nation Parents Caucus at Hard Rock Cafe!

Hi all!

Once again I will be hosting the newly renamed “Parents Caucus” at Netroots Nation this year. Because last year’s event at an ice cream parlor in Austin was a success, I will once again take the event offsite to — the Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh!

All are invited, including children. We can meet in front of the Convention Center at 1 p.m. to share cab rides. Here are the details of the event:

What: Netroots Nation Parents Caucus
When: Thursday, August 13
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Where: Hard Rock Cafe in Bessemer Court at Station Square in Pittsburgh, PA

I will post these details on the conference room door as well. In the meantime, if you could RSVP here or to my personal e-mail at elisaabatista at gmail dot com that would be great. That way I can make a reservation.

Hope to see you there! Also, many thanks to our local mom baker baker for the tip!!


What MotherTalkers Gear Would You Like?

Hi all,

Next week I will meet with fellow MTer “brnyh8r” to update the MotherTalkers store. We currently sell four women’s shirts, a woman’s hooded pullover sweatshirt (pictured on right) and a baby onesie with “Question Authority except for mommy.” Here is the store.

I have heard various suggestions in the open threads the last few weeks so if you could include them in this thread that would be great.

Also, I would like to get a head count for the MotherTalkers caucus at Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh this August as I like to bring mementos.

Thanks much!


MotherTalkers in Pittsburgh

I know this is a long ways away, but I have been communicating with Pittsburgh mom “bakerbaker” on where to host our moms caucus this year.

Every year, I attend the Netroots Nation political convention and head the moms caucus there. This year NN will be in Pittsburgh from Thursday, August 13, until Sunday, August 16. I noticed that the moms caucus is slated for Thursday, Aug. 13 at 1:30 p.m..

Last year, Lisa in Austin was gracious enough to help me select a venue — this wonderful burgers and ice cream place with a kid play structure outside — and she, along with our “KristieVal,” helped me drive people to the venue. I was thinking of doing something similar again in the Pittsburgh area, but bakerbaker raised some other good suggestions. Would you be interested in a longer outing like the zoo or children’s museum? We can grab lunch and then hang out afterwards.

I want to be mindful of folks who may want to attend other panel discussions in the afternoon, but also make the outing worthwhile for non-NN-attending families in the areas. What do you think?

Please drop your suggestions here!