Thursday, July 21, 2016

Here's Where You Can Help

If you believe in America and you believe in justice, diversity and love for humanity, here's where you can put your words into action.

Work to make sure our president on Nov. 8th is one that is for everyone. Our country cannot take on any more bigotry and divisiveness.

I'mWithHer campaign volunteer signup

And, of course, vote, vote. Vote.


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Monday, July 18, 2016

Love Stories? Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee Videos Are Up!

This past May,  LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER Milwaukee held its 4th annual LTYM show at Alverno College’s Pitman Theatre. Our 11 local storytellers came together, from once entering as strangers on a morning of auditions, to a cast whose stories could not have been more seamless had we written them together.

Every year, LTYM MKE stands back amazed at how our cast’s stories flow from one to the next. It astounds, still, after almost five years of bringing LTYM to Milwaukee. Milwaukee is 1 of 41 cities hosting a LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER show, and we get chills when we think how in 41 other cities, this same magical bond happens.

We are proud to share the 2016 LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER videos, which are now live on LTYM’s YouTube channel. We’ll be sharing individual videos this week on our FB page. We are grateful to our video sponsor local sponsor Orphonic Multimedia. LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER Milwaukee also wishes to thank North American sponsors SheKnows BlogHer ‪#‎BlogHer16‬, Luvs, local media sponsor metroparent magazine, and local sponsor SHOP. *A portion of our ticket sales benefited The Parenting Network, a truly special organization. We were proud to partner with them.

Given the current events, the necessity of hearing each others’ stories has never been more glaring. To step into people's lives is the only way to unite through the lens of community. We are each valuable and we need to see each other that way to realize that.

We are so proud of the LTYM MKE 2016 cast, for their sharing of self, their lives, their words, and their commitment to building bridges and coming together in our community.

You can watch our LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER Milwaukee videos here.

Remember loving being read to as a child? You can capture that same wondrous feeling for yourself again, by listening to Listen To Your Mother stories as you walk, run, sit, drive, take a few minutes for you.

From first auditions to two rehearsals to final show day, because of support, love, and the belief that we each held for each other, our cast shines. That’s the power in being given the opportunity to be heard and seen.

We wish this for everyone, and we believe this is what the world needs: to be seen and heard.

Milwaukee thanks you, dear LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER 2016 cast. You are amazing.

Jennifer Gaskell
Rochelle Fritsch
Alexandra Rosas
Listen To Your Mother/Milwaukee

Saturday, July 16, 2016

What You Need To Know About Pokemon GO : Take It From a 14-Year-Old

"Tell your mom friends to replace the word click with tap. It'll make more sense. Tell them the game doesn't really start until Level 5 so you have to put your time in.”

You know what, kids? You need to write this Pokémon GO post because I only know how to point and scream “I see Rattata!” Please, have at it, children, let's tell these grown ups how they can impress the bejeebies out of any kids they know with this list from you.

Buckle your brains, adults, because Pokémon GO is a whole new reality:
How To Know More About Pokemon GO Than You Ever Wanted To:

The most important tip even if you don't want to: play in maps mode, not AR. You will save battery life and your Pokemon will be easier to catch in maps.  

CP is Combat Power. When you go capture a gym, Pokemon with the higher CP will be better at taking and holding the gym.

PokeStops are places in the game that are in real life where you can collect new items to help you win the game. Poke Stops are where you collect Poke Balls. To get them, you spin the blue icon and tap the poke balls to keep them.

Gym: special spot where you can battle other players' Pokemon and claim the area for your particular team.

Team: Team is one of 3 different colored teams you can join and capture gyms for. Basically, they represent the 3 primary colors as red, blue, and yellow.

If you hold a gym for long enough, you can earn PokeCoins that you can use to buy items.

Poke Ball: From Poke Stops. Need a poke ball to catch a Pokemon.

Incense: It attracts pokemon to your player's position in the world.

If the screen freezes, like locks after a throw, you sometimes have to reset the app. Wait until your poke ball stops spinning before you reset the app or you'll lose the pokemon you're trying to catch.

Pokemon change by day and night, so go for walks at different times of the day.

Walking hatches your eggs so always walk. And when you walk a lot you get rewarded with surprise Pokemon. You need to keep your app on.

Lure Module: Lure Modules can be placed at PokeStops and this will attract Pokemon to that stop. Good strategy to use this in combination with incense to lure Pokemon to increase the amount of Pokemon that appear on your journey. You will occasionally get these when you level up.

The level is to indicate your progress in the game. It increases by evolving, catching or battling pokemon.

Evolving: when you use a certain item referred to as candy to upgrade your pokemon to a new form.

You can get candy by catching duplicates of the same Pokémon and transferring them to Professor Willow. (How do you do that? When you click on the Pokémon and scroll down there will be a transfer button. And here's another tip, always transfer your lowest CP Pokémon first to evolve.)

You always get stardust when you capture a Pokémon. It's like candy. That's why it's always a good idea to catch multiples of the same one. Use your Stardust with usually one or two candies to increase the CP of your Pokémon.

At Level 5 you get to pick your team. It will show you all 3 teams, introduce you, when you click on a gym for the first time.

You can only reach gyms at level 5.

You know where gyms are when you look at your map: they are a tower with a Pokemon on top.

Pokestops are indicated as floating blue cubes that expand into a Pokeball symbol when you are near enough to collect the items there.

Once you collect the items you are no longer able to collect them from that spot for at least 5 minutes. Then it refreshes and you can collect your items again.

There are over 150 Pokemon to collect. It's always a good idea to go adventure in areas that have a large amount of Pokestops so you don't run out of Pokeballs to catch Pokemon with. See all 151 Pokémon here, ranked.

If you run out of Pokeballs you cannot catch any more Pokemon until you get to a stop or you can buy them.

Don't waste too many Pokeballs on one Pokemon.

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot click on the pokeball to pick it back up again after throwing them. Once you throw them they are gone.

Power up your Pokemon before you evolve them. It's much easier at this early stage.

Power Up: increase their CP level. You power them up by feeding them candy and it's an option on the menu just like evolution.

Power up is not evolution. Powering up gets stronger but it does not change its form. Evolution is better but you want to power them up first .

You can transfer your Pokemon which is another option on the menu which will free up a space for a new Pokemon and also give you one extra piece of candy that you can use toward leveling up or evolving your Pokemon of the same type.

On the bottom right corner of the main screen is a menu that shows how close certain pokemon are. 3 steps is further, while 1 step is much closer.

Sometimes you will get an egg from a pokestop after being carried for a certain distance (either 2 or 5 or 10 Kilometers), the egg will hatch into a pokemon. In order to hatch the eggs, they must be first placed into an incubator. You can do this by opening up the main menu and clicking on the pokemon option. Then, tap the “eggs” tab. Tap on the egg you want to hatch, and a menu for the egg will open up. Tap the “incubate” option, and your egg will be ready for travel.

Tell your kids that this is a good start to starting to play Pokémon GO. The rest comes from talking to friends and sharing tips when you see someone playing, because there are no directions for this game. That's why people are talking.


You can tell by the sound of this post, that I and my little eggs have evolved into PokeFolk. It's easy because man oh man, but I welcome the opportunity that Pokémon GO has given me to walk and talk with my kids. Catching some Pokémon along the way is a groovy thing, too, as much as being together.

Pokémon GO is a lot of fun for us, and there are instant rewards which makes it super addicting like a well-timed slot machine. Stick with it long enough and the sole purpose in waking up becomes catching Pokemon. Especially with intermittent rewards of rare Pokémon (my college Psych 101 class was right: it's the intermittent that grips your soul). All said, we've walked together in the early morning and late night enough in the last couple of days that my calves ache.

But the weirdest part about Pokémon GO is this: where did all these people spilling out onto the streets come from? Were we all just sitting inside?

There is only one way to learn, and that's by doing it. It's easier to start than it sounds so GO, get out there and Pokémon GO with your kids. It gives you something shared to strategize and the feeling of being there when they catch a Pikachu is priceless. Pika Pika.

*Rare Pikachu sighting! (oh yes we did): Chocolate Factory, 7/16/16 10 p.m., Cedarburg, Wisconsin

**PokeParent Tip: leave them wide-eyed with their crocs knocked off by dropping this bomb on 'em: "Why don't you use your Stardust with two candies to increase the CP of your Pokémon?"

Say whut, mom????

Oh, and plural of Pokémon -- is Pokémon.


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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

When They Crave People, and You Crave Solitude

Growing up in a house of  nine people, I had one wish. As a child, there were a thousand wants, to be sure, but there was just the one wish: to be alone.

I craved the stillness of no voices, the room to breathe without interaction. I didn't want it 24 hours at a time, but I intuitively knew I needed this state of being at least a few times in my day. Otherwise, life felt like one of those birthday parties that went on too long.

Life among voices and engagement left me spent.

I'm still that way, my children, however, seek out company.

How do I parent when my children and I need opposite things and we share a home? I explore that with my newest post up on Mom Babble, Parenting When You're an Introvert.

I hope you'll click over and maybe we can share my favorite type of company, the kind that understands each other through the silence.


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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Because We Need to Do Better

Why is There So Much Hate in the World?

Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide

Complicit No More: How We Heal America's Racism Wounds

How To Overcome The Legacy of Racism

10 Steps Toward Bridging Our Painful Racial Divide

10 Simple Ways To Step Up To Fight Everyday Racism

3 Ways To Become Proactive Against Racists and Racism

I've listed 7 sites for you to visit, and 7 sites where you will learn.

Spend the 7 days in this week with just 7 minutes finding out more and implementing what you discover to help heal our nation. We need to promise to do something to bring our people together so that all are safe, and all are included in the opportunity and equality that America has promised.

You begin this Monday, with me, and we'll spend the rest of the days this week, doing the work that we as human beings must do for each other.

7 days, 7 worthwhile places where you will step back into the world doing your part to encourage, teach, inspire, spread hope, and put into practice being a better human being.

Begin today, share these sites, talk about what you read together.

I'll see you back here in 7 days.

I can't wait to hear how we are no longer going to just shake our heads. We are going to work to do things right.

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