Throwback Thursday: Family Time and Mental Health


Going through our archives, we came across this great post by Dr. AnnMaria De Mars from November 23, 2014 “Family Time and Mental Health” that we wanted to share in case you missed it the first time around.

We had a baby shower at my house today for Maria and baby-to-be Ortiz. All of the sisters came, as well as the two cousins who live in southern California, a couple of the neighbors who knew Maria growing up and a few friends my daughters have known for a decade or more.

There was Marina, who Ronda met at some junior training camp when they were 14 or so. Stacy was there, a friend Maria met at St. Monica’s High School back in 1997. Deborah and Kiah came. They moved in when Kiah (Deborah’s daughter) and Julia were both under six months old.

It was typical baby shower games, courtesy of Jennifer who was assigned to come up with them. We played “Pin the egg on the sperm”. However, since we had small children present also we told them that it was pin the balloon on the balloon receptacle. Jennifer even wrote “Balloon receptacle” on  the large circle on the wall to insure that the two- and three-year-old children present would be appropriately fooled. Each sperm had a name written on it and, theoretically, the baby would be named whatever was on that sperm.

Maria told us she didn’t care that Samantha won, no way was she naming her baby John Calvin Hobbes Ortiz.

Ronda, who hates to lose at anything, protested that the other people should be disqualified on the grounds of suckitude. 

Neither my team nor Ronda’s won in the second game either, Childbirth or Porn. Each group got 16 photos of women’s faces and had to guess whether it came from a childbirth site or porn site. Maria’s in-laws won. Maria’s mother-in-law got on my good side by mentioning the news she had seen about schools serving Native American children and how useful our games could be for those schools. I was so pleasantly surprised that she had heard of 7 Generation Games that I did not comment on her apparent in-depth knowledge of porn.

We played the game where you are blind-folded, someone feeds you baby food and you have to guess what it is supposed to be. The first guinea pig was Julia and her first comment was, 

I don’t know what that is but, Maria, you shouldn’t feed it to your baby.

Adrianna and Marina tied in that game.

Eva was put out because Emilia got on Aunt Ronda’s lap first to make the ugly Christmas sweater cookies. I think Aunt Julia stepped in to be Eva’s assistant though, so she was happy with that.

After a while, Kiah and Julia, being sixteen, decided we were all boring and went next door to Kiah’s house.

So, that was the baby shower – silly games, small children, small talk, cookies. I had beer and wine available but no one wanted anything but juice, coffee, tea and milk. We had all of that, too. 

People who actually meet her (as opposed to see some edited for TV version) always exclaim about how nice of a person Ronda is. Part of it, I think, is that we have a boringly normal family. When we have a party there are no strippers, drugs or domestic violence calls to the police. 

We don’t really see the public version of Ronda very often. When she’s in front of the cameras she’s done the whole hair, make up, designer clothes thing or working out, punching a heavy bag. When we see her, she’s usually exhausted from all of that and lying on the couch in sweats. 

My concern for Ronda has always been that she would turn out like so many professional athletes and entertainers who seem to self-destruct. I think it is really healthy for her to be around people who don’t want anything from her and to not be the center of attention.

Balance in life is good for you. Also really important is realizing that major parts of your life will stay the same no matter what. I hope Ronda wins every fight for the rest of her life, and I expect she will. I hope her movies coming out in 2015 are extremely successful.  I know nothing about movies and have no idea if they will be or not. What I do know is that regardless of all of that, Eva, Emilia and the new baby will fight over who gets to sit on her lap and she and Maria will have discussions on such philosophical matters as which family member could most easily become a serial killer and murder us all in our sleep. (Jennifer, in case you are wondering.)

These babies will grow up loving math thanks to our games. They teach math and history, and even another language! Check out our full lineup.

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