The wonderful thing about blogging is that you don’t see me! This was reinforced when the lovely Kelly at Dances with Chaos bestowed upon me the Stylish Blogger Award. I assume she must like my style of writing, also known as self deprecation, because if she could actually see me, she would not have used the word stylish – at least on a daily basis. Perhaps you think I am kidding when I say, I don’t get dressed every day or wash my hair every day. I am a wreck people! I need one of those fashion and beauty makeovers. Hint hint… I tried to do something new with my hair and my stylist said no, she didn’t think I could handle dramatic change! My 21-year-old nanny puts together my outfits for important occasions (like leaving the house).
But enough about my style, or lack thereof. Let me tell you about Kelly. Her kids are a little bit younger, but our challenges and fleeting sanity are the same. I love her combination of photos and witty writing. She is also the genius who taught me to take pictures of my kids messes so that I don’t kill them. I guess that also makes her a life saver.
In accepting the Stylish Blogger Award, I am supposed to write seven things you might not know about me:
- I am usually up for anything – if you can get me out the front door. I seem to lack initial motivation. Or the proper shoes.
- My nickname is the “Hostage Negotiator” or the “Devil’s Advocate”. In personality assessments its known as the stabilizer. I think it is just an upside to being a people pleaser, which is not always a good thing. So I am working on that, you know, pissing people off more and pleasing less.
- I am afraid of heights! As in anything above the second floor. I tried jumping off a bridge into a lake to cure my fear. It didn’t help. At all.
- I have had melanoma twice and am psychotic about sunscreen. But I still love all summer and water activities. And I refuse to wear sun protective clothing. Because I am so stylish. Ahem.
- The best compliment you can give me is to tell me I did something that made you feel good. Or that you can relate to something I said or wrote.
- I hate being cold, but I usually am, and I often over dress for any weather. And over dress my kids. Then my husband took away my kid dressing privileges. This is not related to my lack of style, just my lack of a functioning internal thermostat.
- I love food, drinks, hula-hooping and mildly inappropriate fun (okay, you probably already knew that about me!)
In order to continue to pay it forward, I must nominate six bloggers for this award. This is hard because there are so many amazing bloggers that frankly, it’s intimidating. But here are six bloggers that I feel make me a better writer.
- Lori Dyan - Her three-year old rocks the naked style, her 7-year-old might be a genius and I never miss reading what she writes. She has made me laugh so hard I have pee’d a little. What?! I said a little!
- Ironic Mom – Her motto is “If you can’t laugh at yourself, laugh at your kids”. She is my favorite brand of “real” mom!
- A Diary of a Mad Woman – Talk about stylish! She showed up to a lunch pregnant wearing fabulous red leather boots! And her writing is as powerful as her shoes.
- By Any Other Name – Julie is my sister separated at birth. Her posts are funny, they resonate to the point I think she might be stalking me (and I hope she is) and they come from the heart.
- The Life of Jamie - She recently referred to her daughter as “The Dirty Little Chapstick Thief” – what more do you need to know?!
- Working Mom Journal – I am afraid she may be to smart for me – she’s an engineer! But she is a working mom, wise beyond her years and I suspect she may be stylish too! She has a refreshing positive perspective and helps keep me balanced!
There you have it – six blogs you need to go read right now! Why are you still here. Go read, but come back and visit soon, okay? Pretty please.
The rules passed on to me say to accept this award you are:
- Supposed to link back to who nominated you.
- List seven things we might not know about you.
- Share the “love” and pay it forward by naming six other blogs you enjoy.
Our regularly scheduled programming has been interrupted for this special report:
Through an amazing twist of fate and good luck, I will be hosting Pursey Galore in February as she traipses across the continent in order to raise money and awareness for The American Stroke Association.
Many people don’t know that my father has been a Type I Diabetic since he was 4 years old. Diabetes has caught up with him (warning this links to a heart-felt post I wrote about my dad) and he is only 64. He has had triple bypass and suffers from a shot cardiovascular system. He has TIA’s on a regular basis. So when presented with an opportunity to support the American Stroke Association, I not only jumped at the chance, I bribed, cajoled and threatened purse napping!
I convinced Pursey’s owner, the lovely Lori at In Pursuit of Martha Points to ship her off to me, without a chaperone, for a long weekend in the snow with friends and 8 young children!
Pursey lives up to her sparkle and has had some wild adventures. But is she ready for a trip with my crazy college friends and their children? Will she be able to keep warm in the snow? Will she ski or board? Does she like Bailey’s and hot cocoa? We’ll have to see…
And if there is time when we return, before I have to send her on to her next hostess, I will plan a PurseyPalooza to subject Pursey to a
little A LOT of Suburbia Silliness!
Get your rest my sparkly diva! It’s going to be a wild ride!
Before you all get too excited, no, Madonna is not doing a holiday show.
The Blonde Ambition Holiday Tour is my plan for the next two weeks. My plan is to make the most of it being quiet at work, as well as having the kids home, in order to start the new year caught up, cleaned up and with some good habits. It is the Blonde Ambition tour because I am blonde (thanks to my stylist Yvette) and it’s one hell of an ambitious list.
In order to organize my efforts, I am separating the list into work and home. I am officially working this week and next week, but next week will be even quieter than this one. So I plan to focus on work this week and home next week. The work list is boring, so I won’t share it, but it sounds something like presentation blah blah blah email blah blah blah hire someone blah blah blah.
Home List (brace yourself):
- Make it to the gym at least four days each week to counteract the 12 Pounds of Christmas
- Clean-out my closet and give to charity – there are some clothes in there that would be better suited for an elf.
- Help my kids with their charity donations. Before their birthdays and Christmas I make my kids go through their toys and each fill a minimum of a 12 gallon trash bag with toys for charity. I explain that they have to give to others in order to receive. It’s a great lesson on helping those less fortunate AND it keeps my home from turning into residential Toys R Us. (When I got to bed at night, I don’t like any toys in plain sight).
- Clean-out my husband’s office – This is frightening. There is paperwork, empty router boxes and my kids’ school work from the last two years in there. It’s the embarrassing catch-all room and unfortunately it is in the same hall as the guest bathroom, so we need to make it look less like somebody threw up a recycling bin in there.
- Have at least three playdates for the kids and three “mommy playdates”.
- Upload pictures to Facebook and make discs for people.
- Visit family and friends 3 hours away, 1 hour away and 30 minutes away.
- Host Christmas dinner. I need a really good dessert recipe that will feed 10 – any ideas?
- Take down already dead tree and Christmas decorations on December 26th.
STOP LAUGHING! If you think it’s funny or even ludicrous to come up with this list of things to do during the holidays, aside from surviving the holidays, I agree. But when else can I get it done? I miss my friends and family, my kids have spent a lot of time at home with each other and organization and tidiness makes me swoon. Yes, I want to try for supermom despite repeated reminders from the universe that I crash after a couple of days of trying to do it all. But yet I keep trying. Why? Because I’m a fighter? My meds aren’t right? I am a glutton for punishment? I don’t know, but I am headed straight for completely off-balance in pursuit of balance.
It’s Monday at 12:30 pm, how am I doing so far?
- I took an hour-long beating in one of those circuit classes today. I should have known I was screwed when the warm-up was a mile run. (For those that don’t know me, I am not an athlete. For those that know me, you know that is an understatement).
- My son currently has a playdate and I am taking my daughter to a kids party this afternoon.
- I am going out for dinner with the girls tonight.
- I have a load of laundry in the washer – it should be in the dryer, but one thing at a time.
I am off to a good start. Now you may be thinking, this is boring, we don’t want to hear about all the good stuff you’re getting done. But trust me, when I fall on stage (we’re going back to the Madonna analogy), I do it with a bang!
Stay tuned for the pyrotechnics!
We are dashing through the
snow our Christmas checklist of things to do with the kids during the holiday season. Yesterday we hung up the Christmas lights outside and last night was the night to go take pictures with Santa.
Pictures with Santa is not one of my favorite activities: the waiting, the screaming kids, the germs – and that is before we even leave the house! But, we have to pay our $20 for our 3 x 5 picture that proves we love our kids. But this year was going to be fun, we had a plan…
We had dinner with a few friends and then raced around dressing the kids so that people would think my children regularly wore ironed, button-down shirts and poofy dresses. I went to put on my daughter’s black tights and discovered I had brought footless leggings, so I pulled them down over her heels and shoved the ends into the toes of her black Mary Jane’s. “But mommy, this is not how they work,” exclaimed my exasperated daughter. “I know sweetie, but Mommy is silly and we don’t want you to look goofy (I almost said stupid and caught myself) in your picture.” I think the desperation in my voice and the rushing around of the other moms convinced my daughter to just go with it.
We packed the kids into the cars and headed off to see the big man. As we were driving there, one of my friends said, “I didn’t think to call to see what time the mall closes on a Sunday”. It was 5:55 pm so I knew we were safe, no self-respecting mall closed before 9:00 pm this close to Christmas.
We pulled into the mall, congratulating ourselves for deciding to go on a Sunday night since there were far fewer cars in the parking lot. We got the kids out of the car and somehow made it through the parking lot without losing anyone. The kids were running around like someone had given them a Santa size portion of cocoa and I figured letting them run a bit before hitting the picture line would help preserve my last holiday nerve.
We opened the door to the mall… wait, why is it not opening? They lock one of the doors? All the doors are locked? What the holly? What time does the fa la la la la mall close?!
My kids now have a picture in their Christmas finest in front of Coca-Cola machine – hey, at least it’s red and white!
Tell me about one your holiday mishaps. I’ll either learn from your mistake or repeat it on purpose.
I know I have written about the seven deadly sins before, but the challenge that Ronnie over at The Candy Shoppe embarked on intrigued me, so I decided to jump on the band wagon and give you seven days of information about me that you didn’t ask for and might even fear knowing…
Here’s the schedule, and by schedule, I mean the topics I will cover over seven days. But those seven days won’t necessarily be consecutive, because what if one of my kids starts a riot or I win the lotto? I would need to interrupt this exercise in over-exposure to tell you about such things. Or I might take a day off to recover from eating Turkey…
Day 1 – Vanity: Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 – Gluttony: Seven guilty pleasures. (Yes, I timed gluttony to coincide with Thanksgiving!)
Day 3 – Avarice (Greed): Seven worldly material desires.
Day 4 – Sloth: Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 – Envy: Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 6 - Wrath: Seven things that piss you off.
Day 7 – Lust: Seven love secrets
Let’s get started – Vanity, seven great things about me:
- I am a great devils advocate. I can always look at both sides of a situation. My husband jokes I have an extra dose of empathy, so it is easy for me to put myself in someone else’s shoes.
- My feet – I really do think my feet are my the cutest part of my body.
- My cooking – no really! The few things I do make are phenomenal - Grand Marnier French Toast, Quiche, Pumpkin Pancakes, Moroccan Chicken – all super yummy!
- Song lyrics – I have an uncanny ability to recall song lyrics from the 90′s – Beastie Boys, Bust-a-move – try me!
- Self-deprecation – I am absolutely not afraid to laugh at myself. As exemplified in number four.
- Power of persuasion – Being persuasive is a core competency of my profession, but it also serves me in other parts of my life. Except for my kids, I can’t even persuade them to walk straight!
- My husband – I was running out of ideas and I asked my husband what is great about me and he responded “me”. He thinks he is something great about me… He also said I am a great wife and mother, but he seemed most heartfelt about himself.
What’s great about you?
A few weeks ago my son and his friend were wrestling and they bumped heads which resulted in my son’s first two loose teeth. While at the dentist yesterday, she “assisted” them in falling out. My son was so happy to lose his teeth and prepare for the tooth fairy. When he woke up this morning he had a letter and money from the tooth fairy and she left behind a little magic glitter. It got me to thinking, What kind of fairies would I want? What would I like to wake up to?
- Work Fairy – When I wake up in the morning, this little darling would have finished all the work I should have the night before.
- Clothing Fairy – I leave out my old, boring clothes and she replaces them with new, perfect fitting, ensembles.
- Cocktail Fairy - She ensures there are no hangovers from over-indulgence the night before.
- Sleep Fairy – She casts a protective bubble around me so I sleep without noise or light interruption. (She may have to use duct tape in the kids!)
- Exercise Fairy – She handles my workout before I get up. So I can move promptly to eating!
- Breakfast Fairy - She anticipates my cravings and whips up Eggs Benedict and biscuits and gravy – fat-free of course!
- Cleaning Fairy - No description required.
- Errands Fairy – With errands off my list, balance is almost inevitable!
- Beauty Fairy – Goodbye wrinkles and blemishes!
What Fairies do you want?
You oohed and awed over the nominations. You carefully selected your gown and your security guard is watching your precious borrowed jewels – it is finally time. This year’s Slightly Off-Balance Mother of the Year award is here. All Mother’s are fabulous, but this year’s nominees are real stand-outs. They have lied, tricked and mis-led to fulfill the responsibilities of the job.
So, with further ado, I would like to introduce our celebrity guest judge: Lori from In Pursuit of Martha Points. I would like to thank Lori for her tireless effort to ensure this was a fair contest, void of bribes and kickbacks. (The truffles were a coincidence and there is no proof, anymore). She read, she re-read, she laughed and she almost pee’d her pants. Take it away Lori…
The competition was fierce. The bribes were tempting. The home-massage and truffles nearly bought the prize.
While I was moved by Sarah and Alexandra’s entries, I found myself giggling inappropriately over Elisabeth’s kids ordering chicken nuggets at the bank. Sparrow taking mothering seriously enough to scare her son away from Brittney Spears was compelling. And I’m envious that Life of Jam got the Benadryl trick to work (it only ever wired my son up.)
I hope that Karen was able to dispel her guilt (husband birthdays are important!) and that The Mom Next Door rehydrated quickly (and damn…that’s one good, “Special Friend.”) Susie was a close contender with a young child who can cope with the mechanical challenge that is replacing toilet paper. Tracy is raising children advanced in biology, Amber better send me some chocolate donuts and Sendie Lou’s daughter is clearly quite empathic with her careful attention to her mother’s elimination habits. And finally, I have some serious respect for Monica’s mom for tricking a teenager into vacuuming.
But after much sweating, toiling, rending of garments and drinking of Schnapps, I was able to narrow it down to three finalists.
Shan – for accidentally giving her daughter birth control pills.
Jennifer – for trying to make off with a minivan full of someone else’s family
Kali Capps for: “If you don’t quiet down Mommy might have an aneurysm.”
Can I have the envelope please.
What do you mean we don’t have an envelope?
I can’t WORK under these conditions?
Damnit…where’s my filtered water?
Ok..WITHOUT the envelope, the winner is…..
Cause really, that might explain my sixteen year headache.
Congratulations Kali Caps!
Contact Paige to complain about the lack of actual prizes.
And thanks to all for letting me play!!
Thank you again Lori and congratulations Kali. Bragging rights and endless fame are now yours! For those of you who would like to learn more about Kali’s parenting style – she holds court at The Boss of U. Go celebrate the big win Kali!
I am supposed to announce a winner tomorrow for Mother of the Year Contest, but I am feeling a little behind. You too? Good, I was afraid it was just me. I am postponing this pivotal moment in history until next Tuesday. This conveniently allows for Halloween-gone-wrong submissions. So, tell me your worst best.
And what could make this contest even greater??? Clearly, not the prize. BUT, Lori from In Pursuit of Martha Points has graciously agreed to be a guest judge. Who better than this Martha Stewart lovin’, points keepin’ gal to dole out the biggest honor of the year? But don’t let her wit and craftiness intimidate you, I daresay she’s refreshingly real and a little off-balance.
So there is nothing stopping you! This is your chance to win the accolades you deserve! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know from my confessions that there is no judgement here and extra points are given for being off-balance!
I mentioned last week that I will not be winning any Mother of the Year Awards, but YOU can (or you can nominate a mom). I am announcing my Mom of the Year contest to recognize the crazy things you do as you struggle for balance!
But in the spirit of being Slightly Off-Balance, I am not looking for traditional stories of all organic food, no tv, no yelling (these are all amazing qualities, but I don’t want to feel bad about myself!) You win with humor!
Tell me a story about how you fed your kids McDonald’s for six straight meals or how you ate their cupcakes and told them they were stale. The more off-balance and funny the better. I will announce a winner next Monday, October 25th.
And what is the prize for being Slightly Off-Balance Mom of the Year? The honor! Bragging Rights! In other words, it’s kind of like other aspects of parenting - they don’t hand out awards, but trust me I will say how awesome you are. Isn’t that reward enough? I know, but’s it’s all I got for the moment.
Okay, tell me why you’re Mom of the Year!