With school out, kids are roaming the house at all hours, shedding clothes like peanut shells at the ballpark. The demands for food, rides, cash, sleepovers, upgrades, apps, and—strangely—privacy are incessant. My reverence for the teaching profession is renewed. (Although I’m not sure how many kids interrupt their teacher at his or her desk to call their cell phone because they can’t find it—but still.) Suffice it to say, the house is bustling. I say this because it only emphasizes the stupidity of my idea.
Curtis Sittenfeld made a splash in 2005, when her debut, Prep, hit the stands. The scandalous novel, about a teen’s exploits at boarding school, was only the first in a string of best-sellers. She moved to St. Louis in 2007, and recently released her fourth book, Sisterland. We recently caught up with the author to chat about St. Louis, writing and her upcoming book.
So this weekend is Mother’s Day. Personally I never held much stock in the event. It’s an overly involved brunch, some unwanted picture taking and a lot of beginner-level pottery. Now I’m not made of stone, an affectionate handmade card gets me every time, but the rest? Honestly, I would skip the holiday altogether if it meant eliminating the ads, commercials and hype. That being said, I did, purely for curiosity’s sake, browse the interweb to see what was trending for moms. These are the top 10 gifts virtual men have chosen for the moms in their lives:
When Stacey Brooks Delo had her first child in 2010, she also had two college degrees, more than a decade of work experience and a successful career as a reporter and producer for The Wall Street Journal Digital Network in tow. But she found that in order to be a good employee and a good mom, she needed more job flexibility. So, she was able to negotiate her work hours down to three days a week. While it was an ideal situation for her family, she wondered what other working moms do when faced without an answer to this work-life balance issue. After searching for resources and coming up short, she decided to leave her job in 2012 and launch Maybrooks.com: an online community where smart moms find flexible jobs, get inspired and connect with each other. To find out more about Maybrooks.com and how Delo juggles her work and family commitments, LN recently spoke via phone with her from her San Francisco home—where the tiny voices of her almost 4-year-old daughter, Rory, and 2-year-old son, Toby, could be heard murmuring in the background as she worked.
Skincare entrepreneur and Ladue High School alum Lauren Padawer is ready to take her company to the next level. She’ll be appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank to bat for Alaska Glacial Mud Co., which she owns and operates from Cordova, Alaska.
Imagine this: You’re in a room, exhausted and surrounded by people who won’t stop screaming. You can try to hold conversation, but it’s often a futile attempt. When the shrieks subside, it’s time to act as personal chef, chauffeur or nurse before the howling commences again. This chill-inducing scene isn’t straight from a horror blockbuster—it’s a very possible, isolating reality for stay-at-home moms. The International MOMS Club, with its new suburban St. Louis chapter, is here to end the seclusion.
The work-life balance: Every professional knows the phrase, and every employee tries to find that harmonious level of give and take to somehow manage it all. For parents, this may be an even bigger challenge. But at the law firm of Carmody MacDonald, the support is there for employees to thrive in the courtroom, as well as at home.
Throw a full-time job on top of being a mother, and women these days are busy. We spotlighted three working moms who balance high-profile jobs and motherhood with ease and style.
Smiling and giggling babies are a common sight at a Baby Boot Camp session in St. Louis. That’s because their moms are thrusting them into the air for shoulder presses, balancing them during yoga poses and swiftly pushing them in strollers through the park.
We asked for submissions of moms with doppelganger daughters and spitting-image sons, and LN readers did not disappoint. After careful consideration--and a little help from your Facebook votes--we've selected St. Louis' best Mother's Day Look-Alikes. Coming in at first place is Kirk Day School fourth-grade teacher and mother of three, Lisa Engel, and her 8-year-old daughter, Reagan Engel, of Webster Groves. For winning, Lisa will receive a full-service package at Dominic Michael Salon, including a haircut, blow dry, manicure, pedicure and makeup application. Below, we have included some of our other favorite look-alikes, with many so similar it will leave you wondering 'Which is which?'
Admiring abstract art. Analyzing articles in The Wall Street Journal. Researching the Dead Sea Scrolls. Not the usual activities for an older adult, but for Henrietta Freedman and other local retired professionals, it’s all in a day’s coursework. As co-founder of the Lifelong Learning Institute at Washington University, Freedman has given area seniors the gift of being in college again. And it’s a pleasure, not a chore, this time around.
Most women juggle busy schedules filled with demanding careers, motherhood and managing a household, often leaving their own health issues on the back burner. Amid these hectic lifestyles, doctors say the lesser-known symptoms of a heart attack can go untreated. “We commonly have women come to the emergency room who are stunned to learn they are having a heart attack,” says Dr. Linda Stronach, an interventional cardiologist at Missouri Baptist Medical Center (MoBap).
Story: Dorothea, an eccentric, 75-year-old free spirit, has suffered a stroke and is unconscious. Her precocious granddaughter, Echo, continues to talk to her, however, convinced that Dorothea continues to communicate.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m getting sappy in my old age. Reviews of this film dangle words like ‘overly sentimental’ and ‘thinly scripted.’ To me, the words that come to mind are sweet and magical. I was reminded of the wildly underrated film, Big Fish. This is just an endearing story about a couple desperately wanting a child and miraculously getting their wish.
It doesn’t take much to light up a child’s face, but it’s even better when there’s a good cause behind it: The FRIENDS OF THE KIRKWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY is bringing back its ‘Letter from Santa’ tradition this year to raise money for the library. For only $6, Santa’s elves will ensure that a child (or an adult!) receives a personalized letter from Kris Kringle. Order forms, which will inquire about things like the child’s favorite class, a recent accomplishment and the family pet, are available for download at kirkwoodpubliclibrary.org/ content_uploads/Santa.pdf. Letters received by Dec. 7 will be postmarked at the North Pole. Requests received after that date will be postmarked locally. All letters must be received by Dec. 17.
On Brandi: Top, Motherhood Maternity, $29.98, Destination Maternity Leggings, JW, $48, 9 Months in Style Shoes, Tom’s, $69, Cha Boutique… On Beckett: T-shirt, Tea, $19, City Sprouts Cargos, Tea, $29, City Sprouts Shoes, Converse, $30, Laurie’s Shoes
Play: “The Memory of Water”
Colombian handbag designer Nancy Gonzalez made a special appearance in St. Louis recently at Neiman Marcus. The petite, personable designer was wearing a black leather Junya Watanabe jacket and black pants, and carrying one of her own bags in black suede and crocodile. LN spoke with the designer and learned all about what it takes to run her 12-year-old business, one that has her designing some of the most coveted handbags in the world.
Okay, I want to say for the record that I loved the TV show. And the first movie was a charming, fitting conclusion to the series. Of course, no one in Hollywood has ever heard the expression ‘too much of a good thing,’ which brings me to the sequel: This movie is atrocious, pointless, offensive, vulgar and dizzyingly vapid. In short, two and a half hours of drivel.
A former maintenance worker and his wife have given ST. JOHN’S MERCY FOUNDATION a $2.5 million estate gift. The estate of ROBERT and HELENE HOFFMANN donated the money following Helene’s death in 2009. Robert, who worked in the hospital’s maintenance department for more than 15 years, passed away in 2001. In recognition of the gift, the hospital will name the pediatric emergency department in the couple’s memory. St. John’s Mercy expects to see more than 22,000 children in the Helene and Robert Hoffmann Pediatric Emergency Department this year.
It’s often one of the first sacrifices a woman makes for her baby—the loss of a smooth, firm and unmarked abdomen. Stretch marks, clinically known as ‘striae,’ are a common badge of motherhood.
Finding out you’re expecting is exciting, and nothing compares to the feeling of finally holding the new baby in your arms. But caring for a newborn has its challenges too. We asked two new moms to share their experiences and advice.
As any mom will tell you, motherhood, with all its joys, is also fraught with challenges. Potty training and sibling rivalry are expected, but families raising special needs children face obstacles for which there is no preparation.