A Paper Project to Aid Japan


Drawn by Miles Gould

I was watching CNN this morning as the kids were scurrying to get ready for school. I was still lying in bed with my eyes glued to the TV, unable to pull myself away from all the horrors that unfolded as a result of the earthquake in Japan. My nine-year-old son, Miles, wanders in and I noticed he has tears in his eyes. He begins to explain how tsunamis are triggered by the movement of plates under the ocean.  Even though he seemed fully educated on the subject, I could tell it was hard for him to talk about what he had learned in class. I asked him if he was sad about what’s going on over there and he nodded his head. I kept thinking that when something’s gotten me down; I find ways to do something about it. I wanted to give my son license to do the same.   So, I said, “Miles, would you like to do something for the people of Japan?” He said, “What can I do, mom?” And, then I said, “You love making things like paper airplanes and origami. I bet we can find a way to raise money from that”. Miles, fully confident that “his work” could sell,  looked at me and said, “I want all the money I make go to Japan”. So that’s how big a kid’s heart is and also how a kid’s cause is formed. Within hours he designed a logo, we set-up a Facebook page, and lined-up his teacher, classmates, and a local reporter to help us raise some money.  While initially, we didn’t  have any real, concrete plans, we did have an idea: Have a kid do something for others by doing things he’s passionate about. Miles loves to build things from rockets to Zomes and Lego’s. He loves to make things too. He’s constantly researching things to build or make.   With the help and support of the people who love him, we will certainly raise some money to send to Miles’ charity of choice, Save the Children

(After I wrote this post, Miles has garnered the support of his classmates and his teacher to help him raise money for Japan.   Miles now has a goal to sell product with his logo on it, sell artwork crafted by American children expressing their feelings about Japan, and to increase awareness about A Paper Project to Aid Japan through his various paper-making online tutorials.  The Ventura County Star is running a piece on Miles’ story and Hello Neighbor TV visited his classroom.  Please check out his progress and his cause, A Paper Project to Aid Japan).

3/31/11 Article in the Ventura County Star.  http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/30/images-from-japan-inspire-camarillo-boy-to-help/

Buy logoed merchandise here:  http://www.cafepress.com/TheBigPaperPlaneTsunamiSave

Ramblings from the Car Wash


I’m sitting in a massage chair at a car wash, cleaning out my purse, where I have once again discovered over ten dollars worth of change. Lugging coin of this amount, along with two bottles of perfume, four tubes of lipstick, an iPad, a wallet, a make-up bag (with more lipstick), and legions of my sons Lego parts, may very well be the reason my lower back hurts. How do I let things get so messy in there?

I have the option of putting a hard-earned dollar bill into the chair for a five-minute massage, but I think I’ll save all of them to tip the guys outside. (The chair doesn’t take coins, or I would, for sure, indulge.) Besides, those guys outside deserve my money, because my car has been on two road trips in fourteen days and my kids seem to think that my floor boards are the nearest recycling center.

I’d have more money in my wallet, if I had a free moment before now, to run by the ATM, which I haven’t. So, here I sit, my purse is now rid of receipts and random, unnecessary stuff, and I’m reveling in a few moments to myself, listening to piped-in music from a car wash on a massage chair that isn’t on, taking a few moments to blog. Oh, the guilty pleasures of a mother and business owner who runs on a battery that needs a constant recharge. Was I really just on vacation?

Like most working mothers, we’ll take our guilty pleasures wherever we can find them. For me today, its at the car wash finding a moment to blog. Tomorrow, it may be in a twenty-minute bath with dimmed lights and a glass of wine. Sometimes, it’s standing in my kitchen creating a new recipe, while the rest of my family watches TV. Like a bounty hunter finds it’s felon; I’ll continue to seek out these moments to myself and revel in them when I can find them, twenty minutes at a time.

It’s a new year and there’s much I want to accomplish both personally and professionally. I know my head will be in the right place, if I continue to find moments away from the fray, to concentrate on me.

If you’re a stay at home mom, or a working mom like me, make sure your head is screwed on tight. What’s more important than finding them, those moments, is to revel in them when you do. More than likely you’ll be a better wife, mother and contribution at work, as a result.