Mar 262013

Real Relationship Advice

frosting Grandmas Carrot Cake

We are giving you a recipe today. It is Paul’s Grandma’s Carrot Cake. Why are we doing this? We have two reasons. The first is that it is a really really good cake. The second is that Grandma was one of the greatest culprits in creating Paul’s unhealthy relationship with food.


2 cups flour (real white bleached flour because Grandma only gave you blank stares if you mentioned whole wheat)

2 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt (Grandma put salt in everything, including a slice of bread with butter on it)

2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups sugar (eating sugar with a spoon was expected at Grandma’s house. A teaspoon of sugar helped the sugar go down)

1 ½ cups oil (If she could have fried the sugar in oil, she would have. Lard would have been even better)

1 tsp vanilla

4 eggs (Grandma did not know the word ‘cholesterol’)

2 cups grated carrots (Carrots are good for you. Thus this cake can be served as breakfast or used to replace a salad at dinner)

1 – 8 ½ oz can crushed pineapple, undrained

½ cup nuts, chopped (Remember the nuts are for texture and flavor, not any health benefit. Use the nut that tasted best to you and has the least nutritional value. That’s the way Grandma rolled)

Sift together dry ingredients. Mix in oil, vanilla and eggs.  Add carrots, pineapple and nuts. Pour into 3 wax paper lined 9 inch baking pans. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Paul was very thin as a child. Grandma’s advice was to drink three glasses of heavy cream per day.  Push it down with a few slices of buttered bread, the white kind with no nutrition, then go have dinner.

The cake is not done yet because it needs a layer of yummy fat.


½ cup butter, softened (Butter was the staple of Grandma’s cooking)

1 – 8 oz package cream cheese, softened (Let’s call this the ‘flavor fat’)

1 tsp vanilla

1 lb box of powdered sugar, sifted (Powdered sugar has less calories because it is so finely ground)

Cream together the fat, the other fat, and the vanilla. Then add the sugar until it is a fluffy yummy paste.

You can either put it on the cake or eat it with a spoon. Your call. Grandma would have been ok with either decision.

The cake is best enjoyed with a glass of heavy cream.

Mar 152013

Real Relationship Advice

bummed kid Kids And Mental Health

Kids are not immune to mental health issues. We can’t pretend they don’t exist. If we are willing to get them their vaccinations and checkups with a medical doctor, we need to be open that there are some things that Moms and Dads cannot soothe and your child may need professional help. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry “7 to 12 million youth suffer from Mental Health issues a year”.

Finding a therapist and going to therapy should not be difficult. Here are some resources to help and, as always, we are more than happy to help with a referral.

Kid’s Health

Find A Psychologist

Mar 122013

Real Relationship Advice

baby the finger 282x300 The Blessing Of A Mini me

As a therapist, I view life a little skewed. I see obstacles or people who annoy me as opportunities for personal growth and bad days as challenges to find what the deeper meaning is. This is not to be confused with being a Pollyanna, wearing rose colored glasses. It is much like the idea of searching for the silver lining.

Having kids is a great opportunity for personal development. Kids are a great mirror to show us how others perceive us. Our kids do not just have a genetic link to us but also are a great projection of our personality. Yes, that same personality where we like some parts and cringe at others. A great example of this is our friend Jessica Rosenberg from It’s Jessica’s Life. She says, “I knew I was in trouble when my kid crossed her arms, looked up at me and said ‘you can’t MAKE me tell her’ when I told her I was going to make her explain to her teacher how she lost her book. She is 5. Parenting your mini-me is a bitch every day because you constantly want to strangle her and give her mental ‘you go girl’ high fives. Sigh.”

Sometimes those very things about our kids that we butt heads on are the very parts of our own personality that we don’t necessarily like. For example, few parents like stubborn children but the reality is that that stubborness comes from somewhere. They witnessed it and have seen that it works for Mom/Dad! It becomes a battle of wills. Your offspring is acting just like you. Here lies the opportunity; dealing with your miniature doppelganger is a true test of growth!

Trust me, I have three kids; two biological and one adopted. The adopted child says things that I swear are verbatim silly things I have said in the past. My boys are a strange amalgam of me and Paul. All three have a way of showing us on a daily basis the ways of being we are currently working on. For example: Our middle child is extremely bright. No, this isn’t parent folly, he has been tested. Recently we noticed that his multiplication tables were lacking. He could do some with difficulty but did not have them memorized. Since he is already past that in Math and is studying probability in the third grade, we suggested he take some time every day and brush up on his multiplications. His reaction was to cry. Why the tears? He thinks he should know everything by now. He feels he is failing.

Now, I don’t know about you but perfectionism is a nasty virus in our home and we need to remind each other almost like sober coaches to let things go. Excellence is not perfection. His behavior and reaction to needing to ‘slow down’ was seen and felt like a failure. Perfect people don’t slow down! Now, in the case of this certain dysfunction, I take the lead because this reeks of me. The need for speed and winning is a Mommy issue, so Daddy is spared (unless he comes up with ‘I’m not doing enough’ then it’s all Paul).

So, yeah, the blessing of a child is not just the smiles and frustrations but also the challenges to our own ways of being. Kids: they keep us awake at night, exhausted throughout the day running around and then thinking constantly about how we are failing them or not being enough. Isn’t parenting fun!

Jan 312013

Real Relationship Advice

ygp9898 300x225 Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression is very real. My own experience pales at what I have seen as a clinician. My experience of PPD occurred after my last baby. I had no feelings of joy or happiness. I was terrified every moment of every day. The thoughts that ran through my head went from the typical parental fears to such severe perseverations of death and dismemberment that I feared being alone with the baby. Some women are blessed to never go through this. Some women go through milder forms of PPD and some even worse.

If you are pregnant, know the signs.

If you think you are experiencing Postpartum Depression, reach out now. Tell your family. Call your OB GYN. You are not alone.